The Michigan Mustangs advanced to the final eight of the Adidas Big Time tournament in Las Vegas by defeating the Long Island Panthers 82-71.
Detroit Rogers' 6-1 SG Lorenzo Shine led The Mustangs with 21 points. MSU target 6-8 PF Al Horford chipped in with 14 points and 20 rebounds.
Kuvan Smith paced The Panthers with 21 points and lightning-quick PG Josh Wright gave the Mustangs difficulties with 17.
"It was a good win," said Mustangs coach Norm Oden. "Lorenzo Shine had 21 (points). 14 were in the first half so he got us going early."
It appears that MSU target 6-8 PF Al Horford is blowing up at the Big Time. Last night SPARTAN Magazine reported that some new schools became interested in Horford. Oden says he's not surprised.
"Well, I knew that would happen," Oden said. "His stock is going to be - sky is the limit after this because he's playing really well. If we (were to win) the tournament he'd probably be the MVP.
"He's totally dominating the paint. He's blocking everything that comes in there. And he's rebounding everything he's probably getting 20 a game. And (he's) blocking four or five a game."
MSU commitment Drew Neitzel had 10 points and 8 assists. Oden again spoke of Neitzel's improvement as a leader as being a key to the Mustangs' success.
"In everything you deal with there are some things (your kids) need to do better," Oden said. "Some of them it's a left hand, some of them it's a jump shot. I think that's an area he's demonstrating some improvement."
The Mustangs will take on the always tough Tim Thomas Playaz Gold at 4 pm (EST)
THE FAMILY TAKES SECOND PLACE
(News from NIKE Showcase in Orlando, Fla.)
The Family led by MSU targets Malik Hairston and Joe Crawford lost in the championship game of the 17 and under Showcase to the New York Gauchos 79-65.
Hairston led the Family with 29 points and Coleman had 17.
The Gauchos feature three excellent guards in Russell Robinson, Sundiata Gaines, and Ronald Ramon. That combo proved to be too much for a shorthanded Family squad.
The Family played the majority of the game without Joe Crawford because of an injured wrist. Crawford suffered the injury in yesterday's game against the Louisiana Sports Academy who feature top 10 big man Glen "Big Baby" Davis.
Crawford reportedly went up for a dunk attempt with a defender underneath him. Crawford left the game momentarily but returned to score 16 points in the victory.
Apparently Crawford attempted to play in this afternoon's championship game but could not play.
Crawford will reportedly undergo x-rays later this evening.
Rising senior 6-10 PF Danny Waterstradt of Redford Cathlic Central verbally commitment to Rutgers University.
Waterstradt is currently in Las Vegas with the Michigan Mustangs, however, Waterstradt is unable to participate due to a severely sprained ankle.
"Yeah he's on the bench cheering for the guys but he's got crutches," Norm Oden said.
Waterstradt committed over two weeks ago but asked that it be kept private until today.
Check back on SpartanMag.com for more updates on the progress of the Mustangs.