Battle of the Best: Top Prospects (2018s)

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Posted On: 12/26/17 11:28 AM

This weekend, Southfield A&T hosted the Battle of the Best Super Saturday tournament. The day featured an 8th grade all-star type game, then 4 matchups between some of Michigan’s top teams: East English vs Chandler Park, Cass Tech vs Flint Hamady, U of D Jesuit vs Flint Beecher and Hazel Park vs DEPSA. Here are some of the top 2018 prospects from the day:

Jalen Tobias (Cass Tech)

The 6’6″ forward is, simply put, a grown man. He’s strong and plays with a certain toughness/attitude that allows him to excel. In Cass Tech’s matchup with Flint Hamady, Tobias was huge on both ends of the ball. Defensively, he protected the rim with multiple block shots, defended well on-ball and was very active on the glass. Offensively, he used his height/length to attack the rim relentlessly, getting buckets in close or drawing fouls. Tobias is an interesting prospect because he’s one of those tweeners between a true big and a forward who can play on the wing.

Carl Bow Jr (Hazel Park)

 

 Carl Bow Jr is a player who’s been a consistent producer for some time now. While he hasn’t put up monster numbers, he’s been huge for Hazel Park this season. In their win over DEPSA, he had 12 points and 6 rebounds. What makes Bow so valuable is the versatility he has – as a 6’2″ guard, he’s been consistently one of the top rebounders on the court this season. He’s an insane athlete who uses his explosive leaping ability to get those offensive rebound put-backs, whether it be just a tip-in or a dunk. Bow would be a D1 if his shooting matched his athleticism, but it appears that he’s made some improvements to that area of his game. In both games I’ve seen this season, Bow has knocked down multiple pull-up midrange jumpers.

 

Devin Pettus (Hazel Park)

PC: MIPrepZone photo / LARRY McKEE

Pettus has been Hazel Park’s top offensive threat all season. He’s consistently rose to the occasion in big games (which has pretty much been every game for Hazel Park so far) and produced against high-level competition. For Pettus, the same thing that makes him effective is also what hurts him in some cases – that is his reckless, Russell Westbrook-like playstyle. Pettus is uber-fast and attacks the rim with no fear. While this causes him to be out of control at times, it also allows him to make plays that he has no business making at his height. For example, in their win over DEPSA, there was a play where Pettus flew thru the lane to grab an offensive rebound over big man Deante Johnson, to which he finished with a bucket. He’s a generous 5’11”, but is capable of finishing inside with the trees given the fact that he can jump and he’s not afraid of contact. He can shoot the three well too. Also, he’s really good at throwing lob passes. Defensively, he plays with the same aggression and moves his feet well.

James Wilson (Flint Hamady)

Wilson had a great game against Cass Tech, and after doing some research, it appears he’s been doing this all season. Unofficially, he’s averaging a little over 20 points per game this season. Despite standing only around 5’11”, the guard played with great poise against a much bigger and athletic Cass Tech team. He showed a smooth jumper to which got him multiple buckets from both midrange and three point land. He also showed he’s a solid facilitator. Defensively he was solid as well – he did a really good job of jumping passing lanes for steals or deflections. Despite the loss, he was a huge and it’s not unfair to say that without Wilson’s performance the loss would’ve been much worse.

Khari Adams (Hazel Park)

Adams has been huge for Hazel Park all season. The 6’5″ forward is a great athlete and plays with a ton of toughness. While he didn’t get many looks offensively, he was a monster on the defensive end. He finished with 6 or 7 blocks, including the game saving/winning block on 6’10” Deante Johnson with less than a minute to go. He simply dominated the paint, as he pulled down a number of rebounds as well. Though he didn’t do much this game, offensively Adams is a capable player as well. He’s got a nice midrange game to compliment his above average finishing in close. He’s also capable of handling the ball in transition as well. Adams is a solid two-way player who is elite defensively.