Posted On: 02/26/18 10:35 AM
Lincoln King Academy was the place to be on Saturday, playing host to the Cornerstone Classic. It was a great tune-up event as teams are getting prepared for the state playoffs.
A full rundown of Saturday’s notable guard performances below:
Cameron Urbanik (2019/6’1/Divine Child)
The Falcons needed someone to step up in a big way when 2018 forward Quinn Blair (William and Mary) fouled out of the contest in the third quarter against Detroit Western. Cameron was able to fill the scoring void, knocking down three triples in the 2nd half to keep the game within reach for Divine Child. While the Falcons would ultimately fall to the Cowboys, Urbanik performed admirably as he handled point guard duties for large portions of the game and displayed poise while avoiding turnovers. As a scorer, the 6’1 junior showed a good looking stroke coming off screens, making crisp cuts to get enough space to get off clean looks before knocking those attempts down.
Brandon Green (2018/6’2/Mumford)
Brandon turned in an MVP worthy performance against a Catholic Central team that was a pre-game favorite. In the first half Green used change of direction off the bounce to get to his spots and finish at the rim. It was a solid first half, as the Mustang PG was at the forefront of a potential upset. The second half is when the senior floor general set off the fireworks. Starting in the third quarter, Brandon hit multiple defenders with crossovers, in-and-out dribbles and hesitations before stepping back and burying triples with an insane degree of difficulty. This happened on 5 different possessions in one of the better individual performances I’ve viewed this year. Green was simply unstoppable in isolation, CC had no answer for his combination of ballhandling and shotmaking. Mumford would go on to beat Catholic Central in a lopsided victory in large part due to Brandon’s domination.
Deontae Ulmer (2018/6’2/Henry Ford)
Deontae knocked down six shots from behind the arch against Loyola, with a few of those coming in the 4th quarter to stop mini-runs by Loyola. Ulmer is a top five shooter in the state without question, as his shot is absolutely wet when his feet are set. Deontae has much more value than any point total can measure, as he has to be face-guarded from 30 feet and in. That type of gravity allows his teammates to operate without pressure and it opens up driving lanes. He’s not getting a ton of buzz in recruiting circles, but small colleges in need of a shooter should absolutely prioritize him.
Devin Pettus (2018/5’10/Hazel Park)
Pettus came up huge with 22 points in the most anticipated matchup of the day as Hazel Park squared up with Old Redford on a neutral court. From the opening tip it was obvious that the size and length of Old Redford was going to be a problem for the Vikings. Isaiah Jackson and Aundre Polk made it nearly impossible for HP to score in the paint. Devin took what the Raven defense gave, knocking down a few catch and shoot triples in the first half and converting at the charity stripe. In the second half he continued with great decision making. Pettus played on-ball for the majority of the third and fourth quarters. He was superb off the high ball screen, as he buried multiple midrange jumpers and avoided the Ravens trying to bait him to the paint. In an era where analytics dictate that 3s and layups are the only efficient shots, it was refreshing to see Devin make the proper read and have success doing so. Without Pettus’ perimeter shotmaking the Vikings likely lose this game by double digits. I expect small colleges to prioritize Devin this Spring, as his recent offer from Mid-Michigan CC is likely the first of many.
Mark ‘Rocket’ Watts (2019/6’1/Old Redford)
After a shaky start from distance, the high-scoring combo-guard got it going late in the first quarter via the dribble drive to the paint. As anyone that has viewed Rocket knows, 1-2 baskets is all it takes to get him going and that is exactly what happened on Saturday against Hazel Park. Watts heated up in a hurry in the second quarter, hitting two triples and converting in transition on his way to 19 points at the half. While he had a quiet third quarter, Mark made huge buckets down the stretch. During the final stanza Rocket buried a pair of threes from LONG range, with the second of those a 30 foot bomb to pull the Ravens within one. While Old Redford came up short, Watts solidified himself as an absolute gamer that gets buckets at an elite level.
Marcus Gibbs (2018/6’0/King)
Marcus’ game has really developed a ton over the last year. Before transferring to King last year, Gibbs was a catch and shoot prospect almost exclusively, albeit an elite shooter. Fast forward to Saturday and the senior guard looked MUCH more comfortable as an on-ball shot creator. Marcus showed plus ballhandling ability, as he was able to get separation on defenders and draw helpside defense in the half-court and finish at the rim a few times. While his playmaking ability is vastly improved, his shooting ability is still his greatest asset. Much like the aforementioned Ulmer, Gibbs is absolutely lethal when his feet are set with nearly unlimited range. He was face-guarded nearly the entire game, but didn’t let that stop him from producing 17 of his team’s 43 points on an array of midrange jumpers off the bounce, dribble drive conversions and a catch and shoot triple.
Anthony Roberts (2018/6’2/Henry Ford)
The former Bryant commit is having an outstanding senior campaign. The 6’3 guard is really rounding out his game with tremendous improvements in his vision/passing. Known primarily as a shooting combo-guard, Roberts looked great as a playmaking point guard for Henry Ford against Loyola. Tallying 7 assists on the day, Anthony repeatedly beat his man off the dribble before dropping dimes to cutting teammates in the paint or kickouts to shooters on the perimeter. While his passing was most notable on Saturday, he still put the ball in the basket. Roberts finished with 17 points on a two triples, a few strong finishes at the rim with great body control and a weapon that he’s getting increasingly comfortable with……..the midrange pull-up jumper at the free throw line area.