Izzo Shootout: Day one prospect watch

The Izzo Shootout is always a must on the Mitten scouting schedule, which is why Bank Hoops double-teamed the coverage on opening night. Here are some of the intriguing prospects Steve Bell and Braeden Proctor found Friday at Michigan State’s team camp.

There aren’t many underclassman guards with the combination of Farmington’s Jaden Akins’ size and smooth scoring game.

Jaden Akins  6-4  So  Farmington: The Falcons didn’t have the manpower to stay with Williamston for the distance but early on Akins was a one-man gang, Williamston had no one to match up with his size and skill on the wing. Left-hander who covers space easily with the ball, can extend to finish, has a smooth mid-range game and makes good decisions and deliveries on the break. Good shift in his game. Some nice combo move pull ups. Smooth shot. Was comfortable hitting mid range pull up. Jump shot looks good off catch or dribble. Handles look good in iso and has the perimeter skills to play as a 1 or 2 in a high school offense. Later on kind of fell into what Williamston’s zone wanted him to do, making 1-3 3s but putting little pressure on the defense. Trending as a Big Ten recruit in the 2021 class.

James Babers  6-7  Jr  Saginaw: Saginaw yes, Sagnasty no. Looks like he could be one of the top 2020 prospects in the state. But doesn’t play hard enough or produce nearly like that. Could horse most high school forwards but settles for three-pointers.

Lorne Bowman  6-1  Jr  Orchard Lake St. Mary’s: He carried the Eaglets for long stretches as a sophomore, and continued to do so at MSU. Smooth mid-range shot. Good mechanics. No wasted motion. Floaters, pull ups, step-backs all in his bag. Hit a couple threes and finished well at the rim. Knows how to create space in iso situations. Loved using 6-9 Matt Nowicki’s screens, and found the senior big man for some rolling buckets. Didn’t find it as easy going against the length and athletes of Renaissance as he did when OLSM opened up Friday against Carman-Ainsworth. More of a combo or shooting guard who is best used as a scorer rather than a playmaker. Very long arms makes him a solid on ball defender who can pick opponents pockets on ball and jump passing lanes. Also uses that same wingspan to hold off defenders, finish while drawing fouls.cha

Pierre Brooks  6-4  So  Detroit Douglass: Hard-played, competitive games from Douglass today, looks like it could be one of the state’s most improved clubs and one to reckon with in Class B. The coach’s son did it all for Frederick Douglass — steals, rebounds, blocked shots, playmaking, advancing the ball. He’s physical for a rising soph. Crashes offensive glass hard. Rebounds pretty well for his size.  Used head and shot fakes under the hoop. Absorbs contact. Has shown some much improved athleticism, though his definition of a dunk remains debatable. Brooks is squarely on the host school’s radar, and did nothing that would incline them to turn off the signal.

Mason Docks  5-10  Fr  Williamston: Williamston has been spoiled with a run of all-state scoring point guards in Riley Lewis then Cole Kleiver. Similar accolades may await their heir apparent Docks. For now he’s setting the table for one of the state’s top frontcourts with 6-7 seniors Sean Cobb, Case Conley and Joseph Hahnenberg. He worked angles to feed Cobb burying guys on the block, and hit Conley for a corner 3 to beat the first-half buzzer, a shot that opened the floodgates for a blowout of Farmington. Shifty, quick and crafty with the ball, and able to hit the tough in-between shots that smaller guards needs in the arsenal. Docks gave up a half-foot to Farmington sophomore Jaden Akins, but still battled admirably on D. May dribble too much for spells, but this same space likely said the same thing about Lewis and Kleiver at some point, and it worked out OK for them.

Daniel Friday  6-4  Sr  Detroit U-D Jesuit: Produced big for the Cubs in the absence of Jalen Thomas. Friday gets to his spots whenever he wants, physically he can force his way there. Has good handles and quick moves to create separation as well. Very versatile set fee. Unselfish playmaker — too unselfish if anything. Team needed someone to score and he was clearly the only one who could create his own. Puts passes in spots his teammates can make plays. Great finisher around the rim. Makes the extra pass. Sees the floor well. Everything but a jumper. Even then, he’s the next Eric Williams out of Michigan, a big-framed physical guard who can come in and produce at the mid+ level.

Jovaughn Hannah  6-4  Fr  Mt. Clemens: Hannah and the Clem showed some character against Peoria, coming back to make it a competitive second half after an abomination of a first stanza which saw them score three points. For his part Hannah started to look like the AAU prospect we knew when he began going downhill and getting to the hole. That’s when he’s at his best, harnessing his aggression, spinning, slicing, contorting and finishing; not settling for three-pointers and Sprewell-lite pull-ups. He has the tools and motor to be a serious defender, but playing on top of Mt. Clemens’ zone his focus fluctuated. Hannah thrives when it’s helter-skelter, rebounding, running, blocking shots. Has some feet on him which bodes well for more height. Good looking free throw form and touch. Jovaughn has a nice fit in his coach Pete Trammell, it will be fun to watch his game grow.

Javel Lewis  6-7  Sr  Grand Ledge: The kind of prospect that the GLIAC hopes doesn’t flash in the right place at the right time in July. He passes well with his back to basket. Pretty strong backing down. Elevated well off two feet around the rim and gets up there very quickly.

Jayshawn Moore  6-4  Jr  Ferndale: He and soph point guard Simon Wheeler are major additions to Ferndale, following coach Juan Rickman from East English Village. Moore looked like a top 5 prospect in 2020. His on ball skills are improving. Looks more confident in lead role. He’s shown in the past he can be a really good role player, but he is now showing that he can step into a lead role and excel. Comfortable finishing with his left. Drove and kicked to shooters. Shot goes in but needs more consistency and to get it quicker. Tons of upside because of great length and intriguing frame. Could still be growing. Looks like Rickman’s next high-major guard recruit.

Chandler Turner  6-5  Sr  Detroit Renaissance: The Phoenix Midwest college tour made a cameo at the Breslin Center before heading off to Buffalo. Turner has offers from Buffalo as well as Northern Illinois, Kent State and IUPUI. It’s easy to see the intrigue with his rangy frame and guard skills. Wingspan and quick hands, he gets to balls defensively. Did the majority of the ball-handling for Renaissance against St. Mary’s, but too often was East-West, a competent but not dynamic point guard.

DeAirrus Ware  6-3  Sr  Muskegon: Recently received an offer from Davenport. Really bouncy, plays above his height defensively and on the glass. Gets to balls, keeps plays alive. Good intentions and instincts pushing the ball on the break, though not low and skilled enough to do it against point guards. Transition talent but can look raw in a half-court set.

 

GVSU Shootout Standouts

Canton’s B. Artis White is one of Michigan’s best senior guards.

