Posted On: 12/2/16 10:30 AM
The MHSAA season is nearly here, and with that, there will be players who make names for themselves and begin to earn college scholarships. Some players who stand out will be expected and are further enhancing themselves. Others will be jumping onto the scene for the first time.
In Class D, there are a handful of players who truly stand above the rest in the competition. There are also a lot of unknown players who will make their mark on the state this year. Below are our Class D preseason all state predictions:
Whitens is the easy choice for this award. He won it last year and has led North Central to back to back state championships. This year, they will again be one of the favorites to win it all and if they do, Whitens will have a massive role in it. The Jets have lost much of their height to graduation, and because of that, they will have to play faster and with a more top heavy approach. They only have 4 players who were key components on last years team. Three of which will be expected to pick up the pieces left behind from their bigs. Whitens will be expected to take up the largest amount of slack and because of it, his stat line could be pushing a near triple double a game. He has not committed to a team yet and has several GLIAC offers, as well as a few D1 walk on spots offered to him by MSU and CMU. Elite GLIAC and low/mid D1 schools should be all over Whitens.
Bryce Washington:2018 6’4 SG Southfield Christian:
Washington was one of the only other players considered for Player of the Year award and for good reason. He already has 3 D1 offers and plenty of other D1 interest. A high flying guard who makes a living at the rim, Washington should dominate Class D once the tourney rolls around. He finishes as well as anyone at the rim and is a capable three point shooter as well, which causes opposing teams to have to play up on him and not just try to defend against his slashing. Expect Washington to have a monster year scoring as Southfield Christian is the other major contender for the Class D state title alongside North Central
Brock Washington: 2017 6’4 SG Southfield Christian:
Brock is more of a shooter than Bryce. Where Bryce excelled at the rim, Brock excels from the perimeter. A very potent 1-2 combo at the guard spot. Brock is much more than just a shooter however, as he is also capable of finishing above the rim for oops and transition dunks. He has been the leading scorer for Southfield Christian the last couple of years, and that is surprising considering all the talent that schools has had. Expect Brock to also have a monster year statistically, as there are few players in Class D who can match up with him.
Gabe Meriwether: 2017 6’2 SG Bellaire:
Another player who is known for his above the rim play, Meriwether has had a great fall and because of it, has picked up some offers/interest at the NAIA and D2 levels. He is a superb slasher and transition player because of his bounce and ability to finish at and above the rim. He is also a very good halfcourt player though, as he can hit pull ups at 15-17 feet with consistency and is a good spot shooter from deep. Bellaire has lost much of their top players to graduation, so it is expected that Meriwether will pick up their slack and improve in nearly all areas statistically compared to last year.
Derrick Edington: 2017 6’7 Forward Pickford:
A relatively unknown player but one who will be a double double machine. He is another above the rim type player who has good size and mobility. Last year, the numbers he posted were incredible as he averaged around 27 points and 17 rebounds per game. If he can just maintain numbers similar to that, and lead his team to a few more wins, he should be a lock for all state again. Edington should be able to get a scholarship somewhere.
Gunnar Libby: 2017 5’9 PG Hillman:
He’s been one of the top players in North Eastern Michigan for awhile now. Libby is one of the best shooters in 2017 and when he has his feet set, it almost always a make. He also gets his teammates involved really well and is able to control the tempo of most games he plays in. Libby should score well over 20 a game again this year and have Hillman back on another tourney run deep into March. Libby should have most the MIAA after him come the end of the year.
Jaylon Rogers: 2018 6’0 PG Frankfort:
Rogers sure knows how to get buckets. He can fill it up as well as almost everyone in Michigan once he gets going. His game against MBA national 16u at the Storm Classic in April was a prime example of that. He led Frankort last year through the regular season to over 20 wins. This year, they have a excellent chance of making it to the Breslin and if they do, it will be behind Rogers’s scoring ability. Depending on the school, Rogers could be a really good NAIA or D2 player.
