Posted On: 01/2/18 10:56 PM
I recently posted parts one and two about some of the top available senior point guards. Now that I have finished those, I am going to do a couple articles on some of the top available senior shooting guards and combo guards in Michigan. Although I am doing several articles for each position, this is in no way a cumulative list, nor a list in any order regarding rankings, it is just a list of a few notable available players at each specific position. There are dozens of quality players in each position that I will not list in these articles. For those that want to read about some of the top available point guards, here are parts one & part two. With that being said, below is part 1 to my top available senior shooting and combo guards.
Lamar Norman- 6’2 SG Godwin Heights
Norman is widely considered the top available senior in the state in any position, not just the SG/CG spot. Norman is also considered by many to be the best pure scorer in the state, and if you have ever watched him, you would be hard pressed to find anyone better at it than him. Most importantly, Norman is consistent while doing it. I personally have covered him at least 10 times since his sophomore year, and he has scored close to or more than 20 points every time.
Lamar is a superb shooter, who so far this year has been on a tear from deep. He has a quick release with consistent mechanics, and it usually has the same result of going in. It is pretty common to see that he will make 5+ threes in a game. He has already done that at least 3 times this year. Norman is also one of the most athletic players in the state at any position. Most players, regardless of their height, will not jump with Norman. The few that do usually end up on a highlight tape on YouTube. To go with his elite athleticism and shooting, Norman might be the fastest player in the state with the ball. In transition he is literally a blur and he combines that speed with athleticism and a great finishing ability with both hands, which makes him virtually unguardable in the open floor. This speed also allows Norman to be a great defender when he wants to be, though the consistency on the defensive end is one of the few things I think could be improved upon.
What seems to be forgotten with Norman is his underrated playmaking ability. I think much of the state, including myself in the past, have neglected this ability. Because he is such a consistent scorer, we fail to realize he puts up games with 4+ assists per game pretty frequently.
Norman recently decommitted from UTEP after the head coach retired mid season. Since that decommitment, Norman has picked up serious interest from multiple high-major programs like Butler, Creighton, Missouri, Michigan State and most recently UCLA. Before his commitment to UTEP, he held double digit mid-major Division one offers. It appears that Norman’s recruitment is trending towards high-major, although if I am a good mid-major program I would pursue Norman as well, because he could be the type of player that is crucial to winning championships and building around.
If Norman is not your pick for top available senior, Washington would most likely be the choice. He recently picked up a Pittsburgh ACC offer, which shows that his recruitment is beginning to blow up late. Similarly to former East English star and current Marquette freshman Greg Elliott. He has had a superb start to the season individually for one of the state’s best teams, Southfield Christian. Washington also has double digit mid major offers, so whenever he does decide to make a commitment, he will certainly not be short of options. He has the grades as well that make him recruitable by Ivy League schools. The true definition of a student athlete!
As stated above, Washington has been on an absolute tear. He appears to be running away with the Class D player of the year award early, although there is still plenty of season left. He is one of the very best athletes in Michigan, and almost every game is a guarantee to see a big time dunk. Bryce also is Southfield Christian’s top three point shooter from deep this season. That combination of shooting and ability to play above the rim makes him a nearly unstoppable force in high school, and those two traits are usually things that should translate to the next level. He has a ton of elevation on his shot when he shoots, so he usually has no issue shooting over defenders.
Washington also is one of the better on-ball defenders in the state. He frequently guards opposing team’s top guards and wings, and usually has little issue defending these types of players. Another trait that is great in Washington is his motor. He will consistently run the floor with teammates in transition, and is all over the place on defense. This energy usually leads to him grabbing quite a few rebounds as well. Due to Southfield Christian never having a true big man these past 3 years, it means that the entire team has to rebound. Leading that charge for the past couple seasons has been Bryce, and he is actually a pretty consistent threat to grab double digit rebounds in high school.
As stated above, it appears Washington is going to get additional D1 offers. Like Norman, the offers are likely to be high major, but mid major programs should continue to stay on him because he is the type of player a mid major school can build around and become a dynasty in their respective conference. Come the end of the season, it would not be a surprise if Washington becomes one of the more coveted senior guards in the midwest.
