Observations from Louisville

LOUISVILLE — The company van is currently driving up I-65 and disobeying the GPS unit (the jaunty British woman wants us to take a series of small roads up to Bloomington, instead of I-65 to IN-46). If you see us, feel free to honk.

Chris Korman and I were down in Louisville for the second straight weekend to watch the opening day of the Grassroots Shootout.

Most of the Indiana Elite teams were in attendance, but playing up an age level.

Chris, who is behind the wheel, will tell all of you what he thought of Austin Etherington, Jeremiah Davis, Dee Davis and some others later.

For now, you’ll have to deal with me.SPENCER TURNER (SO., G, INDIANA ELITE ONE/BLOOMINGTON SOUTH)

Turner, who I saw play only 22 times this season for South, was really quiet during the first half. He was involving his teammates, running the floor and crashing the boards. So while he had four assists, he also only had a couple of points. He went back to his game in the second half, making seven 3-pointers and finishing with 32 points. The key for him this summer is going to be proving that he is more than a one-dimensional shooter. He did that in the first half, but then showed he has not forgotten his roots in the second half and overtime period. He did have a very nice steal by playing a passing lane, then ran the floor for a layup and free throw. Turner also had a drive-and-no look dish to Rontray Chavis that I remarked to John Decker of HoosierNation was very “Hullsian.”

CODY ZELLER (SO., F/C, INDIANA ELITE ONE/WASHINGTON)

This was not a good night for the youngest Zeller. At this point, he’s just so thin — he said after the game, he’s 6-foot-9 and 185 pounds. When he was posted up, he fell back and let his man just back him up under the basket. He plays with a lot of effort, but he just does not move fast enough under the basket to even really be a big rebounder. Zeller did make a nice 15-foot jump shot and is technically sound — it’s just that the game can become too fast for him. He finished with 7 points (on 3-of-7 shooting) with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. With him, it’s all about projection at this point.

RONTRAY CHAVIS (SO., F, INDIANA ELITE ONE/PRINCETON)

The first time I saw Chavis, he was jumping through the roof at Conseco Fieldhouse during the 3A title game. The first half of Friday’s game was pretty much a continuation of that. He had 13 points, five rebounds and an assist in the first 16 minutes. He was really driving the lane and showing some shifty moves around the basket, including a reverse layup. The game got away from him in the second half and OT (mainly because of Turner’s hot hand). He stil finished with 16 points, six boards and three assists. Chavis needs to grow — he’s only 6-foot-4. Right now, he’s a power forward playing in a guard’s body. If he grows, he’s going to be a really good prospect. If not, he’s headed to a mid-major.

MICHAEL AVERY (FR., G, INDIANA ELITE TEAM INDIANA/LAKE SHERWOOD (CALIF.)

It’s really easy to see why Kentucky was so willing to take a commitment from Avery when he was in the 8th grade. He’s now open (and apparently visited Indiana on Friday) and could be a good get for any program. He defends really well along the perimeter and in the paint, and scored well when took shots (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting). At this age, he’s still very much in a development stage but his basketball IQ is high.

PETER JURKIN (FR., C, INDIANA ELITE TEAM INDIANA/UNITED FAITH (CHARLOTTE, N.C.)

Jurkin, one of Mark Adams’ A-HOPE kids is so raw, but is so, so talented. He’s at least 7-foot and has painfully thin legs, but his arms show the beginnings of muscles. Offensively, his game is all about dunking and put-backs. When he dunks, it looks like he could dunk on a 12-foot rim. Defensively, he blocked several shots and controlled what kind of shots their opponent took just because of his presence. As with all of these kids, he’s raw and relies on athleticism to make plays. But the way he blocked shots (down, towards teammates) indicates he is advanced in some areas.

6 comments

  1. Having made that drive about 10,000 times, I-65 to 46 is the worst possible way to go. There are a couple of beautiful drives between B-town and Derby City that only add a few minutes.

  2. Isn’t Thunder Over Louisville this weekend? That is always a crapshoot getting over the bridge there in Louisville during that.

  3. IU needs bigs. Bigs that have talent and muscles/girth. So for all these skinny tall guys, get in the weight room for a couple years and the b-ball talent will come. Travel b-ball is for PG, SF and SG recruiting.

  4. I saw on Scout that Etherington’s dad played at Butler and they are on him early. It would seem to me surprising if he didn’t go there.

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