Posted On: 04/16/18 5:00 PM
This weekend, the Grand Rapids Storm hosted what may be the biggest and best tournament in the Mitten! The Classic features over 100 programs, many of which have multiple teams across the event’s five age groups. Needless to say, the event draws loads of talent and players that project to every level. Below is a list of some standout point/combo guards who impressed with everything from their handle to finishing!
Wendell Green Jr. – 5’10 – 2020 – Michigan Playmakers 17u
A sophomore playing up a level, Green enters every game with something to prove, and this tournament was no exception. His Michigan Playmakers faced the very deep Family in their first game and lost by double digits. However, the rest of the weekend, they continued to play and win against some stiff competition with Green largely in the lead. Sample scoring totals from three of his seven games include 17, 20, and 25! He can be relied upon to keep the ball under control, even in the face of pressure, and can create scoring opportunities for himself and teammates off the dribble. In the championship game of the tournament, the Playmakers once again played the Family. Green stepped up to the challenge of this matchup and poured his passion and talent into the game. He ended up scoring 20 points, finishing from all over the floor. He made two threes over defenders out of moves off the dribble, and had many nice passes to teammates, showcasing great IQ and passing ability. The Playmakers lost a very narrow (50-48) championship game, but not before they and Green proved they can play with anybody.
Cameryn Carpenter – 6’1 – 2018 – Greenwood Elite 17u
Going into this tournament, I already knew Carpenter as a guy who can score on all three levels. However, I definitely learned more. His highlight of the weekend was a MONSTROUS dunk over a defender to get the crowd and internet buzzing. In that moment, he showed some major athleticism I had yet to see out of him that raised his value way beyond just a box score. Of course, he is an excellent scorer, too. In high school, I’ve seen him lead his team, varying his scoring with outside shots, strong and creative inside finishes, and midrange jumpers. This weekend, I saw him play one game in which he scored 17 and proved to be a leader in this environment. His catch-and-shoot from outside is clean and consistent. When he sets his mind on attacking downhill, he does so very strongly and does an excellent job of finishing creatively–his finishes were among the best I saw all weekend! Carpenter has some D2/D3 interest and offers and is definitely deserving!
Judah Stewart – 6’3 – 2019 – Hawks Canada 17u
Stewart is another guy who varies his scoring among outside shots, midrange jumpers, and finishes at the rim. He plays for a Hawks Canada program that showcases patience and teamwork. That being said, Stewart still is able to shine within their system, being the catalyst for much of the scoring. He always offers the dual-threat of being able to drive or shoot off the dribble so defenders cannot overplay one or the other. When attacking downhill, he does well protecting the ball and getting the shot off, playing through contact. He also gets a lot of assists by drawing defenders and either dishing or kicking out of his drives. Outside of scoring, he was active on the inside often, vying for rebounds or tips from missed shots. Finally, he surprised me with his athleticism when he elevated for a dunk off a nice baseline drive.
Drew Lowder – 6′ – 2019 – The Family 17u
Lowder shares the spotlight with many talented teammates on the Family but still managed to stand out and show up for big moments. In the championship of the Platinum bracket, Lowder was a dog on defense. He pestered Wendell Green as he brought the ball up and, on a couple plays, forced him to rush or commit a turnover. On the other end of the floor, he is fast and has a tight and deceptive handle. Lowder scored a lot by leading the break and getting easy layups from teammates who reliably rebounded. He also did an excellent job of using his off hand and body to protect the ball for his layups. He got the game-winning basket off a strong drive and finish that his defender could do nothing about because of how he used his offhand and body as protection. Watching highlights of other games from the weekend, he also has a quick release from the midrange and three for a great looking shot.