Notes from Spiece Run N’ Slam In Fort Wayne

Run N’ Slam is coming down to it’s last game of the night. Haven’t had much chance to sit down and write most of the day (and I killed my laptop battery in the first hour), so I’ll try to address all the major points quickly here.

—First, the Indiana Elite Team Indiana 17 and under team— which has five Indiana commitments on the roster — advanced to the quarterfinals Sunday with two easy wins in bracket play. The squad was still without center Peter Jurkin, who was in North Carolina and is still recovering from shin problems, and swingman Jeremy Hollowell, who still hasn’t been cleared from a sprained wrist.

To win in pool play, though, the IE squad needed last minute heroics in the finale against the Illinois Wolves, a team that includes Purdue commitment Jay Simpson and some other very talented players. Point guard Yogi Ferrell was the hero, knocking down an off-balance 3-pointer that gave IE a two-point lead in the final minute. The Wolves tied the game, but on the final play, Ferrell drove and kicked out to Kieran Woods, an uncommitted guard headed to Brewster Academy for a last-second 3-pointer.

“That was two great basketball plays there,” IE coach Mark Adams said. “He could’ve thrown some kind of slop up there at the end, but instead he made the best basketball play he could by kicking it out.”

— The other member of the Class of 2012 that the IU commitments are most trying to add to “the Movement” says that he’s still taking his time. Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris said not much has changed with his recruitment and he doesn’t even have any visits scheduled in the near future. He was asked if he saw the process lasting until the fall and said, “Who knows. It could happen in the fall, it could happen before the fall. It all depends on what I feel in my heart.”

Harris’s D3 Pride squad was eliminated by the Ohio Players in the first round of bracket play.

— Jaquan Lyle, a freshman at Evansville Bosse, opened the most eyes nationally among IU targets. He scored 15 points in a strong effort in the morning that displayed his preternatural court vision. He still has his moments of uncoordination, more than natural when you’re 6-foot-5 at the age of 15 and still growing, but he shows an outstanding court sense for a player his size. Lyle said he has offers from Indiana, Purdue, Illinois and Xavier. Though he’s getting some pressure from other IU commitments to pull the trigger, he said he won’t make a decision until at least next summer after AAU season.

— As I type this, I’m watching the Spiece Indy Heat squad with James Blackmon, Jr., Trey Lyles, Trevon Blueitt and P.J. Thompson. They haven’t had any troubles so far. Lyles is extremely coordinated for a player his size at his age. Blackmon sometimes gets lost in run n’ gun games in AAU, but he’s a good shooter and has a veteran’s smoothness about him.

— A couple of out-of-state players are apparently on IU’s radar. Jalen James, a point guard from Chicago Hope Academy and a 2013 recruit, said he’s been in discussions with IU about a visit. He doesn’t have an offer from them yet, with his only two offers coming from Cleveland State and Baylor. Bo Zeigler, a 2013 recruit from Michigan, said he does have an offer and is also considering a visit in June.