Tag Archives: Spiece

Final Standouts From Fort Wayne

29 Jul

Cassius Winston 6’0″ point guard 17u The Family-

After an uncharacteristic Winston-esque performance throughout the tournament, Cassius saved his best for Sunday; 35 total points in the championship game.  It was too much Cassius for the Spiece Indy Heat and Florida State bound guard C.J. Walker to handle, as Winston was at the center of a Family second-half charge which put the Spiece team down.  Whatever Winston wanted he got, mid-range pull-ups, threes off the bounce, attacking the basket, Cassius could not be stopped.

Amauri Hardy 6’2″ off-guard 17u The Family- 

Big weekend for Amauri Hardy, who has played up one age level since April.  When Hardy keeps his game simple, he can be as good as any guard in Michigan’s ’17 class and the midwest.  When Amauri gets you on his hip, with a full-burst of speed going left, good luck.  Because he is going to finish strong at the basket and live at the free-throw line if he doesn’t.  When he rebounds the ball at a high-level which he did, Hardy was a one man fast-break repeatedly.  Already with a college level body and frame, if Hardy continues to work on his right hand a little more and finds a reliable perimeter jumper, Amauri will have a big season for Southfield.

Tre Harvey 5’10” off-guard 15u Michigan Warriors-

Harvey put on a show in each Warrior game on championship Sunday, raining in three after three in the two games.  His highest scoring game was 25, and multiple three-pointers in the process.  Tre’s form is a bit of wind-up and unorthodox, but the end result cannot be argued when he was left open.  Harvey is a guard that will be gradually progressed through the ranks this upcoming varsity season at West Bloomfield on both ends.  And next Spring/Summer Tre will shine.

Kaevon Merriweather 6’1″ point guard 16u Michigan Warriors-

Physically does not look like a freshman.  Broad shoulders, power athlete, and fast, Merriweather is the next guard up at Romulus.  His best attribute right now is as a disrupter on defense.  He comes away with steals, tips, and deflections because he understands how to react against screens and picks, which become easy offense.  He’s still developing into a pure point guard and passer with reads and vision, but did show signs of growth in Fort Wayne.

GRBA Nationals Day Two Recap

25 Jul

Sean Cobb 6’6″ forward 15u Michigan Mustangs-Haney-

Cobb is buckets and rebounds; there has been no viewing this year where he has not had at least a double-double.  Cobb is versatile and offensively skilled, he can shoot a bit up to 18 feet, but scores most of his points in the paint; where he displays soft balance and touch with either hand and the ability to go over either shoulder if in the post.  There is this sense of smoothness and ease with everything Cobb does, his footwork is stellar, already has a nice build, and is unselfish with the ball.  In a close AM loss, his team scored a mere 30 points, and Cobb had to at least have 20.

Jaron Faulds 6’10” forward The Family-

Jaron has pulled double-duty so far at the 2015 GRBA Nationals, playing with both The Family 16 and 17u.  It really doesn’t matter what age he’s been at, Faulds has been producing in-front of state powers Michigan and Michigan State.  He routinely has been the best big on the floor, rebounding everything in the paint due to his freakish length, and willingness to battle.  Faulds seals and gets excellent position on offense for his guards to get him the ball, make a power-move and finish, but his jump hooks with either shoulder have been money thus far.

Andy Milikan 5’11” guard 15u Judges Court-

Milikan had one of two 41 point performances by 2018 guards from Michigan on the day.  To be fair, the viewing I saw was not the 41 point performance; but it comes as no surprise for a player with the skill level as him.  A true combo guard that can score or run the show, Milikan is one of the few players on his team that has played varsity competition before, and it shows.  He is never stagnant offensively or defensively.  Coaches would love to watch the way he understands defensive rotations when he jumps and recovers to cut driving opportunities to the basket.  In addition to his defensive ability, Andy is also a knockdown shooter.  He has great footwork, form, range, and consistency.  Just one of those players you want on your team.

Brandon Wade 5’11” point guard 15u Michigan Gators-

The other 41 point performance on Friday was by Brandon.  Him and backcourt friend Jack Ammerman combined for 65 of the Gators’ 71 points.  Although he concluded the game with six threes, in the first half, he got into a rhythm by attacking the basket due to superior strength than any of the Mustang-Vallar guards.  He then expanded his range in the second-half and had four trifectas in the second.  If his perimeter jumper comes constant and opponents have to respect that aspect of his game, there will be few that will be able to totally stop him.

