FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Bill Hensley Memorial Spiece Run N' Slam All-Star Classic is historically THE best and biggest spring basketball event in the Midwest. This year’s event continued that tradition. The event featured teams from Indiana, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, New York, Minnesota, New Mexico, Washington and Canada.
Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marion)
2013, PG, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds
A Saturday morning SAT test made him late to the party and by the time he arrived, Jackson’s team was mired in the loser’s bracket. We bumped into him Saturday night when he slapped on his Superman cape and saved the day in a playoff game. Jackson is one of the best point guards in the 2013 class because he’s got speed, power, smarts and is ultracompetitive. With the game on the line, he dominated with a pull-up, post-up and the big shoulders great players typically have.
James Young (Troy, Mich./Troy)
2013, SG 6-6, 190 pounds
Much has been written about Young and his spring ascension. Forget the physical attributes and accolades heaped onto his game. The primary reason for the rise into likely top-five status can be summed up with one word: consistency. The junior is replicating elite efforts and making it look easy. When you bring it every time at a high level, the evaluation moves from rocket science to a more practical application.
Trey Lyles (Indianapolis, Ind./Arsenal Tech)
2014, PF, 6-8, 210 pounds
The future Hoosier's play feeds the notion that IU is good enough to play for championships now, while constructing more contenders in the future. Lyles’ game is well-rounded, as he starts breaks via rebounds and passes. He continually works to be a threat from the perimeter and a presence in the lane.
Kendall Stephens (St. Charles, Ill./East)
2013, SG, 6-5, 190 pounds
The shooting guard can be more impactful than he’s shown, and we say this coming off a good showing. He played well last weekend, taking and making difficult shots. Where he can improve lies in his basketball ego. To take the next step, Stephens should begin to view himself at all times as the player he is -- a go-to guy who is good enough to command the basketball in big situations.
Mark Donnal (Whitehouse, Ohio/Wayne)
2013, 6-8, 225 pounds
John Beilein has recruited some nice pieces in the post since arriving at Michigan and Donnal might be closer to his ideal big man than any of them. Donnal continues to display a balance between post and perimeter, but what’s taken his rating up this spring is how he’s finishing plays with more athleticism. His AAU coach is Dan Dakich, who communicates with him in “real talk” so he’ll have an advantage in that he’s been told the truth before he even arrives in Ann Arbor.
Devin Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow)
2013, PF, 6-8, 220 pounds
He’s evolving into a reliable power forward because he’s committed to staying on the glass and attacking the rim. He’ll be a secondary-style post player for the big dogs and everyone’s top big-man target for upper tier midlevel programs. Williams is the type of insider who relies more on blue-collar effort than skill.
E.C. Matthews (Romulus, Mich./Romulus)
2013, SG, 6-3, 185 pounds
He is an athletic wing who loves to score off the bounce. The lefty can get in the lane practically at will and finishes well at, or above, the rim. He also has a solid midrange game, which makes him tough to stop off the dribble. Matthews is a very good creator who knows how to pass out of double-teams, but is a streaky shooter who needs to be more consistent to complete the package.
Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio/Greenview)
2013, SF/PF, 6-6, 185 pounds
He is a dynamic combo-forward who is improving. He is a solid athlete who is not afraid to get in the lane and dunk on an unsuspecting opponent. He is also a solid shooter with range to 20 feet, but he's at his best off the bounce, where he can take other forwards into the midrange area and shoot over them or take them all the way to the cup and score.
Nigel Hayes (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer)
2013, SF/PF, 6-7, 215 pounds
He is a versatile player who can play either forward spot. He has a strong body (also plays wide receiver) and is a solid athlete. He has nice length and is a decent finisher in the paint. Hayes is a very good defender and can guard any position on the floor other than point guard. Offensively, he can score some off the dribble but is mostly a garbage man in the paint.
Derrick Walton (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park)
2013, PG, 5-11, 175 pounds
He is a complete point guard who can score and create for others. He has a smooth game with a nice pace, is good off the dribble and seems to understand when to score and when to pass. Walton has a solid frame and should be able to contribute immediately at Michigan.
Monte Morris (Flint, Mich./Beecher)
2013, PG, 6-1, 165 pounds
He is smooth scoring point guard who is taller and longer than Walton but has more of a scorer's mentality. That is not to say he is not a good passer. Morris is very good at finding open teammates, but he played a little more off the ball at this event.