Spiece Preview: 2013
Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley
The Bill Hensley Memorial Run 'n Slam Classic in Ft. Wayne, IN. starts Friday at 7pm and is the Mecca of Midwest Basketball tournaments (certified or not); especially for those guys that do that ranking thing. These guys are going to school on Michigan players as they are as rare to see in the Great Lakes State as the Wolverine or better yet the Bigfoot. Similar to college students some scouts can be likened to freshman bumbling around in roster books, the undeclared juniors carrying backpacks and know everything, the seven year undergrad who bring prefer to sit in folding chairs, and the one studying for a doctorates in physical education will be loud and take his shoes off; while some of the drop out skate boarders wearing turquoise shoelaces, orange shoes, leather hats, and holding cameras. Needless to say this is like the first day of 75 degree weather after a cold winter where everyone descends to the cool place to see who can throw the frisbee the furthest, dress the craziest, and see who is ready to graduate to the next level.
That opening is mostly in jest but for Michigan players that need or want to see their names amongst the names of the top players in the country this is where scouts come together and give a one time grade. A one time grade because and I'm not kidding that most of these guys who put numbers next to high school players names don't know much more about Michigan than what they learned in the movie Eight Mile. Spiece allows a steady flow of teams to roll through their eight courts for one-hour spans once, twice, and if you're lucky three times. A dunk might gain interest, overdribbling will bring shame, not rebounding will label a player as soft, not defending gets the lazy tag, and winning will guarantee a spot in Spiece's Fieldhouse on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Playing at the Spiece Fieldhouse allows a set of eyes to follow your every movement on and off the court.
Here are Michigan players that have created a buzz in April and will have folding chairs at their game(s):
6'5" 2014 combo guard Darrell Davis (Detroit Douglass/REACH Legends 17u) With a shallow class of high major combo guards in the Midwest, Davis can catapult in the top 100.
6'3" 2015 poing guard Eric Davis (Saginaw Arthur Hill/The Family 16u) Michigan's most recognized sophomore can maintain his top 25 national ranking.
6'6 2016 guard Josh Jackson (Detroit Consortium/Dorian's Pride 17u) A top ten player in the nation's 2016 class will draw nods and shakes.
6'10" 2015 power forward Trevor Manuel (Lansing Sexton/The Family 16u) Manuel's upside is top 25 caliber when production meets potential.
6'8" 2014 forward Jamal Poplar (River Rouge/Michigan Mustangs-Allison 17u) The loan rising junior from last year's loaded Mustangs 17u team will be a recognizable name.
6'7" 2014 forward Jaron Rogers (North Farmington/The Family 16u) A match up problem as he's just as comfortable playing inside as he is outside.
6'7" 2014 power forward Justin Tillman (Detroit Pershing/REACH Legends 17u) Mr. Consistency neared a triple-double in almost every game he's played this spring.
6'6" 2014 shooting guard AJ Turner (Warren De La Salle/Dorian's Pride 17u) He can be the #1 player in Michigan's 2014 class along with others on this list.
Whiole there will be more here are a few other Michigan players poised to gain ground beyond there own backyard:
6'9" 2015 power forward Brad Brechting (Cedar Springs/Grand Rapids 16u) Hiehgt is hard to disguise and his skill should put him on the radar for next year.
6'7" 2014 power forward Dequandre Dentmond (Lansing Eastern/Michigan Mustangs-Allison 17u) The enigma of Michigan can have a Jalen Reynolds like buzz this weekend.
6' 2014 combo guard DeShaun Thrower (Muskegon/ACB Bankhoops 17u) He can dominate games and leading his team into Sunday will help his exposure as well as his teams.
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