2013 point guard Derrick Walton
I was only able to stay at the King James Classic through pool play, and was victim to a couple of no-shows, so I spent the majority of my time focusing on a couple 2013 prospects from the state of Michigan. Full scouting reports of that group, including Derrick Walton, Steve Haney Jr., Monte Morris, Denzel Watts and Leo Edwards, after the jump. We will also have some videos posted later today.
Derrick Walton – 2013, PG, 5-foot-11, Michigan Mustangs
Walton played a tremendous floor game. He is extremely quick but does a great job of playing under control. He’s a pass-first guard that thrived pushing the ball in transition but also found his teammates in the half court offense. The Mustangs have some great shooters and Walton did a great job of driving the lane and kicking the ball to the wing. Walton also showed tremendous toughness. He’s been battling a knee injury all spring and took several hard shots and falls during the game. He had a noticeable limp but managed to tough it out and lead the Mustangs to a close win over a talented NY Gauchos squad to win their pool.
His biggest weakness is his size and it hindered him from finishing around the basket several times. He showed a great mid-range jump shot but was unable to find his range from beyond the arc. Three point shooting is extremely important for small guards, and it’s an area he’ll have to continue to work on.
John Beilein and Tom Izzo were in to watch Walton workout last week and he lists Michigan, Michigan State, Connecticut, Purdue and Notre Dame as the main schools recruiting him. As for Michigan, Walton told me that the Michigan staff tells him that they “really like his game” and he thinks that “an offer is coming soon”.
Steven Haney Jr. – 2013, Wing, 6-foot-6, Michigan Mustangs
Haney is a long and lanky wing guard that’s known for his shooting ability. Unfortunately he hurt his ankle in the first half of the 8 a.m. game on Saturday morning. He started the day cold but did hit a couple threes, including a half time buzzer beater while trying to play hurt.
I’d obviously like to see more of Haney before rushing to any judgments but he told me he’s making it a point of emphasis to be more aggressive in driving the basket, citing Beilein comparing his potential role in the offense to Tim Hardaway Jr.’s role on the current team. He’s probably just an average to above average athlete but his length helps make up in that regard.
Haney listed Michigan, Michigan State, Harvard, Illinois and Nebraska and mentioned that Michigan (Beilein and Laval Jordan), Penn State and Central Michigan were all in to watch him work out during the live period last week. He’s working on scheduling visits to Michigan and Harvard.
Monte Morris – 2013, PG, 6-foot-2, Team Detroit
I only caught Team Detroit for one game and it was a blowout that featured a running clock and long rests on the bench for the starters. That limited my opportunity to get a great feel on Monte Morris, Denzel Watts and Leo Edwards so we’ll have to settle for the basics.
Walton is quick but Monte Morris is probably even faster. He also has a great handle and is a very willing passer, although he probably doesn’t have quite the vision that Walton demonstrated. He’s skinny but is longer and probably an inch or two taller than Walton. He showed the ability to get to just about any spot on the court that he wanted and looked like he pretty clearly had another gear if need be. He didn’t shoot the ball much but hit a long jumper or two as well.
Denzel Watts – 2013, PG, 6-foot-1, Team Detroit
Walton and Morris are more cat-quick point guards but Watts is a power guard. He has a significantly stronger build and uses it on both ends of the court. Watts can power his way to the hoop and also knocked down a three point jumper. He attacks the basket offensively and also got out and pushed the ball in transition. He was also active defensively notching a couple of steals and blocks on the defensive end.
Leo Edwards – 2013, Big, 6-foot-9, Team Detroit
Edwards is long and athletic and opened the game with his best play that I saw, a nice elbow jumper while getting fouled. He was active defensively, blocking several shots, but really didn’t play long enough to get into any sort of offensive rhythm. There’s a lot to like about Edwards and, as is always important with bigs, his development seems to be moving in the right direction.
This and That: Trey Burke was on hand Friday night supporting his former AAU team, All-Ohio Red, in their rivalry game versus Ohio Basketball Club. Speaking with Trey and his father, it’s very clear that he’s putting in the hard work this spring necessary to prepare for next season. Burke plans to make an impact on next year’s squad, regardless of Darius Morris’s decision, and is doing everything within his power to make that happen.