With just two weeks remaining in the regular season it is time to reset the Indiana Mr. Basketball race. A lot can still change as we enter the state tournament where a heroic run could certainly vault some players in…
With just two weeks remaining in the regular season it is time to reset the Indiana Mr. Basketball race. A lot can still change as we enter the state tournament where a heroic run could certainly vault some players in contention. However, as we sit here today, there is a clear favorite as well as several other worthy candidates vying for votes.
The Front-Runner: Markus Burton Markus Burton 5'11" | PG Penn | 2023 State #190 Nation IN (Penn H.S. – Notre Dame)
It is hard to argue against Penn’s Markus Burton Markus Burton 5'11" | PG Penn | 2023 State #190 Nation IN winning the 2023 Indiana Mr. Basketball award at this point. The dynamic point guard is one of the top scorers in the state averaging 29.3 points per game to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 4.0 steals. He is flirting with the elusive 50/40/90 club as well shooting 56.1% from the field, 44.7% from three-point range, and 87.8% from the free throw line. The Notre Dame signee leads the way for a 19-1 Penn squad that has consistently held onto the #2 spot in the Class 4A polls behind Ben Davis in recent weeks. It will likely take an unexpected early exit in the Sectional from him becoming a nearly-unanimous Mr. Basketball selection.
Xavier Booker Xavier Booker 6'11" | PF Cathedral | 2023 State #4 Nation IN (Cathedral H.S.): Call it politics, call it buying into the hype, call it whatever you want. Xavier Booker Xavier Booker 6'11" | PF Cathedral | 2023 State #4 Nation IN is absolutely still a leading candidate for the Mr. Basketball award. Also, to clear the air, he 100% deserves to be as well. Booker dominated the state tournament during Cathedral’s state championship run last season as a junior. This season he is averaging 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game for the Irish who are once again a leading title contender. The Michigan State signee is a McDonald’s All-American and a consensus 5-star, Top 10 prospect nationally. If Cathedral repeats as Class 4A state champion Booker will likely get some votes.
Zane Doughty Zane Doughty 6'9" | C Ben Davis | 2023 State IN (Ben Davis H.S. – Valparaiso): If you are a voter who looks at “most impactful player on the best team” then it would make sense that you would cast your vote for this 6’9″ center. It seems like a tough decision to NOT have the Mr. Basketball award winner come from one of the best teams we have seen the Indiana in a while. If Ben Davis does run the table and finish as the undefeated state champions it could earn Doughty some votes. However, the Giants are so balanced that it is hard to single one out for an award like this. If you were though, it would be Doughty. He averages 12.8 points, 8.7 points, and 2.7 blocks per game along with a lot of impact that goes beyond the box score.
Myles J. Colvin Myles J. Colvin 6'5" | SG Heritage Christian | 2023 State #51 Nation IN (Heritage Christian): This future Purdue Boilermaker is as individually talented as any player in the state of Indiana. He is averaging over 20 points per game, around 6 rebounds, and shoots it very well from 3-point range. Colvin also posts some incredibly impressive highlight-reel dunks. However, Heritage Christian is just 10-10 on the season which will make it hard for him to garner many votes.
Joey Hart Joey Hart 6'5" | SG Linton-Stockton | 2023 State #214 Nation IN (Linton-Stockton H.S.): Linton-Stockton is 19-1, ranked #1 in Class 2A, and has won 15 straight game. If they can cut down the nets at Gainbridge Fieldhouse you can expect Hart to potentially garner some votes from southern Indiana. The 6’5″ sharpshooter who is heading to play at Central Florida next season is one of the top scorers in the state of Indiana. The Miners have only lost 13 games in Hart’s career.
Sam Orme Sam Orme 6'9" | SF Carmel | 2023 State #196 Nation IN (Carmel H.S.): Orme is having an outstanding senior season averaging 17.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Greyhounds. Most impressively, the 6’8″ Belmont commit is doing it with extreme efficiency against some of the best competition in the state of Indiana. He is shooting 55% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. Carmel is 14-6 after winning six of their last seven games. A trip to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, considering the gauntlet they would go through, could earn Orme some votes.
Jaron Tibbs Jaron Tibbs 6'4" | SF Cathedral | 2023 State IN (Cathedral H.S.): It still seems odd to think of Tibbs as a Mr. Basketball candidate because he is headed to Purdue to play football at the next level, but his production on the court has warranted him being in the conversation. The athletic 6’3″ wing is Cathedral’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists. If the Irish do in fact make a run and repeat as Class 4A champions, despite having Booker on the team, it will likely be Tibbs who earns the “best player, best team” vote.
Ahmere Carson Ahmere Carson 6'2" | PG Anderson | 2023 State IN (Anderson H.S.)
Logan Imes Logan Imes 6'4" | PG Zionsville | 2023 State #202 Nation IN (Zionsville H.S.)
JaQualon Roberts JaQualon Roberts 6'8" | PF Bloomington North | 2023 State IN (Bloomington H.S. North)