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.