MHSAA Semis: Scouting Carlton Brundidge and Isaiah Sykes

Dylan Burkhardt

It was a tough day at the Breslin for Michigan class of 2011 commitment Carlton Brundidge and class of 2010 recruiting target Isaiah Sykes. Both of their teams lost semifinal match-ups convincingly and could never really get their games going. A scouting report on Brundidge and Sykes is after the jump.

carlton brundidgeCarlton Brundidge vs. Ann Arbor Huron
22 points on 6 of 19 (0-5 3pt) shooting, 10-14 FT, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 steals

Huron bothered Southfield with their length and athleticism throughout the entire game. Southfield had trouble breaking Huron’s press and when they did break it, they usually settled for poor shots. Huron got out to a huge 20+ point lead by halftime and kept Southfield at bay throughout the second half. Final score: Huron 76, Southfield 64.

Brundidge showed flashes of greatness including a couple nice finishes and a beautiful behind the back dribble in transition. Unfortunately he also missed a number of bunnies and also some crucial free throws. We’ve scouted and filmed Brundidge before, so you know the gist of his game: taking the ball to the rack.

Watching some of his previous performances on film, it was clear that he had to ability to hit the perimeter jump shot. That was not the case today as he went 0-5 from three point range and really couldn’t get anything going more than 5 feet from the hoop.

The one thing that he certainly demonstrated today was toughness. Brundidge took some hard knocks during the game. First he was thrown to the ground on a hard foul and appear to injure his back.  Later he also appeared to tweak his lower leg. Brundidge continued to fight through the pain and continue to play, despite struggling and playing hurt.

bilde[1]Isaiah Sykes vs. Kalamazoo Central
16 points on 6 of 12 shooting, 4-5 FT, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 turnovers, 3 steals

Denby managed to hang with Kalamazoo Central for a while but in the end Central was just too much, winning easily by a score of 68-49. Dayton commitment Devin Oliver and junior T.J. Buchanan dominated the game, combining for 41 points on 16 of 25 shooting.

We posted a scouting report and video of Sykes earlier this week and it was clear that his game hasn’t changed. He loves to get in the lane, he is always looking to pass the ball, and he doesn’t shoot the ball.

It was a bit harder for Sykes to make some of his nifty passes against Central’s swarming defense, which explains the 6 turnovers to 3 assists. His teammates also struggled to finish several good looks. In the second half Central sagged 4 or 5 feet off of Sykes on the perimeter, daring him to shoot, but he never fired up a perimeter jump shot. Sykes was better on free throws today (4-5) but the fact that he doesn’t even take jump shots almost makes me more nervous than an ugly jump shot.

Sykes definitely did not influence the game on the defensive end. Defense in the PSL isn’t always the number one priority but it was clear that Sykes is going to need major work to become a solid defender at the next level. Sykes’ handle is also a little loose. He had the ball poked away from him a couple times and while his handle is solid for a 6-foot-5 player, anyone proclaiming that he’s a point guard right now is way off.

There’s a lot to like about Sykes and his abilities coupled with his size, at least 6-foot-5 and listed at 6-foot-6 in the program, and length make him a very intriguing but certainly not flawless prospect. His recruitment should pick up momentum quickly now that his season is over. John Beilein was watching the Denby wing once again so he is definitely interested.

Today’s action… Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell (‘12 PG) and Cody Zeller (‘11 PF/C) will be playing for an Indiana state championship today. Ferrell’s Park Tudor squad tips at 12:45 pm (ET) and Zeller’s Washington team plays at 6 pm.  Contributor Josh Houchin is planning to attend and film some more video which we will have posted ASAP. You can also stream the games here.

DCD and Amir Williams (‘11 C) will be in action in the Michigan class B finals at 8pm tonight (full MHSAA schedule). The game will be tape delayed on Fox Sports at 11pm.

In other news… Ernie Zeigler is in talks with Central Michigan about a 4 year contract extension. This should be good news in terms of Trey Zeigler’s recruitment.

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  • JB

    i’m rooting against msu. there’s no great team in the tourney this year, so I think all of their remaining games are winnable to some degree. i hope they lose asap.

    jk – i think you’re jumping to conclusions by saying zeigler may not be a good leader/teammate but sykes will be.

  • Mike

    “Also, kind of random but does anyone think Douglass has the potential to be an Andy Rautins -quality player? ”

    No, Rautins is a much more versatile player than Douglass. Douglass right now is pretty much a one dimensional player who has the ability hit 3 point shots but doesn’t possess the overall skill set of Rautins. Rautins value is that he can do a little bit of everything — can create his own shot, decent passer and rebounder. His length and athleticism also gives him an advantage over Douglass to be able to do these things.

