Bank Hoops College All-American Team

Michigan State's Denzel Valentine is winning in college just like high school.
Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine is winning in college just like high school.

The top Michigan high school grads playing Division I basketball.

MVP Denzel Valentine 6-5 Sr Michigan State (Lansing Sexton): Another guy who, like Iowa State’s Monte Morris below, just wins. Valentine was the star of two state championship teams at Lansing Sexton, then helped MSU reach last spring’s Final Four as the only Spartan to start all 39 games along the way. He has seven career double-doubles and Valentine’s complete game is reflected in the 2015 numbers, as his junior season saw Valentine average 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting .443 from the field, .441 from three-point range and .826 from the stripe — an improvement of 15 percentage points. Physicality, passing, improved shooting make him a legit NBA prospect.

Kahlil Felder 5-9 Jr Oakland (Detroit Pershing): A unique talent who has thrived in Oakland’s player-friendly offense. Despite his size, Felder is as complete a player as anyone on this list. He was Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2014, and first-team all-league in 2015. As a sophomore he averaged 18.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals per game, all while averaging over 39 minutes per outing. No other player in the country averaged over 17 points and 7 assists together.

Chris Fowler 6-1 Sr Central Michigan (Detroit Country Day): All-MAC and the vanguard of CMU’s renewal. His scoring was down but wins were up for the Chippewas, who tied for the MAC regular season title as Fowler averaged 16.8 points and 5.9 assists per game. He’s already the school’s all-time assist leader. Pro chances may hinge on his shooting as his three-point field goals dipped from .382 to a .303 percent. It’s hard not to root for Fowler, who went through six knee surgeries to get here.

Chris Hass 6-5 Sr Bucknell (Pellston): The third all-time scorer in Michigan prep history from his Pellston days, Hass is on pace to become top 10 on Bucknell’s career list. Showed up big regardless the level of competition with 32 points at Villanova, 21 at Michigan and 26 at Wake Forest. Averaged 16 points per game as a junior and efficiency stats put him among the top 5 senior shooting guard draft prospects along with fellow class of 2012 Michigander Drew Valentine.

EC Matthews 6-5 Jr Rhode Island (Romulus): His Rhode Island tenure has mirrored his Romulus career writ large, as Matthews continues to be a versatile and talented left-handed shooter, but remains frustratingly erratic (PER of 11.6). After sharing A-10 Rookie of the Year honors in 2014, despite some foot problems as a sophomore he averaged 17 points (third in the A-10), 4.6 rebounds and 2 assists per game. If the Rams return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the Lamar Odom days and Matthews, now up to 200 pounds, halves his 3.6 turnovers a game, he could be drafted in the spring.

Monte Morris 6-3 Jr Iowa State (Flint Beecher): Steve Prohm in his first season as Iowa State’s coach inherits from Fred Hoiberg one of the nation’s elite point guards. In 2015 Morris had an assist-turnover ratio of 4.63:1 — the gold standard in college ball — while averaging 12 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. Outstanding shooter for a point guard with a true percentage of .590, though his free throws fell from .847 as a freshman to .753 percent. The final measure of a point guard is in the W-L column, and Morris delivers there again. Michigan’s 2013 Mr. Basketball had two state titles at Flint Beecher and in two seasons at Iowa state is 53-16.

Detroit's Paris Bass, seen here against Oregon, is already on NBA scouts' logs.
Detroit’s Paris Bass, seen here against Oregon, is already on NBA scouts’ logs.

Second Team
Paris Bass 6-8 So Detroit (Birmingham Seaholm): He apparently made good use of his redshirt year, as Bass emerged in 2015 as the Horizon League Freshman of the Year after averaging 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. A sleeper recruit who played 17U AAU for the Michigan Warriors after graduating from Seaholm, after that debut and his performance at the Nike Basketball Academy, Bass is now a legit NBA prospect thanks to his length, bounce and handle.

Bryn Forbes 6-3 Sr Michigan State (Lansing Sexton): Last season was his first at MSU after two at Cleveland State, and the hometown kid quickly became a shooting specialist for a surprise Final Four team. While averaging a career-low 8.5 points, Forbes shot a career-best .447 overall and .427 from behind the arc. His true shooting percentage of .610 and effective field goal percentage of .590 are nationally elite for a guard. After learning how to defend at MSU’s level and packing on muscle up to 190 pounds, Forbes could do even more in his second and final season in East Lansing.

Jalen Reynolds 6-10 Jr Xavier (Livonia Stevenson): He took a big step in year two in Cincinnati, to 10 points and 6 rebounds a game and played well in the postseason. Though he no longer has the luxury of playing off twin tower Matt Stainbrook, those numbers could improve another 50 percent, and Reynolds fulfill his All-Big East and NBA Draft potential, if he’s able to stay on the court — he fouled out of five games and had nine technical fouls — and improve on .663 from the line. With his frame, finishing ability and defensive versatilty, as a pure pro prospect Reynolds may be No. 1 on this list.