Seal’s game is one of the more unique ones of all the guards on this list. For much of Toodles career, he was a highly productive, undersized forward. In the past year though, he has began to focus on his perimeter game, and it has come along quite nicely. Seal did not forget how to play inside though. One of Seal’s best traits to this day is his ability to dominate the glass on both ends. He is one of the toughest players you will find and he has zero fear going inside against bigger, stronger opponents and battling. For a guard, Seal is perhaps the best rebounder in the state. In particular, he dominates the offensive glass. He sticks with every shot and has the strength and heart to grab a ton of the boards. Seal has elite athleticism, and frequently has multiple dunks every game.
Most importantly, Seal has really improved his perimeter shot. Although he does not shoot a ton of threes, he does shoot a pretty high percentage from deep. When he does choose to shoot the three, he makes more than he misses. Going forward, Seal should look to continue improving his jump shot, and also his handles. They are not bad by any stretch, but breaking opponents down in the halfcourt in iso situations will be the next step in his development.
Seal currently has multiple Division 2 offers, almost all of which are from top D2 programs. Surprisingly though, Seal does not have any Division one offers. He has produced at a high rate against players with D1 offers consistently, and has shown enough development in his perimeter game that I think he could be a highly impactful player at a low D1 program. He also is extremely young for a senior, so a redshirt year at a D1 program could potentially do wonders for him as well. Hopefully he does get that elusive D1 offer, but if not, he will have an extremely enjoyable, highly successful career at a D2 program and will likely win a lot of trophies and become a star for some lucky D2 team.
Bow is off to about as strong of a start as you can have from both an individual and team perspective. He is leading an extremely balanced team that is currently undefeated, and some would argue is the new number 1 team in the state. They certainly have the most impressive early season resume, with big wins over East English Village, UD Jesuit, Pershing and DEPSA to name just a few of their wins. Every game has been against a high quality opponent, and so far, Hazel Park has been able to outlast and usually easily outgun each team. Bow has been the leader of this team in almost every game. If he is not one of the leading scorers, he is one of the leaders in assists each game. Bow also has shown some noticeable improvements in areas of his game that needed them coming into the season.
Most people know that Bow has some of the most explosive and exciting, quick twitch athleticism in the state. His speed, acceleration, leaping ability and lateral agility are about as good as you will find anywhere in not just the state, but maybe even the country. His slashing/finishing ability is also elite, and it has been his strength since he started high school.
What he has made impressive improvements in in recent months are his ball handling and shooting ability. Bow combines his physical gifts with improved handles to change direction very well with the ball. This allows him to get by his man consistently. He also has made solid improvements to his jump shot. Though not consistent yet from three, he is more than capable from shooting out there now, and shows confidence in himself. It would not be surprising to see him knock down at least 3 threes in multiple games this year. Bow also looks very comfortable at mid range, which appears to be his best area off the pull-up. His mechanics look much improved, and in turn, his shot is beginning to go in.
Bow has an offer from Ferris State, a top 10 D2 program nationally. D1 and high D2 programs looking for an athletic combo guard should give Bow a serious look.
A shooter with great size, Dietz appears to be one of the state’s most recruitable seniors on the market. He boasts a 3.9+ GPA, and is a key part of one of the best Class A teams in Michigan. Deitz has an unorthodox shot, but it has been consistently good for years, and he has began adding range that goes well beyond the line, and has gotten better at attacking angles and finishing inside. Dietz recently picked up an offer from Ohio Dominican. Expect colleges from various levels to continue pursuing Dietz, as he has the grades, size and shooting ability that will make a coveted prospect for many small colleges.
For those who do not know about Jordan Henry in Mid Michigan, they should get to know his name. Henry is one of the top scorers in the Lansing area, capable of going for huge scoring outbursts. In fact, he had a 31 point FIRST HALF in a game earlier this season. Jordan is a long, wiry combo guard who is great scoring in the halfcourt. He thrives pulling up in the 14-16 foot range in particular, where he has great balance and gets his shot off quickly and efficiently with minimal wasted motion on his lead up to the shot. Henry also finishes well with either hand, although he could look to improve his elevation around the rim, which would help him to finish over taller players inside. Henry does have good length despite only being 6’3. He plays a couple of inches bigger for a guard and might still grow another inch or two.
