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(2020) SG Anthony Leal to IU

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From today's Bloomington Herald-Telephone.  Sorry I couldn't get it formatted into a little easier to read form.

Leal growing into scorers role

As doubt and frustration threatened to take hold of Anthony Leal, Bloomington South’s junior guard picked up his phone and texted someone who would understand. “Did it happen to you ... ?” Leal wrote. The message was sent to Chance Coyle, the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer, the man Leal was supposed to succeed as the program’s most dangerous offensive weapon. Only Leal was 1-of-12 from beyond the arc and 1-of-9 from the free throw line in South’s first 0-2 start since 1978. Leal wanted to pick Coyle’s brain for information. At one time, Coyle was a No. 2 scorer, making the jump to No. 1 after Tucker Blackwell graduated and went to Army. Coyle, now at Southern Indiana, responded to Leal and reminisced about scoring 20-plus points in an opener at Edgewood, only to score nine against New Albany. An adjustment period was normal. Leal just had to let everything come to him. “It definitely helped,” Leal said. “There are a lot of people feeding me advice. The thing that really stuck with me is I’m the only person who can put pressure on myself. All the outside stuff can’t really affect me.” There were plenty of expectations coming in, “noise” Leal justified after a 38-point outburst against Southport. That same skillset put Leal on the national recruiting radar this summer. There is a reason coaches from Butler, Indiana, Stanford, and Xavier have been in the stands watching, seeing him hit 6 of 8 from 3-point range, 21 of 27 from the field, and 15 of 16 from the free throw line in his last two games. The first week of the season has stood in stark contrast from the last two. South is now 2-2. Leal is rolling. But that difficult start offered Leal a lesson. It was humbling. “It’s a spot everyone wants to be in, ‘the guy.’ Sometimes you have to learn how to be the guy in some difficult times,” South coach J.R. Holmes said. “I hope his difficult times are over. It would be easier on us. But I’m sure there will be more to come.” That is just the nature of basketball. Shots will fall. Sometimes, they won’t. The key, for a scorer like Leal, is still finding a way to win. Nearly the entire Panther squad couldn’t hit a shot to start the year, as they went 3-of-27 from the 3-point line. That only increased the burden on Leal, making it all the more frustrating when free throws clanked off the rim and layups rattled out. Leal’s father could tell the misses were sinking in, so they had talks over the dinner table about attacking the rim more, not forcing 3-pointers early. Again, they talked about his singular role in applying pressure to himself, and how not to do it. In his last game, Leal didn’t even take a shot in the first quarter. He scored all 38 in the final three, while sophomore Connor Hickman scored the Panthers’ first 11 points. “We really emphasize getting it to the hot guy,” Leal said. “I was doing other things. I was getting rebounds, getting other guys shots, getting assists and stuff like that. I was just really letting it come to me, for sure.” After hitting better than 50 percent of his 3s as a sophomore, Leal has come to be defined as a “shooter.” But he is hoping to be more than that as a junior. Leal took a step in the direction of being just a plain “scorer” in the Southport game, driving to the rim, pulling up for midrange jumpers. More often this year, the 6-foot-5 guard has been skying for dunks. A couple have popped out, but it’s all part of his evolution as he tries to be a more physical, aggressive finisher. While scholarship offers from Iowa, Maryland, Xavier, Stanford and others have validated Leal’s work to this point, he is trying to stay humble. When he talks to coaches like Southport’s Eric Brand or Warren Central’s Criss Beyers on the AAU circuit, Leal wants to know what’s missing from his game. Holmes chimes, as well. “We were watching film after the Southport game, and everyone is praising me, 38 points, blah, blah, blah, which really doesn’t mean that much, winning means more,” Leal said. “But Coach Holmes was emphasizing the things I didn’t do well, some plays on defense where I was lackadaisical, or missed rebounds, or forced a coupe of shots, stuff like that. He really emphasized the missed dunk, because if it’s a tie game, and I go up and miss it, that can be huge.” There are still plenty of lessons to be learned as Leal grows into his role as a junior and senior. As a team, the Panthers are maturing. During this 2-2 start, Holmes has had to reevaluate his preseason expectations. On paper, South had four of its top seven players back, including Noah Jager at the point. But two of the four, Hickman and senior Adam Graham, came off the bench much of last year. Senior Grayson Rolen missed most of his junior year with an injury. In summer games, this less-experienced South group fared well. But the start of the regular season was more challenging. “As I’ve said several times ... we are a season-maker for some schools, or I can be a season-maker as an individual if I stop Anthony Leal, who has a full-ride scholarship to blank, blank, blank, blank, blank,” Holmes said. “If you’re the man, you have to produce like the man, but you’re also going to be really pressured from another team.” Leal is learning it’s mostly a mental game. “I’m the only one who can put pressure on myself,” Leal said. “If I can just block everything out and stay focused, good things will happen.”