John Simons 6-8 Sr Central Michigan (Cadillac): Like first-teamer Chris Fowler, Simons’ career has coincided with CMU’s return to relevance in Keno Davis’ tenure. In that time, Simons has started all 94 games. The stretch 4 position was made for Simons, or vice versa — his true shooting percentage of .710 was the best mark in college basketball. He also led the nation in points per 100 possessions, 144. His name is all over the Chippewas’ record book for three-point shooting, and his .455 percentage from range was fourth-best mark in the nation in 2015. He averaged 12.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting .498 from the field and .843 from the line. Despite those amazing stats, Simons’ junior season will also be remembered for his barely escaping death via falling basket.

Derrick Walton 6-0 Jr Michigan (Chandler Park): A November toe injury was the bane of Walton’s sophomore campaign. With Walton when not hobbled out of the lineup entirely for six weeks and Caris Levert injured as well, Michigan hobbled to a .500 season. Over 19 games as a sophomore, Walton averaged 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

All-State Camp 2018 Second Team

Jack Ammerman  5-9  So  Ann Arbor Skyline: Confident and knows how to play. Can beat you with or without the ball, and with the shot or pass.

“Knockdown spot-up shooter,” a coach said. “At his height, would have liked to see take on more of a point guard role during the game on my court.”

Nate Davis  5-11  So  Rochester Stoney Creek: “Doesn’t do any one the great,” a coach said, “but does everything well and always gives 100-percent effort. In doing that he is a very productive player, who will be a stat book stuffer as he develops. The kind of kid that any coach would want on his team.”

Daniel Everhart  5-10  So  Marine City Cardinal Mooney: A “grower,” a coaches’ player who the more you watch, the more you like.

“A quiet scorer,” said a coach. “Knocked down the open jumper and showed the ability to shoot well off the pull-up.  Plays tough and not afraid to stick his nose in the scrum.  Needs to work on lateral quickness in order to stay in from of more athletic guards.

Nick Jungel  6-4  So  Olivet: Intrigues with his physical tools, as Jungel has a good wingspan and finished above the rim.

Jacob Polakovich  6-7  So  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: A high-low forward, who can shoot or pass from the elbows and is big enough to bang inside. Needs to be more assertive when the double-team shoots down at him.

“A standout from the underclassmen camp, he looked like he has improved his ball handling and shooting since then,” a coach said.

Colton Ritsema  6-4  So  Jenison: One of two good Jenison sophomores at camp along with guard Jacob Boonyasith. Can score off either shoulder from the blocks, and will surprise with dunk finishes. Chases down rebounds. Will need to work on fluidity, flexibility, especially if he remains a 6-4 forward.

“Solid big-bodied post player who also can knock down the 15 to 17-foot baseline and elbow jumper with consistency,” a coach said. “Uses his body well to create space in the lane and to rebound on both ends of the floor. Needs to work on athleticism. Also can’t afford to play behind and allow bigger, more athletic players to catch in the post.”

Jaylon Rogers  5-10  So  Frankfort: In this camp just like in AAU, was going up some of the elite guards in the 2018 class and in terms of quickness and skill level doesn’t take a backseat. Plays with confidence. Shot selection, seeing the whole floor, understanding game situations are growth areas.

“Quick, solid guard who proved to be very difficult for defenders to stay in front of,” a coach said. “Got into the lane at will, but sometimes overpenetrated and got in trouble. Struggles at times with defending bigger guards.”

Ashton Sherrell  6-5  So  New Haven: Very good in transition. Showed some defensive versatility. As he gets older and stronger will be more of a threat in the half-court.

Dallas Slager  6-3  So  Grandville Calvin Christian: He was on the same team as one of the top point guards in camp, Shae Somers, and soon discovered the more he moved, the more buckets he’d accumulate. A big sophomore, he was able to carve out deep position for easier finishes. Showed shooting range to 20 feet. He’ll need to keep diversifying his game off the dribble, add a counter move and become comfortable attacking off either foot.

Zach Winston  6-0  So  Detroit U-D Jesuit: One of the better defenders of the underclassmen, Winston consistently closed out high and recovered with hustle. On the other end hit some tough pullups.”

“Gets a little better each time I see him,” a coach said. “Not going blow you away with his athleticism, but can do a lot of things well. Improved shot from the mid-range was noticeable and he also played harder on defense than I had seen in the past. Needs to play hard all the time.”

Where They’re Headed: Class of 2016

Michigan’s 2016 class lost the country’s No. 1 player, Detroit’s Josh Jackson; a national top 10 prospect and MSU commitment, Flint’s Miles Bridges; an athlete with multiple high-major offers, Battle Creek’s Devon Daniels; and a surefire D1 forward, Saginaw’s Algeveon Eichelberger, to prep school, turning an elite class to a below average one. But there is still some emerging talent, and smart college recruiters will make the most of it at the mid-major levels. Here are the seniors off the board, thus far.