  • Adam

    Can they both lose? As a teacher, I can’t support the academic ‘standards’ or conduct of the Tennessee program and Izzo’s demeanor in press conferences and interviews has a very god-like quality that really pisses me off. I’m really torn… both are dispicable in their own seperate ways.

  • gpsimms

    jk i do believe you’re talking out your butt. what reason do you have to believe trey is some ‘me-first’ ballhogging kid? i think his assist numbers are pretty similar to sykes.

    if you’d watched them play, and had some reasons for thinking that way, let me know. also, there are a few people who share your opinion, but, in my opinion, you couldn’t be much further off.

    i’ve gotten into this defending manny argument before. he has always had a solid assist rate. i think the problem (this year) was that manny is a pass-first guy on a team of 29% shooters. sure, he jacked up a few contested threes a game. do you seriously blame him for that?


    zack novak took mostly open 3s this year. his 3pt% .306
    manny took mostly ‘difficult’ 3s this year. his 3pt% .308

    manny would go through a game dishing and dishing and dishing, only to watch most of his teammates throw up badly missed jumpers. so, suddenly, with 5 minutes to go, we’re down 10 or more. we need somebody to step up and create something from nothing. so manny tries to shoot a few more difficult shots, and pass a little less. i hope no one here blames hm for that. i’d rather have manny taking a difficult shot then everyone’s favorite gritty-grit novak standing still, uncovered, taking a shot.

    to prove the point: manny’s assist rate was pretty insane in 2009: 32.2 that is number 43 out of all D1 players in America. as a small forward, manny had a better Arate than almost all guards.

    in 2010, he still had by far the top on our team, but fell to 27.7 #143 in the country.

    Did Manny become ball hog? No, anyone who says so is just forgetting how many shots manny’s teammates missed this year. Manny is an unselfish team player on a team that can’t shoot. And for that fans are calling him out for his selfishness, lack of leadership, and attitude. It makes me a little sick to be honest.

  • ZRL

    Just thought of this, but would it be possible for Hardaway to give up his scholarship for 2011 in order for Beilein to sign another highly rated big? (assuming Hardaway agrees to this). He certainly doesn’t need the money.

  • jmblue

    I hate both teams, but I’ll grit my teeth and root for UT. It’s not in our interests to see MSU in the Final Four. Simple as that.

  • JRose

    Always rooting against MSU! I also believe that Butler has a better chance of beating TN than MSU. All in all, I get tired of Spaty fans and rarely wish for them to have success…only if it helps UM, and it doesn’t help in this situation! Go Vols! On a side note, Pearl was the coach at USI when I attended, so tend to root for him.

  • AG2

    I for one wouldn’t mind seeing MSU win today, mainly because I want to see those punks who live in Cedar Village burn down the place, always great entertainment around here. Besides, can’t let those SEC fans heads get any bigger now can we?

    In any case I think Tennessee’s got this. They’re playing some really good ball right now and MSU looks tired and wounded. I’m going to say Tennessee 65 MSU 59.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Good point ZRL, I haven’t seen that addressed on here…

  • AG2

    Something’s wrong. I turned my TV to CBS and the Warriors/Clippers game is on.

  • AG2

    And the Clippers are wearing Green and White, while the Warriors are wearing less shiny Orange.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Haha. I was wondering what you were talking about

  • Jay

    GPsimms you are my guy…I cannot have said it any better, thank you for bringing some game knowledge to your post. Truly appreciate that!

    I actually wouldnt mind seeing MSU win. I like Izzo, just something about him and the way he prepares his squad each and every year which is unmatched. They have a lot of really good players, but not great…he gets it done though!

  • Tweeter

    ZRL, I believe there is some sort of NCAA rule against that. Meaning that once a kid is brought in as a scholarship player, that player continues to count against the scholarship lmit regardless of whether they remain on the scholarship or pay for school on their own, as long as they continue to be a part of the team, they count. The Cronin situation is different because his injury effectively makes him no longer part of the team.

    If it was otherwise, then teams could abuse the scholarship limit at will. There are plenty of athletes out there that can afford to pay for school on their own. Just think about the Duke team for instance. Probably 3/4s of their scholarship players could pay on their own.

    Gpsimms, I agree that Manny was not a ball hog or a selfish player on the court. But I think you can separate that aspect from the lack of leadership or attitude aspect. There were plenty of times this year, where he played unselfishly but he lacked a team building attitude.

  • AG2

    Oh definitely you can’t say Manny was a ball hog. If anything he was too mild mannered sometimes.

    I can’t believe Lucious missed that front end, but it is funny though.

  • AG2

    Who wants to see Tennessee “Evan Turner” MSU right now?

