Best in the Midwest Semifinals Set

Spiece Indy Heat is hot in both divisions

July 15, 2007

By Van Coleman



Van Coleman

Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
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The Best in the Midwest Classic moved toward its Championship Day with the quarterfinals in the books and the semifinals set for Sunday's action in Indianapolis...


The 17 & 16-under divisions played their quarterfinals Saturday night and have their Final Fours set for Sunday's Championship Day action at the Best in the Midwest Classic. The semifinals in each division consist of the following match-ups:


The 17-Under Semifinals:




Semifinal No.1 - Spiece Indy Heat vs. SYF Rising Stars

Semifinal No.2 - Illinois Wolves vs. Evansville Basketball Club


How they got there:


Quarterfinal No. 1 - Spiece Indy Heat outlasted the Spiece Trojans, 52-45, behind 6-foot-6 Jordan Brewer, who finished with 15 points.  He got solid support from 6-foot-6 Donald Stewart, who chipped in with 12 points.  The Trojans' top gun was 6-foot-3 David McMahon who took game honors with 17 points.


Quarterfinal No. 2 - SYF Rising Stars ran away from ECI East Gold by a 76-58 margin as 5-foot-9 junior Jarrett Hamilton took team honors with 18 points.  He got solid support from 6-foot-8 rising junior Derek Elston, who finished with 14 points, while 6-foot-6 Kelsey Barlow and 6-foot-1 Jay more chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.  ECI East Gold was led by 6-foot-1 Jordan May with 21 points, including 5-threes, while 6-foot-6 Jordan Allard chipped in 15 points.


Quarterfinal No. 3 - The Evansville Basketball Club took this one over in the second half to win a 68-45 victory over the Indy Stars as 6-foot-5 Kyle Kuric scored 19 points.  He received solid support from 6-foot-5 Kevin King added 14 points, while 6-foot-8 junior Jordan Myers added 12 points and 6-foot-8 Jake Hassler chipped in with 10 points.  The Indy Stars 6-foot-7 Anthony Young led the way with 13 points and 6-foot-5 Rayco Bryant added 10 points in the loss.


Quarterfinal No. 4 - The Illinois Wolves ran away and hid early and coasted to a 74-47 victory over the Evansville Future as 6-foot-5 Nick Fruendt led all scorers with 19 points.  He got solid support from 6-foot-8 John Shurna, who had 17 points, while Rob Belcore chipped in with 10 points.  The Future was led by 6-foot-6 Daimion Garrett and 6-foot-3 Nick Kamp, who both ended with 10 points each.


The 16-Under Semifinals:


Semifinal No.1 - Team Indiana vs. Terre Haute Jammers

Semifinal No.2 - Spiece Indy Heat vs. Illinois Stars


How they got there:


Quarterfinal No.1 - The Terre Haute Jammers cruised to an 80-62 victory over the ECI Minnesota Gold, as 6-foot-5 Lucas Eitel finished with 17 points and 6-foot-4 Bryant Burch chipped in with 13 points.  ECI was led by 6-foot-3 Jordan Solie, who finished with 16 points, and 6-foot-10 Kurtis Mickelson, who added 10 points in the loss.


Quarterfinal No.2 - This one might have been the best game of the evening session, as Team Indiana outlasted the Indy Knights, 67-65, behind 6-foot-8 Michael Barton, who finished with 18 points, while 6-foot-4 Kyle Speckman and 6-foot-1 Ryan Baugh chipped in with 13 points each.  The Knights' top guns were 6-foot-4 Michael Covington, who finished with a game high 22 points, and 5-foot-11 Keaton Gachaw, who added 10 points.


Quarterfinal No.3 - The Spiece Indy Heat pulled away with a 12-2 run late in the third quarter to win a hard-fought 60-52 win over a tough Minnesota Magic Elite squad.  The Heat was led by 6-foot-5 Tyler Koch, who had a game high 20 points, while 6-foot-8 Deshaun Thomas added 16 points in the win.  The Magic's top gun was 6-foot-2 Mitch Bires, who finished with17 points, while 6-foot-6 Jake Lippert added 10 points.


Quarterfinal No.4 - The Illinois Stars ran away with this one early and coasted to a 72-44 win over the ECI South Gold, as 6-foot-1 Seth Evans led the way with 18 points.  He got solid support from 6-foot-5 Eriq Harris and 6-foot-8 Stan Brown, who added 10 points each.  The Gold was led by 6-foot Braden Wieking, who finished with 13 points in the loss.


The championship rounds had a number of players who caught our eye.  Here's a rundown of some of the top prospects we observed Sunday in the Warren Central Fieldhouse in Indianapolis:


Top Prospects at the Best in the Midwest Classic:


Garrett Sherman (6-foot-9 C, 2009 Spiece Indy Heat): This mobile young big man has really good hands, catches in traffic, scores with jump hook or soft jumper off the glass with regularity.  He had Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Evansville all showing him lots of interest Saturday.


Julian Mavunga (6-foot-8 PF, Spiece Select 2008) is a man on the glass who flat-out won't let someone outwork him around the hoop. He can pop a 16-footer or finish a drive with the flush.  Mavunga has lots of MAC & Missouri Valley interest, but Purdue and Indiana stopped by to watch his game as well.