Dawson Bilski: 2017 6’4 SG Powers North Central:
Like Whitens, Bilski will have to pick up a lot of the weight left behind after their bigs graduated. He has good size and is pretty athletic so he should be able to cope. He also statistically was one of the best shooters in the state last year as he shot above 50% from 3 and dominated teams defensively. He is a really good shot blocker and has caused tons of problems over the last 3 years for opposing guards. Bilski is committed to Michigan Tech in the GLIAC and should be a fine pickup for them. His size and shooting ability will make him a great player at that level after a year or two of acclimating.
Jeremy Pung: 2017 6’6 PF Fowler:
One of the best pure posts in Class D, Pung can wear teams out with his size and strength. He gets off the floor really well off two feet and rebounds his area very well. Pung works hard down on the block and can seal smaller opponents behind him. Once he gets the ball he uses his size and post moves to finish. He should be a consistent double double for a very tough Fowler team this year. Pung has an offer from NAIA Lawrence Tech, and I am expecting him to commit there in the near future. However, he could pick up additional interest and offers from that level as well as JUCO going forward.
Daniel Everhart: 2018 6’0 PG Marine City Cardinal Mooney
A scoring point guard, Everhart led an impressive Cardinal Mooney team to the cusp of getting to the Breslin. They bowed out to rival Waterford Our Lady last year. However, this year it should be a different team on that side of the bracket advancing to the Breslin and Cardinal Mooney has as strong a shot as anyone to make it. With Everhart’s scoring ability, especially from 3, they have a prolific scorer who can get his team a bucket when they need one.
Preston Granger: 2017 6’4 Forward: Lansing Christian:
He has really made a name for himself since the end of last season, as he is a threat for a double double every game. Strong, tough and crafty, he can defend multiple positions, which makes him crucial to Lansing Christian’s success. He plays with a throwback attitude as he does not back down to anyone and will produce consistently. D3s should be looking at him.
Matt Malcolm: 2018 6’4 SG Plymouth Christian:
Really has come into his own since joining the North Oakland Wolfpack for AAU. He is a lethal shooter from deep with great size and also has plenty of bounce to go with it. Is long and can rebound pretty well from the guard spot. Should be a 20 point per game player this year for a Plymouth Christian team that could surprise a lot of people.
Denver Cade: 2018 6’2 SG Buckley:
Cade has become one of the most productive guards in Michigan since last year. He can shoot it comfortably from several feet behind the line and has gotten more comfortable attacking the hoop. Buckley plays a very fun up tempo game and he is one of the focal points behind their run and gun offense. He should be one of the state’s leading three point shooters this year.
Matt Loney: 2018 6’3 Guard Frankfort:
A motor that will never stop, Loney will produce simply because of how hard he works. He also has extremely long arms and a toughness to his game that allows him to compete against taller and bigger players. At the Class D level, he can play the 1-5 spots because of his versatility and Incredibly high IQ at each position. He could be a double double threat who may even be able to get a triple double this year. Can easily go off for 20 on any given night if everything is clicking.
Forrest Bouyer: 2017 5’10 PG Lansing Christian:
One of the purest point guards in Michigan still available, Bouyer can run teams as well as most other point guards in the state. He has a quick first step that allows him to get by his man and he does a great job at kicking to shooters once penetrating the defense. He also has really improved his jump shot and his mid range at pull up in particular. So when he is attacking the hoop, he is able to either kick to a teammate, or hit the shot himself. Bouyer has an offer from Concordia (NAIA). Bouyer should be one of Mid Michigan’s top players statistically in both assists and steals.
Matt Havey: 2017 6’0 SG Lansing Christian:
Easily one of the best shooters in the state. Havey’s jumpshot has gotten to the point where it is almost comical watching him shoot because he can hit from several feet behind the line both spotted up and off his own dribble. He also has worked out tirelessly and has improved his first step quickness, as well as his scoring at both mid range and at the rim. He should be one of Mid michigan’s top shooters and is a 20 point per game threat this year. Havey is picking up legitimate interest from literally all college levels right now and it is even possible he could go prep after this year. His jump shot is good enough already for any level.