With a field including the schools from last year’s Class B championship game, Benton Harbor and Grand Rapids Catholic Central, plus a Class A power in Canton and myriad dependable West Michigan programs, and the first Grand Valley State summer shootout was a ripe recruiting ground. Braeden Proctor’s take on some of the top prospects at GVSU.

Darrell Belcher  6-2  Sr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: A returning starter from CC’s state finalist team who will be relied on more heavily this season. A terrific high school forward who is a strong help-side shot-blocker. Contests anything around the rim. Explosive athlete who comes up big on the offensive glass and can track down balls outside his area. Slasher with a counter floater from the elbow. He hit a pull-up 3 in the second game we saw but needs to get more consistent from deep.

Mykel Bingham  6-7  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Not just a curiosity because of his fraternal relation, the younger Bingham continues to carve out his own game — with enough similarities to make it interesting. The smoothness is the main one. First touch of his first game, Bingham hit a step-back 15-footer from the wing. nice touch around the rim and used the glass. Active on offensive boards and rim ram in transition.

Justin Brown  6-6  Sr  Benton Harbor: He was a rotation guy on Benton Harbor’s state championship team who took on a bigger role here with Carlos Johnson at the Nike underclassman event in St. Louis. Explosive, powerful leaper. Moves well. Solid three-point shot when set but a bit slow. Needs to stay focused — engaged and playing hard.

Ryan Corner  6-9  Jr  Allendale: Got up and down the floor well. Passed well with back to the basket, though not very aggressive in trying to get position on the block and demanding the ball. Rebounds well — tips ball to himself to keep possessions alive; tracks well off the glass. A top three big in the 2020 class, but one of only two healthy and currently playing.

Clayton Dykhouse  5-11  Sr  Zeeland East: Very shifty. Tons of feigns, movements with the ball. Changes pace very well. Great first-step acceleration. Good finisher for his size with a polished mid-range and in game. Smooth shot mechanics. Looks like future All-MIAA guard.

Luke Laketa  6-5  Jr  Hanover-Horton: Put up some good numbers as an underclassman and showed how. Has some solid iso game for his size. Handles are a little loose but he can surprise with his combo moves. Solid shooter. Loved using head and shot fakes. Attacks well on straight line drives.

Trent Summerfield  6-2  Sr  Forest Hills Northern: Known as a shooter, he showed some playmaking ability from the wing, finished well in transition and even handled some point guard duties. Made simple, effective passes rather than swinging for home runs and the offense ticked along efficiently.

B. Artis White  5-10  Sr  Canton: Remarkably consistent for a high school guard, this guys has just shown up for years and this was no different. He and Vinson Sigmon were the best guard combo at GVSU and will make Canton again a top 10 contender in Class A. White has great elevation on his jumper. It’s a quick and pure shot. Very fast both laterally and North-South. Quick hands. All-league potential at the mid-major level and could play higher.

Owen Worthington  6-2  Fr  Grand Haven: Proved his worth against the older players with hustle. God on the floor for a loose ball. Shooter with a nice follow through. High IQ and poise for a freshman.

Up North Challenge: 15U Standouts

Some names to remember from the 2021 class (plus an eighth-grader) from the ninth-annual Up North Challenge, where The Program beat the West Michigan Lakers in the 15U final.

Cam Baker  5-6  Fr  The Program (Davison): There are more highly ranked freshman guards early in the 2021 cycle, but guys like Baker, Beecher’s Julian Gardner and East English Village’s Simon Wheeler don’t fall behind them in skill or ability, just height, for now. Gifted at making space for his own shot while showing maturity to mix it up with the pass and keep his teammates involved.

Nathan Claerbaut  6-7  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Black (Zeeland East): Baby-faced defensive menace with a soft touch from the short corners or free throw line. Lurks and closes quickly as a weakside shot-blocker. Seems to care and plays hard, which many his height and age don’t. Wants to make the right play and the tough one even if frame doesn’t always allow it. A season ahead of banging in the post in practice with MSU D-end recruit Adam Berghorst will be invaluable.

Bennie Crenshaw  5-11  Fr  North Oakland Wolfpack (Waterford Kettering): The standard of point guard play is high in this program, as established by the graduating CJ Robinson. Robinson had an understanding of game situation and pace rare at the 15U level. So we shouldn’t be too hard on Crenshaw, who is explosive and talented with the ball but still growing in the nuances of the position. A risk-taker in the lanes who the faster the pace, the more at home he plays.

Connor Dykema  6-5  Fr  Impact Elite (Grand Rapids South Christian): Impact Elite played up in the 16U division, but Dykema had the frame and game to produce against the older players. That bodes well for his chance to nudge into the rotation of a top 5 Class B team in South Christian in the regular season. Coordinated athlete for his size who competed in the state track finals for the high jump. Consistently ran end-to-end and had good basket orientation to finish off the catch. Active and alert in the half-court, finding cutters from the post or playing either spot in high-low action.

Jacob Felton  5-11  Fr  Majors-Red (Rochester Stoney Creek): Confident, tough, competitive guard who helped the Majors nearly turn the 15U field on its head before falling to The Program in overtime in the opening game. They won out from there. Lots of players want the ball when things are going easy or well. Felton enjoys its burden when the game is close, and will go get it, from teammates or off the glass. Good enough with the ball that they could clear out and let him attack.

Paul Gadde  6-1  Fr  Parallel 45 (Alma): Great-looking stroke and benefits from teammates looking to tee him up from behind the arc. Smart player who tends to end up in the right spots. Not just limited to shooting, as he plays both ends. Gadde showed smart, varsity-caliber defense off the ball and fights on the glass. Needs to work on attacking, slashing game for the future.

Brayden George  6-3  8th  The Program (Marlette): Like his brother Bryce did two seasons ago, he looks ready to go in and be a varsity contributor as a freshman. Sometimes didn’t appear to know is own strength, as Brayden would float out to shoot 3s when he had physical mismatches on the older but smaller defenders.

Tommy Gregwer  6-1  Fr  Impact Elite (Grandville): Like teammate Connor Dykema above, this is a freshman who looked right at home with IE’s 15U bumped up to 16U, even when going against eventual 16U champion MBA. A Dave Kool-lite kind of physical guard who loves getting into the lane, where he can finish or create. Needs to stay away from the dreaded jump-pass. Gregwer should thrive playing for Ryan Klingler at Grandville.

Drew Goodline  5-6  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Black (Coloma): This little guard came through big in the 15U semifinals, hitting four three-pointers against SAU. When the defense got wise to the bombs Goodline was able to counter closeouts with a pump fake and get shots off against bigger opponents with pump fakes. Looked like more of a shooter than point guard, with the size of the latter.

