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SPIECE BILL HENLSEY MEMORIAL RUN-N-SLAM PLAYER EVALUATIONS
By N.D. Kendrick, special to NBE Basketball Report
Midwest star power was on display this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana where some of the top clubs from the middle of the country and a few from other locations took part in the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam.
Quite possibly the attraction that brought in the most basketball junkies was a battle between Spiece Indy Heat, featuring Indiana-commit Trey Lyles, Purdue-bound Bryson Scott and JaQuan Lyle, facing Mac Irvin Fire, which was tabbed as the favorite to win the event.
Mac Irvin Fire got a quiet 20 point effort out of the Gatorade National Player of the Year Jabari Parker, and won by the score of 80-70. Both the Mac Irvin Fire and Spiece Indy Heat – arguably the two most star-studded rosters – failed to reach the championship games of their respective brackets.
The Derrick Walton (Michigan-commit) and Monte Morris led Michigan Mustangs emerged as the champions of the 17u tournament when the coaches of The Family decided to forfeit due to several players cramping up.
Run-n-Slam allows you to evaluate several prospects due to the format and way the massive gym is set up. The focus of the weekend was incoming juniors and seniors. Provided are several prospects (not in any particular order) that impressed over the weekend…
Jabari Paker (Mac Irvin Fire) – Parker has a smooth handle that allows him to get by his man from the perimeter, and be a secondary ball handler against pressure. He makes very good decisions with the ball and can deliver passes in the open floor off the bounce. Parker makes it extremely tough to defend him with his ability to knock down the open 3 and fade away mid-range jumpers. He has a good stroke with range out to arch to go with a strong willingness to attack the rim off the dribble. Parker does work attacking the offensive glass where he gains extra possessions consistently for himself and his team. Overall, whoever gets this multiple-skilled forward with have a chance to win right away. He showed throughout the tournament against some of the best players in the Midwest that he was the best of the elite. His most effective place to play may be somewhere that is more guard oriented or play a less physical brand of basketball.
Maverick Morgan (Martin’s Wolverines) – Morgan uses a drop step or step through move in the post, as well as, drop baseline moves from both sides of the floor. He is always on two feet when going to finish and keeps the ball tight while completing his moves in the post. Morgan finishes his lay-ups above the rim; occasionally, he will flush hard. Anywhere on the floor he’s an adept passer which speaks to his basketball IQ.
Morgan has offers from Rutgers, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Dayton, Xavier, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Iowa State, Toledo and Wright State. More and more high-majors continue to show interest as his recruitment has been on the rise all spring.
Mark Williams (King James) – Williams is a bit sneaky and can put the ball on the floor from the high post or low wing and get to the rim with a clear path. He has stretches where he is a nonexistent threat to score; although I would like to see him be more assertive in demanding the ball when he has good position on the block, that attitude to dominate should come in time as he develops in college.
Sterling Brown (Mac Irvin Fire) – Brown is one of the most physically gifted players in the 2013 class. What sets him apart from others is his combination of power and athleticism which makes him a difficult match-up for opponents. His bread and butter is his ability to drive to the rim, set up his mid game, where his quick leaping ability and use of angles allow him to get buckets. Very solid on the ball defender.
Jaylon Brown (Martin’s Wolverines) – Brown simply attacks defenders. He is an uber athlete and can impress you with his pre-game dunk routines. He competes and plays with toughness. He is a scoring point guard that can create for others with deep lane penetration and his drive, draw and kick ability.
Devin Williams (Ohio Basketball Club) – Williams is a skilled big forward that can score inside the paint and out and also causes matchup problems. He has a nice back to the basket scoring package. Williams is a good defensive rebounder and can make the right pass when the defense collapses on him.
At the recent Pittsburgh Jam Fest, Williams provided a school list that included Xavier, UCLA, West Virginia, Ohio State, Baylor, USC, Indiana, DePaul and Illinois. He noted that there are others involved that he could not recall and claims offers from all of those schools except for Ohio State.
Nigel Hayes (All Ohio-Red) – Hayes has a motor runs in neutral at times which directly affects his offensive production. His effort and energy may look to come and go but when he is fired up he can cause opponents problems on both ends of the floor. Hayes can read and react to defenders incredibly well-he can shake a crowding defender with a rip through move or shoot the jump shot if given an inch of space. He seems to favor left when driving the basketball, but finishes on the right side with the right hand often.
Martez Walker (R.E.A.C.H. Legends) – Walker’s outside shooting has improved, but he needs to be more consistent to keep defenders from sagging off to take away his dribble drive. He is not afraid to get bumped and gets to the free throw line at a good rate, but does not convert a high percentage. He plays quick and aggressive which sometimes gets him into trouble by over penetrating or forcing the action. He’ll do the necessary things on the court to win games.
Providence, Iowa and Iowa State are among the early offers for Walker who is beginning to see a surge in his recruitment.
