(Photo Credit: Indiana Hoosiers / www.iuhoosiers.com)
This year’s finalists for Indiana’s most prestigious high school basketball award – Indiana Mr. Basketball – were announced this Sunday. Among the four finalists, two are 2019 Indiana recruits, Armaan Franklin (@unkle44arty) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (@TrayceJackson).
The remaining two finalists are New Castle’s Luke Bumbalough, a Ball State commit and Valparaiso’s Brandon Newman, a Purdue commit.
The 2019 winner will be announced on May 5 at Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University in a vote that will take place between Indiana coaches and media.
Armaan Franklin (Cathedral)
6’4″ 185 lb combo guard Armaan Franklin of Cathedral in Indianapolis, IN was in the sights of Hoosier nation early in the recruiting season. Armaan received offers from nearly ten Division-I schools including in-state rivals Purdue and Butler. He ultimately committed to the Hoosiers on 9/6/2018. He averaged 23.8 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals while being a prolific shooter from three. He finished his career with 1,367 points and led Cathedral to a 37-11 record and two City tournament titles over two seasons. He is currently ranked 156th in the country and is a 3-star recruit. These attributes made him a desired addition for the Hoosiers. If you have not already, check out our interview with India Franklin, Armaan’s mother, to learn more about future Indiana recruit Armaan.
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Center Grove)
Trayce Jackson-Davis committed with the Hoosiers on 11/30/2018 and he is the likely front runner for the award this year. His commitment marked an important moment for Indiana as Archie Miller had successfully kept the state’s top prospect in the state (and at Indiana University). Jackson-Davis chose Indiana over UCLA and Michigan State. The 6’9″ prospect from Center Grove is ranked No. 18 nationwide and was named a McDonald’s All American. He averaged 22.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game while shooting 61.7% shooting from the field. He would be the first Indiana Mr. Basketball from Center Grove. He looks to be an instant game-changer for the Hoosiers in a similar way to previous Indiana Mr. Basketball, Romeo Langford.
Brandon Newman (Valparaiso)
The 6’4″ Brandon Newman finished his high school career with an impressive 1,577 points and would be the third Mr. Basketball winner from Valparaiso behind Roger Harden in 1982 and Bryce Drew in 1994. He led the Vikings to a 21-6 record and averaged 27.2 points per game. Newman was on Indiana University’s radar and included IU in his top 4 schools with Ohio State and Xavier until he committed to Purdue on 9/19/2018. He is ranked No. 128 in the 2019 class. Newman is Purdue’s top recruit for their 2019-2020 class and looks to be an impact player with the loss of Carsen Edwards to the NBA this year.
Luke Bumbalough (New Castle)
The 6’0″ Bumbalough had an impressive high school career with 31.2 points per game, 3.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds. Despite these impressive numbers, he is rated No. 385 in the 247 Sports Composite. He held offers from schools such as IUPUI, Miami of Ohio and Purdue-Fort Wayne before ultimately choosing Ball State. He shoots an impressive 42% from three. He is limited by his size, but he will continue to accumulate impressive numbers in college. He looks to be the third New Castle graduate to become Indiana Mr. Basketball behind Kent Benson in 1973 and Steve Alford in 1983.
Something to note: This year, all four finalists have committed to in-state schools. Additionally, this marks the second year in a row that half of the finalists are Indiana commits. Last year, Damezi Anderson of Riley South Bend, Robert Phinisee of McCutcheon and eventual winner New Albany star Romeo Langford were included among the six finalists.
Indiana University is looking to recruit its 28th Indiana Mr. Basketball and appears to be the front runner this year as well. This will be Archie Miller’s second top in-state recruit, a feat that was accomplished by Tom Crean from 2008-2017 with the recruitment of Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller. Tom Crean was often criticized for his inability to keep in-state recruits and it appears Archie Miller is showing consistency thus far.
Purdue has had 11 Indiana Mr. Basketball recruits, the last of which was Caleb Swanigan from Homestead in 2015 who is now on the Sacremento Kings alongside former Hoosier stars Troy Wiliams and Yogi Ferrell. Ball State has not recruited an Indiana Mr. Basketball winner in its history. However, 1981 winner Dan Palombizio went to Purdue and ultimately, transferred to Ball State for 1984-1986.