Underrated players in the class of 2018

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Michigan

Posted On: 02/5/18 8:32 PM

There are a ton of underrated players around the state. However, for this list, I’ve compiled a list of six players that I’ve seen multiple times that I believe deserve more recognition from college programs. If you believe you are being under recruited, contact me via twitter (@zacharytmanning) or by email at [email protected]

Jayvien Torrance-Jackson (River Rouge)

Stats: 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.8 steals

If I had to describe Torrance-Jackson in one word it would be leader. He is the only senior on River Rouge this season, and he’s done just about everything you can ask of a player. He’s a tenacious defender, capable scorer and a great rebounder from the guard position. The 6-foot-2 combo guard has received some college interest, but not as much as I believe he should. His defensive ability alone would be a huge asset to most NAIA and Division III programs.

The strongest parts of his game are defense and getting to the basket. He’s an unselfish player that wants to win more than anything. Whatever he can do for the team, he is willing to do it. The thing I love about his game is that he doesn’t need to score to make an impact. He’s a phenomenal rebounder, excellent on ball defender and great at setting his teammates up. Whoever lands Torrance-Jackson will be getting a great basketball player and even better leader.

“I’m a leader, hard working kid, love the game of basketball and would do anything to play at the next level.”

Jordan Henry (Okemos)

Stats: 21 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists

I wrote a story about Henry before the season and mentioned the possibility of him blowing up. Well, it’s happening. Henry has become one of the best scoring guards in mid-Michigan, and his play has led Okemos to an 11-3 record with wins over East Lansing and Grand Ledge. Against Grand Ledge, Henry hit a big three pointer late to give the Chieftains a 36-35 victory. He’s currently ranked as Prep Hoops’ No. 55 overall prospect in the state of Michigan for the class of 2018.

He loves leading the fast break and is an excellent shooter from deep, but he’s at his best when driving to the basket. It seems like every time he drives to the basket he is finishing over a taller defender or getting fouled. He received an offer from Roberts Wesleyan over the summer, but has recently seen interest from University of Michigan-Dearborn and Michigan Tech.

“I think my ability to get out and run on the fast break would help college programs. Also, having the ability to score on the fast break.”

Bryce Armstrong (Wyandotte)

Stats: 17 points

Armstrong is a deadly scorer. He is a threat to score from anywhere on the court, and if a defender’s hands are down, he will make them pay. But he’s more than scorer. He’s a great passer that doesn’t turn the ball very often, and his length allows him to jump into passing lanes and come away with a lot of steals. Armstrong is the leader of a young Wyandotte Bears team that has potential to make some noise come playoff time.

He is ranked as Prep Hoops’ No. 114 overall prospect in the state of Michigan for the class of 2018. Armstrong holds an offer from Iowa Central and has received interest from Lourdes University and Finlandia University. His ability to score from anywhere on the court and aggressiveness rebounding the ball would be a great addition to any college program.

“I will work hard, I’m coachable and I’m tight with all of my teammates.”

Kaleb Maddox (Ecorse)

Stats: 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists

Every time I see Maddox play, I’m even more impressed. He reminds me of Russell Westbrook because he fills the stat sheet and is solid in so many areas. He’s 6-foot-3, and I love the fact that he is smart enough to post up smaller guards, but the best part of his game is driving to the basket. When he gets going toward the basket, he won’t be stopped. He is very athletic and uses his height and strength to see the entire floor, finish in traffic and rebound.

Maddox doesn’t hold any offers for basketball, but is being recruited by a lot of football programs. He has received offers from a slew of Division III schools and just picked up his first NAIA Division I offer from William Penn University. He hasn’t decided which sport he wants to pursue, but a program that treats him like family and feels like home will play a big role.

“What motivates me to get better is seeing that my coaches and people in the area believe in me and push me beyond my limit. Growing up, seeing my mother as a single parent helped me want the best for myself her and my sister.”

Harrison Gilstrap (Bath)

Stats: 17.1 points, 5 rebounds and 3.2 stealsĀ 

I talked to Gilstrap before the season, and he described himself as “a walking bucket”. He’s 6-foot-4 and that really helps him get his shot off over shorter defenders. He’s a great shooter with in the gym range and is one of the better finishers around the rim that I’ve seen. One of the biggest improvements I’ve seen from him this year is on the defensive side of the ball. He had been working on becoming a better defender over the summer and is now really good at anticipating passes and coming up with steals.

He’s received interest from multiple schools, including Indiana Tech, Siena Heights, Olivet and Northwood among others. Any team in need of a scoring guard should be in contact with Gilstrap. He’s ranked as Prep Hoops’ No. 98 overall prospect in Michigan for the class of 2018, but whatever program is able to land him will be getting a player that plays well above his ranking.

“I really want to win, so if I have to take five shots to help my team win, I will do that. Winning motivates me.”

Renaudd Broaden (Kennedy)

Stats: 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists

The fact that Broaden isn’t receiving any college interest is mind blowing to me. His ability to knock down tough shots and get to the basket makes him one of the toughest players to guard in the Detroit area. One of the most impressive parts of his game is his rebounding ability. He is 6-foot-1, but plays like he is 6-foot-10. His no fear mentality when tracking down a rebound in traffic is something that sets him apart from other players around the state.

He’s currently sitting out with a hand injury, but is scheduled to get his cast off on Tuesday and on track to play Friday against Woodhaven, who is tied for first place in the Downriver League. He has the tools necessary to play at the next level, and if a program takes a chance on him, they will not regret it.

“I’m a good leader on and off the court, and I can really shoot the ball or get us a quick bucket when the game is on the line.”