FT. WAYNE, Ind. -- Each May, the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam is a must-stop to see top talent. On Friday night, the 2014 edition lived up to previous year's as top talent from the mid and upper Midwest invaded the Spiece Fieldhouse and area school. It became quickly evident that Michigan State got a good one in four-star junior Deyonta Davis and Davis' 2016 five-star teammate Caleb Swanigan was able to shine as well for host Spiece Indy Heat. Davis and Swanigan weren't the only players making noise.
Spiece big men dominant on opening night
Each year, the Spiece Indy Heat play the role of the home team at the Run-N-Slam and the Nike sponsored team is always loaded with talent. On Friday night, their big men stole the show in a win over the Western Michigan Lakers. First, rising senior Deyonta Davis, who currently ranks No. 42 in the class of 2015, did his thing before 2016 five-star Caleb Swanigan took over in the second half.
A 6-foot-8 (maybe 6-foot-9) power forward who plays at Muskegon (Mich.) High, Davis committed to Michigan State during the winter and he showed why Tom Izzo has to be happy to have him locked up early. A long and lanky four man who is quick and bouncy, Davis has outstanding natural instincts and tracks down loose balls and rebounds like he is the only player on the court on times.
While Davis rebounds at an above average clip, his skill level shines through. He stepped out and hit good-looking jumpers out to the three-point line and he made good passes on the interior when he didn't have a shot. Davis isn't yet strong, but he is willing to bang around in the lane and uses his superior quickness and length to cause opponents trouble. With Swanigan in early foul trouble, Davis scored all 16 of his points in the first half and looked like a player that is underrated. Coming off a big weekend at the first EYBL, Davis once again looked like a player that is underrated because of his upside. One of those kids who makes things look easy, he is light on his feet, gets from rim to rim in a hurry and he is putting himself in a position to make a climb up the rankings.
"It was my dream school," said Davis, when asked why he committed to Michigan State. "It is also close to home and I was ready to end it."
Davis also seems to have a good feel for his strengths and weaknesses.
"I run up and down the court and I can play above the rim," said Davis. "I need to work on my motor some. My high school coach says that I can always play harder and that if I play harder I could make the NBA someday."
One of the most physically imposing players in 2016, Swanigan currently ranks No. 13 in his class. He doesn't have ideal height for a low post player at 6-foot-8, but Swanigan has extremely long arms, broad shoulders and great touch. He plays an awful lot like a young Glen "Big Baby" Davis and uses his strength to hold off opponents while he finishes around the rim.
Swanigan got to the free throw line, cleaned the glass and showed that like Davis he has soft touch on jumpers. A change in his habits off the court has allowed him to drop around 25 pounds in the last year and the results speak volumes.
"It's been a little bit of everything," said Swanigan of how he dropped weight. "I've watched what I eat and while I don't eat perfect all the time, I am eating well most of the time and taking care of myself.
"(After) getting in the weight room, I've gotten more explosive and quicker."
Playing in the 16U division Friday night with Always 100, the 2016 duo of Matthew Moyer and Seth Towns looked at times as if they would help their team win by 100. Though they only ended up winning by around 60, the two 6-foot-7'ish forwards had very impressive showings
Obviously, it isn't ideal to evaluate prospects in such a lopsided game, so we will need to keep watching them. But, it was plain to see that both Moyer and Towns are lengthy swingmen with skill.
We'll start with Moyer. In the middle of a growth spurt, he showed explosion to the rim for dunks, good ball-handling nice touch on his shot. He rebounded, ran the floor and pretty much did what he wanted. Moyer looks like he has the tools to be considered for national rankings and has become a hot name. He listed offers from USC, UNLV, Dayton, Wisconsin, Detroit and Virginia Tech. The Va Tech offer came from the previous staff, but Moyer has recently spoken to Buzz Williams and feels that the offer will be good with the Hokies' new boss. Michigan is a place he'll visit in early June and he feels that he is on track to get an offer from the Wolverines after they have him on campus. He said that he would also like to set up visits with Xavier, Texas, USC, UNLV and Ohio State.
Like Moyer, Towns is a slender forward who operates well in the open floor. He's probably more combo forward than true wing but shoots well, is an excellent passer and has the type of frame that will easily add muscle. He also feels a previous offer from Virginia Tech will hold up and mentioned additional offers from Xavier and Dayton to go along with interest from Stanford, Ohio State, West Virginia, Iowa and many more.
Final Friday night notes
The No. 34 player in the class of 2015, Michigan combo guard Eric Davis is working hard to be more of a point guard. While he did a good job of distributing the ball and playing without mistakes, his best attribute is his ability to score. After shaking off some first-half foul trouble, Davis scored 19 of his team-high 25 in the second half on an assortment of jumpers, drives and trips to the free throw line. He's gotten a little bigger -- looks to be pushing 6-foot-3 -- and stronger and got off to a strong start on Friday night.
Also playing well for the Spiece Indy Heat was 2015 small forward Matt Holba. He threw down a couple of impressive jams in transition, had a big chase-down block that he swatted off the backboard and showed a balanced floor game. Holba listed offers from Providence, Valparaiso, Lehigh, Penn State and William & Mary to go along with interest from Ball State, Indiana State, Bucknell, Ohio, Notre Dame and Purdue.
One last player having a nice outing for Spiece (actually their entire team played well) was point guard Devin Cannady. The three-star prospect has live legs, can create off the dribble and did a very good job of knocking down open looks from the perimeter on opening night.