Spiece Run-n-Slam Recap: Michigan Players

5 May

Gym-Rats-LogoThe Spiece Run-n-Slam All-Star Classic in Fort Wayne, Indiana is traditionally one of the premier tournaments of the Grassroots Spring Circuit.  And while the field was loaded with talent from several states around the country, Michigan players held their own and came away with a solid week of production.


Day One

The Michigan Mustangs 15u- Allison team fell short in their opening pool play game to King James Shooting Stars by one point, but the Mustangs would not have been in the game at all if it was not for the play of 6’6″ 220 pound forward Xavier Tillman.  Tillman ignited the Mustang comeback with his high energy style of play when his team trailed by double digits throughout most of the second half.  At such a young age, Tillman has a skill set most forwards for his grade don’t have.  He has a variety of low post moves he can use on the block, crashes the boards looking for put backs at will, competes on both sides of the floor, and has the strength to finish through contact.  To go along with his stellar athleticism, Xavier also has a high IQ for the game.  He’s a good passer for his size, and runs the break well getting to his spot before the defense can find him.  Xavier so far has heard from a variety of Big Ten and regional mid-major schools.

Day Two

The Family 16u have themselves a stellar freshman in Saginaw Arthur Hill wing Brian Bowen.  The versatile long and lanky 6’6″ Bowen made a statement throughout the weekend as to why he is one of the top players in the 2017 class nationally.  Brian’s best games came on day two with 25 and 19 point performances.  Bowen had his whole offensive game going.  He isn’t going to overpower defenders or out-quick them yet, however, he does a nice job of picking his spots with aggressiveness and using his length to finish around the rim, and even ran the point guard a little bit and getting others involved.  Bowen also showed some skill on the perimeter, knocking down a couple threes on the day, and finishing some contested mid-range shots.  On defense, Brian has the potential to be an lockdown defender, with the ability to guard smaller guards or wings.  He currently holds 5+ division one offers.

One year of prep school has done wonders for The Family 17u guard/wing 6’7″ A.J. Tuner.  Before Turner left for New Hampton Prep, A.J. was primarily a point guard for Warren De La Salle.  While he still has the ability to handle the ball and create plays off the bounce, it has been his shooting that has improved leaps and bounds.  In a critical pool game vs. Mac Irvin, Turner turned in a 30 point (5 3’s) 13 rebound performance leading his team to a narrow one point victory.  He’s has been playing with an increased toughness since he was in a Michigan high school, and is not afraid and go get physical with taller opponents down low for rebounds.  A.J. has a total of double digit division one offers, and even more are on the horizon.

Michigan State verbal commit Deyonta Davis has been playing with Spiece Indy Heat of the Nike EYBL so far this AAU circuit.  Fresh off a Class A Championship, the 6’8″ Davis has only improved upon his game since the high school season.  Deyonta has proved it is going to be a given that he’s going to rebound at a high level and defend the rim with the best of them, however, Davis has now added a perimeter game to his arsenal.  He throughout the day made face-up mid-range jumpers (10-15 ft) and even hit a three here and there.  Deyonta is still developing as a complete player, an upside that has led some to believe he is the next Adreian Payne of MSU.

Day Three

The Family 16u have themselves a quality power forward/center in Saginaw High’s Algevon Eichelberger.  Al might be a tweaner at this point of his career, 6’7″, but for this age group he was a dominant force in the paint.  His best game was a 22 point nine rebound game in a loss to King James Shooting Stars in the gold semi’s.  Eichelberger knows how to use his wide body, and footwork to get position down low giving his guards passing lanes when he seals defenders, and using his soft hands to catch the ball and finish.  He has a few nice back to the basket moves, and throughout the day was getting to the free-throw line, and knocking them down with a nice stroke.  On defense, Al plays physical low post defense and challenges just about every shot he around without fouling.  He’s a good athlete, and has pulled in a few mid-major offers as of now.

Michigan Mustangs 15u- Allison came with the silver division championship, knocking off the Chicago Demons 69-39.  6’1″ guard Matt Beachler had 21 point, including five threes, with three coming within the first 8 minutes of the game.  He’s a spot up shooter with a quick release and solid mechanics.  Matt also has some quickness and athleticism in his game as well, making some nice moves and cuts to the basket in transition.

Other Standouts

The Family 16u received a nice addition from 6’7″ Oak Park forward Kelvon Fuller.  Fuller brings size, versatility, athleticism, and length to a primarily guard oriented team.  Fuller can score the ball a little bit on offense, but made his presence felt on defense.  He defends the post well, and blocked shots throughout the tournament from both the weak and strong sides.  On some, he was clearly beaten to the hole, but with his long arms and agility, he was able to recover and defend the rim.

Continuing on the theme of The Family, the 15u team has a name to remember for the future is 6’0″ point guard David Dejulius.  Still in eighth grade and undecided on a high school he wishes to attend, David has a unique skill set for still being in middle school.  He can create his own shot on offense in a variety of ways, either from the perimeter, or stopping in the lane or wing for a pull up jump shot.  He showed he is comfortable either playing off the ball, or running the point and getting his teammates involved.  As he continues develop his strength and grow, David will only continue to cause opposing players more stress.

Michigan Mustangs 16u- Carson have a plethora of talent, and often lost is 6’2″guard Gage Kreski.  Kreski currently has an offer from Lake Superior State, and will only gain more offers as the Spring and Summer progresses.  He has a high IQ for the game, takes pride in his defense, and is effective with his length and quick feet at the top of the Mustangs 2-3 zone.  His jump shot has come a long way since the last AAU season, but his bread-and-butter is attacking off the bounce and finishing at the rim athletically.




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