Elite Camp Day 2 – Sam's Blog

GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb breaks down more of the second day notables at Michigan's first annual elite basketball camp. Jordan Morgan stepped his game up a notch, Brandan Kearney loosened up, and another young PG impressed. Plus word on Mike Talley, Ben Simons, Sultan Muhammad, and more.

Jordan Morgan 6'9, UD Jesuit High 2009, - Morgan was much more effective on day two, especially in transition where he finished a few breaks with authority.  Overall, he was more assertive on both ends of the floor.  He flashed his versatility, even handling the ball on the break on a few occasions.  Often times it was still tough sledding on the low block against the likes of physical youngsters like LaDontae Henton and Percy Gibson, but the future Wolverine managed to compensate by stepping out and sticking a few long range jumpers... including a few triples.  A solid second day for Morgan, and more proof that he is working hard and getting better.

Ben Simons 6'7, Cadillac 2009, - GoBlueWolverine's Andre Barthwell indicated the Cadillac sharpshooter couldn't find the mark during the morning session.  By the time the afternoon rolled around, however, he seemed to have found his range and nailed at least three triples during one of the games we were watching.  He also looked more comfortable putting the ball on the floor than he did last year at this time.  That was especially true in transition.  He'll still need to refine that skill even more, though.  In the half court he had a tough time getting by his man off the bounce, and he has yet to build the necessary strength to bang down low.   All that said, he has made some progress.

Shannon Williams 6'7, Detroit Cass Tech 2010, - This put-together youngster just may have been most athletic big man in attendance.  He's not super-explosive, but is a good leaper, has really good feet for a big guy, nice quickness, and a strong body.  The problem is that is his game is predicated primarily upon athleticism right now.  He has no go-to move on the low block currently.  However, you can see that he is working hard to try to develop one.  If and when he does, he'll be a beast.

Maurice Cooper-Jones, 5'7 Saginaw Arthur Hill 2011, - Now I know why during a recent conversation with Detroit Pershing's Keith Appling, he singled Cooper-Jones out as the youngster's whose game he is the most impressed with.  He was one the quickest players in attendance (if not the quickest) and was able to get by his man at will.  He also plays with no fear.  He is willing to go in amongst the trees and can be creative in getting his shot off.  Still, size is a factor when defending bigger guys and when it comes to being a consistent finisher at the rim.  Don't get it twisted… he's a player.  It's just that the other top point guards in his class (Brandan Kearney, Carlton Brundidge, and Lee Bailey) have more upside at this point.  They get the edge... for now.

Sultan Muhammad, 6'3 Grand Rapids Catholic Central Hill 2010 - We mentioned "Showtime" earlier this month as a prospect that the Wolverines were showing interest in, and in watching him over the last couple days we think we understand why.  We witnessed the type of balanced floor game that coaches appreciate.  Muhammad is a true combo guard that is capable of playing the one and the two.  He was one of the more effective facilitators during the camp, and his jumper began falling late Thursday night when he canned a few threes.  Friday he showed more perimeter effectiveness with a variety of mid-range jumpers.  He doesn't make a habit of blowing by defenders on his way to the bucket, but when he does drive to the hole, he has the body to absorb contact.  Definitely a solid prospect.

Michael Talley, 5'11 Melvindale Academy of Business and Technology 2011, - Another of the smaller point guards, Talley was one of the best ball handlers in attendance.  He has it on a string and can get to where ever he wants on the court.  He can defend, score and pass. His dilemma right now is knowing when to score and when to pass.  There are times when he gets caught up in passing too much. Then there are times when he just concentrates on scoring (which likely stems from the scoring load he has to carry for his high school team).  Based on his pedigree, you have to figure he'll get that.  Talley is quick but doesn't look to be as quick as Cooper-Jones nor is he as creative a finisher.  That makes him easier to defend at times, especially when his jumper isn't falling.  With a few more inches (and there's still time for Talley to get them), he could grow from Mid-Major prospect into a Major conference prospect.

Other notes… Brandan Kearney looked like his hip loosened up a bit.  He got better lift and his jumper was more consistent.  Still not as quick or as fluid as he is when he is 100% but he is seeing a specialist to help him get back as soon as possible.  Spent a lot of time at the end of the session working with Beilein on shooting drills.

For the second day in a row Tony Watson showed he is a really good three point shooter.


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