Hensley Memorial: Day 1 Rundown

FT. WAYNE, Ind. – It wasn't easy for Josh Smith to get to the Midwest for the Hensley Memorial. After flying from Seattle to Detroit, then to Indy and driving to Ft. Wayne, Smith still managed to get a nap and stay on top of his game. Smith was the star of the show Friday night.

Josh Smith, C, Seattle Rotary: This was the performance that needed to happen. At his size, it's nearly impossible for him to go out and play to his reputation every game each weekend. However, when the stakes are high as they were against Spiece, it's time to bring it. Smith was outstanding and he was a handful of bunnies away from 40 points. The center finished with 32 points and at least 15 rebounds. He blocked shots in his area and prevented DeShaun Thomas from scoring in the paint. This was the kind of performance that is required of Top 5 recruits.

DeShuan Thomas, PF, Spiece: Against Rotary he netted 31 points (9-for-24 from the field). Thomas was caught in a quandary. His shot wasn't falling but someone had to score points and he set about trying to do that. Smith road blocked most paths going to the rim. He'll need to add the mid-range element and expand his post repertoire.

Isaiah Sykes, SF, Mich. Hurricanes: Our first time seeing him revealed a strong wing that can handle and plays in attack mode. Sykes wants to get to the rim and is a good slasher. Didn't see him attempt many jumpers but he'll drive it with purpose and is alert at the rim. He's sitting on the mid-to-high scholarship line depending on how much skill he can bring. A player who would thrive in an up-tempo, attacking style where his versatility with the ball could be accentuated.

Rob Brandenberg, SG, Mustang Ballers: He's only played a year of varsity ball so there's room to grow. His quickness and ability to get his shot are good. Like his quicks and confidence. He's a solid mid-major guard.

Marshall Plumlee, PF, Ind. Elite One: The third Plumlee is progressing at his own rate and doing so nicely. With Marshall, you watch for the glimpses. Once the strength comes, everything should fall neatly into place. Loved the hook and the roll finish at the rim. This kid hedges and recovers on defense and is the most enthusiastic, talkative big kid in his class.

Tony Wroten vs. Marquis Teague: This one didn't exactly go down as planned. Teague was late arriving and missed the entire first half. Meanwhile, Wroten's passing (six first half assists) helped Seattle Rotary race out to an insurmountable lead. Though his shot wasn't falling, Wroten turned himself into a dynamic passer (just as he was at adidas Nations). Teague showed glimpses but the matchup, outside of a few glares and words being exchanged late, never materialized.

Kendall Marshall's flight was delayed so he wasn't part of Boo's easy win over CBIZ. …

One of the best plays of the night was Wroten meeting Thomas at the rim and sending it back. Two things: Wroten is fearless and Thomas has an explosive burst around the cup. … Indiana commit Matt Carlino wore a protective mask and didn't look comfortable with the equipment. … Jordan Manuel has work to do on his body but his jumper is coming along. He connected on a bunch of threes. … Speaking of 3s, we didn't dedicate a ton of time to watching Boo Williams but each time we looked over Andre Dawkins was smoking a trifecta. …

Teronne Johnson is playing on a bad knee. He's a probing style lead guard with a Big Ten body. … Illinois Wolves point guard Wayne Simon could be a mid-level guy by summer's end. He's a sub-six-footer with long arms and an intense point guard approach. … We caught a few Evan Anderson highlights out of the corner of the eye. Liked the half hook and the follow dunk in traffic. … Josh Humphrey, a 2010 small forward, has the same mannerisms of his brother Matt, a freshman at Oregon. …

Josh Smith felt good about his Friday performance and so should the schools recruiting him. UCLA and Washington are the strongest of the Pac-10 pursuers. Texas, Ohio State, Duke, UNC, Louisville, Georgetown and UConn were mentioned. … Sykes hears from Tennessee, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Michigan. … Brandenberg has an offer from Wright State and interest from Akron, Kent State, Miami-OH, Liberty, Butler and Cleveland State. … Manuel lists Louisville, Dayton and Cincinnati. …


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