Corey Allen  6-3  Sr  Ypsilanti … Detroit: He has been Ypsi’s leading scorer since he was a sophomore, and solidified himself as a D1 recruit adding everything else he brings to the floor, physical defense and ability to step over and play some 1.

Jerry Ben  6-8  Sr  New Haven … Cornell: All kinds of raw, but plays with energy, athleticism and embraces the dirty work of a 4 man. A project but with big upside for the Ivy League.

Braden Burke  6-10  Stevensville Lakeshore … Robert Morris: Coach Sean Schroeder does a great job coaching forwards at Lakeshore, and Burke doesn’t disappoint with his skill level in 6-10 form. While his game can still be erratic, he’s a nice fit for the NEC.

Austin Davis  6-10  Sr  Onsted … Michigan: Improved fitness and maturity have really helped Davis’ stock, as he’s now finishing above the rim with regularity and some nastiness. And at still just 16-years-old, he should just continue to get better on that front. Old school big man who won’t wow you but embraces the physicality of it all.

Kameron Hankerson  6-4  Sr  Novi…Wisconsin-Green Bay: Combination of length and explosion make him intriguing, as he contributes across the board despite averaging single digits as a junior. Maturation into a multi-level scorer saw Hankerson transform from sleeper to D1 recruit.

Cody Kegley  6-0  Sr  Yale … Northern Michigan: From the Thumb to the U.P. Kegley is a gym rat and pure point guard who competes from tip to horn. Good in the pick-and-roll because he can get in the lane or shoot it. Athleticism and strength will need to develop.

Spencer Littleson  6-4  Sr  Rochester Adams … Duquesne: One of the state’s most improved players over the past 18 months. Can play off the ball and knock down shots, or handle the ball and carry the load himself. Doesn’t yet look like an A-10 defender.

Jaylin McFadden  6-5  Sr  Detroit East English Village: … Ferris State: Do-it-all x-factor for what should be the top team in the PSL. McFadden rebounds like a forward and can handle like a guard while checking up and down an opposing lineup. Strong GLIAC recruit.

Kevin McKay  6-4  Sr  Warren De La Salle … Central Michigan: No one defining skill, but is just a versatile player that you want on the court because he wins, both with De La Salle and in AAU with Detroit Showtime. All-around game will complement the smaller out-of-state guards CMU is bringing in for 2016, along with current freshman shooter Corey Redman, a likely redshirt.

Brailen Neely  5-9  Sr  Detroit Western … Oakland: A prototypical Derrick McDowell guard who helped the coach to his first state championship. Fearless shooter and much-improved defender. While even 5-9 may be generous, he picked the right program in Oakland where another little PSL guard, Khalil Felder, could be the best player in the Horizon.

Karmari Newman  6-4  Sr  Detroit East English Village … George Mason: A one-time streak shooter with no conscience, Newman has matured into a a much more efficient guard and a top five overall player in the senior class. He’ll follow the likes of EC Matthews and Chris Hass, recent Michigan guards who went out East for school and thrived.

Innocent Nwoko  6-10  Sr  New Haven … Central Michigan: Rim defender who has had athletic ability, but now it’s more apparent as he gets more comfortable with the game. More aggressive offensively, looking to dunk. Far from a finished project, but great tools with which to work.

Danny Pippen  6-8  Sr  Detroit Allen … Kent State: The Flashes will look to replace one athletic Michigan 4, Khaliq Spicer, with another, Pippen. Finishes on one rim, defends the other, and can really run between them. Could be an elite, versatile defender in the MAC. A healthy Pippen should help take Allen from one of the state’s biggest underachievers in 2015 to a state contender … if they can get out of Michigan’s roughest Class C district at Loyola.

Rahsaan Pope  6-4  Sr  Romulus … Saginaw Valley State: College wing size, long and smooth if not explosive, can handle, pass and shoot it off the catch or dribble. Decision making and situational awareness are growth areas.

Chris Rollins  5-10  Sr  Detroit East English Village … IPFW: Pure point guard who is fast, fearless and unselfish. Put him on a college weight program, and watch out.

Ryan Schuller  6-10  Sr  Sturgis … Michigan Tech: Vastly improved over the past six months. Already has a strong frame and isn’t afraid to use it. Mechanical and a project, but he embraces the process and by age 21 could give Michigan Tech a MAC-caliber center in the GLIAC.

Jason Williams  5-10  Sr  Detroit Allen … East Tennessee State: Prolific scorer, the faster the game, the more he flourishes. No fear as a driver and an improving shooter. Should really flourish with college coaching as he develops as a point guard and defender.

