Furst, Kaufman-Renn take similar paths to all-state honors

Posted

Caleb Furst and Trey Kaufman-Renn played high school basketball in different corners of the state.

Their careers followed remarkably similar journeys.

The two talented big men each led their led their schools to state titles in 2019. Both had their teams poised for a repeat in 2020 — until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the tournament. And this year, the seniors at Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian and Silver Creek helped their schools win unconventional back-to-back state crowns.

On Tuesday, the dynamic duo found itself linked one more time — fittingly as the top vote-getters on this year's Associated Press All-State team. They finished tied in voting by a panel of sportswriters, broadcasters and coaches around the state. Players are selected regardless of grade level or which class their schools compete.

The announcement comes less than a week after Furst and Kaufman-Renn finished first and second in the IndyStar Mr. Basketball Award voting with Furst, of Blackhawk Christian, becoming the first Class A or 2A player to win the award since 2010.

Their connection will continue next season, too, as they team up at Purdue.

The 6-foot-10 Furst averaged 21.4 points, 14.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Class 2A state champs. He also won the Class A title in 2019.

Kaufman-Renn finished his prep career by averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists and a second straight Class 3A crown.

But this year's senior class is known more for its depth than its star power — and it showed up in the ballting. Fourteen of the top 15 spots went to seniors including the top five slots.

Two other Big Ten recruits — Lafayette Jefferson guard Brooks Barnhizer (Northwestern) and Homestead guard Luke Goode (Illinois) — and Blackford guard Luke Brown, who is headed to Stetson, rounded out the first team.

Barnhizer put up big numbers — 32.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.8 steals — while Goode led Homestead to an undefeated regular season by averaging 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Brown, meanwhile, averaged 31.7 points and 5.4 assists and while making 137 3-pointers, easily the most in the state.

The entire second team also is comprised of seniors, led by Notre Dame recruits Blake Wesley of South Bend Riley and J.R. Konieczny of South Bend St. Joseph. Jalen Blackmon, the Marion star who led the state in scoring at 33.5 points, Shamar Avance of Lawrence North and Brian Waddell of Carmel complete the second team.

Blackmon will play for former Valparaiso star Bryce Drew at Grand Canyon. Waddell, who led Carmel to a second straight Class 4A title, is considering an offer from Purdue, and Avance remains undecided about a college.

Homestead junior Fletcher Loyer, who also has verbally committed to Purdue, headlines the third team. He's joined by two Butler recruits — Pierce Thomas of Brownsburg and Jayden Taylor of Perry Meridian. Evansville-bound Blake Sisley, from Heritage Hills, and Kooper Jacobi, Kaufman-Renn's teammate at Silver Creek. Jacobi will play next season at Toledo are the other third-team members.

Butler recruit D.J. Hughes from Lawrence North was one of 20 players to receive high honorable mention.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment