Archive | May, 2015

30 Of The State’s Top Unsigned Seniors As Of May 27th

27 May

With signing day in the past, it’s time to close the book on Michigan’s Class of 2015.  However, there are still some quality players left unsigned in the state. Players on this list would make great last-minute additions to Division I, II, III, Juco, or prep schools.

Xavier Cochran 6’5″ wing Ann Arbor Huron- Holds double-digit division one offers.  Only a matter of time before he commits.

Dave Wren 6’1″ guard Ann Arbor Huron- Had a lot of mouths to feed during the season, but can put the ball in the basket himself.  Quick, gracefully gets around the court, and above the rim finisher.  Thrives in transition either scoring or passing.

Darryl Smith 5’11” guard Detroit Renaissance- Smith was a key reason as to why the Phoenix went from a January disappointment to one of the hottest teams in the state towards the end of the year.  Improved consistency on jump shot, but his bread and butter has always been defense and ball-handling.  Two traits most college coaches look for.

Javon Pratt 6’0″ guard Saginaw- Can heat up in a hurry, especially from long-range.  Plays with a toughness which has become to be expected from a Saginaw Trojan.

Sherrod Motley-Dismuke 5’10” guard Ypsilanti Lincoln- Quality effective lead guard.  Won’t make the highlight reel play but won’t kill you either.  Good x-and-o type floor general.

Howard McInnis 5’10” guard Oak Park- Comes off the bench and heats up.  McInnis can easily finish games in three to five threes and 25 points.

Isaiah Green 6’7″ forward Southfield- Mobile and smart.  With his grades, schools should look at him solely based off academics.  On the court, he has a high motor, good feet, and a soft touch up to 15 feet.

DeShawn Brocks 5’9″ guard Westside Christian- Was Detroit’s best kept secret.  A 1,000 point scorer on 3 1/2 years of competition.  The lefty excels in space, and is very elusive.  Brocks will take two years of a junior college.

Anthony Qasawa 6’4″ guard North Farmington- Dead eye shooter, from three and mid-range.  Improving athleticism and ball-handling.

Charles Penn 6’6″ forward Dakota- Versatility and athleticism.  Can guard and play multiple positions on the floor, and play above the rim.

Taariq Jones 6’6″ forward Dakota- Brute force with a polished game.  Rebounds and does a lot of the intangibles needed to win games.

Josh Reynolds 6’4″ guard Plymouth- Ideal size and length for a college level two guard.  Will need to add strength, but possesses deep range and consistent form on perimeter jump shots.

Tim Shayoka 6’2″ guard Troy Athens- Missed a great deal of games due to an injury.  Plays tough on both ends of the court.  Type of kid coaches want on their team.

Elmelik Martin 5’10” guard Lake Orion- Quick, shifty, and elusive.  When he doesn’t turn the ball over, Martin can be fun the watch.  At his best, Martin’s ball-handling puts defenders on the floor.

Lance Lewis 6’3″ guard Milan- Was the glue that held Milan together the past two years for consecutive trips to the Breslin Center.  Does whats called upon him.  Defend, shoot, rebound.  Jack of all trades.

Jalin Gibson 6’7″ guard River Rouge- Has high-major athleticism, just not polished yet.  Good around the basket with either hand.  Quality defender, and has increased range on his jump shot the past few seasons.

Curtis Davison 6’0″ guard Grand Rapids Union- Throw the ball to Curt and he’ll get a bucket.  One of the best isolation players in the state.  Can shoot, slash, and finish at the basket.  Plays with same intensity on offense as he does on defense.

Mykel Tyson 6’6″ forward Consortium- Bully in the paint, won’t out-jump for rebounds, but will out-work you.  Nice back to the basket skill set as well.

Keyon Rainey 5’10” guard Consortium- Had his moments during the season.  Shifty ball-handler, good vision as a passer, just has to avoid turnovers and unforced errors.  Could develop into a quality defender with his quick hands and feet.

Demario Mack 6’5″ forward Detroit Community- Explosive vertical athlete.  Rebounds at a high-rate even though he is often shorter than his opponent.  Will make a small school very happy.

