Mike Pegram, Peegs.com

Bryant a mentor for new IU big man prospect

This week Indiana offered a fast emerging big man from the class of 2019. Just so happens he already has a mentor on the Hoosier team.

Indiana is the newest scholarship offer for 6-foot-8, 240-pound Isaiah Stewart, a Class of 2019 prospect finishing up his sophomore year at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York.

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The fact that Indiana has a big man who also hails from Rochester is a big deal to Stewart. Sophomore center Thomas Bryant finished high school at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, but grew up in the Rochester area and still calls it home.

“It (Indiana offer) means a lot because I look up to him (Bryant) as a big brother,” Stewart said. “We always keep in contact. He’s always seeing what I am doing. That’s somebody that is my mentor and somebody I always look up to.”

Stewart spoke to Peegs.com after a Nike EYBL game Friday night. Despite playing up a class, Stewart continued his fine play, scoring 13 points and pulling down five boards. His Albany City Rocks team fell to the Mac Irvin Fire in overtime, 83-79.

In his first five games of EYBL action, Stewart is averaging 11.2 points and is among the leaders in rebounds, garnering 9.2 boards per game.

“I have learned that I can bang with the big guys,” Stewart said. “This is my first year on the 17U circuit and it is a lot of fun and very challenging out there.”

Stewart is currently ranked as the No. 56 overall player in the Class of 2019.

Several schools have jumped in with him this spring.

“Georgia Tech, UMass, Georgetown, Notre Dame has been recruiting me pretty hard and Indiana is my newest offer,” Stewart said.

Stewart looked a bit more explosive around the basket than his mentor.

“I play hard, I run the floor and stay aggressive. Some things that I need to work on our the face-up game, mid-range. That is something Thomas is really good at with his 3-point ball and his mid-range jump shot. “

He added some more thoughts on the Hoosier interest.

“It feels great because I know it is a big place, a basketball school, a lot of great fans, a great atmosphere,” Stewart said.

No visit to Bloomington is on his calendar but he brought up the possibility on his own.

“I would love to get a chance to visit campus and meet all the coaching staff and then just go from there,” Stewart said. “I definitely want to set up an unofficial real soon.”

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