He may only be a high school junior, but four-star shooting guard Anthony Leal, out of Bloomington South High School, is well on the radar for Indiana basketball’s recruiting targets.
The local star is a rising prospect ranked No. 78 overall nationally in the 2020 class while boasting a versatile skillset, but more than anything, he can shoot the three-ball.
Saturday night in a 77-76 win over Silver Creek, Leal dropped 30 points en route to eclipsing 1,000 points for his career on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from distance. In his sophomore season for Bloomington South he shot 51-percent from beyond the arc.
2020 four-star guard Anthony Leal (@anthonyl3al) out of Bloomington High School South should be a high priority for Indiana basketball in the future with his skillset and shooting ability.@YearyJackson writes, @kurt_spitler with visuals. #iubb ⬇️https://t.co/QFsNhuRmRR pic.twitter.com/enjA7cYUqy
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) January 27, 2019
Even though shooting is a major strength of Leal’s, he said his defense is where he feels the most college ready.
“My versatility and being able to guard multiple spots on the wing and occasionally in the post,” Leal said.
Shooting from deep happens to be arguably Indiana’s biggest weakness as a team and it was on display in the 69-46 loss to No. 5 Michigan on Friday night.
The Hoosiers against Michigan were 3-of-20 from three-point range and are 13-for-75 (17.3 percent) over their last four games. On the season, they are only hitting at a 32.3-percent mark from three.
— Jackson Yeary (@YearyJackson) January 27, 2019
He may be a few years away from playing collegiately but expect the Indiana coaching staff to prioritize Leal in hopes of bringing in a player that could help ease the team’s glaring flaw.
The staff has already made an effort to recruit Leal. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard visited Indiana multiple times, most recently for the Illinois game on January 3.
Archie Miller and his staff have been to multiple games to see him. Indiana assistant, Bruiser Flint, was in attendance for his game against Silver Creek as well.
“It’s definitely close,” Leal said on his relationship with coach Miller. “I’m closest with coach Ostrom I’d say just because that’s the main assistant that’s recruiting me, but I feel I’m getting closer with (Miller) each and every day just because I live in town, it makes it easy for them to get out, I’d say it’s a pretty good relationship.”
In addition to the growing relationships with the coaches, Leal finds the prestige and history of the Indiana program to be appealing.
A nice drive and floater from Leal. More than just a shooter pic.twitter.com/3drGonNoCU
— Jackson Yeary (@YearyJackson) January 27, 2019
“The passion, history, and tradition behind everything,” Leal said. “Basketball is different in Indiana for sure.”
Despite the interest level, Indiana has yet to offer the local standout. For that matter, Indiana hasn’t offered a single in-state prospect for the class of 2020.
Leal currently holds nine offers, including Xavier, Maryland, Iowa, Stanford, Butler and Northwestern among others.
New schools are showing interest too, including national powers of Michigan State and Virginia.
“I don’t really know,” Leal said about a potential Indiana offer coming. “I try not to really concern myself with that kind of stuff. If it comes, it comes, if not I’ll just keep working.”
Leal wouldn’t be the only sharp-shooter recruited by Indiana from Bloomington South, Jordan Hulls also came from Bloomington South and starred for the Hoosiers from 2009-2013. Current Indiana walk-on, Johnny Jager, came from Bloomington South as well.
Regardless of where Leal ends up playing in college, he provides more than just a clean shooting stroke from deep. The top-rated prospect in Indiana for the 2020 class can score at all three levels with a knack of getting to the rim and finishing in transition, along with a strong dribble pull-up from midrange.
Additionally, Leal is sneakily long and athletic with a quick motor.
Being one of the taller kids on his school’s roster forces Leal to typically play defense out of his natural position and in the post. He occasionally comes up to the perimeter too, where he excels more, but he can guard both spots.
Leal said he hopes to improve upon his ballhandling and add more muscle to his current 6-foot-5 frame before college. He hopes to play right away wherever he goes.
“Just the ability to come in and make an impact and try to develop as a player and hopefully get to the next level after college,” Leal said.
Currently, Northwestern, Stanford, and Xavier are recruiting Leal the hardest. But expect more scholarships and a potential Indiana offer to come during the spring and summer months, the traditional, active recruiting period for coaches.