Given its location with so many big schools within a half hour and the facilities to put all six courts under one roof, Oakland’s team camp has been a “must” stop on our list for over a decade. And here are some recent examples why, the talent is always there.
Quinn Blair 6-6 Jr Dearborn Divine Child: Not naming names because there are too many really, mediocre Midwest mid-major afterthoughts that continue to offer the latest kid they see run by for an open dunk, while a grinder, leader and winner like Blair doesn’t have a D1 offer. Combination of two Cadillac stars really — offensive forward game of John Simons with the grit of Brian Snider. Like Snider, gets it done on the football field too. He had a pair of 30 point games Saturday at OU. He’s a good three-point shooter but much more with his ability to get to the rim with jabs and look-offs. Gets to the rim a lot, would like to see him playing above it too.
Jason Dietz 6-3 Jr Troy: Hurt through most of AAU and didn’t look 100 percent. But still very productive because of how well he shoots the three-pointer. Great form, will need more lift on it for the scholarship level. Not just a specialist but a ballplayer with a feel for the game manifesting in off-ball movement and his own passing. Needs to play lower and longer defensively.
Foster Loyer 5-11 Jr Clarkston: The Wolves were good last week without Loyer at MSU. With him at Oakland, it became a shooting clinic as they went unbeaten and no one was close for two days. They blew out Belleville and Renaissance, and Loyer scored 41 in a 20-point win over Holt. When Clarkston spreads the floor with guys like Loyer, 6-5 senior Dylan Alderson, 6-4 junior Chase Wasilk and junior point guard CJ Robinson all hitting from deep, what are you going to do? Especially since they’re not just aware of, but looking to make that one more pass for a better shot. Robinson has improved so much as a shooter that he and Loyer are truly interchangeable at the 1 and 2, with both able to defend the spots too. Sometimes democracy can prove prescient as it did here, with those two putting on big time performances after winning last week’s Bank Hoops Twitter poll — Best 2018 Class A Backcourt — by a resounding margin. Not only was Loyer winning big, he was doing it while withstanding matchups with the two players most likely to contend with his mythical title as the state’s best junior guard, EEV’s David DeJulius and Belleville’s Davion Williams.
Mark Watts 6-1 So Detroit Allen: His future is more certain than his school’s — high-major guard recruit. Picks and chooses his spot than just explodes for a barrage of mad arc jumpshots. Combines the court poise of Monte Morris with the scoring instincts of Eric Davis.
Romeo Weems 6-6 So New Haven: Some college coaches think there’s too much noise around Flint’s Terry Armstrong thus have Romeo their top instate guy for 2019. Weems is all business, a grinder, self critical, emerging leader. “I ain’t no pretty boy, I’m fierce” — Living Colour. Gotta love that his first instinct with a post catch is to dropstep dunk. Not as efficient or polished as gets away from the hoop. Something like a merger between Antonio Smith and Miles Bridges. A couple years development will determine which way the final earnings swing. He’ll just get better and better and New Haven could be our preseason No. 1 team in Class B.