Bloomington South’s Leal gets IU offer

AAU basketball teammates Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway both had in-home visits scheduled with Indiana on Monday.

Both came out of those visits with scholarship offers.

Both had the same exact plan for what they would do after.

 

“He went to work out right after, and that’s what I am going to do,” Leal said. “We are both thankful and blessed we’ve been given this opportunity, and we are looking forward to whatever the future might hold.”

The 6-foot-5 guard from Bloomington South waited a while for his offer from the hometown Hoosiers to arrive. At the same time, being right in IU’s backyard, he knows the lineage of the program and what IU coach Archie Miller’s offer really means.

And just like the Culver Academy product Galloway, who also plays with Indiana Elite in the prep offseason, Leal isn’t taking the opportunity to wear candy stripes for granted.

“The only real word I can use to describe it is special,” Leal said. “Growing up here, knowing what it means to get an offer from IU, I know a lot of people aren’t fortunate enough to get that. I’m humbled and blessed.”

Leal has been ranked by scouting services as one of the top juniors in the state of Indiana and a top 100 recruit nationally. In his first season as South’s primary scorer, Leal produced 19.9 points per game, hitting 55 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3. He was named one of six “core” Indiana Junior All-Stars in March.

IU assistant Tom Ostrom was in Dallas this past weekend to watch Leal play for his AAU team, Indiana Elite, at the Adidas Gauntlet. It was not one of the Panther star’s best series of games shooting the ball. But one subpar weekend wasn’t going to significantly alter the Hoosiers’ feelings about Leal.

“I just played alright. They acknowledged I could have played better, but they emphasized that they’ve seen me play a dozen times and they know what I’m capable of, and that’s more important,” Leal said. “It was a pretty chill visit… and as we started to talk more about Indiana and myself, specifically, they extended the offer.

“What they are trying to do requires shooters and people that want to win, and they acknowledged me as one of those people.”

IU adds to a growing list of Division I offers for Leal, including Iowa, Northwestern, Maryland and Xavier, among others. In fact, coaches from Xavier and Northwestern are scheduled to visit the Leal home today and Wednesday, respectively.

Leal said he thinks highly of Miller.

“He’s a smart dude, a really high basketball IQ,” Leal said. “He knows what he’s doing and he knows what he has to do to get it done. I respect that about him.”

 

Even though the offer from IU is a big deal, it’s not something Leal was inclined to accept too hastily. While he is from Bloomington, and he has been to plenty of IU games, he hasn’t actually had an opportunity to visit with the basketball program specifically and evaluate its facilities and support staff.

Leal plans to schedule a visit in the coming weeks. He has more thinking to do, regardless.

“I don’t want to make it seem like it’s guaranteed or anything like that. They are obviously up there,” Leal said. “But if (IU) was that big of a front-runner, I would have committed right away.

“Whenever it feels 100 percent right … but I wouldn’t say I’m in any rush, for sure.”

Leal’s phone was buzzing with congratulatory text messages as he went off to the gym for a Monday night workout.

The offer just added some fuel to his fire.

“I feel like it gives you another reason to go out and want to get better and keep improving,” Leal said.

“I’m going to have to be better to play the positions I want to play. It’s partially just loving the game and acknowledging, no matter where I’m at, I need to get better, because other people are getting better, as well.”

 
 
 

4 comments

  1. Leal, Galloway, Love and Morton are all offered by IU, each is a guard, none is a definite 40%+ 3-point shooter right now. Love is a true PG, the other 3 are #2/combo guards. How many of the 4 can IU actually take? Who will seize the opportunity to say “yes” first and work to build a great class? Indiana needs at least 1 Big for this class. Who are the names? Much work left to be done!

  2. I can remember the days when such an offer from IU would have been accepted without any hesitation. Having said that, being a local kid, you can’t blame him for wanting to see what college life on other campuses would be like. Seems like a smart and considerate young man.

  3. Boy, the news coming out over the last 24 hours about Sean Miller at Arizona is devastating. I hope to goodness that Archie was never even close to being involved in such matters. We still don’t know whether Sean is guilty of actually paying players or if his former Assistant Coach was just spewing B.S. rumors during that conversation that was wire-tapped by the FBI, but the sports media has already found him guilty and are trashing him without mercy.

  4. I have read that Leal could re-classify to 2019. What if IU is not selected by either Watford or Quinones. I would like for Archie to go “all in” on Leal, and take him for the recruiting class of 2019! I think that he will shoot 40%+ on 3’s. At 6’5 he is big and strong. We all know that he is a very hard worker and very coachable. His addition now would really solidify IU for the 2019-20 season! Do it Archie!

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