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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Indiana basketball recruiting notebook >> UNC gets nod from IHSAA’s top recruit, Purdue pulls legacy stud

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, July 17, 2021, 1:59 pm

The No. 1 boys basketball prospect in Hoosierland is headed to Chapel Hill, the “Dean Dome,” “Mount Jordan” and the ACC. 

Blue Chip Gary West Side power forward Jalen Washington committed to NCAA blueblood North Carolina on July 9. He’s a consensus Top 25 player in the nation’s 2022 recruiting class. Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Louisville, Stanford, Alabama, Oklahoma and Notre Dame were also in the running for Washington’s elite rim-running services. 

As a junior, Washington averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots per night on a Gary West Side squad that made a run into the final four last March. He visited UNC’s historic Chapel Hill campus last month.

UNC and NBA alum Hubert Davis takes the reins this upcoming season from longtime Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams. Washington is a five-star talent and ranked as high as No. 21 overall and No. 4 at his position in the U.S. in scouting service recruiting indexes (ESPN, 24/7 Sports).

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Hooping for the Hammer & Rails

Heritage Christian junior guard Myles Colvin, one of the hottest backcourt prospects in the state since the end of the 2021 campaign and the most sought-after small-school hoopster in the IHSAA, committed to Purdue on July 7. The 6-foot-4, rangy, athletic two-way off guard pumped in 17 points and grabbed six rebounds per game last winter as a sophomore.

Colvin’s dad, Roosevelt played football and his sister Raven, volleyball, for the Boilermakers. Roosevelt Colvin won two Super Bowl rings in the NFL with the New England Patriots.

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Soldiering Onward 

One possible Mr. Basketball candidate for 2022 has left the state.

North Central senior point guard Leland Walker is moving on and will finish out his high school hoop days on the prep-school circuit. Walker, a 6-foot bulldog of a floor general with high-octane scoring ability ala Chris Paul, has enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.

Last year, he averaged 20 points, four rebounds and three rebounds per night. Purdue offered Walker a scholarship last month. Providence, Xavier and DePaul are suitors, too. The news of Walker’s departure comes on the heels of North Central head coach and alum Jason Gardner taking a college assistant job at his NCAA alma mater, Arizona.

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Offers of note:

• Blazing hot Linton-Stockton senior shooting guard Joey Hart scooped a recent offer from Northwestern, his first from the Big Ten.

Fast-rising Pike senior wing guard Ryan Conwell saw recent offers come in from Ball State, Northern Kentucky and Appalachian State.

• Zionsville junior point guard Logan Imes, maybe the hottest Circle City floor general on the market right now, took in bids from Bradley, Southern Illinois and Akron.

• Underrated Mount Vernon senior wing guard Ahmad Jarrard got a Miami (OH) offer, followed by one from Wright State. 

• Jeffersonville sizzling senior off-guard Will Lovings-Watts and Central Noble ace senior marksman Connor Essegian both just snared Murray State offers. Essegian also picked up offers from Wofford, Rice, George Mason, Illinois State and Creighton.

• Bloomington North high-flyer JQ Roberts earned an offer from Indiana State, Akron and Stetson.