Tuesday, April 6, 2010

State Championships Player Recaps

As many know the Kalamazoo Central was the 2009-2010 Class A Boys State Champ, Country Day was the 2009-2010 Class B Boys State Champ, Melvindale Business & Technology was the Class C State Champ, and West Michigan Christian was the 2009-2010 Class D State Champ. Below are evaluations on some of the impressive players from the semis and finals of all classes.

Class A

Devin Oliver, 6'7, Wing, Kalamazoo Central, DAYTON : Devin had a big weekend for the Maroon Giants. As one of the senior leaders and a Division One recruit, Oliver is expected to step up, and that he did. Extremely versatile and best in the open court, Oliver flourished getting numerous fast break points, easy put backs, and short jumpers. Blessed with great vision, he is also a willing passer and showed that during the Finals weekend. Good rebounder, that needs to become a better rebounder in traffic and rebounding out of his area. A legit 6'7, and a legit wing. Would be shocked to see him not develop into a very solid A-10 player at Dayton.

TJ Buchanan, 6'4, Wing, Kalamazoo Central, JR : TJ was my MVP for the Class A Finals Weekend, simply because he did it all. If he continues to improve his jump shot, he will be recruited at the high major level. Guards like Carlton Brundidge, one of the most touted 2011 recruits in Michigan, weren't as good as TJ this weekend, and don't appear to be better prospects. Buchanan is a very good passer, as is most of the Maroon Giants team, and he also has improved leaps and bounds from a physical standpoint this year. Going forward, developing a respectable outside shot is key.

Dante Williams, 6'5, SG, Ann Arbor Huron, JR : Shot the blood out the ball in the Class A title game. Very good player. Major sleeper who should see his recruitment land at the mid major plus level at the very least. Long and athletic, and seems to be putting his game together at the right time, excellent spot up shooter, and also a capable shot blocker because of his length. Interesting prospect, and one to definitely track down the line.

Isaiah Sykes, 6'6, Wing, Detroit Denby : Leading the Denby squad to the semis was no easy task, and big props should be given to him for his accomplishments. He doesn't have a jump shot to save his life, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better finisher and slasher in the 2010 class statewide. Also drop dimes like a 5'9 PG. Terrific rebounder, and is great at getting the defensive board and starting the fast break and making something positive happen with the basketball. High majors are recruiting him, and it's warranted, would be a good late pick up for any up-tempo college team.

Derrick Barden, 6'4, Wing, Detroit Denby : Outside of Keith Appling, I think Derrick Barden is the best Sr in the Detroit PSL. Barden is very well rounded and is a phenomenal athlete. He's good now, but his potential is even better, with proper skill development at the next level. Excellent body, is basically a man amongst boys at this level. Adequate jump shot, that needs to improve, but serviceable, nonetheless. Mid Majors would do themselves a absolute favor by signing him, and in my opinion, high majors may look smart in the end by signing him.

Carlton Brundidge, 6'0, SG, Southfield, JR : Brundidge is a very good high school basketball player, that can't be argued. He's already committed to Michigan, but I don't know if he'll be successful in that system. In order to succeed at the highest level, picking the right system will be a absolute necessity for him. At the end of the day, he's a SG, and that's the bottom line. He produces and gets the job done, at that's what every team needs. He's a very good finisher for his size at the high school level and he can score in bunches when he gets rolling. All in all, his upside is limited in my opinion.

Class B

Ray McCallum, Jr. , 6'2, PG, Detroit Country Day : Let's keep this short and sweet, after his performance in the Finals and Semi's, if you don't agree with me that McCallum, Jr. is the best player in Michigan, bar none, well; you're blind. Future pro.

Amir Williams, 6'10, C, Detroit Country Day : Earlier in the year, Williams participated in my Show Your Heart Classic against Detroit Southeastern, and he showed his full package. When he does that, his game is very effective at this level. A defensive phenom no matter the game because of his length, size, and timing, his effect on the game will be felt no matter what. He is also a hungry rebounder, who attacks the glass. Those are two big positives that you'd like every big man to have in their game, once the offensive part of his game becomes more consistent, we could be looking at another McDonald's All American out of the Country Day program.

Denzel Valentine, 6'5, Wing, Lansing Sexton, SOPH : He's apart of a very strong nucleus of Sexton sophomores, and he's a player. He is the best passer in the 2012 class, and he sees the court better than most anyone in Michigan. He's not very quick or fast and that will hurt his potential, as he can't guard a perimeter prospect of high major ability at this time. He's not the biggest scorer in the world, but his production is definitely felt in other areas. One to watch down the road.

Anthony Clemmons, Jr. , 6'1, PG, Lansing Sexton, SOPH : He really has big time potential, and could end up being the best one out of Sexton's loaded 2012 class. Clemmons is a very capable scorer and is dynamite in the open floor and transition. He has a nice floater shot that he uses to his advantage. Willing passer, but could do a better job setting up his teammates and distributing the basketball. Looks the part of a future Division One guard.

Class C & D

Michael Talley, Jr. , 5'9, PG, Melvindale Business & Technology, DUQUESNE : He's a bad, bad boy. Electric scorer, is a blur with the ball, and is a knockdown shooter from deep. Will be effective from day one at the college level, picked the perfect level for his abilities. Was the best player on the best team in Class C. Next step to improving his game, is getting his teammates involved more.

Dwaun Anderson, 6'4, Wing, Suttons Bay, JR : He's definitely a very good player. His athleticism is through the roof. Not too many players statewide, regardless of class have the natural attributes that he possesses. With that being said, his skill level isn't there yet. He has virtually no right hand and doesn't have a steady jumper at this point. It is very hard to properly evaluate him because of the lack of talent around him and defenses key in on him. This summer will play a major role in the level he's recruited at.

Monte Morris, 6'0, PG, Flint Beecher, FRESHMAN : Outside of Steven Haney, there isn't a better freshman prospect in Michigan, that I've seen. Very heady player and a great distributor. Very good leader even at such a young age, he put his team on his back and carried them to the state semifinals. Can score right now with the best of them. Strength is a factor, but at 14 and still physically maturing that will come in time. If he keeps growing, which I full expect, it's all over.

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