Recruiting Roundup: MHSAA Regionals

Dylan Burkhardt

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John Beilein watched Isaiah Sykes lead Denby to an upset over state power Pershing

It was a busy night of high school basketball across the state of Michigan. Regional finals were underway and the state’s best teams were playing for a chance to play in Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Michigan commitments and targets were in action all over the place and there were plenty of upsets as well. Of course, Michigan head coach John Beilein was on the road to take in the action. Find out how Isaiah Sykes, Trey Zeigler, Carlton Brundidge, Javontae Hawkins, and Amir Williams performed after the jump.

(Click photos to enlarge)


On a busy night of basketball, it was Isaiah Sykes that stole the show. There has always been a lot of mysterious hype surrounding Sykes game but he has never drawn the headlines. On Wednesday night, Sykes lived up to his hype as Denby knocked off nationally ranked, defending state champion, Pershing High School in a 81-64 rout.

As pictured above, John Beilein was in attendance to watch Sykes perform. Coaches from Arkansas were also on hand and Sykes didn’t disappoint.

Sykes appeared to injured his ankle before halftime but returned with 4:19 to play in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds for Denby. Michigan State commitment Keith Appling had 29 points in the loss.

Denby will face Taylor Kennedy on Tuesday at 5:30 PM at University of Detroit.

cbrundidgeJJ Clarkston Southfield

2011 commitment Carlton Brundidge was also in action as Southfield took on Clarkston for a regional crown. Clarkston and Southfield split a pair of games during the regular season but Clarkston was widely considered the favorite. Clarkston is the model of consistency, having been to 8 consecutive quarterfinals, but most recently they were in last year’s state semi-finals.

Southfield was not to be denied, as Brundidge led them to a 67-55 win. Brundidge scored a game high 25 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

It is Southfield’s first regional final since 1982 and they will face De La Salle in the state quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7:30 PM at University of Detroit.

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Next up was 2010 target Trey Zeigler, who we scouted and filmed on Monday. Zeigler’s Mt. Pleasant team was overmatched by Arthur Hill’s athleticism and talent and they lost  69-49. Zeigler had 20 points and 12 rebounds but continued to struggle at the free throw line going 0-for-8.

Mt. Pleasant and Powers Video (including Zeigler dunk):

Flint Powers won their third straight regional crown relatively easily. 2012 wing Javontae Hawkins scored seven points in the first quarter and finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 69-56 win. Patrick Lucas-Perry added 17 points of his own. Powers will take on Country Day in a huge quarterfinal match-up at Brighton High School on Tuesday at 7PM.

Speaking of Country Day, they handled Detroit Crocket with ease winning 61-45. Amir Williams had 13 points in the win. Saying Tuesday’s battle between Country Day and Flint Powers has significant championship implications would be an understatement, the game very well could determine the Class B winner.

Finally, Grand Haven’s Nate VanArendonk shattered a backboard in a win over Rockford. He’ll play at Central Michigan next year.

  • I think any talk of pushing people out is too early… Things will work themselves out in my opinion.

  • Hosey errr St8IzGr8 has a break down on Sykes from the Pershing game:

    Isaiah Sykes — I liked Sykes when I saw him at Speice last year for the Hurricanes. Saw him almost single handedly will his less than fantastic team to a win over a good Illinois Warriors team (one with several high D1 players) before he got hurt late in the game when he hit his head on a bleacher and had to sit out the last few minutes. In that game, he ran the point and penetrated at will, either finishing or creating for teammates at a high rate of efficiency. Tonight, he didn’t do quite as much of that…a lot of his baskets were of the garbage variety, but he was great passing the ball and finding teammates for easy baskets off penetration.

    He still doesn’t seem to be much of a shooter…his shot was terrible last spring and I didn’t see him attempt a single jumper tonight. However, I think he’s got a chance to be a player. He toughed out that knee injury and he also came back from a very hard horsecollar intentional foul Keith put on him late in the third. He played a very poised game tonight. John Beilein was in the audience and I have heard that Michigan is back to strongly looking at him. He could help them, no doubt about it, but I’ve heard that he might not be recruitable at that level. Guess we’ll find out.

  • Brian W

    Dylan, thanks for posting that. Sometimes being a “winner” can be a good intangible. Some players can have a ton of talent and never have the winning attitude. Dominique Wilkins comes to mind.

  • Brian W

    The MHSAA has videos of high school playoff games archived on its web site. Couldn’t find playoff games for Detroit Denby, Detroit Country Day or Mt. Pleasant, but you can see Jon Horford (#33) and Grand Ledge in action. Grand Ledge is wearing the navy uniforms.

