Zionsville's Logan Imes to play college basketball for Micah Shrewsberry at Notre Dame
Crazy cannot describe the roller-coaster recruiting ride that ended Wednesday afternoon for Zionsville High School senior shooting guard Logan Imes with a commitment to Notre Dame.
Crazy can adequately describe the way Imes offered his official commitment — better yet, where he committed.
South Bend and Zionsville sit 126 miles apart. It will take Imes about two and a half hours to drive to campus next month when summer school starts. On Wednesday, Imes was nowhere near South Bend. Or Zionsville. He wasn’t even in Indiana. He wasn’t even in the country.
He was 4,900 miles away in Sorrento, Italy with a core group of buddies on the back end of a week-long mothers-and-sons vacation. It was an early graduation present of sorts.
Imes might hold the unofficial record for the most unique commitment in recent memory. There have been a few wild/weird ones, but none quite like this. From Europe.
“Times are crazy right now,” Imes said by cell phone late Tuesday afternoon — late Tuesday evening in Sorrento — 22 hours before he made everything official. “That does blow my mind.”
Imes is the third prep senior — the third former Penn State commitment — to commit to Notre Dame in as many days. That he had to hit last in that lineup was a result of being halfway around the world.
More:Connection with Micah Shrewsberry leads Carey Booth to Notre Dame basketball program
On Saturday, Irish head coach Micah Shrewsberry sent a group text to Imes and fellow future teammates Braeden Shrewsberry and Carey Booth. The three comprised a Penn State recruiting class that ranked as high as No. 24 nationally when they signed last November. When Shrewsberry left for Notre Dame in late March, all were released from their letters of intent.
In the text, the Irish head coach explained that everything from an administrative standpoint had been cleared for them to attend Notre Dame. They were good to go academically, so they could go public with their athletic announcements. How they would do it was up to the three players to decide.
That’s where it gets murky.
Shrewsberry sent the text Saturday night around 8. With the six-hour time difference, it was 2 a.m. Sunday in Italy. Imes never saw the text or ensuing thread until he awoke later that morning.
“Braeden was like ‘I’ve got (Monday)’ and Carey’s like ‘I’ve got Tuesday’ (so) I’m like, ‘All right, looks like I’m going Wednesday,’” Imes said. “I had no shot. I was like six hours late to the party.”
Better late than never for the 6-foot-4, 175-pound Imes, a consensus three-star prospect who averaged 16.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals his senior season at Zionsville, which went 15-9. There were some nights — like in sectional play — when Imes had to go and score 30 for the Eagles to excel. Most nights, he did a little of everything.
"He's an ultimate team guy," said Zionsville coach J.R. Howell, who coached Imes his final three years on varsity. "You could tell right away that he wasn't the average high school sophomore. I saw the potential."
Imes first started thinking/dreaming of playing high-major Division I after his sophomore season. The summer before junior year, he played up on the Indiana Elite AAU circuit — a 16-year-old playing with and against 17- and 18-year-olds. He held his own, then started dreaming.
“I was like, ‘I can play with these guys,’” said Imes, who could pass for the doppelganger of former Irish guard Cormac Ryan.
The addition of Imes gives Notre Dame eight scholarship players — four freshmen — heading into the 2023-24 season. The Irish still could add as many as five to reach the roster maximum 13.
It was exactly 400 days ago Wednesday that Imes chose Penn State over Akron, Butler, Bradley, Creighton, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. When he reopened his commitment in March, he had in mind only one school − the school where Shrewsberry had landed.
“When he went to Notre Dame, it was like, it doesn’t get much better than that,” Imes said.
More:Family Affair — Micah Shrewsberry lands first high school senior as Notre Dame head coach
Known in high school as a shooter, Imes insists he can do a whole lot more. He can handle the ball against pressure. He can get downhill. He can score. He can facilitate. He can defend. What does Shrewsberry want from him? What do the Irish need from him?
“It’s not going to be one thing,” Imes said. “I can be a plug-and-play guy, play anywhere kind of a teammate.”
One of Imes’ teammates next season is one of his teammates next month — Mishawaka Penn point guard Markus Burton, the lone holdover from the Irish class that signed in November. Before they arrive at Notre Dame, Burton and Imes will be teammates with the Indiana All-Stars for a trio of June exhibition games against their Kentucky counterparts.
As Imes’s senior season wound down and rumblings about Shrewsberry taking the Notre Dame job grew, Imes occasionally wondered what it would be like to play with Burton.
“I was thinking, ‘Yeah, there’s no way Markus is going to Notre Dame,’” Imes said. “There was no chance I was going to Notre Dame. No way. I mean, really, we were so in the dark.”
More:Micah Shrewsberry begins to finalize his first Notre Dame men's basketball coaching staff
Imes received the occasional text from Burton about playing together in South Bend.
It's going to happen.
Let’s do this.
“I was like, yeah, no shot,’” Imes said. “Now three months later, it’s reality.”
Imes committed to Penn State so early — March 29, 2022, at the end of his junior season — that Notre Dame had no chance to get serious about his recruiting. Former Irish associate head coach Anthony Solomon went to one of Imes’ games. He talked with the former staff about visiting, but it never progressed.
When Imes visited campus last month, he was sold. It was good to reconnect with Shrewsberry and several staff members that were at Penn State. It was good to learn more about Notre Dame. Imes understood the power of the place.
“To give everything a closer look, I was like, ‘All right, this is reality. This is where I’m going,’” he said. “The location, the name, it’s recognizable literally around the world.”
Imes knows. During his time in Italy this week, which also include stops in Florence and Rome, he lost track of the number of Notre Dame Fighting Irish flags he saw in windows of sports-themes establishments (restaurants, pubs) he visited. They were everywhere.
“Fans here are crazy about soccer, but right next to that is Notre Dame,” said Imes, who returns stateside Saturday night. “You see them hanging next to one another and you’re like, ‘Oh, OK.’
“That’s pretty cool.”
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI. Contact: (574) 235-6153.