Notebook: Additional recruiting tidbits from Spiece

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vince-edwards[1]We’ve already covered Derrick Walton, Mark Donnal, Keita Bates-Diop, Tyler Wideman, Trevon Bluiett, Luke Kennard and others at the 2012 Hensley Memorial Run ‘n Slam last weekend – and we’ll have more highlights and features in the hours and days to come, but here’s a rundown of recruiting notes left over from our notebooks in Fort Wayne including Vincent Edwards, Trevor Manuel, Javon Bess, Eron Gordon and Brennan Gillis.

Vincent Edwards, a versatile 6-7 wing prospect from Franklin, Ohio, impressed early on at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run n’ Slam. His King James Shooting Stars team took on the REACH Legends late Friday night and Edwards notched 15 points in his team’s winning effort.

“I’m very versatile.  I can play anywhere the coach wants me to play,” Edwards said. He showed off that versatility early, picking up some tough points in the paint out of half-court sets as well as occasionally running the fast break. Edwards did a little bit of everything for King James, and his ability to spread the floor has attracted the attention of quite a few high major schools. Edwards has picked up offers from Dayton, Purdue, Xavier, and West Virginia, and is receiving interest from Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan.

Edwards said he has been talking with Michigan assistant coach Lavall Jordan, and that Jordan has communicated to him that he would most likely be a two guard in Michigan’s offense.

“From what they tell me, they want me to play the two at Michigan,” Edwards said. “So I’m working on my handles, getting quicker.”

The athletic Edwards is also receiving interest, especially from Purdue who has offered him in both sports, as a football prospect.

Javon Bess impresses alongside Edwards

Vincent Edwards’ King James Shooting Stars teammate Javon Bess has had an impressive spring thus far, as well. Against the REACH Legends, Bess notched 8 points and played the role of facilitator in the offense.

The 6-5 Bess was adept at exploiting mismatches, often shooting over smaller defenders while taking bigger defenders off the dribble for a drive-and-kick.

Bess is being recruited by most of the MAC, as well as Xavier, Duquesne, and Michigan, noting that he’ll be at Michigan’s College Practice Camp in June.

“I don’t really have a list yet,” Bess said, “But I really like Michigan, though.”

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Eron Gordon and Brennan Gillis provide 1-2 punch for Eric Gordon All-Stars

Eron Gordon hasn’t played a high school game but he’s already garnering big time interest. The younger brother of former Indiana standout Eric Gordon showed off his substantial talent while playing up with the 15U Eric Gordon All-Stars team at the Spiece Fieldhouse over the weekend.

He combined to create a dynamic duo with 2015 big man Brennan Gillis (right). The two players provided a nasty inside-out attack that left teams scrambling to keep up defensively.  Gordon has what is surely one of the quickest first steps of anyone in his class – maybe even the class above. He summed up his skills after a game against Team Work.

“I’m fast, athletic, I play good defense, I can shoot when I’m hot,” Gordon said. “And I’m a big-time player.”

Here’s video of Gordon in action from our friends at Inside the Hall:

Gordon, who is in the class of 2016, is already attracting big-time interest from all over. He listed Indiana, Purdue, Butler, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan as schools recruiting him. Indiana has already offered him a scholraship.

His teammate Brennan Gillis, a 2015 prospect, is 6-foot-7 and has a long frame that he already uses well. He gave teams fits inside but also showed off an ability to take slower big men to the rim.

Gillis is receiving attention from Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, and Purdue. He said academics ranks high on his list of requirements for a school.

“First thing’s academics.  You gotta have good academics,” Gillis said. “Hopefully the classes aren’t too big, so I can have more classes where it’s one-on-one.”

Gillis mentioned the new Player Development Center as something that attracts him to Michigan but has no plans as of now to visit.

Trevor Manuel impresses in limited minutes

Another 2015 prospect who showed what he could do at Spiece Fieldhouse was Trevor Manuel, a talented big who showed off his versatility over the weekend while playing with the 16U Meanstreets squad.

Manuel rebounded the ball well and although he didn’t score very effectively he showed he has the tools, already at 6-foot-8, to be a very intriguing prospect.

Other than an early offer from Eastern Michigan, Manuel has Michigan State and Indiana looking at him as well as assistant coach Lavall Jordan recruiting him for Michigan.

“[Lavall Jordan] told me to keep on doing what I’m doing because I’m doing a good job,” Manuel said. “And he’d like to see me in the Maize and Blue.”

Manual’s strong play this spring while playing up at the 16U level hasn’t gone unnoticed. The word out of Lansing was that Michigan State offered Manuel a scholarship on Wednesday morning:

  • Mac

    @Dylan Wasn’t caris levert supposed to make his decision yesterday?

    • Jaisdaddy1

      Yea was hoping to hear Le Vert was Blue yesterday… Any idea when he’s going to annouce?

    • Yesterday was supposed to be the day they wanted to get it done per his coach. As I wrote last night in the comments, seems like they are working through a couple things related to the release, paperwork, etc.

  • maxwells_demon

    Dylan – Probably the type of question you don’t like, but any guesses who we offer on June 15th or whenever it is we can offer?

    • We’ll get into it more in the days and weeks to come.

      A few are no close to no brainers I think… Devin Booker, Trevon Bluiett, Keita Bates-Diop, Drake Harris…

      We’ll have our first 2014 hot board soon though.

      • maxwells_demon

        Thanks

        • I also think camp in June will be used heavily as an evaluation tool again this year. There was a very impressive group in attendance last year and should be again this year.

          Does a kid like Sean Sellers get an offer? Tyler Wideman? Darius Austin on the SW Illinois Jets? A shooter like Peyton Allen? It will be very interesting beyond some of the big names.

          • GregGoBlue

            What are our biggest needs for the 2014 recruiting class, in your opinion?

      • MGoTweeter

        It will be very interesting to see who is offered. I love all three of Booker, Bluiett, Harris, and I think all should get an offer but if Levert does commit to Michigan as many expect, the front court is really where the focus should be. Obviously it all depends on what happens with the open spot/s for 2013, but in 2014 the roster should have Albrect, Walton, Hatch, Levert, Stauskas, and Irvin to play the 1 thru 3 spots (I am assuming Burke is gone before his senior year). But might only have Horford, Bielfeldt and Donnal for the 4 and 5 spots (Robinson and McGary are both talented enough to be gone before their junior years, but I would not be surprised if one or both were back).

        I expect they will add at least one 4 or 5 in 2013, and assuming no attrition beyond those guys with a chance at early entry to NBA, that puts them at 10 scholarships going into 2014. Just based on roster balance and nothing else, I would think you would want to add one wing and two bigs for 2014.

        Ofcourse all these numbers are very presumptuous and attrition is probably likely beyond the three mentioned, but I still think 4 and 5 are huge needs over the next two classes more so than any other position.

        • Colby84

          Great analysis, the frontcourt has to be a focus and they are going to need guys who can contribute right away so hoping the staff gets after some top players

        • SamGoBlue

          I agree for the most part. I think Bates-Diop is priority number one for a big. He’s about 6’8 right now I believe, but he has incredible length and a great skill set for a big man. Prototypical 4 in Beilein’s offense.

      • TKWolverine

        Personally, I would love to see Drake Harris come to UM as a football recruit (WR).

  • GoBlue in Orlando

    Not related to Spiece, but recruiting related. Any news on Caris Levert? I was hearing a decision was coming on Wednesday, and it never did. Have not heard anything on him since?