Here at Prep Hoops Indiana the fall means it is time to get out to high school open gyms. Indiana High School Basketball teams are now allowed two on court days a week and we take that opportunity to start…
Here at Prep Hoops Indiana the fall means it is time to get out to high school open gyms. Indiana High School Basketball teams are now allowed two on court days a week and we take that opportunity to start previewing the upcoming season. In the first week of getting out on the road I hit Fishers, North Central, and Avon. Now this week I’ve been to Connersville on Monday and Kokomo on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning, the 6:00 a.m. crew was wide awake at Cathedral High School to check in on the defending state champion Fighting Irish. Despite stumbling a few times in December against the toughest schedule in the state of Indiana, there was no debate as to who the best team was by the time March rolled around. Now, Cathedral will look to repeat. Can they do it? Let’s dive on in.
Coach Jason Delany went undefeated and won a state championship at Waldron in his first of coaching Indiana High School Basketball. He eventually found his was to Arsenal Tech and coached one of the best teams in recent history to a title in 2014. However, in his first five seasons at Cathedral he had yet to win even a game in the vaunted Sectional 10. That all changed in 2022 as the Irish played their best basketball of the season in March and were fairly dominant on their way his Coach Delany’s third state championship at a third different school. Now, Cathedral looks to repeat as Class 4A state champions with a great returning core and some impact transfers.
Before a summer for the ages that blewup into a 5-star, consensus Top 10 prospect nationally, the 6’11” Michigan State commit was actually “just” the third leading scorer on Cathedral’s state championship team. The now #1 ranked player in the Class of 2023 by Rivals averaged 12.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game as a junior. However, he was absolutely the difference each step of the way in the state tournament. Booker used that state title run as the launching off point for his summer blow up. Back alongside the 6’11” star are a pair of starters in and . The 6’6″ Davis is one of the best pure shooters in the state of Indiana and has played himself into a number of Division I offers. Assistant coaches from Bradley, Navy, and Southern Indiana were in the gym Thursday morning to see him and some of the younger Irish prospects. The sharpshooter averaged 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3 assists per game while making 72 of 156 three-point attempts. As for Tibbs, the Purdue Football commit was named an Indiana Junior All-Star after averaging 13.2 points and 7 rebounds per game. His athleticism is a game changer on both ends of the floor and was consistently an X-Factor for the Irish.
The Irish will also feature a few new faces that are expected to help them in a major way this season. The most known commodity, at least to Indiana High School Basketball fans, is 6’2″ senior guardfrom Portage. The super strong, athletic guard averaged 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists last season for the Indians. Pending his eligibility, Slaughter will likely man the point guard duties for the Irish. Additionally, 6’6″ junior forward Zach Meeks moved in from New Jersey and is currently helping the Irish football team at the tight end position. His size will certainly make him a contributor right away on the hardwood and after seeing film from his previous school he looks like a guy who can be a difference maker. Lastly, 6’6″ wing came from Carmel and will look to add depth to the Cathedral rotation. He is a thin, skilled junior that played very well on Thursday morning and looks to be fitting in well with his new teammates.
After serving in a sixth-man sort of role for the state champion Fighting Irish last season,is back for his senior year. The lefty shooter averaged 4.7 points per game while making just a tick over 50% of his three-point attempts. His experience and continuity within the program will help Coach Delany and his group. The rotation will likely round out with a trio of very talented sophomores. Two point guards, and , received valuable experience off the bench as freshmen and will look to expand those roles this season. However, 6’6″ sharp-shooter could end up having as much of an impact as any of them. The long, thin prospect is an excellent athlete and can flat out shoot the basketball. His will certainly be a name to remember for years to come.
Cathedral won the state championship last season and absolutely has the talent to repeat in Class 4A. However, there hasn’t been a repeat champion in 4A since Carmel did it in 2012 and 2013. Having a 6’11” 5-star prospect likeback obviously helps ease the pain of graduating two Division I players and Indiana All-Stars. There will be some new players though that will need to take on new and expanded roles if the Fighting Irish want to return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse. As always, this group will be battle tested by March and will likely play their best basketball come tournament time.