Tom Izzo Shootout Standouts: Part Two

Sixty-two prep basketball teams descended onto the Michigan State campus this past weekend for the 2005 Tom Izzo Spartan Shootout. InsideMichiganState.com's Doug Warren was on hand for much of the action and gives his report on some of the players who made good this weekend in Part Two of this series.

Sixty-two prep basketball teams descended onto the Michigan State campus this past weekend for the 2005 Tom Izzo Spartan Shootout (Part Two of this series).

Saturday 9:00 am: Breslin Center W-Aux Gym – Petoskey versus Detroit Redford

Two players stood out to me in this contest, Redford's 6'3" Junior PG Corperrayle Harris and 6'6" Senior SF Deshawn Wolfe. Harris runs the show very well, has a good shot and handle and plays solid defense. I saw him play well in Fort Wayne and the Spiece Run N' Slam back in early May, so I was anxious see him again – I wasn't disappointed.

Wolfe is a tough player, a good inside-outside game offensively. He runs the floor well and is a solid rebounder.

Saturday 9:00 am: Breslin Center M-Aux Gym – Detroit Southeastern v. Belleville

Leon Freeman and Tommie Clark stood out once again for the Tigers. Belleville jumped out to an early 10 point lead in this game before Southeastern fought back to take the lead late in the opening half. Freeman played a lot with the ball on the perimeter and sis a good job of setting up teammates on drive-and-dishes in the lane. He found his way to the foul line plenty of times and once again displayed the athleticism and intensity that is his trademark. Leon's full-throttle style of play often leads to mistakes like passes that hit the gym wall or wild shots underneath the hoop, but his is liable to do something spectacular on the very next possession to offset the blunder.

Clark again impressed me with his all around skill as a scorer and defender. He and Leon seem to work well together and each guy has the ability to hit the big shot. Eulis Stephens and Thomas Kennedy are big time talents for Southeastern who showed well in helping to turn an early rout into a tightly contested battle which Belleville ultimately won by two, the margin coming from two Clark free throws in the closing seconds.

Saturday 10:10 am: Breslin Center Main Floor – East Grand Rapids v. Frankenmuth

I had been hearing about this sophomore PG from Frankenmuth named Brad Redford and had decided to check him out; knowing that he would be playing against the Pioneers' stellar 5'10" Junior PG Kalvin Grady and his brother, 6'2" SG and fellow junior, DeMarcus.

Redford had his hands full at times against the belt buckle defense and quickness of Kalvin; and both Grady brothers had their way at times against Redford offensively because of their superior quickness. However, Brad held his own against both guys when he had the ball and just needs to learn the angles of defense and improve his quickness to begin to close his gap against more athletic players on the level of the Gradys.

Justin Anyijong, a 6'8" Junior Forward for EGR, showed some solid skills in the post and as a passer. He has a good shot and can rebound well too. Justin is athletic and active, but real thin though for his height and will have to bulk up to compete with the bulkier players at his position.

Saturday 11:20 am: Breslin Center W-Aux Gym – Belleville v. Orchard Lake St. Mary's

OLSM was missing their highly touted junior PG Kalin Lucas, due to his participation in the Nike Hoops Jamboree in St. Louis. Without Lucas and his stellar game on the floor, the contest soon became the Leon Freeman show.

As you read a few paragraphs ago, Leon plays only at one speed; and in this game he was amazing. Defense, rebounding, nifty passing and thunderous dunks – including a reverse on an Alley Oop, a 360-degree jam off of a steal a couple of possessions later and an amazing dunk on a fast break where he brought the ball between his legs before slamming it home with his left hand. It was a dunk that would have made Dominique Wilkins proud.

I need to make special mention of Tommie Clark again. He and Leon hooked up on a couple of nice plays and Clark threw down his own leaning windmill slam between Leon's highlights.

In a weekend filled with talented players and equally talented teams, it was the best individual performance I saw.

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