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Underclassman Camp: Class of 2023 First Team

 

Grand Rapids Catholic Central freshman Kaden Brown.

MVP  Kaden Brown  5-9  Fr  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: Sweet shooter, even his misses stay around the rim. Mixes up traditional point guard duties well for a young player who can score like that.

“He’ll have an incredible career at GRCC,” said one coach “Controls the tempo at the point. Can play fast or in the half-court. Displayed one of the better step-backs at the camp. Knows how to get his shot off in various situations. Hit from beyond the arc when given space. Hit players in stride in transition and hit shooters right in their pockets in the half-court. Plays hard on defense, but had trouble at times handling bigger more physical guards.”

Bank Hoops All-State Camp Sept. 29

Muskegon freshman Jordan Briggs.

Jordan Briggs  5-9  Fr  Muskegon: Like the MVP above, Brown, Briggs played AAU with Bates Fundamentals 14U. Someone was drilling the guards right. Shifty off the dribble. Always looking to keep others involved, and kept going back to teammates even after a missed shot.

“Quick, heady point guard who gets into the lane at will,” a coach said. “Very good at distributing the ball to the open shooter and crafty enough to finish inside despite his lack of size. Made good decisions in the pick-and-roll. Pest on the ball, but sometimes got lost off the ball defensively.”

Romeo freshman Maxxin Guinn.

Maxxin Guinn  6-8  Fr  Romeo: One of the larger young men to come through the camp, bringing to mind centers like Seth Dugan and Matthew Nicholson. A project by size and age, but not in terms of being raw, he’s well-coached, a basketball player not just a big kid playing basketball. Guinn was lucky enough to play with teammates willing to throw it into the post, and when he got it in his sweet spots and kill zone, his eyes lit up and went right to his jump-hook. Did a good job sealing, catching lobs, keeping the ball high. Needs to keep next-play mentality, just run and get back into things, instead of hanging head on misses. Runs and moves better than you think, and will get more athletic as he grows up and body develops. His most promising play came on the defensive end, when, in succession on one series, he did a respectable job tagging a man and recovering on a pick-and-roll; getting outside the lane to block a shot; then sliding to the other side to challenge the put-back.

Huge kid for his age,” a coach said. “Good hands and footwork. Showed a soft touch on a few jump-hooks over his left shoulder. Everything was over his left shoulder and this will have to change as he develops. Rebounds his area, but doesn’t have the motor to do it outside of it yet. Should also focus on his base, as he plays very high. At his size and age he can move people, but the older Maxx gets the more things will level out.”

Grand Blanc freshman guard Almont’e Johnson.

Almont’e Johnson  6-1  Fr  Grand Blanc: One coach compared him to former Bucks All-Star Sidney Moncrief for his rugged, two-way style in the backcourt. Seemed to turn the corner at will, and loved to seek out contact at the rim. An and-one waiting to happen. Lots of energy and pushed the tempo. Competed hard, but also helped up a fallen opponent. Physical and aggressive, recognized mismatches and pounced. Better post scorer and rebounder than most of the forwards at camp. Good drawing defense and finding cutters; can improve as a passer with vision and placement on the drive-and-pitchout. Has about everything you want in a guard but the three-point jumper, and there’s time to work on that.

“Lightning quick,” a coach said “Excelled in transition and could finish at the hoop. Displayed a very balanced pull-up as well. Sometimes over-penetrated and had nowhere to go with it so forced an off-balance shot. Ability to distribute on the move and find teammates in a crowd would be a point of improvement. One of the better perimeter defenders at camp. Strong enough to defend bigger guards and quick enough to stay in front of the smaller ones.”

Detroit Loyola freshman Amare Stevens.

Amare Stevens  5-11  Fr  Detroit Loyola: Nice size for an incoming freshman guard. Good hands on D and got up in shooters. Active defensively all the way back to drillwork. Creative off the dribble, with a Euro step and spin move (not simultaneously). Drive-draw-pitch point guard. Usually effective with the ball, other than sometimes sitting on it too long and slowing down the offense.

“Always plays hard!,” said one coach. “Solid all-around player who has a great feel for the game. Keeps his teammates happy, as he rarely missed the open man and was a willing post feeder. Competes on the defensive end and plays the passing lanes well. Doesn’t shy away form contact and finishes through it. Efficient scorer who didn’t force many shots. Improvements in the areas of strength will be big, as he’s the type of kid who will play varsity as a frosh.”

Wyoming Godwin Heights freshman Jakhary Towns.

Jakhary Towns  5-9  Fr  Wyoming Godwin Heights: Yet more West Michigan freshsman guard talent. All kinds of skill for this Generation Steph Curry guard. Really slippery, he can create his own shot, whether with the drive or the jumper. Has Trae Young-type range, though needs work on shot selection.

“Looked great in drill work,” a coach said. “Excellent handle to go along with a quick first step. As hard as he was to guard, size could catch up to him and had a tough time defending the more talented guards himself. Showed that he could get into the lane and finish in a variety of ways.”

 

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