Scouting: Great Lakes Classic


TJ Kelley from put on a great tournament this weekend in Livonia and I was able to make it out on Friday and Saturday to check out a number of Michigan prospects in action. Here’s the scouting report on the kids that I saw in action:

Jalen Reynolds (R.E.A.C.H. Legends, 2011, 6-9, F, video interview) This kid is the real deal.  He has a college-ready body with arms that go for days and hands the size of a small possum.  His game is still pretty raw, but his jumper looks smooth and his effort is non-stop.  He jumps out of the gym and knows how to use his athleticism to take advantage of smaller, slower forwards.  He boxes out better than most kids his size, actually getting position instead of simply jumping over kids.  His defense is goo and his lateral movement allows him to patrol the paint and also guard against baseline jumpers.  I didn’t see a whole lot of post moves, but his touch around the basket looked relatively smooth.  When he gets the ball, he has one thing on his mind: scoring.  That’s a good thing at this point because he can pretty much score at will, but he needs to work on his vision because you can bet this kid will be double-teamed.  Overall, really good talent and the most impressive player at the tournament in my opinion.

Ray Lee (Team Pride, 2012, 6-2, G, video interview) I was really glad to get a better look at Ray Lee after not really seeing much of him at the Motown Showdown earlier in the spring. I think Lee’s in sort of a tough spot playing for both age groups — I don’t know how these kids play the games they do, but Lee plays double that.  I think he was using the 16U game I saw him in to rest a little bit from the 17U games, but in the 17U games I saw I was impressed.  Lee is very long and very athletic, at one point barely missing a nasty baseline dunk in traffic.  His handle is nice and he can get by just about anyone with his crossover. His shot looks decent, though he didnt shoot much.  He plays very good defense, kind of a skinnier Darius Morris type with his long arms and getting into passing lanes.  Very good player, and as he said in the interview we’ll be seeing him again at the Michigan Elite Camp.

Denzel Valentine (Michigan Mustangs, 2012, 6-5, W, video interview) I saw the same thing I saw from Valentine at the Spiece Run-N-Slam: really talented player, great finisher, good shooter, not very athletic, not terribly quick.  Valentine is crafty enough to get by people though, and when he gets inside there’s no stopping him.  He’s a very mature player — he knows where people are going to be on the court and he knows where to get them the ball.  Like he said in the interview, he’s a playmaker.  His handle is good for a player his size and his shot is probably the most underrated part of his game.  It looks kind of funky, but he nailed it with consistency and he’s extremely confident.

Malik London (Ohio Basketball Club, 2012, 6-8, F, video interview) Malik wasn’t hugely effective in the game I saw him play, but it’s clear, just as it was clear at Spiece, that his athleticism will take him wherever he wants to go.  Not only is he athletic but he’s aggressive and extremely active on the glass.  I haven’t seen much in the way of post moves or a jumpshot, but that will come as London continues to develop as a player.  He is coordinated and has a nose for the ball.  He tends to grab rebounds simply by jumping over and around players and not by getting position.  He is extremely fast and lightning-quick.  If he learns some post moves, he’ll be nearly impossible to stay in front of in the paint.

Justin Moss (Team Pride, 2011, 6-6, F) Moss is a big man out of Romulus.  He’s strong, has good touch around the basket, and is pretty explosive.  He functions well for the Pride as a big man who can run the floor and finish well, but he isn’t rated on any recruiting sites.

Dwaun Anderson (Michigan Mustangs, 2011, 6-4, W) This kid is good, which makes it hurt that much more that he’s going to State.  He’s more confident in his shot now than I’ve ever seen him, and with good reason.  His handle is nasty (we’ll have video up of his making this poor kid fall) and of course, he can jump out of the gym.  Nothing new here.

Trey McDonald (Michigan Mustangs, 2011, 6-9, F) Trey had a rough game from what I saw.  He was upstaged a bit by another big man on his team.  He didn’t score much, but protected the basket well.  McDonald has a good body but right now, he needs to step up his game if he wants to prove he’s a high-major player.

Lorenzo Cugini (Ohio Basketball Club, 2012, 6-6, W) Cugini was really impressive in the game I watched.  His shot was lights-out and he was quick enough to create shots for himself.  He moves like a guard, likes to hang out on the wing and take people off the dribble.  He’s extremely versatile and not afraid to take the ball to the rack.  Definitely a player to watch intently.

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  • Brian W

    Jalen sounds like a player to keep eye on for sure this summer. If does really well at the elite camp, things could get interesting….

    Kansas will be coming to Crisler Arena on Jan. 9, 2011.

    The junior college transfer that committed to Duke has changed his mind and will not sign with the Blue Devils. The article mentions that Amir Williams could be one of the targets to get more attention as a result.

    Louie Schaljo wants to walk on at Michigan for basketball.

  • waldo78

    Nice write up. I am intrigued by Jalen Reynolds. Local kid who is coming on strong. Could play the 4 and be a very good help side defender or be very long in the 1 – 3 – 1 zone defense. I think Amir Williams is a long shot (IMO) and Plumlee may not make the leap of faith up here so why not Jalen? It would be great to get a super big man but there are too many schools that need them and our past 10 years may prevent them for considering us seriously.

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  • Brian W

    Oops. That would be if Jalen does well at the elite camp, things could get interesting.

    Also, The Wolverine has something about Markus Crider planning U-M visits.

  • steve p.

    Ray Lee=impressive my favorite of the tournament, the dunk over reynolds was a classic.
    reynolds is a top talent. We need to be on him bigtime. I dont see us nailing Amir so this is the second best as they come.

  • fresh

    interesting to see that markus crider is planning additional visits yes visits meaning more than 1 to michigan ………..dont know exactly when or if rivals misprinted that but apparently he has scheduled some stuff……………..i would really like to see this kid produce on the aau circuit or else this recruitment is another head scratcher its a little early in the 2011 process to be narrowing in on kids that havent shown any valuable production on any level

  • Brian W

    I'm not sure if I've seen videos of Markus Crider here before, so I found these. Note if you go to YouTube, there's a video that's labeled Markus Crider for BlackandGold that's not him.

    Markus Crider is number 33 on the Wayne Warriors. Here's a video that has him in it. Around the 5 minute mark he has a couple of dunks. He hits a three at 6:27. He drives for a layup at 6:45. At 7:14 he does a crossover and drives.

    Another team video that has Crider in it. He does a dunks over a guy at 1:24. Has a put pack dunk at 2:10. Drives lefty for a layup at 2:24. Dunks over a guy at 2:39.

    Yet another team video. Crider has an acrobatic layup at 1:40. He nails a three at 2:14.

  • MusketRebellion

    “and hands the size of a small possum.”

    I love this, but what, exactly, does it mean?

  • SamGoBlue

    I'm pretty sure he's simply saying he has unusually large hands for a human being.

  • MusketRebellion

    Ahh, the “small possum” comparison threw me off.

  • t.time

    I seen video footage of Jalen Reynolds .

    I want to see film from Ray Lee and Denzel Valentine!! the 2012 stars

  • We are working on it. Some technical difficulties. I'll try to get some more video together.