BLOOMINGTON -- So K.J. Walton lighting up the Cincinnati Lakers reminded no one of the second coming of, say, Eric Gordon.
Big deal. Walton is a freshman out of Brownsburg now polishing his skills for Spiece Indy Heat 15U and veteran AAU coach Jim Reamer. He is 6-3 and 180 pounds, and if you believe Reamer, Walton is ready to make a big jump.
How big? Well, schools such as Indiana and Purdue are taking looks at him, and they wouldn't do that unless there was potential.
Reamer knows potential. He's had a successful AAU coaching run for a number of years and it's included standouts such as Dominic James of Richmond High School and Marquette, and Chas McFarland from Wake Forest.
So after Walton did pretty much what he wanted en route to a game-high 32 points Friday night as Spiece Indy Heat won 93-59 over the Lakers in opening round pool action of the annual Adidas May Classic at Bloomington North.
What does Reamer see in Walton?
“He's the one kid who can be a game changer on both ends of the floor,” Reamer said. “He's got the strength and he's got the length to guard three spots on the perimeter.
“He's athletic enough, but now he has to put it all together and have a determination about him.
“Expectation brings a lot of burden. It brings a lot of responsibility. As you see him do that more and more consistently, he's got a chance to be special.
“He's a good ball handler. He's a good shooter. Those are things he will drastically improve as he gets older at Brownsburg. It's a great school with a great schedule. He'll have to do that to be competitive with their schedule. Talent-wise I'm looking for him to be a special player.”
Perhaps the most heralded player on Spiece Indy Heat's roster is Bronson Kessinger, a 6-6 forward out of Corydon Central. He had 12 points Friday night, 10 in the second half.
Indiana and Purdue are showing recruiting interest, but no one has offered a scholarship.
“The hope for him is he becomes more versatile,” Reamer said. “He's a big kid at Corydon. He does a lot of things around the basket and the post.
“When I first met him I saw him as a skill player. More and more, that's how we plan on using him. He's so effective around the basket. His footwork is great. His hands are great. There are a lot of good things about him.”
At least one recruiting analyst, Brandon Bradley of Scouting Indiana, rated Kessinger as the best prospect in the Classes of 2015 and '16 at the Spiece Run ‘n Slam event in Fort Wayne last weekend.
“Bronson has got range,' Reamer says. “He's got consistent range, 15 to 18 feet. The key is stretching it. We try to get him out to three-point range to be an option there. Hopefully, he'll be somebody who can put the ball on the floor and make good decisions. Not just score, but progress the offense and find the next play.”
Two other Spiece Indy Heat players, 6-10 forward Derrik Smits (the son of former NBA player Rik Smits) and Gary Bonds, also generating college buzz.
Spiece Indy Heat is one of about 230 teams participating in the three-day Adidas May Classic. With Indiana University facilities now off limits because of NCAA rules, organizer Criss Beyers expanded the use of other facilities, including both Bloomington high schools, Bloomington's Twin Lakes Sports Complex, Martinsville High School, Bedford North Lawrence High School, Perry Meridian High School, Eastern High School and several area middle schools.
Also in the AMC is the Eric Gordon All-Stars 17U squad that features Devin Davis and Collin Hartman (IU commitments), Basil Smotherman (Purdue commitment) and V.J. Beachem (New Haven standout committed to Notre Dame); plus Indianapolis eighth grader Eron Gordon, the younger brother of former Indiana standout and current NBA player Eric Gordon. Other prospects include Carroll's Chandler White, East Chicago Central's Hyron Edwards and Indianapolis Cathedral's Jalen Coleman.