The Tulip Tipoff moved from the Northside of Holland to the Courthouse’s new six-floor facility in Byron Center, but one thing didn’t change the event was full of West Michigan talent. Here are some standouts from the tournament, where the Grand Rapids Storm (Woods) beat Sporting U in the 17U final; Impact Elite beat the Storm in the 16U final; and the Storm beat Impact Elite in the 15U final.
Ryan Corner 6-9 So Impact Elite 16U (Allendale): No. 3 big in the state’s 2020 class continues to steadily improve. He defended the rim and finished on the other end for Impact Elite’s 16U title-winning team. Moves pretty well, able to hedge or check a man facing the basket. Can run a nice high-low set from either spot with Reeths-Puffer’s Josh Jordan. Once Corner extends his game both ways to finish with power and dunks and hit shots to 20 feet, recruitment will take the next step ie. offers.
Clayton Dykhouse 5-11 Jr West Michigan Lakers (Zeeland East): A Lakers newcomer who helps keep them competitive at the guard spot with Zach Goodline and Austin Braun injured. When all three are healthy, the Lakers will have one of the quickest, skilled lineups in Michigan. Fast and can change speeds and deliver the ball on the fly. Finishes with either hand. Showed some gamesmanship stepping up to match APT’s guards’ shot-making, but a bit worrisome that Dykhouse didn’t present much of a defensive impediment to a backcourt group lacking a college physical profile.
Nolan Smith 6-4 Jr APT (Hopkins): APT upset the host Lakers in the 17U quarterfinals, and Smith did a bit of everything in the win. He’s Hopkins quarterback in the fall. On the hardwood he’s an athletic utility player who seems to be in the right spots to defend or to finish off cuts or offensive rebounds. Set screens more like a linebacker than QB.
Tyler Stezowski 6-1 Fr West Michigan Lakers 15U (Hamilton): He can be a tough cover at the 15U level because of his aggression and strength with the ball. Uses screens well and cuts hard to get the ball, not just going through the motions. Gets into the lane and gets to the line. Will have to learn different speeds to be an equally effective varsity player, and pass as part of the main repertoire not just as a last resort deep in the paint.
Brady Swinehart 6-0 Jr Grand Rapids Storm (Ionia): Another big weekend following his performance previously at Spiece. Nearly everyone from the Storm roster was hitting in the 17U championship game, but something about Swinehart’s shots seemed to hurt just a bit more, daggers with swagger. Limited wingspan but competes defensively. Will be popular in-state small school recruit.
Solomon White 6-2 So Grand Rapids Storm 16U (Forest Hills Eastern): Lanky wing is both an opportunist who knows how to play, and efficient when running sets and doing his assignment. Able to spot up and the corner to catch and shoot, or be the one getting to the lane and finding a shooter. Dangerous curling into the lane as he can extend and get his shot off. Not physically imposing, can be pushed off the ball defensively.
Emcee Williams 5-11 So Impact Elite 16U (Muskegon Reeths-Puffer): His backcourt partner Brock Stevens is the steady point guard of the two. Williams is a wild card who when on enables IE to compete with any 16U in the state. The energy he brought in the championship game against the Storm was particularly impressive because they’d just finished a tight semifinal game with Triple Threat. Yet he had a reserve tank. Streak shooter who can pile up points if that rainbow bomb hits early. Quick but not big or explosive, Williams can be clever getting into the lane and finishing around stronger players with a soft touch. Gets to line because makes defenders unbalanced. Most dangerous as a quick striker who has to be careful not to over-dribble.
Noah Wiswary 6-1 Jr Sporting U (Hudsonville Unity Christian): A rare non-Sailor for Sporting U. This left-hander got hot in the semifinals and that was all she wrote for APT as Wiswary buried three straight three-pointers in the second half.
Sawyer Wychers 5-11 Fr Impact Elite 15U (Byron Center): A rare efficient, team-first 15U guard, not out there chucking or working on his moves on his NBA moves on other people’s time. Strong for a guard his age, rebounded like a forward, won 50/50 balls, saw him draw a charge, a “glue guy.” Tried to finish over the top of the rim a very tough shot at his size; use the backboard.