  • Jay

    No Tweeter, you can pay your way and open up a scholarship but idk if that decision has to be made before you sign your LOI or whatever. Duke did it years back when Shavolik Randolph decided to pay his way, so they could take another player.

    Durrell Summers is very underated!! THis kid has some serious game, so smooth. I would kill for a Summers/ Green.

  • AG2

    Oh come on, Prince didn’t even try to make that shot! I feel cheated!

  • AG2

    And this just in…

    Iowa has announced they have reached an agreement to hire Siena’s coach Fran McCaffery as their new coach.

  • Giddings

    Jay, Summers was a 5-star coming out of HS (same class as Manny). He’s been a contributor but overall a disappointment, not living up to his lofty ratings in HS (and apparently not seeing eye-to-eye with Izzo)… that is, until this Tournament, when he’s all the sudden become a deadly 3-point shooter and has actually started to become aggressive when he needs to be. The announcers kept mentioning his “2-hour chat with Izzo” before the Tournament, maybe there’s something to it.

    I’m trying to look at the positives after this game… at least Bruce Pearl is going home. And good for the Big Ten, I guess. But now I’m even more on the Butler bandwagon…

  • jds

    Hope Belien took notes on how to defend a last second inbound play…

  • maxwell’s demon

    If Prince was given the extra 0.6 sec (plus the extra 0.3 or so due to timekeeper) he would have taken almost an identical shot as Turner.

  • Prince had a pretty good look… It was just one of the worst attempts I’ve ever seen of a last second half court shot.. Barely reached the key.

  • AG2

    I thought about watching the game down by my office near campus, but I feared for my car’s safety.

  • rlc

    Mixed emotions on Sparty back in the Final Four: on the one hand, the Big Ten and Pac-10 are the only majors to exceed their seed expectations in the tourney; you’d hope that people would notice and stop putting random lousy Big East teams into the tourney. On the other hand, TREY! TURN OFF THE TV! Come to Ann Arbor and carry the whole team on your back instead…

  • Giddings

    By the way, just found this piece about Gordon Hayward committing to Butler. Hayward, of course, is a perfect example of star ratings not telling the whole story… (2 star Scout, 3 star Rivals)

    Gordon Hayward, a 6-foot-7 small forward, picked Butler over a handful of programs. “I visited them the end of April/early May,” Hayward said. “In talking with them this past month I felt like it was the best for me. I also visited Purdue (offer), IUPIU (offer) and Michigan. I felt like Butler was the best for me.”

  • Harris presser tomorrow at 11am. He is fully expected to declare for the draft. Also sounds like he will sign with an agent.

  • Jay

    Giddings thanks for that clip on Gordon, but can you find one on Mack too? how the heck did he fall into Butler’s lap, that kid has heart. I know he said he felt like home, but we would have gave him the keys to Crisler!

  • Jay

    It sure does sting watchin blue could of used him in a serious way. Peedi playing the 4 another player not out of position…ahh ok i’ll stop thinking about “what could of been”

  • Tweeter

    Jay, looks like you are right regarding scholarship players giving up their scholarship and paying their own way. I guess they dont count, as both Jarvis Varnado and Taylor Rochestie of WSU did this. I’m honestly surprised that the NCAA allows this to happen and also just as surprised that it is not abused more often. But I cannot find anything in the NCAA manual that would prohibit it.

    However, schools are not allowed to give aid in other forms (academic, grants or otherwise) to recruited athletes in basketball, and not count them toward the limit. Once they start competing at the varsity level they count. I know this question was raised by some Sparty’s who were trying to find a way for Herzog to stay on the team but use his countable scholarship on Zeigler.

  • other steve

    dylan how do you know he is going to sign an agent?

  • Sam

    To answer an earlier question, I actually have said this before, but I think that Stu has the potential to develop into an Andy Rautins type player. He has worked on creating his own shot, he can be a dead-eye shooter, and he has a similar build. Give him one year, I think he’ll be very good.

  • The Yooper

    Wow we really need to get Zeigler now. I guess Sykes would be alright, but watching Denby play made me kind of cautious around him. He plays absolutely no defense and when he doesn’t have the ball on offense he just sits around. I guess it wouldn’t be bad if Beilein could fix that stuff because although Sykes is pretty raw, he is an absolutely phenomenal athlete.

  • mark

    For those of you that thought Anderson looked good Saturday what game were you watching. He basically was gunning and has no right hand. He is a great athelete and is probably 6-3. His outside shooting didn’t impress me and he isn’t a playmaker. I guessing he looks good against the comp he is usually playing but ABT made him look average. A freshman guarded him and didn’t even force him to his right most of the time. Tally was by far the best player on the court.

    There was a lot of talk this summer about Anderson being the best player in the state and I don’t see it.