There was a distinct Michigan flavor on Saturday at day one of the Xavier Team Camp. Sixteen teams from around the region participated, with another sixteen (including a few repeat teams) planning on playing tomorrow. With several Xavier recruiting targets on the court, here are some that stood out:
E.C. Matthews - '13 Detroit (MI) Romulus PG/SG: Matthews was the star on Saturday, leading his Romulus team to some big offensive numbers, while playing an efficient brand of basketball. At 6-foot-4 with high level athleticism and good length, Matthews has the potential to be a great big guard in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He's the most likely commit of the players that played today, and that's a good thing in the mind of staff. Matthews shot the ball well from deep, handled it on the break as he attacked for dunks, defended well, and showed that he is a willing passer. Matthews top performance came against Cincinnati (OH) Summit PG Kevin Johnson, a recent Cincinnati commit, who was bothered by the length and overall size of the bigger Detroit native. We were most impressed by how he took games over without dominating the ball, and showed a will to win every time the other team cut the lead down. Matthews looks to be Xavier's top combo guard priority in 2013, meaning that getting him back on campus for team camp is always going to be a good thing.
Wes Clark - '13 Detroit (MI) Romulus PG: Clark has been trying to get Xavier coaches to show him the same love that Matthews has been getting, mentioning Xavier as one of his top schools in a talk in early May at the Spiece Run N Slam. After a strong day of competitive play, and lockdown defense, Clark might have gotten his wish to come true. The three-star guard has a lot of high major interest, and we can see why as he was dominant on both ends of the floor. He's a tight ballhandler and good passer who makes consistent decisions. But, Clark is also more then a capable scorer. He can shoot the ball with range, attack the rim and draw fouls, and is physical near the block. His size, at 5-foot-10 isn't ideally what Xavier is looking for, but he certainly will remain a radar target.
Martez Walker - '13 Detroit (MI) Pershing SG: Walker struggled mightily with his jumpshot in his first three games on Saturday, but was able to find other ways to impact the game. Standing a legit 6-foot-5, he rebounded the ball well, and used his length to get his hands on some deflections. He's not a natural distributor but he shows a good basketball IQ in knowing how to make extra passes, and open up space with his ballhandling. Walker is a true shooter who just had an off day, as his unorthodox but usually efficient three-point shot was just not falling. That being said, Walker finished as one of the leading scorers on the day, getting several buckets per game in both transition and on the offensive boards.
Antonio Woods - '14 Cincinnati (OH) Summit PG: Woods has been someone that MusketeerScoop has been high on since he led his high school team to a state championship this past season. Woods is a speedy, but controlled, pass-first guard who rarely makes mistakes with the ball. He's incredibly mature in his IQ, really defends the ball, and is big time quick; while moving at a speed that seems effortless but blows past defenders. He's going to have to continue to work on his jumpshot if he's going to play at the high major level; but schools have started calling and Xavier doesn't want to miss the boat. Expect the Musketeers to jump in the Woods' recruitment very soon.
Justin Tillman - '14 Detroit (MI) Pershing PF: Tillman is a rising junior forward that Xavier has an eye on, but has not been heavily recruiting. He made a statement for more attention on Saturday as the 6-foot-7 (and growing) post with a reported 7-foot-2 wingspan was unstoppable. He's a great athlete who finished everything above the rim with two handed dunks, he plays with a non-stop motor and high energy level, and he effects the game in a number of ways. There are questions as to what position he is best suited for, if we he will continue to add on strength, and the need to develop some more skills; but, Tillman has all the physical tools to reach the high major level, and certainly improved his stock in the eyes of the Xavier staff with a great day on Saturday.
Liam Duncan - '15 Carmel (IN) High School C: Duncan is a physical, and very mature, young big man who already stands 6-foot-8 and 245 pounds. He's strong as an ox, and plays with a chip on his shoulder in the low post. Duncan is best used as a rebounder right now, but he shows a comfort level from fifteen feet and in on the offensive end that is rare for someone of his size. He's not tremendously skilled but he is a very good finisher, and we also liked the way that the passed the ball out of the high post in the Carmel system. Duncan already has ideal size and as he gets a little quicker he's going to be a heck of a player, as he has a great start to his career due to a strong mentality.
Derrik Smits - '15 Zionsville (IN) High School C: Smits has more then just great size for his age, as the son of former NBA star Rick Smits showed a nice offensive arsenal on Saturday. He competes inside for position, can finish over either shoulder, and has soft hands capable of putting the ball in the basket with touch. He'll need to continue to become more mobile but Smits is a great prospect that the Musketeers are fortunate to be in on early. Already standing 6-foot-10, and probably still growing, Smits is a good defensive player who will get physical, and does a nice job on the boards.
Toledo Whitmer was unable to attend at the last minute, meaning that three-star forward Nigel Hayes was not in attendance.
Dayton Chaminade Julienne played without '14 SG Justin Bibbs who has transferred out.
Check back with MusketeerScoop.com on Sunday evening for a recap of the second day of team camp, with several new prospects participating for the first time.