Another weekend of travel basketball is in the books. The most recent victim of the spring tour: Hensley Memorial aka Spiece. It’s a favorite because of the roots of the tournament. Bill Hensley built the event brick by brick into one of the crown jewels of the spring. Hensley died a few years ago while jogging and his son Todd has continued the tradition.
Last weekend provided a good backdrop to evaluate and spend a few minutes with some of the best talent the Midwest has to offer.
2013 forward Nigel Hayes (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer) has offers from Xavier, Cincinnati and Toledo. Wisconsin is looking and the behind-the-scenes chatter indicated he might be waiting on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Sitting squarely on the fence of being a mid- to high-major recruit is combo-guard Kevin Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Summit CD). Mid-major powers VCU and Creighton offered; VCU has since added a point guard. Cincinnati, Xavier, Dayton, Cornell and Toledo also have their eye on him.
Speaking of risers, Martez Walker (Detroit, Mich./Pershing) is going to win over admirers. Providence, DePaul, Southern Cal, Oakland, Eastern Michigan, Iowa and Iowa State, according to Walker, offered. The Trojans? In Michigan? Yep, they have his pal Maurice Jones.
Sharpshooting wing Nate Taphorn (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) owns offers from Northwestern, Colorado, Bradley and Wisconsin-Green Bay. When asked what he needs to work on: “Whatever my coach tells me to do,” Taphorn said. Taphorn’s answer underlines an underrated quality: having two feet in. That means when he arrives on campus he’s bought into the big picture and coaching him will be less of a struggle than some of his peers. Don’t think college coaches aren’t noticing.
Point guard E.C. Matthews (Romulus, Mich./Romulus) has himself a strong list of places he could lace them up for. He counts Iowa State, Southern Cal, Xavier and Rhode Island amongst his offers.
Nick Fuller (Sun Prairie, Wisc./Sun Prairie) is more than a shooter. He knows his way around a basketball court. Butler, Creighton, Nebraska, Rice and Milwaukee offered. Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin are peeking at him. The Badgers will get a good look at him because he’s travel teammates with commitment Bronson Koening.