IPSAC Midwest Challenge

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The IPSAC Midwest Challenge featured much of the top talent from the state of Indiana. On full display was a pair of freshmen who have committed to Indiana University and some older prospects who will be making their presence felt in the Big Ten next season

Amir Williams, C, Country Day – The big man is definitely improving down low. He has very good hands, showed a desire to run the floor, and also rebounded in traffic very well. The next step for Williams is to try and finish assertively instead of being a finesse player around the rim. Too often he didn't go up strong. Still his defense was solid and he did a good job of making things difficult in the paint for Lew Wallace.

Branden Dawson, SF, Lew Wallace – Dawson simply did what he does. He ran the floor and was bigger, stronger, and more aggressive than everyone else on the floor when attacking the glass. Dawson even showed a better ability to handle the ball, especially in space when running the break. He didn't do anything outside of the paint, but Dawson played his role and was extremely productive despite his team taking a loss.

Jerrick Ware, PG, East Chicago Central – In a huge comeback win over Tech, Ware was a man possessed. The scoring point guard absolutely went off and took over the game. Despite shooting it quite a bit, seemingly none of the shots were forced and he absolutely had it working. Ware scored off the bounce in the lane, from the mid-range, and definitely from deep. He isn't very big or a great defender, but Ware flat out knows how to get buckets.

Evan Blackmon, SG, Bishop Luers – Overshadowed by his younger cousin, Blackmon was solid from the floor in getting his team the win. Blackmon finished with 22 points including an impressive athletic ally-oop dunk. Also he knocked in a few threes and as usual attacked the rim using his strength. He definitely needs to improve on defense and with his handle, but he has the strength and ability to score to be a mid-major contributor.

Willie Moore, PG, Aiken – Natural talent is quite simply not in question with Moore. He is 6-foot-3 with long arms, athleticism, and a unique ability to get to the rim or hit shots from deep. In fact Moore is one of the more creative finishers around. A natural righty, Moore can score on a lefty floater or a lefty scoop in the lane. The problem with Moore is for all his talent, he doesn't always bring it, and can be very lax on the defensive end. When properly focused he can be a very difficult player to contain.

Jeremy Hollowell, SF, Lawrence Central – It was a typical Hollowell game. The ability to knock in the three, rebounding, scoring off the dribble, and athletic plays were all on display. In fact Hollowell scored 13 points in the first quarter of the game and 19 in the first half total. The problem was after halftime Hollowell simply was a non-factor. He wasn't nearly the same player and at times disappeared from the action. The natural ability is most definitely there, and he did finish with an impressive 23 points, but a more focused second half could have meant one of those game changing 40 point performances.

DeJuan Marrero, PF, Bowman Academy – Marrero can only be described as a warrior on the floor. Not the most skilled player, Marrero plays with a ridiculously high motor. He rebounds very well despite being undersized, and is improving his skill game. Marrero did knock in a pair of threes, but that is still not his game, as most of his damage is off of offensive rebounds or garbage buckets. Also Marrero showed off the ability to pass the ball out of the post and in transition for easy buckets.

Tyler Corley, PG, Lawrence Central – A bowling ball going to the rim, Corley did some good things in this one. He scored mostly in the paint by attacking and using his strength to discard his defender on drives. Also he is a solid defender and someone who does go out of his way to set up teammates. For a mid-level guard he can certainly be productive as a floor general given his play.

Darryl Baker, PG, Jeffersonville – After missing last high school season with a leg injury Baker is back. He played solid in a big win over Bowman Academy. Right now Baker always tries to score with his right hand, and that causes his shot to get blocked down low at times, but he is very tough and athletic around the rim. Also Baker sets up teammates and is a decent shooter out to the mid-range. The next step will be to add three point range, and to improve as a true floor general.

Austin Price, SG, Country Day – A long and lean shooter, Price had it working from deep. He has range that extends well beyond the three point line and a quick release to help him get his shot off. Price needs to add an off the bounce game, but as a long athlete he has an excellent ability to make shots.

Trey Lyles, PF, Tech – The Indiana commitment more than lived up to his reputation. Though he isn't a great athlete, Lyles just knows how to get things done. At 6-foot-7 he can score from the mid-range or around the rim and really works hard to corral rebounds. Also his hands are like vice grips and is fundamental once he catches the ball. Attacking the rim right now for Lyles means he is going right, but the lefty drives should come with more experience. No doubt he projects as a very high level recruit.

Justin Baker, PG, Northwest – One of the talented freshmen in the city, Baker is a point guard who can score or make plays for others. He needs to get stronger for sure, and is small, but he knows how to play. Baker could definitely use time repping his jump shot, but off the dribble he is tough to contain with his quickness and ability to change speeds.

Michael   Jones, SG, Northwest – Jones aces the look test with flying colors when he walks out on the floor. He is a long armed athlete who has the ability to do some things. Jones was quiet from the field, though he did add up some points late on garbage buckets and free throws, but the effective field goals were limited. Still with his athleticism, and skill with his handle, Jones projects as a very coveted recruit.

James Blackmon, SG, Luers – No player on a basketball floor can look quite as bad as a shooter who isn't making shots, and then no player can look better than a shooter who is making shots. Blackmon was both of those players all in one game. In the first half Blackmon couldn't get anything going while in the second half he couldn't miss. Right now he is simply a standstill three point jumper shooter, and he will clearly need to diversify his game going forward, but the release is pure and he definitely has an ability to stretch a defense.

Tyonte Robertson, PG, Aiken – Robertson is a talented freshman who is finding his game at the moment. He knocked in a deep jumper and then scored going to the rim off a drive. Also Robertson was willing to pass in the half court and took control of his team in a tight game. Still clearly a work in progress, Robertson showed some good potential going forward.

DeJuan Marrero has yet to cut his list and is considering interest from Memphis, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Miami, Xavier, and Dayton.

Darryl Baker mentioned interest from Indiana, Purdue, Xavier, Louisville, and Butler. He will visit Louisville next week.

Willie Moore has offers from Kent State, Akron, Miami-Ohio, Ohio University, and James Madison. Also he has interest from Wisconsin, Xavier, Louisville, and Cleveland State.

No head coaches were spotted, but assistants from Purdue, IPFW, Iowa State, Indiana State, and Morehead State were all in the gym.


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