In front of a raucous crowd of 8,100 at Seymour High School, Bloomington South proved to have too much firepower, as Hulls provided for more than 20 points (including his assists) and his underclassman teammates – Spencer Turner and Darwin Davis – were impressive in the 11-point win.
Then we raced to Indianapolis to catch Franklin Central and Pike at Hinkle Field House. Despite a strong effort from Marques Teague, Pike fell to Patrick Bade, who scored 20 points, and Franklin Central, setting up a match up versus Lawrence North Saturday night.
With Franklin Central and Lawrence North both winners in the morning, the two went head-to-head for the opportunity to move on to semi-states. Bade came out strong for the second game in a row, and Franklin Central's defense confused Lawrence North, which features six Division-I commits, as they lost 49-36 in a shocking fashion.
Jordan Hulls, PG, Bloomington South – With his future head coach Tom Crean looking on, Hulls led Indiana's top ranked high school to a win over Donnie Hale and New Albany. Hulls has a unique ability to affect games without scoring. While he did finish with 12 points, it was his ability to set up teammates; his steadiness with the ball and his decision-making that impressed us. He handles the ball equally as well with his off hand, and his passes are crisp and accurate. He also tossed out six assists in the double-digit win.
Stephan Van Treese, PF, Lawrence North – One college coach said he'd have a "very good" college career, while watching the 6-foot-9 big man against Franklin Central. What he brings to the table is an ability to run the floor, rebounding and quality interior passing. He even showed off range on his jumper, when he buried an 18-footer against Franklin Central.
Patrick Bade, PF, Franklin Central – This was by far the best effort we'd seen from Bade. In the morning game against Pike, Bade went for 20 points. In the nightcap, it was his 25 points that lead Franklin Central to a shocking win over Lawrence North. The 6-foot-7 power forward scored it at will inside, usually with left hand finishes or jump-hooks. Bade even stepped out and hit a few three-pointers on the night. One area for improvement is at the free throw line, as he missed a handful of freebies in both games.
Donnie Hale, PF, New Albany – Since the summer, it appears that Hale has not only grown an inch, but he seems to be stronger, especially in his upper body. Up against Bloomington South, he scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded three blocks.
On the block Hale, who is blessed with wide shoulders and a pair of long arms, scored mainly off left hooks, but he did mix in a 10-foot turnaround jumper. He was active on the glass, played tough inside and patrolled the paint looking for block opportunities. This was easily the best outing we've seen from him in quite some time.
Eric Fromm, C/PF, Bloomington South – This 6-foot-8 big man is one for college coaches to keep an eye on. He has a strong frame, hits the glass hard and showed range to at least 18-foot. He finished with a team high 14 points and battled Hale inside to a near draw.
Dominique Ferguson, PF, Lawrence North – In a game where his team flat out struggled to score, Ferguson failed to ever get it going as well. Franklin Central sagged on their zone, which didn't allow Lawrence North to make easy entry passes. With that said, Ferguson's skill set for a guy that stands 6-foot-8 is quite impressive. He's able to step out and hit threes, which he hit two of them, but he also has a variety of moves inside. Strength is an area for concern, but that should come as he gets older and starts spending more time in the weight room.
Justin Martin, SF, Lawrence North – What this 6-foot-7 wing does best is, shoot it from long range. In the loss to Franklin Central, Martin hit a trio of three-pointers and finished with a team-high 13 points. Martin has great size for the wing spot and is capable of attacking from the perimeter as well. Long term, he's loaded with potential and is equipped with impressive ball skills.
Marques Teague, PG, Pike – Before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, Teague did everything he could to try and get Pike back in the game against Franklin Central during their morning contest. To go with a three-pointer that he knocked down, Teague, one of the nation's top sophomore guards, hit a nice floater in the lane and seemed to be getting to the foul line nearly every trip. In the end Teague's 14 points weren't enough, as Pike fell to Franklin Central.
Darwin Davis, PG, Bloomington South – In our first glance of Davis, we walked away impressed with what the 5-foot-10 speedster has to offer. He played on the ball for Bloomington South and showed a nice burst of speed, handled the ball well and made good decisions in the half court set. The 2011 prospect also showed off his vision and ability to knock down deep jumpers. He went for 10 points in the win.
Spencer Turner, SG, Bloomington South – While Davis showed off his quickness and court vision, his teammate Turner displayed deep range and proved he was capable of taking a few dribbles and pulling up from 15-feet. For Bloomington South, he appeared to play a designate shooter type role, but he's tough enough to mix it up some and proved that with the offensive put back he had mid way through their win over New Albany.
Ryan Taylor, PF/SF, Lawrence North – From an offensive standpoint, this wasn't Taylor's best game. The 6-foot-6 combo forward struggled shooting it from mid to deep, but he did make a big time spin move in transition that led to a bucket when Lawrence North needed one in the worst way. The sophomore does, however, hit the glass and is a strong, active forward that plays with intensity and clearly has a desire to win ball games.