Covering Prospective Student-Athletes in the SouthEast US and beyond
Detroit, MI & Toledo, OH – The talent level in the Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio areas was on display this past weekend at 2 events, the Toledo Notre Dame Preview Scrimmage and the Michigan Mega Scrimmage hosted by Lady Baller Insider. In all I saw 44 HS teams from Ohio and Michigan showcasing their talent.
As we’ve been doing for the past few reports we are going to take a look at the top teams and some categories of top players.
The Top 6 Teams – There were really 5 teams in Michigan and 1 in Toledo that stood out as a cut above the rest. Some caveats here, Toledo Start was missing their top 2 players – Cleveland State signees, Mariah White and Nadia Dumas. At the Michigan Mega Scrimmage Ann Arbor Huron played without transfer star Eden Johnson and still looked very good and Macomb Dakota played without 6’1 Sophomore Taylor Williams who would have made them even better.
Detroit Country Day – To me, the best team I saw over the 2 day period and arguably the best HS team I’ve seen so far this HS season. Despite only getting love in the Blue Star poll (and not in Maxpreps or USA Today), Detroit CD is poised to win the Michigan class B title. They are loaded at every spot and have a team filled with experience. Their backcourt is one of the tops in the country with 2 BCS level players – Jr. PG Kaela Webb (Marquette verbal) and So. Jasmine Powell. Destiny Pitts a 6’1 Minnesota signee and Jr. Maxine Moore, a D-1 prospect round out the forward spots. Clemson signee 6’4 Tyler Bennett and unheralded senior Sheldon Bochenek hold down the post position. They have depth and experience.
Detroit Edison (DEPSA) – The team of the future is loaded with talent, arguably the most talented team I saw. The talent is young though with 5 freshmen who are D-1 prospects and Sophomore Rickea Jackson, one of the top 2019 prospects in the country. Daija Tyson & Gabby Elliot headline the deep freshmen class. The future is bright, they have no seniors and only 1 junior who contributes. They have a good shot to win the state class C title for the next 3 or 4 years.
Detroit King – Detroit is stocked full of talent and King is no exception. They are super athletic led by senior Tia Tedford who signed with Illinois-Chicago, junior Mariah Mitchell and sophomore Del’Janae Williams. Those 3 all in the 5’8-5’10 range, are super athletes and fly around, causing havoc, racing up and down the court for transition baskets.
East Lansing – One of the most well coached teams in the event, East Lansing has between 5 and 8 scholarship caliber players at the college level. Those 2 aspects make them a dangerous team. Their top player is 5’11 junior forward Jaida Hampton, a high motor, inside outside threat who can hit the 3 ball and battle inside for rebounds and putbacks. Aaliyah Nye is their top prospect a 5’9 smooth slasher who plays at a nice pace and finishes in a variety of ways from the 3 ball to a floater to mid range pull up jumper, she’s got a great touch on the ball. Her older sister 2018 Aazhenii Nye is also a nice player with a similar skill set and a definite D-1 prospect.
Midland Dow – Probably my favorite team to watch, they make the game look so simple. Move the ball, spread the floor, make the extra pass to the wide open man and knock down the 3 ball. When they miss 6’2 senior and Binghamton signee Kaylee Wasco is there to offense rebound and clean up. The comparison to a NBA team specifically the Golden State Warriors seems accurate as they are filled with shooters/scorers led by senior Ellie Taylor (St. Louis signee) and her sister, sophomore Maize Taylor. Molly Davis a 5’6 sophomore maybe their most dynamic player. She reminded me of Whitney Creech, last year’s national HS leading scorer. As long as they don’t have a completely off shooting night, they will be tough to beat.
Toledo Notre Dame – The host school on Friday night has multiple D-1 commits along with unsigned Bre Hampton-Bey, one of the top unsigned players nationally. Mariah Copeland 5’8 is a big strong guard committed to Toledo and 5’7 sophomore Jala Johnson rounds out the 3 guard attack. Ariel Cummings a 6’3 junior transfer and also a Toledo commit didn’t play only making them that much more dangerous when she does become eligible.
HM – Toledo Whitmer, Arbor Prep, Ann Arbor Huron, Carman Ainsworth, Dearborn Heights Robichaud, Macomb Dakota, Southfield A&T, Wayne Memorial, Williamston
Top Signed/Committed Seniors –
Mariah Copeland – Toledo Notre Dame – Toledo
Kara Wilson – Ann Arbor Huron – Illinois Chicago
Rohzane Wells – Arbor Prep – Saginaw Valley
Kamaria McDaniel – Dearborn Heights Robichaud – Penn St.
Kayla Brown – Dearborn Heights Robichaud – Detroit
Destiny Pitts – Detroit Country Day – Minnesota
Tia Telford – Detroit King – Illinois Chicago** – There was talk around the gym that she maybe a potential juco prospect.
Ellie Taylor – Midland Dow – St. Louis
Kaylee Wasco – Midland Dow – Binghamton
Deja Church – Southfield A&T – Michigan
Emily Marsh – Ann Arbor Huron – Bradley
Top Unsigned Seniors –
Bre Hampton-Bey – Toledo Notre Dame – 5’6 CG – Super athletic guard who excels in the uptempo transition game, excellent slasher and defender, showed she can hit the 3 ball versus Toledo Start. Orginally committed to Michigan, she de-committed in August. Power 5 conference caliber player. Purdue, WVU, St. Bonnies and a number of MAC schools are in the mix.
Monae Palmer – Dearborn Heights Robichaud – 5’9 SG – Decent size guard with an athletic build, slasher who gets to the rim. Does the little things for her team like sets screens, rebounds and passes ahead in transition, finishes easy buckets in transition and makes steals by playing the passing lanes. Potential low D-1 or could benefit from a year or 2 in high level D-1 juco.
