The state had one event in the NCAA's opening live period, the Mustangs Spring Showdown. REACH beat the Detroit Stars in the 17U final. It was the second championship in as many weekends for REACH. Here are some standouts from the tournament's oldest division.
Jason Bur 6-4 Jr Parallel 45 (Petoskey): Not sure what his position is, but does enough well that the small college coaches will figure one out for him. Good length, a versatile defender, will scrap on the glass and hit shots out to the arc. Needs to get more going as a wing slasher, and all-around triple threat.
Jamal Cain 6-7 So Detroit Stars (Detroit Cornerstone): Cain is the best prospect in the Stars program since Vincent Hunter. He impacts the game with his length and smooth wheels closing down on defense or running the floor to finish a variety of dunks. If his shot improves (it's heavy and dies on the rim) and he defines himself offensively, Cain could be naming his school in a year.
Dylan Carl 6-9 Jr Grand Rapids Storm (Alma): He's a unique prospect for the state's 2016 class with his height and ball-handling. Carl has a Detroit offer and the Titans had a coach at all his games. Good shot-blocker though swats down too often. He acquitted himself well matched up with Mike Edwards, the 6-9 John Glenn senior who two days later would commit to Georgia. Outside of the shot blocking, lack of strength and base limit Carl as a post defender, and post scorer.
Greg Elliott 6-2 So Detroit Stars (Detroit East English Village): He always finds a way to impact a game. It's almost impossible not to when you have Elliott's wingspan, energy and unselfishness. He doesn't need a lot of shots, but he's efficient when he gets them, befitting his Rip Hamilton mask. He's good with or without the ball, and looked comfortable shooting the 3 off the catch. New-found aggressiveness found Elliott finishing with a two-handed dunk and looking like Brandon Jenkins.
Jalen Gibson 6-7 Sr Mustangs USS (River Rouge): One of the state's top 10 uncommitted seniors, a D2 forward for sure with Horizon and Summit schools showing interest. He wouldn't be an immediate impact prospect at the latter schools, but has some good physical tools and shooting touch that gives one hope for the future. Hit shots out to 20 feet. Doesn't show a post game or a consistent next-level motor.
Trishton Jackson 6-2 Jr REACH (West Bloomfield): He recently took a visit to MSU for football, where the Spartans are looking at the high school QB as a college receiver, and that athletic ability is clear early on the bball court. He gets to the hole so easily, but can get nonchalant with the finishes. When focused, Jackson is a top five overall player in the 2016 class.
Jalen Martin 6-4 Jr REACH (Chandler Park): While the Stars' frontline was taller, Martin had the upper-hand in age, muscle and intensity and scored 31 in the 17U final. D1 wide receiver prospect is one of the most impressive looking athletes in the state. Gets off the floor very quickly and at that size makes him an imposing finisher. Good hands and pursues the ball. Can finish through contact, while not always an aesthetic masterpiece the production is there.
Hunter Page 5-10 Jr REACH (Jackson Western): Last spring, Page was making plays against REACH's 16U. Now he's making plays for them at 17U. A balanced pass-score threat who complements well REACH's bigger guards. Plays both ends of the floor. Gets to the line.
Gary Perry 6-8 Sr REACH (Madison Hts. Bishop Foley): An uncommitted senior, possibly D2 or the kind of big many juco teams will covet. Always big and basic, and that's not changed. You like how Perry tries to dunk everything, just wish it didn't take so long for the moves to happen.
Chris Rollins 5-10 Jr Detroit Showtime (Detroit East English Village): While his inconsistency gives coaches pause, when Rollins is on he's very good. Nice feel and anticipation of when to deliver the ball. While slight, finishes well because he's quick through daylight and keeps his chin to the rim. Plays with the positive energy you like from your point guard.
Donnie Tillman 6-6 So Detroit Stars (Findlay Prep/Detroit): Tillman clearly has found the weight room and Ninja blender at Findlay Prep. The one time Cass Tech underclassman returned huge and horsed his way through the paint for a dunk workout until getting hurt in the championship game. Very similar to Forest Hills Central's Xavier Tillman with the soft mitts and passing vision.
Jason Williams 5-10 Jr Detroit Stars (Detroit Allen): He's explosive and fearless going to the rim and the brisk pace of the championship game funneled right to Williams' skill set. If he can get more consistent shooting and defensively, mid-major offers will come.