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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Indiana recruiting notebook >> Army gets Barker, Burton ready to ball in the Big East

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, August 25, 2020, 10:53 am

A hoopster with a hankering to serve and protect.

Columbus North senior combo guard Blake Barker will defend his country and play basketball for the Stars and Stripes at the next level. The 6-foot-1 Barker committed to Army over the weekend. 

Barker is a floor general who can score. He fired in 17 points per game to go along with four assists and four rebounds a night. Columbus North finished 18-6 in 2020, falling to No. 1 Bloomington South in the sectionals. Barker’s stroke from deep is smooth as silk and he’s a gritty defender. His move to the rack and finishing ability has improved every season.

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Rider on the Storm

Fishers senior guard Katie Burton is headed to the Big East. Burton committed to St. John’s last week, pulling one of the state’s hardest workers and most dynamic playmakers out of the backcourt off the board. She’ll be a Miss Basketball candidate in 2021 and continue to torch nets in the Hoosier State until she bolts for New York next year.

Burton busted up the stat sheet for 16 points per game last winter on a 23-2 squad that won a sectional title. She’s crafty and tough as nails scoring the basketball, not to mention a natural leader on the hardwood. 

Houston, Indiana State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Eastern Kentucky and IUPUI all offered Burton scholarships. Last summer, she was selected by USA Basketball to travel to Colorado and tryout for TEAM USA’s 16-U club.

St. John’s is coached by Joe Tartamella, who has guided the Red Storm program for the past 8 seasons. The Red Storm went 19-12 last winter and has only finished below the .500 mark once in the Tartamella era (2019).

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Odds & Ends

• Lawrence North junior guard C.J. Gunn received offers from Indiana and Valparaiso.

• McCutcheon sophomore guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn saw a Purdue offer come his way.

• Carmel junior center Charlie Williams notched an offer from Youngstown State.

• Franklin Central senior point guard Javon Small has left Hoosierland for prep school in Arizona.