Posted On: 12/23/17 10:02 AM
The Tip Off Classic took place nearly two weeks ago, and while many recaps of the games have already been written and posted, this article will focus on specifically college prospects. This tournament featured some of the state’s best in terms of both teams as well as college prospects, so there was plenty of talent on display. Here are some of my top prospects from the event:
McCaskill has enjoyed success dating back to AAU season. Entering this high school season, however, he’s shown improvements in some key areas. His most notable improvement comes in his shooting ability – in his team’s game against Carman-Ainsworth, he hit three trey balls, more than I saw him hit over the course of an entire AAU tournament last July. This ability alone adds so much value to McCaskill as a prospect given his elite athleticism and rebounding abilities. He’s a long 6’7″ who gets off the ground quickly. Perhaps the most valuable thing about McCaskill, despite already being an impact player with his current abilities, is his untapped potential. He’s still fairly raw and there’s clearly a ton of room for improvement – something of which he’s been doing at a steady rate.
Turner had a reasonable case to be the best player in the entire event with his stellar play against Carman-Ainsworth. He scored from all three levels at an extremely efficient rate. While Turner has had these types of performances before, what stood out to me is the ease and comfort he was playing with. Carman-Ainsworth is a solid defensive team with multiple D2-D1 level players, yet Turner hardly seemed challenged. At 6’6″, he has the height to go with his skillset to play at any level. Turner is due to receive many more offers over the next year.
Taylor is the perfect complementary piece to DEPSA’s big three of Gary Solomon, PJ Mitchell and Deante Johnson. The 6’6″ wing does a great job making an impact with limited touches. He showed an ability to play on the perimeter as well as in close, as he shot the three with ease, rebounded and contested shots in the paint. In this game he showed he’s capable of playing as a role player, which is a skill many don’t have. It will be interesting to see how Taylor develops over the course of the next year and how he performs once he’s a top option. He certainly has D1 potential.
River Rouge played suffocating defense for the entire game in a win over Detroit Western. There wasn’t a single weak spot on the floor for Rouge – everybody was tapped in and dominating on that side of the ball. With this being said, the 6’4″ Freeman used his size and athleticism to do just that. Freeman, like all of his teammates, took pride in excelling with his defensive efforts, a quality many players don’t have. This, combined with his ability to use his athleticism to attack the basket, make Freeman a promising prospect. He had a couple of nice buckets where he showed nice skill and touch on the finish. Freeman should be one of River Rouge’s top offensive options this year, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to impress. He’s definitely a player to keep an eye on to see how he develops over the course of the next year.
Like his teammate Freeman, Colvin was excellent on the defensive side of the ball. The 6’1″ guard was the standout for River Rouge on offense, leading the way with 17 points. He hit a variety of shots from all three levels. While doing so, he showed he’s comfortable hitting tough shots, no matter if they’re contested or not. He also showed a nice triple-threat game – several of his buckets came from this position. Colvin will look to continue this play throughout the season. Despite being a bit undersized for his position/playstyle, he is nonetheless still very much a quality player.