AAU Weekend Preview (4-23-10)

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Another spring weekend means plenty more AAU tournaments on the docket. The big tournaments this weekend include: The King James Classic (Akron, OH), Providence Jam Fest, and  the Nike Spring Showdown (Merrillville, IN). There are also a several other regional tournaments of note: The String Music Showcase in Nashville, the Double Pump Classic in Vegas, The Indiana Spring Classic in Indianapolis, and The Next Level Tournament in Texas.

Joe and I will be headed down to Akron to take in the King James Shooting Stars Classic. The King James tournament features a number of the top teams from the midwest which feature a number of Michigan targets.

King James Shooting Stars Classic

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Markus Crider, Carlton Brundidge, and Amir Williams will all be in action in Akron

Dayton wing guard Markus Crider will be playing with the host team, King James Shooting Stars. The Shooting Stars are loaded and Crider hasn’t exactly filled up the stat sheet so far this spring but I’m excited to get a chance to check him out first-hand. Kalamazoo Central guard TJ Buchanan also plays with the Stars and has had a strong spring after a state title run.

Amir Williams and Carlton Brundidge (Michigan commitment) will both be in action with The Family. Brundidge and Williams have both gotten off to a good start this spring and they will be looking to make some noise in Akron. The bad news for Michigan fans is that Amir Williams visited Duke last night.

The Michigan Mustangs will also be playing at the King James tournament. The Mustangs feature an array of local talent including Trey McDonald, Patrick Lucas-Perry, LaDontae Henton, and Dwaun Anderson. Most of these guys are top 10 in-state kids but they also make up the group of in-state prospects that are trying to play their way into some big time offers.

All of the in-state programs will also be bringing their 16U teams but we are excited to get another look at Indiana guard Gary Harris. Harris’ recruitment is poised to explode and he recently picked up offers from Indiana and Cincinnati.  Another name to look for at the 16U level is Jordan Hare. Hare is a super-long post prospect from Saginaw Arthur Hill that I believe is playing with King James (although I’ve seen him connected to The Hurricanes as well).

Providence Jam Fest

Most of the best teams on the east coast will be participating in the Providence Jam Fest. The man that Michigan fans will want to watch is Eric Katenda. Katenda will be back in action with the Albany City Rocks and it’s becoming clear that Michigan has a spot near the top of his list.

Michigan continues to recruit the 2012 St. Marks duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski and both big guys will be in action with the New England Playaz.

Nike Spring Showdown

Team Pride will be down in Merrillville taking on some of the stronger talent in Indiana and Illinois. The Illinois Wolves and Mac Irvin Fire are two of the favorites in this tournament but The Pride have a few nice pieces.

At the 2011 level Team Pride will rely on Tommie McCune but where they really shine is at the 2012 level with Matt Costello, Ray Lee, Javontae Hawkins – all of whom are major Michigan targets.

Other Notes

Isaiah Sykes will be playing in the Michigan high school All-Star game on Saturday at Oakland University. The boys game tips off at 6pm and in-state stars like Maurice Jones (USC), Keith Appling (MSU), Devin Oliver (Dayton), Alex Gauna (MSU),and Roy Marble (Iowa) are scheduled to participate.

Marcus Thornton has completed his 7 in home visits and he will start taking visits in early May. All seven teams (Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, UGA, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Michigan) remain on his list and he is planning a decision around the third week of May.

The Big Ten denied Ben Brust’s appeal to attend another Big Ten school without paying his own way. This would have been an issue for Michigan recruiting Cody Larson and it explains why Beilein probably didn’t even make an in-home.

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Unfortunately, I think Thornton will end up at Georgia Tech. They have the history of putting big men into the league, along with academics that are on par with Michigan (albeit more limited in scope). The only negative I can think of with regard to Ga Tech is the fact that they've flamed out in just about every tourney appearance in recent memory, except for 2004. Other than that one title game appearance, they've been pretty disappointing considering the talent they bring in.