Cassius Winston  6-1  Sr  Detroit U-D Jesuit … Michigan State: A household name in the state since his freshman year, and has already led U-of-D High to its two greatest seasons. A YMCA game for the 21st century and the perfect passer for the kind of high-flying talent already in and coming to East Lansing. Underrated as a scorer — Winston was tops in the EYBL last spring.

All-State Camp 2017 Second Team

Sy Barnett  6-2  Jr  Charlotte: Football legs caught up to him by the third game, but he was one of the most impressive offensive performers on the day. Turned heads in drills with a big dunk.

“Long-range shooter with no conscience,” a coach said. “One of the best shooters there, if not the best. His mentality is what sets him apart.”

“This kid has sneaky bounce/athleticism,” said another coach. “Really impressed with his ability to shoot it during games.”

“Very methodical guard who showed surprising athleticism with an easy transition throwdown in a game I was watching,” another coach said. “Can burn you if left open from deep and plays at his own pace, as he doesn’t seem to get sped up. Would like to see him speed things up from time to time though. He is another kid who seems to take much more pride on offense than defense.”

Max Gaishin  6-6  Jr  Stevensville Lakeshore: Another college forward right off the frontcourt production line at Lakeshore. Made some tough catches and finishes.

“Another kid I had never heard of, but showed that he has the chops to be a force this season,” a coach said. “Solid rebounder on both ends, who boxed out well to make up for what he may lack in pure athleticism. The most impressive thing was his craftiness in the post. Despite being shorter than some of the bigs he was playing against, never saw him get his shot blocked. Solid fundamental post moves and counter moves. Kind of plays reminiscent to Kevin McHale in regards to craftiness. Showed the ability to knock down the 15 footer as well. His downside, will need to get stronger and quicker if he is going to stay in the post at the next level.”

Jermaine Goliday  6-2  Jr  Muskegon: A tough cover with the ball, as Goliday has a nose for the hole and gets there with hesitation, misdirection, jump stops and myriad release points. He can score it from all three levels. Passes enough to keep defenders off guard. Needs to play as hard on defense.

Matt Havey  6-1  Jr  Lansing Christian: Lansing Christian looks like the cream of Class D in Mid-Michigan with standout junior guards from the camp like Havey and Forest Bouyer.

“Solid all-around player,” a coach said. One of the toughest kids at camp. Saw him dive for loose balls on multiple occasions. Knocked down the open three and showed an adequate handle. Sometimes over-penetrated and got himself in trouble against rim protectors.”

Gunnar Libby  5-8  Jr  Hillman: Like Havey above, his skill level and confidence transcended his Class D background.

“Quick, small, crafty point guard,” a coach said. “Very good passer and shooter! Had a nice handle and used it to get by defenders and find the open man. Played hard on the defensive end, but sometimes got caught reaching into the cookie jar. Struggles a little defending stronger guards who could put him on their hip.”

Gabe Meriwether  6-2  Jr  Bellaire: Has the extra step that makes him a scholarship guard, particularly when paired with his motor. Meriwether can play the 1 or 2, shoot it, finish the break or slash from the wings. Should put up monster numbers in the Ski Valley for the next two seasons like Brandon Dingman and Chris Hass before him.

Jeremy Pung  6-6  Jr  Fowler: With a couple inches the GLIAC would be all over him, because he’s strong and can get off the floor. Prototype MIAA at 6-6.

Much more athletic than he looks walking around,” a coach said. “He really loves to finish through contact and will throw one down on you if your playing soft. Aggressively pursued rebounds on both ends of the court. He showed an improved ability to put in on the deck from the high post and get to the rim. He could really be a dominant player from that high post if he develops his jumper. Does a nice job of half wrapping on post D to make post entries more difficult for guards.”

Christian Rodriguez  5-9  Jr  Wyoming Godwin Heights: Between Lamar Norman’s MVP performance with teammates in attendance and playing well at the Underclassman Camp, to Rodriguez’ typically top-shelf effort here, Godwin could be in the midst of the next Class B dynasty.

“Lefty quick guard one of the rare true point guards that make others better around him,” a coach said.

“Very good pass-first point guard,” another coach said. “He plays very well in transition and is always trying to penetrate to get someone an open shot. Also on display was an improved jump shot from 15-18 feet. Still needs to improve his long-range game and would like to see him take as much pride on defense as he does on offense.”

Bryce Williams  6-2  Jr  Saginaw Heritage: A couple college coaches were disappointed their secret was out, about the lanky guard with high upside and high grades. Combo guard who can pass on the break or in the lane. Can turn ends quickly to finish in transition. Wing shooter who is accurate though release needs more lift, quicker release.

Eric Williams  6-3  Jr  New Haven: New Haven has a lot to replace on the perimeter, but Williams, a transfer from St. Clair, is a good start.

