adidas May Classic: Spiece Wins It All!

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One guy was missing and another got hurt, but somehow the Spiece Indy Heat still won the adidas May Classic championship by 20 points. One of the deepest teams in the country was led by one of the best point guards in the game, Mike Conley.

The Spiece Indy Heat didn't have their horse but they did have their jockey. Playing a weekend without Greg Oden and weathering two key members going to the prom on Saturday night didn't faze this resilient bunch of all-stars. Point guard Mike Conley once again directed traffic in the championship game.

Spiece throttled Indiana Elite 71-51 to capture the championship at the adidas May Classic. "Daequan [Cook] carried us in the Atlanta Celtics game and in the championship game Mike scored like 24," Spiece coach Mike Conley, Sr., said. "Daequan was spent and E.J. [Gordon] couldn't play.

Eric Gordon hurt himself in a quarterfinal win over the Illinois Fire and didn't play in the championship. Credit him for stepping up all weekend long and while guys were away Saturday night and not at full strength early Sunday morning he carried Spiece. Then, in the finals he had to pass the baton to Conley who finished the job.

2006 CHECKLIST

Javaris Crittenton, PG, Atlanta Celtics: It was another big weekend event for Javaris. We charted him twice and the numbers were outstanding. He posted 17 assists to five turnovers in the two games we had him under the microscope. Before getting knocked out in the semis, Crittenton turned in another big effort against Cali Pump ‘n Run where he had 25 points (11-19 FG), 6 boards and 9 assists.

Craig Brackins, PF, Cali Pump ‘n Run #2: Nice looking power forward prospect who has room to grow. To get there he's going to have to bring it every time out and be consistent with his play, especially his rebounding. Showed some handy work around the rim and he's a guy to keep an eye on.

Armon Bassett, PG, Indiana Elite: The reclassed guard seemed like the primary scoring weapon for his club during their surprise run to the championship game. He's a talent with a confident stroke from deep and the ability to handle the shooting guard and point slot as well.

Joevan Catron, PF, Mean Streets: He fought Blessed IJN with all he had including putting 17 points on them in the first half. Mean Streets lost in overtime but Catron maxed out his effort. The guy is 6-foot-6 but he plays much bigger and you can't measure the size of his ticker. At the mid-major level he's got stud tattooed to his forehead. Throw in the fact that he's an even better passer and you've got a kid who plays hard and has great feel and passion.

Casey Crawford, PF, K.C. Pump ‘n Run: He was at it again Sunday morning as he poured in a team-high 26 points. It was a very productive weekend for Crawford. Freshman teammate Travis Relaford wasn't bad either as his first taste of the 17 and unders yielded a 14-point game in Sunday's first playoff contest.

2007 CHECKLIST

Eric Gordon, SG, Spiece: While Conley and Cook were still a little tired from the prom the night before, Gordon got Spiece out of a tough situation against a hot K.C. Pump ‘n Run team. His 24 points bailed them out and bought them some time for Cook and Conley to rest up for the stretch run. With a lineup that was ever changing all weekend long, until he got hurt against the Fire, Gordon was the one constant.

HOT NEWS

Eric Gordon has a leader and its Illinois. His current five includes the Illini, Ohio State, Missouri, Indiana and Arizona. "I've been liking them because of their coach and their guard play," Gordon said of Illinois. "A lot of guys are leaving so they might have one down year but in a couple of years they'll be good." Expect Gordon to stay close to home. "I want to stay somewhere in the Midwest or maybe a school like North Carolina."

So far this spring, Gordon has been on Ohio State's campus and is taking a trip to Purdue next weekend.


Marques Johnson is likely to go down to Raleigh a day early for the Tournament of Champions to visit North Carolina State. …

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