FORT WAYNE, IND. - The Spiece Fieldhouse is a basketball heaven. With game worn jerseys abound and nostalgic pieces of hoops history abound, it’s difficult to not get excited about roundball. At the 11th annual Spiece Run N Slam, several players felt the spirit of the game they love and put on a show Friday night.
Josh McRoberts and Mike Conley, Jr. were sorely missed in Spiece Indy Heat’s loss to Seattle Rotary Select in the opening game of the tournament. With missing personnel, the boys from the Emerald City stepped up to the opportunity and walked away with a hard fought win.
Marcus Williams led the way with 22 points, connecting on four three pointers. The 6-foot-7 guard from Roosevelt High School continues to impress on-lookers with his strong shooting and consistent scoring touch.
After shining in Las Vegas two weeks ago, college coaches have been actively involved in his recruitment. Kansas, Missouri, NC State, Oregon State and Washington all made it to Seattle to see him during the live period. Williams also said Florida, Arizona and UConn tried to see him but travel complications didn’t allow it to happen.
Williams said he’d officially visit Texas, Florida, UConn, Kansas and NC State over the course of the summer.
Terrence Williams has had a roller coaster of an April. On Friday night, he tried to show that he has improved his jumper but his outside touch wasn’t falling. There were other aspects of game that stood out like his defense and athleticism.
Rounding out the offense was 6-foot junior guard Garrison Carr. The mighty-mite guard dropped 16 points, including four three pointers. He came up big when the team needed a bucket. He’s a mid-major prospect with a tough shot to defend.
With Conley, Jr. away at a track meet, Indy Heat had Daequan Cook run the point. The 6-foot-4 sophomore guard continues to impress us with his versatility and basketball IQ. He was one of the top players last week at the Kingwood Classic and his game hasn’t changed since then. At the point, he did a good job of finding Greg Oden inside. Cook is making a strong case for top ten consideration in the class of 2006.
Oden had a strong game, scoring 17 points. His moves down low are mind boggling around the block. The 7-foot center has great body control and knows how to score around the basket. There isn’t a player in Fort Wayne that will stop him inside. That’s a no-brainer.
Chad Millard looked very impressive for Blessed INJ before leaving the game early with a sprained ankle. That didn’t stop him from scoring 20 points and throwing down some nasty dunks. The 6-foot-8 prototypical small forward is making a strong case for top 25 status.
Chris Lutz only scored 11 points but the prep school bound senior was efficient in his shooting and very comfortable in the point guard spot. We’ll keep an eye on his this tournament.
Marques Johnson was active on both ends of the floor, scoring 18 points and dishing out eight assists. The 6-foot-5 class of 2006 floor general is becoming a complete player. Sophomore Richard Semrau added 17 points. The 6-foot-9 shooter is becoming a true high major.
In a battle between the Illinois Fire and Team Philly MJC, Tony Freeman shined through the fouls and rough play. The 6-foot-1 senior to be shot the ball well and ran the offense decently. The St. Joseph High School (Ill.) product is a hot commodity with college programs right now, too. He is listing Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame and Wake Forest (in that order) as his current favorites.
Rick Pitino made a visit to Illinois to see Freeman before the Kingwood Classic and Tom Crean was recently in as well. Freeman said he’d visit Marquette unofficially in mid May. He will also make his first official visit to Louisville on June 14.
Freeman’s backcourt mate Jeremy Pargo shot the ball well and looked much better in this game than he did last weekend in Houston. Nate Minnoy is still the owner of the biggest chest in the class of 2005.
For Philly MJC, Villanova-bound Shane Clark displayed his athleticism and versatility, playing the point guard spot and on the wing. He doesn’t have a strong jumper but he gets by with his long body and strong hops.
In the nightcap, Wilson Chandler came alive for the Michigan Hurricanes Black. The 6-foot-7 forward from Benton Harbor High School was always around the basket and took advantage of the opportunities. He finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Xavier, Michigan and Michigan State are a few of the schools involved with him.
While Chandler was shining inside, Eric Devendorf dialed in for a game high 28 points. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard was automatic from the perimeter, pulling up from NBA range. He is confident in his abilities and plays with a bit of an edge.
Jamelle Cornley was a bull for All Ohio Red in a losing effort. The 6-foot-5 power forward is a beast inside and loves to rebound the basketball. He led the way with 18 points. He told us Michigan, Bowling Green, Vanderbilt, Providence and Georgetown were just a few of the schools involved with his recruitment.