Kyrahl Hunt 5’10” guard Detroit Community– Quick first step with ball in his hands.  Not flashy, but knows how to play the game.  Was the emotional leader for Community this season.

Lance Clanton 5’7″ guard Ottawa Hills- Plays larger than size.  The lefty is a blur with the ball in hands.  Picks his spots well when to attack, and can catch fire from beyond the three-point line.

Tyreese Searles 6’2″ guard Cornerstone- High IQ guard that plays his role on a team.  Reliable ball-handler, and decision maker.  Can score as well.

Neshua Wise 6’4″ guard Flint Southwestern- Had a breakout senior season for the Knights.  Developed into a consistent perimeter threat with his shot.

Austin Sherell 6’6″ guard New Haven- Sherell will make his college very happy with his ability to play three positions on the floor, point, shooting and small forward.  His length and athleticism give him the ability to become a lockdown defender.

Dmonta Harris 6’4″ guard New Haven- Buckets.  Harris is a three-level scorer whose combination of size for the position and skill made him a consistent 20 per-game scorer.  College level body who doesn’t force the issue if not present.  Very patient and efficient on the offensive side of the floor.

Lavail Russell 5’10” guard Melvindale ABT- He had the ball in his hands a great deal during his high school career.  When he’s on he’s on.  Fearlessly drives the basket.

Nick Robak 6’0″ guard Waterford Our Lady- Above the rim finisher for a Class D athlete.  Can shoot, rebound, and play both guard positions.

Michael Williams 6’4″ forward Wyoming Godwin Heights- Undersized forward but with heart and a leaping ability that makes up for it.

Igli Pirgu 6’2″ guard Westside Christian- One of the school’s all time leader in three-pointers.  Quick release, thrives coming off screens.  Will take a Juco.

 

Great Lakes Classic Part Three Recap

18 May

Champions:

15u Michigan Gators

16u 1Nation

17u Ohio Basketball Club

Dwight Burton 6’2″ guard Playmakers 17u- Burton continued on a solid month of May at the Great Lakes Classic.  Burton can score, and he does so in bunches.  Tallying double digits in games against the Storm, 1Nation, and Reach.  The Mumford Mustang excels in isolation situations, and creating his own shot.  Burton is very patient about how he sets up defenders.  He hit mid-range pull-up jump shots, floaters, and lay-ups in the lane.  However, Burton also can be a nightmare for opposing guards with a weak handle.  He has quick hands, and is laterally quick.

Miguel Priest 6’5″ forward Playmakers 17u- Priest was full of energy on the weekend.  He’s a unique blend of an inside-outside offensive talent with strength and build.  Priest did most of his damage attacking off the wing with his left hand.  Miguel is physical and initiates contact with opponents, to go along with finishing above the rim on occasion.  Priest also crashes both glasses, and is starting to develop into a consistent shot-blocker.  What position Miguel will play at the next level is yet to be determined.

Spencer Littleson 6’3″ guard 1Nation 17u- Littleson was consistent in every game on the weekend for 1Nation, as it was almost guaranteed he would have 15-20 points and a few threes.  Hit mid-range pull-ups, spot-up threes, and even had a few deadly step-back crossover jump shots.  Does not press or try to do too much on a team with as much individual talent on 1Nation.  Just plays his role.  Rarely made mistakes either offensive or defensively.

Michael Flowers 6’0″ guard 1Nation 16u- Mr. Clutch.  Flowers seemingly scored 20 points per-game with ease on the weekend.  But he also has a flair for the dramatic.  A full-court game-winner with 1.8 seconds left in bracket play on Saturday.  When he keeps his shooting form consistent, Flowers can catch momentum from the perimeter and produce big numbers.

Kareem Murray 6’2″ guard Reach 17u- One of two Western Cowboys for Reach, Murray knows and loves to win.  With as much guard talent Reach has, Kareem did two things on the weekend.  Play aggressive defense, and shoot the three.  Murray displayed a consistent jumper from the perimeter, and does a strong job of keeping his man in-front.  Actually TALKS ON DEFENSE.