Carson Gulpker  6-2  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Black (Zeeland West): He was the MVP of the Camp Darryl Classic the week before and made another strong run at the UP North Challenge, the Lakers reaching the 15U final. Strong, aggressive wing slasher or transition finisher who is tough to deal with when coming downhill. Can spin and finish at speed or beat defenses in the gaps with a pull-up shot. Uses his to push smaller guards off the ball defensively. Conversely want to lay off and let Gulpker shoot instead of drive.

Alex Mikelski  6-5  Fr  The Program (Saginaw Swan Valley): Just scratching the surface, but between height and natural talent also produced enough to make the all-tournament team from the Up North Challenge 15U champions. Good instincts around the hoop, kept the ball high, could score on his own misses. Showed some flashes of his all-around future game taking a defensive rebound end-to-end. Moves easily, like a player, and will have an impact next season in the TVC-Centra. Needs to devote more energy and focus to the less obvious rebounds and defensive transition.

Austin Johnson  6-7  Fr  Camp Darryl (Paw Paw): Has the frame and weight of a football lineman, so you have to wait for him to get there but Johnson is increasingly making it worth it to do so. Improving. Hard to move and gets all the rebounds in the area. Will have to improve his mobility and flexibility.

Davion Poleware  6-4  Fr  Spring Arbor United (Jackson): A thumper who is an ideal complement to SAU’s plethora of skilled shooters and a prime pick-and-roll partner with strong hands. Poleware earned all-tournament accolades from a semifinalist team. Did damage on the glass and took advantage of mismatches to horse his man down and get good shots. A classic 15U forward who can do so much at that level but will have to keep expanding his game, particularly shooting touch, as other players catch up physically.

Logan Schaefer  6-4  Fr  Championship Sports (Ithaca): Like Poleware above, has the size to play the lane against most 15U competition. Does a good job walling off on defense and you have to put a body on him, Schaefer will rebound it. Can struggle to finish against length and activity.

Tyler Stezowski  6-1  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Black (Hamilton): A week ago in the Camp Darryl Classic final he looked like the battle-damaged flutist from the famous American Revolution painting with his wrapped up head. Stezowski was un-mummified Up North and is aggressive lead guard game helped the Lakers to another finals appearance. Puts pressure on a defense in transition or attacking the paint in the half-court.

Landon VanBeck  6-2  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Purple (Grand Haven): When it peaks, the Lakers Purple team can go, and they did here reaching the 15U semifinals. VanBeck made the all-tournament team. He’s improved over the spring to be a reliable frontcourt scoring option. Strong and can play above his height on the glass.

Carson Voss  6-1  Fr  Parallel 45 (Dansville): He’s improved two-fold since the start of the spring season. Would be one of the top players in this class with some consistency, but with Voss it’s a week-by-week proposition. When it rains it pours with his shooting when the 3s drop they tend to come in bundles. That makes him a very tough cover because he has a long first step to the basket and can make tough shots in traffic. Good energy as a teammate and will run all day. Shot selection and decision-making leave something to be desired.

Up North Challenge: Images

Sunday morning crowd for the ninth-annual Up North Challenge at Shepherd High School’s gem of a gym.
A lot to like in this Saginaw sophomore guard, Freddie McIntosh from The Program.
The tallest man in the gym, Clarkston’s 6-11 sophomore Matthew Nicholson from North Oakland Wolfpack.
Putting the North in Up North Challenge, Maple City Glen Lake junior Xander Okerlund (left) from MBA and Traverse City West junior Miigwaanhs Barrientoz from Parallel 45.
Putting the North in Up North Challenge part 2, Gaylord junior Blake Charbaneau from Championship Sports Gold.
Putting the North in Up North Challenge part 3, a fan’s car from the U.P.
Starters get some bench time for 17U winner Championship Sports Gold.
The POW-MIA flag in the Shepherd High School gym a reminder of the Memorial weekend.
15U all-tournament selection Alex Mikelski from The Program, a promising 6-5 freshman out of Saginaw Swan Valley.
A 6-7 sophomore from Saginaw playing for The Program, James Babers has the tools to be one of Michigan’s best in 2020.
Good luck staying in front of Hudsonville point guard Max Perez, who led MBA National to the 16U title.
Another 6-5 freshman to remember, Impact Elite’s Connor Dykema via Grand Rapids South Christian.
One of the most physical, athletic point guards in the 2020 class, from Kalamazoo Central, Camp Darryl’s Trevon Gunter.

Up North Challenge: Champions, all-tournament

This Championship Sports-Gold group has been a top in-state team for the last three seasons.

17U Champion: Championship Sports-Gold (Sporting U. runner-up)

17U All-tournament: 

  • Nate Flannery  6-0  Jr  Champ Sports-Gold (DeWitt)
  • Isaac Hungerford  6-3  Jr  Champ Sports-Gold (DeWitt)
  • Isaac Moolenaar  6-2  Jr  HoopGrind (Midland Dow)
  • Bradley Osborne  6-5  Jr  GR Storm-Woods (Hamilton)
  • Luke Schrotenboer  6-4  Jr  Sporting U. (GR South Christian)
MBA’s 16U National team had a tough comeback win over The Program in the semifinals then beat the West Michigan Lakers in the championship game of the Up North Challenge.

16U Champion: MBA (West Michigan Lakers runner-up)

16U All-Tournament:

  • Ethan Alderink  6-5  So  West Michigan Lakers (Holland Christian)
  • Jordan Johnson  5-10 So  North Oakland Wolfpack (L’Anse Creuse)
  • Freddie McIntosh  5-11  The Program (Saginaw)
  • Max Perez  5-10  So  MBA (Hudsonville)
  • Mitchell Wilkinson  6-3  So  MBA (Forest Hills Central)
Featuring the best young talent in Saginaw, The Program won the 15U title at the Up North Challenge.

15U Champion: The Program (West Michigan Lakers runner-up)

15U All-tournament:

  • Cam Baker  5-8  Fr  The Program (Davison)
  • Carson Gulpker  6-2  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Black (Zeeland West)
  • Alex Mikelski  6-5  Fr  The Program (Saginaw Swan Valley)
  • Davion Poleware  6-4  Fr  Spring Arbor United (Jackson)
  • Landon VanBeck  6-2  Fr  West Michigan Lakers-Purple (Grand Haven)

 

Cashing in at Moneyball Shootout

Braeden Proctor looks at some standouts from the Moneyball Shootout in Lansing.

Lorne Bowman  6-2  So  REACH (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s): Coming off a big sophomore season where he looked like a top 10 2020 prospect, he’s found his niche and had a steady spring for REACH 17U. Consistent mechanics with range on his shot. Bowman can make it off the dribble or catch. Doesn’t jump very high on the shot, but it goes in and he knows when he can get it off. Showed the ability to score in iso situations throughout the tournament. Good on-ball defender but can improve off the ball. He was beat a couple times for basket cuts and when guarding Dylan Jergens in the championship game let himself get screened off the all, giving the Strictly Skills gunner enough space to bury shots.

