Bank Hoops College All-American Team

An improved shot and MSU’s success helped Cassius Winston earn MVP honors.

2017-18’s top college players from Michigan high school alumni.

MVP Cassius Winston  6-0  So  Michigan State (Detroit U-D Jesuit): Michigan’s 2016 Mr. Basketball became a vastly improved point guard who led MSU to the Big 10 regular season title. Winston averages 12.6 points and 6.8 assists per game with some incredible shooting numbers — 52 percent overall, 54 percent from the arc and 89 percent from the line.

Zach Hankins  6-10  Jr  Ferris State (Charlevoix): Back-to-back GLIAC MVP for a Bulldogs team that’s reached the NCAA D2 Elite Eight. Averages 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 64 percent from the field.

Yante Maten  6-8  Sr  Georgia (Bloomfield Hills): While Georgia struggled, Matten carried his weight and more earning SEC player of the year honors. He averaged 19.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 assists per game while shooting, 46 percent from the floor.

EC Matthews  6-4  Sr  Rhode Island (Romulus): This was his lowest scoring season at Rhode Island, but one which has seen the team have its most success. He’s averaging 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist for a Rams squad that’s reached the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

Kyle Steigenga  6-5  Sr  Cornerstone (Holland Christian): One of the most decorated college players the state has ever seen. He’s the all-time scorer for the Michigan college ranks. Steigenga was the NAIA II national player of the year — and the first four-time first-team All-American — after averaging 20.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and shooting 60-percent from the floor as a senior.

Justin Tillman  6-8  Sr  VCU (Detroit Pershing): His offensive game exploded as a senior, with his scoring average jumping over six points to 19 per game along with 10 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field.

Second team
  • Wes Clark  6-0  Sr  Buffalo (Romulus)
  • Jalen Hayes  6-7  Sr  Oakland (Lansing Sexton)
  • Nick Perkins  6-8  Jr  Buffalo (Milan)
  • Jaylin Walker  6-4  Jr  Kent State (Romulus)
  • Martez Walker  6-5  Sr  Oakland (Detroit Pershing)
third team
  • Jalen Adams  6-5  Sr  Olivet (Saginaw Arthur Hill)
  • Corey Allen  6-3  So  Detroit (Ypsilanti)
  • Kenny Carpenter  6-5  Sr  Cleveland St. (Detroit Cass Tech)
  • Drew Cushingberry  6-2  Sr  Ferris State (Romeo)
  • Eric Williams  6-5  Fr  Duquesne (New Haven)

Freshman MVP: Eric Williams  6-5  Fr  Duquesne (New Haven)


Quick Turnaround: Monday’s best-bet regional semifinals

Mr. Basketball finalist Brandon Johns and East Lansing look to avenge last year’s regional loss to Kalamazoo Central.

Class A

Clarkston 21-1 vs. Troy 17-5 @ West Bloomfield: This is the third meeting between OAA-Red opponents, and the Colts were within single digits of Clarkston the first two times. With Foster Loyer back in Clarkston’s lineup, an upset becomes a lot less likely.

East Lansing 20-3 vs. Kalamazoo Central 19-2 @ Battle Creek Lakeview: They didn’t look like much in the summer, but K-Central has quietly won 19 games when it matters. The Maroon Giants took this regional matchup last year, though they had Mr. Basketball Isaiah Livers in the lineup. Now it’s just East Lansing with a future Michigan forward, Brandon Johns.

Class B

17-6 Boyne City 17-6 vs. 17-6 Ludington @ Petoskey: This is Boyne City’s first year in Class B but the Ramblers won a district title anyway. Ludington is the defending state runner-up in B. The hero of last year’s state semifinals, Josh Laman, is back and the 6-5 junior is the Orioles’ leading scorer. The host site Petoskey, isn’t completely unfamiliar to either team. Boyne City plays the Northmen regularly in the regular season, and P-town is the hometown of Ludington coach Thad Shank.

