In a high school season blessed by dry roads and cheap gas, only the latter held true last week. But the occasional travel hazard didn’t keep us from scouting teams in Ann Arbor, Big Rapids, Hanover-Horton, Flint and Grand Rapids. Here are some of the best we saw.
Terry Armstrong 6-5 Fr Flint Carman-Ainsworth: Best guard of this type from Flint since Desmon Farmer. Dunking fool as just a ninth-grader who has almost more talent than he knows what to do with. Already looks like a college wing physically but also spent time at point guard. Armstrong was one of four underclassmen starting for Carman, including one of the state’s best sophomore point guards Ja’kavien Lewis.
Daniel Black 6-2 Jr Ann Arbor Skyline: A nice complement on the wing and baseline to Skyline’s talented underclassman guards giving the Eagles some physical toughness. Black is a threat himself from three-point range who competes and plays bigger than his height on the glass. Has to continue to negotiate and figure out the line between physical play and whistles.
Kenny Davis 6-0 Sr Big Rapids: Morley Stanwood zoned up Big Rapids to slow down the reigning Bank Hoops Class B Player of the Week, Demetri Martin. It worked in that he shot 3-of-13. But the devastating trade off was giving Davis three-point looks. He responded by knocking down 11 of them lighting up the Mohawks for 43 points. While limited as a point guard and defender, most any small college team will find a spot for a player of Davis’ singular ability.
Jermaine Goliday 6-3 Jr Muskegon: While he didn’t have the outlandish length and athleticism of some of Detroit East English Village’s guards, Goliday is fearless and a ballplayer and still had 17 points. Creative scorer who isn’t a gunner he’ll get into the lane and give it up. Defense still trails offense.
Michael Herzog 6-6 Sr Flint Powers: He was the one matchup advantage Powers had against Carman-Ainsworth, but when the defensive pressure was extended it limited Herzog’s impact around the basket. Physical, rebounds, contests shots, knocks down from the short corner. MIAA prospect at the 4.
Jermaine Jackson Jr. 5-8 Jr Macomb Dakota: With soph center Thomas Kithier hurt and junior forward Brendan Sackey not eligible until this week, Jackson gutted out an OT win over Lansing Everett in Grand Rapids. His MVP ‘trophy,’ signed boxing glove from event sponsor Floyd Mayweather.
Isaiah Livers 6-8 Jr Kalamazoo Central: He’s improved tremendously in his consistency and aggression and is one more, very reachable, tier away from a top 100 national recruit in 2017. High-major frame, speed and hands. Good mid-range shooter who needs to finish all his dunks and develop a go-to move along his way to being mentioned with Devin Oliver, Doug Anderson, Sam Mitchell and Damon Patterson as the best modern forwards from Kalamazoo.
Foster Loyer 6-0 So Clarkston: On a night when his shot from the floor cooled Loyer stepped up and made 12-13 free throws in a quality come-from-behind win at Ann Arbor Skyline. Keeps defenders unbalanced because he’s a creative passer who finds easy spots for teammates. Don’t get the Bobby Hurley comparisons, but if it’s a complexion thing he’s more like Kyle McAlarney.
Jay McMiller 6-4 Sr Hanover-Horton: Semifinalists a year ago, Hanover-Horton could be even better in 2016. They’re 6-1 after blowing out Addison in a rematch of last year’s Class C regional final. 6-5 Preston Laketa is big for Class C with guard hands, 6-4 senior Kyle Spink is a tough athlete on the wing, then there’s McMiller. He was money on the catch-and-shoot against Addison, while also causing dilemmas with how much space he can cover. While somewhat hard to gauge because of the competition, he’s clearly a scholarship guard.
Diego Robinson 6-6 Jr Lansing Everett: Like Livers above, another junior forward who gets better and better. He brought energy and polish to nearly everything he did. Banged dunks, hit hooks and three-pointers alike. You just wish he were a little bigger, but a Horizon League kind of forward regardless.
Paul Zysk 6-9 Sr Addison: Good shooter. But rare is the college offense that is going to be built around a post like Zysk, so he needs to do more off the ball, rebound with two hands because that’s what he’ll be asked to do first.