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May 6, 2013

All-Ohio Red wins Spiece title

MORE: Spiece Saturday | Spiece Friday

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The 2013 Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam wrapped up a very good weekend on Sunday. Four-star prospects Vince Edwards and Jae'Sean Tate helped to lead All-Ohio Red to the 17-and-under championship, while Jalen Coleman led Indiana Elite in the 16-and-under division.

All-Ohio grinds out win

Over the weekend, no team was as consistent with its effort as All-Ohio. As a result, it won the 17-and-under championship of a very good event. Four-stars Edwards and Tate led the way for much of the weekend, but it was a solid group effort as everybody stepped up.

But let's focus on Edwards and Tate first. In particular, we are going to focus on how they stepped up in the semifinals against a loaded Spiece team that had Indiana commitment James Blackmon going crazy from deep in the second half. As hot as Blackmon got, Tate and Edwards were the rocks for All-Ohio.

Because All-Ohio pretty much plays without a big man, it requires wing players such as Tate and Edwards to play big. To call Tate, who is ranked No. 73 nationally, 6-foot-5 may be giving him the benefit of the doubt, but he still gets an awful lot done. Tate is an absolute beast around the glass and goes hard 100% of the time. He physically punishes players much bigger than he is, and he makes plays when his team needs them the most. With wing size and more of a power forward's game, he's similar in some ways to former Texas star P.J. Tucker.

Standing a legitimate 6-foot-6 and ranked No. 62 in the class of 2014, Edwards is more of a skill guy. He can shoot it with range, he makes great decisions out of the high post, and he is a good rebounder. Theoretically, he could help as a stretch four on the college level and, the way teams play, he can play in that role, but he's a legitimate wing player as well. Edwards is also a very intelligent passer. He confirmed that Michigan and Purdue are the two schools he's focusing on with the most intensity when it comes to his recruitment.

As mentioned, others stepped up for All-Ohio, and for that Javon Bess and Evan Bailey get recognition. Both three-stars, they added scoring punch and helped on the glass. Bess did a good job of finding his way to the rim and was a big finisher in transition. Bailey knocked down shots and played with toughness.

Coleman has offers piling up

In the state of Indiana, in the class of 2015, there just isn't a better player than Coleman -- at least not right now. The 6-foot-3 combo guard from Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral proved it all weekend while leading his Indiana Elite squad to a championship.

Ranked No. 35 nationally in the class of 2015, Coleman is starting to take his game to the next level. He has gotten bigger, he plays stronger, and he seems to be more comfortable scoring as either an off-the-bounce or a catch-and-shoot guy. For the long term he's transitioning to more of a two guard, and he has the makings of a player who can score with proficiency on the college level.

That definitely isn't lost on high-major programs. According to Coleman, he has offers from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Illinois, Clemson and Providence. Michigan and Michigan State are involved, and Coleman said that he's hoping to hit Ann Arbor and East Lansing for June camps/visits.

Wrapping up Spiece

Class of 2015 stretch four man Cody Schwartz was a nice find on Sunday. A 6-foot-7ish forward who can hit jumpers from 15 to 20 feet, Schwartz is also an aggressive offensive player and a good athlete. He passes extremely well but needs to add strength. Schwartz has offers from Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northern Iowa and Creighton, while Wisconsin, Iowa State and Iowa are among those showing interest.

Checking in at No. 27 overall in the class of 2015, Ohio Basketball Club's Carlton Bragg is oozing potential. Long, athletic and quick, the 6-foot-8 four man has game facing the hoop and stays active around the rim on both ends of the floor. His quickness is a huge advantage, and his frame should allow him to carry plenty of muscle when it is all said and done. Bragg said Illinois, Ohio State and Indiana are coming at him the hardest.

One would have to consider Trey Lyles' return to the floor a success after watching him over the weekend. The class of 2014 power forward more than backed up his top-five national ranking and was impressive for a guy in the process of getting back to 100%. Because of his high skill level, how physical he is and how well he uses his body go a bit underappreciated. He's sitting on a final six of Kentucky, Louisville, UCLA, Florida, Butler and Duke, and he has conducted in-home visits with all of them. The rumor continues to be that Kentucky is the team to beat, and Lyles continues to say he is wide open.

As mentioned at the top during the focus on All-Ohio, one of Lyles' teammates on the Spiece Indy Heat, Blackmon, was on fire during the semifinals. Thanks mostly to his 3-point-shooting prowess, Blackmon scored 24 of his game-high 31 points in the second half as he led a furious charge back into the game. The four-star is a silky smooth jump shooter and a fairly explosive finisher in transition. He's adding strength and must continue to work on his ability to create his own shot via the dribble.

Hailing from Dubuque (Iowa) Wahlert, power forward Cordell Pemsl is just a freshman. Playing for Martin Bros. in the 15-and-under division, the 6-foot-6ish Pemsl made a nice impression. A southpaw with skill and a long frame, he hit some late 3s and was honest enough to admit that his deep shooting isn't usually one of his strengths. His motor runs high, and he is a physical rebounder and a nice young player. Northern Iowa, Iowa and Iowa State have shown preliminary interest, but Pemsl made it clear that he's not being recruited heavily yet.

Finally, the King James Shooting Stars 15-and-under team features two young bigs who look to have plenty of potential. Six-foot-7 power forward Derrick Daniels from Dayton (Ohio) Marshall and 6-foot-8 Derek Funderburk of Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward showed flashes. Daniels is a long and explosive athlete with soft touch on short jumpers. Funderburk is a big who can run the court, is a shot-blocking presence and seems happy scoring down low without trying to force things.

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