Dominique Davidson  6-6  Jr  Titans (Lansing Everett): Physical, tough post presence was the lone bright spot for the Titans against REACH. The REACH bigs didn’t get a body on Davidson and he made them pay by attacking the glass hard scoring on numerous put-backs.

Daniel Friday  6-4  Jr  REACH (Detroit U-D Jesuit): Super versatile, well-rounded, efficient player. Great passer who put the ball in positions for teammates to score. Finished with either hands. Took care of the ball best of the REACH contingent over course of the tournament. Good court awareness on both ends. Willing and physical defender. Got a lot of help-side blocks, in addition to the rebounds and assists. Friday hit a few 3s but the mechanics need work and the shot is slow

Brandon Galvan  5-9  Jr  Strictly Skills (Hartford): Good fit with Dylan Jergens in in the SS backcourt. Galban controls tempo well. Took care of the ball against REACH’s lankier, more athletic guards. Good visision. Had some nice drive and kicks to shooters. Attacked the seams and got some easy looks at the rim, where he wasn’t afraid to go among the bigs; used both hans to avoid rim protectors. Hit a few perimeter shots to keep defenders honest.

Caleb Hunter  5-10  Jr  Detroit Spartans (Southfield Christian): When the shot is falling Hunter is a handful for anyone, and it was against REACH. Hit coming off screens, pull-ups in iso situations or spotted up. Very quick with the handle to match. Created his own shot and finished inside against bigs for a couple and-ones. Shot selection is iffy and if he’s off he can shoot a team ojut of games, but more often that not Caleb’s putting up points.

Dylan Jergens  6-1  Jr  Strictly Skills (Howardsville Christian): In leading Strictly Skills to the 17U final against REACH, Jergens proved that what he does at the Class D level has a translation against elite competition and likely college. Great shooter who got his footwork and balance under himself quickly in transition or coming off hand-offs or screens to knock down shots over closeouts. Made great reads off P-n-Rs. Made shots if they went under screens or hit the roll/pop man depending on the read of the man defending the screener. Always probing REACH’s defense and forcing help-side to collapse on him. When they did he fed the open shooter and if they didn’t Jergens was going to get great shot opportunities. Solid handles and vision so could play the point if he had to. Not great at creating his own shot or for others in iso situations and not a great athlete. Didn’t offer much on the glass and defensively he generally avoided guarding on the ball REACH’s primary threats. College level will depend on offensive fit.

Gage McGuire  6-7  Jr  GreenWood (Coldwater): Big, physical tranditional 5 man who knows what he does well, and tries to do that often. Set hard screens, rolled with a purpose after screens and moved well around the paint to get easy touches off teammates’ creation. Sold two-footed leaper around the hoops who finished plays off dunks if he got room. Two-handed rebounds and got the break rolling. Could be a decent GLIAC big prospect.

Matt Nicholson  6-11  So  North Oakland Wolfpack 16U (Clarkston): The Wolfpack was solid last weekend in Livonia without Nicholson; with him, it’s one of the state’s best 16U teams. He dunked everything early on in the 16U semifinals. Relocated when teammates drove and was fed for finishes. Moves well around the paint on defense and kept arms up, make him seem even bigger and more imposing than his already 7-feet+ wingspan indicated. Rotated well on defense, as nearly all Wolfpack players do regardless of age level. Matt does the little things well that help winnings teams; good fundamentals for size and age. Size, talent and high school program will allow him to be recruited at the high-major level while playing for indie club.

Justus Salaam  5-11  So  Warriors 16U (North Farmington): Tends to look good on the Aim High courts, site to a strong performance from Salaam at the Bank Hoops All-State Camp last fall. Here he was a calm, steadying presence for the Warriors. Controlled tempo. Looked comfortable using a runner in the lane to get shots off over bigs, a crucial skill for guards his size. Quick with the ball and has pretty good handles. Looks to fit the mold of a traditional, game manager point guard at the next level.

Jon Sanders  5-11  Jr  MWA (Southfield Christian): He was the efficient fifth starter for Southfield Christian’s Class D state championship team, poised for a big bump in his role this season. Sanders looks ready. Accelerated quickly, finished well through contact and was pretty springy around the rim. Solid three-point shooter with an above-average handle.

Making Mom Proud on Mother’s Day, Tulip Tipoff Standouts

Zeeland East guard Clayton Dykhouse has already made an impact coming over to the West Michigan Lakers.

The Tulip Tipoff moved from the Northside of Holland to the Courthouse’s new six-floor facility in Byron Center, but one thing didn’t change the event was full of West Michigan talent. Here are some standouts from the tournament, where the Grand Rapids Storm (Woods) beat Sporting U in the 17U final; Impact Elite beat the Storm in the 16U final; and the Storm beat Impact Elite in the 15U final.

Ryan Corner  6-9  So  Impact Elite 16U (Allendale): No. 3 big in the state’s 2020 class continues to steadily improve. He defended the rim and finished on the other end for Impact Elite’s 16U title-winning team. Moves pretty well, able to hedge or check a man facing the basket. Can run a nice high-low set from either spot with Reeths-Puffer’s Josh Jordan. Once Corner extends his game both ways to finish with power and dunks and hit shots to 20 feet, recruitment will take the next step ie. offers.

Clayton Dykhouse  5-11  Jr  West Michigan Lakers (Zeeland East): A Lakers newcomer who helps keep them competitive at the guard spot with Zach Goodline and Austin Braun injured. When all three are healthy, the Lakers will have one of the quickest, skilled lineups in Michigan. Fast and can change speeds and deliver the ball on the fly. Finishes with either hand. Showed some gamesmanship stepping up to match APT’s guards’ shot-making, but a bit worrisome that Dykhouse didn’t present much of a defensive impediment to a backcourt group lacking a college physical profile.

Nolan Smith  6-4  Jr  APT (Hopkins): APT upset the host Lakers in the 17U quarterfinals, and Smith did a bit of everything in the win. He’s Hopkins quarterback in the fall. On the hardwood he’s an athletic utility player who seems to be in the right spots to defend or to finish off cuts or offensive rebounds. Set screens more like a linebacker than QB.

Tyler Stezowski  6-1  Fr  West Michigan Lakers 15U (Hamilton): He can be a tough cover at the 15U level because of his aggression and strength with the ball. Uses screens well and cuts hard to get the ball, not just going through the motions. Gets into the lane and gets to the line. Will have to learn different speeds to be an equally effective varsity player, and pass as part of the main repertoire not just as a last resort deep in the paint.

Brady Swinehart  6-0  Jr  Grand Rapids Storm (Ionia): Another big weekend following his performance previously at Spiece. Nearly everyone from the Storm roster was hitting in the 17U championship game, but something about Swinehart’s shots seemed to hurt just a bit more, daggers with swagger. Limited wingspan but competes defensively. Will be popular in-state small school recruit.