Brandon Wade 6’0″ guard Michigan Gators 15u- The Michigan Gators don’t get the chance to play in such high-level tournaments often, but the team did win the 15u gold title, defeating The Family in the championship.  Wade is the piece which makes the Gators go.  Serving as the team’s primary ball-handler, and decision maker.  He has a high IQ and vision which all lead guards must have.  Brandon gets around the court wherever he wants and did not backdown against guards with more notoriety than him.  Good athlete, quick, also has deep range from three, and plays confident.

Great Lakes Classic Recap Part 2

17 May

Kyle Hayes 6’7″ forward 1Nation 17u- When he wants to, Kyle can impact a game.  In his first tournament of the Spring, Kyle had a stellar performance against the Ohio Cagers, 17 overall points.  He found success in running the floor, getting out in transition, and finishing around the rim with either hand, to go along with an impressive dunk.  However, he also made a statement defensively.  He blocked several shots at the rim and had multiple solid defensive series for a forward.  Hayes is in the proverbial “tweener” role, as his position is yet to be determined at this point in time.  June will be a big month for the Arbor Prep Gator.

Josh Long 6’6″ forward 1Nation 16u- Long did not play the previous high school season due to state transfer rules, but hasn’t missed a step so far.  Josh is a true mismatch type forward.  Long is usually placed on the block, but with a skill set of a wing, Long can face up, shoot, attack off the bounce with his right hand, and finish above the rim.  Competes with a tenacious effort, should develop into a versatile defender, and rebounds as if he were 6’10.”  Had 24 points against Reach.

Armonee Felder 5’10” guard 1Nation 16u- Felder needed to shoulder an even greater scoring load with his team playing with seven guys on the weekend, and the Pershing Doughboy did just that.  He’s quick, shifty, and can blow by defenders with either hand.  Was in consistent attack mode all weekend, fearlessly attacking the rim against taller defenders and drawing contact.  But what can set the younger Felder apart in the state is a consistent jump shot, he looked confident when resorting to a three pointer, and connected on several high-difficulty step-back ones.  Continuing to work on recognizing when to distribute and when to score.

Byrce Washington 6’3″ guard The Family 15u- Washington tallied 22 points in their win against the Michigan Gators Saturday afternoon.  Bryce didn’t take a high-amount of shots to get there either.  He was in the right spot at the right time for either a pass or an offensive rebound for a tip-in.  Plays off the ball, has terrific body control, and seems to still be growing.

Vincent Williams 6’6″ forward Michigan Gators 15u- Williams was the reason the Gators nearly beat The Family Saturday afternoon, as the Toledo St. John’s big man scored 24 points.  Williams is far from a finished product, but showed what he can do against equally talented posts.  Playing above the rim, establishing deep post position to go along with strong hands, and playing with an overall sense of aggressiveness.  Rebounds his area well, and challenged shots in the lane.  Decent footwork and lateral mobility.

Darian Owens-White 6’0″ guard The Program Elite 16u- Darian is the ultimate extension of a coach on the floor, as a son of a state championship winning coach.  Owens-White does not get phased with pressure or change his game due to what the opponent does.  He can handle the ball for a point guard, set-up/run a half-court offense, find an open man, and hit mid-range jump shots when all else fails.  Heady defender, keeps man in front, and rarely found out of position.

Great Lakes Classic Day One Thoughts

16 May

Drequan Bell 6’3″ guard Reach 16u- Bell’s range has steadily deepened the past month or two.  The Allen Academy Wildcat led Reach in their opening game with a team-high 22 points.  Hit timely deep three pointers across the perimeter in the first-half, and then displayed his athleticism with a powerful dunk to close the game.  Also used his length on defense to deflect balls coming off pick-and-rolls for steals.

Dequan Powell 5’10” guard Playmakers 17u- Powell has been one of Michigan’s biggest stock-risers in the class of 2016, as his production has meant an increase in victories for his team.  Powell tallied 15 points in the team’s victory against Detroit Showtime.  Dequan was automatic from 10-15 feet, consistently sinking mid-range jump shots in both halves.  However, one aspect Powell does well for a smaller guard is rebound, offensively and defensively, don’t be surprised if he sneaks in and gets an extra possession for his team.

