Spiece Run ‘N Slam Review

Plenty of players currently on the Michigan State radar were on hand in Fort Wayne, Indiana this past weekend for the 12th Annual Spiece Run ‘N Slam All Star Classic. Get Inside for InsideMichiganState.com's take on what we saw from those on the radar, and some who are not but still caught our eye.

# = Michigan State recruits

#Alex Legion: Fluid and explosive. Hit for 28 pts in their opening night victory against Illinois' Brian Carlwell and Team Ferrari. Can hit shots from anywhere on the floor and attacks the basket with authority. When he is dialed in he plays at another level and could play the 1, 2, or 3 spots at the D1 level and not be overmatched.

#Darquavis Tucker: Legion's wingmate on the Michigan Hurricanes had his own coming out party Saturday night versus Willie Walker and the Illinois Wolves. Tucker rolled for 28 points – attacking the hoop and absorbing contact, then converting numerous three-point plays at the foul line. Not as deft a ball handler as Legion but just as fearless around the hoop and both players play tough on the ball defense and are only going to get better as each will be entering just their junior seasons next fall.

#Deshawn Sims: Tremendous skill set in the post with a very polished set of moves. One of the few kids today with a reliable jump hook, Deshawn can free himself up at will with his grab bag of moves. His size (6'7") make some think that he would be more suited at the 3 spot in college, but make no mistake, Sims is a true power forward with loads of game to back it up.

Tajuan Porter: When it comes to basketball, and football for that matter, I don't really give a damn' how big or small a kid is – I just want to know if he can play? The "undersized" Porter can. He hit for 20 points and 7 assists in The Family's opening night victory, and showed all weekend the ability to run an offense as a pass first, pick your spot to shoot, point guard.

#Tom Herzog: Tremendous shot blocker with an uncanny timing and feel around the basket defensively. While really needing to bulk up at 210 pounds, the 7-footer has strong hands and the willingness to mix it up and fight on the glass. Tom has good lateral quickness, is an improving passer and continues to improve his offensive game. Tom is not just another stick man who can block shots and nothing more. He is the real deal and will make a coach very happy at the next level.

#Ramar Smith: He was the star in The Family's opening night victory, hitting for 24 points (8-16 shooting) and bringing the house down with a monster put back jam that gave his squad a 64-63 lead midway through the second half. Much like Dar Tucker, Smith is strong, physical and fearless when dialed in.

#Brian Carlwell: This Illinois product is another big man with multiple skills. He is bigger than Herzog at 240 pounds and at one point in their Friday night matchup bumped Herzog out of the way for a slam dunk. Carlwell does all the little things (shot blocking, passing, footwork) that coaches covet in a big man and will be a very good collegiate player two years from now.

#Leon Freeman: It's hard not to like Leon when you meet him. He is a polite kid that always seems to have a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye. He played limited minutes over the weekend due to his sprained toe which he told me still hurts constantly. Nevertheless, you could see why he is so coveted as a potential wingman at the next level with his athletic ability around the basket as well as his midrange skills.

#David Kool: Always brings a solid game. With the talent around him this summer on the Michigan Mustangs, he doesn't have to carry the load he has to carry at GR South Christian. Nevertheless, it was clear from what I saw over the weekend that he has enough skill to hold his own at the D1 level. In Sunday's playoff matchup versus the in-state rival Hurricanes, David and teammate Josh Southern (Saginaw High) led the second-half charge that turned a would-be rout into a contest. Kool, of course makes no mistake that it is his dream to play for the Spartans and with Tom Izzo's trip to Grand Rapids for an in-school visit last week it is clear that they now have more than just a token interest in him.

Tory Jackson: By all current accounts, Tory looks like he is going to join Tommy Amaker in Ann Arbor sooner or later. It was clear why Amaker likes him so much when I saw Jackson run the point for the Hurricanes during their opening rout of Team Ferrari Friday night. Jackson went for 15 points and dished out 7 assists against a real quick PG in Ferrari's Jerome Randall. The rap on Tory is that he can sometimes be a shoot-first and ask-questions-later point guard. While there were times that Tory showed that over the weekend, it was clear Friday night that he has the ability to be a distributor and floor general at the next level.

#Kalin Lucas: A smooth point guard for The Family's 16-and-under squad. I saw him play twice on Saturday and he was money on both occasions. Displayed great quickness and ability to get to the hoop as he collected 22 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists during his team's disappointing Saturday morning loss to the Cleveland Basketball Club, where he seemed to be the only Family player not still under the covers back at the hotel.

#Durrell Summers: Lucas' teammate on the very talented Family 16-U squad. He struggled in the their aforementioned early morning matchup, but was another player 9 hours later as he blew up for 14 points in the opening quarter ( six of them coming on three alley-oop dunks) as Durrell and his teammates made mincemeat of the poor kids from Seattle Rotary Select III. The 6'4" Summers showed great body control and strength as time after time, he absorbed contact to finish and earn extra points at the charity stripe.

Wilbur Ampey: Plenty of post-Spiece attention has been given to Wilbur's Michigan Mustang teammate Josh Southern, and for good reason. I however want to give some props to Wilbur, who plays his high school ball over in Mattawan. His performance Saturday morning during the Mustangs second half comeback against Cincy AAU White was really eye opening. The 6'8" Ampey was dominant down low and showed a fiery leadership that was contagious as his team turned a 9-point third period deficit into a 70-62 victory.

Jonathon Jones: Ampey's Mustang teammate was another major factor in their comeback win. When the Mustangs went to a full-court press late in the third to begin to chip away at their defecit, Jones came off the bench to deliver lockdown defense, helping create havoc and numerous turnovers during the impressive comeback win.


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