    It's pretty funny, but I think Texas a similar description. Great academics, and a history of bringing in great talent/putting a lot of guys in the League. Again, though, Barnes seems to have trouble come tourney time. They're in it basically every year, and usually go relatively deep. But it usually seems wise to bet against them come the Sweet Sixteen. I just feel like most other major programs are feared a lot more than Texas in the post-season, despite Texas' beastly recruiting.

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  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Unfortunately, I think Thornton will end up at Georgia Tech. They have the history of putting big men into the league, along with academics that are on par with Michigan (albeit more limited in scope). The only negative I can think of with regard to Ga Tech is the fact that they've flamed out in just about every tourney appearance in recent memory, except for 2004. Other than that one title game appearance, they've been pretty disappointing considering the talent they bring in.

    It's pretty funny, but I think Texas a similar description. Great academics, and a history of bringing in great talent/putting a lot of guys in the League. Again, though, Barnes seems to have trouble come tourney time. They're in it basically every year, and usually go relatively deep. But it usually seems wise to bet against them come the Sweet Sixteen. I just feel like most other major programs are feared a lot more than Texas in the post-season, despite Texas' beastly recruiting.

  • Billiam

    For those new guys in the class of 2012 (St. Marks duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski) could you please post something on them in the 2012 watch list section when you get a chance/know something about them. I haven't heard of them yet, and I'll like to have easy access to info. I guess just a total update too since I don't think that page has been updated in a while. I will wait respectfully, and thanks for the update (when it comes).

  • Billiam

    Sorry for the double post, but I'm going to say it right now: Amir Williams, Duke is the wrong choice. They have all three Plumless brothers (I'm assuming the caboose goes there as well) and more big men besides that. Why would you want to sit on the bench when you can play at UM and make a team over your four year career? You and Brundidge coming in would bring in two top 50 recruits and you would also know another player coming in. Add to you two Smotrycz, Morris, and Hardaway and we've got a pretty damn good line-up of talented players who can bring us a big-ten championship. Duke has the tradition right now, but you'll still be a winner here, you'll get more playing time, and you'll also develop more here because of that playing time. Do you really want to ride the bench your freshman year? And anyways, with respect to winning, I see us being a damn fine team your sophomore year with Morris (a senior) at point, brundidge, Hardaway, Vogrich, Smot, and you all as top 100 recruits. Oh, and not to mention whomever we bring in with those three scholarship openings too. AND Sykes/Katenda most likely. Sound like a good team to you?

  • michael the original

    Question about recruiting process: Is a coach limited to offering scholarships based on the numbers that he has available, or can he make several offers and simply give the spot to the first person to commit. So, for example, right now Beliein has 2 left for 2010 and/or 2011 and have apparently offered Sykes, Williams, and Thorton. Doesn't that mean if Sykes and Williams committed today Belien would have to retract his offer from Thorton?

  • Over recruiting happens… For example Indiana has already offered SIX 2012 kids while Michigan waits until June 15th to offer ANY 2012 kids.

    There are no restrictions on offering scholarships per se… Some people (like Beilein) just don't offer many scholarships while others offer a ton.

  • michael the original

    Thanks, Dylan. That's helpful to know. Does this not strike you as limiting? Why not cast a wide net and create as many opportunities as possible for getting the best kids? I appreciate not offering unless you are certain you want a kid on your team, for 4 stars + why not? Any sense of what Beilein's rationale is?

  • bl11

    Time to move on from Sykes IMO

  • bl11

    Well look at the football situation. Rich Rod likes to throw offers around like they are paper airplanes. Different philosophies really. In basketball you can't WASTE a scholarship. There are only 13 compared to 85 for football. Each scholly is worth more in basketball and Beilein isn't the type to want to rescind an offer.

  • eddieben

    Why?

  • bl11

    If the stories are true, he is trying to slow play beilein and acting like he has other options when at this point he doesn't…if a kid with questionable b11 talent and no offers doesn't jump at our offer…we should move on. He just made our decision easier…again just my two cents

  • The Yooper

    Yeah I always thought what we were waiting on was us to offer Sykes, not Sykes to pick us. With his questionable shooting and lack of defense (maybe thats just from the Detroit PSL) he should be begging to come here.

