High School
Bell on Ball: Michigan's Top 10 Freshmen PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Bell   
Friday, 26 December 2014 03:33

Youth AAU is fun and all. But we like to see underclassmen get it done in a high school environment as well. Here are the 10 best 2018 prospects we've seen, an obviously fluid list as their careers progress.

1. Brandon Johns  6-8  Fr  East Lansing: Media calling him one of the best players in the state before the season did him a disservice. Now one of best prospects? No doubt. The inside-outside threat is trending somewhere between the next LaVell Blanchard and Al Horford.

2. Foster Loyer  5-10  Fr  Clarkston: The hoops pedigree has been more than apparent as he's come in and run the show for the undefeated Wolves. Oh what alchemy this cross between Monte Morris and Davis Kool, he'll be the biggest Loyer out of Oakland County since Geoffrey Fieger.

3. Zavon Godwin  6-4  Fr  Roseville: Sir'Dominic doesn't have a patent on Rocking Roseville with dunks, as Godwin has a rare combination of length, pop and hand-eye for a ninth-grader. Given he can also step out and shoot and he looks like the next Lester Abram.

4. Tanner Reha  6-3  Fr  DeWitt: How good was the Lansing Spartans 14U last year? Reha joins Johns and Loyer as three of those teams members amongst the top four freshmen. He scored 22 against East Lansing in the opening week of the season and hasn't looked back. Rugged, athletic body with an much improved outside touch.

5. David DeJulius  5-10  Fr  Detroit Edison: All kinds of talent as a ball-handler and has the mature, running back build to get where he wants with the ball on the varsity level. At his best playing a true point and getting easy shots for teammates, still figuring out when and where to mix in the shot.

6. Davion Williams  6-1  Fr  Belleville: Explosive power guard who brings to mind Rico Harris. He's done a lot of good already, whether clutch play down the stretch in December at Ypsilanti Lincoln, or coming off the bench to score in double digits in the Tigers' upset of Romulus.

7. Pierre Mitchell  5-10  Fr  Detroit Loyola: True point guard has just the right mix of skill and mentality to fit in on a balanced Loyola team that has high aspirations for March despite no superstars.

8. Jake Lee  6-4  Fr  Petoskey: The first JV player on the list, coming out of a program where even HOF coach Dennis Starkey's son Cory wasn't a varsity freshman. He now starts for Bucknell, and Lee himself is drawing D1 interest while getting 25 and 15 in junior varsity ball thanks to his interior fundamentals, underrated toughness and ability to run the floor.

9. Thomas Kithier  6-7  Fr  Macomb Dakota: Rare combination of solid build, touch and feel for space, given his youth. Kithier and soph point guard Jermaine Jackson will do a lot of future damage in the MAC.

10. Quinn Blair  6-5  Fr  Dearborn Divine Child: Already has a pretty sophisticated offensive game off the ball that reminds of the Simons brothers out of Cadillac via CMU and Drake.    

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 January 2015 05:48 )
University of Detroit Adds Guard, Forward Pair PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Bell   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 18:37

With the October 6 commitment of Detroit Western's Gerald Blackshear and Josh McFolley to the University of Detroit, 20 Michigan seniors have now made their college commitments.

Dilon Aten  6-1  Sr  Wayland (ACB BankHoops)  Cornerstone
This is how you become a small college power, keeping at home all-staters talented enough to have played at bigger schools. Cornerstone did it in the spring with Holland Christian's Kyle Steigenga. Aten can help you running a team, or picking up the scoring when he has to. The last time an all-state point guard went from Wayland to Cornerstone it worked out well, Wes Hudson was the 2014 WHAC MVP.

Gerald Blackshear  6-8  Sr  Detroit Western (1Nation)  Detroit
Energy guy whose motor when paired with athleticism and wingspan make Blackshear productive without having plays called for him. Guards the bucket, pursues rebounds and rim runs for dunks. Ability to check inside and out is attractive. He'll join AAU and former Mt. Clemens teammate Josh McFolley at Detroit Western, and then at Calihan Hall.

Deleon Brown  6-2  Sr  Grand Rapids Christian (SYF Players/GR Storm)  Colorado
A smooth shooter who hit for 20 points per game as a junior and vaulted into one of the state's top 10 overall recruits. Creating space is creating space, and Brown's ball-handling give him point guard potential in addition to his scoring prowess. Brown chose the Buffaloes ahead of a bevy of mid-major offers, and will likely play a post-grad year prior to facing the rigors of the Pac10. 

