(Louisville, KY) - The conclusion of the Adidas Invitational had ups and downs for Michigan teams while many players from the Great Lake State benefited from the opportunity to play in front of college coaches. Not bad for the first few days of July's evaluation period. Now on to the second session at the Kentucky Hoopfest in Louisville (KY) where there's talent on display from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians.
One of the nation's most talented big men in the 2012 class is Dorian's Pride's 6'8" 2012 Matt Costello who is fresh off a Gold Championship at the Adidas Invitational. Through the first day in Louisville Costello showed his versatility by knocking down jumpers, working the baseline for lay-ups, and a knack for leading the game in rebounds. He runs the floor well and is sure to pull down more offers than the ones that have been extended by Michigan, Oakland, and Central Michigan. Michigan State, Ohio State, Xavier, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and many others were on hand to watch the outstanding student. His play certainly caught the attention of ScoutHoops.com analyst, Evan Daniels.
Matt Costello, PF/C, Dorian's Pride-McKormick – With a number of high major coaches looking on, Costello delivered a strong outing against the Key Players. A legit 6-foot-8, Costello ran the floor looking to score, has good hands and has great touch with his right hand around the basket. He appears to have a good basketball IQ and knocked down a jumper from 18-feet. Going forward we'd like to see him develop his left hand. Regardless he's tracking as a high major prospect.
Another versatile player from Michigan's 2012 class who is drawing high major interest is the Michigan Mustangs' 6'6'" 2012 wing Denzel Valentine. He handles the ball better than any player his size in Michigan and many know how well he passes the ball but his shooting and athleticism have been questioned in the past. If dunking on opponents and beating defenders off the dribble isn't impressive then maybe raining in threes from 21-feet and knocking down jumpers off the dribble isn't impressive to some, but the 20+ coaches watching were fans.
6'7" 2011 small forward Timmy Knipp of the Kentucky Shooting Stars-Davis 17u had offers from Akron, Bradford, and Tennessee Tech when I caught up with him at All-Ohio Red's Memorial Weekend Tournament. Those offers have been grown to Marshall and Duquesne and there will be many more on the way if he keeps knocking down jumpers from the arc and in.
Another impressive player from the 2011 class has been 6'6" small forward LaDontae Henton of the Michigan Mustangs 17u. He's always provided energy and rebounding which help contribute to a 20+ point per game scoring average no matter if it's during the high school season or in AAU. The lefty who has played with the Mustangs 17u team since OJ Mayo was with the D1 Greyhounds is starting to show the consistency from beyond the arc that many mid-major plus and high major coaches have been looking for over the years. Dayton and Penn State are his highest level of offers as of for this high-motor player.
Expect the Tru Playaz's 17u (CO.) 6'9" power forward DeAndre Clayton of Montbello High School in Denver to jump on the map as he had coaches and scouts scrambling through roster books to find out who is the long, athletic, four-man with range from the three point line. There's a chance that he takes the prep school route and if that happens then expect him to find himself on a PAC-Ten or similar roster in a couple of years.
And yes Jalen Reynolds is gaining more coaches every game. He also had ScoutHoops.com looking on.
Jalen Reynolds, PF/C, Reach Legends – Flying under the radar due to sitting out last season, Reynolds, a 6-foot-9, 215-pound post prospect, is auditioning for offers. If Friday was any indication the trial run is going pretty well. Reynolds runs the floor well, plays hard on both ends has the look of a talented shot blocker. He's a bit raw offensively, but his athleticism and length make him a good-looking prospect.
And last but not least, Wolverine target Jeremy Hollowell continues to generate massive buzz. This from ScoutHoops.com...
Jeremy Hollowell, SF, Eric Gordon Central Stars – Picking up where he left off in Indianapolis, Hollowell, a standout at Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central, looked every bit of a top 40 prospect against the Colorado Hawks. Although he didn't shoot long-range shots like he normally does, he was efficient attacking the rim and finished throughout contact on two occasions. At 6-foot-7 he doesn't have any problem getting off his shot and his length really factors in on the glass.
Everyone will get in one more pool play game today and one on Sunday before the tournaments begin. Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine.com for more coverage.
May the force be with you.