The Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis is one of the premiere AAU events of the July live evaluation period. The event not only features most of the best Adidas-funded AAU clubs in the country, it also features a number of primary Michigan targets. Several U-M targets got off to a slow start on Wednesday but bounced back to put together huge days on Thursday. UMHoops was on hand for to watch Derrick Walton, Zak Irvin, Demetrius Jackson and others.
Derrick Walton, Michigan Mustangs, 2013 - After struggling in a Wednesday pool game vs. Martin’s Wolverines, Walton was outstanding in a loss to Spiece Indy Heat 16u on Thursday, scoring 35 points and showing off a well-rounded game in the process. Not only did the 5-11 Walton shoot the ball well, but he also did a great job of attacking the basket off the bounce to score as well as draw contact. The 2013 Michigan target displayed a reliable free throw stroke and was able to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities at the line. When attacking off the dribble, Walton also did a nice job of seeing openings and finding teammates for baskets. Walton does not have a Michigan State offer at this point, but most expect that one will be coming, perhaps in August.
Zak Irvin, Eric Gordon All-Stars 16u, 2013- Irvin made possibly the play of the day by knocking down a 3-pointer as time expired to give his Eric Gordon team a 73-72 win in double overtime over Houston Select. Irvin put on an impressive performance for a large group of college coaches, including Michigan’s John Beilein and Lavall Jordan. The 6-6 wing was hitting shots consistently throughout the contest, knocking them down off the bounce as well as off the catch on his way to a 21 point performance. Irvin displayed a great level of confidence, demanding the ball and attacking the defense with the intent to score in clutch situations. The 2013 Michigan target was also solid on the other end of the floor, creating several turnovers with his impressive length and defensive instincts.
Demetrius Jackson, MBA Select 2013- UM Hoops was in attendance as Jackson scored 21 points in a 67-65 loss to Team Southern Indiana 2013 on Wednesday afternoon. The 6’0 point guard was being watched by Xavier’s Chris Mack, Illinois’ Bruce Weber, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and assistants from Indiana and Notre Dame. Jackson is outstanding attacking the rim, using a great blend of strength, quickness and ball handling to get to into the lane nearly whenever he wants. He has the strength and body control to finish through contact in the paint, also earning frequent trips to the foul line in the process. Jackson is underrated as a passer, able to find teammates for open looks while attacking off the bounce.
V.J. Beachem, 2013, Eric Gordon All-Stars 16u- Beachem displayed consistency throughout pool play, showing off the versatility that makes him such a highly regarded prospect. The 6-7 wing was watched closely by coaches from Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Butler, Michigan State and more schools on Wednesday and Thursday. Beachem was aggressive when attacking the rim, looking to draw contact and finishing with either hand around the basket. He also was reliable from the 3-point line, keeping defenders honest and knocking down the perimeter jump shot when open. Beachem hit the glass hard, rebounding and taking advantage of second chance opportunities on the offensive end.
Trevon Bluiett, 2014, Spiece Indy Heat 16u- Bluiett scored the ball extremely well in the two games we saw, posting outings of 29 and 28 points respectively. What makes the 6-5 wing so effective is his ability to maximize what the defense is giving him at the time. Bluiett can knock down the 3-point shot off the bounce or catch, score second chance points using the offensive glass or get by his man off the dribble and score at the rim. His biggest room for improvement is on the defensive end, an area where Bluiett himself noted he’d like to improve. Purdue, Indiana, Michigan,Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Florida, Texas and Xavier are among some of the teams recruiting the 2014 prospect and he plans to visit Butler next week.
Tyler Wideman, 2014, Meanstreets- Wideman brings a strong, physical presence to games each time he steps on the floor. The 6-7 big man did a great job cleaning up the glass, contesting shots on defense and finishing around the rim in traffic. Wideman also showed the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper, making it harder for defenders to match up with him. The sophomore was watched closely by Michigan coaches John Beilein and Lavall Jordan during a Thursday afternoon pool game.
Drake Harris, 2014, Meanstreets- Harris, a 6’2 guard, brings a great combination of athleticism and scoring to the floor. He plays a well-rounded game offensively, able to get to the rim and score or light defenses up from the mid-range and perimeter. Harris’ explosiveness separates him from other players his age, giving him the ability to finish above the rim and block shots and rebound well for his position. He’s very crafty with the ball and is able to weave himself around opponents to get to the rim where he can score or draw the foul. Harris was watched by a number of coaches on Thursday, including Michigan’s John Beilien and Lavall Jordan. Harris picked up a Michigan State offer yesterday and the Spartans will be hard to beat for his services.