Thomas Kithier 6’7″ forward/center Mustangs 15u-Faletti- Kithier will have to increase his production if the Mustangs are to continue their dominance in the state for 15u, as fellow front-court mate Jalin Tobias will be out for at least rest of the Spring session.  Kithier did just that in a win against the Warriors.  The Dakota big man caused a great deal of havoc at the free-throw line and in.  His ability to put the ball on the floor or pass from the interior can really space the floor for his team.  Relentlessly attacked offensive and defensive boards, and played quality low-post defense.

Reach 15u Loaded With Guards- Reach consistently has some of the best guards in the state year after year, and their 15u team is no different.  Pershing’s Ron Hill, Chandler Park’s Matthew Richmond, Southfield’s Dave Hearns, and Western’s Anthony Roberts were all vital and had their moments in a blow-out victory against Team Hype.  Roberts provided the bulk of the scoring load, hitting jump-shots off the dribble, and finishing in the lane, while also playing pressure defense with the other three guards to cause Hype problems just bringing the ball up the floor.  This group will be interesting to watch and develop.

Other Standouts:

Richard Talley Playmakers 17u- Talley can be counted on for five to six steals a game, and none other was bigger than his game-winning steal and lay-in with less than five seconds to put the Playmakers up on Showtime.

Chris Rollins and Karmari Newman-  The two shook off less-than average first half performances to propel Showtime into possibly stealing a victory.  Rollins scored 13 in the second-half, while added 12, each adding two threes in the final 15 minutes, while also increasing their defensive intensity in the process.

Jamal Keese 6’3″ guard Reach 16u- Caught the eye of the crowd with an impressive tip-in offensive rebound for a dunk which sealed the fate of the opposing team’s hope of a comeback.  Finished with 15  points in the process.  Runs the floor well for lay-ups, and is consistently gives effort and energy on the defensive end of the floor.

River Rouge’s Amir Poole Commits to Siena Heights

14 May

Gnh7lEkKHow does it feel to commit to Siena Heights?

It feels great to commit to Siena Heights, I’m very excited.

When did you know Siena Heights was right for you?

I knew it was right after I visited and talked to the coaches and they basically said they wanted me there so I made it happen.

Did you visit the campus?

Yes I visited the campus it was nice, I like how it’s not big, it’s a nice size campus with wonderful people on it.

What’s your relationship with the coaches like?

My relationship with the coaches is great I talk to coach Dan Yatzek almost everyday.  They plan to use me as a pass-first shoot-second point guard and to be a ball hawk on the ball.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

As a player I would describe myself as a smart high IQ pass-first guard that can knock down open shots threes or mid-range, can check 94 feet.

What took you so long to commit?

What took me so long to commit was I didn’t know where I was going to go.  I was waiting on things to fall into place and they did when Siena Heights offered me being that I’ve been around this university since I was younger so I was comfortable to the surroundings.

What other schools recruited you and what was different about Siena Heights?

Others schools that recruiting me were Indiana Tech, Albion, Harris-Stowe University, Adrian, and the difference between them and Siena is that I actually want to be here and I love the school and have a great relationship with the coaches.

How did this past high school season go?

This past high school season went well but it could’ve been history if things would’ve went different but I had a good season, I played with more of a purpose this year.

How about your overall high school career?

My overall high school experience was good I learned a lot and I progress since my Freshmen year but I’m glad I have the chance to continue my basketball career on the collegiate level as a Saint.

What do you plan to study in college?

Education wise I plan to be an automotive technician which is in the field of engineering.

Walled Lake Western’s Jerald Booker to Concordia

13 May

image1Did you visit the campus? What did you like about it?

Yes I visited the campus.  I liked it because seemed peaceful and it wasn’t huge but it wasn’t small either which I like.

Did you meet the coaches? How do they plan to use you?

