The Ottumwa Courier

March 28, 2014

Former Indian Hills stars play in the big dance

By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier sports writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills basketball program has become a veritable pipeline to Division I College Basketball.

Sheer numbers speak to the truth of this assertion. For example, five former Warriors competed in this year's NCAA basketball tournament, with two former players teams making it to at least the Sweet 16. These former IHCC stars can be found scattered throughout the country: Trinson White, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Richard Amardi, Oregon; D.J. Bennett, Oklahoma, Rawane Ndiaye, Tennessee; and of course, Dustin Hogue; Iowa State.

"It helps with our recruiting," Indian Hills basketball coach Barret Peery said. "We tell people if they come here they can play at the highest level for sure."

Last Friday, if the spirit moved him, Peery could have found a comfortable couch or Lazy Boy recliner and watched two of his former players — Hogue and Ndiaye — compete in the Sweet 16.

To say Hogue has made a smooth transition to Division I College Basketball would be a huge understatement.

"Dustin has just continued to mature every year," Peery said. "He's done a good job of knowing what he can and can't do. He's got a good niche on the team as a rebounder and he's been a great defender for them.

In the NCAA tournament, the grandest stage of them all, Hogue hasn't just performed well, he's thrived. In his first two tournament games, the former IHCC star surpassed his average point total, which sits at a laudable 10.9 points (he also averages almost nine rebounds per game. In the Cyclones' 93-75 first-round victory over North Caroline Central, he scored 15 points and he followed up that performance by tossing in 14 in Iowa State's thrilling 85-83 win over North Caroline.

Next season, Hogue will be joined on the court by former Indian Hills' teammate Jameel McKay, who transferred to Iowa State from Marquette.

"I think Fred [Hoiberg, Iowa State's basketball coach] is smart," Peery said. "We're not far away and we've had some of the most talented players in the country the past two or three years. Indian Hills has been very good for Iowa State."

The burgeoning tradition of IHCC churning out players for Division I NCAA tournament-caliber basketball teams continues this year with Roosevelt Scott signing with Arizona State, Lester Medford going to Baylor (two teams that made it to the NCAA tournament) and Quevyn Winters going to Washington. He said several more players will eventually sign with Division I universities.

Despite the distance, Peery said he still keeps in touch with his former players.

"They all were following us at Hutch and following us through the tournament," he said. "We're very close with all those guys."

To follow Andy Heintz's Twitter feed, go to @CourierAndy