We hit up three events at GLIAC schools over a week, prospect camps at Ferris State and Northwood, and a team camp at Grand Valley State.
Muskegon Could Be a Problem: Even with young or otherwise untested players in prominent roles, the Big Reds looked deep and talented in winning the GVSU Shootout. The vets are 6-3 senior Jermaine Goliday who can manufacture buckets like few guards in the 2017 class, and 6-5 senior Anthony Bethea, blue collar on the baseline. 6-4 Markell Jackson is also a senior but didn’t see the floor last year after transferring from Loy-Norrix. He’s intriguing because of his wingspan and finishing ability, hopefully the light comes and stays on. There’s an embarrassment of talent at point guard with 6-0 left-handed junior Willie Shanks and 5-9 sophomore DeAndre Carter — once they figure out the nuances and responsibilities of the position.
DeWitt Duo: DeWitt was more impressive in losing to Muskegon in the semifinals than was Wayland in the final of the GVSU Shootout. DeWitt has two outstanding juniors. 6-4 Tanner Reha is physical and can score in the lane and when making NBA 3s like he did against Muskegon is really hard to guard. Reha is a good athlete, with a bit more wiggle, flexibility and bounce could be a mid-major wing guard. 6-6 Luke Hyde moves like a natural athlete, rebounding like a forward running like a guard, active and often around the ball.
2018s Steal Show: The top overall prospects at both Ferris State’s and Northwood’s camps were both rising juniors. At Ferris State it was 6-9 Marcus Bingham from Grand Rapids who impressed early with a wingspan measuring 7-2 1/2 then a flurry of made shots in drills. He was less of a presence once it got going up and down, limited by lack of weight and strength. Strength is no issue with 6-3 Frankenmuth junior Mario Whitley who piled on the dunks at Northwood. Power wing who can initiate or take a hit and still get it over the rim. Can create his shot but overall handle isn’t yet D1 guard caliber.
2017 MVP: The top senior from the two prospect camps was Gabe Meriwether at Northwood. A 6-3 Bellaire guard, he has a big first step, stayed in attack mode, finished with dunks and knocked down a real jumpshot from behind the arc. Meriwether plays like another Northerner, Boyne City’s Jason Rozycki an important player for Oakland when they transitioned to Division 1 at the turn of the century, and should end up with a choice of D2 offers.