All-State Camp: Mentally, Physically Tough Guards

A confident player can fit in anywhere. Here are some players who through the security derived from a battle-ready body, or from past winning success, or maybe just bright-eyed optimism, played assertive, aggressive, tough basketball from the guard positions as the Bank Hoops All-State Camp.

Deric Murray is a scholarship combo guard from Ann Arbor Pioneer.
Deric Murray is a scholarship guard from Ann Arbor Pioneer.

Javon Anderson  5-10  Jr  Lansing Waverly: Powerfully built and stays low exploding off screens and into the lane where he was athletic enough to make hanging, unorthodox shots. Rebounded. Not a natural creator but shared the ball.

Denver Cade  6-2  Jr  Buckley: He was often stuck in a lineup with the camp’s most egregious blackhole, which isn’t ideal for a rhythm shooter who needs touches. Then on his first good look of the scrimmage session, Cade knocked down a three-pointer. Still kept working hard off the ball rebounding and on defense.

Ian Clancy  6-1  Jr  Indian River: Did a lot of ball-handling for his team. Was more of a facilitator, pass and screen away and not likely to see the ball back. Has the talent if he puts it in attack mode. Smart, made the right play. Quick to the floor for loose balls.

AJ Crawford  5-11  Sr  New Haven: A transfer from Cousino who gives New Haven a more traditional driving guard that they didn’t have last season. He seemed to live at the rim piling up points. Good defender on the ball. Mixed in some passes which should be more common options in the high school season with Romeo Weems and Eric Williams on the wings.

Stoney Creek junior Nate Davis is an athlete on both ends of the floor.
Rochester Stoney Creek junior Nate Davis is an athlete on both ends of the floor, a slasher and defender.

Nate Davis  6-2  Jr  Rochester Stoney Creek: Catching TDs on Fridays, then he came into camp and shut down some of the most dangerous guards in the state. Long, bouncy and scrappy, playing low with active hands even quick, smaller point guards couldn’t get around him. His own scoring is largely predicated on his quick first step. Athletic, entertaining style of play makes Davis at times seem like a clone of Ann Arbor Huron senior Alec Anderson. He’s going to Emory, and Davis also has the academic chops to play at that kind of school.

Henry Goldkuhle  6-3  Fr  Traverse City Central: He’s grown six inches in the past year so while he played physically, it wasn’t necessarily executed with strength. Got pushed off his dribble as such. Length and timing, challenged another freshman from this list, James Wilburn, defensively at the rim and won the majority of the matchups. Versatile, as Goldkuhle can block shots (helpside or on the man) or rebound, then advance the ball. Heads up passer on the break. Hit the top-of-key 3. Similar in toughness and overall game to another Northern Michigan freshman guard who was at our Underclassman Camp, Glen Lake’s Reece Hazelton.

Jermayne Golidy  6-4  Sr  Muskegon: Versatile, relentless scorer from an 80s time warp who is more crafty and skilled than athletic. Shot has a low release point but is money from the arc when given time. Hit pull-up 3s off the catch and dribble. Take that away and Golidy will still cobble together 20 points because he knows the glass and angles from mid-range, can finish chest-to-chest and has bounce on the offensive glass. Those points in conjunction with shot selection and defense will determine a lot of college coaches’ verdicts.

Cole Kleiver  5-11  Jr  Williamston: Plays with swagger. And backed it up, as in Kleiver’s first game his first two touches resulted in him burying three-pointers. Great coming off screens as he can attack or shoot. Not a true breakdown creator off the dribble but will keep it moving and throws nice basic balls on the break. A pest on D who competes on both ends. Similar to another Mid-Michigan guard, Jake Bullock, who became an All-American at Aquinas.

Lamar Lee  6-0  Fr  Muskegon: Good teammate who was patient, moved the ball, and knocked down his own shots when stepping into them. Moved off the ball. Well built for his age, would be a varsity player a lot of places already.

Logan LePage  6-3  So  Corunna: Active, wants to make things happen, it just can lack some polish. Competed on the glass against older players. Took advantage of matchups and hit some tough shots posting up. Not a ball-handler yet, often left dribbling to nowhere.

Matt Loney  6-3  Jr  Frankfort: Like Nate Davis, in the midst of a standout football season but the kind of kid who always has time to get in a hoops run. True team player who enjoys others’ success, and his passing and energy helped in the breakout performance of Loney’s camp teammate, Lakeland center Cass Phillips. Loney defends, rebounds, finishes with energy and an unending wingspan. Will need to keep adding weight and diversifying his offense.

