Wide Awake in Naptown

Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s 6-10 junior Marcus Bingham is one of the hottest recruits in the Midwest for the Spiece Indy Heat.

All recruiting eyes were on Indianapolis for the second and final weekend of the spring live recruiting period. We were able to see Michigan talent at Nike’s 17U and 15U EYBL events, the Under Armour Association tour stop, the Terrific 24 and Adidas Spring Classic. Here are some of the standout performers.

Marcus Bingham  6-10  Jr  Spiece Indy Heat (Grand Rapids Catholic Central): April has been the first time most schools have seen Bingham. The offers are flowing after he followed up flashes at Boo Williams with production in Indy. 7-4 wingspan, runner, shooter who can get the college coaches’ imaginations rolling on the sideline. He’s added offers from a whole new level of programs from Washington then Xavier, Butler and Purdue.

Gabe Brown  6-7  Jr  Family (Belleville): Doesn’t do a bad James Young impression when the lefty gets in rhythm off the catch. Saved his best for last sinking 4-of-5 three-pointers en route to 22 points as the Family got a much-needed win. He does more than that though which really appeals to coaches, able to catch opponents off guard with one-dribble dunks, and using effort, length and athleticism to be a versatile defender. Brown came out of the weekend with now double-digit offers having added Loyola (Chicago), Buffalo and Cleveland State.

Denver Cade  6-2  Jr  Parallel 45-White (Buckley): Plays with competitiveness, toughness, pride. Keeps coming at you and will pile up points and there’s 20 by the end. Is increasingly progressing from prolific streak shooter to a cash machine when left open. Strong going downhill to counter the jumper, but lacks explosion as a finisher. The same traits mentioned above make Cade a competent, plus defender.

Reece Castor  6-5  So  GreenWood 16U (Gladstone): Has improved in two areas we hoped since last seeing him at the fall Bank Hoops All-State Camp — shooting off the catch and squaring and keeping up with athletic wings defensively. Shoots it off the shoulder but with a quick release whether from the corner in halfcourt sets or kickouts to the wing on the break. Counters jumper with strong drives. Not a blazer but good frame, long arms help him defensively. Needs to use that size and toughness on the glass more consistently, keep hands high and resist just being an observer. Looks like MAC/Horizon/Missouri Valley level.

Mike Fletcher  6-7  So  GreenWood 16U (Carman-Ainsworth): His physical advantages are more pronounced in age group play than when we saw Fletcher against upperclassmen in the winter. Has the base to clog the lane and wingspan to defend the rim. Quicker than he looks and can pounce out from the paint to get deflections in passing lanes. Offensively has an effective hook, can pass from the high post and shows touch on his turnaround jumper. Like how he interacts and competes, team player. Will need a couple more inches to truly realize the whole Nick Ward thing.

Luke Hyde  6-7  Jr  Elite Nation (DeWitt): Has put on a lot of good weight and looks more college ready than many of his peers in a deep 2018 forward class. Seems to give him more confidence finishing, playing big. Works hard on the glass and has an easy shot that’s out to 20 feet. Not a wing, not a 4, just a generic, sound, all-around forward.

Brandon Johns  6-8  Jr  Spiece Indy Heat (East Lansing): He already has a season of 17U EYBL on the resume, so there was no room in his belly for butterflies, just fire. Gained Memphis, Missouri offers. And for the critics, how “soft” is this move?

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Carlos Johnson  6-6  Fr  Family 15U (Benton Harbor): Rebounding is one trait and stat that carries over, trans level and Johnson attacked the glass in age group competition with the same hunger he did in piling up all-state glass numbers in the winter. Like an older Family kid Romeo Weems he’s a plus athlete with early accolades who separates himself to elite status with his motor. The flat, funky shot was dropping from three-point range and other, so we’ll stand by the comparison we stole from a college coach who saw Johnson this winter, Buckets (LaDontae Henton) with a jumper.

Foster Loyer  5-11  Jr  All Ohio Red (Clarkston): Even having cracked Rivals top 100 looked still considerably underrated. Takes everyone’s best shot and against elite national talent continued to wear them down with toughness, poise and uncanny shot making. In command down the stretch, a leader and finisher at point guard when wins are on the line. He’s led AOR to first place in their EYBL division after two weeks, a game ahead of Chicago Mean Streets. He had a 31-point game in Indy and has made 59-of-59 free throws over eight league games.

Austin McCullough  6-4  Sr  GreenWood (Portage Central): With Jason Whitens to WMU, McCullough is the state’s top unsigned 2017 wing prospect. He came out of the live period with his second D1 offer, from Niagara. Though he’s Portage Central’s all-time scorer wasn’t a volume shooter there and was at his best for GreenWood at the Terrific 24 shooting off the catch instead of the dribble in a pretty standard, slow, take turns AAU offense. Raw, rangy athlete who could improve rapidly with college coaching and a college weight program.

Carter Nyp  6-8  Jr  West Michigan Lakers (Wayland): A near 180 from the Lakers’ last 6-8 Wayland power forward, Zach Nieuwkoop whose bury ’em under the basket game has moved just up the road to Davenport. Nyp is a left-handed pick-and-pop specialist who is never shy with the wing three-pointer and is also effective shooting over defenders looking down from a hi-lo. Can be awkwardly effective off the dribble with a long step and extensive release point. Plays too upright and isn’t explosive enough to do that against more athletic wing defenders. To be a shooter you have to be able to guard a shooter, and that’s where Nyp can struggle because he doesn’t close out so much as lunge.

Jayden Perry  5-7  Jr  Parallel 45-White (Manton): Follows in the Parallel 45 lexicon Keegan LaBlance and Gunnar Libby as small guards with big games. Loves pulling up on the break for the 3 or has the ability to create space to get it off otherwise. Good shot selection and gets teammates involve. Size will turn off some but coaches who liked Chad Carlson in the MIAA will give him a a look.

Shayne Scruggs  6-6  Jr  1Nation (Lansing Sexton): Middle school phenom reclaiming his rep. Used strength, leverage, toughness to combat and compete on the glass against bigger kids in the Under Armour league.

Jalen Terry  5-11  Fr  Family (Flint Beecher): The torch has been passed, Terry looks poised to become a three-time all-state point guard for Beecher. Unleashed against age group competition playing at a face pace, was often unguardable with his speed and quickness getting to the rim. With a natural handle and poise, able to keep happy a lineup full of future D1 kids one of the most talented 15U teams in America. Then had the pg bona fides to do like Foster Loyer was doing up with All Ohio Red, making the right plays in crunch time.

Carrington Wiggins  6-1  Jr  Elite Nation (Goodrich): Part of a deep Elite Nation backcourt that includes Malik Jones, Garvin Crout and Matt Havey and helped them to the silver title at the Adidas Spring Classic. Wiggins is physically stronger than last AAU season which helps get things done as he’s long known how to play. Consistent shot, makes smart decisions with the ball, and has active hands on defense.

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