Nick Fuller (Wisconsin Swing) – Fuller is a high percentage shooter that has added the ability to attack off the dribble as a new dimension to his game. He is also improving his overall athleticism at a high rate which allows him to defend multiple positions. Fuller has received a lot of attention as a catch and shoot guard; he has good size, a strong build and has a big-time stroke from behind the arc. Fuller has the size, strength and athletic ability to be a multiple position defender if he makes it a priority.
Mark Donnal (Indiana Elite-Dakich) – Donnal is a solid face-up power forward for the next level. The strength of his game is his shooting touch. He has a feathery touch out to the 3-point line and he can knock it down consistently from the elbow. He has soft hands and is an adept passer as well. He has become a much better rebounder in traffic and he’s an excellent outlet passer. Overall, his feel for the game and face-up skills are quite refined. (Michigan commit)
A.J. Riley (Illinois Wolves) – Riley is a heady point guard with a large physique and fairly long arms. His frame hasn’t changed in a couple of seasons and doesn’t exactly scream upside. He is more clever than quick and he has savvy beyond his years-his confidence allows him to take the big shot on a regular basis. His jump shot is streaky but solid out to the 3-point line and he can swish the mid-range pull-up as well.
Kyle Davis (Mac Irvin Fire) – Davis can drive to score or dish and shows great explosion while in attack mode. He has floaters and pull-ups in his offensive arsenal and is an outstanding pick and roll guard. His jumper is much improved over the years and now consistent when in rhythm from 21 feet and in and his body strengthened enough to keep opposing defenders outside of the paint.
Nebraska, Ohio State, Florida, Northwestern, Xavier and Wichita State were schools mentioned in connection with Davis over the weekend.
Monte Morris (Michigan Mustangs) – Morris is a scoring machine who can put points on the board in a flash. He has a tremendous confidence to his game, and never feels like he is in trouble. Other than his size, the one big question mark on his game when he enters the collegiate ranks will be his ability and desire to guard. Whether he must stay in front of quick point guards or chase strong shooting guards off screens, Morris will have to make a conscious effort to match his offensive prowess.
Trey Lyles (Spiece Indy Heat) – Lyles can run to the post or the 3-point line and be a threat to score from either area. He is a match up nightmare because he can post smaller forwards and attack bigger post players off the dribble. Lyles can also pick and pop to shoot the mid-range jumper or take it to the rim. In the post he is clever with excellent touch around the basket. On the perimeter he can face up and hit the open three with time and space. He still fades away far too often; he will need to work to bring it every time out. (Indiana commit)
Jahlil Okafor (Mac Irvin Fire) – Okafor has great hands and an attitude that tries to grab every rebound. He is advanced for his age group at knowing how to position himself in the post. He is also skilled enough to face up off the post for the mid-range jumper, attack off the dribble and knock down an open thee with needed time and space. He must continue to work year around to stay in tip top shape and improve his post defense.
LaSalle “PJ” Thompson (Spiece Indy Heat-Thompson) – Thompson has a real knack to score in the paint and he changes speeds very well to keep defenders off balance. He doesn’t possess great speed and/or quickness, but he is very clever with his handle and quite savvy with his passing. Despite all his attributes, what stands out the most is his poise and overall feel for the game.
Marlon Jones (Meanstreets-Wilburn) – Jones is a long power forward that works hard on both ends of the floor. He gets up and down the court at a very good pace. He has a nice touch in tight around the lane and also displayed the ability to step out and hit the open short corner jumper. Jones is a outstanding post defender and is also alert on the help side. His early trademark is his ability block shots with both hands.
Tevin King (Mac Irvin Fire) – King plays in a defensive stance and applies great ball pressure with his excellent lateral foot speed in order to control the ball handler. King attacks the rim in transition as well as in the half court with great speed and quickness with the ball.
Quentin Snider (Louisville Magic) –Snider looks to have improved his shooting off the catch and dribble with range to the arc when the defense backed away because of his ability to make plays off the bounce. He is becoming a better decision maker while setting up teammates in transition and he also has figured out that over penetrating in the half court only gets him in trouble. His shot is very streaky, if the first three goes down rest assure another will soon follow. (Louisville commit)
Amanze Egekeze (Illinois Wolves) – Egekeze is one of the more promising prospects in the Midwest. He is a young looking wing with a high basketball IQ and loads of savvy. Offensively, two question marks come into the picture watch him more than once. One is his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. The other question mark is his true ability to be a leader. He does not seem like he is vocal on the floor. He sees the floor well and always makes good decisions from the wing.
Oliver Purnell and DePaul recently extended an early scholarship offer to Egekeze.
Sean Sellers (Eric Gordon All-Stars) – Sellers stroke is effortless and he doesn’t need a lot of space to get it off. He has a versatile game and can even post up smaller defenders and shoot over the top of them or drop a hook over the left shoulder. He rebounds and defends his position and is not afraid of a little contact underneath the basket. When defenses get into him, he needs to do a better job of moving without the ball.
N.D. Kendrick is National Scouting Director of RecruitRecon.com.