Grand Rapids Storm Brawl for the Ball Mid-Way Recap

11 Jul

Notable standouts from the first two days in Grand Rapids.  Bracket play commences late Saturday afternoon.

Dwight Burton 6’2″ guard Michigan Playmakers 17u

Exploded for 26 points against said better guards in the team’s rout of ACB Bankhoops, including 22 in the second half.  For a good three to five minute strech, Burton carried the Playmakers, with at least 8-12 points.  His first step is lightning quick, and can put up big numbers with floaters in the lane, and-ones to the basket, and a nice mid-range game.  When he dials in on defense, Burton can go from simply good to very good.  At times needs to realize when he has the hot hand and when he doesn’t, but one of Michigan’s fastest rising guard prospects in 2016.

Josh Long 6’5″ forward 1Nation 16u

If Josh was three to four inches taller, he could be a top three forward in the state.  He compensates however with a high-motor and workman-like approach.  Opponents must get a body on him for rebounds, because he will grind until the last possible minute to get it.  Offensivley, he does a lot of his damage off penetration from guards, and is athletic enough to finish over defenders.  He’s thin at the moment, and would like to see him develop a reliable 10-12 foot jump shot to expand his arsenal of moves.  Stuck in the proverbial tweener catergory of either a three or four, but his production says otherwise.

Armonee Felder 5’10” point guard 1Nation 16u

The first half of the Brawl for the Ball has been productive for Felder.  He has that fire within him that all guards must have, but he has the be smart with it though.  The game against Elite Nation was a prime example of what he needs to do in order to have a succesful July.  Armonee was similar to a free safety in the open-court on defense, roaming around wherever he wanted, picking off lazy passes, and sneaking up on unaware ball-handlers.  He can be an absolute nightmare for guards with a weak handle with his quick hands and feet when guarding the pick-and-roll.  He’s more of a scoring guard than a pure point guard at the moment, and needs to find the happy medium between the two.

Kareem Murray 6’2″ guard Reach 17u

Murray’s stock is rising by the minute in Grand Rapids.  He has made it a point to use his solidly built frame and strength to attack the basket at will against smaller guards.  At times it seems as if he’s gliding along the way when at the rim.  Also one of Michigan’s very best perimeter defenders in the rising senior class due to his previously mentioned strength, court awareness, and communicating with teammates.

Justin Turner 6’3″ guard 1Nation 17u

Justin is at the center of the Michigan’s prep basketball community currently, as he could be on the verge of higher level offers in the coming weeks pending his performances.  Saturday, Turner did nothing to hurt his stock, netting a game-high 33 points against the Grand Rapids Storm.  Turner is extremely versatile when in the triple-threat position, with an advanced aray of moves to create space of get off a shot to score from all three levels.  He’s not the definition of a point guard, but can cause a lot movement by defenders and is smart enough to find the open man.

Other standouts through two days:

Tray Jackson 6’7″ forward Mustangs- Haney 15u

The best kept secret within the I-94 corridor.  With his height, length, and size, it is nearly impossible to challenge a Jackson jump-shot.  And it’s not as though he’ll catch a pass and quickly launch a three, he gets the ball, looks around him, occasionally call for a screen and then make his move.  His team opts to play zone defensivly, and Jackson is forced to play more a four role on the backend, it doens’t showcase his individual defense, but will make him a more aggressive rebounder.  Extremely high-ceiling once he puts the pieces together.

Dequan Powell 6’0″ guard Michigan Playmakers 17u

Has been the glue man the Playmakers have needed the entire year.  His calling card is defense and rebounding.  He has the ability to fly into the paint offensivley and come away with rebound after rebound.  Not a break opponents down get to the basket two guard, but has a very soft mid-range game that can be expanded to three-point range on occasion.

Donnie Tillman 6’6″ forward Detroit Stars 17u

It is a treat for those in Michigan to watch Tillman play during the Summer since deciding prep school was the best route for him.  Donnie is a walking double-double.  Once he gets an angle on defenders and can create contact it’s over.  Using his girth to shield opponents from the ball, then nimble and bouncy enough to finish.  Can create alot off the face-up, even taking his man off the dribble from the three-point line.

Jesse Scarber 5’8″ point guard Michigan Playmakers 16u

A do-everything point guard that is a coach’s dream to have on floor despite evident vertical challenges.  Is capabale of any given game concluding with 20 points, but here’s the kicker, eight steals.  Jesse can create havoc either with the ball or without the ball directly in front of him, he anticipates passes, and doesn’t gamble.  Vocal and is a consistent jump-shot away from taking the next step in his game.

Terrance Bowens 6’3″ wing Michigan Playmakers 16u

Came off the bench and provided the spurt of energy needed to get over the hump against Elite Nation.  Plays out of position at the four with a skill set more inclined toward the wing.  However, he added 16 points along with 15 rebounds.  Tremendously quick off the floor and it was as if he knew where the ball was going to bounce off the rim.  Plus free-throw shooter as well.

Nick Welch 6’6″ forward Mustangs- Watts 16

Would be an absolute steal for an NAIA or D3 school.  Mobile, understands floor spacing on offense, and can finish around the basket.

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