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Coach: Coleman: 'Like a hungry dog'

This has been a big summer already for top Indiana 2015 guard Jalen Coleman.

Jalen Coleman has top schools banging on his door

The 6-4, 195-pound Coleman has finalized his transfer from Indianapolis Cathedral High School to La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere School for his senior year. He also changed AAU teams this summer, moving to the Indiana Elite program. And the scholarship offers are continuing to pour in for Coleman, one of the top combo guards in the country.

Coleman is rated as the nation’s No. 56 prospect overall, No. 14 point guard and top prospect in Indiana for 2014, according to 247Sports.com.

He discussed why he decided to transfer for his senior year.

“It will improve my game and my point guard skills,” Coleman said. “At Cathedral, I was off the ball a lot. I feel like I am a point guard, but we had smaller guards there and they had to use them at the point. When I get there, I will have more time to work on my game. It is also a great academic school.”

Coleman said playing at the prep school will speed his basketball development.

“I will get to play against better guys,” he said. “I feel that will push me to whatever limit I can go to. I want to play against the best.”

La Lumiere is located in northern Indiana, allowing Coleman to get his first experience of living away from home.

“It’s 2-1/2 hours,” he said. “It will help me with college because I’ll find out if I want to get away from home or stay somewhere close. I’ll have to stay focused in that environment.”

Coleman helped lead Indiana Elite to adidas Invitational title

Coleman has excelled this summer playing alongside fellow guard Hyron Edwards on the Indiana Elite squad. Their program helped host the adidas Invitational earlier in the month. They shrugged off a disappointing loss in pool play to storm through the championship bracket and win their own major event.

Coleman and Edwards were big in the tournament play. Coleman hit a buzzer-beating floater for a 52-50 win over rival program Eric Gordon All-Stars in the quarterfinals before scoring 21 points in the team’s semifinal win. He then watched Edwards, a 5-10 dynamo, go off for 33 points in the championship win over Ohio Basketball Club.

Adams said he sees Coleman as one of the best scorers he has seen in the country, and has a ferocity for scoring that sets him apart from many competitors.

“It’s like a hungry dog going after a slab of meat,” Adams said. “He can put the ball in the basket.”

Indiana Elite played at the Crossroads Challenge in Indianapolis last week and is already 2-0 in pool play this week at the adidas Super 64 event in Las Vegas.

Coleman said he thinks colleges like his versatility. He said he hopes to concentrate on being a point guard at the college level, however.

“At the high school level, I am probably a one or two combo because I can go against smaller guards,” he said. “When I get to college, I would definitely say I would be a one.”

Coleman has enjoyed his newfound kinship with Edwards, a national top-100 prospect from East Chicago (Ind.) Central.

Coleman will move to La Lumiere School for his senior year

“We have good chemistry as far as who plays the wing and who brings it up,” Coleman said. “We both play the one and the two. We have to talk on that.”

This summer, Coleman has polished his game by working on his ballhandling. He has added a midrange jumper to complement his three-point shooting ability.

“It’s a learning process,” Coleman said. “Each game we improve. I try to do something with the ball every time I touch it.”

He talked about some of the aspects he still wants to improve upon.

“I just want to get stronger, increase my basketball IQ, focus on my dribbling and just working on being a point guard,” he said.

Top Schools Coming In

Coleman has a nice offer list that continues to grow.

Some of the top schools he boasts offers from include Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Arizona, Clemson, UCLA, Memphis and Providence. Duke, N.C. State, Louisville and Florida have also made inquiries and could follow up with offers, Coleman said.

Here were his comments on several of these schools:

* On Louisville – “I am from Louisville originally, so I’ve been (to the school) a lot. I lived there most of my life. I went down there for a visit and it went pretty well.”

* On Purdue -- “It’s been going good. (Assistant) Jack Owens has been my dad’s good friend. They’ve been friends since they were young. He has a good feel for our family.”

* On Indiana -- “You look at the past success they’ve had. They have great chemistry. They don’t have any animosity between teammates.”

Coleman reflected on a chance to go down to Bloomington for an open gym.

“It was great,” he said. “I met some of their incoming freshmen. Some of those guys could be one- or two-and-done. I could see their mentality. I talked to them and I feel like I got better from being down there.”

* On Michigan -- “I’m thankful. That’s a blessing to have an offer from a college team that advanced to the national championship and almost won it. I watched them the whole season and saw how they improved. I was happy for their success. I’ve been talking to Coach Jordan a lot and Coach Beilein has been texting my dad.”

* On Ohio State -- “You look at the past success they’ve been having. Coach Matta is a great coach. You look at Deshaun Thomas and all of the recent players who have come out of there and had success either overseas or in the NBA or even business wise.”

* On Illinois -- “I talked to Coach Groce. He talks to my dad a lot. He’s been texting him and calling him. He comes to games. I went there on a visit when they offered me. I got a good feel for the atmosphere there and just how they love basketball.”

Coleman talked about what he is looking for in a college.

“I’m looking for a good academic school,” he said. “I also want it to be a good basketball program where I will know who will be there before I come in. They need a coaching staff I can talk to and a family atmosphere with the coaching staff.”

Click here for a video interview with Coleman from the 247Sports Purdue site. And here for highlights of Coleman in action.

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