Jack Ammerman 5’9″ shooting guard 15u Michigan Gators-

Jack is the perfect complement to a guard with Brandon’s skill-set.  When Brandon drives to the basket, and the help comes, he can kick out to Jack; splash.  For one good stretch late in the second-half Jack would not miss.  However, he’s not solely a three-point specialist, he has a nice mid-range game and pull-up if the three isn’t there.

Amauri Hardy 6’3″ guard 17u The Family-

When Amauri keeps it simple, he is good as any guard in the class of 2017.  He has such a strong build and frame for an off-scoring guard that allows him to take hits and bounce right-back up off the floor.  Hardy was right there to lead the team when consensus top 30 point guard prospect Cassius Winston had an uncharacteristic, by his normal standards, game against Spiece Indy Heat.  Hardy led the way with 21, and a nice amount of rebounds as well.

Other standouts:

Lamar Norman 6’0″ off-guard 15u Michigan Mustangs-Vallar- 

Didn’t come up with this comparison, but the more Norman plays, the more he is reminiscent of a Monte Ellis.  Quick, explosive, and streaky.  He can get into zones from the perimeter where he just doesn’t miss; and his transition slashing ability is another strength for him.  Still, would like to see him become a consistent option in the half-court when the games slows down.

P.J. Mitchell 5’10” point guard 15u The Family-

Mitchell didn’t just shoot the ball well on Friday, he has so throughout the tournament.  When he gets his feet square and raises, he can become automatic with a quick release.  A natural-born leader on both ends of the floor, P.J. can run either a transition style or half-court offense effectively as a pass first guard.  Quick enough to get into the lane, but at this point looks more like a creator than scorer amongst larger defenders.  Pairs well with Julian Dozier to give The Family a deadly one-two punch.

Julian Dozier 5’9″ point 15u The Family-

In addition to Mitchell’s 20 points in a victory against the Illinois Wolves, Dozier was right there next to him; Mitchell and Dozier concluded the contest with a combined eight threes.  Dozier however has those awkward in-between/flip shots down pat where he attempts to avoid shot-blockers.  Dozier wants to make the right decisions on offense, although some of his passes were just a tad late that resulted in turnovers.  He should develop some seasoning over the high school season where those once turnovers will become dimes.

Zeale McCullough 6’5″ forward 17u Triple-Threat-

Quiet and goes about his business.  McCullough isn’t the first, second, or third option on his team, but somehow and way produces.  He plays with a good feel for a forward whose guards like to score the ball more than create.  McCullough has some range to his game; one 25 footer stands out the most.  An overall plus athlete and leaper, Zeale has mastered the lost art of boxing out, and two-hand rebounding.  He’s solid for the first rotation on defense.  He is however far from a finished product.



Spiece GRBA Nationals Opening Night Recap

24 Jul

It’s not the Spiece Run-n-Slam, but the GRBA Nationals held at the legendary Spiece Fieldhouse is a plus event for Michigan teams to end the grassroots circuit.  Michigan teams went a combined 15-11 on opening night.

Goliath Mitchell 5’10” point guard Mustangs-Faletti 15u-

On a team with as much individual talent as the Mustangs, Goliath is often overlooked and undervalued.  He comes off the bench, but gives his team starters caliber minutes and production.  A pure point guard by nature, Goliath is pass-first, and likes to get everybody involved.  He made some nice 15-20 foot jumpers in the first-half to get his team going, then dished it out in the second.  He’s also a plus defender, with quick feet and awareness.  He checked the opposing team’s best player that was lighting the Mustangs up for three after three in the first half.  Once Goliath started guarding him, lets just say he only made one three-pointer after.

Zavon Godwin 6’5″ wing Mustangs-Faletti 15u-

Godwin was forced to play more of a four and even a five position on an undersized Mustang roster.  He didn’t pout, and produced double-digit points.  The Mustangs placed him at the free-throw line where he was able to catch, face, and display strong body control to finish with his right hand with defenders draped all around him.  Then in the second half, he showed his perimeter skills burying two threes in less than three minutes.  If he is going to defend the paint, post defense will have to improve with technique and strength.

Jaron Faulds 6’10” forward The Family 16u-

Can’t teach 6’10.”  Faulds dominated MBA Select for an easy double-double in a blowout victory for The Family.  Jaron boxes-out and uses length to get to every rebound in his area.  On offense, he seals his man with his giant frame, then can shoot hook shots with both hands after receiving the entry pass due to soft hands, and a huge catch radius.  A Michigan assistant viewed one half.

Alec Anderson 6’3″ guard Common Bond 16u-

Anderson is one of those players that doesn’t do one thing exceptionally well, he’s an overall strong player a team can do a lot with.  He sets screens on offense, rebounds, blocks shots, plays defense, and is a plus athlete; a true stat-sheet stuffer.  Down the stretch in a tight game for his team, Anderson made tough drive after tough drive to the basket giving Common Bond the edge in an opening night victory.

