Eric Devendorf was lights out in the game we watched the Michigan Hurricanes Black team play against Jamelle Cornley’s All-Ohio Red squad. Ever since I saw the Bay City Central star torch Flint Central for 40+ points last season, I’ve been convinced that he was a player. When he came down for an open gym in Ann Arbor during the summer, I was further convinced of his ability. Now almost a full year later, I don’t think there’s any question that he can be an impact player at the college level. He hardly missed Friday night as he nailed four 3’s (most of which came off the dribble) on his way to 29 points. The youngster can rise and shoot so quickly that he leaves defenders stunned. On most occasions the opposition barely gets a hand up. Plus, he is better than some might expect going to the hole. He hit a number of leaners in the lane because the defenders had to crowd him out of respect for his jumpshot. While I really like what he can do on offense, I’m not ready to anoint him the top player in the 05 class. When I compare him skill for skill with Chris Douglas-Roberts, I have to give the Cass Tech star the edge.
- Jumper: Eric wins this category hands down. Call him a
marksman. Chris has to gain more consistency from the outside.
- Dribbling: Some may be surprised, but despite the fact
that Chris is taller…he can handle the rock a lot better. Eric’s
handle is certainly adequate enough to spell the point guard slot in college,
but it’s not yet to the point where one should count on him as the primary
ball handler. All-Ohio gave him trouble once they picked up a few tendencies.
- Passing: Chris takes this category too. This goes to mentality
more than anything, as Eric is a scorer by nature. Chris isn’t as accomplished
a passer as Jerret Smith, but he definitely sees the floor like a one and
can see over most of the guards that he faces.
- Rebounding: CDR wins again. Despite his slender build,
Douglas Roberts isn’t afraid to mix it up inside.
- Clutch Play: Eric is a money player when the game is on
the line. Chris is no slouch either, as he has made a number of big shots
in the past year (the one against Detroit King comes to mind). However, Eric’s
ability to let it rain from the outside gives him the edge.
- Overall: CDR has to be the choice because he’s just much more versatile. If what you’re looking for is an explosive scorer (not referring to leaping ability), then Eric Devendorf is the choice. But at this point, not only does Chris give you some scoring punch, but he gives you a number of other things as well. Improving his jumper along with adding strength and weight are keys to his continued progress.
Eric indicated to me that the Wolverines have shown him some interest and we’ll have much more from him later.
A couple of Eric’s teammates on the Hurricanes also shined in the event. Jabari Currie had been playing some of his best basketball this summer, and that trend continued in Ft. Wayne. He had an excellent floor game against All-Ohio Red with 17 points and 7 assists. He saw the court a lot better than we’d witnessed him do in the past. He made a few beautiful passes, some of which weren’t handled because his teammates weren’t expecting them. He was also excellent going to the hole, but his jumper still needs work. He’s steadily improving and the Buckeyes are really intrigued by him right now. He’s still a secondary target for the Wolverines at this point.
In one of the surprise moves of the weekend, Wilson Chandler bolted from the Michigan Mustangs to the Hurricanes late Thursday evening. He cited playing with a better supporting cast as a reason for the move. That seemed to be a very sound point since Devendorf and Currie definitely opened up the floor for him. At 6-7 and about 200 pounds, the wiry forward has an uncanny ability to drive to the basket, but he can also face and shoot. Despite his slender frame, he is excellent at gaining rebounding position on the block. Plus, he’s a high-energy player. Imagine Dennis Rodman with offensive skills. He finished the contest with 20 points and 10 boards and commanded the attention of a whole slew of reporters after the game.
Wilson did confirm that an UM staff member was at his Mustang practice on Tuesday, but it appears that he only has passing interest.
What schools are you hearing from at this point?
What schools have come to visit you recently?
"Xavier, Michigan State, Ball State, and Bowling Green came down."
Do you have any visits set up?
"Eventually I’m going to take an unofficial visit to one of those schools. Probably Michigan State."
Did Coach Amaker come to see you work out?
"Yeah he came down to my Michigan Mustangs workout on this Tuesday, or last Tuesday. He might have been at both."
What schools have offered?
"Michigan State, Xavier, Bowling Green, and Ball State."
Did you grow up a fan of any particular school?
"Michigan State. They’re my favorite team."
Do you have any idea when you might make a decision?
"Probably at the end of the summer."
Is Michigan State the favorite?
All Ohio Red’s Jamelle Cornley is a Warrior down low. He’s a skilled player with his back to the basket, but he can also face up and take him man off the dribble. He even nailed a three-pointer while we were watching. The only thing that hinders him from being great is he’s 6-5. If he were three inches taller, this young man might even be the top power forward in the country. As it stands, he is undersized battling amongst the trees down low. He had a number of his shots blocked and his strength advantage against Chandler was nullified by the height mismatch. His size is going to be an issue for many programs. That said, his heart won’t be questioned. Cornley still listed Michigan very highly on his list of schools despite the fact that the Wolverines haven’t offered. He also mentioned Ohio State, Bowling Green, and Louisville as schools under consideration.
Another prospect we checked out was Waterloo’s Devin Brennan-McBride. As we mentioned in one of our Charlie Weber Tournament reports, this Canadian big man is considered one of the top players in his class and was called by HoopLa.com, “the top big man from Western Ontario in the last decade.” We watched Devin play with the sophomore Waterloo team and he reminded us a great deal of former Michigan target and Kansas commit Alexander Kaun. At 6-9 and about 235-pounds, he’s extremely athletic with a nice shooting touch. What he lacks at this point (much like Kaun did last summer) is aggression. Though he was the biggest player (by far) in the game we watched...his team was defeated in overtime and they didn’t even make it out of their pool. Still, high major coaches are in love with his potential and as we reported a few weeks back, he has already visited Syracuse and Michigan State. Now you add Michigan to the list. He made a stop in Ann Arbor on his way to Ft. Wayne on Friday. We’ll have more on this young man later today.