Spiece Run 'n Slam Evals: The Top 07 Targets

In part two of our Spiece Run-N-Slam evaluations we focus on a number of class of 2007 targets including Alex Legion, Keenan Ellis, Kalin Lucas, and many more.

-Josh Southern is a man down in the post! He helped get the Mustangs almost knock off the Hurricanes Sunday morning with his efficient play in the paint. He really battled Tom Herzog well, nailing a few shots over the seven-footer after backing him down. In addition, he was a beast on the boards (so too was Dar Tucker by the way). He isn't quite as advanced offensively as Holt's Paul Crosby, but he is still quite effective…plus he is bigger. The battle for top in-state big man in the class of 07 looks to be between the aforementioned two at this point, though Romulus' Devin Searcy could have something to say about the race before it is all said and done.

Josh Southern on Tom Herzog

-Keenan Ellis plays with O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker at North College Hill high school in the winter, and would like to be running beside them this summer for the D1-Greyhounds. For the time being, though, an Ohio high school rule keeps him from running with them on the 17-and under squad. We caught him in action on the Greyhounds 16s, and the slender big man showed the potential that has the high majors calling. At nearly 6-10 and about 185 pounds, he has surprising ball skills, a fairly good stroke, and defensively he is a very good shot blocker. That said, he extremely very raw. He was more effective facing the basket than he was with his back to it and he took a number of ill-advised shots. It will be interesting to see how his game changes when he plays up. He did indicate an early interest in Michigan, but it was Louisville that received special mention.

-Austin Thornton had a very strong tournament with the Hurricanes. This was definitely the best we've seen him thus far and it likely has to do with an increase in comfort. He was much more aggressive going to basket and his mid-range game was really clicking.

-Alex Legion’s mature offensive game is a thing to behold. His ability to pull up off the dribble was among the best in the tournament. With range out beyond the three-point line and ability to take his man off of the dribble, he can be a plain match-up nightmare for whomever he faces. The only time he is really slowed is when his jumper isn’t falling, which was the case versus the Illinois Fire in the Hurricanes final game of tournament play. The talented wing tried to shoot himself out of a one-game slump, but just wasn't able to get on track. Nonetheless, everyone has seen enough to know that this kid has the type of game that could make him one of the top ten players in his class before it is all said and done.

-Darquavis Tucker’s first step makes up a great deal for whatever he lacks in dribbling ability. He consistently got by his opponents to the basket, especially when handling in transition. However, it hurt him when the Illinois Fire decided to press in the Hurricanes final game of the tournament. Tucker committed a few turnovers before the coaches made an adjustment that exclusively utilized Tory Jackson and Kalvin Grady to break the press. Tucker is clearly one of the top finishers regardless of class and is one of the better rebounders at the wing position. The scary thing is he is just scratching the surface of how good he can be. It will get even easier for him to get around defenders when his jumper becomes more consistent. If he ever becomes a good ball-handler…look out!

Dar Tucker with one of many slams on the weekend!

-Kalin Lucas is one of the hottest names in the Michigan in-state class of 07. After watching what the state has to offer at that position for that year, we feel confident in stating that Lucas is the most advanced point guard offensively in the 07 class. In a previous conversation he mentioned the need to improve his jump shooting. If the weekend was any indication, he is well on his way. He canned threes with regularity. Going to the basket is where he really shined though. He consistently broke his man down off of the dribble and converted a high percentage of his attempts once he made it to the rack. He completed an array athletic up-and-under moves that were quite impressive. He also displayed a great leadership ability, which was on full display in their last game versus the King James Shooting stars. He injured his knee in the first half and looked out for the count, but came back. Then when his team squandered a double digit lead, it was he who pulled the squad together and tried to regain their composure. Though his squad lost, Lucas showed a ton.

-Kalvin Grady is almost the exact opposite of Lucas in that his game is more that of a setup man. He is always surveying the court looking for his man and often gets his teammates very easy shots. He is definitely a kid that can be described as a pass first shoot-second floor general. That said, when he did decide to shoot from the perimeter, it was money. When he went to the hole and he did a good job finishing among the trees. He also is an outstanding on the ball defender. Teaming up with Tory Jackson, the Hurricanes tired out almost every point guard counterpart they faced. Grady has the quickness to stay in front on smaller guards and the strength to maintain his position against bigger ones. Overall it was a very strong tournament for him and his stock is on the rise.

Kalvin Grady guards David Kool

-Durrell Summers may be noted as a good shooter, but he continues to catch our attention fantastic ability to finish around the basket. He had dunks in traffic, dunks on the break, lay-ups despite contact…you name it and he did it. While he isn’t quite Dar Tucker (as a finisher), he is A LOT closer than we initially gave him credit for. Watching this young man puts us in the mind of a young Michael Redd. We still would like to see him get that smooth looking jumper off a little quicker though.

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