2023 Frontcourt MVP Parker Swartz 6-6 Sr GR Northview: Looks like a scholarship wing guard time immemorial, length and jumper for days. But that’s just the start of it which makes Swartz such an intriguing prospect. He has easy ball skills and comports and moves like an all-around hooper not just a specialist. Uses his wingspan on D to get blocks in the lane and tips on the wings. 3 & D carryover D2 guy with the potential to expand.
“Part of the big man station group who fashioned themselves as ‘Big Guards’,” a coach said. “The moniker was fitting because this guy has handles, passes well when not on the receiving end of passes and makes shots from all over, in addition to dunking anytime he’s near the rim.”
“Runs the floor very well and when the guards look up and are willing to pass, he’d finish with authority,” another coach said. “He’s good on defense with his footwork which enabled him to switch and defend smaller players off of screens. He’s also a very nice young man and was enthusiastic in stations as far as motivating guys that he’d just met, and they responded positively to him.”
2023 Perimeter MVP Terrance Jones 6-2 Sr Kalamazoo Central: Separated with his defense, as has a rugged 6-2 frame that can get into space and redirect dribblers while still showing hands, which he keeps high and active even making mundane passes a pain. Shot it well both in drills and games, checking the box John Beilein said “if you can’t make this shot you can’t play college basketball” — the elbow jumper on the 3-on-2 break. Rebounds well and had various pinpoint push-ahead assists for dunks off the glass.
“Really improved form a year ago,” a coach said. “His mid-range and beyond is pretty much money now, evidenced by making 15 straight from 12-22′ in my station. He’s always been able to get to the rim but now can pull up effectively and make outside shots. After the camp I asked what had changed, and he and his father said simultaneously, “The Gun.”
2024 Frontcourt MVP Nathan Washburn 6-8 Jr Macomb Dakota: Engaged, plays hard, finds ways to stay around the ball. Able to create space to score in the post or face up and shoot it. Versatile, doesn’t need things run for him, so can be paired with various types of forwards and let then figure it out.
“This guy was Jokic with a more athletic look, in how he was a big who did more than shoot well and dunk,” a coach said. “I know for a fact that in three games, he had a minimum of 45 points, 27 rebounds. He hustled on both ends and didn’t stop hustling when he didn’t receive the ball for sprinting the court.”
2024 Perimeter MVP EJ Ryans 6-3 Jr GR Northview: If you thought GR Northview was falling off after last season’s semifinal berth, reexamine with a pair of camp MVPs, with other good Northview players here too; Ryan;s younger brother Cameron was an MVP finalist at the earlier Underclassman Camp. Smaller but older brother Elijah got the MVP nod here and it was very hard-earned as fellow Grand Rapids point guard Carter Meerman from Catholic Central was a head-turning athlete and Saginaw Nouvel’s Donny Yeager a must-see winner and entertainer every time he touched the ball. Ryan mid-major and D2 offers and looked like Brandon Jenkins at times lanky, spindly to the lane, extending at the rim. Coachable with quick uptake. He will be widely recruited because he can fit into various styles, efficient fast or slow, creating with the dribble or pass, score it set up.
“Played as well as advertised,” a coach said. “A humble player even with all the attention he’s gathering already. Besides his smoothness and all-around stellar play, I’d like to talk about a play he made that was the most spectacular I saw all day. He pulled off the ‘Tayshaun Prince block of Reggie Miller’ on a fastbreak, but Ryans blocked it with both hands, landed with the ball and started dribbling up the court.”
He had another one where Ryans extended to block a three-point attempt, go the ball and finished on the other end.