Watching these two marksman nail three after three was a real treat in the nightcap. Both are extremely talented shooters, but the edge in the match-up has to go to Martin do to the fact that he was better all-around player. When the discussion of the top prospects at this camp arises, Martin’s name will HAVE to be mentioned in the discussion. At 6-8, 192-lbs he continued to demonstrate the ability to score in a number of ways from the perimeter. As has already been mentioned, he was extremely effective from the three-point line. If he was open, you might as well mark it down. It was like a lay-up. For a player that spends his time in the post during the high school season, he very adept at drifting to the perimeter openings in the half court sets. He is constantly moving and that helps generate a lot of his shot opportunities. When opponents managed to stay with him, Martin also hit jumpers with hands in his face. He was even able to quickly rise and pop a few quick threes in transition. That just made him tougher to deal with on the break. After grabbing a long rebound and racing up the court to start a break, his defender rushed over to take away the three-pointer. Once his defender was drawn to him, Martin delivered a beautiful diagonal bounce pass across the lane to a streaking teammate for an easily lay-up. The savvy play drew oohs and ahs from the coaches. If that wasn’t enough, his midrange game was strong as well. With defenders again rushing him to contest his three-point shot, he blew by them before pulling up for a few 15-18 foot jumpers. On one occasion he surprised everyone in attendance by driving all the way to the hole for an emphatic slam. On the defensive end he used his length to his advantage and swatted a few shots. He engulfed one of Diebler’s three-point attempts. Martin’s strong play kept his team in the game before passing the baton to Durrell Summers in the second half (more on him shortly). Martin’s stock will skyrocket after this camp and he will be one of the more heavily recruited players in the country. The good news for Michigan fans is the Wolverines are still in very strong shape with him.
E'Twaun Moore vs. Durrell Summers
This clearly was the best battle of the day Saturday. The knock on Moore has been that he can’t shoot it, but for the past couple of days he has been very effective from the outside. He knocked down a few threes Saturday night, but he did his real damage from midrange. Moore is a slasher that does his best work attacking the basket and his opponents respect that ability. That provided space for him to pull up off the dribble and he canned a number of short jumpers as a result. However, as good as he was on the night, Summers was better. The future Spartan prevented his team from being blown out in the second half by getting aggressive and taking the game over. With Tom Izzo watching courtside he scored eleven straight points on a drive from the left elbow, a drive from the right elbow, a reverse in transition, a three pointer, and a monster slam after drawing the defense. We had him down for 17 second half points, which included an alley-oop that tied the score as time expired. Moore had the last laugh when he hit the game-winner in sudden-death overtime, but Summers still came out on top in the individual battle between these two gifted players.
Frease had been anticipating this match-up since the regular season and he finally got his shot Saturday night. The battle of the two-Ohio big men drew most of the remaining coaches to Court 1, and while Frease put up a valiant fight, Koufos was the victor in this one. The future Buckeye was a step-quicker than his younger counterpart and continued to show that he’s equally effective facing up as he is with his back to the basket. It’s impressive to see a player as big as Koufos put the ball on the floor out to 18-feet and hit runners or drive all the way to the rack for lay-ups. His quickness just allows him to blow right by slower-footed opponents. When they back off, he can stick the short jumper. Frease found that out during this match-up. He wasn’t able to showcase his own offensive skills very much do to an injured wrist, but the youngster had his moments. On one occasion he anticipated Koufos’ dribble drive, set his feet in the lane, and drew a charge. Shortly afterward while filling the lane on a fast break, he received the ball in the paint as he was going to the basket, and dropped a beautiful behind he back pass to a streaking guard for a lay-up. Koufos got that deuce right back the next time down the court with an emphatic drive to the bucket. The Buckeyes landed themselves a good one. A REALLY good one!
And now a for a few other Michigan targets…
Corperryale Harris - The ball has been in Manny’s hands a great deal during this camp and he is showing everyone that he can excel in that capacity. Watching him direct traffic out there while on court with some of the nation’s best proves that he is an unadulterated leader. It doesn’t matter to him who’s ranked high and whose not…go where Manny tells you or he’s going to let you know about! That part of his game hasn’t really surprised anyone. What has is his ability to knock down long-range jumpers. Folks seeing Harris for the first time would think he has the reputation as a three-point shooter. That certainly was the impression Michael Jordan and company had when watching him from the stands Saturday. The Detroit Redford star nailed three straight triple late in a Saturday contest…eliciting comments from the former NBA great and his friends about what a good player the youngster is. The three that drew the most reaction was one in which Harris rocked the dribble between his legs before quickly rising up to bury the long range bomb in the face of his opponent. The buzz on how good he is continues to grow. So too does the buzz that Michigan is the team to beat. Stay tuned.
Paul Williams - The Detroit Renaissance product has stopped settling for jump shots and started attacking the basket. That has made him a much tougher player to defend. His scoring is up and his confidence looks to be as well. We know he can shoot it, but the key to taking his game to the next level is continuing to improve his handle and making the dribble drive an equally deadly part of his game.
Jason Washburn - This slender big man may tip the scales at less that 200-lbs, but he is playing a lot bigger than his size. He had a very rough go of it early in the camp, but as he has gotten use to the level of competition and the physical play, his natural ability has started to shine through. He has a nice hook shot that he has a lot of confidence in. It has been the most effective shot in his arsenal and he seems to be able to hit it even when he is pushed off of the block. The key to his game is clearly his physical development. The Battle Creek native has spent a great deal of time at open gyms in East Lansing and has previously made one in Ann Arbor. He plans to make return trips to the two in-state schools in August. Though it’s very early in the recruitment of this 2008 prospect, it already looks like it will be a Michigan vs. Michigan State battle.
Stay tuned for much more on the Nike Camp in the coming days.