It counts for real starting this week. Here are standouts from the last weekend it doesn’t, in the win-loss column at least, at a scrimmage hosted by Okemos.
Isaiah Bridges 6-4 Jr Midland: Terrific basketball IQ understanding offensive spacing and directing teammates thusly. Gets assists from high-low action or driving and dishing. First step looks quicker and was able to split defenders. Three-point shot was falling more readily than from mid-range. A tweener, but a ballplayer.
Drew Lowder 5-11 Jr Ann Arbor Pioneer: If you don’t have a rim protector, you’re in big trouble against Lowder. He can get into the lane at will against high school competition with strength, hesitations, changes of pace, and then has a plethora of finishing moves. Shot was on and off in the stretches I saw. Liked the leadership getting dirty on the floor for 50/50 balls.
Max Perez 5-10 So Hudsonville: He ran wild against Ann Arbor Richard, forcing turnovers on and off the ball, hitting three-pointers off the dribble and creating for teammates off of screens. Perez had to go a lot harder against Okemos with fellow 10th-grader worker him full court. Would like to see him add some eye deceptoin, subtle stuff to free himself up for shots, as a wise defender can tell when he’s shooting and when he’s not. And while there aren’t many of those in high school, that becomes an automatic scouting point at the next level.
Noah Pruitt 5-10 So Okemos: He’s clearly spent quality time in the weight room, and has helped him defensively and with the ball when operating in the lane. Worked hard against another top 10 sophomore point guard, Hudsonville’s Max Perez, forcing him into some quick shots. Pruitt gets the ball up the court very swiftly, via the pass or dribble. Keeps the ball hot in the halfcourt and while he may be pass-first, he’s still a capable shooter out to behind the arc. When driving to score would like to see him get an angle and use the glass instead of trying to go over the top with finger rolls which are very difficult, lower percentage shots. Backboard and dunks only in there!
Kasean Pryor 6-8 Jr Ann Arbor Pioneer: One of the most intriguing prospects in the state’s junior class, because he’s long for days and moves so easily. Able to catch, shoot and finish on the move. Does a great job closing out high, and can then get back in the paint and defend the rim. Good passer. Shot selection must improve and needs to get a lot stronger, tougher on the glass — become a hitter who finishes out defensive possessions, not a tipper. When Pryor starts to consistently string together good play, watch out.