“New Haven is loaded and Eric looked their best shooter at the showcase,” a coach said. “Should have plenty of opportunities to shoot his rainbow 3s with all of their talent. ”

“One of the best finishers at camp,” another coach said. “Showed a nice floater, finger roll and reverse layup in order to prevent bigger defenders from tossing his finishes.  Had no problem throwing it down if he was in the clear. Needs to work on his perimeter game in order to be more effective in the half court.”

All-State Camp 2016 Second Team

Cameron Boatman  5-10  Sr  Hazel Park: We knew Hazel Park had a couple sophomore guards who can go, but apparently it’s not all underclassmen at Bob Welch High.

“Tough, scrappy and physical guard,” one coach said. “Finished well through contact. Played well in transition, but seemed to run out of gas at times. Conditioning needs to improve.”

“Quick point with handles,” said another. “Going more vertical than horizontal with fewer dribbles and he will be that much better, because he has the tools.”

Justin Gibbons  6-4  Sr  Northville: One of the most recruit-able seniors in the camp, given his combination of athleticism and grades. The big thing as he projects to the next level will be defining his position, as he has the wingspan and hops to hold his own rebounding, and can step out and shoot it; for the high school level, it’s refining his footwork to best cash in on his physical advantages.

DeYuan Heard  6-6  Sr  Dearborn Advanced Tech: Intriguing, as he moves easily at 6-6 and as much as any forward at camp looked the part. Lefty who can finish and step outside and shoot. Not as tall, but brings to mind Jordan Nobles from Canton, now a red-shirt freshman at EMU.

Grant Mitchell  6-2  Sr  Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix: He really helped his cause and looked like the kind of versatile athlete who could help a lot of MIAA programs. Good guard size. Strong finishing with his left hand, and also finished in a game with a two-handed dunk. Ran hard in transition both ways.

“D3 kid who plays extremely hard,” a coach said. “Strong, physically and fundamentally. Finishes around the rim really well with either hand.”

Innocent Nwoko  6-10  Sr  New Haven: He’s already committed to CMU, but not above getting some good work in. Looked to dunk it, with authority, when there was daylight, which is a good look for him. Sometimes floated on defense and didn’t guard the rim, which is what he got a scholarship for.

Said a coach: “Raw big that dominated the games and will improve greatly with a signature move, hopefully an automatic left and right hand jump hook.”

Shawn Pardee  6-0  Sr  Millington: There always are, but the class of 2016 seems especially full of talented guards for the small college level. While he had a big scoring year as a junior, Pardee’s rep was originally made as a guy who could run a team equally well pushing the ball or in the half-court.

“Everybody knows he can shoot it,” a coach said, “but Pardee spent most of his time in games getting to the basket and finding teammates for easy baskets.”

Hunter Page  6-0  Sr  Jackson Western: He’ll make some small college happy because of how he competes.

“Scrappy point guard who has a knack for getting into the lane,” a coach said. “Has a nice floater game if given room to get it off and willingly kicks it out if not. Improved three-point game has made him a tougher check. On the defensive end, he makes up for what he lacks in speed with using good angles to avoid getting beat and funnel guards to his help.”

Zac Sinke  6-5  Sr  Grand Haven: Does a lot of stuff off the ball to helps his team win off the ball. Nice pick-and-pop prospect for the MIAA. Sets screens like he means it, on or off the ball, but then shows a consistently soft touch to college three-point range. Would like to see him use his size to post up, too.

Tillmen Thompson  6-0  Sr  Flint Madison: Went out there like he has something to prove, both in drills and games. Aggressive defender whether jumping the passing lanes or getting after his man one-on-one. Physical on the other end as well attacking and finishing in the lane.

Tabin Throgmorton  6-4  Sr  Clarkston: Like Class of 2017 Camp MVP Dylan Alderson, another Clarkston player with college size on the wing. Known as a shooter, but not bad with the ball in his hands.

“Always could shoot it with his feet set, and now looks very comfortable going off the dribble and pulling up,” a coach said. “Needs to work on lateral speed and strength in order to guard quicker and more physical players at the next level.”

All-State Camp 2019 Team

MVP Ryan Wade  5-10  Fr  Ann Arbor Skyline: Another who played up in AAU, for a top 5 15U team. What he does best, is shoot the ball.

“Good young guard,” a coach said. “Spaced very well off the ball and knocked down the open 3 when the ball found him. Nice handle and showed the ability to get into the lane, but didn’t handle contact overly well once he got there. Good passer and played hard on the defensive end. Probably dominates his age group, but is still finding his way in regards to playing against bigger, stronger and faster kids.  Is gonna be a good one though.”

Robert Johnson  5-9  Fr  Northville: He had a strong Underclassman Camp at the end of July, and showed that performance was no fluke. He was all business in drills. Worked hard on D and despite age used strength and quickness for 50-50 balls. Those same attributes make it trouble for defenders when he’s going downhill, and finishes at the rim like a bigger, older guard.

