Michigan Invitational: Day Two Recap

20 Apr


To go along with junior and underclassmen talent, championship Saturday at the Michigan Invitational featured a variety of unsigned seniors playing well as their AAU days dwindle down.

Oak Park and Oakland Elite senior 6’2″ wing Ja’Christian Biles, a Youngstown State commit, is playing as a senior to get some games in due to not playing the first semester of the past high school season.  Biles was in attack mode all day long, looking to get his shot off against any defender.  He’s a high volume perimeter shooter, that can create space off the bounce with an aggressive handle.  Ja’Christian is also an above the rim finisher and exceptional athlete, as he got up for a few empathic alley-oops and dunk on the fast break.  His athleticism will transition well to the up-and-down pace of the college game.

While most of the attention during University of Detroit Jesuit’s season was placed on sophomore guard Cassius Winston, the Cubs have another 2016 in 6’0″ combo guard Billy Thomas, who runs with Stars Basketball.  In the high school season, Thomas was primarily the shooting guard, coming off screens and picks to get a shot off.  While he can still do that in an AAU setting, Thomas has proved he can run the point for a team early on in the Spring.  He knows how to create space off the bounce with crossovers and hesitation dribbles, from either the mid-range and three pointer and then fire with a quick release.  When he is in a rhythm, the kid doesn’t miss, shooters shoot, I overheard the head coach of one opponent during a game say anybody who can guard him get out there.  With his jump shot falling, Thomas also showed the ability to run the team. He got both his shooters and post players involved throughout a good majority of the games.

University of Detroit Jesuit received two Nigerian transfers to start the school year, however both were ruled ineligible by the MHSAA shortly before the 2013-2014 season started.  2017 6’9″ forward Gregory Eboigbodin, a fellow member of Billy Thomas of Stars Basketball, has improved tremendously from high school open gyms from September and October.  He’s was a real force in the paint all day as the Stars won the 16u Gold Crown, rebounding at a high level, dominating the paint defensively, challenging shots, and finishing around the rim off of nice setups from teammates.  Greg was also not afraid to shoot a mid-range jump shot in the paint a few times, and made a few.  Once his athleticism, agility, speed, and lateral quickness catch up to his body, Egoigbodin will be a dominant low post player for years to come at U of D.

Romulus unsigned 2014 senior Kris Clyburn ran with Reach for a few games on the day.  The 6’4″ Clyburn sustained an injury in the team’s win over King James 16u, but played well beforehand and showed why he’s a division one recruit.  Clyburn can shoot the three pointer, but his ability to attack the basket has improved to most in about a year span.  He caught the ball on the wing a few times, and drove the ball aggressively looking to score with the left hand at the rim.  Clyburn is also a very good athlete on the defensive side of the floor as well, as he got up for a few blocks to protect the rim a few times.

Other standouts on the day:

Oakland Elite 2014 guard Armiontez Ivory: Efficient shooter from three and in.

Oakland Elite 2014 guard Tommie Johnson: Played fearless all game long, crashed the boards and got after it on defense.

Reach 2015 guard  Jaylin Walker: Athlete who glides with ease, and kept defenders honest from three. High motor, and competes on every play.

Stars Basketball 2015 guard Gary Collins: Underrated guard/wing defender in 2015, good pull-up mid-range jump shooter with momentum.

Grand Rapids Storm 2015 guard Deleon Brown: Three point marksman from both sides of the court off the catch and off the bounce from with the left hand.

Reach 2016 guard Terrence Sewell: Looks to punish defenders whenever he has the ball, attacks the rim at will.

Michigan Mustangs- Woodruff 2016 guard Kyle Woodruff: One of the best three-point shooters in attendance.  Can cross half-court and let it go.

Ravens 2014 guard Armand Cartwright: Solid floor general who understands when to get his points, and when to facilitate to his teammates.

Reach 2016 guard Danny Pippen: Stretch forward with range to three, not afraid to crash the boards as well.

Michigan United 2015 guard Andia Marsh: Bull of a point guard, attacks the rim fearlessly and never shys away from contact.   Also very court savy and good decision maker.


One Response to “Michigan Invitational: Day Two Recap”

  1. Joseph Frye April 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Steve your articles have accelerated from the start. You have been prompt and concise. Keep up the good work. @J0king82#

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