Inside the Hall hit the road on Friday for the Bill Hensley Memorial Spiece Run ‘N Slam Classic in Ft. Wayne. We spent Friday night at Northrop High School checking out Spiece Indy Heat, Eric Gordon All-Stars and the Illinois Wolves. A few notes from the opening evening:
— 2014 commit Trey Lyles suited up with the Spiece Indy Heat 16’s and finished with four points in a 58-44 win over the Michigan Warriors. It certainly wasn’t the best night for Lyles from the field, but he showed a few flashes of the high level play that earned him the Maxpreps.com national freshman of the year. Lyles needs to become more assertive at times in demanding the ball in the post, but his unselfishness is part of what makes him a great teammate. Inside the Hall spoke with Lyles after his pool play win and we’ll have a transcript of that conversation on the site in the coming days.
— James Blackmon Jr. also struggled to find his touch from the perimeter, but showed off a nice arsenal of moves off the dribble and finished with 10 points in Spiece Indy Heat’s win. It’s hard not to be excited about Blackmon Jr.’s ability to put up scoring numbers in a hurry from the two-guard spot.
— Despite questions about his position at the next level, Devin Davis Jr. continues to produce big time efforts this spring. Friday was no different as the Warren Central wing poured in a team-high 18 points as the Eric Gordon All-Stars beat St. Louis Team Swish, 69-54. Davis Jr. is relentless on the glass and after loose balls and the stress fracture that limited his play during the high school season appears to be in the rearview mirror. His ball handling continues to improve as he had several sequences where he grabbed the rebound and immediately drove the ball down the court without hesitation.
— After missing last weekend’s Eric Gordon All-Star Classic in Merrillville due to prom, Collin Hartman returned to the Eric Gordon 16’s team with Davis Jr. and scored 10 points in their win. The Cathedral sophomore took over for a stretch in the second half, scoring seven straight points that put some distance between the Gordon team and St. Louis Team Swish in what was an extremely competitive game.
— The final game of the opening evening featured a total mismatch between the Illinois Wolves and Indy EBC Red. The Wolves are led by Purdue commit Kendell Stephens and point guard Jalen James, who is beginning to receive interest from Indiana. Wolves coach Mike Mullins confirmed that Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley has inquired about James and added that most of the Big Ten is now recruiting the sophomore. James’ playing time was limited as the Wolves cruised, but his court vision and ability to distribute the ball were both impressive.
We’ll have more from the Run ‘N Slam Classic, including video and Q & A’s, in the coming days on Inside the Hall.