Xander Okerlund  6-0  Fr  Maple City Glen Lake: Showed the poise of a guard who played a grade up for 50+ games on one of state’s top 10 15U teams. Smooth handle, with a deceptive and long first step which combined present problems. Bball IQ of 140+ with how he sees the game. Knocked down open shots. His brother Oscar is a junior who played at camp, he’s 6-4 and if Xander gets that tall college coaches will be google mapping “Leelanau Peninsula.”

Zach Trent  6-1  Fr  Flint Powers: He challenged Matt Beachler, now a junior at Lowell with 10 D1 offers, for one of the best shooting performances from a young player in camp history. Trent knocked down six three-pointers in the first half of his opening game, bringing above some rare camp face-guarding defense. He should get used to that kind of attention. Played the whole day on a sprained ankle so wasn’t as effective horizontally, but played over it and showed the kind of toughness that should have him ready for varsity basketball.

Tyler Welch  6-3  Fr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: It was a good day for brothers. Brandon and Ryan Wade both made all-camp teams, as did Nick and Tyler Welch.

“Solid and tough forward,” a coach said. “Rebounds well on both ends of the floor. Sometimes got lost out there when playing against bigger kids, but that’s to be expected for someone so young. Worked hard in drill stations and seemed to be very coachable.”

Seth Wright  6-5  Fr  Constantine: From a small school known for its football success, Wright is yet another exhibit in the foolhardiness of ranking incoming freshman classes. There are lots of kids who maybe weren’t middle school AAU darlings but can really play.  He has a rare combination of size, speed and shooting touch for his age.

 

 

All State Camp 2018 Team

MVP  Hayden Stauffer  6-5  So  Centreville: Centreville? Yes, Centreville! Very well-coached, and put it to good use. One coach compared him to Holt’s Jaron Faulds when he was a young camper. Faulds is now 6-10 and the top post in the 2017 class. That kind of height is not out of the question for Stauffer, who has a 6-8 grandfather and 6-10 uncle. Carrying a 4.0 gpa thus far.

“Surprise player of the camp,” a coach said. “Displayed very good footwork in the paint and had one of the best drop steps I’ve seen in awhile. Attacks rebounds with two hands, keeps the ball high and stays after balls being tipped around. The best thing to see was him find a body every time a shot went up. He is going to have an awesome high school career, and could really be a serious college prospect if he continues to grow. Did everything you want a young big fella to do. I wonder if he can hit free throws, because the way he plays he will certainly shoot a few this upcoming season.”

Jacob Boonyasith  6-3  So  Jenison: Boon goes the dynamite! He was solid at the Underclassman Camp, but better here if for no other fact than his shot was falling more consistently in games. Good feel for the game so even when playing with new teammates he found himself in the right spots and knocked down shots from all three levels. Produces with or without the ball. Great size for a sophomore guard, he’s shed the baby fat and there may still be an uptick in athleticism to come.

Denver Cade  6-1  So  Buckley: You’ve heard of three-sport high school athletes. But three in one season? Cade is the top runner on Buckley’s cross country team, a member of the soccer team, and has clearly been in the gym as well as he looked improved on the court after a successful AAU season. He played with some talented and unselfish teammates, and rewarded their generosity by knocking down shot after shot. Cade has improved in his driving and scoring game, and figuring out how to get his shot off against bigger, athletic defenders. 4.0 gpa always helps.

“Scorer!,” a coach said. “He knocked down a bunch of 3s, and scored other ways. Not always pretty but he put it in the bucket. Played hard and wasn’t afraid to get on the floor for loose balls. When he handled the ball in the open court sometimes missed teammates ahead of him, and will have to keep working on his defensive quickness.”

Matt Loney  6-2  So  Frankfort: This kid is just a great teammate, can fit in any spot and bring positive energy. Walks it as well as talks it, as Loney plays at 100 percent. Pushes it and is athletic in the open court, constant motion and understands space in the half court. Repeatedly beat older players for 50-50 balls and on the offense glass to create second and third chances for his team. Tremendous wingspan allows him to cover a lot of space. Major point of emphasis over the next six months will be consistency of the jumpshot.

Pierre Mitchell  5-10  So  Detroit Loyola: There are a bunch of promising point guards in the state’s 2018 class. Mitchell may be the best pure passer of the group. While his team may have been the most talented at camp, Mitchell helped create an unselfish ethos that carried over to the others and made good players look even better. Still not the guy you’d chose first to take a jumper, but he’s getting much better there.

“Leader!,” a coach said. “Found the open man and knocked down perimeter shots with a greater consistency than in the past. Plays very hard and is not afraid to defensively chase down rebounds from the guard spot. Plays well in the up and down or half court game speeds. Keeps defenders from getting comfortable by using change of pace. Sometimes can be overaggressive for the steal and get burned. Shows the ability to stay in front of anyone, just needs to do it all the time and not get greedy.”

