The first of Grand Valley State University’s two exposure camps brought in prospects from throughout the Midwest. These were some of the best.
Britton Angell 6-2 Sr Big Rapids Crossroads: It’s not often you’d look to the Class D ranks for a defender, but Angell breaks the mold. He was aggressive and athletic on that end, quick hands, feet to recover. Left-hander knocked down some 3s in games. Similar to another Class D to WHAC recruit Bellaire-to-Cornerstone’s Gabe Meriwether, not as smooth but just as athletic, finished above the rim.
Darrell Belcher 6-2 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Could be labeled a ‘tweener,’ but he’s going to be a GLIAC recruiting priority because of athleticism, frame, slashing scores, energy, production and defensive potential; possible mid-major at current rate of improvement. Shot keeps getting better, able to create space for the left-handed jumper out to three-point range.
Austin Braun 5-10 Sr Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Don’t judge him in the layup line, but watch him produce and that’s why small schools love him and is getting some D2 recognition. He knows how to control tempo and run a team. Directs the offense, makes simple passes rather than flair passes. Hits the extra pass for open looks. Steve Nash-type finishes around the rim to get shots off inside. Anticipates passes defensively and can jump to get a hand on the ball. Has range on his shot. When he has his feet under him and time, he’s lethal from deep. Does a good job at snaking ball screens to put pressure on the man defending the ball and screen.
TJ McKenzie 6-3 Sr North Muskegon: One of the top five players at camp. Abused defenders in the one-on-one section, with a quick-release 3 and physical drives over and through smaller guards. Good not great athlete, but has a college guard frame as well as some old man game strength, savvy and toughness so not at a loss on defense. Blocked a 6-8 kid. A bucket maker at the D2 level.
Nmeso Nnebedum 6-0 Sr Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix: John Bagley sort of guard with a big body, aggressive downhill game that’s hard to guard because it’s a bit funky and off-kilter. Plays bigger than his height with strong frame, long arms. Liked how he competed until the very end of the camp games. Shot needs some work, the release point is low.
Brody Parker 5-10 So Troy: At 15 one of the youngest players in camp, but that didn’t faze him after a season of varsity ball as a freshman sixth man in arguably the state’s best league last season the OAA Red. The best shooter in camp. Plays heads up, will move the ball not just a pump. Did a good job pushing it with the pass. Not the playmaker Cassius Winston was at the same age, but a similar scoring game, lulling an underestimating defender to sleep then breaking off a quick shot, and getting the lane to score with change of speeds, shielding the ball, ducking and extending.
Max Perez 5-10 Jr Hudsonville: Perez rules the day in events like these, whether in the skill stations where he’s not going to miss many opens shots, or when it goes live full-court as he’s calm and of his own mind even when that about him gets hectic. Another advantage is his fitness level, looks like a wrestler primed and cut for weight he’s still going full speed hours into it. Didn’t miss many open ones in games, either. And if not initially open, would burn you with a pump fake. Already a two-year varsity veteran of one of the state’s strongest leagues and listed on the roster still just 15, there’s still a whole ‘nother level for Max out there.
Luke Schrotenboer 6-4 Sr Grand Rapids South Christian: Showed some grit and guile as the player who best defended the largest man in camp, 6-10 D1 prospect Ryan Segall. It’s rare to see Schrotenboer not playing with his South Christian teammates, as they also make up his AAU squad, but he showed in this setting that he does enough all-around stuff to fit in most anywhere. Plays bigger than his size defensively and on the glass similar to former Trine All-MIAA forward Jared Holmquist — strong legs and core able to make space to get the ball. Was dangerous spotting up from the corners.
Ryan Segall 6-10 Sr NA: He’s not a Michigander but he was the top prospect here so a shout out to a true 5 man, home schooled in Indiana with a 1,500 SAT. An Ivy or Patriot League school that uses a true post as a screener should take a long look at Segall. Hits ’em like he means it. The biggest player at camp, he posted up like he actually wanted the ball and consistently buried his man for a left-handed hook. Needs a counter move for it. Not the fleetest, nor “modern,” but can definitely help the right system.
Joshua Warren 5-10 Sr Woodhaven: He got better and better as the afternoon progressed. The most explosive point guard in the gym, able to get to the hole and finish high and quick. Big ups make him a surprising rebounder. Speed and aggression with ball put pressure on the defense. Impressive full-speed spin move into finish. Dribbled high and too much at times and could benefit from more nuanced tempos. Has the quickness, mindset, toughness of a college guard, just needs some refinement.
Chris Young 6-3 Jr Buchanan: He ran hard, seemed to find the right spots, was consistent with the chances he took and as a result had to be one of the higher scorers in the camp games. Had some bounce and competed on the glass. Scored on the break or spotting up from the arc. Tended to dribble with his head down.