Detroit Henry Ford Academy 14-7 vs. Detroit Old Redford 16-5 @ Livonia Clarenceville: There are three for sure and possibly four high-major recruits in this one — but Old Redford has the advantage with three of them, junior guard Mark Watts, sophomore forward Isaiah Jackson and sophomore center Aundre Polk.

Class C

DEPSA 12-10 vs. Detroit Pershing 12-10 @ Bishop Foley: Never mind the records, these are the two most talented teams in Class C and a rematch of the Detroit PSL championship game, which Edison won in one of the biggest blowouts in the history of that storied game. That can’t sit well with the Doughboys, who have a senior sleeper in 6-8 Johnny Davis who can now beat you inside as well as outside as he continues to fill out.

Dansville 17-6 @ Pewamo-Westphalia 18-5: These two split in the regular season, each winning on the others’ home court. P-W finished a game ahead of Dansville for second-place in the rugged CMAC — the Aggies already beat the first-place team, Laingsburg, in district play. 6-9 Dansville junior Caleb Hodgson is a triple-double waiting to happen.

Class D

Buckley 17-5 vs. Muskegon Heights 11-11: This is a great deal for $5 if you like up-and-down basketball. Buckley is finally looking like the team that made it to last year’s championship game, and as long as there’s high school basketball in Michigan, you know a Muskegon Heights team won’t be an easy out.

Potter’s House Christian 18-5 vs. Howardsville Christian 19-5: Howardsville Christian has a prolific scoring junior guard in Dylan Jergens. Potter’s House has a good guard of its own, senior Josh Cassell, as well as a 6-5 junior Nyuon Nhial averaging a double-double, and has played a stronger schedule.

Districts from Hell: Class A

Senior guard Brandon Wade led Ann Arbor Skyline to a 19-0 regular season mark.

Districts from Hell refer to those opening week basketball brackets where not only are there two or more teams capable of winning it, but could do damage further into March once they do.

Detroit Renaissance: Every team in this district is at least .500. U-D Jesuit has proved it’s a state-caliber program in the post-Cassius Winston years. The forgotten Cub is Eli Collins, since he’s going to MSU for football, but he’s an athletic, tough guard an an X factor for 17-3 U-D. They open Monday with Warren Fitzgerald. Where’s Carlos English when you need him? Awaiting the winner is Hazel Park, in its first year in Class A but fitting right in with an 18-2 mark and an athletic, senior-dominated lineup. The Vikings’ only two losses were to defending state champion Clarkston. The home team and lone PSL representative, Renaissance, is 12-6 and, like U-D Jesuit, features a pair of 2019 D1 prospects, 6-7 Carrington McCaskill and 6-5 Chandler Turner. Renaissance opens with Berkley, and the winner will have 16-2 Oak Park, which has won 15 straight games including a 43-point dismantling of Flint Beecher.

Detroit Western: 16-4 Cass Tech has a first-round bye and will likely play 10-6 Detroit King in the semifinals. That’s a grudge match, as MLK’s top guard, senior Marcus Gibbs, is a transfer from Cass. Mr. Basketball finalist leads 14-3 East English Village against Detroit Western in the other Monday game. Western didn’t win a league game in the regular season, but any team with 6-7 Tray Jackson, a top five unsigned senior, on the court and coach Derrick McDowell on the bench has a chance. Hamtramck will play that winner in the semifinals.

Ann Arbor Skyline: Skyline is undefeated this year — but its senior class has yet to win a district game. They’ll have to get their first one Monday against intradistrict rival Pioneer, which is dangerous with a healthy junior point guard Drew Lowder in the lineup. Look for his Skyline counterpart Brandon Wade to show the world why he deserved to be a Mr. Basketball finalist. 12-6 Romulus plays the winter, still stinging from a 40-point shellacking by Skyline last week. 15-5 Ann Arbor Huron should be a finalist in the other side of the district bracket. Its point guard, Lewis Willis, has been playing great down the stretch.