Austin Harris: 2018 6’3 CG Buckley:
Cade is the scorer for Buckley, but Harris is the heart and soul. He brings the energy and versatility that allows Buckley to be so tough on both sides of the ball. He has decent size and his IQ allows him to play and defend the 1-3 spots in high school right now. He also shoots the ball really well from 3 and is a tough defender. He is a versatile player who should fill the stat sheet in every major category.
Marcus Krachinski: 2017 6’2 PG Powers North Central:
He was an important, if unheralded player for North Central last year. Played really well at the Brawl for the Ball tourney in July for the Northern Michigan Drive. He has shown an improvement in his shot from 3 and has shown major improvement in his point guard abilities. The last few seasons he has specialized in being the team’s lockdown defender. This year, he will be the team’s point guard and will continue to be the team’s defensive specialist. He reportedly has an offer from NAIA power Indiana Wesleyan.
Harlond Beverly: 2019 6’4 SG Southfield Christian:
Beverly is ready to make a big impact this year. He was at UD Jesuit last year and did not play on varsity. After transferring to Southfield Christian, it seems that this should be his breakout year. He has great size for a guard and is athletic going at the hoop. His shooting ability from deep is also impressive. Beverly’s offensive production surpasses that of almost all 2019s in Michigan. If he can avoid going through stretches where he disappears, he could easily be an all state player for a team with one of Michigan’s best backcourts. Beverly could pick up his first D1 offer this winter if he plays well to start.
Mason Pline: 2018 6’6 SF Fowler
Pline could be the top forward/post prospect in Class D already. The biggest reason why he is not higher up this list is because he is just coming back from an injury in football and he could be rusty to begin the year. Once he gets rolling though he will be a consistent double double threat who can play the 1-5 spots in high school. His physical tools are already D1 caliber. He is nearly 220 lbs, has a near 7 foot wingspan, a 34 inch vertical, and is pretty well conditioned. He also was a 3 point shooting, dunking, rim protecting forward in AAU who was on the cusp of getting his first D1 offer. He has 2 D2 offers right now with lots of interest from the D1/D2 level.
Blake Dockery: 2018 6’2 SG Baldwin:
He looked great when I saw him last season in the regionals. He was scoring at all three levels at will and was especially lethal driving to the hoop. Showed off decent athleticism as well so he caused problems on the glass against other guards. Baldwin typically dominates in the regular season so Dockery could put up some big time statistics if they perform as expected. He played up an age group this year for Parallel 45 and that should benefit him for the coming high school season.
Daniel Nocerini: 2017 6’3 SF Crystal Falls Forest Park
Trey Helinski: 2018 5’11 PG Adrian Lenawee Christian
Jacob Witt: 2018 6’7 PF Ewen Trout Creek
Caleb Hunter: 2019 5’9 PG Southfield Christian
Brandon Sherrod: 2017 6’2 Fwd Wyoming Tri Unity Christian
Dylan Jergens: 2019 5’11 PG Howardsville Christian
Chase Gernaat: 2017 6’2 SG McBain NMC
Noah Robak: 2019 6’1 Guard Waterford Our Lady
Collin Rosendall: 2017 5’10 PG Wyoming Tri Unity
Trenton Temple: 2017 6’4 SG Southfield Christian
Zach Walden: 2017 5’7 PG Fulton
Joey Methner: 2018 6’4 SF Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Evan Barton: 2018 6’1 SG Fulton
Graham Smith: 2017 6’1 SG Portland St. Pats
Cole Blair: 2018 5’11 PG Fulton
Caleb Walden: 2017 6’1 SG Fulton
Brandon Scheurer: 2019 5’10 PG Portland St. Pats
Colten Nelson: 2019 6’2 SG Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
David Binder: 2017 6’2 Guard Owendale-Gagetown
Thomas Hursey: 2018 PG Suttons Bay
Micah McLain: 2018 6’2 SF Parkway Christian
John Paramski: 2017 6’2 SF Newberry
Bobby Kleiman: 2017 5’10 SG Powers North Central
Cole Sperling: 2018 6’6 C Ashley
Terry Brower: 2018 5’11 G Mid Peninsula