Shooting Pool: Early standouts from the Brawl for the Ball

We’re midway through the Brawl for the Ball in Grand Rapids. Below are some breakout performers from pool play.

Tournament bracket play begins Saturday afternoon at MVP Fieldhouse and Cornerstone University.

Randy Gilbert  6-5  So  Superfriendz 15U (Detroit Cass Tech): One of the greatest shooters in Cass Tech history, Youngstown State assistant coach Steve Hall, was at Cornerstone University to see perhaps another. Gilbert his deep 3s off the dribble from the top of the key or the wings, with defenders draped all over him. Used a big first step and size to score at the rim easily when he was overplayed. Active rebounder. As incredible as Gilbert was, somebody forgot to tell him Parallel 45 hasn’t lost a pool game since April, and they pulled it out here when another 2018 D1 prospect, 6-8 Danny Kolp from Petoskey, scored the winning and-one layup with 10 seconds to play.

Jesse Hillis  6-0  Jr  Grand Rapids Storm 16U (Caledonia): Shouldered even more responsibility for the ball with Jason Majerle out and was up to the task. A true point guard and passer with a quick, long first step that gets it all going.

Treveon Orr  6-8  Jr  Playmakers 16U (Detroit King): True post with no qualms about throwing his weight around. Finds a body when a shot goes up, and takes up so much space teammates can get the rebounds he doesn’t. Has learned a number of moves, next is concluding them with true release and touch. If Orr can kick it out and walk his man down, would be layups galore instead of forcing bad shots. Does a decent job with the first defensive rotation but the quickness to recover is lacking.  More fitness and speed as he matures and he’s a top 10 overall prospect in 2017. He plays for George Ward at Detroit King, so expect there to be Percy Gibson comparisons.

Ben Ritsema  6-4  Sr  West Michigan Lakers (Zeeland East): He kept the Lakers in the game then poured on the gas to fire a big comeback win for the Lakers on the Storm. Shooter, slasher, dunker. Has the tools for it, but colleges will want to see what positions he can check at their level.

Ryan Schuller  6-10  Sr  ACB/Bank Hoops 17U (Sturgis): He’s improved significantly since spring AAU began. College coaches love his frame and enthusiasm for the game. A hard worker in games as in practice. Defensive lane clogger who is getting more comfortable with the ball; will still bring it too low. Can rebound outside his area.  Schuller was solid and 6-10 Stevensville Lakeshore senior Braden Burke showed a terrific offensive arsenal in ACB/Bank Hoops’ win over Triple Threat.

Brayden Smith  6-5  Jr  West Michigan Flight 16U (Byron Center): Great physical tools, plays above the rim. Uses live body to make plays on both ends of the court. Scholarship athlete in basketball or football. Consistent shooting touch from 20, but it’s a set shot. A MAC player if it becomes a jumper and Smith gets a creative, attacking game from the wings.

Richard Talley  6-0  Sr  Playmakers 17U (Detroit Renaissance): A key member of a Renaissance team that looks like preseason top 10 in Class A. It’s hell bringing the ball up against him. Explosive enough to score around the rim — when he chooses to look at it. As a point guard prospect, more facilitator than creator which may make him a defensive specialist at the next level. Will have to find some kind of a jumper to play in the modern college game.

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