I only met the head coach once but he was down to earth and was honest which is very important.  They plan on using me as a combo guard and there will be minutes for me to come in and make an impact as a freshmen.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

I would describe myself as unselfish, dedicated, and hardworking player.  I try to make the smart decision every play.

How would you describe the recruiting process?

I waited so long because I didn’t find a right fit for me and my family until I came across Concordia.  Northwood, U of M Dearborn, Albion, Findlay University and Spring Arbor University were some schools recruiting me.  They were different because I didn’t feel comfortable and I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me.

How did this past season go for you? And what was your overall career like?

It was my best high school season it was fun. Our record was 21-2 which was a school best.  My overall high school experience has been great.  I have so many memories that I will cherish forever and a group of friends that I can truly call my family I loved all the ups and downs.  Our bond is unbreakable because of it.

What do you plan to study?

I plan on going into sports management.

Hudonville’s Brent Hibbitts Shows Patience on Commitment To U of M

12 May

Screen-Shot-2012-12-30-at-1.05.42-PM-475x338Patience.  It’s not a word commonly associated with college basketball recruiting.  In the era of spontaneous offers and commitments, few recruits take all factors into consideration when evaluating a college program.

Brent Hibbitts took an opposite route.

The 6’7″ Hudsonville forward committed to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor as a preferred walk-on, ending a long college recruiting process which took longer than usual.

“It feels amazing,” Hibbitts said of the opportunity to play at U of M.   “To be recruited is a blessing, but it’s good to finally have it over with.  On top of that I get to attend my dream school.  It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Hibbitts took a visit recently before committing.  After contemplating various mid-major division one scholarship offers, Brent decided to look for aspects of programs not solely confined to the hardwood.

“I just wanted to take my time and when I found the school for me,” added Hibbitts.  “You can’t beat Michigan academically, and all of the coaches and players are first-class guys.  It is just an all-around great place.”

Hibbits still can play on the hardwood.  With averages of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks per-game during his senior season.

Brent joins 6’10” German prospect Moritz Wagner as the second member of the Wolverine’s 2015 recruiting class.

 

 

Alabama Offers East Lansing Freshman Brandon Johns

9 May

B9317090312Z.1_20150423113347_000_GVKAJAKIM.1-0Brandon Johns is quite different from a typical freshman.  Not only does he stand 6’7,” or play varsity basketball, but the East Lansing ninth grader received a collegiate basketball scholarship from the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“It feels great,” Johns said of his offer.  “It’s a feeling I have never had before.”

Alabama will be under the direction of first year head coach Avery Johnson this upcoming campaign.  Johnson is most known for his time spent as an NBA head coach in the 2000s, guiding the Dallas Mavericks to the 2006 finals.  However, Coach Johnson was a point guard for the 1999 San Antonio Spurs championship team.

“I started hearing about them (Alabama) about a couple weeks ago, but I never thought this (an offer) would happen,” Johns added.  “And it was such a great experience to get to talk to him (Avery Johnson) and to hear how he got to where he is at now.”

A versatile skilled inside-outside forward, Johns has been recognized since the eighth grade.  He’s been invited to many of the top underclassmen camps in the country, including the Team USA mini-camp in Colorado.  Colleges such as Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Stanford have all expressed interest in Brandon.  Coaches on the next-level tell him they admire his upside, athleticism, and ability to play multiple positions on the floor.

“They (schools) say I’m very good at all positions,” Johns notes.   “And I should work on a few things but if I keep working at the pace I’m at then I won’t have a problem fitting in at the next level.”

With scholarships and interests comes notoriety.  Johns will likely receive the absolute best of his opponents each time he steps on the floor, instead of brushing off the fame, Johns embraces the bright lights.  It’s material he will use to only strengthen his game as time goes on.

“I like it (fame) but I don’t let it get to my head or over my head to where I just want to settle,” said Johns.  “It pushes me to see how farther I can get.”

 

Michigan Warrior Jam Fest Day Three Recap

4 May

IMG_0525Champions were crowned, and names were made.