    Grand Ledge versus Okemos

    Grand Ledge versus Lansing Waverly

    It looks like Fox Sports Detroit will be broadcasting the basketball playoff finals on Saturday, March 27.

  • Here’s a full video of Zeigler’s last game as well

  • AG2

    Does anybody know Jordan Crawford’s story? Its always disappointing when some of Michigan’s finest players end up out of state.

  • bird

    Dylan, you have a great template here. Every school should have a blog modeled after it. I was just reading that the juco wing that Duke offered (Felix), has accepted, so I wanted to check their scholarship situation to see if that might help close the door on their courting of Zeigler. I think it might, but I couldn’t find a nice neat scholarship breakdown anywhere like you have tabbed up top. Dumb Dookies.

    I never saw Duke as a big player for Trey, but who knows? They’re Duke. I think they at least have made themselves less attractive.

  • gpsimms

    whelp. things are looking bleak for the goophers. this was a tough first round matchup. i think the winner of this game has a chance to win two more. too bad i picked minnesota.

  • Alyzen

    watching Ziegler’s last game — man, Mt. Pleasant really had NO response to the full court press Arthur Hill was running at the beginning. That was painful to watch. So were Trey’s free throws, although, interestingly, he did incorporate a few dribbles into his routine…so he’s clearly open to changes.

  • What is Zeigler’s shooting pct., anyone know? Simple question–but relative to those missed free throws, maybe important? Obviously, he’s scoring a passel of points, but is he taking all the shots? (And how does shooting in the context of the game tend to correllate, anyone know?) I googled, but didn’t come up w. anything; does Rivals compile that kind of info?

    Thanks for the article, Dylan.

  • Brian W

    Mattski, Here’s some stats for Trey Zeigler’s season. Very handy page from Mlive actually.

  • Evan

    Wow this could really hurt oakland with nelson out. Nelson got hurt in the eye and was bleeding like a faucet

  • Joel

    Oh man yeah that was a bit gruesome. Hope he’s ok & they can stitch it up and he can come back in. There was a great article about him in the Freep a couple days ago, it really sucks that he got hurt in this game with all the injuries he’s already had. OU still with the lead though, go Grizzlies!

  • Mith

    Wofford giving this game away to Wisconsin. Two horrible TO’s down the stretch and terrible free throw shooting. I suppose I should pull for the Big Ten, but I can’t help but root for the underdog.

  • GrandChamp

    That Beilein picture is awesome.

  • rlc

    “Does anybody know Jordan Crawford’s story? Its always disappointing when some of Michigan’s finest players end up out of state.”

    I don’t remember his story, but this page:
    says that he considered Xavier, NC State, and Tennessee before Sampson’s repeated text messages got him to commit to IU.

    Given Amaker’s previous experience with the Crawford family, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that he simply chose to ignore Jordan; he was focusing on commitments from Manny and Legion anyway.

  • Brian W: thanks for those stats. Looks like they might not even calculate shooting pct–interesting. Gives you an idea that the staff sometimes has to go on limited info when judging high school players.

    If I’m reading it right Zeigler has been an abysmal free-throw shooter all season long!

    Anyone else wants to check it out:


  • Brian W

    Yeah, it looks like Trey’s free-throw shooting isn’t something that just started going bad. If more teams had seen that, Trey may have had to deal with the Hack-a-Trey treatment over the season. I still like Trey as a player, but he’ll definitely need to work on that since that can be a bad weakness to have at the end of close games.

    It looks like the link got broken accidentally when you copied it. The link’s at:

    Yogi Ferrell’s team plays in the Indiana semistate game tomorrow. Beilen may be racking more frequent flyer miles. :)

  • Brian W

    Sparty just lost the lead. Look out.

    Meant to say that Trey would have had to endure the Hack-a-Trey more, but the “more” part got left out.

  • Jordan Crawford … had some academic issues at Renaissance, was always second chair at his position to Ramar Smith with the Family, then senior year at CMA I think it was his very first game broke his leg. Went to prep school after that.

  • Tweeter

    did NMSU just get screwed? I had to watch on computer on mute for reasons that I would like to keep to myself and those involved (freakin women). But it sure looked to me like there was no lane violation and then at the end the ball clearly hits the ground with .7 or maybe .6, yet the officials never went to the clock.

    I couldnt hear any of the commentary during the game, but it sure looked like a terribly officiated game.

