Tom Izzo Shootout Standouts: Part One

Sixty of the top basketball teams in Michigan, as well as a talented squad from across Lake Michigan and another from the other side of the Detroit River descended on the Michigan State campus this weekend for the 2005 Tom Izzo Shootout. InsideMichiganState.com's Doug Warren was on hand for much of the action and gives his report on some of the teams and players, like current Spartan recruit, Darquavis Tucker (pictured) who made good this weekend.

Friday 6:45: IM West Arena -- Belleville v. Detroit Country Day

Country Day, who went into the weekend without star wingman Alex Legion, who spent the weekend on a recruiting visit to UCLA, had a tough road to navigate versus Belleville. Leon Freeman, fully recovered from his toe injury suffered earlier this spring, began to make waves early and often, hitting shots from downtown, rebounding and attacking the basket relentlessly.

Leon's teammate, Tommie Clark, was another player who caught my attention. While not as explosive as Leon, Clark showed a good outside touch and handle. Both players would continue their solid play all weekend long.

From there, I moved on the Breslin Center's Auxiliary Gyms, which lucky for me sit right next to each other in Michigan State's state of the art practice facility, giving me a chance to watch two games at the same time.

Friday 7:45: Breslin Center W-Aux Gym -- Muskegon Heights v. DTA Wisconsin

This was the best game I saw all weekend. Two well coached squads playing with tournament style intensity. Keith Guy's Tigers' squad is a Michigan Class B powerhouse led by David Fox, who once again showed his all around ability. Ranked as on of Michigan's top point guards in the Class of 2007; David was a key reserve on last years Tigers' Class B runner-up squad. Fox will now shoulder more of the load and is more than ready to handle the pressure.

While most of the team's in this year's shootout are high school squads, the DTA Wisconsin team, is a collection of players mainly from Milwaukee King: and were led at the point by a very talented and highly recruited sophomore-to-be, 5'11" Korie Lucious.

Scout.com National Recruiting Chief Dave Telep currently has Lucious ranked as the top point guard in the 2008 class and it was not hard to see why. Korie's floor game is in the classic mold of current prep point guards like Mike Conley and Willie Walker, who put distribution first and scoring second. While Korie is not at the level on Conley and Walker yet, make no mistake that he has all the tools to be that kind of a floor general.

The Lucious – Fox matchup was fun to watch as both players had their teams operating at a breakneck, yet highly efficient pace. Both of these team's are clearly well coached and gave all on hand a glimpse of prep basketball at its best.

Friday 7:45: Breslin Center M-Aux Gym -- Saginaw Arthur Hill v. Detroit Renaissance

These respective squads are led by two of the Michigan's top prep stars, Arthur Hill's Class of 2007 standout Darquavis Tucker and Renaissance's senior-to-be Tajuan Porter.

Tucker, a 6'5" swingman, once again showed his all around abilities. Tucker has great range on his jumper and is fearless going to the basket, absorbing punishment, earning extra points at the free throw line and fighting under the glass for every rebound. The most impressive thing to me about his game is his ability to defend, he is one of the few players around who game in and game out, can control a game on both ends of the floor.

Be it basketball or football, I always take it with a grain of salt when a player is labeled "too small." Porter, at 5'7" 155 pounds, gets that label from time to time, mostly from those folks who fail to understand just how much heart, toughness and hoop intelligence Porter possesses. He can fill it up from long range, dish it to teammates as well as defend and rebound. This kid is a true baller and will make a coach very happy at the D-1 level some day.


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