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Posted On: 12/5/17 8:46 PM
This past weekend, Detroit Loyola hosted such as Goodrich, Southfield Christian and De La Salle, among others, for a set of scrimmages. Here are some takeaways I have looking back on the day of hoops:
1. Barring any transfers/injuries, Goodrich will be tough to beat in two years. Goodrich is loaded with young talent, including two of the top 15 2020s in the state in Trell Fordham and Kevin David Rice. They also have another solid 2020 in 6’5″ forward Matai Swain. At the Loyola scrimmages another young player, 2021 Tyson Davis, not only played well but shone as a future star – you could make a legitimate, reasonable argument that he was the MVP on the day. Looking ahead a year or two, Goodrich will have a complete floor general in Davis, two D1 perimeter scorers in Fordham and Kevin David Rice, as well as height/athleticism in Swain. Assuming there are no issues and players develop at a normal rate, Goodrich will be a top team in Class B in years to come.
2. De La Salle should be considered the favorite to win the CHSL. De La Salle impressed me with their win over the Class D favorite Southfield Christian. While it was just a preseason scrimmage, De La Salle was without their top two players in Luke Pfromm and Justin Fischer (Lake Superior State commit). Without them on the floor, De La Salle still played well while getting some nice production from Jordan Winowiecki as well as their bench. What stood out to me about their performance, not only against Southfield Christian but throughout the entirety of the day, was how fluid they looked. Many teams struggle to find their rhythm offensively early in the season due to lack of chemistry, experience, conditioning, etc. – De La Salle looked great moving the ball offensively as well as rotating on the defensive side of the ball. They are big, strong, athletic and skilled, but most importantly, it seems they already know how to play together.
3. Harlond Beverly has perhaps the highest ceiling in the entire 2019 class. Since blowing up this AAU season, the guard has continued to improve at a rapid rate. He’s now up to all of 6’5″ after growing a couple inches in the fall. Combine this with his elite offensive skills and his ability to elevate with the best of them, and you already have a complete player in terms of height, skills and athleticism. However, some believe Beverly is not done growing – it’s possible he peaks at 6’7″-6’8″ by the time it’s all said and done. Regardless of whether he grows or not, I believe his ceiling is so high due a variety of factors. For one, he’s 6’5″ with the ability to play point guard – though he’s a score-first type player and is probably best used at the 2, Beverly showed throughout the day that he’s just as good as a facilitator if he wants/needs to be. Given his height, he can create serious matchup problems for opposing point guards. Also, despite him already being a great leaper, he has a lot of room to improve physically. Most notably is the potential to fill out and add muscle/strength, but there is also room to become quicker/more explosive as well. If Beverly adds strength, he could dominate smaller guards in the post given his height and ability to elevate. If Beverly becomes quicker/more explosive, simply put there are few people who will be able to stay in front of him given his variety of moves off the dribble. When taking a look at some of the other top prospects in Michigan’s 2019 class, many have already come much closer to their ceiling physically than Beverly. Given this fact, as well as the fact that he’s as good as they come in terms of skill, and I believe that it’s not a stretch by any means to say that he has the highest ceiling in his class.
4. Tyson Davis is a must watch freshman. As I noted earlier, Davis had a fantastic showing all day. He showed off an array of abilities en route to multiple great performances that earned the approval of everyone in the gym. The guard started the day off working his way into the flow of the game by facilitating on offense while playing great defense. As he gained confidence, Davis became increasingly aggressive, attacking the basket for layup after layup. As soon as the defense started giving him too much space, he knocked down multiple threes. While he became more assertive looking for his own shot, he never lost his vision and continued to facilitate at a high level. Defensively he was great, pressuring opposing guards in the full court to force numerous turnovers. There were multiple possessions in which he stripped a ball-handler for an easy transition layup. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Davis, however, was the level of confidence and composure he maintained throughout the entire day – he hasn’t even played an official varsity game yet and is already more composed than 90% of the players on the floor.
5. Myron Gardner and Cam Hudson will be a great 1-2 punch for Detroit Loyola. While Loyola played bad in their first two games of the day, they showed promise when both Hudson and Gardner turned it up in the afternoon games. With the duo both playing at a high level, Loyola was night and day a different team. Both players excel at attacking the basket and finishing or getting to the line. Also, both players stepped up big in the clutch, hitting shots as well as making plays on defense. Despite falling short in their afternoon games to Goodrich and De La Salle, Loyola clearly got better as the day went on. Given that it’s just the beginning of the season, expect the team to gel around Hudson and Gardner. Once the team develops some chemistry, they will be tough, as they have several role players who have talent.