  • fresh

    agreed……….especially since the other 2 teams that are now being mentioned are arkansas which has been for a few weeks and central florida being a new team i just saw………….doesnt make a lot of sense………….it certainly is getting to the point where enough is enough………..michigan soon enough is going to be good with or without sykes

  • Billiam

    patience young padawan. We don't know what's going on in his mind, and maybe it's the academics, his parents, his friends, some other problem, etc. slowing him up. We don't know and so we really can't judge. Just let it be for right now. I'm sure he'll come anyways, and this is just a single week where he's making sure. And anyways, do we really lose anything by him not being here for this week?

  • The Yooper

    Well I'm starting to lose my patience thats for sure.

  • AG2

    Where are you guys getting these stories on Sykes playing Beilein? And last I checked, its pretty much Sykes or nothing for 2010, because we're not getting Thorton. It doesn't really matter if Sykes hasn't chosen yet.

  • bl11

    Sam webb mentioned it and I heard it again somewhere else..its not the timing or even the decision…its the principal of a kid with no other offers slow playing us…sykes isn't good enough to enjoy that treatment

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  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Well, fortunately, recruits don't make decisions based on your current level of patience. He's waited how long for an offer from us? But we can't wait a week or two for him to check out some other options?

    Maybe he's intimidated by the academics? You have no clue what's going on in his mind. Sit back, relax, and let the chips fall where they may.

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    If he's worthy of an offer, then he deserves to take his time and make the decision that's best for him.

  • Ben

    Sykes said he thinks Michigan held Manny back….. I thought it was Manny's poor shooting and dribbling…. just me though, I don't want Sykes and I hope he commits to Central Florida after his visit this weekend. I got his quote from A Scout.com story. SAVE THE SCHOLLY FOR 2011!!!

  • Ben

    Sykes said he thinks Michigan held Manny back….. I thought it was Manny's poor shooting and dribbling…. just me though, I don't want Sykes and I hope he commits to Central Florida after his visit this weekend. I got his quote from A Scout.com story. SAVE THE SCHOLLY FOR 2011!!!

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Well, if he said that, then he's mistaken, obviously. He is entitled to his opinion though.

    As long as he's not comparing himself to Manny, because there's no comparison. Obviously, Beilein feels he's worthy of the offer. Let Coach deal with him if he has any issues and commits. It's out of our hands.

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    I kind of agree with bl11. The kid is looking at a great opportunity at Michigan, if not in basketball, at least academically. I don't mind him taking his time. That's more than okay. What I do mind, however, is when a kid who's offer is debatable starts saying negative things about the program. That just sets a really bad tone for him as a member of the team, and the program generally. People here about that kind of stuff, and it's unhelpful.

    There is plenty of talent next year, and I don't care how much the program is struggling, it's easy to fill two roster spots at a B10 school. It'd be better to fill them in with people like C.J. Lee and David Merritt who might not have the most talent, but believe in the program. Guys who say negative things publicly are almost always cancerous for teams. Sykes really isn't getting on anyone's good side if he actually said what people are claiming he did.

  • Ben, give us more context. He made the remark about Manny after being asked why he was hesitating? If so, he may have burned a bridge.

  • bl11

    Exactly, he is flat out questioning the coach, probably someone else is in his ear telling him that though. Either way I think you tell him it was fun and move on.

  • If true, this is pretty surprising and uncool. There's a lot of stuff lurking beneath the surface in most programs. . . but I really hope there isn't a little undercurrent of discontent bubbling here about Beilein, some of his moves abroad in the land. Could be disastrous. You look around, you think you might discern some signs here and there. Dylan, you might or might not want to speak to this. . . am I being paranoid?

    Winning, I know, cures everything. But I don't think we're necessarily on track to win for a few more years.

  • waldo78

    If we pass on Sykes, it will leave us 3 ships next year with CB taking one of them. We could balance our classes by holding off this year. My gut tells me that Sykes has no ground to stand on when questioning JB's coaching. He has no other offers. He should be kissing JB's feet instead of questioning. I would like CB, Katenda, and a big (A. Williams, Plumlee, etc.) for the 2011 class.

