Cade Conley 5-10 Fr Williamston: Looked like a junior member of his brother Case’s Parallel 45 16U team knocking down flurries of three-pointers in drills and games. Has a shooters’ mentality that the next one is going in. Moved well off the ball but has to quick-finish because isn’t yet explosive ot the rim. Spaced the floor not just with his shooting and cutting but also ball movement, made smart skip passes. If anything Cade’s game is more similar to another Williamston player Cole Kleiver, whose tough off the dribble repertoire he’ll want to emulate. His brother’s a lanky 6-6 wing, so expect a jump in size and athleticism.
“Makes up for athleticism with a lethal jumpshot,” said one coach. “As they say, if you can shoot it we can use you. Plays hard on defense, just seems to lack physical attributes to stay in front of quicker players. Makes good decisions, plays at his pace and isn’t easily sped up. Very steady and doesn’t get too high or low.”
Owen Lobsinger 6-4 Fr Flint Powers: There were flashes of a smooth skill level for his height and age, that were really intriguing. Nice feel, balance, touch around the rim. Gets to bucket easily, predicated on a long, deceptive first step. Did get enveloped a few times by Matt Nicholson’s 7-2 wingspan, but who didn’t? On the same camp team as Hudsonville soph Max Perez, one of the elite point guards in the building, and no dummy he Lobsinger cut and moved off the ball hands ready. Surprised with one play where he showed a quick step to drive the baseline, then dished it off behind his ear to a cutting teammate. Could invert and find angles with the bounce pass to enter the post. Tended to play upright and coast defensively, escorting his man to the basket instead of getting nasty and in his way. Would expect that after a year with Greg Burks at Powers, those flashes will be extended stretches of dominant play at next year’s camp.
“Versatile big kid,” a coach said. “Showed flashes of being one of the best players in camp, but lacked consistency. Very good player off the baseline. Can knock down the open 3 and will go by and finish if you close out high. Was an adequate passer and had good vision for the position. Will need to improve his motor and toughness to reach his full potential. Didn’t really run to score in transition or get after it on the glass. The tools are definitely there, just need some heating and sharpening!”
Kaleb Mitchelson 5-11 Fr Muskegon Reeths-Puffer: GVSU assistant coach and Rockets legend JR Wallace will be happy reading this to know that Mitchelson ws one of two R-P standout guards here, with sophomore Emcee Williams. Kaleb was a ball boy spending formative years on the Muskegon Heights bench where his dad Tim Mitchelson was an assistant coach with Keith Guy, so he’s been absorbing hoops forever. Loves to initiate the contact whether getting his shoulder into a defender, or dragging the dribble in the open court and letting his man run into him. Did more as a passer than scorer in the lane. Was able to square his body and keep quicker guards from getting into the lane. Needs to get lower and more explosive himself when coming off screens, with our without the ball.
“Heady and scrappy point guard who may lack elite quickness but makes up for it by using his body well to protect the dribble and working in straight lines once he gets an angle,” a coach said. “Can knock down the open jumper and showed a nice floater in the lane. Sometimes got too deep in the paint and was forced into difficult shots. Although physically he doesn’t look like the ‘cut out’ version of a ballplayer, the effort he gave during drills shows why he is able to compete with whoever was on the floor. Seems like a kid who isn’t afraid of hard work.”
KJ Rai 6-4 Fr East Lansing: Stood out at the 2016 camp with his fundamentals, and a year later he’s added strength and athleticism, making him a threat to crack the lineup for a top 10 Class A team in East Lansing. Most dangerous as a catch-and-shoot threat from various angles and distances. Used body, creative release points to score over taller defenders inside. Quick release, and nailed a corner three-pointer over the closeout of 6-10 Matt Nicholson. Consistently ran the court both ways, getting wide on offense, getting back and matching up on defense. Had a hard time defensively staying in front of Kenowa Hills sophomore Isaac Warning, a fitting name as it’s a warning to Rai of what sort of talent he’d face at the varsity level, wide, strong, and a load off the dribble.
“Seems to be steadily improving,” a coach said. “Solid footwork was on display when he was in the post and also showed a respectable perimeter game. He competes hard on both ends of the floor. He was very active and vocal in drill sessions, which tells me he values the opportunity to get better.”
Brendan Sullivan 6-1 Fr Davison: Did a lot of good work off the ball. Like another Davison wing, junior Bryce Lott, plays hard and with winning intentions. Consistently beat the defense down the court for long receptions and layins. Quick to run down rebounds and loose balls, but was rare kid here for whom that didn’t mean he thought it earned him the right to multiple dribbles. Sullivan just got the ball to a point guard and was on his way. Hit some tough turnaround shots with defenders right there. Conversely was hard to shoot against as Sullivan closed out with high hands. Needs to work on keeping chin to rim even with contact, because even if he did draw a foul Sullivan would find himself spun off balance with no chance of a three-point play.
“Seems like the ultimate glue guy, not afraid to do the dirty work,” a coach said. “Athletic power wing who rebounds strong on both ends, defend the 3 and the 4, set solid screens and finished around the hoop. Hit consistently from mid-range in drill sessions. Didn’t shoot a lot during games and could be more aggressive. Need to continue to develop his perimeter skillset to maximize his effectiveness on the offensive end.”