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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Indiana basketball recruiting notebook — West Side’s Peterson picks Indiana State; Bosse’s Norris picks up BG offer

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, April 17, 2021, 6:06 pm

Indiana State’s hoop program just got a steal and maybe the most undervalued floor general in Hoosierland’s senior class.

Gary West Side senior point guard Quimari Peterson, the undisputed best boys basketball player in Northwest Indiana, committed to play in college this week at Indiana State University. Peterson (6-foot-0) is a natural playmaker, floor general and facilitator, prone for long stretches of taking over games and keeping the ball on a string as he chews up opposing defenders. His intelligence and instinct, whether in the open court or in the half-court set, makes him a lethal weapon baseline to baseline every second of the game. He averaged 15 points, five assists and five rebounds per night this year, leading West Side to sectional and regional crowns. Prior to the Peterson era in Steeltown, West Side hadn’t made it to semi state in more than a decade in a half. According to his social media accounts, Peterson chose ISU and taking the road to Terre Haute over IUPUI, Valpo and New Orleans.

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Picking up steam (poised for a breakout summer on recruiting trail)

Evansville Bosse junior combo guard Julian Norris snared a scholarship offer from Bowling Green last weekend, getting Norris some much-deserved offseason recruiting buzz. The 6-4 Norris is tearing it up in his first couple weeks on the AAU circuit, playing for the C2K squad out of Ohio. Middle Tennessee offered back in the summer. Big Ten and Big 12 schools are said to be taking notice. Norris charted 17 points, four assists and five boards a game in 2021 for a 15-8 Bosse club. Scouts are noting his recently refined passing skills and court vision. He’s been scoring consistently at all three levels and finishing at the rack these past few weekends and should be in for a offer-rich offseason.

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Small-school snags

From the small-school college ranks, Northeastern’s Kolden Vanlandingham committed to Earlham, Shenandoah’s Michael Howard and Kaden McCollough committed to Hanover, and Hamilton Southeastern’s Vinny Buccilla committed to Wabash. Vanlandingham and the Shenandoah duo of Howard and McCollough led their respective teams to superb seasons as seniors in 2021. Vanlandingham (6-3) pumped in 23 points per night on a 19-5 NE squad. The 6-5 Howard tallied 12 points and six boards a game for a 25-4 Shenandoah club that captured a sectional crown, while the 6-1 McCollough scored 11 points and dished out 5.2 assists per game. Buccilla (6-3) can play either guard spot and dotted the stat sheet for 13 points, five assists and four rebounds an outing.