Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Adidas May Classic Recap

Adidas May Classic Recap- brought to you by Paully-C
While most Michigan team's stayed close to home this weekend, to play in tourneys that were hosted by the R & G All-Stars and the West Michigan Lakers, the Michigan Mustangs' three teams and Common Bond's four teams, along with Flint Affiliation 16's all headed south to participate in the Adidas May Classic that was hosted by the Indiana Elite. The tourney was played at the University of Indiana and local gyms around Bloomington.

Of the eight Michigan teams that played, the Mustang 17's were the only team that made a deep run, so deep the Stangs advanced all the way to the gold championship before falling to Indiana Elite One.

Heading south to Indiana the sky wasn't so bright for Coach Watt's crew, due to proms and other school activities the Stangs were left stranded with only five players- Drew Valentine, Duke Mondy, Matt Balkema, Rico Stewart, and Jared Mysliwiec. After a late night meeting, between the complete Mustang coaching staff, a handful of players were sent up through out the tourney to give the 17's some sort of a bench. Players that saw some time with the 17's were Percy Gibson, LaDonte Henton, Juwan Howard Jr., Devin Ivy, Brandan Kearney, Sultan Mohammad, and Denzel Valentine.

The Stangs fought through pool play with a 2-0 record with wins over Chicago Express and M33M.

Sunday the Stangs continued to build strength and confidence as they won three games to set up the championship game against Indiana Elite-One at I.U.'s Assembly Hall.

Some 17-u notes:
**The Mustangs kept the championship game close and that was a victory in itself as Indiana Elite was loaded with players committed to Duke, Purdue, and two to Indiana.

**Mason Plumlee (Indiana Elite #5 above), a Duke commit, is one to keep an eye on, at 6-10 not only can he play the block but he can step out and shoot as well as handle the ball.

**Drew Valentine's toughness and leadership kept the core of this team focused with only five players playing a bulk of minutes, he also guided the young fellas and kept their confidence high.

** LaDonte Henton led the 17's in scoring for the weekend, he also had the game winning basket as time expired in the semi-final breaking an 87-87 tie- showing why he has the nickname 'Buckets".
** Duke Mondy was fantastic all weekend. He caught fire in the second round, when the Stangs trailed, by scoring 13 points by himself to give his team the lead back. He finished the game with 30 points.

**There were a few times through out Sunday, and even in the championship game, when the Stangs had five of their younger players on the floor showing how good they can be in the future.

The 16-u Stangs played in a nationally loaded super pool where they fought but came up short with a 1-point and a 2-point loss to Spiece Indy Heat and Indiana Elite. Even though the Stangs were 0-2 in pool play they received a bid to the gold bracket for playing in the super pool. It was just one of those weekends because the Stangs lost another hard fought game in the gold division to (St. Louis).

Common Bond's two teams couldn't muster much success either. Tyrone Hicks' team did manage to win their pool but they fell in the first round of the gold division to MBA Elite. Dedoes' team went 1-1 in pool play and lost in the first round of silver division play to Indiana-Fort Wayne.

Flint Affiliation also had a tough road as they came back home with a 0-3 record. No excuses but half of FA's team were 15-u players.

Some 16-u notes:
** The Mustangs did control leads in all three of their hard fought games.

**6-9 Alex Guanna continues to look like a high major recruit with the ability to step out and shoot the 3-ball.

**Dedo Jackson is turning into the best "TRUE" point guard in the state for the class of 2010- meaning he is a pass first PG that can set up his big men.

** CJ Olaniyan has joined the Stangs roster and he gave Coach Oden another freak to clean up the glass that can also finish with his soft touch. CJ is shorter than Guanna and Horford but he is more physical.

** Teveon Whitson averaged 25 points a game for FA- he will step in and be the next big star to come out of Saginaw High. He can stroke the ball from deep and has an excellent mid-range game.

**Tommie McCune a 2011 player also looked good playing up for FA by controlling the boards and running the floor.

The Michigan Mustangs used a 9 point win over Illinois Old School and a 12 point win over Indiana Swish to win their pool and advance to the gold division. In the gold division bracket he Stangs dug theirselves a double digit half time deficit but were able to out score the Queen City Prophets by 13 points in the third quarter to get right back into the game. But in the end the Stangs fell by 7 points giving them a 2-1 record for the weekend.

Some 15-u notes:
** Dan Chilcote started this weekend for the young Stangs and showed why he is considered a wing at 6-6. He can really shoot the deep ball.

**Juwan Moody got hot in the first half against Indiana Swish with five 3-pointers.

**Darren Washington continues to impress at 6-9. Even though he's still growing into his body he is very physical and has great timing on blocking shots.