We haven’t put together a formal announcement but Calvin is going to be helping out a little bit around here. Last night he made it out to check out Jon Horford in action versus Jackson. Here’s his report and we should hopefully have video up later this weekend. A commenter, Sam, also made it out to the game and here are his thoughts if you are looking for a second opinion. -Dylan
Yesterday I took a trip to Jackson to watch Michigan recruit Jon Horford and Grand Ledge take on Jackson High. For a nice primer on Jon Horford from Dylan, take a look at this post after a game against Lansing Eastern.
Horford’s stat line against Jackson: 27 points, 21 rebounds, five assists and eight blocks. Despite Horford’s monster numbers, Grand Ledge lost the game, 65-64.
The first thing you have to say about Horford, and something Dylan mentioned, is that there isn’t much of a “wow” factor. He’s extremely skinny (think a taller Manny Harris, but with slimmer shoulders), which means there aren’t any points in the game when he can just move somebody out of his way. Every offensive move is a finesse move–which isn’t to say they’re bad moves, that’s just the kind of player he is. He has a nice quick drop step and he knows how to use his pivot foot in that way that seems like it should be traveling but definitely isn’t and it’s just a good move. He has great touch around the basket and is an exceptional finisher given his frame. He is also a very, very good passer. Horford was double-teamed almost every time he touched the ball, and he almost always found the open man. Very good instincts on offense.
Unfortunately, he isn’t great at positioning himself for rebounds, which means he ends up with a lot of boards just by being taller than everyone else, which was the case tonight. Impressive rebounding numbers, not necessarily impressive rebounds.
In this game, Horford really took it to Jackson but was held down by his lackluster teammates. There isn’t a guard on Grand Ledge who can truly handle the ball and there aren’t many guys who can shoot it, either. Horford was left to do most of the work, and he got it done. The funny thing about his numbers? If it’s possible to have a “quiet” 27 points, Horford found a way to do it. I was filming and my buddy was keeping stats, and at first I thought there was no way Jon had 27. But when I thought about it, it made sense.
His points were exclusively from the inside. He didn’t take a jumpshot the entire game, but he took a lot of free throws and made most of them.
I really liked how he protected the basket down low. He really worked hard on defense, and while Grand Ledge lost, there’s only so much one guy can do on that end. It’s not like anybody was going after him like LaDontae Henton was in Lansing, but he still did a nice job protecting the hoop, especially on help defense.
One other thing I think bears mentioning: Horford seems like a great teammate. His team isn’t great, but he didn’t seem to get down on anybody. He generally kept his composure even when they were making an entry pass look like advanced calculus.
Overall, the kid is one raw player. He’s very good as a prospect. He needs to fill out, but once he does he’s athletic enough to make a difference. My feeling is Beilein can’t wait to get his hands on Horford. He’s just his kind of project.
We should have video from the game up and running soon. Note: Horford had a nice alley-oop jam at the very beginning of the game. Unfortunately, you won’t see it because yours truly didn’t press the “record” button until about 3 minutes into the game. Very sorry.