Saturday, May 26, 2007

AAU team was loaded with talent in 2004

The NBA draft in June will demonstrate the amazing talent collected on the Spiece Indy Heat team that won the 2004 Tournament of Champions.
There could be four first-round picks from that team:
- Greg Oden, who could be the No. 1 pick after leading Ohio State to the NCAA title game.
- Josh McRoberts, the former No. 1 player in his high school class who spent two years at Duke.
- Mike Conley, Oden’s Lawrence North High and Ohio State teammate from Indianapolis who might be the first point guard drafted.
- Daequan Cook, who committed to Ohio State before Conley and Oden.
A fifth player from that Spiece team, Eric Gordon, will be one of the top freshman guards in the nation at Indiana this season and should be a lottery pick whenever he decides to enter the draft.
That’s quite a lineup for one AAU team. Spiece is back at this year’s tournament with another Oden (Greg’s 6-foot-9 brother, Anthony). But there’s probably not a player on this year’s Spiece team who could have started for the 2004 team.

- Tyler Zeller, the 7-foot-2 Indiana Elite center offered a scholarship by North Carolina on Friday, is pursuing a different summer development strategy than his older brother.
Luke Zeller, who plays for Notre Dame, didn’t play AAU basketball during the summer before his senior year. Luke preferred to go through drills on his own.
“I just like getting out and playing more,” Tyler said. “He wanted to do more individual work ... I do that during the week and then play on the weekends.”

- Picture this Charlotte Royals 16-and-under player in your mind.
He’s six inches taller than his father, who played 14 NBA seasons. You’re picturing a big guy, right?
Now picture Muggsy Bogues’ son, Tyrone Jr. Changes everything, doesn’t it?
Tyrone is a 5-9 guard for the Royals.

- Ken Tysiac