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Trio of IU signees shines as Indiana defeats Kentucky in Indianapolis



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Indiana All-Star guard Romeo Langford goes to dunk the ball during the All-Star game Saturday, June 9, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Langford scored 22 points in Indiana's 109-81 win over the Kentucky All-Stars. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

INDIANAPOLIS — The future of the IU men's basketball program was on display at the Indiana vs. Kentucky All-Star Game Saturday night, and it looked bright.

The Indiana High School All-Stars took down their Kentucky counterparts, 109-81, Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, with a trio of Hoosier signees playing large roles in the victory.

In their final game as high schoolers, incoming freshmen Romeo Langford, Robert Phinisee and Damezi Anderson gave IU fans a glimpse of what could be coming to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in the near future.

Langford led the way for Indiana in the contest, scoring 22 points, while hitting over half of his shots. The heralded recruit of New Albany, Indiana, stuffed the stat sheet, pulling down eight rebounds, dishing out four assists, collecting three steals and blocking a shot. 


Indiana All-Star guard Romeo Langford brings the ball up the court during the All-Star Series game Saturday, June 9, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Langford scored 22 points in Indiana's 109-81 win over the Kentucky All-Stars.  Bobby Goddin Buy Photos


It was a good night to cap off one of the greatest careers in the history of Indiana high school basketball, and Langford’s future backcourt partner took notice.

“It’s been really fun," Phinisee said. "He’s one of the best players in the nation, he can do everything. It’s a preview of what can happen at Indiana.”


Indiana All-Star guard Romeo Langford receives his Most Outstanding Player plaque after the All-Star Series game Saturday, June 9, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against Kentucky. Indiana defeated the Kentucky All-Stars, 109-81. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos


While Langford took the limelight, earning most outstanding player honors, Phinisee took more of a secondary role. The Lafayette, Indiana, native scored just three points, but he served as a facilitator in the Indiana offense. 

Phinisee dished out a trio of assists and also pulled down four rebounds, showing off his versatility. On the defensive end, the guard had a steal and blocked a shot.

The third member of the crew, Damezi Anderson, showed off his potential as well. The forward finished with 10 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, adding six rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. 

However, he had his ups and downs throughout the night. 

The South Bend, Indiana, native opened the game by hitting his first two shots from the field, showing an ability to handle the ball and a solid set of dribble moves. After going quiet toward the end of the first half, Anderson opened the second half by taking a quick succession of shots, missing each of them. 

After settling in, he was able to hit a pair of shots. 

At the forefront of Anderson’s roller coaster performance was his athleticism. On one fast break, a teammate threw a lob off the backboard for Anderson, but he proceeded to miss the dunk after rising up above the rim.


Indiana All-Star guard Robert Phinisee goes to the basket during the All-Star Series game Saturday, June 9, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Phinisee was one of three incoming IU freshmen playing in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star game. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos


These three players represent the future of Hoosier basketball. They’ll each have the chance to be a part of the rotation next season for IU Coach Archie Miller’s squad as it attempts to compete in the Big Ten and return to the NCAA Tournament after falling short in both departments during Miller’s first season as coach.

For the Hoosiers, the future starts Tuesday when the trio of freshmen steps on campus.

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