Sheldon Bochenek – Detroit Country Day – 6’ F/Wing/Post – Long frame player who can play multiple positions. Starts at center at Country Day getting the nod over Clemson signee Tyler Bennett. She’s a good passer who understands her role. Finishes offensive rebound putbacks. Solid fundamentals.
Alicia Norman – Detroit King – 5’4 PG – Norman is a small compact PG who is very fast and good with the ball. She’s looking to create off the bounce and would rather get an assist than a basket. Showed the ability to knock down the 3 ball. I could see her playing in D-1 next year or a high level FL/TX juco.
Shardaye Yharbough – Detroit Mumford – 5’8 CG – Super athletic guard with tons of upside…good size at the position and is really explosive. Good rebounder and likes to get to rim offensively. Needs to be more consistent as a scorer but could be a legit D-1 prospect after getting some polish at high level juco.
Deasia Miracle – East Lansing – 6’ Post – Solid, thick undersized post player who benefits from good coaching at the HS level. Battles on the boards, scores over both shoulders back to the basket and finishes easy buckets around the basket. She’s a scholarship player at a low D-1/D2/NAIA or D-1 juco.
J’may Simmons – Macomb Dakota – 5’11 F/Post – Benefitted from Taylor Williams not playing…capitalized on opportunity. Nice athletic frame with long arms, still somewhat raw and playing somewhat upright. Handled the ball in transition, played with a high motor, knocked down a 15 foot jumper and finished multiple offensive rebound putbacks. Potential D-1 prospect.
Lillia Schoof – Waterford Kettering – 6’1 F/Post – Showed signs of a D-1 prospect. Made post to wing passes for open shots, moved the ball on finishes vs bigger players, drove from the elbow for baskets. Good size for a 4 player with the ability to face up. Can make the hi-lo pass from the top of the key.
The Top 15 Un-Committed Underclass Prospects – Picking even 15 was a very difficult task. In no particular order here were my favorites with some brief notes –
Jala Johnson – Toledo Notre Dame – 2019 – 5’7 CG – played both guard spots, strong athletic build, finished with both hands in transition, slasher, gets to the rim, good use of ball screens, was able to turn corner and attack the basket.
Destiny Strother – Carman-Ainsworth – 2019 – 5’8 SG – Lefty who could really stroke the 3 ball, Good size at the position and has good athleticism.
Lauren Whitford – Dearborn Henry Ford – 2018 – 6’5 Post – Legit 6’5 player who has a good thick build, good hands, gave guards a target to pass the ball to. Used a power dribble and scored fluidly over her left shoulder, good Hi-Lo passer, blocks out on defensive end.
Jasmine Powell – Detroit Country Day – 2019 – 5’6 PG – Big time PG prospect. Ran team, super explosive guard excelled in transition. Smooth pull up jumper, looking to create and distribute to teammates. Good on ball defender. Showed she could hit the 3 ball.
Daija Tyson – Detroit Edison – 2020 – 5’4 PG – Poise and confidence is advanced for a freshmen PG. Solid athletic build, great IQ. Looked great in pick and roll situations, making the right read and delivering the ball in places the screener could score.
Gabby Elliott – Detroit Edison – 2020 – 5’10 Wing – Scored in multitude of ways. Hit the 3 ball on numerous occasions as well as got to the rim and finished, especially in transition. Would have been the top prospect on most teams…great lean athletic build.
Rickea Jackson – Detroit Edison – 2019 – 6’3 Wing – One of the top prospects in the class of 2019 nationally. At 6’3 can handle the ball like a guard, is especially good in defensive rebound and go situations. Can shoot the 3 ball or get to the rim from the wing. Works well in pick and roll situations. Very long and wiry.
Del’Janae Williams – Detroit King – 2019 – 5’9 SG/W – Athletic 5’9 slasher. Great in transition, has the ability to stroke the 3 ball. Good on ball defender. Turned defense to offense, finished thru contact, numerous and 1’s.
Mariah Mitchell – Detroit King – 2018 – 5’9 SG/W – Long athletic frame with broad shoulders, pushes ball in transition, plays passing lanes and makes steals. Scored with her right and left effectively in transition. Showed the ability to hit the 3 ball.
Zamaria Polk – Detroit Mumford – 2018 – 6’3 Post/F – Athletic post player who ran the floor hard. Very good offensive rebounder who scored on a number of putbacks. Finished in transition.
Jaida Hampton – East Lansing – 2018 – 5’11 Wing – Workhorse who can play numerous positions and is an inside/outside threat. High motor player, one of the biggest stock risers of the day. Good passer, plays team ball, can make the 3 ball, range to 20 feet. Hit the mid range pull up jumper.
Aaliyah Nye – East Lansing – 2020 – 5’9 Wing – Very good in dribble drive. Elevates on mid range jumper, slasher who gets to the rim…can knock down the 3 ball. Athletic but plays with a calm poise. Very under control and confident.
Cameron Grant – Macomb Dakota – 2020 – 6’1 Wing – Guard skills with a big strong frame. Slasher who got to rim on almost every drive. Did a good job drawing contact and getting to the free throw line. Great footwork. Hit a few 3s.
Molly Davis – Midland Dow – 2019 – 5’6 PG – Dynamic PG, with crafty handles and flair to her game. Great teammate who always made the extra pass. Creates for herself and others. Excellent 3 point shooter. Very underrated player with deceptive athleticism.
Jeanae Terry – Wayne Memorial – 2019 – 5’9 CG – Another big time 2019 prospect, Terry is a national level Power 5 caliber prospect. Great athletic frame, handles and can shoot the 3 ball consistently. Slasher who could score around the basket with strong moves or a floater, also kicked out to open shooters.