Solomon White  6-2  So  Grand Rapids Storm 16U (Forest Hills Eastern): Lanky wing is both an opportunist who knows how to play, and efficient when running sets and doing his assignment. Able to spot up and the corner to catch and shoot, or be the one getting to the lane and finding a shooter. Dangerous curling into the lane as he can extend and get his shot off. Not physically imposing, can be pushed off the ball defensively.

Emcee Williams  5-11  So  Impact Elite 16U (Muskegon Reeths-Puffer): His backcourt partner Brock Stevens is the steady point guard of the two. Williams is a wild card who when on enables IE to compete with any 16U in the state. The energy he brought in the championship game against the Storm was particularly impressive because they’d just finished a tight semifinal game with Triple Threat. Yet he had a reserve tank. Streak shooter who can pile up points if that rainbow bomb hits early. Quick but not big or explosive, Williams can be clever getting into the lane and finishing around stronger players with a soft touch. Gets to line because makes defenders unbalanced. Most dangerous as a quick striker who has to be careful not to over-dribble.

Noah Wiswary  6-1  Jr  Sporting U (Hudsonville Unity Christian): A rare non-Sailor for Sporting U. This left-hander got hot in the semifinals and that was all she wrote for APT as Wiswary buried three straight three-pointers in the second half.

Sawyer Wychers  5-11  Fr  Impact Elite 15U (Byron Center): A rare efficient, team-first 15U guard, not out there chucking or working on his moves on his NBA moves on other people’s time. Strong for a guard his age, rebounded like a forward, won 50/50 balls, saw him draw a charge, a “glue guy.” Tried to finish over the top of the rim a very tough shot at his size; use the backboard.

Route 69: Michigan standouts at Spiece Run-n-Slam

While the Hensley Memorial Spiece Run-n-Slam has morphed from the top national event in the spring to a regional one, it’s still rife with Midwest talent, including much of Michigan’s. Braeden Proctor who got it done from the Mitten in Ft. Wayne.

Mykel Bingham  6-7  So  MBA 16U (Grand Rapids Catholic Central): Very long and very skinny, which sounds familiar. Little Bingham cleaned up the glass for put-backs. Able to hit the mid-range shot and also makes smart cuts for easy hoops. Gotcha moments with that wingspan, pinning shots off the backboard. Light on his feet so can guard some bigs away from the hoop.

The Family 15U’s Pierre Brooks is Michigan’s top 2021 prospect.

Pierre Brooks  6-4  Fr  Family 15U (Detroit Douglass): This young Family team has a number of potential D1 guys on the perimeter. While not the best athlete of the bunch, Brooks typically brings the most to the table. If you’re gonna try and zone those athletes Brooks will make you pay because he made quick passes to the open man and moved well off the ball put himself into open pockets of space. Just knows the game and makes plays wherever you put him. He hit several 3s in the opener against C2K. Needs to continue getting consistent from there. His outlet passes hit teammates wherever they were. Tough mid-range game with one of Michigan’s most dangerous pull-ups. He has consistent mechanics and it’s a high percentage shot for him. Just needs to gain that consistency from deeper.

Nathan Clauerbaut  6-6  Fr  West Michigan Lakers 15U (Zeeland East): Quality and depth of size has yet to really emerge in the 2021 class, so this kid is one to follow. Showed a soft touch and was light on his feet out on the floor. Active in the paint to get open looks, but not a back-to-basket player. He needs teammates to create for him.

Daniel Few  6-6  Jr  M2K (River Rouge): Blue-collar 4 reminiscent of David Garrett, who played a generation ago for Derrick McDowell at Redford. Few was a handful around the rim with his board shoulders, long arms and preference for physical play. Tough on put-backs, and physique allows him to finish and rebound his area without worrying about getting blocked. Not a great athlete but he still finished above the rim if given some space. Solid low post defender.

Nate Flannery  5-10  Jr  Champ Sports (DeWitt): So composed with the ball, staying calm even when the other teams would make a run. Tough kid, a coach’s player who competed all weekend despite bursitis in his knee. Set tough screens Stockton-style and worked on defense. Took good shots, but it was consistently short. Didn’t get normal elevation or quickness with it. Still operated the ball offense well and rarely turned over the ball.

Isaac Hungerford  6-3  Jr  Champ Sports (DeWitt): He was a very promising younger prospect who has re-emerged this spring. A good help-side defender who rotated well. Used screens to get himself open and knocked down perimeter shots. Could be on of the premier three-point shooters in the state for 2019. Comfortable using one dribble to pull up, spot shots or coming off screens. Needs to work develop his handles. Solid defender. 3 and D wing in college, whose guard skills will largely determine what level.

Isaiah Jackson  6-8  So  The Family (Old Redford): For the second weekend in a row in the Hoosier state, looked like a future McDonald’s All-American and pro. His second and third jumps are elite of the elite. Also extremely quick hands. Blocks a ton of shots with his hands down, baiting players into taking it. Can check the 1-5 defensively. Recovery ability is also very rare. Rim protects on and off the ball. Jackson showed flashes of his improving offensive game. Once had the ball in the short corner and backed his man down to shoot a baby hook. Another time did the Jamal Crawford behind-the-back move on the break. Against Team Teague, he had good body control in the air, finished with his left. Also hit a step-back mid-range jumper off the catch.

Strictly Skills’ Dylan Jergens had one of the high scoring games in Run-n-Slam history with 54 points.

Dylan Jergens  6-1  Jr  Strictly Skills (Howardsville Christian): He put up huge scoring numbers in the high school season, and mirrored that in Ft. Wayne, including a 54-point game. Crafty. Knows how to get his shot off. Jumper off the dribble or catch is smooth and consistent. Put up high volume attempts but wasn’t shooting shots that made you scratch your head.

Jamoni Jones  6-0  So  GreenWood 16U (East Kentwood): Continuing where he left off in Indianapolis, and hammering out a spot as a top 10 prospect in the state’s 2020 class. Scored at the hoop and from deep.  Finishes at the rim with either hand. Blow-by speed, but also extremely composed. Opponents tried to get into his head, but that door was shut.

Genesis Kemp  6-5  8th  Bates Fundamentals 14U (Grand Rapids): Glue guy for this very talented young team. Rebounds, screens, defends inside. Ts up when teammates drive baseline. Needs to learn how to stay out of foul trouble. If he keeps growing could become the top traditional big in Michigan for 2022.

Isaiah Lewis  5-11  Jr  M2K (Wayne Memorial): Crafty point guard. Sees the floor well, takes care of the ball and gets to this spots. Was chucking from three-point range but knocked down quite a few. One of the elite perimeter defenders in Michigan and can check the entire court.

