There was a strong representation of both local and Detroit area schools at Saginaw Valley State’s team camp. Here are some of the top performers Braeden Proctor saw at the shootout.
Sir’quarius Ball 6-4 Sr Bridgeport: Bridgeport was a top 10 team in Class B last season and Ball was at the heart of it with his work on the glass. He plays much bigger than his height. Doing double duty right now with hoops league and football camps. Plays hard. Right-hand dominant. Gets after it on the glass. Versatile defender. Solid transition player and attacking the rim but not great offensively in the half0court. Decent standing vert and second-third jumps.
Kevin-David Rice 6-3 Jr Grand Blanc: He easily possesses the raw tools to be a D1 player but there were too many mental lapses. Needs to be more aggressive. Good-looking shot. Has size at the wing with lenthand decent skill but plays too slow anddoesn’t change pace. When KDR is in attack mode he can be a top tier player in the state.
Jason Drake 5-9 Fr Detroit Cass Tech: The understudy and heir apparent to junior Tyson Acuff who will be a third-year starter at point guard. Jason’s composure, feel and IQ surpasses that of your average incoming freshman point guard. Nice looking shot. Doesn’t look for shot a ton right now, playing within the system and working things out. Sound defender on ball. Physically handles varsity level pretty well. Still room to improve strength but he is ahead of the game compared to many other recent eighth-graders.
Ethan Emerzian 5-9 So Rochester Adams: Even-keeled point guard who played with the composure of an upperclassman after already a season of serious Class A varsity ball under his belt. E2 changes pace well with the ball. Slow shot with a windup but in rhythm he’s a solid shooter. Good passer. Settles for jump shots. Good footwork and balance on pull-ups. Hit a side-dribble baseline pull-up and looked very comfortable doing so.
Latrell Fordham 6-4 Jr Grand Blanc: GB badly needs a point guard, as Fordham was playing it out of necessity but that mitigates what he does best, a scorer in an up tempo game. Good athlete and serviceable transition playmaker but gandles aren’t great, the ball floats too high. Can be inconsistent but was comfortable shooting wing 3s including one off the break.
Bryce George 6-6 Jr Marlette: A walking double-double at the high school level who rebounds at a rate you’d hope given how strong he is. Usually got the ball if he got a hand on it. Soft touch 10 feet and in. Attacked the rim and looked more comfortable than when I saw him in April. Good footwork to get two feet finishes where he could use his strength. Soft hands. Moves well up and down and side to side.
Javel Lewis 6-7 Sr Grand Ledge: Was patient passing out of post and waited until the double came, indicative of his overall ‘game face’ very calm and not very emotional. Doesn’t get rattled by people playing physical on him inside. Lewis took a charge against Rochester Adams. Talked to teammates when ball screens came. Didn’t use his left hand much from the left side. Didn’t hold his man off in post relaxed after initially establishing position. Had a good looking free throw. Could be a solid GLIAC big but motor needs to improve.
Ty Rodgers 6-4 Fr Grand Blanc: In a typical year, he’d be the best player in the class. Goes after rebounds with a big wingspan and brings them in anywhere on court. Embraces physicality much better than most freshman and tall wings. he absorbs contact well and rarely seems to be getting out muscled. In GB’s second game he moved well around the paint and short corners to get easy dump off-finishes via smart cuts and footwork. He attacks closeouts well and can get to the rim in one dribble with ease.. Streaky shooter but potential is there because mechanics are solid with a good follow through. Corner 3s seem to be his best spot currently but he hit a pair of 3s from the wing against Cass Tech. Shows ability and skill to finish opposite leg/opposite hand finishes. Rodgers is a good athlete, standing under the rim he nearly had a put-back dunk. Extremely mature for age both mentally and physically with potential to still grow with long arms and big feet. Very composed on the court and doesn’t appear rattled vs older competition. His next step in his development will be to improve his handles so he can score/create for others in iso scenarios and to get a more consistent from three-point range.
Julian Roper 6-3 So Detroit Country Day: Natural scoring guard is a top 5 sophomore prospect in the Mitten with a polished offensive game that exceeds most 2021s. In DCD’s second game he showed that he could be used more off the ball in the half-court rather than just an iso player, with ability running off screens for 3s. Handles are loose in full court but he’s a decent passer who found teammates and made plays. Could be a good second playmaker and ball-handler on the floor if he can tighten them some.
Isaiah Sanders 6-5 Jr Detroit Cass Tech: An undersized 5 man but had the strength to finish around the rim early on against DEPSA. Worked to get positions on both ends. Broad shoulders and long arms equal a decent hook shot. Shot well at the free throw line against Grand Blanc.
Brian Taylor 6-5 Sr Detroit Edison: Thrust into a leading role as the top returnee from DEPSA’s Class C state championship team. Taylor has a good three-point shot with smooth mechanics, though falls in love with jump shot but should attack the hoop more. Coaches like his length and he’s a very good athlete. Runs the floor hard. Doesn’t seal smaller guards when getting entries, then conversely doesn’t have the tightness of a guard handle. Little things are difference between him ending up in the MAC or GLIAC.
Kalil Whitehad 6-4 Sr Detroit Cass Tech: Smooth-shooting mid-major wing. You can use him as a spot shooter or coming off screens. Efficient scorer who used screens well to get open. Good standing vert and second-third jumps around the rim to grab rebounds or put-backs. Good footwork inside. Can post up or face up at high post. Versatile game offensively.