Ray Lee, 6'3, Dorian's Pride, 2012 - Recently Lee had not shown me a lot for a kid that is so highly skilled, but on day two that changed a little. Lee played the point the way he is suppose to every time out. He picked his spots to score, set up teammates on a regular basis, rebounded very well, and showed leadership out on the floor. Defensively he has the chance to be an outstanding defender with his long arms and his quickness, but it has to be something he buys into every game. If this is the Ray Lee that Romulus coach Nate Oats can count on next year, everyone else better watch out.
Matt Costello, 6'8, Dorian's Pride, 2012 - If Matt was just receiving a decent amount of attention prior to this tournament, he should expect things to kick into overdrive after it. He is officially on the map. With over 15 college coaches on observing, the Eric Gordon all-stars had no answer for him. Costello stepped out and drained threes, blocked multiple shots on the inside, rebounded well, threw terrific outlet passes to start the break, and for good measure posted up 10 feet from the basket and made a spin move on the baseline for a dunk. He plays with high energy all the time and the kid just looks better and better every time I see him. The guys on press row were very impressed with both he and Ray Lee, and this group of scouts can be hard to impress.
Alex Murphy 6'9, NE Playaz, 2012 - He had a pretty solid day. Alex is a guy that can score off the bounce and from the outside. His jump shot is very solid but he does not rely on it. He makes it a point to go to the basket to score. Very good passer. If players guarding him are not careful, he will posterize them. Alex has a lot to his game and it will continue to progress. His versatility was one of the tournaments major storylines. Case in point, this take from Phog.net after Murphy's game against D-One.
If you didn't know Murphy was athletic, you found out early on in the early game. On three different breakaways, Murphy beat the D-One defenders down court and elevated above them for throwdowns. On a day when his shot wasn't falling from deep, Murphy used his skill in the low- and mid-posts to create easy opportunities for himself and his teammates. Murphy probably made his biggest impression, though, by playing hounding defense on D-One's Miller, who struggled to score over the long-armed Murphy.
We had the chance to briefly interview this talented youngster about Michigan, and he just lit up. Needless to say, he remains extremely interested in the Wolverines and the feeling appears to be mutual. Stay tuned for more in the coming days.
Kaleb Tarczewski, 7'0, NE Playaz, 2012 – This big seven-footer really gets up and down the court well. Defensively he is a space-eater and shot blocker, but offensively his game is still developing. He has a rudimentary post game currently, but it's obvious he is putting in the work to expand his repertoire. He didn't really attempt too many jumpers, and that doesn't appear to be a major staple of his game. In that regard, Costello is more of the ideal big man for John Beilein's system. For Tarczewski's part, he indicated that he is not hearing much from Michigan and didn't express a great deal of interest in the Maize & Blue.
Malik London, 6'9, Ohio Basketball Club, 2012 - Malik is a big man that plays in the post but likes to get out on the break to finish. His offensive game is not complete but he can score down on the block, finishes at the rack in traffic, rebounds well, and is a fly swatter on defense. He needs to get stronger and he will as he continues to develop. He has visited to Ann Arbor before and has definite interest in the Maize & Blue.
Cameron Fowler, 6'2, Franklin All-Stars, 2012 - Cameron is maturing very much with at the point guard position he has cut down on the turnovers and slowing down more. Blessed with good quickness and an impressive crossover, Cameron got to the cup and scored with regularity, but also drained some jumpers and led his team to victory. This kid just seems to have another gear when attacking the basket. His game is still to growing and I like the direction it is taking. The Wolverines appear to as well, as they are all over him.
Jordan Price 6'5, Atlanta Celtics, 2012 - I had to watch him a few times to get a feel for his game because he was not doing a whole a lot when I seen him play. Looking at him yesterday he is a combo guard that can handle he likes to set up his teammates to score. He can get to the cup to score but also can drain the three on you as well. He is a solid player that understands the game, needs to lose a few pounds to be at his best. He is looking forward to hearing more from Michigan. The five star prospect has a great appreciation for John Beilein's offense.
Shabazz Muhammad 6'5, Dreamvision, 2012 - Okay, Michigan isn't involved with this kid, but I just have to mention him. Wow! This guy can flat out get it done. He is quick, fast, explosive, and plays hard. Effort should be a given in the game, but with players of Muhammad's caliber, it often isn't. That's why it's so nice to see the effort he consistently gives. On the break he cuts through defenses like a knife going through butter for the finish. Offensively he has the upgraded skill package from all over the floor. He scores in every way imaginable. Three's, dunks, off the baseline, posting up …however you want it he will give it to you. On defense he goes after you. This kid is a nightmare for the opposition. I don't even want to think how good he will be in two years. WOW!
Bits and pieces
- Michigan assistant coaches were everywhere yesterday Lavall Jordan and Bacari Alexander were beating the bushes so that every kid could see them at their game. Coaches can't speak with the players or parents, but it was clear that players and parents alike were showing the Michigan assistants a lot of love even if it was just with nods, winks, or waves. That tells me that solid relationships are being built with families. These are two very energetic assistants that Coach Beilein has brought onboard are impressing early with their ability to get in on kids early and sell the Michigan brand.
- Eric Gordon was out and about watching all of his team's during the whole tournament. Props to him for signing autographs and taking pictures. It didn't bother him one bit. He walked around just enjoying the whole tournament and atmosphere. Big ups to E.G. for his visible support of his teams and the fans.
- The Michigan teams really represented this weekend at the Adidas Invitational not only with their performances, but also with the way they all carried themselves with class. I love when they go out and play well in tournaments.
- I had a chance to speak with U of D Mercy's Coach Ray McCallum Sr. this weekend there may be people who are just as nice, but certainly none nicer then he is. When coaches seen him they showed him love, Ted Hillary who is a big time referee in the NCAA said to me that guy right there (Ray McCallum Sr.) is one of the great guys in this sport.
Much more still to come from our coverage of the Adidas Invitational, including loads of video.