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Class of '66 Old Fart

(2017) PG Bendu Yeaney to IUWBB

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IUWBB: ’17 guard Yeaney commits to IU

Indiana received its fifth 2017 commitment Sunday in Bendu Yeaney, a 5-foot-9 guard from Oregon.

Yeaney, who is considered a three-star prospect by ESPN.com, visited IU’s campus in September with Linsey Marchese (Dacula, Ga.) and Alexis Johnson (Houston, Tex.), who had already committed to IU, as well as Keyanna Warthen (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who would commit to the Hoosiers on Sept. 20.

Yeaney, from Medford, Oregon, may have taken longer to make a decision because of the other programs involved. She had visits to Washington and Arizona. She also considered Oregon State and Colorado.

At the end of the day, she chose not to stay on the West Coast but come to IU and join what appears to be a strong class. Along with Marchese, Johnson, Warthen and Yeaney, the Hoosiers also received a verbal from five-star prospect Jaelynn Penn from Louisville, Ky.

What Yeaney adds to the class is another athletic combo guard, displaying both an ability to hit from beyond the arc and attack the rim. As a junior, she was named to USA Today’s All-Oregon second team. According to an article from The Oregonian in December 2014, Yeaney was averaging 17.2 points per game as a sophomore.

This will probably be IU’s last commit, even though the Hoosiers do have six scholarships available. Signing day is this week, and the Hoosiers would most likely want to keep one scholarship available to be able to accommodate a transfer player, if one becomes available.

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Yeaney opens her season tonight.


“A lot of people praise me for my offensive ability, but they don’t see how I affect the game on the defensive side.”

“I think probably where she is going to break the [school] record is with blocks per game,” said Gabbert. “She almost hit her head on the backboard one time blocking a shot.”


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20 hours ago, ccgeneral said:

I like this!  SMA (9-15) won 54-45 in OT on Tuesday. Looks like Yeaney and Warthen will be stat stuffers.

@BenduYeaney1: I really had 17 rebounds my last game that's crazy.


Very good news because we will have holes to fill next season with Gassion, Anderson and McBride graduating and the minutes they play.  Spirited competition next fall!

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Red-hot Bendu Yeaney 'phenomenal' for resurgent St. Mary's Academy

Bendu Yeaney has always had the physical tools to dominate in girls basketball.

In her first two seasons at St. Mary’s Academy, though, she often deferred on teams with multiple Division I players. As a junior, she struggled in carrying a heavy burden for a young team.

Now, as a senior, the Indiana-bound Yeaney is blossoming. In the last six games for the Blues (9-7, 6-4 Three Rivers League), the 5-foot-10 guard is averaging 31.3 points per game, raising her season scoring mark to 24.9.

Yeaney said she is more confident this season after spending last summer playing with her club team, FAST, rather than St. Mary’s Academy, allowing her to focus more on self-improvement.

“I was able to play against some of the nation’s best players last summer, which proved to me that I’m not too far from being on the top with them, which motivated me 10 times more to get ready for my senior season,” Yeaney.

Yeaney also has a better supporting cast than last season, when she averaged 16 points.

“Her junior year, she’s out there by herself as far as kids at her level,” Blues coach Dewey Taylor said. “This year there are more players around her who are capable of contributing. So you can’t just double- and triple-team her as much as teams were able to do last year.”

Yeaney is much more than a scorer, though. She also is averaging 11.4 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3.0 assists while shooting 55 percent from the field, including 32 percent from three-point range.

She has had monster games. Against Tigard on Jan. 6, she had 21 points and 22 rebounds. Against Lake Oswego on Jan. 19, she put up 41 points, 11 rebounds, 12 steals, three assists and two blocks.

“It’s unheard-of numbers,” Taylor said. “She’s having a phenomenal year.”

The numbers have even surprised Yeaney.

“It’s kind of been crazy when I actually see my stat line after games, because when I’m playing, I don’t realize how much trouble I’m causing for the other teams we play,” she said.

Perhaps her biggest improvement is that she has embraced her role as a leader.

“Last year I struggled with that,” she said. “Since I was always the youngest on the team, I always knew I could follow someone. But it was hard adjusting to not being the follower anymore and now becoming the leader on the floor.”

The Blues, who won league titles in Yeaney’s first two seasons and reached the Class 6A final in 2015, slipped to 6-19 last season. But Yeaney has made them a factor in the Three Rivers again, carrying them past second-place West Linn 58-51 on Saturday with a 32-point, 11-rebound performance.

It helps that sophomore Jade Newton and freshman Marley Johnson are drawing the attention of defenses with their shooting and sophomore Mya Brazile and freshman Anna Eddy are breaking down opponents with drives to the basket.

Yeaney’s primary position is point guard but she has seen time at both forward positions. Always a threat to blow past defenders, she has shown an improved shooting stroke this season.

“She’s been shooting the three-point ball a lot better this year, and her pull-up game is phenomenal,” Taylor said. “She’s such a great athlete, teams will sag off her, and she can get to the elbow area and rise up, and she’s pretty accurate from there.”

Brazile’s emergence as a top-notch on-ball defender – she drew five charges against West Linn – has allowed the Blues to better utilize Yeaney’s versatility on defense. Yeaney has guarded all five positions during her high school career.

“We don’t have a six-footer on our roster, so there’s a lot of times, because of her strength and athleticism, she can guard a big kid,” Taylor said.

Right now, nobody is playing bigger than Yeaney.

“I’ve just been super aggressive and confident in everything I do on the court, which has played a big part,” she said. “Also, I’m just taking whatever the defense is giving me at the time and not trying to force too many things.”

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POY candidate.


The 5-10 senior point guard is averaging 24.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3.0 assists and is shooting 55 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range. She had a 41-point, 11-rebound, 12-steal game against Lake Oswego.

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