Carlton Brundidge, G, The Family (17s) – It was a tough weekend for the Michigan commit. Forced to play without good friend Amir Williams, who took the weekend off so he could focus on other commitments, "CB" was the focal point for The Family. Hampered by a wrapped wrist and shooting hand, he worked to find offensive consistency the entire weekend. With his perimeter game rendered moot he found the lane continuously clogged, opponents that were extremely physical, and referees that made a habit of swallowing their whistles. The 1-3 finish was an atypical Family performance, and there are definitely better days ahead for the squad and for Brundidge.
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, PG, Indy Elite 1 (17s) – The 5-10 dynamo is only getting better. Finding the balance between getting his own offense and deferring to his talented teammates is often a struggle for young point guards, but not for Ferrell. As the tournament progressed, his floor game got stronger. In an early Saturday afternoon game he created multiple three-point opportunities for a hot shooting Jeremiah Davis. He also proved equally adept at getting Cody Zeller the ball in his sweet spot. Ferrell's best game, though, wasn't even the one that was his best statistically. In the nightcap against All Ohio Red, Ferrell occasionally went toe to toe with Trey Burke and more than held his own. It didn't start out quite so impressively for Ferrell. Burke locked his counterpart up defensively while also converting an array of pull-up jumpers of varying range and basket attacks. To make matters worse, his swagger grows with every success. That can be an intimidating factor for those ill-equipped to issue an effective response. Ferrell, however, wasn't one of those players. He increased his defensive intensity, forcing Burke into a five-second count. From that point on it was clear that Yogi wasn't just going to get rolled over. He wound up with 10 points, and most importantly, the victory.
Cody Zeller, PF, Indy Elite 1 (17s) -Zeller is much more effective with his back to the basket compared to last year at this time. The half hook is on the verge of being a money shot. That said, with more time in the paint comes more physical play. The 6-10, 200-pounder is super-skilled, but against big post guys, the skill is sometimes mitigated by brute strength. What was good to see is the lack of back down. Zeller maintained his will to compete in the paint on both ends of the floor despite being hammered on occasion. He's already very good, but if/when he adds size & strength, lookout.
Marshall Plumlee, C, Indy Elite 1 (17s) – This kid's motor just never quits. Plumlee is one of the most active big men you'll ever see. On the defensive end of the floor he is a shot-blocking machine. On offense he is guaranteed to get a few high percentage chances in transition every game because of his willingness to run. In the half court he works extremely hard to establish position on the low block, has really good hands, and a few patented post moves. However, as is the case for Zeller, the issue for Plumlee right now is strength. He often establishes good post position and gets big quickly, but because of his lack of brawn is sometimes ridden out of the post. That will certainly change with time and work in the weight room. He is still working hard on developing his face-up game. It'll never be Zeller's, but we did see him take and make a few 15-footers with confidence. He said Michigan is still in contention.
Jalen Reynolds, PF, R.E.A.C.H. Legends (17s) - The buzz about this youngster dissipated some last year after he was ruled ineligible when transferring from Livonia Clarenceville to Livonia Stevenson. Now, however, the buzz is back and is louder than ever. At 6-8 and about 210 pounds he looks like the kind of four-man John Beilein clamors for. Reynolds handles like a small forward, demonstrated three-point range, and was very active in paint area with rebounds and tip-ins. He is so skilled that he would occasionally try to do a bit too much at times , but that wouldn't have prevented many of the scouts I conversed with from giving this versatile youngster the ball far more often than he got it. The word on Reynolds right now is that he is sitting on a Dayton offer, but Big Ten schools have been lurking. Michigan and Michigan State apparently have been showing a lot attention, with the Wolverines reportedly doing so with added vigor in recent days. The interest appears to mutual as well, as he plans to camp in Ann Arbor.
Jeremy Hollowell – Eric Gordon All Stars (16s) - The difference between the Hollowell we saw last year and the one that we saw this weekend (aside from the team that he's running with) is aggression. The silky smooth 6-7 180-pounder still has his stroke from the perimeter, but was far more willing to attack the rim with authority. He also demonstrated his unselfishness and great court vision by frequently dropping the ball off to open teammates after he drew the defense to him. Hollowell notched 20 points and a handful of assists to power EGAS to a playoff-opening victory over MBA Select in what was a back and forth affair. Afterward he indicated that his recruitment is picking up more and more steam despite the fact that he is still just a sophomore. A bevy of schools have already been in to see him workout, including Michigan. He's already hit a number of campuses himself, and plans to hit a few more… including Michigan's
Deontae Hudson – G, Grand Rapids Storm (17s) - The question about this dual sport standout is which one will he play? When watching the football highlights of his teammate Willie Snead, Hudson occasionally jumps off the film with his athleticism at wideout. On the basketball floor he is a 6-3 190-pound combo guard that is adept at attacking the basketball and finishing despite contact. He also knocked down a few from long range in the match-up with R.E.A.C.H. on the opening night of the tournament. Hudson ran the club at times, but will need to hone that skill even more at the next level… especially when it comes to finding players off the bounce. He's definitely receiving high major attention in both sports, but that hasn't yet translated to high major offers. He hopes his summer performance changes that. Hudson indicated that he will be in attendance at John Beilein's elite camp in late June and will possibly attend Rich Rodriguez' elite camp earlier that same month.
Hanner Perea – PF Indy Elite 1 (16s) – Perea, quite simply, was one of the best athletes in attendance. We his name last year name for that very reason even though he was just a freshman. The difference now is he has added significant muscle. He is bigger and more explosive than ever. It's hard to say what he is beyond that though, because we rarely saw him attempt much outside of 12 feet. That said, he is such an explosive presence around the rim that I doubt his coaches are complaining. Michigan was among those showing interest beginning last year. At this point, he boasts an Indiana offer, but others are sure to follow.
Collin Hartman – SF/PF Indy Elite 1 (15s) – This precocious freshman was another youngster that really caught our eye because he appears tailor-made for John Beilein's offense. Standing 6-7 and about 205-pounds, Hartman was good (not great) at putting the ball on the floor, can finish with both hands, and can really shoot the rock. He averaged 14.3 points per game for Indianapolis Cathedral last year, and despite being a class of 2013 prospect, he already holds a verbal offer from Purdue. This one youngster that Michigan will undoubtedly get in the mix for.
***Michigan targets that we were planning to observe but were not in attendance with their teams: Amir Williams, Marcus Crider, and T.J. Buchanan.
Up Next… a look at some more of the new and under the radar targets.