Tre Orr 6’8″ forward Michigan Playmakers 16u-

At times, Orr looked like the best player in the gym even while sharing the paint with Brandon Johns.  Tre single-handedly carried his team in the championship game, scoring nearly 1/2 of the Playmakers’ 42 points with 20 overall in addition to 12 rebounds.  He’s improved drastically in just a short month of games, and only started playing organized basketball three years ago.  Orr is starting to develop of nice feel down low, he’s not getting his shot blocked anymore, using pump-fakes and his wide-frame to clear space and finish softly on either side of the rim.  Continuing to polish up his vertical and lateral abilities.  His defense is also starting to improve.  Defends without fouling, double-teamed Johns well off-catches, and challenged shots, nearly taking a few charges.

Richard Talley 5’11” guard Michigan Playmakers 17u-

If there was a defensive player of the tournament award, Talley would get the nod.  Few to none applied better consistent on-ball full-court pressure than Rich on the weekend.  At times, Talley simply ripped the ball from opponents,  In the championship game, he stole three passes in less than two minutes.  He also converted various fast-break lay-ups, and displayed a surprising amount of bounce for a guard his size.  In the half-court, Talley blew by defenders with either hand, and created opportunities for his teammates to score in the paint.  His ability to run the point compared to his high school responsibility of off-ball role should call for college interest.

Reese Middleton 6’3″ guard Triple-Threat 16u-

Reese saved his best performance for the championship game.  Middleton found a rhythm early from beyond the arch and let it go, connecting on multiple spot-up threes from downtown in both halves.

Other standouts:

Juan Warren 6’5″ forward Triple-Threat 16u- Warren took home MVP honors for Triple-Threat, as the Battle Creek product was Mr. Glue for the 16u champs.  Crashing the boards, getting 50-50 balls, and providing an overall sense of energy.  Solid athlete that appears to still be growing.

Colyn Waldron 6’0″ guard Michigan Playmakers 17u- Found himself a nice stroke in the tournament, as he hit medium-range jumpers consistently and even a few threes.

Eric Williams 6’1″ guard Michigan Playmakers 16u- With Williams, he might lull you to sleep a few games, and then he’ll have a series or a game that makes you take notice of his potential.  If he’s playing confident, Eric will score, 12 off the bench in the championship game.  Can create his own shot with his dominant left-hand, score in the mid-range, and even pulled off an impressive offense tip-in against a taller Triple-Threat front-line.  Give him some time under George Ward and he will be a new player by the Fall.

Antwan Johnson 6’5″ forward Michigan Playmakers 17u- This was Johnson’s weekend.  Absolutely dominated the interior for boards, layups, and blocks.  Even hit a jumper here-and-there for a more athletically gifted player.

A huge thanks to Rockey Black and the entire Michigan Warrior organization on a professionally ran event.

Oak Park Senior Justin Knight Commits To Siena Heights

3 May

IMG_0981When did you know Siena Heights was right for you?

I knew Siena Heights was right for me as soon as I left their campus from my visit.

What do you like about the campus?

Yes I visited the campus, I liked how the environment was small and easy to adapt too.

What is your relationship with the coaches like?

My relationship with the coaches is very good, they plan on using me for my pass-first mentality and ability to shoot the ball.

How would you describe yourself as a player?

As a player I believe I distribute the ball to my teammates and knock down open shots when needed.

What were some other schools looking at you and what was different about Siena Heights?

Other schools that showed interest were Kalamazoo College, Cornell College, Southwest Oregon CC, Sinclair CC, Illinois Tech University, and Concordia University.  The difference between them and Siena is the relationship with the coaches I talked with Coach Case very often, he told me good luck before my big games in my high school season.  I liked that.

How was this past season for you?

This past high school season was bittersweet. I feel like I stepped up this year, making a name for myself but then again wish I had a little more time to go farther in the playoffs.

What do you have to say for your entire high school career?

I feel like I really grew throughout my whole high school career. Gaining a better knowledge for the game and getting myself ready for the next level.

What do you plan to study?

Education wise I plan on majoring in sports management or physical education so if I don’t play basketball anymore I can still be around the game.

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