Calihan Call-Outs: Strong Performances at U-D Elite Camp

The University of Detroit's venerable Calihan Hall played host to the Titans' elite camp.
The University of Detroit’s venerable Calihan Hall played host to the Titans’ elite camp.

The University of Detroit’s Elite Camp has annually provided a spotlight for prospects on the verge of securing their future. Louisville’s Jaylen Johnson and Georgia’s Yante Maten in 2012; two years ago it was Paris Bass, not an NBA prospect for the Titans; last June Josh McFolley, now also at U-D, and Mike Edwards, like Maten now a UGA Bulldog. Here’s who got it done this time around at Calihan Hall.

Calvin Blaydes  6-5  Sr  Belleville: After his performance at the Izzo Shootout and now Detroit, Blaydes has solidified his place as one of the state’s top forward prospects. Athletic and plays hard, which can cover any number of flaws. Can guard the rim or check on the perimeter. A motor and quick second bounce on the glass. Lacks a back-to-the-basket game and struggles to multi-task when he puts it on the floor. Can see him fitting on probably half the GLIAC teams.

Brent Davis  6-2  Sr  Canton: There was a seemingly endless lineup of guards going one-on-one trying to get theirs. Davis was one of those with the actual size and athletic pop to most likely continue doing so in college. Slasher who turned heads with a big two-handed dunk. If he keeps playing like this, could see him again doubling his scoring average for Plymouth, where his clutch play helped give them their first district title last March.

Tray Jackson  6-6  So  Ypsilanti Lincoln: The surprise breakout prospect. He has the body, athleticism and shooting range of an older player. I coached 40 15U AAU games in the spring and rarely saw a member of the 2018 class who had Jackson’s combination of size and shot. Missed a dunk attempt but on another showed good hands and coordination to bring it in and put it down. You’d like to see him discover a post game and consistently embrace the dirty forward work, though his length provides a defensive presence.

Deante Johnson  6-6  Fr  Detroit Edison: It was pretty easy to forgive his faults when you look at the roster and see he’s just entering high school. Moved easily for his size and age. Needs some rudimentary post footwork, to remember to keep the ball high from the guards, go downhill and not fade, and figure out how hard you have to play at the varsity level … if that happens by March, Johnson could be turning in double-double efforts for what is one of the state’s top 10 Class C teams.

Luster Johnson  6-0  Sr  Detroit Consortium: He looks poised for the all-state campaign many were predicting following his state tournament run as a sophomore. Does some of everything and has springs, you just wish he were 6-3. Gets 50-50 balls, can score on the drive or shot and has vision to kick out for jumpers.

Reese Middleton  6-5  Jr  Perry: A former NBA player said he was the best shooter in the camp. Middleton certainly looked it in drills. When it was time for games someone should have given his teammates the memo, as in a one-on-one environment he was often left on the outside looking in. He was one of the biggest players at camp but more a de facto than passionate rebounder. Scholarship wing shooter, best case scenario Corey Redman.

Tristen Mysen  6-6  So  Oxford: He runs with a bunch of Clarkston kids in AAU, so Mysen may be more comfortable with some structure, particularly as a forward who builds his offense from the block outward. When his teammates did get him the ball, and cashed in with a patient and skilled game around the rim. Nice touch on the offensive glass. Sometimes goes too daintily or short-arms it, would like to eventually see a two-footed, above-the-rim power game. Good fundamentals rebounding in how he hits and pursues, and changes ends quickly.

Darian Owens-White  6-0  Jr  River Rouge: Picked right up from his outstanding Izzo Shootout performance, and is one of the state’s fastest climbing 2017 prospects. Has an Appling-esque quality where he’ll lull his defender then beat him with smooth over explosive moves. High-end point guard skills and he gets the ball where he wants. Lots of subtle, sophisticated stuff going on here, like just a look-off to give DOW an instant to stick a three-pointer. MAC or Horizon teams would love this kid running their team.

Miguel Priest  6-4  Sr  TBD: This was the second year in a row he’s been really good here. Shadowed the passing lanes leading to a number of breakout dunks. With a good frame and wingspan and no fear of physicality, Priest worked on the glass and proved able to push the ball and finish it himself. More than just an open court slasher, in one game he sank back-to-back left-handed three-pointers. Could see him eventually finding a mid-major roster. But via where? Priest played last season at Southfield, last week with Detroit Loyola and has been rumored to be headed to South Carolina.

Davion Williams  6-2  So  Belleville: Looks like the next coming of Rico Harris and is the most likely high-major prospect in the field. No player in camp had more dunks. Nice combination of size, playmaking, athleticism and a nose for the hole. Aggressive on defense and rebounds like you’d want from an athletic 6-2 kid on a high school court. Is the best guard in the 2018 class Clarkston’s Foster Loyer or Williams? It’s looking more and more like a dead heat.

2018 Guard Rankings:

  1. Foster Loyer  6-0  So  Clarkston
  2. Davion Williams  6-2  So  Belleville
  3. Brandon Wade  6-1  So  Ann Arbor Skyline
  4. David DeJulius  5-10  So  Detroit Edison
  5. PJ Mitchell  5-10  So  Detroit Loyola

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