Tourney Runs on the Minds of IU Recruits

Derek Elston (pictured) and Jordan Hulls head into the state tournaments as the leaders of the No. 1 team in the state in their respective classes. Find out when IU's recruits open tourney action and how they did in their final regular season games...

Bobby Capobianco, 6-8, 230, Loveland (Ohio) H.S. – After going 16-3 during the regular season and a perfect 9-0 in the Buckeye Conference, Capobianco's Loveland H.S. team opens the state tournament Tuesday night against Winton Woods (11-10). This will mark the third time the two teams have faced each other, with Loveland winning by 16 on the road and then by five at home Feb. 13. Capobianco had big games both times, averaging 22.5 points, 10 rebounds and three rebounds in the two victories. On the season, Capobianco continues to lead Loveland in scoring (17.5), rebounding (9.4) and blocks (1.6).

Maurice Creek, 6-4, 185, Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy – Creek closed the regular season with a 23-point, seven-rebound performance to lead Hargrave to a 76-65 win over Fork Union Academy to win the Piedmont Invitational Tournament this past weekend. Hargrave improved to 25-1 overall with the win. Next up is the National Prep Championships, an eight-team invitational for the top prep school teams in the country. Hargrave won the even a year ago to close out an undefeated season. Creek continues to lead a very talented Hargrave team in scoring at 19.7/game and is also averaging 5.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

Derek Elston, 6-8, 210, Tipton (Ind.) H.S. – Elston closed the regular season with a 24-point, 13-rebound performance to lead Class 2A No. 1 Tipton (20-2) to a 71-57 win over Western, 71-57. Elston is averaging 19.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals, and is shooting 54 percent from the floor, 34 percent from 3-point range and 71 percent from the free-throw line. Tipton gets a tough test right off the bat in the state tournament, as it hosts No. 7 Oak Hill (17-3) in the first round of the sectional Wednesday night. It's a match-up of two of the top scorers in the area, as Oak Hill guard Eric Doyle averages 19.6.

Jordan Hulls, 6-0, 170, Bloomington (Ind.) South H.S. – Class 4A No. 1 Bloomington South (20-0) wrapped up an undefeated regular season with an 84-72 win over Decatur Central (16-4) last Thursday. Hulls led the way with 21 points despite sitting out most of the third quarter after taking a blow to the face while trying to take a charge late in the first half. Hulls was 8-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range while also pulling down two rebounds. Hulls is now averaging 16.8 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He's also shooting 52.3 percent (45-of-86) from behind the 3-point arc. South will play the winner of Bloomington North/Columbus North in its first sectional game.

Bawa Muniru, 6-11, 250, Durham (N.C.) Mt. Zion Academy – Muniru is the starting center at Mt. Zion this season, although we've been unable to track down his statistics thus far.

Christian Watford, 6-7, 215, Birmingham (Ala.) Shades Valley H.S. – Watford's season came to an end two weeks ago, as Shades Valley finished the season 26-7. Watford averaged 25.9 points and 13.2 rebounds this season, and is considered one of the top candidates for Alabama's Mr. Basketball Award. Other possibilities include guard Eric Bledsoe, big man DeMarcus Cousins, Jordan Swing and Kerron Johnson.

Other Notables:
Class of 2011 commit Matt Carlino nearly saw his hopes of a state title dashed, but teammate Nick Johnson scored on a putback with one second left in overtime to earn No. 1 Highland a 67-66 win over No. 8 Chandler Saturday night. Johnson scored 30 points in the win, helping to pick up the slack for Carlino who scored 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including just two points in the second half. Highland now faces Gilbert H.S. on Wednesday night in the tourney semifinals…Washington (Ind.) sophomore Cody Zeller scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead his second-ranked Class 3A team to a regular-season ending 58-49 win over Evansville Memorial. The Hatchets open defense of their state title on Wednesday against Heritage Hills…Chicago Marshall H.S. senior Darius Smith opens the state tournament on Tuesday when his team faces the winner of tonight's Chicago Manley vs. Chicago Clark match-up…North Central H.S. sophomore D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 12 points in his team's regular-season ending 71-49 win over Harding. The fourth-ranked team in Class 4A, North Central opens state tourney play Wednesday night against Cathedral (20-2)…Broad Ripple freshman Ron Patterson scored 18 points to lead his team to a 73-70 win over Indianapolis Washington. His team has a tough first-round sectional assignment Wednesday when it goes up against third-ranked Lawrence North H.S…Class of 2011 recruit Marshall Plumlee helped Christ (NC) School to its third straight title over the weekend. Marshall's brother and Duke signee Mason Plumlee scored 19 points in a 62-54 win over Ravenscroft H.S. Christ School went 36-2 this season…Avon sophomore Kendall Griffin had 12 points and 12 rebounds while teammate Austin Burgett had 11 and five in a regular-season ending 58-53 win over Martinsville. Avon (12-9) opens sectional play on Friday against the winner of the Ben Davis (4-14)/Indianapolis Manual (3-15) contest…Muncie Central sophomore Jeremiah Davis scored 19 points to lead his team to a 68-53 win over Ben Davis in their regular season finale…Terre Haute South sophomore Justin Gant scored 13 points and added eight rebounds, but it wasn't nearly enough as his team lost its regular season finale to No. 3 Lawrence North 43-28…New Albany junior Donnie Hale scored 16 points in his team's 62-46 win over Bloomington North, capping a second straight undefeated regular season for New Albany.

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