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What Do We Know About Isaiah Sykes?
What Do We Know About Isaiah Sykes?
Jim Meadows
Published by Swampy Meadows
01-27-2009
What Do We Know About Isaiah Sykes?

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) –- In the 2nd installment of a continuing series on 2010 Flyer recruiting prospects, it is time to ask the question:

What do we know about Isaiah Sykes?

Here is what we were able to ascertain:

-- For all of the back story details on Sykes, I wrote this piece in October of last year when Isaiah first burst upon the recruiting scene:

http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6383

-- Here’s a picture of Isaiah Sykes from the MSU recruiting website –- the glasses make him look rather studious, wouldn’t you agree:

http://michiganstate.scout.com/a.z?s...%2f826165.html

-- Linky goodness to a piece on “The Isaiah Sykes Phenomenon” from DetroitCityHoops.com:

http://detroitcityhoops.com/2008/12/...es-phenomenon/

-- A rather bold prediction from Detroit Finney coach Ray Reeves in the Detroit News:

Finney ready for stretch run

The next time Detroit Finney takes the floor, it will be a different team.

Isaiah Sykes, a 6-5 junior who transferred from Detroit Chadsey, was ineligible the first semester because of transfer rules. Sykes will play his first game Tuesday at Detroit Denby.

Sykes is considered one of the state's top players and his coach, Ray Reeves, said there's nothing that will stop his team now.

"We're going to make the (Public School League) playoffs," he said. "We're going to win out."

-- In his first game of the season Isaiah did pretty well, according to the Detroit News:

Detroit Finney 71, Detroit Denby 40:

Isaiah Sykes had 31 points and 14 rebounds and Marcus Franklin added 11 points for Finney (6-4, 3-2 PSL East). Antonio Wilson scored 13 for Denby.

-- Rod Beard’s take on Sykes’ game vs. Southeastern HS (who features another newly-eligible guy mentioned as being of interest to UD, Anthony Fields) from the Detroit News:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...901240408/1049

-- The Freep’s version of the same game including a pic of Isaiah sporting a #23 jersey:

http://www.freep.com/article/2009012...Party+on+pause

-- A bit more detail on the Finney/Southeastern game comes from one of my favorite recruiting sources, InsidePrepSports.net:

http://insideprepsport.blogspot.com/...-michigan.html

Okay, so that’s what they know about the man, the mystery, the enigma wrapped in a conundrum surrounded by a riddle that is Isaiah Sykes. Here is what I can tell you, based on watching Sykes face off against Detroit Kettering HS on Tuesday:

-- Welcome to the PSL, where they don’t do intros and they don’t play the “Star Spangled Banner”…they just get down to it and play ball!

-- Finney HS is not an overly tall unit, as Isaiah is probably the 2nd or 3rd tallest guy on the squad. Kettering on the other hand is very small as a team, but quick. Isaiah would be the biggest dude on their roster.

-- Coach Ray Reeves did something I’ve never seen before: in the 2nd quarter he pulled all 4 of his guys off of the foul lane to talk to them while one of his players was shooting a pair of freebies. The kid must be a good free throw shooter ‘cause he drained ‘em both.

-- Isaiah had several outstanding plays: he went behind-the-back with ease to elude a defender and delivered a perfect bounce pass to a teammate on the wing for a bucket; later he went the length of the floor and scored on a twisting layup; he made an unreal block on a Kettering layup but got called for a foul even tho it looked like all-ball; and he brought the Finney partisans to their feet when he got an alley-oop pass off of the backboard and dunked it “with authority.” Unfortunately, he did so with a little too much gusto, as Sykes got hit with a ‘T’ for hanging on the rim.

-- Sykes would have had a lot more assists in this game if his teammates didn’t get hammered by Kettering just about every time they attempted to shoot the ball. Isaiah got hit a lot by the smaller Kettering guards, too, including one time when he got bludgeoned with what the refs correctly called a flagrant foul, resulting in two freebies and the ball.

-- Isaiah is an outstanding ball-handler and at 6’5” has tremendous court vision. Sykes is also a strong on-the-ball defender and made several steals by reading the passing lanes. On one steal he secured the ball while falling down and still managed to throw a bounce pass ahead to a teammate for a layup. He is extremely unselfish and did most of his damage at the FT line. He ran the point for a good part of the game.

-- Isaiah finished with 21 points (5 FG, 11-15 FT), 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in a 61-53 Finney HS victory.

-- After the game, I asked Coach Reeves about his standout player. He said Isaiah is a great kid and a hard worker. Coach Reeves said that he sees Sykes playing PG in college. Isaiah didn’t play against rival Pershing in their first meeting which Finney lost by 5, 66-61 and Coach Reeves believes they can win next time with him in the lineup. One unsettling thing I noticed was that Coach Reeves was wearing a Tennessee Basketball shirt (Isaiah has an offer from UT and has been there to see a game). I told Coach that we need to get him a Dayton shirt!

-- Isaiah also envisions himself as a PG at the collegiate level. When asked who his current favorites are, he listed Michigan, MSU, Dayton and Tennessee. Sykes said he will most likely make a decision after his AAU season next summer, when he will run with the Michigan Hurricanes. Isaiah stated that he would like to get down to the Arena to see a game. On Friday, Coach Reeves, Sykes and Finney will face a real challenge: a rematch with undefeated and nationally ranked PSL powerhouse Pershing HS, featuring Izzo U signees Keith Appling and Derrick Nix. Isaiah said that he will most likely cover PG deluxe Appling in that matchup.

Should be a good one!

I’ll be there.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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