Notes and evaluations midway through day two of adidas May Classic

  • Indiana Elite Team Indiana is moving on to the second round of the tournament with a 72-51 win. It’s been a very good day for the 17U team, routing all three opponents. Ron Patterson is at prom and Peter Jurkin is sidelined with the stress fracture injury, but Hanner Perea has been outstanding, with 21 points in the final game. Yogi Ferrell is making everyone better, piling up assists but scoring in single-digits. And Jeremy Hollowell has had flashes of really strong play, including 16 points in the first tournament contest.
  • The best game of pool play may have been 16U Indiana Elite South vs. Spiece Indy Heat. IE South, coached by Dan Dakich and led by Mark Donnal, changed defenses seven times (“And we don’t even practice,” Dakich said during the game) and kept Spiece on its heels. The score went back and forth, but Trevon Bluiett’s final shot was blocked by Donnal for a 78-77 IE South win.
    Donnal is the kind of forward who always seems to find success at a program like Butler, Wisconsin or Michigan. He’s an inside-outside threat, draining 3-pointers early before putting himself on the block late. He finished with 23 points, four blocks and five boards.
    “I thought at the end, when he went down on the block, he just did what he can do,” Dakich said. “He has a great touch, he finally started getting post position. … When he goes on the block, he’s a strong, skilled, good kid.”
    Indiana is recruiting him, as is Butler, Michigan and Michigan State, among others.
  • Dakich had high praise for two Indy Heat players, IU commits James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles.
    “All the guys they have committed, those two guys are great,” Dakich said. “The rest of them are OK, they’re good and all that. But those two guys, I just think … if there’s better players in the freshmen class than those two guys.”
    Blackmon scored 25 points against  IE South, while Lyles scored six and was strong on the boards. Bluiett actually led all scorers with 28 points.
  • Devin Davis looks recovered from a back injury that cost him some of his explosion. He’s a guy that it is in-between positions at 6-foot-6, but with his motor it may not matter.
    “I just feel like I talk more and I try to get the guys going, because I know what they can do and can’t do,” Davis said. “Some guys on the team don’t like to talk but they like to hear it, so I just try to get them going.”
  • D3 Heat is out of the tournament, losing its first playoff game. The program, led by Gary Harris, also lost to UNC-bound guard J.P. Tokoto and the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in pool play. Harris scored 35 in that game and tried to carry the load, but he’s the only elite talent on that team (though there are a few quality mid-majors guys).
  • Below are four evaluations from earlier. I’ll have more later on tonight.


6-9, 2013, F, Indiana Elite South/Wayne (Ohio)

GAME: Donnal led Indiana Elite South to a 78-77 win against Spiece Indy Heat, scoring 23 points with five rebounds and four blocks — including one to seal the win.

SCOUTING REPORT: Donnal perfectly fits the mold of an inside-outside forward, the kind of guy used to great successs at programs like Butler, Michigan and Wisconsin. He needs to gain weight, but showed the ability to block shots and score from anywhere on the floor.

COLLEGES: Indiana, Michigan, Butler and Michigan State, among others, have expressed interest.


6-5, 2014, F, Spiece Indy Heat/Park Tudor

GAME: Bluiett had a terrific game in defeat, scoring a game-high 28 points for his team in a 78-77 loss.

SCOUTING REPORT: At times Bluiett looks like a man without a position — a forward’s game in a guard’s body. But it did not matter during the final pool play game, hitting a handful of 3-pointers to get Spiece going early on.

COLLEGES: Indiana has offered, with both Purdue and Xavier interested.


6-2, 2014, G, Spiece Indy Heat/Marion

GAME: Blackmon played both guard positions during a 78-77 loss to Indiana Elite south, scoring 25 points in the process.

SCOUTING REPORT: Indiana’s first 2014 commit, Blackmon is, at this point, best utilized as a pure scorer. He has the mentality needed for such a role, missing several 3-pointers to start but continuing to fire (and they eventually went in). With a better handle, he could be a true combo guard.

COLLEGES: Verbally committed to Indiana.


6-4, 2012, G, D3 Heat/Hamilton Southeastern

GAME: D3 Heat lost 86-83 to the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, but Harris did as much as he could – scoring 35 points.

SCOUTING REPORT: Harris is a guy who gets to the lane whenever he wants and has a jump shot to prevent defenses from packing it in. That was the case again on Saturday, even with his coach trying to challenge UNC-bound guard J.P. Tokoto to take on Harris.

COLLEGES: Still not trimming of the list, but Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Louisville and Ohio State are all involved.






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