He currently holds 1 D2 offer from Roberts Wesleyan, a school in New York, and should pick up a couple more offers from NAIA or D2 programs before the end of the season.
Austin Harris- 6’4 SG Buckley
One of the winningest players in Class D, Harris should be a priority for NAIA and D3 programs in Michigan and the surrounding states. For those that think Denver Cade is the only great shooter on Buckley’s squad, you need to check again. Harris has a pure release and his stats back up that he is one of Michigan’s better three point shooters. Harris has a great IQ, and has shown that he is highly adaptable to different roles. His versatility also allows him to play multiple positions, and be able to play anywhere in the 1-3 spots potentially at the next level. He will be at his best as a 2 or 3 because of his size and shooting ability, and lack of elite explosiveness to create space wit the ball, but his handles are functional and he is strong and has a great IQ that would allow him to handle the ball for small stretches. His vision, toughness and leadership skills, along with his shooting ability should make him a very solid college prospect. He currently has a handful of NAIA offers.
Winston has been the star of UDJ this year alongside Daniel Friday. He was the best player on the floor against Flint Beecher, and led a very depleted UDJ squad to a 38-37 victory, while scoring a game high 17 points. The southpaw is a good shooter spotted up, and like his older brother Cassius, he has a great feel for the game. Zach is much more of a 2 guard who plays off the ball than a PG. From the wing, he makes great decisions with the ball and does a lot of simple, but effective plays. He proved that he could be a highly important player without being a dominant scorer or ball dominant guard with REACH Legends this past summer.
Winston has the grades to play for any D3 and he would get plenty of academic money for school. But he has the talent to possibly play higher if he so chooses, as he holds an NAIA offer from Lawrence Tech and has interest from GLIAC schools. Where he ends is tough to determine because he will likely have options from all three levels I listed above.
Due to star 2019 Romeo Weems missing the last couple games of December, his teammates have needed to step up. Luckily, Oliver in particular has rose to the occasion. In the two games that Weems has missed, Oliver is averaging 27.5 points and 5.5 assists per game, while leading New Haven to 36 and 24 point victories. It is unclear how long Weems is out, but it seems that New Haven will be in capable hands until he returns. What helps in particular is that Weems missed almost all of summer ball due to playing with TEAM USA, so the team knows how to play without him.
For those that know Oliver, they likely consider him to be one of the best shooters in Michigan. He knows how to play on or off the ball, and it allows him to avoid being one dimensional. Many kids who play point guard do not move great off the ball, while kids who play off the ball often do not know how to run an offense or create shots for themselves and others. Oliver is someone that can do both equally well. He has range that extends to 25 feet, and his stroke is great with consistent mechanics. His ability to playmake is due to his ability to change speeds well with the ball. He constantly will look to use hesitations or stepbacks, and has the ability to shoot off the dribble using those moves. What he needs more than anything now is just to continue bulking up. But that usually will happen when the player gets to college so there is no major issues with Oliver’s game at the small college level.
Nick Wells- 6’2 SG Clarkston
Wells, like the aforementioned CJ Robinson in the top point guards article part 1, is a criminally under recruited player. Nick played alongside Robinson for the North Oakland Wolfpack and thrived, leading one of Michigan’s top non shoe sponsored 17u teams. Wells makes his mark on the game without ever being a high level scorer. For Clarkson, he does the dirty work that every team needs to succeed. It is telling of how good he is because he started for Clarkston’s state championship winning team, and starts again this season, yet he likely receives the least individual recognition. Wells is a very good perimeter defender, who does not shy away from challenging anyone, no matter their reputation or skill level. He does a great job of consistently challenging opponent’s shots and more importantly, rarely gets beaten, which would put his team at a numbers disadvantage. Wells is a capable three point shooter as well, and makes his open looks and is efficient scoring. D3 programs should be all over Wells, as he provides everything a team needs in players that are not main scoring options.