Matt Malcolm  6-3  Jr  Plymouth Christian: While his jumper wasn’t falling in the games we saw, Malcolm is a plus athlete and able to contribute in other ways, defensively, pushing the ball on the break and most likely with his big hops on both ends of the glass. Upright as a ball-handler, more of a wing than guard at this juncture.

Dominique Marr  6-3  Sr  Adrian: Played low with the ball. Explosive, unorthodox lane scorer off the dribble. Nice first step kept pressure on his defender. Kicked for 3s when not scoring himself.

Deric Murray  6-4  Sr  Ann Arbor Pioneer: Big-time defensive potential, pushing smaller guards off the ball out on the floor, or blocking forwards’ shots inside. Patient combo guard who compensated for shot volume with athletic finishes. Fast the pace, the more dangerous he became. Had a bunch of and-one finishes. When the shot is falling as well, easily one of the best available 2017 guards in Michigan.

Max Perez  5-8  Fr  Hudsonville: This young player learning to play guard from Eric Elliott is a scary proposition to the O-K Red. He makes this list because unlike a lot of savant point guards he puts up weights as well as shots and his confidence grew as Perez finished at the rim again and again. Stayed sharp off the ball and wasn’t a sieve on D. Good vision turning the corner needs to use the simpler passing options more often.

James Wilborn  6-4  Fr  Mt. Morris: A lot of confidence for a freshman. Hit a flurry of three-pointers. Then as that hand cooled Wilborn took to the drive, with a nice first step and an attack mindset. Used his size on the glass. Better interior than perimeter defender and like so many young players needs more consistent focus.

Common Surname, Uncommon Games for Rashad Williams, Trevion Williams

6-8 with an Antonio Gates-style game, no one in Michigan plays quite like Trevion Williams.
6-8 with an Antonio Gates-style game, no one in Michigan plays quite like Trevion Williams.

With nearly double-digit offers between them, Henry Ford Academy’s 6-8 junior Trevion Williams and Wayne Memorial’s 6-3 junior Rashad Williams had two of the bigger reputations coming into the 12th-annual Bank Hoops All-State Camp.

Trevion Williams is a unique player in the state between his size and passing ability. He got assist with Kevin Love style outlets, from the blocks and the other way around, or off the dribble. He also had some hockey assists, playing a step ahead and initiating the offense. He also shoots it well to 20 feet. Not quite a generic stretch 4 because of his drive game and he has the chops to horse guys around the hoop is he so chose. Yet still in the stretch 4 genre as he’s more comfortable playing away from the basket than rim running and burying his man on the other end. Williams has offers from MSU, Xavier, Illinois, Detroit, UNLV and DePaul, and recently had Wisconsin in for a workout.

2018 Top 10 Power forwards

  1. Brandon Johns  6-9  Jr  East Lansing
  2. Thomas Kithier  6-8  Jr  Macomb Dakota  Michigan State
  3. Trevion Williams  6-8  Jr  Detroit Henry Ford Academy
  4. Danny Kolp  6-9  Jr  Petoskey
  5. Tray Jackson  6-8  Jr  Detroit Western
  6. Blake Verbeek  6-9  Jr  Grandville Calvin Christian
  7. Marcus Bingham  6-9  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
  8. Cass Phillips  6-8  Jr  Lakeland
  9. Mason Pline  6-6  Jr  Fowler
  10. Jacob Polakovich  6-8  Jr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Wayne junior Rashad Williams already has two Horizon offers.
Wayne Memorial junior Rashad Williams has MAC and Horizon offers.

Rashad Williams has offers from Cleveland State and EMU. His most readily apparent D1 skill is how he creates separation with the dribble. Can stop and elevate from the perimeter and extend and finish over defenders at the hole. Recognized mismatches and posted up smaller point guards. While he can go on scoring benders he showed both sides of the offensive coin. They didn’t always connect but Williams was a willing passer coming off of screens, pushing the ball on the break or driving and pitching to three-point shooters.

2018 Top 5 Combo guards

  1. Duane Washington  6-3  Jr  Grand Rapids Christian
  2. Rashad Williams  6-3  Jr  Wayne
  3. Jacob Boonyasith  6-3  Jr  Jenison
  4. Elijah Collins  6-2  Jr  Detroit U-D Jesuit
  5. Matt Loney  6-3  Jr  Frankfort

College Guard Workshop, October 22

Miller Will Keep Good Times Coming for Lake Fenton

Lake Fenton senior Jalen Miller is one of the state's toughest matchups in Class B.
Lake Fenton senior Jalen Miller is one of the state’s toughest Class B matchups.