Austin Dufault (6-foot-8 PF, ECI West Gold) has created lot of interest for himself with his play in Indy this week.  He crashes boards can face & pop open jumper on elbow. He has solid facing tools that have brought him Missouri Valley and MAC on lookers this weekend.


Derek Elston (6-foot-8 PF, 2009 SYF Rising Stars): This skilled left handed power forward is quick has good explosion off the floor and can knock down jumper from arc or off the pull-up from 12-15 feet.  He received an offer from Indiana after Hoosier Shootout. Illinois, Ohio State, and Purdue were watching him Saturday afternoon.


Deshaun Thomas (6-foot-8 PF, 2010, Spiece Indy Heat): Our No.1 rated rising sophomore didn't disappoint anyone Saturday having 20 & 16 in two outings to lead his Indy heat squad to the semi's.  This hard working and athletic combo forward can score from arc with jumper or flush it in your face off the dribble. Thad Matta was in watching him play.


Michael Barton (6-foot-8 PF, 2009, Team Indiana) has all kinds of tools and looks to be one of a number of quality young big men in the Indiana rising junior class.  He can knock down a 17-footer or finish strong in traffic in the paint.  He had Big Ten, Missouri Valley and MAC schools watching his game when we watched.


Ethan Wragge (6-foot-7 WF, 2009, Minnesota Magic Elite): One of the surprises from Saturday, this skilled rising junior can face pop a 16-footer or dribble drive to the hoop and finish strong.  He has a good nose for the ball off the glass. Lots of mid-majors were watching his game.


Jordan Allard (6-foot-6 WF, ECI East Gold) can really handle the rock in the open court. He can knock down the jumper from beyond the arc and get to the rim and finish with a flush or a soft kiss off the glass.  He had Missouri Valley schools watching him. He's one of the best kept secrets in the Dakotas!


Donald Stewart (6-foot-6 WF, Spiece Indy Heat) is a smooth wing who continued to impress us with his excellent intermediate game off the dribble.  He can knock down open jumper from around the arc as well and can surprise you with his quick explosion around the hoop.


Alex Toth (6-foot-6 WF, Illinois Rockers) was one of the surprises from Saturday, as this Illinois wing knocked down a couple of quick threes and finished with a flush off the dribble to catch our eye Saturday.  He had a number of mid-majors watching him last night.


Kelsey Barlow (6-foot-6 WF. 2009, SYF Rising Stars) is one smooth wing talent, he can handle it in open court and distribute ball on the break or take you to the rack off the dribble.  He showed a more than adequate stroke from around the arc, and is already getting noticed by the Big Ten, as Illinois, Purdue, and Ohio State him Saturday.


Nick Fruendt (6-foot-5 WF, Illinois Wolves) seemed to be a lot more comfortable playing with his Wolves squad than he was at camps last week.  He is an excellent ball-handling wing who can really knock down the open jumper. 


Kyle Kuric (6-foot-5 SG,Evansville Basketball Club) showed he has the tools for the Missouri Valley Saturday, he stroked open jumper from arc or off of pull-up, got to rim and finished strong in traffic to tune of 19 points in leading his team to the semi's. 


Tyler Koch (6-foot-5 SG, 2009, Spiece Indy Heat-16) this rising junior showed he can get ball to teammates in transition, nailed three from beyond the arc, and can pull trigger off dribble from 15-feet.  He is an excellent passer who can play one, two or three spots if needed.  He had lots of schools watching in Indy.


Joseph Bertrand (6-foot-4 SG, 2009, Illinois Wolves-16) is a long and skilled wingman who possess great acceleration and explosion off the dribble. He knocked down the three and showed he has a solid pull-up game.  He's hearing from a number of Missouri Valley and Big Ten schools, with Purdue, Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Evansville at last night's game.


John Moran (6-foot-3 CG, Illinois Wolves) is a solid ball-handler who can run the show or pop to the wing and drill the open jumper from long range.  He definitely showed why UNI offered him early.  The future Panther did nothing, but show he will be a good one in Mo Valley in Indy.


D.J. Richardson (6-foot-3 SG, 2009 Illinois Wolves-16) is one of the fastest rising players in the junior class.  He is a versatile point forward who can play the one, two, three spots and wants the challenge of taking opponents' best on "D".  He has solid handle and ca break you down one-on-one and has really improved his long range jumper. Illinois, Purdue, and Southern Illinois were at his game when we watched Saturday.


Justin Bond (6-foot-1 PG, Spiece Indy Heat): This quick guard attacks the hoop off the dribble, finishing with surprising explosion in the paint or can knock down pull-up jumper. He is the motor that get the Indy Heat running and has led his squad to the semi's at the "Best in the Midwest Classic."


DeAndre McCamey (6-foot-1 PG, 2010, Illinois Wolves-16) is really starting to blossom. The rising sophomore guard can run the show or turn into a scorer if needed.  He hits the open jumper and is a solid finisher off the dribble.  Look for him to be one of Illinois' best in 2010.


We will have a wrap-up of the final day at the Best in the Midwest Classic on Monday, with a look at the champions and their top performers, right here at "Generation Next".