Basketball: Tyler Wideman’s summer not slowing down
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent July 16, 2013 12:02AM
Updated: August 17, 2013 6:40AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Brent Chitty couldn’t help but break a smile as he saw Lake Central rising senior Tyler Wideman walk down the sideline at Ben Davis High School.
After flight delays caused Wideman to miss the first half of Team Indiana’s first game of the 2013 NHSBCA Rising Senior Event, Chitty was eager to give him some playing time upon arriving.
“When you see Big T walking into the gym, you’re thinking, ‘Thank you lord,’” said Chitty, the Team Indiana coach from Columbus East. “A guy that size changes how you have to guard us. He’s got nice touch with that size, plus he’s so coachable.”
Wideman and his Meanstreets AAU team lost in the Elite 8 at the Nike Peach Jam over the weekend. He woke up early Monday morning to fly from Augusta, Ga. to Indianapolis, with a connecting flight in Atlanta, which was delayed by over two hours.
“When I walked in here I had just gotten off the plane,” Wideman said.
Team Indiana went 2-1 on Monday, defeating Illinois, 83-75; Wisconsin in overtime, 74-69; but losing to Ohio, 82-79, on a last-second 3-pointer. They’ll play Iowa and Kentucky today to finish the event.
Wideman wasn’t a huge scoring threat for Team Indiana, though he did have a key inside bucket in overtime of the team’s win against Wisconsin. He grabbed 11 rebounds in the two complete games he played.
Participating in the Rising Senior event continues a busy summer for Wideman, who was an Indiana Junior All-Star and is playing a full AAU schedule.
On top of that, Wideman has to figure out his future plans. He plans to take some official visits after the July evaluation period, but isn’t sure yet to which programs.
Wideman has previously made unofficial visits to Butler, Central Michigan, Loyola and Indiana State. Offers have been made by Indiana State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Ball State, Northern Illinois, and most recently, Bradley.
Butler hasn’t offered yet but Wideman has talked with new coach Brandon Miller and saw the Bulldogs staff watching some of his games at the Peach Jam.
“I feel like they’re going to offer me at some point,” Wideman said, noting Ball State, Indiana State and Central Michigan are pushing the hardest for his commitment. “I’m still pretty much wide open and looking into all of my options.”
College coaches have projected him as a power forward, Wideman said.
“Strength-wise, oh yes,” Chitty said. “I say that now but the (college programs will) beef even him up. He’ll be cut up and they’ll rip him up. He’s a man now and he’ll be a manchild. He’ll be impressive.”
Indiana is playing without four of the state’s top rising seniors — Trey Lyles (Tech), James Blackmon Jr. (Marion), Trevon Bluiett (Park Tudor) and P.J. Thompson (Brebeuf) for various reasons.