2016 was an historic season for Lake Fenton, with a district crown and 21-3 record finally bowing out in a Class B regional final 53-50 to New Haven. They graduated standout forward Chris Bell but will again be a top 10 team in Class B with the 2017 class that includes Jalen Miller, Cameron Jackson, Isaac Golson and Andrew Forester. 6-3 senior Miller and 6-2 senior Jackson were both standouts at the 12th annual Bank Hoops All-State Camp.

Miller is tough to handle when he gets going downhill, like a poor man’s Albert White. Can pass or finish on the break. Strong first step and gets his shoulder in there and it gets scary quick for a defender. Uses his size to create points around the rim, then cause a matchup problem stepping outside to work post angles for assists and hit three-pointers off the dribble. Miller looks like a 15 and 10 a night lock for LF and the heir apparent to Beecher alumnus Quay Burks as the best all-around forward in the GAC Red. He’s not a knock-down shooter, which he’ll need in order to shake a tweener label.

Bank Hoops College Guard Workshop October 22

Jackson is a smooth guard with a nice first step that he used to his advantage pushing the ball in transition. He was on the same team as one of the camp’s top point guard performer, Warren De La Salle junior Justin Fischer, and played well off him, setting up for three-pointers or sharing the ball with each other in transition.

(Pre) PreSeason Class B Top 10

  1. Wyoming Godwin Heights
  2. New Haven
  3. Wayland
  4. River Rouge
  5. Williamston
  6. Dearborn Divine Child
  7. Lansing Sexton
  8. Detroit Osborn
  9. Lake Fenton
  10. Hazel Park

Chemistry Key for Young Guns Brooks and Dunn

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Some of the most aesthetically satisfying basketball played at the 12th-annual Bank Hoops All-State Camp came courtesy of teammates Pierre Brooks Jr. and William Dunn. That’s significant because both have yet to play a high school game. Brooks, 6-3, is an eighth-grader at St. Clare Montefalco in Grosse Pointe, while Dunn, 6-6, is a freshman from Quincy.

One of the top young prospects in Michigan, Pierre Brooks Jr.
One of the top young prospects in Michigan, Pierre Brooks Jr.

Brooks’ talent was already apparent previously at the Bank Hoops Underclassman Camp. He was even better this time around thanks to improved shot selection, opportunities turned into assists — on the break, from the wing or out of the post. He and Dunn had terrific chemistry, whether running screen-and-rolls, give-and-goes, or simply feeding each other in the post. Brooks, son of the Detroit Douglass coach of the same name, has the instincts and court vision of a guard in the body of a forward. Though not yet in high school, he’s already won on one of the biggest stages there is for middle school players, as a member of the Family which finished second in the 13U AAU national tournament. As he matures and gets more explosion and lift from that big build, he’ll be even more dangerous around the rim. Size, skill, personality, there are more than a few similarities at the same age between Pierre and Denzel Valentine.

One of the state's top young players, Quincy freshman William Dunn.
One of the state’s top young players, Quincy freshman William Dunn.

While this was Brooks’ third camp, it was our first time seeing William Dunn. Agile, active, an efficient finisher, moved well without the ball, put in tips above the rim, ran the court, on one play he took a rebound end-to-end for a dunk. All from a 6-6 kid in his first month of high school, is pretty rare. The upper body mechanics on his shot are fine and easily has three-point range, though sometimes his feet float too close together. Would still like to see Dunn be more of a physical presence on the glass and defending the rim. In age group play, at least, you’ll change all kinds of shots if you’re that height and just play with hands high. The early returns are just coming in, but Brooks and Dunn look like legit top 10 prospects for their classes.

All-State Camp: Play the Right Way for the College Coaches

Warren De La Salle junior Justin Fischer was the top guard at the 12th-annual Bank Hoops All-State Camp.
Warren De La Salle junior Justin Fischer was the top guard at the 12th-annual Bank Hoops All-State Camp.

If you think at a Bank Hoops event that the volume shooters and 10x per possession dribblers are the ones our scouts are looking for, you haven’t been paying attention. Here are some guys who caught our eyes by “playing the right way” — sharing the ball, showing smart shot selection, hustling and being coach-able in drills, and playing hard on the defensive side.

