Dre's Blog: Bball Recruiting News & Notes

Well March madness is upon us and so far it has been terrific... but not just on the college level. It has been on the high school level as well. GoBlueWolverine took in a few of the state quarterfinal games last night and saw Denby standout Isaiah Sykes and U-M commit Carlton Brundidge in action. Here we give word on their performances, three 2011 big man targets, a walk-on candidate, and more.

Isaiah Sykes
Last night GoBlueWolverine was at Calihan Hall southeast Michigan's version of Madison Square Garden. In our first time watching Denby wing Isaiah Sykes since last season, we got a better appreciation for what he'll bring to the table at the next level. He has a high basketball IQ and is always looking for open teammates. He doesn't hesitate to drop off a pass for an easy bucket.

Simply put, Sykes always seems to make the right play and does not force the issue too often. He is very patient player that lets the game come to him offensively. He handles very well and the times I have seen him play, few opponents have been able to stay in front of him when he is going to the basket. He is also big, tough, physical kid that rebounds well in traffic and has leadership qualities. The one part of his game that we wanted to see but didn't was his jump shot. He didn't shoot one jumper last night. The flip side to that is he didn't have to. He went to the rack whenever he wanted to.

As far as his plans on a college "Right now I am going to start taking visits and try and get a feel for the school that fits me," he said.

Coach Beilein has been in personal contact with both he and Coach Albright (who by the way I am really happy for because he has been in the game for a while and finally has a shot at the brass ring) and has let each of them know about his appreciation for Sykes' game.

At this time there are no offers on the table for Isaiah's services but I am sure all of that will change in the next week or so. He plans to take visits after the season, but for the moment he doesn't have a set plan for which campuses he will make it to.

Carlton Brundidge
"Man I am so happy about playing here in Calihan hall," Brundidge said after his team's 67-57 defeat of Warren De La Salle. "It is a place that I have always wanted to play in and now that we have won tonight it means even more."

Brundidge played very solid last night in a game that early on appeared that Southfield should win easily. Carlton's will to win and the fire in which he plays with is truly a joy to see. His unselfishness I praise even more on many occasions he looked for open teammates for easy buckets.

Brundidge understands the game of basketball, he understands what the situation is in the game and doesn't deviate away from that. He is the coach on the floor at times encouraging, scolding, and sometime willing his team to victory. Last night he had most of his game on display, Carlton showed the ability to get to the rack and absorb contact and make the basket, making the right pass out of the press, and going down low to rebound. He has more to his game but didn't show everything that he could do. I wonder sometimes if the rest of his team realizes he is on the floor with them. It's amazing how frequently he will go up and down the floor a few times with touching or taking a shot. That he has erupted for so many big time scoring performances is a testament to his ability because he does most of his damage without the benefit of many plays run for him or simple ball screens. That would be frustrating to many others with his talent, but even off the floor he shows a maturity beyond his years.

"Hey, we are here to win the game and for me to do what I can to help my team win," he said proudly.

I am not trying to start anything. I am just saying with a talent like that you would like to see him with the ball much more then what I am seeing now.

Darren Washington
Darren Washington is really becoming the player that a lot of colleges are becoming more and more interested in. His game has really benefitted from the tutelage of one of his coaches, assistant Don Spencer, as well as former Michigan big man Terry Mills. Just this morning Stanford Assistant Mike Schrage was in to see the Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard big man workout at 6:00 this morning. Yesterday Harvard assistant Kenny Blakeney was in at 5:00pm to see Washington workout, and word was he was blown away enough to offer on the spot.

Temple and Penn State will be in on Saturday to see him, and as GoBlueWolverine was first to report over the weekend, Michigan's John Beilein was in last Friday to observe a workout. We will certainly keep an eye on Darren Washington as his recruitment is beginning to heat up.

Keith Mackie
At that same workout was Keith Mackie, a point guard for Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. He is being evaluated for a chance to walk-on at Michigan. Keith is a very quick guard that can shoot from the outside, but can drive and score... just a solid guard that can play.

Dan Chilcote
Also Michigan has really been keeping an eye on Jackson Lumen Christi forward Dan Chilcote.

"Coach Beilein came to see me work out they have been talking to me," Chilcote said recently. Dan is a kid that not many pay attention to, but they should because he is a kid that has continued to develop each year. He is a versatile forward he can play inside and outside and handles the ball well and is a stat sheet stuffer. You will see points, assist, rebounds, blocks and steals from him right now he is in the 6'7-6'8 range and still growing. Plus class of 2011 forward is an effective three-point shooter. Michigan and Northwestern among others are showing this talented young man attention right now.

Amir Williams
Last night at the Detroit Country Day/Flint Powers game, coaches from all over the country were in attendance. Most of them were there to see Amir Williams.

"Michigan (Coach Beilein), Michigan State, LSU, Cincinnati, Stanford and Minnesota were there," Williams said after his team's 63-47 victory. "I am just glad that we won we are really trying hard to win it all this year. That would be great for me and my teammates".
Look for Amir's recruitment to last deep into next season.

Ray Lee
Arguably the top guard in the state of Michigan's 2012 class is no longer at Cass Tech. The former Dearborn Heights Robichaud floor general and standout at Michigan's summer camp has taken him game to Romulus High school.

Other News and Notes
There has been a merger of AAU teams. Team Legion which is run by Tim McCormick and Team Pride which is out of Saginaw are now one team. They just recently received a sponsorship from Under Armour for apparel. We will certainly see the new merged team in our travels this summer. Patrick Lucas-Perry, Tommie McCune, Dan Chilcote, Matt Costello, and a host of others should be running together this summer.

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