Malik Clincy  6-2  Sr  Grand Rapids Northview (WM Lakers)  Cornerstone
Between Aten and Clincy, Cornerstone has already inked two top 30 overall prospects, securing a future backcourt that could keep them in national contention through the end of the decade. Either of them can play on or off the ball, Clincy an athletic lane scorer and creator who will knock down clutch shots and give effort defensively. He's one of the state's biggest sleepers, and looked just as good as any of the 2015 Detroit area guards in AAU.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 October 2014 21:07 )
2016 Perimeter Standouts From Bank Hoops All-State Minicamp PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Bell   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 06:23

Tariq Archibald  5-8  Jr  Ortonville Brandon
One of the state's significant sub-genres of player, Pontiac point guards, ran strong through the turn of the century. Maurice Searight remains the favorite guard this space has covered. It's endangered now, but able vessels of this diaspora still exist, like Archibald. Maybe not as much glitter in the veneer, but rock solid where it counts. He's a smooth A-to-B guard who mixes in his own offense. Will have to get more explosive for high school shots to become college shots at his size.

"Solid vocal point guard who does everything well," a coach said. "Doesn't wow you with flare, but gets the job done with efficiency. Plays tough on-ball defense, but will need to continue to get stronger to allow him to match up better with bigger guards."

Payton Dewildt  6-1  Jr  Midland
The jumper sets it all up for this combo guard who brings to mind John Flynn with his build and ability to get off his shot. Dangerous three-point shooter off of screens or as a pitch option in the corner. Uses strength at the block and can finish with either hand. Not a break-down point guard but sees the open man, is unselfish and makes good decisions against helping and double-teaming defenders. At his height, development of mid-range game will be key.

"Classic lefty, Gail Goodrich shooter," a coach said. "Solid small college player, at least."

2015 Perimeter Standouts From Bank Hoops All-State Minicamp PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Bell   
Friday, 03 October 2014 00:31

AJ Atwater  5-11  Sr  Otsego
In the midst of football season, but when you can shoot you can shoot and Atwater knocks down shots by rote. High IQ, efficient player. Good grades, low risk recruit.

"Has a pure stroke and confidence to go with it," a coach said. "Has a strong frame and gets after it on defense."

"True floor general," said another. "Guys certainly respect his game, because whenever he was in he ran the show. Very nice handle and didn't over-dribble. He also used the dribble well to create good passing angles. Was one of the best post-feeders at the camp. Defensively he gets after it. Poor shot selection at times would be his only flaw on offense."

Solomon Barwegan  6-1  Sr  Otsego
Former Vicksburg standout is now a key member of one of the state's best Class B teams. Barwegan can shoot from 3 or mid-range and is much improved with the ball. He was all business all day and produced throughout.

"He seemed to just make the right play each time," a coach said. "he hustled, passed and shot lights out. Loved his energy!"

"One of the most solid perimeter participants at camp," said another. "Has a game reminiscent of Bobby Naubert. He played hard and well all day. Could have been called the Drill Sergeant from his perfect execution during stations The nice thing was once the games began he continued to keep you watching. Very good point guard who can play in transition or the half-court. Knocks down the open shot and drives it well enough to draw help and make good decisions off of it. Plays very hard on defense and uses angles well, which makes up for some lack of elite quickness. needs to continue to work on athleticism, but overall one of the best players I saw."

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 October 2014 01:00 )
Upperclassman Frontcourt Standouts from Bank Hoops All-State Camp PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephen Bell   
Monday, 29 September 2014 17:10

Adam Abraham  6-6  Sr  Grand Haven
One of the surprise players of camp, clearly well-coached by the late Steve Hewitt at Grand Haven.

"Was a matchup nightmare for other bigs during the drills and in the games," said one coach. "Had the most consistent mid-range jumper of any big in attendance and was good enough with the ball to get a step on taller defenders as they stepped out on him. Played very hard on both ends of the floor and always seemed to be around the ball. He has more athleticism than you may think at first glance as he had some throw-downs with no problem. Continued improvement on his ball-handling will be huge for him as bigger schools will probably label him a tweener. Will make some coach very happy at whatever schools he lands."

Austin Bykerk  6-8  Sr  Hudsonville Unity Christian
He's long, bouncy and when assertive and consistent like he was here, Bykerk looks like a scholarship player. Poor man's Evan Bruinsma who can board, dunk and shoot.

"Could not keep him off the boards," a coach said.

"Very good showing by this long and athletic big man," another coach said. "Handles the ball well for a big and makes good decisions with it. Clearly prefers catching at the high post or short corners to playing back to the basket, however, not afraid to get in there and bang for rebounds. He does a nice job keeping the ball high on put-backs and finishes."

Sean Corcoran  6-6  Sr  Flint Powers
This was his first full-on basketball since an ugly ankle injury in the first session of July AAU. Runs well, plays hard. Thin but will scrap. Liked how he talked on D and closed out. Can shoot from the short corners. Sometimes hands come and go. He'd played against New Haven center Innocent Nwoko both in AAU and in team camp, here Corcoran got to play next to him and show his game more out on the floor.

"Very active wing that ran his lane well in transition, and even pushed it up a couple times," a coach said. "One of the better offensive rebounders at camp. Finishes well with either hand once he gets near the rim. Needs to work on perimeter game in order to become a more complete player. Played hard and rebounded well on the defensive end.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 October 2014 00:42 )
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