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Hail To These In-State Prospects

Even in summer ball, Benton Harbor junior Carlos Johnson shows his championship pedigree playing hard and producing.

Teams from throughout the Midwest congregated at Michigan for U-M’s team camp. Here are some of the standout local players.

Connor Bush  6-4  Jr  Belleville: The Tigers just graduated the third and fourth best players, Davion Williams and Gabe Brown, that Bank Hoops has covered at Belleville, surpassed by only Leon Freeman and Rob Griffin. That leaves a lot of usage available, as well as a leadership void, and Bush has asserted himself as the early alpha dog for this revamped lineup. Attacks well from the wing with a strong first step but is more upright and relentless than a low, smooth and skilled creator with the ball. That approach puts Bush at the line often (and also commit a charge against Howell) so he’ll want to be at least a 70-percent shooter from there; similarly his jumper is flat. A willing passer, whether a skip for a 3 or slashing and dishing. High energy, he gets to balls and keeps plays alive. Hits defensive boards like a forward should. Can get up off of one or both feet. Needs to become a more comfortably ambidextrous finisher.

Sean Cobb  6-7  Sr  Williamston: It was years ago, when Cobb was going into ninth-grade, that in this same venue at U-M he staked an early claim to top player in 2019 with his performance at the Wolverines’ college practice camp. While he didn’t end up as that level of a prospect after a circuitous AAU career, Cobb will be a four-year stalwart on some amazing high school teams and now as a senior he’s the centerpiece of one of the state’s elite frontlines along with fellow 6-7 seniors Case Conley and Joseph Hahnenberg. Cobb has wide shoulders, thick torso, and just carves out defenses for low-post position where he’s a skilled traditional finisher. Williamston also likes to pull him out high where he can screen or is smart and skilled enough to run some offense. Should be a high GLIAC priority.

Cade Coleman  6-6  Sr  Davison: As a younger player flashed D1 talent as a K’len Morris type, now trying to find and reassert himself into serious scholarship discussions. The good news is the physical tools are still there. Not many guys in the 2019 class have the opportunity to horse you down low, then hit a 3, then handle and make point guard decisions on the break. It’s the first on that list that Coleman should do more often. He’s Davison’s biggest player and they were without a tough rebounder in Bryce Lott, so handled the load on the glass, where college coaches would like to see some more motor rebounding outside of his position. On the verge of some nice opportunities is Cade can seize the day.

Wendell Green  5-10  Jr  Detroit Country Day: Had 20 against another of the top junior point guards in the Midwest Zeb Jackson from Ohio. No one in Michigan’s 2020 class takes, and makes, more difficult shots than Green, who is able to create space for the jumper from behind the arc, and more impressively even in tighter quarters. Unlike so many he has an actual jumper and not a set-shot, so can extend and follow through against taller defenders. Dangerous coming either way off of screens. Kept the ball a little hotter to teammates than he did at times in AAU, delivers it quickly and on point when he so chooses. Needs the ball to be effective so will have to find the right coach and system, but has high-major talent and skills.

Carlos Johnson  6-6  Jr  Benton Harbor: Won the battle of top 5 2020 prospects with Ferndale’s Jayshawn Moore, as Johnson made it too easy posting up then went on a tear from deep. Got real elevation on his post turn-arounds, shooting nearly perpendicular to the rim. Ferndale offered little resistance to his drives, either, as he finished capably either way and brought out an assortment of hesitation moves and pump fakes. Buckets didn’t come quite so easily later on against a zone team. However Johnson did make the play of the day in Crisler when he blocked a shot against Middleton Madison from Ohio, jumped over the baseline after the ball and threw it over mid-court for an assist. Also got assists in simpler fashion throwing some dimes on the break. You just gotta put a body on this kid because he crashes everything, but that’s easier said than done. Remains a streak shooter because of varying ball rotation.

Josh Palo  6-2  Sr  Howell: Physically and stylistically he resembles new Petoskey coach John Flynn circa 20 years ago. Palo can only hope to have a similar career, as Flynn was a 2,000-point prep scorer with a pair of MHSAA final four appearances and both Grand Valley State’s and the GLIAC’s all-time scorer. Palo’s very dangerous shooting off the dribble. The he counters the shot with a low crossover and is able to finish against contact around the bucket. Would like to see him equally as physical when playing off the ball.

Ryan Rollins  6-2  Jr  Macomb Dakota: Quietly and efficiently he’s been one of the state’s top 2020 guards since they entered high school. Can run a team and still get you a “low key” 18-20. Plays with maturity and poise, a high IQ point guard like his older brother Chris, but taller. Able to get into the lane with body control to finish, or can beat you with the jumper as well. Not sure about ceiling, but start out with a pretty high floor with Rollins as a mid-major recruit.

Vinson Sigmon  5-10  Sr  Canton: The Chiefs’ senior backcourt of Sigmon and B. Artis White gave teams fits. It doesn’t look quite as natural or easy for Sigmon, but he’s so quick and plays hard so he produces. Showed he could hit the 3 not just when open but over defenders. Elevates well on shot. Very fast with the ball end-to-end, had a nice spin finish at speed. He made smart decisions on the break depending on numbers. The defensive stopper of Canton’s two guards, with quick hands and can really apply the pressure.

Simon Wheeler  5-8  So  Ferndale: Loads of skill, talent and chutzpah. Still a far way from running a team at the varsity level efficiently. Needs to find the balance between hunting for his own shots and getting into the lane and creating for others, where he’s Wheeling and Dealing and doing special things. Despite his height has amazing vision in the lane, and can deliver it on the fly. He ran into a championship program in Benton Harbor and the 15U AAU stuff didn’t work, too much over-dribbling but going nowhere and quick-shot three-point misses.

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