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Great kid, great family, really good shooter, loves IU. Right now his ball handling is not up to speed. Doesn't know how to take over a game yet or have that killer instinct but I think he is figuring that out. As the top junior in the state, playing at a top school in the state you shouldn't lose to Edgewood. I can say that I'm an Edgewood grad but he should not let his team lose that game. I think he will be a Hoosier, but I'm not there yet with an offer if I'm Archie.

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Options Aplenty For Four-Star Junior Anthony Leal

https://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/news/leal-65

Indiana: “(Archie Miller) has done a really good job recruiting in the state and had a good first year last year and starting up this year. They haven’t offered yet. They just keep telling me to keep developing and getting better. I wouldn’t say it’s a ‘offer or go away’ kind of thing. I’m just enjoying the process and seeing where everything falls.”

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3 hours ago, Chris007 said:

Great kid, great family, really good shooter, loves IU. Right now his ball handling is not up to speed. Doesn't know how to take over a game yet or have that killer instinct but I think he is figuring that out. As the top junior in the state, playing at a top school in the state you shouldn't lose to Edgewood. I can say that I'm an Edgewood grad but he should not let his team lose that game. I think he will be a Hoosier, but I'm not there yet with an offer if I'm Archie.

I have never seen him play but hope he develops to the point of earning an offer.  4.3 GPA, taking 5 AP classes, Bloomington kid, might be best player (in his class) in the state, etc.  

Anyone have thoughts on Leal vs Galloway? Sort of has the feel of Franklin vs Newman in that it might be worth picking up one of them but not both.

 

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5 hours ago, Chris007 said:

Great kid, great family, really good shooter, loves IU. Right now his ball handling is not up to speed. Doesn't know how to take over a game yet or have that killer instinct but I think he is figuring that out. As the top junior in the state, playing at a top school in the state you shouldn't lose to Edgewood. I can say that I'm an Edgewood grad but he should not let his team lose that game. I think he will be a Hoosier, but I'm not there yet with an offer if I'm Archie.

How do all those attributes compare to Galloway?

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I don’t care who it is IU needs a legitimate shooter or two. Whether that is Leal, Galloway, or someone else. What IU has lacked last year and this year is a Nick Zeisloft, Sean McDermott, or Ryan Cline although he’s inconsistent type of shooter. Someone to be a consistent 3 point threat. That’s what is desperately needed in the 2020 class for sure and honestly I think it’s needed in 2019 too even though I’m not sure if there will be a scholarship for that type of player.


Sent from my iPhone using BtownBanners

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More on the 2 games Leal played yesterday.

The opener against Shelbyville was a thriller, featuring a shootout between South’s Anthony Leal, who had 30 of his 31 points in the last three quarters, shooting 11-of-14 after an 0-for-4 start.   Leal exploded in the third, going 6-of-7 with two 3s for 14 points. “It seems like it’s become a pattern where I don’t do much in the first quarter,” Leal said. “It isn’t great, but I just keep doing what we need to do to win.”

In the evening game against Ev. Central Leal had 16 points, five assists, three steals, four blocks;

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Bloomington South and Indpls. Cathedral are participating in the Bob Wettig Classic at Richmond on the 27th.  Games will be streamed on:  http://radiotroy.com/

Thurs. at 11:00 a.m., South will play Illinois CRU. 

Thurs. at 5:30 p.m., Indpls. Cathedral (Armaan Franklin) vs. Northwest Home School

 

This is a 3-day event and the whole schedule at:  https://richmondreddevils.com/2018/12/26/wettig18-3-days-32-games-begin-wednesday/

 

 

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Bloomington South torching the nets and has a 55-35 halftime lead over Illinois CRU in the Bob Wettig Classic.   Leal has 15 pts. on just 6 shots.

FINAL RESULTS.  South didn't cool off very much in the 2nd half and won 100-69.  Leal finished with 20 pts, a couple of rebounds and assists.  He was 4-8 on 3's.  He went to the bench for the last time with 5 min. still remaining in the 4th Q with the game clearly over.  Never saw him take it to the hole; all jump shots except for a dunk when he stole an inbound pass.  South plays again on Friday at 4:00.  If both teams keep winning, we could see Leal facing off against Armaan Franklin in the championship game.

 

FYI - Illinois CRU is a homeschool and competes in the NCHC (National Christian Homeschool Championships) each year based out of Springfield, MO.  It was the 2017 and 2018 varsity boys national runner-up and its 16U boys are the reigning 2018 national champion so it has quite a program in place.

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I like what I've seen and read about Leal, (for some reason he reminds me of Pat Graham) good shooter, good size , Top 100 hometown kid and IU definitely looks like it will really need guards. What is the thinking here, does IU eventually offer? Holding out to see who else might commit first?

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