Open Gym With The Family

GoBlueWolverine hit the road for another open gym Thursday. Durand "Speedy" Walker and his club "The Family" hit the hardwood and performed in front of a whole host of college coaches. Check inside for news on Deshawn Sims and observations on a number of other players. Be sure to also check out a brief update on Tom Herzog.

College coaches were again out in force at Country Day high school yesterday...this time for an open gym held by The Family. John Calipari was the big name in attendance. The Memphis head coach was flanked on the sidelines by a number of assistants coaches from other schools including Bowling Green, Ball State, and the University of Detroit (amongst others).

Switching our attention to the on-court action, it was a quiet afternoon for Deshawn Sims. We caught glimpses of his gracefulness and athleticism, but the session was more about teaching than running all-out scrimmages. The Family's practices are heavy on instruction. Walker frequently stops play after makes and misses to correct and/or praise his players. What his squad lacks in size they plan to make up for in execution.

We got a chance to speak with Sims after practice about the coaching visits to his school on Wednesday. Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo was in early and (as was reported here yesterday) Michigan Coach Tommy Amaker was in a little later. According to Sims, his meeting with the Wolverines' headman was pretty similar to past meetings.

"It went real cool," Sims said. "He asked me a lot of the same questions that he had before, so it basically was like a rehearsal. He was down there for maybe an hour. We've got an understanding about what's going on. We're basically on the same page."

One topic that wasn't discussed was the departure of Sims' primary recruiter, former Michigan assistant Charles Ramsey. "He didn't bring that up, which is a good thing," Sims said. "I'm going to the school for the head coach."

Sims reiterated his intentions to make his decision in the fall, but also indicated that a new school is being considered. The Oregon Ducks are now in the race. However, he quickly added, "I don't have a leader."

Another player we watched a great deal was Orchard Lake St. Mary's junior-to-be, Kalin Lucas. The 6-goot 170-pounder is very quick and brings a scorer's mentality to his point guard position. "I averaged about 22 points per game," Lucas said. "I model my game after Brandon Cotton. I like his game and I like how he plays."

His game has already caught the attention of a number of programs. "I'm hearing from Illinois, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Michigan State," Lucas said. "I'm supposed to be going to the Duke camp and to the Nike All-American camp."

Lucas hails from a school in Orchard Lake St. Mary's that has sent a number of players on to Michigan, including current Wolverines Grant Mason, Morgan Trent, and Chris McLaurin. They will almost certainly talk to their fellow Eaglet about joining the Maize and Blue, but they may have their work cut out for them. "I grew up liking Duke and North Carolina," Lucas said. "Those guys (Mason, Trent, and McLaurin) haven't started working on me yet, but I know they will (laughing)."

Lucas's backcourt mate in high school is super sophomore defensive back prospect Diante Allen. Lucas mentioned that people shouldn't sleep on his teammate's skills on the hardwood. "Diante…that's my main man right there," he said. "Whenever I need a basket or some defense, he is right there with me."

Allen looked to be the fastest man on the court, (a testament to his 4.4 speed). Though he loves basketball, football is his sport. Expect to see this young man at Michigan's summer camp again this year

Other Notes
-It was our first time seeing Detroit CMA's Jordan Crawford in action and we were quite impressed. He isn't as big as his brother Joe (Jordan is about 6-1 175), but he has a nice handle and a very good jumper. We only saw him miss once during the scrimmage sessions. The college coaches were definitely watching him closely.

-The same surprise visitor at the Hurricanes practice on Wednesday was at the Family's practice yesterday. It certainly appears that he'll be joining one of the aforementioned clubs in the near future. We'll have more on this development when the news becomes concrete.

-We like Durrell Summers more and more every time we see him. We're still keeping tabs on what high school he might end up at. He will be a huge addition to some very lucky program. (For a recent report on him, click here).

-Finally, GoBlueWolverine learned that Tommy Amaker was in Flint yesterday visiting Powers Catholic center Tom Herzog. We'll have more on how things went later.

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