Michigan Preps Come Close in Jam Fest

Wow, what a difference a week makes. Two weekends ago at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Great Lakes State didn't meet their expectations but, this past weekend the improvement was noticeable across the board. Saginaw Arthur Hill's Latreze Mushat (left) was one of the talents in action.

AKRON, OH -- Wow, what a difference a week makes. Two weekends ago at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Great Lakes State didn't meet their expectations but, this past weekend the improvement was noticeable across the board.

The state didn't bring home any serious hardware or championships but, there were teams at each age level that finished runner-up and played deep into Sunday's games.

Although, championships would have been preferred one has to find positive light for these team's achievements.

In looking at the runner-ups, we'll start with Common Bond-Cain 17u team who finished the King James Shooting Stars three day event with a three and three record.

They finished pool play without a victory and were placed in the Bronze division of the tournament. The Ann Arbor area based team with Flint sprinkles made it to the University of Akron's center court, as they made it to their division's semi-final game before falling to team Ferrari (IL.) by less than a handful.

Common Bond's 6-foot-7 forward Mike Rogers (Northville) was hampered by a shoulder injury in a Saturday night game, leaving Common Bond with a void on the inside. 6-foot-1 combo guard Jonathan Lee (Flint Carman-Ainsworth) has nice poise and drew interest from some coaches in attendance. Colleges in attendance w/ MI. interests (that I noticed): Eastern Michigan, Akron, Drake, Findlay, Tiffin, and Hillsdale.

The Mustangs 17u group had quite a turnaround from last weekend in Pittsburgh, where they lost all three of their games. This weekend was a different story as they made it through pool play undefeated and advanced into the elite eight of the Gold Division before falling to last year's 16u Gold division champion, Westchester Hawks.

The team from Michigan took out a talented 17u World Wide Renegade (Georgia) team that played up and has Michigan State recruit Richard Howell, Jr. (the same AAU team that incoming freshman Chris Allen played for).

6-foot-3 shooter Stacy Waters (Detroit Renaissance) continued his hot shooting and recently gained interest from the University of Okalahoma.

Xavier recruit 6-foot shooting guard Brad Redford (Frankenmuth) has made 27 straight free-throws and might be somewhere near the 50s if not for a miss in tournament play. 6-foot-4 forward Latreze Mushat (Saginaw Arthur Hill) was MR. Intangible over the weekend as he played tough defense, rebounded well, and scored when needed.

Although, 6'10 center Jason Washburn (Battle Creek Central) was up and down his presence on defense in the middle was a constant, as many scorers thought twice about entering the lane. Colleges w/ MI. interest (that I noticed): All MI. colleges, Xavier, Depaul, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Florida St., Kent St., Akron, Tiffin, and Ohio St. was there as well perhaps because the Kings of the Court were getting ready to play a court over.

The Michigan Select 17u team lost a tough double overtime game Saturday morning to the defending 16u champion and Michigan killer Westchester Hawks team. The Select squad lost a double digit lead late in the game to end their run in the 17u silver division in the last games of Saturday night.

6-foot-7 forward Nick Carreri (L'anse Creuse) knocked down three from deep in the first half of the game vs. the Westchester Hawks and had other productive games. Oakland University verbal 6'4 wing Blake Cushingberry (Romeo) was also banging threes throughout the tournament before an injury ended his tournament.

6-foot-8 forward Jay Thames (Port Huron North) knocked down fifteen foot jumpers consistently, showed quick hops defensively and at times on the boards, with slick moves around the basket.

5-foot-11 point guard Dale Brundidge (Detroit Country Day) played his position well in pool play games and in the tournament showing creativity, anticipation defensively, and hard nosed play. Colleges w/ MI. interest (that I noticed): Central MI., Eastern MI. Oakland U. Western MI. and from out of state Akron, Dayton, and Kent St.

Team Detroit dropped one in pool play and advanced to the Silver Division tournament where they achieved a solid victory over the Cincinnati Royals.

The team features many of Detroit's lesser known players as they fixed a need inside with 6'8 Charles Gibson (Detroit Southeastern), a reported University of Detroit verbal commitment.

6-foot-3+ wing Briahn Smith (Madison Heights Lamphere) was a do all player through his work on the glass, court awareness, wing skills, and ability to hit the J in the mid to three-point range.

6-foot-5+ Phillip Carr (Southgate Anderson) is not only impressive in the class room but, drew the attention of scholarship coaches with tough rebounding, quick bounce, nice touch around the basket, and solid athleticism.

The big attraction to TEAM Detroit was 6-foot-4 rising sophomore point-guard Trey Zeigler (Mt. Pleasant) who shows nice poise, does a fine job of feeding the post, and has a calm presence about him.

The Family 17u squad dropped one to the Maryland Crusader's in pool play and took care of business in their last pool play game. They advanced into the Silver Bracket before falling to a very good Canada Grassroots White team Sunday morning.

Their 6-foot-5+ wing Austin Calhoun (Southfield) provides versatility and doesn't take plays off, offensively or defensively. He's quick to drop a three on one end and block a shot on the other. 6-foot-6 forward Draymond Green (Saginaw) looked great on the stat sheet but, he could've had more against smaller opponents.

6-foot-5 guard Quentin Jones plays a quiet game but, does the right things and with the green light he can put up 20 with a high field goal percentage. 6-foot-4+ forward Lawrence Bridges plays hard and bigger than the given height and started to show more guard skills in the mid-range. Colleges w/ MI. interest (that I noticed): All MI. schools, Akron, Kent St., Minnesota, among many others.

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