A year has made a world of difference in the play of Devin Brennan-Mcbride. He is still very raw skill wise, but his activity level in the post has really improved. He appears to be a lot more comfortable and now you actually notice that he is out there (which wasn’t the case a year ago). His post skills have been hard to gauge, as he has not gotten many opportunities, but he has shown some back to the basket ability. He is a very good athlete that gets off of the floor and changes direction well, but he doesn’t quite know how to use his body yet. Despite being athletic, he is sometimes muscled off the block and on more than one occasion was overpowered as he went up for put-backs and rebounds. Still, this is a young man with the raw talent and athleticism that coaches love to mold.
Fellow Canadian, Jamie Vanderbeken is adjusting pretty well to the level of competition, and is more physical than Brennan-McBride…but not as quick or athletic. Even so, the toughness he brings down low has been a pleasant surprise.
Kosta Koufous doesn’t have the mass of Brennan-Mcbride or Vanderbeken, but Canton Glen Oak prospect more athletic and has better post skills. He really gets up and down the floor well and can block shots. Michigan is a factor in his recruitment, but he mentioned yesterday that Ohio State is definitely the team to beat.
Raymar Morgan’s play has been nothing short of exceptional. The Canton McKinley star has done it all on the court. We’ve seen him run the break, be a monster on the boards, and shut down his man defensively. With the ball in his hands, he really keeps his opponents off balance with his ability to stick a three AND put it on the floor and go to the hoop. There has really been no answer for him thus far and he looks to be one of he top players in the entire camp. Things could get very interesting in Morgan’s recruitment, as Jamil Tucker indicated that he plans to commit to the Buckeyes when he returns home. That would make the battle for Morgan’s services one primarily between Michigan and Michigan State. As has been stated in the past, the Spartans have the leg up because they were the first to offer and have been on him the longest. Still the Wolverines have made up considerable ground.
Staying in the state of Ohio, Chris Wright’s athleticism was on full display yesterday. On more than one occasion, he took flight a few yards away from the basket and flew in for the dunk. He is definitely one of he top finishers at the camp. He mentioned that Michigan coach Tommy Amaker told him on his visit to Ann Arbor a few weeks back that he reminded the Maize and Blue headman of former NBA star Dominique Wilkins. As good as his high-wire act is, though, Wright’s off-the dribble game is still a work in progress. That aspect of his game will likely improve in the coming years. The Wolverines obviously think so, as they have offered him a scholarship and are one of the top schools on his list at this point. That said, if the Kentucky Wildcats offer, they would be right up there as well. Wright indicated that a trip to Lexington will be taking place in the very near future.
DeShawn Sims’ performance has been limited by the team he plays on. His squad doesn’t share the ball well and has been blown out a few times as a result. When he has gotten the ball, his production has been up and down. He has shown flashes of the ability that makes him so coveted, but he hasn’t been consistent. Still, he has a goal of making the all-star team (which he cannot play on because of the state of Michigan rule prohibiting it), so we expect him to step his game up. As for his recruitment, Sims made waves with his comments about the two home schools being favorites (which we reported here last week) and possibly pushing his decision even further down the line to November. GoBlueWolverine will have the interview in its entirety shortly and will also have another message board report later detailing what we found out about his recruitment outside the media room.
Kalin Lucas’ excellent dribbling ability was on display yesterday when he threw a number of behind the back dribbles at Jerryd Bayless on his way to the basket for two. He also showed the great range again, but his play has been limited by what appears to be a hip injury. Even if he had been 100%, he probably would have had a tough time holding Bayless down. The Arizona star has been darn near unstoppable.
Durrell Summers wasn’t able to get his perimeter game going yesterday, and that hindered his ability to get to the basket off of the bounce. He played well without the ball, though, and excelled in his role as a finisher. Of the ten points he had in his afternoon game, eight came on dunks (the last bucket happened to be a lay-up).