The state’s 2023 guard class has been compared to that which preceded it by a decade, the 2013 class which had standout backcourt players like Monte Morris, Derrick Walton, Kahlil Felder, Wes Clark, EC Mathtews and Dontel Highsmith. While that’s certainly a high standard, the performance of sophomore guards during the MHSAA tournament and in the opening AAU weekend at the Grand Rapids Storm Classic make that juxtaposition of the two groups look not so crazy.
These guards got it done in Grand Rapids.
Braelon Green 6-3 So Bates Fundamentals 16U (Ypsilanti Lincoln): He turned in a tour de force performance in leading Bates to the 16U title. Great first and second bounce on the rim and now a total package as he was stroking a true jumpers from deep, including four-straight in the first half of a Saturday game. What really separated Green despite his athleticism was his blue-collar attitude, getting on the floor for loose balls throughout the weekend. He came home from GR to find an offer from Mississippi State.
Wyatt Nausadis 6-4 So Grand Rapids Storm 16U (Traverse City St. Francis): The Storm has a pair of big, strong guards in Nausadis and 6-5 Simon Neuhaus from East Grand Rapids, and Rockfod’s 6-2 Charlie Deutsch plays similarly as well. He also played the backline defensively, but when on guards Nausadis often just dwarfed them defensively. Best physical asset may be his big butt to create separation. Can bully to the rim while maintaining awareness, and finish above it on the break. For a small school player doesn’t need high usage to contribute, while at the same time having the alpha attitude to take over and make plays when needed.
Harrison Sorrelle 6-6 So MBA 16U (Grand Haven): Sometimes the tallest player on the court in 16U ball, nevertheless there was no mistake this was MBA’s point guard. A rare underclassman guard who had no problem seeing over the guy above, Nausadis. Nothing fancy but gets the basics done consistently at the 1, shielding and advancing the ball against smaller defenders, finding the hot three-ball hand, running PnR. Uses his length on defense to get tips and block shots.
Anthony Sydnor 6-3 So UTS Elite 16U (Muskegon): The uglier the game, the more he thrives, creating tempo, getting to the hoops through broken traffic. Overshadowed by fellow sophomore guard Jordan Briggs during the winter, and they’re also teammates in AAU, but Sydnor showed a more confident shot here that bodes to a breakout offensive campaign as a junior. Where he really distinguishes himself is with his on-ball defense, overall hustle on that end, and ability to knock away steals without collecting whistles.
Caron Williams 6-3 So North Oakland Wolfpack 16U (L’anse Creuse): Looked like a mid-major guard scoring 22 of the Wolfpacks’ 50 against Indy Heat, and was terrific all weekend for the Wolfpack along with De La Salle’s 6-4 sophomore Jack Yanachik. Looked like he was channeling Ryan Rollins at times, a tall lanky guard with a high-arcing 3 ball and a relentless knack for scoring off the dribble, points before aesthetics. Could play lower and wider more consistenly on defense, but does have quick hands and gets tips.