Bloomington South’s Leal cuts list to IU, Stanford

Indiana will have at least a 50-50 shot at landing Bloomington South’s Anthony Leal.

Leal announced Thursday he has cut his list to just IU and Stanford. That eliminates several other Big Ten schools that offered, including Ohio State, Iowa, Maryland, and Northwestern, as well as pursuers like Xavier and Butler.

The Hoosiers hold a unique place in Leal’s heart as a Bloomington product. He has attended many IU games as a fan, and his parents, Martin and Sherry, have both worked for the IU Foundation. On the other hand, Stanford offers a unique mix of educational and athletic opportunities, and the Cardinal coaching staff has made him a priority throughout the process.

“Indiana, it’s just been a thing growing up, I’ve dreamt about it as a possibility,” Leal said. “It’s something me and my family will have to consider. At the same time, a school like Stanford, it’s such a unique opportunity. It’s only four years I’m there, but it’s the next 30 years of my life.

“For me and my family, it’s the best of both worlds. It’s just down to picking which one is right for me.”

Leal, a 6-foot-5 guard, was a “core” Indiana Junior All-Star in June after averaging 19.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for South in 2018-19. He just wrapped up his AAU season, where he teams with fellow IU target Trey Galloway on Indiana Elite. After some thought, Leal decided IU and Stanford were the only places he could see himself going.

Leal received an offer from Stanford in December, while the Hoosiers officially entered the mix in late April. He said his final decision could take anywhere from “a couple of weeks to a few months,” depending on how Leal feels as he continues to deliberate with his family.

Leal took a visit to Stanford in March, and he did the same with IU in late May. The rising senior wasn’t even sure he would need additional visits to make a choice.

“It could go either way,” Leal said. “Whenever I feel ready. I don’t want to feel like I’m making a rushed decision or anything.”

IU’s proximity does come with at least one advantage. Leal said when IU coaches aren’t present, he has been able to play some pickup basketball with the Hoosiers’ players at Cook Hall.

He has gotten to know Indiana’s reigning Mr. Basketball, forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, and another in-state freshman from the 2019 class, Armaan Franklin. Cooper Bybee, a walk-on from Ellettsville, is another familiar face. While Leal is spending time within the Hoosiers’ walls, they haven’t been recruiting too hard with their words.

“Just small things here and there, but they understand what it’s like. They know sometimes it’s best not to push it too hard or anything like that,” Leal said. “They’ve been pretty good about being (not so pushy) with it.”

Leal has kept in touch with Galloway, a 6-3 guard from Culver Academy who received his IU offer the same day as Leal. IU does not currently have any commits for the 2020 class.

“It’s definitely an intriguing and exciting opportunity to play with someone I’ve grown so close with, not only as a basketball player but as a friend and teammate,” Leal said.

It will take some time to see whether Leal and Galloway will be teammates again. On Leal’s end, there is still some thinking to do.

“Yeah, it’s going to be extremely hard, but, hopefully, after talking and praying about it, the decision will be clear,” Leal said. “Then it won’t be hard to make a decision.” 

5 comments

  1. Leal is a totally class act! Pour out the love Coach Archie! We need Leal, and we need him now to start forming this recruiting class! Also pour out the love to Galloway and Cross! Then get the Big Loveday! We have 4 open scholarships, so wrap it up early. IU could use the positive vibes!

  2. Since Stanford is one of the worst BB programs in the PAC-12, his interest must be based on the quality of the education available and the beauty of Stanford’s campus. And who could blame him, Stanford is a great school and a degree from Stanford is more valuable than a degree from IU. But if being a part of an exciting BB program is real important to him, there’s really no comparison between the two offers.

  3. We need a lights out shooter to complement what hopes to be an improved inside game.

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