Owen Lobsinger  6-5  Fr  The Family 15U (Flint Powers): Reincarnation of another Flint forward, Scott Richardson who was a captain at Hope after graduating from Carman-Ainsworth. Lobsinger has the kind of frame that will attract coaches, with the potential to add a couple inches. Not explosive athletically but can surprise you if has a little daylight. Nearly got an and-one dunk against Playground Elite.  Needs to consistently stay in attack mode, because when he does, Owen becomes one of the better 2021 forward in the state. Raw skillset, but the tools are there. Unsure what position he currently, or what he projects.

Drew Lowder  5-11  Jr  Indy Heat (Ann Arbor Pioneer): When he’s on, can take it to anyone. Tough mid-range game. Finished well at the rim going at full speed, gets there despite lack of size or build. Great control and rarely missed when he got to the paint. Needs to improve his on-ball defense, can struggle to stay in front of his man against upper echelon guards.

Brady Swinehart  6-0  Jr  GR Storm (Ionia): May not pass the eye test but he’ll surpise and beat you with his IQ and shooting ability. Coach’s son who looks like it with how he moves off the ball, and efficiency with it. Hit three-pointers at a high rate against All Ohio, including a contested pull-up 3. Took care of the ball and picked and chose when to look for shot against bigger defenders.

Jalen Terry  5-11  So  The Family (Flint Beecher): The next big-time guard out of Flint. See his 45-point game against the Iowa Barnstormers on Sunday. The Barnstormers were one of the most organized and tough defensive team in the 17U division, which shows how good Terry can be when he’s locked in and firing on all cylinders. Nice pull-back 3. Made sharp P-n-R reads. Few players his size and age can get to and finish at and over the rim like Terry can. Needs to make his shot quicker down the road to get if off over college-sized athletes closing out. Also cut down on his turnovers by building strength, he lost the ball several times when defenders swiped at it when he drove.

B. Artis White  5-10  Jr  The Family (Canton): Small, quick and can shoot it, but what makes White a D1 prospect is that he’s just a good basketball player despite his size, like Kay Felder during his Pershing days. He rebounded, blocked shots, was a best on D and fed the open man all weekend. Does a lot of little things that made it hard to have him on the bench.

Jam bands: bad, Jam Fest: good

Standouts from the Michigan Warriors JamFest, where the winners were 17U Michigan Playmakers, 16U REACH Legends and 15U Playmakers.

REACH 16U point guard Tyson Acuff, a sophomore from Detroit Cass Tech.

Tyson Acuff  6-2  So  REACH 16U (Detroit Cass Tech): He took over in overtime of the 16U championship game, asserting himself physically and getting to the rim against Ann Arbor Basketball Academy. Strength and body control benefited him finishing and drawing fouls. Smart recognizing various mismatches attacking slower bigs and smaller guards alike. Would really benefit from a consistent pull-up game.

Kabir Bergin  6-6  So  AABA 16U (Ann Arbor Skyline): While he doesn’t get off the floor particularly high, Bergin is a terrific fundamental rebounder who worked hard horizontally and had two quick hands to the ball. Controlled the glass for guard-heavy Ann Arbor Basketball Academy, which fell in the 16U final to REACH, in overtime. Bergin is also a high skilled back-to-basket scorer with patience and secondary and even third moves off his pivot foot that left defenders lunging and jumping at the wrong time. Smart passer all over the court, strong option against pressure. Athletically limited, but has some natural talent with his balance and feel and has clearly worked on his game. Similar prospect to Chris Dierker, who played at Salem then Madonna and was the first selection in the Vietnamese league draft.

Chris Frank  6-1  Jr  Michigan Rising (Detroit Henry Ford Academy): Frankly speaking, when Chris played with energy, Michigan Rising was at its best reaching the silver final. Good at getting the shoulder in and turning the corner, setting up pitch-out three-pointers. One-on-one scorer. Could push it up or finish himself on the break. Perimeter shot had screwball tendencies and sometimes jogged in transition.

Anthony Honkala  6-3  So  TC Elite (Howell): Josh Palo isn’t the only college guard prospect at Howell. Honkala converted big drive after big drive in a back-and-forth 17U silver semifinal game. Despite playing up a year didn’t look out of place at all physically. Played in attack mode and finished with either hand. Able to rebound and take it end-to-end. Squared his body well defensively. Jumped passing lanes to get a pick six. Sprinted both ways, once catching up to block a fastbreak layup attempt. More wing forward than guard, so will have to work on expanding perimeter and ball skills.

Michigan Playmakers 17U point guard Wendell Green, a sophomore from Detroit Country Day.

Wendell Green  5-11  So  Playmakers (Detroit Country Day): Really tightened and elevated his game when it mattered most. He scored nine points in overtime as the Playmakers finally pulled away from Sporting U in the 17U semifinals. Then in the the championship game, over a five-second stretch with under a minute to play against REACH, Green made two free throws, stole the in-bounds, and made three more free throws. Volume shooter bit retro in how he can dominate the ball with the dribble, but also gave a different look when Green went to the wing to playoff the ball. Fearless driver who as a legit threat to finish was able to suck in REACH’s backline defenders and get easier shots for what in many cases were his physically overmatched teammates. Talented enough to play in the MAC or Horizon, with high-major potential with the right system fit.

Myren Harris  5-11  So  North Oakland Wolfpack (Macomb Dakota): The Wolfpack was without its 6-11 high-major monster Matt Nicholson, who was at his brother Mike’s college graduation after four years playing center for Lake Superior State. That brought their backcourt talent to the fore, leading the Wolfpack to the 16U semifinals. Jaiden Wasilk and Cole Donchez are lanky 6-2 Clarkston shooters. Harris is compact and athletic, able to get his own shot or play off the other shooters and was their leading scorer.

Cody Kok  6-5  Jr  Sporting U (Grand Rapids South Christian): A true guard at 6-5. Gave Wendell Green problems with his wingspan just closing off so much for the Playmakers’ all-state point guard. Drive and kick artist who is good at either, pitching or shooting, and can also get in all the way to extend and score. Plays with an unselfishness and pace that defines both this Sporting U team and the South Christian squad that knocked off more talented Godwin Heights in the state tournament in March. Covers more space than a defender expects then just kind of unfolds, like GVSU’s star freshman Jake VanTubbergen another Dutchman, from West Ottawa. Best trait may be how he is sticky around the ball, anticipating on both hands. Kok needs strength and can tend to play upright.

Dreyon O’Neal  6-7  Jr  Playmakers (Old Redford): One-time top 10 underclassman who has been in school transfer, AAU team hop limbo. In the championship game O’Neal oftehn found himself going it alone under the hoop against REACH with both 6-9 Jalen Thomas, Michigan’s top 2019 cetner prospect, and Carrington McCaskill, a springier version of O’Neal. Yet he pulled in rebound after rebound. In the semifinals it was he who presented the mismatch, collecting a number of clutch buckets posting up against Sporting U’s center-less lineup. Moved well off the ball, able to cut and dunk. Similar to Randy Gilbert, who is headed to national champion Ferris State via Cass Tech.

