Spiece’s premier event of the spring begins on Friday evening and runs through Sunday at venues throughout the city. Admission is $5 on Friday, $20 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday.
Here is a look at some of the players to keep an eye on (All times listed are Eastern Standard Time and are pool play games):
Indiana Elite Team Indiana (17-and-under) Who: Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell (injured), Ron Patterson and Yogi Ferrell When and Where: Friday at 7:30 PM vs. Club Ohio at Spiece Fieldhouse Court #2, Saturday at 8:00 AM vs. ICP Portland at Spiece Fieldhouse Court #1 and Saturday at 12:30 PM vs. Illinois Wolves at Spiece Fieldhouse Court #3.
Spiece Indy Heat (16-and-under) Who: James Blackmon Jr., P.J. Thompson, Trevon Bluiett, Trey Lyles When and Where: Friday at 7:30 PM vs. Michigan Warriors at Northrop Court #14, Saturday at 9:30 AM vs. Waterloo Wildhawks at Spiece Fieldhouse Court #3, Saturday at 2:00 PM vs. The Family at Spiece Fieldhouse Court #1.
As noted in the headline, each player committed to Indiana moved down in the rankings. Peter Jurkin is not in the top 100, but is rated the No. 25 center in the class. Other notables: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (23), Raphael Davis (81), Kellen Dunham (87), Glenn Robinson (90), Ronnie Johnson (93).
The 6-foot-3 James is considered a pure point guard, but is only in the beginning stages of the recruitment process.
“He’s just going through the process,” James’ brother, Jonathan, told Inside the Hall on Tuesday. “It’s new. He’s basically just focusing on AAU. He won’t make a decision until his senior year.”
The list of schools showing interest in James is lengthy. According to James and his brother, Baylor and Cleveland State have offered and DePaul, Dayton, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Xavier have all expressed interest.
But despite the early offers and attention, James has no favorite and is focusing on improving his game this spring and summer.
“I’m working on my jump shot. Strength wise, I’m trying to get bigger and also work on my speed,” James, who is working out at Chicago’s Attack Athletics, said on Tuesday.
Another significant part of the Chicago point guard’s game is defense, which he said was the first thing he was taught in basketball.
“Ever since I was younger, I was shorter than everybody,” he said. “So I had to get my points off of steals, that’s why I love defense so much. I was really the shortest player when I was younger, but I hit a growth spurt, so now it’s just carried on with me. I just love defense.”
— The weekend in Bloomington brought news of a visit from 2011 Word of God (NC) big man Yemi Makanjuola. The 6-foot-9 Nigeria native began his playing career in the United States at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia before moving to Word of God this past season. There’s not much information out there on Makanjuola, but here are links to a few brief video clips that were sent to us by ITH reader Kelin (scroll down on each link): Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3.
Skilled and athletic in the paint, the 6-foot-10 McGary has advanced his game further than just about any prospect in the last year. An offensive-minded guy, he’s the rare big guy who is already comfortable playing facing or with his back to the basket. He rebounds, runs the floor and is a pretty good rim protector defensively. The Indiana native made the move of the night when he caught on the right block, gave a fake to his right shoulder and then spun to his left to swish a right-handed jump hook from 8 feet. He’s left-handed, folks.
— Michigan Prep Stars released a spring highlight reel of Detroit Pershing guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker, who has offers from Michigan, Baylor, Florida State, Indiana, Minnesota, Dayton, Iowa State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Fairfield and Oakland.