Recapping the Spiece Bill Hensley Memorial Run N Slam.
Many of the nation’s top prep stars descended upon Fort Wayne, IN over the weekend to take part in the Spiece Bill Hensley Memorial Run N Slam. The historic Spiece fieldhouse is where recent NBA draftees Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, Eric Gordon, and Josh McRoberts refined their skills before jumping to the League.
Decked out with eight full courts, weight room, training facility, sporting goods store and elaborate snack bar, it’s far more then your normal run of the mill basketball complex. Even more compelling for hoops junkies is the history behind the place, donning over 100 game-used jerseys of the best the state of Indiana has produced, including Larry Legend himself, Shawn Kemp, and Calbert Cheaney. They also had signed jerseys of NBA stars Karl Malone, Shaq and MJ, as well as Wilt Chamberlain game-used shorts. Needless to say, you could spend a few hours there checking out the scenery and forget that the future of college basketball is playing just a few feet away.
CLASS OF 2010
Jared Sullinger | 6-8 | Junior PF | Columbus Northland (OH)
Sullinger was hands down the most dominant player at Spiece, leading his All Ohio Red team to the 17-U crown. He got the best of big men Josh Smith (2010) and James McAdoo (2011) in their hyped matchups even though his team only had five players for stretches of the tournament. The burly forward did the majority of his work in the paint, using his body to score against his stronger, more athletic counterparts. The Ohio State recruit isn’t going to blow you away with his leaping ability or physical package, but at this point, there’s no other player in the class of 2010 that I’d rather have on my team if I’m trying to win games on the AAU circuit.
Kendall Marshall | 6-3 | Junior PG | Bishop O’Connell (VA)
Falling to Sullinger’s squad in the semi-finals, Marshall brought his “A game” to the court, both as a playmaker and as a scorer. Able to get buckets in a variety of ways, Kendall showed a decent jumper and converted inside with a number of floaters. He ran the pick and roll better then any point guard in attendance, leading a few fans in attendance to throw out some Chris Paul comparisons. While we definitely won’t go that far, it was still a really nice outing from the UNC commit.
Josh Smith | 6-10 | Junior C | Kentwood (WA)
Heralded by some as the top player in the class of 2010, Smith struggled against Sullinger after being completely dominant on Friday and Saturday. With his size, length, and massive body (around 275 pounds), he’s a straight nightmare to stop in the paint. His Seattle Rotary squad was a bit disappointing on the weekend though and there were a few instances that Josh looked like he could really care less about being on the floor. Either way, his soft hands and athleticism have drawn him legitimate comparison to a young Eddy Curry. Now let’s just hope that he stays closer to the emerging star Eddy Curry of the baby Bulls, rather then the Eddy Curry of ‘08-09 that didn’t even average 2 ppg.
Jereme Richmond | 6-6 | Junior wing | Waukegan (IL)
With his loaded Mac Irvin Fire being bounced surprisingly early, we weren’t able to see Richmond matched up against any of the other elite players that the event had to offer. Regardless, he was simply sensational in the two games that we were able to check out of his. Known as a player who doesn’t bring it all the time, he came equipped in Fort Wayne with his full repertoire of skills. The Illinois recruit shot the ball well (both from beyond the arc and mid-range), while also using his size to post smaller defenders. If Richmond is able to keep playing with a fire like this, expect him to make a big splash as a freshman in the Big Ten.
Travis McKie | 6-7 | Junior combo forward | Richmond (VA)
There was arguably no other player more active around the rim then McKie, who changed the game with his impressive hops and great motor. He was able to block a number of shots, even bothering the seemingly unstoppable Sullinger for stretches in his Boo Williams team’s semi-final loss. The combo forward is still rough around the edges, but showed an improved jumper by knocking down a number of three pointers on the weekend. The Wake Forest commit completely fits the mold of the long, athletic forwards that Demon Deacon coach Dino Gaudio loves to recruit, a la NBA Draft prospects James Johnson (entered 2009 Draft) and Al Farouq Aminu (returning for his sophomore campaign).
Aaron Craft | 6-2 | Junior PG |Liberty Benton (OH)
Perhaps no other player did more that didn’t appear in the box score then Craft, who kept his All Ohio Red team under composure in the early rounds despite the fact that they only had fvie players at times. His poise and leadership were unparalleled here, and not coincidentally he led his team to the 17-U championship. While the Tennessee recruit isn’t going to make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays anytime soon, he’s a heady point guard that gets everyone involved and plays absolute lockdown defense.
