Gene's Blog: Scouting AAU Targets in Orlando

GBW is in Orlando taking in the National AAU tournament on the luscious ESPN Wide World of Sports campus. Here are some notes from Saturday and Sunday's action Updates on Ray Lee, Matt Costello, and Glenn Robinson III.

Day One Notes

Ray Lee puts on a show

In an evening matchup between Dorian's Pride and the Broward Tigers, Ray Lee showed why he's been highly touted since his sophomore year.  Lee, who will play for Romulus this upcoming season, simply took over the game when his team needed him the most.  In what was a see saw affair for most of the 1st half, the momentum quickly began to swing the Pride's way following a halftime speech from head coach and former Wolverine Tim McCormick.  Lee took instruction very well, as he began to get more involved on both ends of the court. Offensively, he handled the ball extremely well and was able penetrate the lane to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. Lee also showed a better shooting touch than expected, as his range extends beyond the arc.  Lee has a long and lanky frame, but he used his length to steal several passes and close well on shot attempts.  Playing in a game which had Tom Izzo, John Beilein, and Bo Ryan among others watching courtside, Lee couldn't have picked a better time to breakout. 

Costello makes contribution

Matt Costello plays alongside Ray Lee on Dorian's Pride.  The big man admitted that he struggled Saturday when facing the Broward Tigers.  Unsure of the problem, Costello was off his game, unable to convert easy buckets around the rim that seem a bit routine.  What he did show was the ability to balance the floor offensively because of his shooting touch, which enabled Costello to be a highly effective passer from the high post.  I'll be looking forward to seeing him play Sunday in a bounce back effort.

Remember me?

Former Michigan recruiting target Branden Dawson from Gary, Indiana, is playing with his SYF club.  In a game against the Illinois Rising Fire, Dawson owned every defender that guarded him.  He's an explosive athlete, the kind who will quickly rise from the floor to dunk on you.  Dawson spent the majority of time working in the low post and slashing along the baseline.  GBW never saw him take a jumpshot, so we are curious to see if he has deep range, or a midrange game in his arsenal.  Either way, he definitely had a long line of watching him put up 17 points in SYF's 65-48 victory over the Fire, including John Beilein and Tom Izzo.


After watching the SYF/Illinois Rising Fire matchup, GBW's Sam Webb quickly caught up with Glenn Robinson lll, who got limited minutes running with SYF. 
Sam Webb:  Hey man, what happened out there, they didn't give you much run?
Glenn Robinson lll:  "(Laughing) I'll be playing with 16's (Saturday he played on the 17 and under) tomorrow."

Day Two Notes

Costello bounces back

After the completion of Gridiron Kings, GBW walked inside the Jostens Center to watch Dorian's Pride in a nightcap game.  For the second day in a row, Class of 2012 forward Matt Costello got off to a slow start.  He seemed unsure of himself whenever the ball was in his hands, which either resulted in turnovers or an unnecessary pass back out to the perimeter.  However, in the second half, Costello began to show why college coaches are clamoring for his services.  He finished high percentage plays around the rim, including a two handed dunk on the break where he was fouled.  In comparison, Costello had a similar play the day before, but didn't go up strong and finish.  With confidence growing, he showed off his ability to put the ball on the floor, as well as his shooting stroke that stretches beyond the 3-point line.  A few things are clear after watching Costello this weekend.  He's highly skilled, and has a ton of potential.  For him to reach his full potential, he needs to gain weight, get stronger, and believe in himself.  Sometimes he looks a bit robotic because he's thinking the game instead of playing it.  Michigan's Jeff Meyer made it down to Orlando Sunday to catch Costello in action Tom Izzo was in the gallery of coaches as well.

Little Big Dog

GBW watched Michigan Elite camper Glenn Robinson lll playing with 16 and under SYF team.  What a change from the previous day... Robinson is not only a starter but an integral part of his team's success.  Playing with teammates who refuse to pass the ball, Robinson played unselfishly and did the little things that go unnoticed to most.  He scored twice on put backs, but never had opportunity to assert himself due to his teams helter-skelter playing style.  The Wolverines sit high on his list… very high… and GBW has a full interview coming soon.

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