Muskegon 2015 Wing Joeviair Kennedy Talks First Offer From NIU

31 Jul

2014 Nike EYBL. Session #2. Dallas.A player’s first offer is always special, especially when it doesn’t come until right before senior year stars.  Muskegon rising class of 2015 6’3″ wing Joeviair Kennedy was a integral part of the Big Red 2013-2014 Class A state championship season, and now the southpaw star has an offer from Northern Illinois to show for his hard work.

“It feels great,” Kennedy had to say, “at a time it felt like I wouldn’t get offered by them or anybody, so it feels really good to know all the hard word payed off.”

Kennedy started to stand out in the eyes of college coaches during the Spring and Summer portion of AAU, competing for Spiece Indy Heat in the highly prestigious Nike EYBL grassroots circuit.  Gaining interest from schools such as Central Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee State, and U of D Mercy.

“It was fun playing in the EYBL because there was a lot of competition, and getting to play guys that are just as good and athletic (as me).”

Joeviair has great size for the wing position in college, he notes slashing to the basket is his greatest strength, but in order to get to the basket, he had to improve his ball-handling over the Summer.  Also an adequate perimeter defender, Kennedy said he takes pride in locking down both guards and wings.

A wide receiver on the Big Red football team, Kennedy was also fortunate enough to receive an offer from Ferris State (MI) on the grid-iron.  He is undecided on which sport he will participate in college, but is leaving the door open for a chance to play both one day if the situation is possible.

Joeviair noted Lou Dawkins, a championship winning head coach at Saginaw High School, is the lead recruiter for the Huskies in the hopes of landing Kennedy.  He visited NIU last fall, but for now, Joeviair will focus on the upcoming football campaign for the Big Reds, and plans on making a return to DeKalb in the fall.


Spiece GRBA National’s Day 3 Notes

28 Jul

A few standouts before championship Sunday at GRBA Nationals in Fort Wayne Indiana.

Deshaun Thrower ACB Bankhoops 5’11” 190 lbs PG- Most now him for being a quarterback for the state-finalist Muskegon Big Red football team, but many do not know that he has talents on the court.  When it comes to hoops, he brings out his football toughness and skills as an advantage.  He can lower his shoulder, and use his explosive quickness to get around weaker defenders and get into the lane.  Another area I like of Thrower’s is his pull-up game, whether it be from three point land or mid-range he needs to be accounted for when coming down in transition.  Plays hard on both sides of the ball and is one of Michigan’s underrated point guard prospects in the class of 2014.

Bronson Kessinger Spiece Indy Heat 2015 6’7″ 180 lbs SF/PF-  Bronson is simply put an explosive athlete.  Playing against a 17U team in tournament play, Kessinger went up and brought the entire court down with a one handed power slam over a defender.  He played hard at both ends of the court, rebounding and playing down low in the post.  Could turn into a nice pick-and-pop wing with a improving jumper.  Has a majority of low to mid-major interest, but that can and will change by the time high school season comes along.

Xavier Simpson King James Shooting Stars 15u 5’9″ PG- Simpson played with his fellow King James Shooting Stars against a 16u team in Platinum play and was not phased at all playing older opponents.  Many young guards would be scared to run the ball on the break against older and bigger guards, but not Simpson.  Xavier always pushed the ball when he had the opportunity either creating for himself or his teammates.  In the second half when Nashville decided to go zone, Simpson quickly spotted the adjustment and was making picture perfect dimes.  But what stood out to me more was the fact that he plays bigger than his size would indicate.  Not afraid to take and make big shots.  Plays with heart.

Henry Baddley King James Shooting Stars 15u 6’3″ Wing-  Another member of King James’ deep class of 2016.  Baddely is a long athletic wing that excels in space and getting to the basket.  Has nice bounce and athleticism on put backs and lay ins.  It will be scary to see the day when his jump shot matches his driving abilities.

Mahir “Baby Earl” Williams Young and Reckless 15u 5’10” PG- Although Mahir has not played in a high school game yet, the future Proviso East Pirate has the savy and poise to one day blossom into a star.  In one game against the heavily favored Illinois Wolves 15u, Williams put the team on his back scoring a game high 19 points leading Young and Reckless to the victory.  Mahir played defense that resulted in a few easy run out opportunities, scored in a variety of ways, and rarely made a bad decision when it came to passing.  He is a rare willing passer these days when it comes to point guards.  With a some growth and weight gain, he could be a very well known prospect in a few years.

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