Notebook: Run-N-Slam Friday

Grassroots
Indiana

Posted On: 05/5/18 12:19 AM

The best non-shoe sponsored event of the year got underway on Friday night in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Spiece Run-N-Slam took place with four sets of games. We are already hopping from court to court but there are plenty of things to talk about on a jam-packed Friday.

Aerts, Applegate Lead Indiana Game 2019

The first game of the night at Sport One Fieldhouse presented some top 17U teams in the Midwest quite a few coaches to watch their games and Indiana Game 2019 didn’t disappoint. Led by rising juniors Nathan Aerts and Noah Applegate, Game held on late as they were able to knock off RGB Ohio Unity 2019.  Aerts and Applegate each finished with 15 points.

Aerts, a 6’5 wing, has really improved over the last year. He’s grown in size and now has gotten his ball handling ability to the point where he is able to make plays all over the floor. He’s really aggressive now and looking for scoring opportunities.  His mid-range jumper has been working for him all spring and his stock is definitely on the rise.  The University of Chicago has been in heavy contact with the emerging standout.

Applegate is on that path, too.  He’s really tried to show off his perimeter shooting this spring and coaches are taking notice. The 6’6 forward would really do well as a small ball four who can stretch the floor and switch onto some post players to help defensively.  Noah’s been a very consistent player over his career and now schools are starting to really pay attention.

Jalen Blackmon Looks Like The Real Deal

Taking a look at the future of the state of Indiana, the class of 2021 is in good hands as Jalen Blackmon and Indy Heat 2021 put on a display.  Blackmon, a 6’0 guard out of Marion (IN), had it all working. Showed a step-back jumper, off the catch, and was really good when looking to slash and get to the rim.

Jalen, the youngest of the Blackmon brothers, might end up being the best point guard of the bunch. He seems to have a little better vision and slashing ability at this stage and while his shot can be inconsistent at times, he still hits for a good percentage and puts up points like crazy.  He had 22 points in this game with three made triples.  He said he is hearing from Purdue, Indiana, and Michigan State the most right now and for good reason as he looks to battle for the top spot in the 2021 class.

Drew Lutz Looking To Build Off Solid Spring

Through the first two events of the NY2LA circuit, Penn (IN) guard Drew Lutz is the top scoring and most efficient player in the circuit.  While his shot was a bit off on Friday night, the talented 6’0 guard is showing he has the makings of a star point guard at the next level. His vision and scoring ability have taken steps forward and he’s just so good all the time.

The scoring is a little bloated but I think it can show just how good of a shooter he can be.  He’s really good off the catch but maybe even better coming with the ball off of screens and in transition for pull-ups.  Lutz’s older brother, Ryan, is a standout at Bethel College and he grew quite a bit after he originally committed to Holy Cross (IN) out of high school. The same could be in the works for the younger Lutz brother who is already 6’0. If he can get to even 6’2, with his skill set, could become an even tougher player to defend with well above average shooting ability.