Busy day on phones for top college prospects

College basketball coaches racked up a lot of minutes on their cellphones June 16, as it was the first day allowed by the NCAA to make calls to recruits in the class of 2013.

One player from next year’s senior class who didn’t need to sit anxiously by his phone was Kellen Dunham.

That’s because the Pendleton Heights guard had a scholarship offer from Butler in hand. Once offered last summer, he wasted no time in debating whether to accept it.

“There were unlimited reasons,” Dunham said of his wanting to play at Butler. “I love Coach (Brad) Stevens, I love the coaching staff, and all of the players are great.”

“Great” is also a term used to describe Dunham’s play — particularly this past season. The 6-foot-5 shooter averaged nearly 24 points per game and led the Arabians to a 20-6 record.

He was at his best in the Marion Class 4A Regional, where he torched Northrop for 41 points (including hitting all 17 free throws) in a 58-53 victory. Dunham was just as impressive in the regional title game against Kokomo.

He scored 29 points in a 58-55 double-overtime loss to the eventual state runner-up.

“He did everything we knew he was going to do,” Northrop coach Barak Coolman told The News-Sentinel at the time.

“He is a heckuva shooter and a heckuva player.”

Last week Dunham competed against the Indiana All-Stars as a member of the Junior All-Stars.

In a game of stars, Dunham was quietly effective and ended with 10 points in the Juniors’ 104-102 sudden-death victory.

He has been known as a shooter (he sank 43 percent of his three-point shots this season), but Dunham believes he’ll have to become more versatile to excel at the next level.

“I want to turn into more of a point guard,” Dunham said. “I want to be able to go both 1 (point guard) and 2 (shooting guard).”

Dunham’s development won’t be limited to just the basketball court either this summer.

“I lift weights three times a week,” Dunham said. “I’ve been doing different stuff to work on my balance and core strength so I can get up to the next level.”

He’ll take his game on the road (tournaments in Georgia and St. Louis are planned) this summer with his Spiece Indy Heat travel team, but he is now participating with South Side senior-to-be Rapheal Davis at the NBA Top 100 Camp on the campus of the University of Virginia.

“As soon as Butler offered, that was the perfect situation for me,” Dunham said.

Beachem’s line is busy

New Haven junior-to-be V.J. Beachem spent a lot of time talking Wednesday.

The 6-foot-6 forward is on the radar of many top Division I basketball programs in the Midwest.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Beachem took calls from coaches at: Butler, Cincinnati, DePaul, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Tennessee.

Future Bulldogs?

Dunham isn’t the only player with a Butler scholarship offer.

The Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday that Hamilton Southeastern junior Zak Irvin (6-6 forward) was offered a scholarship by Stevens, while Ben Davis forward Tony Willis was also called Wednesday by the Butler coaching staff.

By Tom Davis, The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Ind. (MCT)