Weekend Rundown (7-6-09)

Ed Note: I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday weekend. We are back to consistent posting and the Darius Morris interview should be up this afternoon.

We’re Live

College coaches make their way onto the AAU scene today for the first time this year. The NCAA scrapped all live evaluation periods in the Spring, making this the first chance for college coaches to get out and see recruits in person. This is the fun time when you can learn who’s recruiting who just by following where each coaching staff goes.

Here is the list of tournaments that take place over the next week or so:

July 5-8 LeBron James Skills Academy, Akron (Ohio)
July 6-8 adidas ItTakes5Classic, Cincinnati
July 6-9 Hoosier Shootout, Indianapolis
July 7-10 Reebok All-American Camp, Philadelphia
July 8-9 King City Classic, Cleveland (Ohio)
July 9-12 Kentucky HoopFest, Louisville
July 11-12 Peach State Summer Classic, N. Augusta, Ga.
July 12-15 Nike Peach Jam, North Augusta, S.C.

In celebration of the “live period”, the 2010 hotboard has been updated and a 2011 hot board is almost complete as well.

Many Michigan targets and players will be participating in the LeBron James Nike Skills Academy including: Manny Harris, DeShawn Sims, Evan Smotrycz, Trey Zeigler, Ray McCallum, and Adreian Payne.

True Heights and Weights

A benefit to the Nike camps that have been taking place over the last several weeks is that the rosters include true heights (with shoes), weights (without shoes), and wing spans for all participants.

DeShawn Sims – 6’8″ 230 lbs, 81″ wingspan
Evan Smotrycz – 6’9″ 212 lbs, 77″ wingspan
Casey Prather – 6’5″ 189 lbs, 77″ wingspan
Manny Harris – 6’5 1/2″ 183 lbs, 78.5″ wingspan
Trey Ziegler – 6’5″ 183 lbs, 81″ wingspan
Ray McCallum โ€“ 6’1 1/2″ 179 lbs, 73.5″ wingspan

Trey Zeigler’s measurables are definitely impressive. His arms are as long as DeShawn’s and he is essentially the same size as Manny. Evan Smotrycz’ wingspan is a bit underwhelming but he measured out at a legit 6’9″ in shoes.

Speaking of Smotrycz, Go Blue Wolverine posted Evan Smotrycz video from the NBPA Camp ($) and his ability to handle, run, and shoot is remarkable for a big guy. I am most impressed with his ability to handle and run the floor after grabbing a rebound. He is the perfect four-man in Beilein’s offense.

Memphis Confident with Prather

Casey PratherThe Commercial Appeal posted a rundown of Memphis’ recruiting board before the live period and they appear confident in Memphis’ chances at landing Casey Prather.

The Tigers under Calipari didn’t target Prather, but Pastner has made up a lot of ground, to the point where Memphis might be one of the favorites right now along with Vanderbilt. In fact, after playing in the NBA Players’ Association Top 100 camp in Virginia, Prather flew back to Memphis with his mother and immediately came to campus to meet with the coaches and academic staff. Prather’s calling card on the camp circuit this summer has been his defense, but he scored 19 points in the championship game at the Top 100 camp. Besides Memphis and Vandy, Clemson has been mentioned a lot with Prather, who is ranked No. 57 by Rivals

Vanderbilt was thought to be the leader for sometime but Memphis appears to be making a big push. With UNC still yet to offer, it is important that Michigan continue to push to get Tennessee native on campus.

Rivalries

Manny celebrates against PurduePat Forde named Michigan-Purdue one of the top 10 “red hot rivalries” entering next year. I know all about the Manny elbow and the whooping that Michigan put on Purdue in Ann Arbor but is this really one of the top 10 rivalries in the NCAA. I am skeptical that it is one of Michigan’s top rivalries.

Why It’s Hot Now: Wolverines guard Manny Harris’ heat-seeking elbow that broke the nose of the Boilermakers’ Chris Kramer drew an ejection and — intentional or not — hasn’t been forgotten. With Kramer back in West Lafayette, Harris back in Ann Arbor and Michigan back on the radar under John Beilein, this matchup will be relevant in the Big Ten standings and worth watching nationally.

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