    At least I get to watch the last period of UM hockey. and as I say that Lynch scores! 3-1 UM!

  • jds

    Ha, wow. It takes a lane violation for the Aggies to beat the Aggies. Talk about lucky

  • Brian W

    It was officiated like a Big Ten game, where things that should have been fouls weren’t getting called. MSU guards were getting mugged often by New Mexico. It was a lane violation, but the commentators (Mike Giminski and Verne Lundquist) didn’t think it was that blatant. The refs called the violation on the wrong player, though. MSU lost Chris Allen to a broken bone in his foot (or some other injury with his foot).

  • Tweeter

    What about the clock at the end Brian? I think I have the whole thing dvring at home, so I can always watch later. But I was fairly certain that the ball goes out at about .7, yet the refs never check the clock and NMSU only gets .3 for the last play.

  • Brian W

    The clock went out of bounds with .7 to go but didn’t stop until it said .3 left. They didn’t look at the clock and adjust it or anything. New Mexico got stuck with .3 on the clock, and an MSU player (Morgan?) intercepted the pass and spiked the ball as time ran out. New Mexico’s coach was going off on the refs about the lane violation after the game.

    Ohio State is now up 24-13 on UC-Santa Barbara.

  • GrandChamp

    Nice Michigan recruiting page from umgoblog on twitter.

  • AG2

    More and more people seem to be saying that 96 teams is a done deal next year and that the NIT will be folded in to the field.

  • WTHef?

    The big question I have with Sykes revolves around this comment:

    “…I have heard that Michigan is back to strongly looking at him. He could help them, no doubt about it, but I’ve heard that he might not be recruitable at that level.”

    I remember discussion of Sykes back to when he transferred (before his junior year?) and there was a lot of talk that he was a bit of a sleeper and may be the most talented player in the state – however everyone (can’t remember if Dylan was among the everyone but I thought he was) said he was a player that Beilein would not go after. I assumed that had to do with academics.

    While I think Sykes is the type of player we need to add from a basketball perspective if we don’t get TZ, I also don’t want to return to the days of hinging M Bball’s success on the Jaquan Hart types. Does anyone know any more about what the “not recruitable” comment refers to?

  • Old Style

    If UofM took TZ, Horford, and Sykes this year I would assume Horford and Sykes would redshirt and balance the classes that way.

  • Dylan

    Beilein is down in Indiana checking out Cody Zeller in the state semis.

  • mitch

    As long as we save a scholarship for Yogie, I’m happy!

  • Zeller finished with 5-10 FG (1-1 3FG), 3-8, FT 14 pts, 12 rebs, six blocks. His team will move onto the state finals.

    MaizeNBlue2 is planning to film Yogi Ferrell’s game this evening which we should have for you as well.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Beilein made the trip down there as well. I don’t think it tips ’til later this afternoon/evening and it’s only an hour or so away from Zeller’s game.

    I’ll probably post an Indiana roundup like this on Zeller & Ferrell.

  • Old Style

    Once the tourney is over will the hotboards get updated. Carlton is still listed as considering the Spartys.

  • I definitely need to update the hotboard. I plan on doing some this weekend hopefully.

  • Yup, Beilein is down to see Ferrell as well. He’s got 10 of Park Tudor’s first 14 points.

    Live stream here:

    We should have highlights as well.

  • Ryan

    I go to Murray State. That was an absolute Heartbreak. Glad they could give us something though!

  • Mith

    I was thinking about how arrogant that guy was from Kansas when he and Dylan exchanged questions before the Kansas game. I bet that guy’s not so smug now…way to go Northern Iowa!!!

  • So Yogi Ferrell is really good. He hit the game winner to send Park Tudor to the state finals in the FOURTH overtime.

    I believe we will have video.

  • Brian W

    It was great to watch Northern Iowa beat Kansas. It seems like Kansas almost always loses early in the tournament when they’re supposed to be good. There have been a lot of good games this year. Having Georgetown, Kansas, Villanova and Notre Dame lose early was sweet.

    Thanks for the update on Beilein’s Saturday travels.

    As for the question on “non-recruitable” part from the article on Sykes, that could be interpreted either as grades or talent level. Considering that Tennessee, Syracuse and Oklahoma have supposedly offered according to Rivals, talent may not be a problem. It could just be the personal opinion of the writer and doesn’t mean anything.

    I’m really curious to know how Sykes’ game is compared to Trey’s. Sam Webb has said that Sykes is slightly smaller than Trey, and that Sykes isn’t a shooter. It’s funny that when you go to Rivals that Trey is 6-4 and Sykes is 6-5, and when you go to Scout, Trey is 6-5 and Sykes is 6-3.

