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January 15, 2014

Hoops: Ricky Doyle playing well, Coaches hit the road

Michigan class of 2014 signee Ricky Doyle (6-9, Rivals.com three-star prospect nationally) of Fort Myers, Fla., Bishop Verot, continues to play well. Doyle is averaging 24.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game and has eclipsed the 30-point mark five times.

His high, a 41-point outburst, came Dec. 10 in a 75-50 win over LaBelle, a game in which he made 16 of 17 shots from the floor.

Doyle has had a productive week for the 10-7 Vikings. He scored 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting, adding six rebounds and five blocked shots in a 49-37 win over Barron Collier Jan. 15, notched17 points, making 8-of-9 shots, in a 61-22 win over Oasis Jan. 14, registered 20 on 8-of-12 shooting in a win over Ida Baker Jan. 13, recorded 31 and 10 rebounds in a 68-34 win over Gulf Coast Jan. 10, had 28 and 12 boards in a 69-48 win over Gateway Charter Jan. 7 and put up 33 in a 64-43 victory over Bonnabel Jan. 4.

Doyle struggled against the stiffest competition he faced this year, however. Nola.com reports "the tandem of Wayde Sims and D.J. White proved to be too much for Bishop Verot as the duo combined for 32 points in the Cubs' (11-2) 51-30 victory in the second round of the fourth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic at the Alario Center.

"They provided enough offensive firepower in their showdown with Bishop Verot standout Ricky Doyle (4-of-18), who without the support of his teammates could not keep pace with University Lab's talented front-court tandem," they wrote.

"[Doyle) was averaging almost 30 points per game, and the next player was averaging 12 (points), and then there was a drop-off," head coach Tim Spencer said. "[Taking Doyle out of the game] was the strategy in this game. Focusing on them, for us, was beneficial."

Doyle scored 11 of his team's 15 first-half points on his way to 21 points.

"[Doyle] is a highly skilled player, so we're lucky we had two guys to rotate on and off of them," Spencer said. "For the most part it worked, but he's a great scorer. I was glad with what we did."

Doyle and fellow 2014 U-M pledge Kameron Chatman (6-7, No. 29) were both recently nominated as candidates for the McDonald's All-American team.

In other news:

Head coach John Beilein watched Saginaw, Mich., guard and Rivals.com 2015 four-star Eric Davis Friday before seeing Wisconsin 2015, four-star big man Henry Ellenson Saturday.

Arthur Hill's Davis, a 6-3 standout ranked No. 30, was in town for Michigan's game with Arizona a few weeks back and seems to be picking up the interest, though most believe he's headed out of state. He scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, adding six assists and five rebounds.

Michigan State, Oregon, OSU, Kansas and others have offered.

The 6-9 Ellenson of Rice Lake, Wis., notched 19 points and 13 rebounds in front of Beilein, assistant LaVall Jordan and Purdue head coach Matt Painter. Per this BadgerBlitz.com video, Michigan State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota and others are involved.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer watched Indianapolis North Central's Eron Gordon (6-2, 170, No. 32 in the 2016 class) at the Marion County Tourney. Indiana and Purdue have offered, but U-M could have a shot here given Meyer's ties to the family.

Over the weekend, assistant Bacari Alexander watched Detroit Consortium's Josh Jackson (6-6, 185), Rivals.com's No. 1 player nationally in the 2016 class. He scored 26 points and grabbed 11 boards in a loss to Detroit Pershing.

Jackson, we hear, is likely headed out of state, though Michigan will continue to pursue him.

Duke blog BlueDevilDigest.com, meanwhile, interviewed 2015 shooting guard Luke Kennard (6-5, No. 16 in 2015) of Franklin, Ohio recently. He gave a list of Ohio State, Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Louisville, Michigan and Florida and said he could decide by the end of his junior year.

Kennard is averaging 40 points per game and recently put up 46 and 53 points in separate games. Video of the 46-point outburst below:

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