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In The Spotlight
In The Spotlight
Jim Meadows
Published by Swampy Meadows
In The Spotlight

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) -- Saturday afternoon featured a prep basketball tripleheader, courtesy of the Prep Spotlight All Star Games, held at Highland Park HS, home of the nastiest set of parking lot speed bumps that you will ever encounter. The first tilt showcased 2 teams of local prospects, most of whom are still looking for a place to hoop next year; the second contest featured mostly guys who have already signed to play at the next level and the third game pitted a Michigan AAU All-Star Team vs. LeBron’s King James squad from Ohio, including super stud (and recent MSU commit) Delvon Roe and future XL X-man Kenny Frease. I wasn’t sure which game our guy Devin Searcy was playing in (it turned out to be the middle one), so I made sure I got there early.

The official-looking UD Pride press pass that our esteemed Editor created allowed me to get in for free and pull up a chair at the press table, which sure beats the heck out of trying to scribble notes while sitting in the stands. I ended up seated between Dave Dye from the Detroit News (who was there hoping Delvon Roe would mutter the magic letters M-S-U) and a guy from Reebok, who obviously follows HS hoops intently, as he knew almost all of the players. I told the dude from Reebok that I was there to watch Devin and he said what a great kid he is and how much potential he has. He also sang the praises of Chris Wright and BG and said if I ever had the chance, next time I’m at a Dayton game that I should introduce myself to Chris’ mom because she is one tremendous lady.

One oddity at the games: the rims featured “Popper Nets” that made a ‘popping’ sound when you swished a shot. Something tells me that the NCAA and every other governing body will never allow these, but it was novel, to say the least. They had a banner up on the wall and the PA announcer kept pimping them, so “Popper Nets” was obviously a sponsor of the event. Good luck with that.

The first game was mildly entertaining, especially the play of DeJuan Wright, a 6’4” leaper from nearby Henry Ford HS who is headed to Ferris (MI) State. DeJuan scored on several eye (and net) popping dunks and also seemed to specialize in pinning opposing shots to the backboard. The kid is scary quick and Ferris got themselves a ballplayer. A couple of Detroit Country Day kids, 6’2” James Nelson and 6’5” Daryl Nobles aren’t signed, but might have caught some coach’s eye with their play.

I had a chance to talk to Devin before he suited up for his game. He said everything was going well, including school. He was aware that Desmond and Norman had left UD, so obviously the coaching staff has kept him in the loop.

Devin came out for warm-ups wearing a “Dayton Basketball” shirt over his game jersey -- he was the only guy in either game who wore anything proclaiming his college choice and that made me smile. Devin was in the starting five for “Team Jordan” with Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers (both MSU), Dar Tucker (Depaul) and Mike Pryzdizal (Grand Valley). “Team Kobe” featured Mr. Basketball Manny Harris (Michigan), Laval Lucas-Perry (Arizona) former BG target Chase Simon (CMU), 6’10” unsigned prospect Lamarcus Lowe from Flint Northwestern and 6’8” load Paul Crosby (Toledo). Devin and Lowe got to bang with each other for most of the afternoon and Searcy held his own. The guy from Reebok and I were both amazed that some D-1 program hadn’t signed either Lamarcus Lowe or his Flint Northwestern teammate Damon Franklin, a smooth 6’5” wing -– might be a grades thing, I don’t know. (Turns out Lowe will attend Vincennes JC and Franklin is getting low D-1 looks). Former Michigan signee and now free agent Alex Legion was taking the ACT again in hopes of a batter score (according to the guy from Reebok) and big men Josh Southern (Boston College) and Marvin Skipper (EMU) were MIA.

Here’s Devin’s line:

Points: 8
Rebounds: 4
Blocks: 3
Shots Altered: 2
Steals: 2

Devin scored on a nice pass from Kalin Lucas and an equally impressive alley oop from Durell Summers, both of whom are players. He also had a tip dunk waved off by a foul and another alley oop thrown about 6 feet over his outstretched hands. Devin started out running the floor like he always does, but it became obvious that he tired quickly. I hate to say that he was “dogging it” but there were a couple of times on fast breaks when he barely made it across half court.

At halftime, I noticed that Devin’s mom went over and talked to him. I later took the opportunity to introduce myself and the first thing Mrs. Searcy said was “I just had to ask Devin why he wasn’t running like he always does.” Great minds think alike. Devin told her that since he has been taking a break from training that he was having trouble catching his breath. He told her that he’d focus on running in the 2nd half and the difference was apparent. Mrs. Searcy said that conditioning at Romulus starts back up on Monday (after a week off for spring break) and Devin promised he’d be in better shape for the next All Star Game in which he is playing in a few weeks. Mrs. Searcy said she is both nervous and excited for Devin to get to Dayton on June 23rd. She feels that basically what you see from Devin is what he has taught himself, as he has never had a coach who worked with him to refine his game. She can’t wait to see what the UD coaching staff can bring out in her son. “He’ll do whatever is asked of him” she said and she thinks BG is the guy that can tap into Devin’s potential. Mrs. Searcy mentioned that she thought Billy Schmidt was going to come up for the game, but when I told her that the UD staff was hosting a JC prospect this weekend, she completely understood his absence.

The final score was 111-108, “Team Kobe” over Devin’s “Team Jordan” in case anyone really cares.

It was past 7:00PM and I was starving, so I bailed on the final tilt in the trifecta. Seriously: who wants to hang around and watch some big slug headed to Eggsavior whom Devin is going to run into the ground for 3 years, starting in 2008 anyway? Not me.

That’s it “From The Swamp.”

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