Barring a near-miracle, the Plainfield High School boys basketball team will post its fourth consecutive losing season this year, a downturn for a traditionally-strong program that won a Class 3A state title in 1999.
But help is on the way for the Quakers, who are led by freshman Max Kurkowski. The 6-4 Kurkowski is averaging 8.9 points and shooting 45 percent from the 3-point line.
"He's a kid that has a very bright future," said Plainfield first-year coach Andy Weaver. "He's a highly-skilled player and as we build our program, Max is the kind of kid you want as a big part of it. He has a great work ethic and realizes how hard he needs to work to get his game to the next level."
Kurkowski has come on as the season has progressed, scoring a season-high 27 points in a 55-53 win over Northview on Feb. 2. College coaches have taken notice as well. Indiana invited him for a game and Kurkowski made an unofficial visit Wednesday for the Nebraska game.
"I'm glad he got to see that first-hand," Weaver said. "When you are trying to change the culture you want a player who drags other kids with him to workouts and then it becomes contagious. He was able to see how vocal the IU players were, even the ones on the bench. That was good for him to see."
Butler has also invited Kurkowski to a game. He plans to visit for the Xavier game in March.
Mishawaka Marian guard Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) was named the McDonald's All-American team, the lone in-state player selected. Indiana recruit Noah Vonleh, a 6-8 forward from New Hampton, N.H., was also selected.
The game is April 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
Vonleh and fellow Indiana recruit Troy Williams of Oak Hill Academy were selected for the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 13.
On the girls side, Brownsburg's Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina) and Hamilton Southeastern's Taya Reimer (Notre Dame) were selected for the McDonald's roster.
Carmel senior guard James Crowley has committed to Marian , coach Scott Heady said. ... Cathedral's home boys basketball game against La Lumiere on Saturday has been moved to 6 p.m. La Lumiere (22-2) is ranked No. 6 nationally by USA Today. ... Tech 6-9 junior Trey Lyles visited Butler on Wednesday. Lyles recently narrowed his college choices to Butler, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA.
Mt. Vernon junior guard C.J. Coleman said James Madison, Lamar, Loyola (Ill.), Stetson and Western Michigan are the schools showing the most interest. The 6-2 Coleman is averaging a team-leading 19.4 points a game for the unbeaten 3A top-ranked Marauders. ... Pendleton Heights senior guard Brogan Gary has committed to NAIA St. Francis (Ind.).
Logansport senior Antonio Penny scored 22 points in a win over Winamac on Tuesday to move into second place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,464 points. ... Ball State and Georgia have been in to see Hamilton Heights senior Alex Etherington. The 6-6 Etherington, a former Kansas State recruit, is averaging 18.0 points and 5.6 rebounds this season. Indiana State has also shown interest, but does not have any scholarships available. Etherington could also enroll at prep school next year, Hamilton Heights coach Chad Ballenger said.