Luke Schrotenboer  6-4  Jr  Sporting U (Grand Rapids South Christian): Sporting U can bury a team when it has multiple shooters feeling it, like happened in the 17U quarterfinals against the host Warriors. Or it can shoot itself out of a game. The latter didn’t quite happen in the semis with the Playmakers, as SU started going downhill to counter the slow start and Schrotenboer is just as capable grinding it out as he is putting up shots. Has college build. Will coaches at that level view him as a guard or a tweener?

REACH 17U center Jalen Thomas, a junior from Detroit U-D Jesuit.

Jalen Thomas  6-9  Jr  REACH (U-D Jesuit): Michigan has four 2019 6-9s with offers — Thomas, Dansville’s Caleb Hodgson, Mattawan’s Nolan Foster and Hoop Heaven’s Luke Maranka. None are givens, all with their flaws. Thomas is a traditional big, defend the rim, run to the other, score off the blocks. Fastbreak triggerman who is good at the one clearing push dribble into the initial pass. Plays with some toughness, willing to get on the floor for 50/50 balls. Able to catch and finish, with face-up touch or dunks. Likes his hook, more comfortable off the left shoulder. Doesn’t shoot it like the other bigs can, but they don’t defend like Thomas can. Will have to play a 5, could be nice drop-off catch-and-finish post in a four-out offense.

Ann Arbor Basketball Academy 16U point guard Mac VanRenterghem, a sophomore from Ann Arbor Pioneer.

Mac VanRenterghem  5-10  So  AABA (Ann Arbor Pioneer): A craftsman who dribbles just enough, beats you with the pass and gets both regular and hockey assists, tone setter for a very unselfish club. High skill level allows Mac to create shots off the baseline or under the rim. Has touch, body control and calmness breaking traps. As good as he is, will have to be able to shoot it to play at the next level. Otherwise, born in the wrong century.

Jordan Whitford  6-0  Jr  Playmakers (Detroit King): Thrived in his role as complementary guard to Wendell Green, because he does a lot of things well and is efficient in his scoring chances. Good athlete who can defend. Knocked down open shots while also looking for his teammates.

 

Michigan Talent Serves Notice at Indy Events

No Michigander made more of their weekend in Indianapolis than The Family’s Maliq Carr.

Indianapolis was ground zero for college basketball recruiting this past weekend. Stephen Bell and Braeden Proctor were able to see games from seven different events — the EYBL, Nike Midwest Showdown, Adidas Silver Gauntlet, Adidas Spring Classic, Under Armour Circuit, Terrific 24 and PowerAde Platform. Here are some of Michigan’s standouts during the second and last NCAA live period of the spring.

Preston Ball  5-10  Fr  Northern Exposure 16U (Elk Rapids): NE was having all kinds of trouble with defensive full-court pressure in its Saturday night game before bringing in this freshman off the bench. He was calmer than his elders because Ball seems to have more than just drill-work in his handle, but feel, poise and hoops IQ. Kept the ball hot. Knew when to back-dribble out of a trap or when to bust it with a pass. Made the one three-pointer he took. Physical profile will ultimately determine the level, but has the makings of a future college guard if he takes the right steps.

Austin Braun  5-10  Jr  West Michigan Lakers (GR Catholic Central): With star guard Zach Goodline out with a broken hand, Braun’s been a valuable addition for the Lakers. Only caught the last dozen minutes of game Saturday, but he created some issues on defense and made some good unselfish passes to get his teammates open shots. Hit the extra man when opponents closed out on him. Gave up good shots for great shots. Also was hitting teammates running with him in transition. Almost seemed too passive when I watched, he hit his one open 3. Good mechanics on shot allow him to be a lethal spot shooter. Needs to continue working on his mid-range pull-up game and ability to create consistent separation.

Maliq Carr  6-6  So  The Family (Oak Park): He made the most of his call-up to the bigs, earning offers from WMU, Oakland, LIU and Robert Morris thanks to his production on the 17U level. Carr was the best of the 2020 group for The Family most of the weekend. That includes Isaiah Jackson, who has been up all spring and is a top 25 player nationally in 2020. Crashed offensive glass hard all weekend long. Was one of the Family’s best interior defenders because of his strength and lateral agility. Usually defending opposing team’s best forwards, such as Indy Heat’s Keion Brooks and Meanstreets’ Romeo Weems. Carr’s strength and quickness gave many opponents issues. Attacked closeouts well with straight line drives and finishes. Quick first step with the ball helped him to get by his man on closeouts. Continued to show he was an effective grab and go forward who could make plays in the open floor for himself or finding teammates. Plus athlete who frequently caught lobs and passes cutting baseline and finishing. Nice combination of high-end production, and high-major potential.

Anthony Crump  6-6  Sr  GreenWood Elite (Plymouth): Back on the 2018 market after getting out of NLI to UNC-Asheville. Crump has decent handles, especially for his height, but may not as a primary ball handler at next level. Passed well and did not turn the ball over. Saw the floor well in transition and hit the open man for three-point opportunities. Got to the rim quickly and with minimal steps when opponents tried pressuring him late in the game. Used his length to finish over smaller guards. Not a high level scorer. More of an auxiliary player who can handle and make plays from the wing. Was solid as a defender because he had a noticeable size and length advantage.

Parker Day  6-5  Fr  GreenWood Elite 15U (Saginaw Heritage): Moves well for his size and age and looks at home with able to step into a smooth three-point release. Good defensive tools with a strong base to root out his man and the wingspan to challenge shots. Really liked the one time saw him attack the seam of the defense with a big step-through move, but more often he dribbled a lot without going anywhere.

Latrell Fordham  6-4  So  GreenWood Elite 16U (Grand Blanc): Was a handful for Brothers Keeper at the rim. They had no answers for him when he slashed in the halfcourt, got the ball on the wing in transition or cleaned up the offensive glass when he crashed from the 3 point line. His size and length were effective defensively too. Quick acceleration allowed him to jump passing lanes against both Brothers Keeper and Ohio Nova. Fordham’s quick hands on ball allowed him to pickpocket his man a couple times. His handles in the halfcourt could use some work. The ball floats a little too high when he dribbles and it looked a little loose when he got going at full speed downhill. He did maintain control of the ball though. Could be an elite defender at the next level with his size and quick reflexes.

Nolan Foster  6-10  Jr  MBA (Mattawan): Project big man who was followed by mid-majors all weekend and rarely left the court for MBA but was still producing at a high rate into Sunday. Foster has extended his shooting touch from the elbows to the arc, though still more of a 5 who can shoot it than a stretch 4. Does a good job of clearing space in front of them rim to finish in the post game. He’s clearly worked on his game, not just a big body running around getting looks on potential. Could be recruited at an even higher level if finished with dunks instead of sometimes horizontal and hard layups. Talks on D. Can be a better rebounder if he’d hit someone instead of just reaching for the ball.