Brandon Wade  6-1  So  Ann Arbor Skyline: Much prefer watching him, than coaching against him. Attacking point guard, but does it wisely and is equally dangerous as a scorer or distributor off the dribble. Terrific pedigree. His dad was a standout point guard at Toledo, and Brandon has been a big-time winner in AAU, and will soon be the same at Skyline thanks to all their young talent. Wade has offers from EMU, Northern Illinois and Toledo.

“Another very good young point guard with unbelievable vision,” a coach said. “His Skyline teammates must love him, because he always seems to get the ball to teammates in good scoring positions. Gets in the lane well and uses his length to create good passing angles and hits shooters right in the pocket. Plays solid on the defensive end as well. Jumper was a little inconsistent, but didn’t let it affect his overall game, which shows great maturity.”

 

All-State Camp 2017 Team

MVP  Dylan Alderson  6-4  Jr  Clarkston: Validated his status as a top 10 overall prospect in Michigan’s 2017 class with his athleticism, college wing size and skills. Has some wiggle off the dribble, which is rare for a player his age who can often get by on physical advantages alone. Alderson has offers from CMU, Toledo and Wright State, with surely many more to ensue.

“Looks a little bit better every time I see him,” a coach said. “Showed he could knock down the jumper more consistently than I recall. Handles the ball like a guard and finishes like a wing. D1 body and athleticism, how high he goes will depend on his ability to diversify his game and desire to play defense. If there’s one thing I’d like to see, it’s more ‘nasty’ in his game — dive on the floor, knock someone down, BANG someone on the box out. He doesn’t intimidate high school kids like he’s capable of with what God has given him.”

Tariq Derrickson  6-0  Jr  Pontiac Notre Dame: He didn’t have anything like the rep of the other players on this list coming in, but that’s what the camp is for, and Dickerson earned it on the court. Old school Pontiac guard with swagger, flash, and the production to back it up. Fast with the ball end-to-end, then can stop on a dime to shoot. His lefty release is a little low and to the side, but he’s shooting a true jumpshot with a quick release, and buried mid-range shots out to 20 feet all day long.

“Smooth lefty guard with, probably, the best pull-up at the camp,” one coach said. “Looks very smooth going left, but loses some of that when he goes right. Looks very comfortable shooting it from deep and played hard on defense. Needs to get stronger and improve his right hand.”

“He was one of the quickest players here,” another coach said. “Shot is unorthodox, but he made plenty of jumpers in drills and games. Has the ability to be a great defender.”

Austin McCullough  6-4  Jr  Portage Central: The combination of natural talent, improving shot, full-on motor and 4.0 gpa make McCullough one of the most recruit-able players in the state’s deep 2017 class.

“He played like he was trying to make a team,” a coach said. “Would kill you but had a smile doing it. Would rebound, push the ball, pass or score it, just make plays.”

“He would’ve been the most athletic kid in camp if it weren’t for (senior MVP Emmanuel) Gildo,” another said. “A menace in transition who is hard to stay in front of when he’s going downhill. Can score the ball in a variety of ways in the half-court as well. I love this kid’s game, but he needs to stay hungry and continue to get better. I say that because, even though he was one of the top players in camp, in my opinion I didn’t see any part of his game that had drastically improved since the last time I saw him.”

Darian Owens-White  6-0  Jr  River Rouge: A Type O point guard, universal blood type who can be thrown in with a new group and run them like they’d played together for a year. The son of a college coach, and plays for a former college coach, and clearly he’s been paying attention. Substance over hype kind of kid, so needs the right AAU environment to shine. Here, his teammates gave him the ball and played off of him, and all prospered. He has an offer from Toledo. For more, and possibly bigger, offers to come, his shot needs to become more consistent, and he’ll have to get more explosive. But even if he’s not blowing by you, Owens-White has plenty of tricks to get defenders off him.

“Point guard who is always in control,” a coach said. “Completely controls the tempo of the game. Makes great decisions in transition, can find the open man off the dribble drive and knocked down jumpers off the dribble or off the catch. Used his length well to make passing difficult for guys he was checking. He’s improved his overall game as much as any player in the state over the past year.”

Jesse Scarber  5-8  Jr  Detroit King: Plays like a 1990s PSL guard, tiny but tough as venison jerky. The point guard doesn’t have to be the best player on the court — his teammates just have to think he is, and Scarber is the type of guy who engenders that type of confidence from those around him.

“Was extremely impressed with this kid,” a coach said. “Unselfish and can see the floor, and score when needed. In the first half of the game I saw he got his teammates involved advancing the ball up the floor, penetrating and getting them open shots.  The second half he took over scoring on five straight possessions, on a mix of attacking the basket, scoring off a steal, a pull-up jumper and a 3 ball.”

“Lightning quick, pure point guard,” said another coach. “Great communicator and court presence. Gets into the lane at will and finishes well in traffic. A pest on the ball, and ball hawk in the passing lane. Streaky shooter whose college interest should increase as his shot consistency does.”