Thomas Cook  6-5  Sr  Grand Blanc: Played with the edge of a senior making the most of this window of opportunity. Sprinted and worked harder in drills than many players did in games. Led via energy. Tuned in on defense, taking advantage of his wingspan and playing with high hands on his closeouts.

Lamontae Ellis   5-7  Sr  Flushing: One of the smallest upperclassman guards at camp, luckily he was also one of the quickest and most skilled. Pushed tempo and kept his teammates involved on the break or driving and pitching. Ellis was able to duck through and use changes of speed to operate in the lane in the halfcourt.

College Guard Workshop, October 22

Daniel Everhart  6-0  Jr  Marine City Cardinal Mooney: Has the point guard gift of seeing plays and anticipating defenses before others. Got assists in transition using just one dribble. Drew double teams to get teammates open three-pointers. Hit shots within the flow, but when Everhart got out of the offense tended to miss, basketball karma catching up to a kid who usually knows better.

Justin Fischer  6-2  Jr  Warren De La Salle: A highlight maker without over-dribbling. Fischer rarely had the ball in his hand for more than a couple seconds and the results were a multitude of look-away, surprising, on the money passes. Soft, strong, confident right and left hands. Off the ball, always in motion and always shot ready. Size, skills, the way his shot looks, the doses of mustard, Fischer is very similar to former Bank Hoops camper Korey VanDussen who led Zeeland East to a state finals appearance before becoming a D1 starter at UNC-Greensboro.

Bryce Lott  6-3  So  Davison: Kept the ball hot and knocked down shots when it came back around. Versatile on offense, able to score with a jump hook or jump shot. Played with bounce and effort on the glass. One series that stood out was when Lott scored at the rim, then hustled back to make a steal under the opposing basket.

Derek Nicholson  6-8  Sr  Williamston: Thankfully not everyone standing over 6-7 wants to be a “stretch 4.” Nicholson is a country strong, old school post who embraces the physical game and loves making life difficult for those who think they’ll get free and easy shots at the rim or cuts through the lane. Rudimentary but effective post game when he gets position. Walls off well defensively. Young for his class and keeps improving, which is why he had GLIAC coaches intrigued.

Jaylon Rogers  6-1  Jr  Frankfort: He’s one of the most gifted one-on-one scoring guards in the state’s junior class who in the past would be an unlikely candidate for this list, but showed a nice mix of pass and shot. Rogers kept his team’s center, Williamston’s Derek Nicholson, involved and also recognized and capitalized on other teammates’ mismatches.

Danny Sully  6-5  Jr  Troy: Intriguing prospect because he doesn’t shy from physical contact, has a huge wingspan, and gets off the floor quickly to dunk. Money from the short corners. Sully needs to work on his range, but didn’t spend the camp missing three-pointers to prove that point.

Skyler Wilson  5-8  Jr  Lansing Eastern: Truly unselfish and one of the best pure passers in the camp. The frontcourt on his team was undersized, but they played right with some of the most talented bigs in the gym as their hustle was rewarded time and again with transition assists from Wilson.

Zach Winston  6-1  Jr  Detroit U-D Jesuit: Just keeps steadily improving. Good defender who squares and uses his strength to misdirect ball-handlers. Winston has expanded his offensive repertoire and showed some college-caliber separation moves, but didn’t over-indulge it and kept the ball moving and fed the post. Hoops IQ runs in the family and Zach understands how to work angles.

Big & Athletic, Lakeland’s Cass Phillips Rising Fast

Lakeland junior Cass Phillips has dunked his way to D1 recruit status.
Lakeland junior Cass Phillips has hammered his way to Division 1 recruit status.

On the first play of his scrimmage at the Bank Hoops All-State Camp, Cass Phillips caught an alley-oop dunk. A fitting celebration, as there was nothing subtle about the 6-8 Lakeland junior’s performance. Nor has his rise as a recruit been subtle, blowing up on GLIAC, Horizon and MAC radars in the week since.

And why not? Phillips fills a void among the junior mid-major power forward prospects. While he doesn’t have the wingspan or shooting touch of Calvin Christian’s Blake Verbeek or Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Marcus Bingham, Phillips is sturdier and tougher. While not as strong as another GRCC junior, Jacob Polakovich, he’s a better athlete who makes plays above the rim with regularity. The only thing Phillips lacked that they didn’t, until now, was exposure, as he’s played travel baseball. College coaches have to be salivating wondering what a natural athlete like him would look like if he ever became a full-time basketball player.