  • Bluebufoon

    I wish Coach Belien would tell Isaiah Sykes thanks but no thanks and U-M banks the scholarship for next year. U-M doesn't have enough room in the classes of 2011 and 2012. There is no need to do the recruiting kibuki dance with Sykes. If Sykes isn't sold on U-M, take care, see ya later. Give me Plumlee, Katenda and Pangos.

  • JB01

    IF this is true about the manny comments, and at this point who knows, then we shouldn't and won't take him. manny was held back to 18 pts, 6 rebs, and 4 assists? right.

    IF he's just taking more time to decide, then that's understandable.

    the coaches know what is truly going on at this point, will get it right on their end, whether or not they are willing to take him. in the meantime, this sucks.

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  • AG2

    I was under the impression his previous stance on Michigan was that if he could get an offer he'd “jump all over it.” I'm sure Beilein has an idea about Sykes' willingness to buy in. And if he doesn't, then he can transfer in time for us to recruit someone else. Either way, I'm sure Beilein knows what he's doing.

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  • well i appreciate the patient michigan fans but i believe in WIN WIN WIN !!! Not oh he gets 8 years to develope his own style of players . JB needs to go after top talent because we are a top program . He has made more mistakes in games and with recruits than any coach i can remember . feel free to dissagree i have plenty of examples.

    He should have one more year , two tops.

  • AG2

    “He has made more mistakes in games and with recruits than any coach i can remember”

    Dude, you might as well have said you were living under a rock from 1998 to 2007, because if you can't remember Brian Ellerbe or Tommy Amaker than you're not trying very hard.

    Also, do you go to games? If you just want to assume we're a top program without doing anything to contribute to that image, then frankly you're part of the problem.

  • AG2 I have been going to both football and hoops games my whole life!!!! I don't have a great income ( Lumberjack, TREE Work) but im always front row cheering on my boys . JB blew 3 games this year 15-20 point leads !!!!! the ohio state defense was unforgiveable !!!!! and do you want me to start naming players that he's lost or not cared to recruit that would be great assets to our team ? I don't think so . This is not amature hour i speek facts !!! amaker was a way better recruiter . but neither him nor JB are good enough for Michigan . I thought Steve Lavin or another young aggressive coach would fit us better . We need better talent . Marquette, Butler, xavier have better players than we do . y?

  • AG2 I have been going to both football and hoops games my whole life!!!! I don't have a great income ( Lumberjack, TREE Work) but im always front row cheering on my boys . JB blew 3 games this year 15-20 point leads !!!!! the ohio state defense was unforgiveable !!!!! and do you want me to start naming players that he's lost or not cared to recruit that would be great assets to our team ? I don't think so . This is not amature hour i speek facts !!! amaker was a way better recruiter . but neither him nor JB are good enough for Michigan . I thought Steve Lavin or another young aggressive coach would fit us better . We need better talent . Marquette, Butler, xavier have better players than we do . y?

  • aMaized
  • Joe and I will both have reports and we'll also have tons of footage.

    Carlton went off night in the nightcap! We've got video.

  • aMaized

    awesome Dylan — cant wait!

  • jblair52

    we are a top program?

    lol. says what – our facilities? our decade long NCAA tourney drought?

    maybe in the distant past but in the recent past we've been pretty weak.

    and, not sure if you know, but he's gotten us to an NCAA tourney…where were Amaker and Ellerbe in the previous 10 years?

  • gvman

    Did anyone hear how Old Gold put an old fashioned but whipping on Mac Irvine Fire? Neither the referees or the fab five from mac irvine could stop Ryan Jackson, Aaron Hall, Derrick Marks, or Domique Walls.

  • gvman

    Did anyone hear how Old Gold put an old fashioned but whipping on Mac Irvine Fire at the nike spring show down? Neither the referees or the fab five from mac irvine could stop Ryan Jackson, Aaron Hall, Derrick Marks, or Domique Walls. The fire got so frustrated that Michael Henry (ORR High School ) attacked ryan jackson on the ground and the game turned into a free for all resulting in both teams being disqualified.