Spiece Day Two: 2003's Best

FT. WAYNE, Ind. – There are good days and then there are great days in the gym. Saturday at the Spiece Run ‘n Slam was a great day. There was plenty of talent around and some fantastic performances. Here's a look at the top performers from the Class of 2003.

Spiece, Day Two

2003 Checklist:

Brian Butch, C, Fox Valley Skillz: It was one of the best performances of the spring and definitely the best 8 a.m. performance I've seen in a long time. Butch hit up the L.A. Rockfish for 38 points on 14-for-15 from the field and 8-9 from the line. He was a perfect 2-2 from 3-point range. Butch did all of this while being matched up against 7-0 Robert Swift. He was, in a word, awesome. Did we mention he had 10 rebounds and 5 blocks? Did we also mention that he scored 38, 32 and 28 points in his first three games?

Andrew Lavender and Brandon Foust, All-Ohio Red: The two combined for 52 points in a 21-point win over Portland Inner City. Lavender, the quickest point guard in the class, went off for 31 points. Unguardable off the drive and so smooth and calm running the show. Foust, on the other hand, was like a missile aimed at the basket. He had 21 points on an assortment of slashes and tip dunks. These guys got it done on Saturday.

Martin Iti, C, Colorado Express: Everyone seems to want to knock Iti but the fact of the matter is that he's a player. Now, age issue could be a valid one, but working off the assumption that he's 19 like he said he recently turned, the kid is very good. He's a big-time athlete with serious skills. Great shot blocker.

Kyle Visser, PF, Grand Rapids Storm: Admittedly, he wasn't very good on Friday night. That was Friday night. Saturday belonged to "Viss." The guy scored from everywhere. He faced up and made medium-range jumpers. He put it on the deck and got to the rim and completed a variety of post moves. And, Grand Rapids is still alive. Inside running mate Drew Naymick was good on Saturday, but Visser was on a mission. They'll need him on Sunday as Naymick will leave the event to attend a family event.

Thomas Gardner, SG, Inner City Players: Big-time athlete and scorer. He has plenty of moves and athleticism. He hit for over 20 against All-Ohio but it wasn't enough to offset Lavender and Foust.

Justin Cage, SF, No Excuses: He definitely fits the mold of point forward. He had 19 points and 8 rebounds in a loss to Grand Rapids. Can handle and pass really well for a 6-6 kid. Appears to have athleticism and savvy and gets on the glass.

Antoine Agudio, SG, Long Island Roadrunners: How a kid averages 24 a game and we hear little about him during the high school season is a little puzzling. However, Antoine is player. He surprised observers with his multiple scoring moves, shooting touch and passing ability. He actually looks like Jamison Brewer.

AROUND THE GYM – Lavender said that Oklahoma, a school that recently offered, is his leader. He and Foust would like to attend the same college and Lavender lists Seton Hal, Mississippi State, Texas and the Sooners. … Fox Valley Skillz big man Steve Hoelzel was battling a cold today. He'll be better by next week when he's set to visit Western Kentucky. … Inside sources say Cincinnati and Illinois are big time players with Richard McBride. Tennessee, UConn and Louisville are also in there. … On the down low, look for Arizona and Kansas to emerge as MAJOR players in the race to sign Brian Butch. … Word leaked out at Spiece Fieldhouse that sophomore James Hardy hit for 24 in one half at another venue. …


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