Salem: 12-8 Novi is the only team this year to have beaten 18-1 Canton. The Wildcats await Monday’s Canton vs. Novi Catholic Central winner in the district semifinals. Canton has the advantage at guard play with speedy juniors B. Artis White and Vinson Sigmon who average 28 points and 8 assists between them. CC counters with size, including bouncy 6-7 junior Justin Rukat one of the real sleepers in Michigan’s 2019 class and 6-7 all-around scorer Davis Lukomski. Novi has seniors and guard play, so could make up for a disappointing early regular season with a March run. On the other side of the bracket Plymouth will meet Salem or Northville in the semifinals.

Districts from Hell: Class B

Mario Whitley looks to lead Frankenmuth to another district title.

Districts from Hell refer to those opening week basketball brackets where not only are there two or more teams capable of winning it, but could do damage further into March once they do.

Lansing Eastern: 15-5 Haslett is back down from Class A and the CAAC-Red champion after going 10-0 in league play. Junior guard Mitchell Mowid will lead Haslett in the semifinals against the winner of either Lansing Eastern or Lansing Catholic. Williamston was Bank Hoops’ preseason pick to win the state championship and the Hornets look the part of a contender as they’re 18-2, 10-0 in the CAAC-White and they haven’t lost in 2018. Senior guard Cole Kleiver has had an all-state caliber season. Everyone knows about Williamston’s 6-7 junior Sean Cobb and it’s been a breakout season for another 6-7 junior Joseph Hahnenberg. Williamston will play Fowlerville or Lansing Sexton in the district semifinals.

Detroit Mumford: Detroit Henry Ford opens with Detroit Cornerstone on Monday and has the district’s strongest resume with a 15-5 mark and Detroit PSL-West title. Coach Ken Flowers knows how to advance in March and has an All-City senior guard, Anthony Roberts, ready to earn offers after de-committing from Bryant. A likely Friday matchup awaits between Henry Ford and Detoit Old Redford, which will mean the Trojans’ x-and-o’s and toughness against ORA’s sheer talent with the state’s No. 1 junior guard Mark Watts and No. 1 2020 prospect 6-7 Isaiah Jackson. Old Redford is 14-5 but those losses include top 10 Class A teams Ann Arbor Skyline and Hazel Park. The district darkhorse is Detroit Mumford, awaiting the Cornerstone-Henry Ford winner. Mumford is 15-1 but did it largely in the obscurity of the PSL’s second division.

Frankenmuth: A terrific semifinal awaits between TVC-East rivals 19-1 Bridgeport and 18-2 Frankenmuth. The Eagles’ two losses are both to Bridgeport. They led at halftime of the second one but lost 60-53. The Bearcats haven’t lost since the season opener against Lansing Everett and went 10-0 to win their league. They play very hard, taking on the image of their coach Kevin Marshall who is old school and into it. 6-5 junior SirQuarius Ball is one of the few who can match up physically with Eagles all-state senior Mario Whitley. Also for Bridgeport senior guard Charles Garrett is an all-around athlete and the leading scorer and junior guard Markele Garrett the top perimeter threat. Muth senior guard Sam Gray is a talented complement to Whitley.




Districts from Hell: Class C

All-state junior Xander Okerlund and Maple City Glen Lake are at home Wednesday against Manton.

Districts from Hell refer to those opening week basketball brackets where not only are there two or more teams capable of winning it, but could do damage further into March once they do.

Montrose: If you’re going to get three-time defending state champion Flint Beecher, this is the time to do it. 13-5 Flint Hamady already has, splitting with Buctown in the regular season. But March is a different beast, even when Beecher is just 12-8. Round 3 will likely come in the district final. Beecher opens with Montrose with 13-6 Burton Atherton in the semifinals, while Hamady plays Burton Bendle with 15-5 Burton Bentley in the semifinals.

