Holiday High School Hoops Guide

Dylan Burkhardt

There are plenty of opportunities to get out and see some of Michigan’s recruiting targets and commits over the Holidays. This is a list of some tournaments I dug up that have Michigan targets and/or good local teams. Shoot me an email or leave a note in the comments if I missed something. If you make it out to any of the games send me an email or leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Motor City Roundball Classic

Location: Chandler Park Academy, Harper Woods, MI
Dates: Dec 26th-Dec 30th

There are ton’s of big name teams and players in this years Motor City Roundball Classic including Saginaw, Detroit Finney (Isaiah Sykes – ineligible), Detroit Country Day, Flint Powers Catholic (PLP), Hartland (Matt Poches), and Detroit Southeastern (Kearney and Gibson) among many others. Check out the schedule because there are tons of games worth checking out if you want to get an early look at some U-M prospects.

Meijer Holiday Hoops Invitational

Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, MI
Date: Dec 27th
Information, Schedule, and Tickets

The highlight of the East Lansing tournament is Detroit Country Day. Country Day is the best team in the state this year and is loaded with high-major division one talent.

Arthur Hill Pre-Holiday Classic

Location: Saginaw Valley State University

The Arthur Hill Classic is moving to Saginaw Valley this year and the marquee matchups are Arthur Hill vs Muskegon Heights and Saginaw vs Orchard Lake St Mary’s.

Across the Country

If you want to follow some other Michigan targets over the holidays there are plenty of opportunities.

Darius Morris’ Windward team will play in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic (12/26-12/30) as well as the loaded Pangos Dream Classic (1/3). They are also hosting the Windward Winter Classic which is taking place right now and runs until Dec 20th.

Matt Vogrich will be playing in the State Farm Holiday Classic (12/26-12/30) in Bloomington, IL.

Will Regan and Nichols Academy will be playing in the NHSCA High School Basketball Festival (12/26-12/30) in Salisbury, MD.

Cameron Ayers and Germantown will be playing in the PBP Scholastic at Widener Unversity on Dec 27th.

  • Dave

    Did anyone else realize that D Morris plays ball with one of Denzel Washington’s kids?

  • likwidc0ke

    Actually, Sykes was declared academically inelgible for this semester. He can begin to play in mid-January, assuming he becomes elgible.

  • Thanks likwidc0ke.

  • WTHEF?

    Is anyone in LA planning to catch any of Darius Morris’ games? I’m in LA over break and am going to head up to his game tonight and will try to make it to the Pangos Dream Classic. If anyone else goes let me know and we can meet up so I’m not the only Michigan fanboy sitting alone watching high school kids.

  • wthef, ill be at the torrey tournament the whole week so feel free to make it down to sd for the week and catch up on d-mo.

    that torrey tournament looks stacked btw. gaddy, cheek, d-mo, j tyler….damn

  • WTHEF?

    Saw Darius play tonight – below are a few thoughts from the game. Keep in mind that I don’t watch a lot (or normally any) high school basketball and am far from an expert. While I’ve been to a ton of Michigan games – I began following them just in time for the entire Ellerbe and Amaker tenures – so I may be dumber for having seen that.

    Darius plays for a small private school (less than 500 total students in grade 7-12) that is in a nice part of West LA, fairly close to UCLA. There are only 3 players on their roster over 6’3 – Darius (looks to be a legit 6’3/6’4), Anthony Stover (6’10 going to UCLA) and a 6’5 sophomore. Their opponent, Cleveland High, had a lot of 6’2-6’3 guys but nobody taller than that so Morris was often one of the tallest guys on the court. He did often have a 6’2 defender on him though so it wasn’t a huge mismatch. A sidenote – Denzel Washington’s son, Malcolm, starts alongside Darius in the backcourt and Denzel was among the crowd of about 150.

    They won by a dozen or so and led by 20+ but the other team got it closer when Stover and Morris spent a stretch on the bench with foul trouble. Morris probably had about 15 points – he could have been well over 20 but had some trouble finishing. Stover didn’t look impressive, especially since he had 7 inches on the biggest guy from Cleveland. I think with big guys you have to really know what to look for and if UCLA offered he must have it, but I wasn’t seeing it.

    I watched Darius in warm-ups when they took the court and he led all the drills and acted like the captain. Seemed relaxed and friendly with teammates but was still focused. After introductions, he took off his shooting shirt to reveal a Block M long sleeve t-shirt over his jersey.

    All game I was trying to think of who to compare him to and I can’t really come up with anyone. Jamal Crawford or Sean Livingston was all I could come up with but he isn’t as rail thin or quite as tall as them and while his game is flashy – it’s not that flashy. He has a great handle and dribbled his way through a press and multiple defenders several times – but also had the awareness to pass it to get out of trouble at times instead of just putting his head down and forcing his way through. Denzel’s son who is about 5’9, shared the role of bringing the ball up.

    Darius could get to the basket at will and made some incredibly athletic moves but a lot of them just didn’t fall. He had one sick move that he did finish – before I figured out how to record with the camera. Some of them looked a little forced but he’s so athletic that for him they could be high percentage shots. He also threw some beautiful passes off his drive but his teammates couldn’t always finish. I talked with him briefly after the game and he mentioned that he had been injured and had only been back for a couple weeks so he is probably a little rusty. He mentioned that he needs to get his conditioning back which may also have affected his ability to finish. His mechanics looked good on his shot and he knocked down a couple threes.

    On defense he spent some time out front but also played down low a lot because of his size. I wonder if that will make him even better prepared to play along the baseline in the 1-3-1. I think he’ll be fast enough to play down there and his long arms and added height will be a real asset. He did a nice job challenging shots and his body control saved him from some fouls. He worked hard on defense and has all the tools to be an excellent individual defender.

    Overall I think he will be a great complement to our current roster as there is nobody on our team that has his skill set. He brings athleticism, quickness, size, and he showed an ability to penetrate and finish it himself – but often looks to kick it out or drop it off to a big man. On top of that, he also seems to be a really nice kid that will fit in well and does not bring an ego or arrogance with him.

  • JRose

    WTHF, thanks for the report! Posts like that are what makes this one of the best UM hoops site availabe, free or not! Thanks again! Go Blue!

  • Impressive efforts, and quite comprehensive. Makes you seem trustworthy, which is hard to come by these days.

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