Fort Wayne knows a great high school basketball game when they get one. It appears that some of the top college coaches in the country do too.
The Homestead Spartans beat the Blackhawk Christian Braves in a non-conference game that featured two of the areas best teams, but the sold-out crowd was buzzing more about who was in the seats than who was on the court.
Sitting near center court, jammed into two rows behind the scorer’s table, fans were well aware of the night’s prestigious guests. Head coaches Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Matt Painter of Purdue, Brad Underwood of Illinois and even Roy Williams of North Carolina invaded the undersized gym for this massive-sized match-up. Not the match-up of Homestead and Blackhawk, but the pairing of two of the top 2021 national prospects in Homestead’s Luke Goode and Blackhawk’s Caleb Furst.
Caleb Furst and Luke Goode seem to be drawing interest from some familiar coaches. Matt Painter, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo and Brad Underwood are among those in attendance for Homestead at Blackhawk tonight. pic.twitter.com/3E6PQLimne
— Brett R Rump (@BrettRumpSports) January 15, 2020
Fans mobbed the coaches at halftime and postgame to get autographs and photos. But on the court, both Furst and Goode displayed the reason the coaches were there in the first place.
Furst won the individual match-up, but other than a couple of Marcus Davidson’s three-pointers didn’t get the help he needed to win the game.
Furst was a match-up issue for Homestead and coach Chris Johnson…even resorting to trying 6’0” Jake Archbold on the 6’10” big man. Furst scores from in close, with good footwork on turn-around mid-range shots from the post, and facing up from up to 17 feet. He already possesses a complete game at both ends of the floor.
Goode was limited by foul trouble but still had a couple of impressive step-back jumpers, including a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter and one from beyond the three-point arc.
Physically, Furst could fit in with college programs right now. A strong base and developing upper body is more developed than most of the incoming freshmen to big-time college programs.
Goode is unique in how he will fit at the power conference level. He would excel at a high mid-major…even dominate…but at 6’5” is he strong enough to finish at the rim against bigger defenders and is he quick enough to guard an elite athletic wing at the next level? Can he drive to the basket and beat quick, long defenders with explosiveness off the bounce?
He has time. And obviously a lot of high-level programs believe he’ll get there.
Personally, I believe he needs 10 pounds of muscle and bulk, and some of that will come as he continues to mature.
With the competition to woo these two top recruits, we’ll see plenty of other coaches in town as their schedule allows (by the way, Indiana is at Rutgers tonight so Archie Miller was unable to attend but assistant Tom Ostrom was in attendance).
Next time you see Homestead or Blackhawk in person, take a moment to look through the bleachers. You might recognize a visitor or two.