Bath: 15-3 Laingsburg and 14-6 Dansville meet for the third time this season on Monday. Laingsburg took the previous two, 51-40 at home and 70-67 at Dansville. The Wolfpack won the state’s best small-school league, the CMAC, despite a starting lineup averaging sub-6 feet led by 5-9 senior guard Kam Brown. Dansville counters on the other end of the scale with 6-9 junior Caleb Hodgson, who averaged 24 points and 17. 5 rebounds in the two Laingsburg games. Another CMAC team, 13-7 Bath, opens with New Lothrop and is dangerous playing on its home court with a senior scorer, Harry Gilstrap, who can get hot.

Covenant Christian: The defacto district final will take place in the only Monday game in this district, where 2017 state runner-up Grand Rapids Covenant Christian plays host to 2016 state runner-up Grandville Calvin Christian. Covenant won the regular season meeting at home in January 54-45. Covenant is 16-4, Calvin 14-6. Expect some college coaches in the stands for this one, as Covenant’s 6-7 Carson Meulenberg is the focus of a recruiting battle between Cornerstone and Hope, while Calvin Christian’s 6-10 Blake Verbeek is one of the state’s top 10 available seniors. Meulenberg is one of four senior starters back for Covenant from last year’s Breslin team.

Glen Lake: The district semifinal between Manton and host Maple City Glen Lake is more like a state quarterfinal. 18-2 Glen Lake won a share of the NWC with Buckley and Frankfort, while 17-3 Manton shared the Highland title with McBain. Manton is even stronger than it was a year ago when it made the state semis. The senior backcourt of Jayden Perry and Hunter Ruell is diminutive but deadly, as both are 1,000-point career scorers. Junior guard Trever Salani is the perfect complement to them as he brings physicality along with another three-point threat. The Rangers will need a big effort from 6-6 senior Ethan Ancick against a pair of talented Glen Lake forwards, 6-6 senior Cade Peterson who is going to Grand Valley State as a quarterback and 6-5 sophomore Reece Hazelton, while 6-4 junior Xander Okerlund can play 1-4 and is Glen Lake’s best all-around player. The winner shouldn’t celebrate too soon, as awaiting in the final is likely 15-5 Traverse City St. Francis, which went undefeated in the LMC.


Districts from Hell: Class D

All-state forward Mason Pline and Fowler will likely see CMAC rival Fulton or upstart Ashley in the Merrill district final.

Districts from Hell refer to those opening week basketball brackets where not only are there two or more teams capable of winning it, but could do damage further into March once they do.

Merrill: Ashley against Fulton is the lone Monday game. 16-4 Ashley was one of the nice stories in the state with one of the best Bears teams in years. They’ll have to overcome the heartbreak of losing the regular season finale to Carson City-Crystal 42-40 — which denied this little school that’s dropping to eight-man football a share of the MSAC title. If they hang their heads just a little this has trap game written all over it, because Fulton took its lumps in the state’s top small school league, the CMAC, and is a program used to recent March success. The Pirates have two dangerous senior guards in Cole Blair and Evan Barton. Ashley counters with one of the top post combos in Class D, rugged 6-3 senior Colin Dolloff and finesse passer/shot-blocker 6-7 senior Nick Sperling. Vestaburg awaits the winner. The district favorite, however, sits atop the bracket, where 15-5 Fowler opens in the semifinals against terrible Merrill. Fowler, like Fulton part of the brutally tough CMAC, has lost three straight, but hasn’t fallen to a Class D team all season. Fowler has the top player in the district, 6-7 Mason Pline who is headed to Ferris State, but the guard play from Ashley or Fulton would give them a chance.

Bellevue: Can anyone stop the host school, Bellevue? It’s 19-1 and has convincing wins over the best teams here including 16-4 Athens, which awaits the winner of Battle Creek St. Philip and Marshall Academy in the semifinals. Bellevue has won five straight district titles, but this is its best team yet. And should only get better, with just one senior starter. Junior guard Wyatt Waterbury leads a balanced attack at 16 points per game. St. Philip is 10-9 under first-year coach Jay Luoma and has the best size in the district with a pair of 6-7s, Morgan Bohanan and Sam Conkley. 16-2 Marshall Academy has the most talented player of the bunch, sophomore guard Ta’vas Lawler-Showers.