One of the state’s best players, on one of the state’s top teams, all year has been Flint Beecher senior guard Keyon Menifield.
Menifield, a spindly 6-2, has had the requisite big scoring games. Even then he contributes across the board, like 30 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals against a talented Goodrich team. He had a triple-double in Beecher’s win over Ferndale and its D1 backcourt. That game went over time, in 2OT Menifield scored 27 in a comeback win at Carman-Ainsworth. It was his step-up in defensive intensity and aggressiveness to the basket that got momentum back to the Bucs to start their second-half comeback against C-A. That’s also indicative of the quality of competition against which Menifield is producing. Beecher’s lone loss is to No. 1 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
Menifield is a tough cover because he has quick-twitch separation, and can stop and pop from mid-range and with a long, quick release. A high degree of difficulty on many of them. He scores for Beecher both on or off the ball in half-court offense, often interchangeable with gifted 2022 guard Carmelo Harris. Menifield’s a particular menace in transition because plays heads up and can thread the needle to rim-runners or wings in stride, or also push it himself with just a few dribbles as he’s very fast with long strides; looks like he’d be a standout 400-meter runner.
Menifield is versatile defensively, using his quickness to pile up tips and steals in Beecher’s 2-2-1; picking up the point guard 100; freelancing in half-court man; or using his length to get out on shooters in the back of a 2-3. His slight build pays off defending against ball screens as he’s able to slip around the big’s hips. Quick off the floor, he’ll sneak in for put-backs on offense or to block shots on defense. Beecher doesn’t have any height to speak of, so those are welcome contributions.
To improve for the next level Menifield will have to gain strength and mass obviously. This will make him more of a threat in the half-court able to use his shoulders to explode by his defenders and get deeper into the lane to create.