Joseph Hahnenberg  6-7  Jr  Parallel 45 (Williamston): Natural athlete who is just starting to come into his own as a basketball player. Can face up and attack, handle the ball in transition and defend out on the floor or in the post. Reminds one of Mark and Luke Lettinga who played at Bethel College via Forest Hills Central a decade ago. Hahnenberg has the grades to go with it. Has the instincts but needs to get more physical and nasty as a rebounder. Scholarship player when he starts finishing above the rim.

Trendon Hankerson  6-2  Sr  Detroit Spartans (Novi): One of Michigan’s top 10 available seniors, with a recent offer from Northern Illinois, and looked like a college guard with increased physique to go with what was already a nice reach for the point guard spot. Uses both attributes defensively. Likes to push it with the pass and will usually choose expedient routes. Doesn’t rush, can change speeds, and can surprise with athleticism like when he caught up from behind to block a shot. Not spectacular, but competent, smart and able to run a team.

Reece Hazelton  6-6  So  Northern Exposure 16U (Glen Lake): “Score from all three levels” has become a scouting cliché too often applied to a kid who can make a layup and open shots from the elbow and arc. It only really matters if they’re college-style shots and Hazelton can do that as he has moves inside and the toughness to finish through contact on up-and-unders or offensive rebounds; can extend over defenders for pull-ups; and shoot 3s off the catch. Versatile, jumps center for NE then is also one of their best passers. More eager on the offensive than defensive boards, and needs to work on a “next play” mentality now that he’s a rising upperclassman.

Tray Jackson  6-8  Sr  Meanstreets (Sunrise Christian): He’s young for his class so doing a post-grad season at Sunrise, and the decision is already paying big dividends for the former Detroit Western star with recent offers from Xavier, Boston College and DePaul. Recognized he had a mismatch on the perimeter as Meanstreets’ 5 man and went at whomever was guarding him. Jackson drew fouls all weekend long and living at the free throw line. Shot very well when at the line. An above average help-side shot blocker because of length and mobility. Still needs to get stronger. He lost the ball on a rip through against The Family and occasionally got bumped off balance attacking the rim if fouls were not called.

Carlos Johnson  6-6  So  The Family (Benton Harbor): He showed a wider audience why so many in Michigan love him. In his first game on 17u against Indy Heat, he caught fire from deep, going 4-6 and finishing tied with Rocket Watts for a team high 16 points off the bench. Shot was falling like in the Class B state final. Continued to show he could rebound at the highest grassroots level. High points rebounds and went after them with both hands. Like Maliq Carr, played as a grab-and-go forward who pushed the ball himself if teammates were not open. Great outlet passer who did not hunt for his own stats. He continues to be an uber productive player regardless of if he is the number 1 option or not. Still needs to improve his handles in the halfcourt. Not a lot of shift in his handles. More straight line drives or going through his man.

Jamoni Jones  6-0  So  GreenWood Elite 16U (East Kentwood): Started the game versus Ohio Nova on another level. Went for 10 quick points and scored from three levels — a mid-range pull-up in the half court, a left-handed finish in transition and a pair of 3s. Showed great control of the ball and was regularly getting into the paint in the first half. JJ was face-guarded the entire second half which was a testament to how dominant he was in the first, and it slowed him down considerably. Needed to utilize screens and continue to go at his man when he did get the ball. He was still getting to the rim when he went at his man but only attacked a couple times in the second half. 2020 is strong with guards and Jones looked again like one of the best in both games when he was in attack mode.

Joshua Lynn  6-5  Jr  Michigan Blazers (Franklin Road Christian): Big body who can fill the lane or spot up and shoot the three-pointer. Looks like he should be an all-state type at the Class D level next season.

Isaiah Phelps  6-6  Jr  Parallel 45 (Napoleon): Last year’s breakout sleeper 6-6 Parallel 45 forward, Boyne City’s Dylon Williams, will play at Michigan Tech. Now comes a relative unknown who was discovered by his AAU coaches at a track and field meet. A strong, old school 4 who would thrive in the MIAA and has already caught the attention of some of its coaches. Not afraid to max out his effort even if it comes with mistakes. A developing post game. Soaks up coaching and the best is yet to come.

Vinson Sigmon  5-10  Jr  MBA (Canton): In high school, he’s half of the dynamic backcourt with B. Artis White that will again have Canton a top team in the state. With MBA, Sigmon looks really dangerous pushing the ball with Mattawan’s Dexter Shouse and North Muskegon’s TJ McKenzie running the lanes. Sigmon isn’t just able to go fast, but execute moves and make decisions while at full speed. Hits some tough shots in the lane that bely his size. Will have to expand his perimeter for the next level, good from mid-range pulling up but inconsistent shooting from deep.

Karvon Stigall  6-4  Fr  Downriver Bad Boyz (River Rouge): While fellow forwards Didier Ngabo, 6-4 from Taylor Prep, may be bouncier and more active and Jimmy Breaux, 6-6 from Wyandotte, taller and longer, Stigall can be a load in the frontcourt for the 15U level. Between the inherent funkiness of a left-handed post game and ability to hold ground, gets to the line a lot. Shoots the jump-hook with either hand. Finishes off of one foot, would like to see him explosive off of two.

Brock Stevens  6-0  So  Impact Elite (Calvin Christian): Coach’s son who plays like it with his steady disposition and the way he values the ball. Not rattled by traps or when the lane starts to converge and things get hectic. Saw him get knocked down, maintain his dribble, get back up and feed the post for an assist. Not a burner but keeps defenders honest with how Stevens can change speed and direction. Has the runner point guards needs for the next level. A better shooter off the catch than dribble.

Ryan Wade  6-2  Jr  1Nation (Ann Arbor Skyline): A returning 17U veteran on the UAA Circuit. Crafty. Consistently got to the rim. Wasn’t rattled by Louisiana Elite’s size advantage and ball pressure. He scored 15 of 1nation’s first 19 points I believe. Just a smart player who put himself in the right spots. Got loose balls off the rim or tipped passes for easy put-backs. Hit shots out of pick-and-rolls from three-point range. Still takes a high volume to get his points.

Charlie Woodhams 6-3 So MBA 16U (Otsego): He had a big game shooting the ball in the 16U semifinals of the Midwest Takeover, before a foul-fest debacle ended MBA’s hope in the championship game. Woodham’s in heaven playing with one of the state’s purest point guards Max Perez, because both have high hoops IQs, Woodhams creating opportunities moving off the ball or setting screens. By no means just a finesse shooter, he’s pretty rugged and will compete defensively. Invites physical play and will finish against contact. Scholarship player as his own ball skills and creation and free flow come to the fore.