Nick Welch  6-6  Jr  Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: After kind of just fitting in and going about his business, Welch earned his spot on the all-camp team with an epic third game. When most had their legs going, he kept coming at you. Instead of being a tweener at 6-6, Welch parlays it into a matchup dilemma for opponents.

“Didn’t wow me, but a solid player,” a coach said. “Finishes well around the rim, knocks down open jumpers and didn’t make many mistakes. Rebounds well on both ends, but could be more aggressive on the O boards. Lacks an edge to his game, needs to get stronger and mix it up a little more.”

All-State Camp 2016 Team

MVP  Emmanuel Gildo  6-4  Sr  Lansing Waverly: It’s one thing to be the best athlete in camp. And another to play as hard as anyone in camp. When those two things converge in the same player? You get the consensus MVP. He had multiple posterizing dunks, including a tip on 6-10 Innocent Nwoko. Played with some edge and nastiness too, which you gotta love. He’ll have 20-10 walking into the gym this year for Waverly.

“D1 athleticism, the highest flyer there,” a coach said. “Add some more skillwork and he’s a player in high demand.”

“Where did he come from?,” asked another coach. “Most explosive kid at camp. Showed the ability to dunk on people as well as hit the 3 if they played off too far. Came through the lane like a train in transition, and played controlled and made good decisions in the half-court. Great motor and sturdy frame. Should be able to guard the 1, 2 or 3 at the next level.”

“Undersized height-wise, but has the athleticism to make up for it,” another coach said. “Attacked the rim with authority and not afraid to put anyone on a poster.”

Jerry Ben  6-8  Sr  New Haven: He was the 2016 MVP at last fall’s camp as a junior, and turned in another strong performance this time around. Gets the nod over New Haven’s other big man Innocent Nwoko for his more consistent motor in games. The best basketball remains in the future for this Cornell commitment and still relative newcomer to the game.

“This kid always plays  his tail off, but in the past I would have said he was as raw as sushi,” a coach said. “He has progressed to medium rare. Improved footwork and a nice little hook have been added to his arsenal since the last time I saw him. Always defends, but now scores a little bit too. Excited to see his continued development.”

Andrew Kline  6-4  Sr  Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes: He was hurt early in last fall’s camp, but made up for lost time here. Great size in the backcourt, and kept the ball hot, making his teammates better and scoring himself when there was daylight. Able to pass one-handed, with either hand.

“Big point guard!,” a coach said. “Saw the floor as well as any player at camp. Nice handle and used deception as well, as he never seemed to telegraph a pass. Can knock down the open jumper; needs to improve on finishing around the hoop against bigger defenders.”

“Looks more like a Class A guard than Class D, easy to see how they got to Breslin last year with him on the floor,” said another coach. “Talented big guard who can finish in traffic.”

Logan Ryan  6-8  Sr  Canton: Reminds you of a not quite as tall Jared Stolicker, Ferris State’s center, with his agility. Athletic and high-points rebounds. Would like to see him post up and mix it up more. Tools to just get better.

“The definition of a stretch 4,” one coach said. “Shoed the ability to knock down the 3 from both the top and corner. I anticipate a ton of high pick-and-pop in Canton this winter. Solid rebounder on the defensive and, but needs to hit the glass more regularly on the offensive end. Also needs to improve laterally in order to guard more athletic forwards at the next level.”

“Runs the floor like crazy,” another said. “Can really get up and down and he’s not even close to knowing what he can do with this game. Loved him.”

Shae Somers  6-0  Sr  Elk Rapids: After an off-season to forget, with “highlights” including a broken ankle and near death experience, Somers came in with something to prove. What did he prove? That at still just 16, fully qualified and the swagger back, he may be the most attractive buy low-sell senior in Michigan. When the jumper was falling like it was in Lansing combined with the quickness and skill to get into the pain at will, he’s a tough cover.

“Classic heady point guard with confidence and quickness,” one coach said. “Pass-first guy that is money when open. On my court he had a 30-point game while being a pass-first point, how? I saw it with my own two eyes.”

“Shae has always been a strong floor general and show the ability to knock down the open jumper when I have seen him, but Sunday he truly looked like a ‘scorer’ as well,” said another coach. “He showed the ability to score with a variety of finishes around the hoop and also looked like he’s really improved his in-between game.”

Marcellous Williams  6-2  Sr  Farmington: Slasher, maybe a tweener, but athletic and got it done on both ends of the court.

“One of my favorite players at camp because he brought great energy and was very coachable,” said one coach. “Looked like the best player in his drill group and played extremely well during games. Very good defender. Can attack the basket and finish at the rim.”

“Very good player in transition,” another coach said. “Showed the ability to finish above the rim and spce out and knock down the open jumper if the defense protected the hoop. Needs to improve on understanding spacing in the half-court game — when the game slowed down, he seemed to stay sped up.”