The featured game of the fifth-annual Floyd Mayweather Invitational at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills featured two possible Class A finalists, Detroit East English Village and Kalamazoo Central. And with the game within the game, it also showcased two likely Mr. Basketball finalists, EEV’s 6-3 Greg Elliott, the state’s top unsigned senior, and K-Central’s 6-8 Isaiah Livers, who signed early with Michigan.
East English blitzed Kazoo Central early, with the Maroon Giants never able to fully recover and ultimately taking their first loss of the season, 73-63. Both teams are now 7-1.
Elliott and junior U-M commitment David DeJulius form a high-major backcourt for the Bulldogs. They play with impressive chemistry considering this is DeJulius’ first year at the school. DeJulius was named the game’s MVP after scoring 28 points. Elliott scored 25, but did it in a more efficient manner making 8-of-14 field goals (2-4 three-pointers) and all seven of his free throws, while his younger backcourt partner was 10-of-25 from the floor. Elliott is a menace is transition because he can play off DeJulius or sophomore guard Tariq Shepherd to extend or finish, or push and attack himself. For a tall, angular guard dribbling as fast as he does, it’s rare that Elliott is able to pull off tight fake and avoidance moves at the same time. Even before he was a dunk hunting crowd pleaser, Elliott was a steady, complete player, and that continues. He defied his physique to grab six rebounds and added two assists and steals apiece and even a blocked shot.
Past Michigan prep players similar to Greg Elliott:
- Manny Harris
- Chris Hass
- Brandon Jenkins
- Milo Stovall
- Edmond Sumner
Like Elliott and DeJulius, Livers has a partner he vibes with, 6-4 senior Roger Stein. They form a dangerous high-lost combination and either can throw an alley-oop to the other. Livers scored 22 points on 6-of-9 field goals (3-4 three-pointers) and 7-for-9 at the stripe. Any opposing driver needs to be cognizant of Livers lurking on the weakside, as he blocked four EEV shots. His six rebounds were disappointing given Livers’ height advantage over anyone in the game. There was one scrum in particular where a putback would’ve given Kalamazoo Central some much-needed momentum, but their star was nowhere near. It’s Livers’ versatility, his comfort and ease with the ball away from the basket, that makes him such an intriguing college prospect. But it also keeps him from being a dominating high school player who owns the lane at 6-8.
Past Michigan prep players similar to Isaiah Livers:
- Ronald Coleman
- Chris Crawford
- James Head
- Parish Hickman
- Andy Poppink