July 23, 2010

MSU commits Kearney, Anderson excelling in Vegas

LAS VEGAS - One great thing about playing in a super pool is that even if a team goes 0-3, it starts from scratch as soon as pool play is over. The other great thing about playing in a super pool is that teams are going to play top competition and it is going to make them understand in a hurry that the only way to beat a good team is to play with better fundamentals than they do.

The Michigan Mustangs 17-and-under team has had a number of issues during the summer. They have struggled to find a point guard to replace McDonald's All-American Keith Appling and they have struggled to replace the production of players like Alex Gauna, Juwan Howard Jr., as well as the leadership of Jon Horford.

Despite all of those shortcomings, the Mustangs have a pretty good pool of talent with Michigan State commitment Dwaun Anderson, Oakland commitment Matt Poches, and two of the top uncommitted players in the Midwest in Trey McDonald and LaDontae Henton.

And the supporting cast of Lee Bailey, Dominez Burnett, and David LaMore, is a capable bunch if they understand their roles and play within them.

During stretches of the Mustangs' first two super pool game against the Memphis Magic Elite and MBA Hoop Elite, the state of Michigan's top Adidas basketball team looked liked a team that was capable of making a deep run in the Adidas Super 64 tournament like they have so many times before. But just when it looked like the Mustangs might have finally turned the corner on some of the issues that have caused them to struggle this summer, those hurdles to winning cropped up once again.

Poor shot selection, poor decision making, and uninspired rebounding were all factors in a 94-74 loss for the Mustangs, who were the better team for lengthy stretches against their opponent's from Memphis. Mismatches inside cost the Mustangs in their 83-53 loss to MBA Hoop Elite, good basketball team from Mississippi with size and athleticism.

Anderson scored 18 points in the first half against MBA Hoop Elite. He was successful driving to the basket with both his left and right hand and finishing through contact.

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