Here are the top rising sophomore performers from the Bank Hoops Underclassman Camp that didn’t already make the top prospect team. The 2020 second team, 2021 team, middle school team and other player evaluations forthcoming.
Jon Brantley 6-2 So Birmingham Brother Rice: Brantley’s is a name you’ll hear more over the next few years as one of 2020’s elite point guard prospects, as middle school phenoms start to drop off. Because meanwhile Brantley’s size advantage and feel for the game aren’t going anywhere. Didn’t just pass to get rid of the ball, but hitting teammates at the right pace and place. Looked like a vet operating from the foul line on 3-of-2 opportunities. Big first step to accelerate and get to the rim and score himself. Able to finish through contact. When Justus Salaam would handle the ball for their team, Brantley ran the lane hard for transition buckets and in the halfcourt showed motion tendencies without the ball, curling and diving. Good motor matching up in transition D and made smart plays to force turnovers off the ball. Smooth when stepping into the jumpshot with the dribble, needs work off the catch.
Connor Bush 6-4 So Detroit Western: No one wanted to get in his way when he got a little steam going. And no fun when he put it in triple threat. Caused havoc getting into the lane repeatedly in the hunt for dunks, then kept defenders guessing by pulling up for three-pointers. If he wasn’t finishing over the rim, Bush was jump stopping and going through defenders. Played with toughness and an edge. The hops weren’t offense-only as he also blocked shots. Can’t wait to see what three years playing for Derrick McDowell will do to refine his game to go with the physical tools. Everything about this kid says D1 wing recuit.
Justus Salaam 5-11 So North Farmington: All the movements and mannerisms of a Detroit guard — a propensity to check 94 feet, rebounds like a taller player, loves to turn his back and create, and is tough and crafty around the rim. A fitting last name as he’d peace out defenders, lulling to sleep with an inside-out dribble then leaving them with a deceptively quick first step. Moved the ball along at the right time on the break. Liked that he had energy defensively too, with quick feet and active hands. The kind of leader who you want to have the ball, as even in camp games full of new faces his teammates responded to his direction. Salaam was patient finding the angles to feed the post, then was effective in the two-man game because he could also hit the with three-pointer from the kick-back. Can’t get casual with the one-handed passes, and needs to get stronger in the lane to finish directly to the rim and get a reliable runner, pull-up.
Jarvis Walker 6-1 So Muskegon Mona Shores: Relentless scorer who had his radar in tune to mismatches and repeatedly attacked or posted up smaller guards. Walker, already with a Ferris State offer, has a nice assortment of finishing and counter moves when he gets into the paint, and uses his strength to create space for clear looks. Similarly got good looks away from the basket with consistent footwork and elevation on his jumpshot. Able to create some havoc when dialed in defensively able to square and use body and leverage to push his man off the ball. Explosive finishes and point guard instincts would be areas for improvement.
Charles Woodhams 6-2 So Otsego: One of the few kids with the size and athleticism to go against Connor Bush, and he had a few defensive stands in their matchup. On the other end Woodhams did a lot of good work off the ball, cutting for his own jumpshot, setting screens, hunting down rebounds. And what a jumpshot it is, with a tight pocket, quick release, and a follow through that expects them to all go in. Not the fastest kid but plays hard, is smart and fundamental and will still beat you to the spot. Feel and touch with the ball and able to turn the corner and use his strength to finish and draw fouls. Plays the game of a 6-4/6-5 college player so he’ll want to keep going up.