  • Jake

    Just saw Trey tweeted that he will be wearing #0 next year.

  • Brian W

    Interesting. Looks like Mike Rothstein tweeted back that Novak currently wears 0 for Michigan. It can be interpreted a variety of ways (Novak could switch, Trey could be picking a school without a 0 like UCLA), but he could just be thinking out loud.

  • J-Turn14

    Can you have a 0 and 00 on the same team? If so maybe Trey could wear one and Zack could wear the other.
    I doubt that TZ was hinting at aything with that, though. He probably just didn’t think about it.

  • Brian W

    It’s this type of thing that probably drives a coach nuts, though. When you have to play amateur psychologist to see if a tweet is relevant. I’ve been ready for signing day to be over for a couple weeks now, so I’m sure the last few weeks are a grind for the coaches too. I’m hoping that Trey picks U-M, but I’ve tried set myself up to not be too disappointed if it doesn’t happen. If it doesn’t end up being Trey and it’s Sykes or no one, well, U-M basketball will have to go on next year regardless.

  • Jake

    he just answered by saying this “I guess I need to restate that I want to wear 0 if I can lol I wasn’t thinking about any players having it” Hopefully this just a misunderstanding

  • AG2

    Ryan, I feel you man. Butler did not deserve to win that game. Sooner or later they’re going to have to actually play a major conference team and when they do it could get ugly.

    With KU down, whose coming out of the midwest now? MSU looks wounded I’m not sure they can get past Maryland. I’d love to see UNI take down Ohio State though!

    As far as whose going to win it all, it won’t be Duke. Not if they have to play both A/M and Baylor in Houston. It could be between Cuse and Kentucky.

  • Tweeter

    Its gotta be Kentucky right? I know I wrote early in the year, following a John Wall game winning jumper over Miami (not that Miami), that Kentucky was no different than any other John Calipari team (i.e., ton of talent, no coaching, eventually a better coached team with almost equal talent beats them). But after watching them lately, especially over the last couple weeks, they have more talent than any two college teams combined.

    Im still now completely sold on John Wall. Not that he is a bad player, he is damn good. But more, just that I dont think he is number 1 NBA draft pick good. Still top five though. However, Cousins is really really good. Patterson is consistent and good. Darius Miller is shockingly good. Bledsoe is almost forgotten but at times just as good as Wall. But thats not it, they go deep with talent as well. Orton, Harris, Stevenson, etc., of the bench are better than most teams starters.

    As much as I think Calipari prevents his teams from winning, I think this team might be just talented enough to overcome his incredible ineptness as a coach.

    All that said, the best player I have seen so far in the tourney is Omar Sanham of Saint Mary’s. That guy just makes plays. Scores from all over on the floor, can play physical and can finesse.

  • Tweeter

    Forgot to add, I dont know how Baylor is gonna guard Samhan. I love Udoh, but he doesnt stand a chance at matching up one on one against Samhan. Best thing they can do is try to guard him with someone else, and use Udoh and the other long athletic guy to help over the top to try and block him. Villanova tried that at times but SAmhan just muscled guys under the basket and made easy half hooks.

    I think Saint Mary’s might be a team like Gonzaga is, you gotta just concentrate on outscoring them rather than trying to stop them from scoring. Saint Mary’s doesnt have the athletes to stop Dunn or Carter, so just attack, attack, attack, and hope you get enough stops to win.

  • Sam

    Well, keep in mind Baylor is like the biggest team in the tourney. Ekpe is 6’10 or so, and they have Josh Lomers at 7’0 who will probably end up guarding Samhan. IMO Baylor matches up quite well with St. Mary’s.

  • Beast1530

    Tweeter, John Wall is basically a LOCK to go #1 overall. The GM will be crucified by the fans if they don’t pick John Wall unless they already have a promising young PG(like Minnesota or Golden State[John Wall would be a perfect fit for the Warrior if they didn’t already have Ellis and Curry at G]}. John Wall have a lot of things going for him:

    1. He’s a PG so teams tend to ascend to the top quicker with a great young PG.

    2. He’s so athletic that he’s instantly the best athlete on the floor in any given game. A huge advantage for a PG.

    3. He already post good stats to back up his hype. His was already better than Derrick Rose.

    4. His game is made for the NBA where he can use his speed and quickness to get to the hoops at will.

    5. There aren’t any other NBA prospects who are as good of a prospect as John Wall, potentially wise.

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