Other Juniors of Note:
Duke commitment Andre Dawkins, a 6-5 shooting guard; Wisconsin commitment Evan Anderson of Eau Claire (WI), a 7-0 center; Ohio State commitment DeShaun Thomas of Fort Wayne (IN), a 6-7 combo forward; Adreian Payne of Dayton (OH), a 6-10 big man who had to leave early for prom; Michigan State commitment Russell Byrd, a 6-7 wing from Fort Wayne (IN); Illinois commitment Crandall Head, a 6-4 combo guard from Chicago (IL).
CLASS OF 2011
Tony Wroten | 6-5 | Sophomore combo guard | Seattle Garfield (WA)
The nation’s finest sophomore did not disappoint in Fort Wayne, dropping monster numbers on anyone he went against, despite playing against players a year older. Seattle Rotary didn’t have the elite talent that other squads boasted outside of Wroten and Josh Smith, as seen by the numerous assist opportunities that his teammates failed to convert on from time to time. Wroten was simply unstoppable when going to the rack and kept defenders honest by drilling a number of three pointers on the weekend, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to get his squad past All-Ohio Red.
Marquis Teague | 6-3 | Sophomore PG | Indianapolis Pike (IN)
While Wake Forest point guard Jeff Teague is prepping for June’s NBA Draft, his baby brother Marquis has been busy tearing up the AAU circuit. Arriving late to his hyped matchup against Tony Wroten, he did not disappoint in the half of basketball that he was able to play. The physical package that he offers with his quickness, length and size is not matched by any pure point guard in the class. He was able to knife in the lane at will, showed off a nice pull-up J, and played outstanding defense. Unfortunately for Teague, his Spiece Indy Heat team was lacking in the chemistry department though, resulting in a premature departure from the tournament.
James McAdoo | 6-9 | Sophomore PF | Norfolk Christian (VA)
Playing on a stacked Boo Williams team in an AAU setting that is primarily guard oriented, one can understand why shots weren’t so easy to come by for McAdoo. When he did get the rock, he showed off an advanced skill set for a young big man equipped with a few back to the basket moves and a faceup jumper out to 15 feet. The athletic forward has proven that he’s one of the elite bigs in the class of 2011 and we don’t expect him that to change anytime soon.
Other Sophomores of Note:
Wayne Blackshear, a 6-5 wing from Chicago (IL); Mike Shaw, a 6-8 forward from Chicago (IL); Cincinnati commitment Chane Behanan, a 6-6 combo forward form Cincinnati (OH); Sam Thompson, a 6-6 combo forward from Chicago (IL); Stevie Taylor, a 5-8 point guard from Gahanna (OH); Amir Williams, a 6-9 big man from Detroit (MI).
CLASS OF 2012
Justin Anderson | 6-5 | Freshman SG | Montrose Christian (MD)
Possibly the nation’s top freshman, Anderson played sparingly for Boo Williams 17U team. In the limited minutes that he did play though, it was easy to see why he already has so much acclaim. Anderson is every bit of 6-5 (perhaps even 6-6) with very long arms and downright freakish athleticism. The potential is there for him to be an outstanding defender, as seen by a few of his jaw dropping blocks. The youngster forced things a bit on the offensive end, but the potential that Justin offers long term was clearly evident.
Indiana Elite International Freshmen Big Men
Indiana Elite’s 15U squad boasted three impressive big men that already have the size of NBA players in their respective positions. Obij Aget is a 6-11 center from the Sudan who completely changes the game with his long arms, fluid movement, and activity on the glass. He’s still a work in progress offensively, but has shown good hands and a really soft touch. A ton of high major programs have already come knocking about this emerging prospect. Hanner Perea is a 6-8 forward from Columbia who is blessed with long arms, great athleticism, and a motor that doesn’t stop. The third of the big men is 6-11 Peter Jurkin, who played high school ball in North Carolina this past season. He is a game changer defensively, but is much more raw then Aget on the offensive end. Word has it that all three players will be playing their high school ball in Birmingham (AL) this season, and college coaches will certainly be flocking in to get a glimpse at these three prospects.
Elijah Macon | 6-8 | Freshman PF | Columbus (OH)
Macon really turned some heads with his play after being moved up to the 17U level, despite only being a freshman. He’s long, athletic, and very active around the rim. Macon’s productivity gave the coach no other choice but to leave him on the court during All Ohio Red’s championship run, despite the fact that he usually plays on the 15-U level. This youngster already has a number of bigtime programs inquiring about his services and one could assume that many more will be coming in the next few months.
Rodger Bohn is the Director of Prep Scouting for Draft Express.