Oakland Elite has essentially the same roster for 17U in 2020 as it did in 2019, and core players from 2018, rare travel ball carryover that should help OE when it starts playing tournaments in July. The squad is deep with prospects small school coaches will want to know.
Oakland Elite has a number of high school teammates in the rotation, also easing the transition from couch to court. The most decorated pair is 6-5 2021 wings from Croswell-Lexington, Tyler Johnson and Hunter Soper. Soper is like a poor man’s Kyle Steigenga with his leaping ability, classic athletic hoops frame, a put-back machine with a motor on the glass. Those attributes helped him have his way in the Thumb as a junior, where he was BWAC MVP. Good fundamentals as a rebounder, finding a body, which can be rare for a high school kid who can jump like Soper can. Consistent jumpshot will be crucial going foward, as his ball can be a bit dead at the rim. No one is questioning the shot from Johnson, who is good off the ball and has a quick release. Can score on the break pulling up or running to the rim. He doesn’t get the attention of 2021 wing shooters with size like Zeeland East’s Brandon Claerbaut or Blissfield’s Ty Wyman, but Johnson could become a similar prospect.
Not just teammates at Linden, but brothers, 6-0 senior Blake Lund and 6-1 junior Reichen Lund. Blake is more than just a three-point shooter — though he can sure do that too — as he’s already a 1,000-point prep scorer after averaging 23 points per game as a junior. Lund is aggressive in the lane and will surprise you with his ups and toughness around the rim. Credible defender. As a high-end shooter he may ride the thin line between competitiveness and getting too far into his own head. A smaller Tyler Laser, the combative guard who took Hillsdale to the quarterfinals then played at Western Illinois. In classic younger brother form, Reichen is more stoic. He knocked spot-up 3 after spot-up 3 in a recent practice. By count of a college coach in attendance, the younger Lund missed one 3 in an hour of fast-paced 5-of-5 drills. The rest of his game is solid if understated.
A 2021 pair from West Bloomfield. Jake Lanslaw is 6-2 and can turn the corner. Kipras Blazevicius is 6-5 and has become a valuable player because he doesn’t try to be what he’s not, doesn’t take bad shots, yet is often around the ball. Well-coached, versatile and can fill in the gaps with his size. Can drive and pass.
Not just brothers but twins, 6-0 Josh and Jake Rechsteiner from Grand Blanc can both shoot it and are also quick attacking closeouts.
6-5 Flushing senior Reed Schilling has the frame to scrap while really improving his wing game. He’s a consistent spot-up threat from college three-point range who can also curl or start on the block to score as well. He plays hard, as does 6-4 Matthew Wisniewski. A rising senior from Linden, Wisniewski plays bigger than his height with his wide base and positioning IQ for leverage. Another very good shooter from this OE group.
Oakland Elite’s big man is Blake Woodward, an old school anchor in the post at 6-8, 260. He’s a consistent threat from the short corners. How he can get out and defend on the the pick and roll is what coaches will want to see. Hard worker, positive teammate, good to have around at next level for those attributes and certain matchups.