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.”