AAU Weekend Preview (4-23-10)

Another spring weekend means plenty more AAU tournaments on the docket. The big tournaments this weekend include: The King James Classic (Akron, OH), Providence Jam Fest, and  the Nike Spring Showdown (Merrillville, IN). There are also a several other regional tournaments of note: The String Music Showcase in Nashville, the Double Pump Classic in Vegas, The Indiana Spring Classic in Indianapolis, and The Next Level Tournament in Texas.

Joe and I will be headed down to Akron to take in the King James Shooting Stars Classic. The King James tournament features a number of the top teams from the midwest which feature a number of Michigan targets.

King James Shooting Stars Classic

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Markus Crider, Carlton Brundidge, and Amir Williams will all be in action in Akron

Dayton wing guard Markus Crider will be playing with the host team, King James Shooting Stars. The Shooting Stars are loaded and Crider hasn’t exactly filled up the stat sheet so far this spring but I’m excited to get a chance to check him out first-hand. Kalamazoo Central guard TJ Buchanan also plays with the Stars and has had a strong spring after a state title run.

Amir Williams and Carlton Brundidge (Michigan commitment) will both be in action with The Family. Brundidge and Williams have both gotten off to a good start this spring and they will be looking to make some noise in Akron. The bad news for Michigan fans is that Amir Williams visited Duke last night.

The Michigan Mustangs will also be playing at the King James tournament. The Mustangs feature an array of local talent including Trey McDonald, Patrick Lucas-Perry, LaDontae Henton, and Dwaun Anderson. Most of these guys are top 10 in-state kids but they also make up the group of in-state prospects that are trying to play their way into some big time offers.

All of the in-state programs will also be bringing their 16U teams but we are excited to get another look at Indiana guard Gary Harris. Harris’ recruitment is poised to explode and he recently picked up offers from Indiana and Cincinnati.  Another name to look for at the 16U level is Jordan Hare. Hare is a super-long post prospect from Saginaw Arthur Hill that I believe is playing with King James (although I’ve seen him connected to The Hurricanes as well).

Providence Jam Fest

Most of the best teams on the east coast will be participating in the Providence Jam Fest. The man that Michigan fans will want to watch is Eric Katenda. Katenda will be back in action with the Albany City Rocks and it’s becoming clear that Michigan has a spot near the top of his list.

Michigan continues to recruit the 2012 St. Marks duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski and both big guys will be in action with the New England Playaz.

Nike Spring Showdown

Team Pride will be down in Merrillville taking on some of the stronger talent in Indiana and Illinois. The Illinois Wolves and Mac Irvin Fire are two of the favorites in this tournament but The Pride have a few nice pieces.

At the 2011 level Team Pride will rely on Tommie McCune but where they really shine is at the 2012 level with Matt Costello, Ray Lee, Javontae Hawkins – all of whom are major Michigan targets.

Other Notes

Isaiah Sykes will be playing in the Michigan high school All-Star game on Saturday at Oakland University. The boys game tips off at 6pm and in-state stars like Maurice Jones (USC), Keith Appling (MSU), Devin Oliver (Dayton), Alex Gauna (MSU),and Roy Marble (Iowa) are scheduled to participate.

Marcus Thornton has completed his 7 in home visits and he will start taking visits in early May. All seven teams (Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, UGA, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Michigan) remain on his list and he is planning a decision around the third week of May.

The Big Ten denied Ben Brust’s appeal to attend another Big Ten school without paying his own way. This would have been an issue for Michigan recruiting Cody Larson and it explains why Beilein probably didn’t even make an in-home.

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