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Posted On: 06/5/18 12:00 PM
The spring has come to a close, giving players the opportunity to break from club ball and train or attend team camps. The hiatus from AAU also gives us the opportunity to look back on the past two months and some of its highlights! A number of great events occurred in Grand Rapids, showcasing talent from around the state and beyond. Having been a shooter in high school, I always enjoy watching players have great shooting performances. Below is a list of some individuals who shot the lights out and should be on the radar of coaches this summer!
Andre Gordon – 6’2 – 2019 – C2K Elite 17u/Huntington Prep (WV)
In addition to being one of the best shooters on this list, Gordon might also be the overall MVP. Starting with his shot, it is very consistent from outside. In April, I watched him contribute from all over the floor, assisting, setting up the offense, playing defense, scoring inside. However, when he chose to shoot from outside, it proved to be a deadly blow to put an exclamation point on everything else he was doing. He could go quiet for a while, but when he shot it was an almost certain score. Gordon also proved to be a great floor general by finding his teammates in the half-court and in transition. Finally, he is a great athlete with stamina, a solid build, and bounce!
Reece Castor – 6’3 – 2019 – Greenwood Elite 17u/Gladstone HS (MI)
Castor plays for a deeply talented Greenwood Elite team, meaning he does not have to be the one to dominate offensively. That being said, in each of his two games I watched, he showed himself to be a high caliber player. He can shoot off the catch and off the dribble, hitting nothing but net from both the wings and corners. Basically, if his feet were set, it was going in. Castor is also an above-average ball-handler, responds very well to pressure, and keeps on the attack. He managed to assist his teammates off the dribble on multiple possessions, showing his confidence with the ball and court vision.
Brady Swinehart – 6’2 – 2019 – GR Storm 17u/Ionia HS (MI)
I featured Swinehart in a recent piece (read HERE) covering some of the best combo guards of an event, and a big part of his being on that list was his shooting ability. Swinehart very confidently takes shots from the top of the key, whether they be off the pass or the dribble, and they consistently fall. He even pulls up from professional range, and, it seems, can make anything if he has a second-long window. In addition to excellent outside shooting, he aggressively drives downhill, can create and make shots in the midrange, and creates for and finds his teammates, beautifully at times.
Eddie Colbert – 6’5 – 2019 – M2K Elite 17u/Whitmer HS (OH)
Colbert is a versatile wing who could fit into each of the 2-4 positions fairly well. In a back-and-forth game against the Lansing prospectors in April, he stood out for hitting some big time shots on the wing with a beautiful release off the catch. He also was the tallest man on the floor for M2K, so he contributed by actively rebounding on both ends of the ball. On offensive rebounds, Colbert did very well going right back up with it, scoring in this way numerous times.
Seth Wright – 6’6 – 2019 – Camp Darryl 17u/Constantine HS (MI)
I only saw Wright play once in April, but it did not take me long to pick him out. In a game versus a deep, high motor Michigan Mustangs squad, Wright was the strongest counter Camp Darryl could offer. He did not play AAU last year, choosing to focus instead on training (see his player spotlight written by my colleague Matthew DaRosa HERE), specifically his ability to shoot off the dribble. While he shot almost only off of passes, it would seem the reps did pay off as he was money from outside! In the opening half of the contest, Wright shot 4/4 from deep. He would end up making one more to finish with five made threes. He also showed his versatility a bit by giving a nice pump fake and dunking off a baseline drive.
Colten Nelson – 6’3 – 2019 – Champs Sports (Navy) 17u/Sacred Heart Academy (MI)
Nelson had what may have been the best half of shooting at the Wes Leonard Tulip Tipoff! He finished the first half of the game with three points but then went on to add nineteen more to that, fifteen of which came from FIVE made second-half threes. His shot fell from the top of the key, the wing, the corner, anywhere around the arc. It also came off the dribble or off the pass. In addition to being able to shoot the lights out, Nelson has the handle to break down defenders. This means he must be honestly defended and can create a driving or shooting opportunity all on his own.
Noah Wiswary – 6’1 – 2019 – Sporting U 17u/Unity Christian (MI)
Wiswary is a guy who fits perfectly into the point guard’s role of playmaker. Off the dribble, he creates numerous opportunities for his teammates and can find them when they create for themselves. He also has a solid handle, out of which he makes few mistakes and can drive or shoot himself. That leads to his outside shot. I saw him at the Tulip Tipoff in May where he led his team in a major way. He was lights out from three, especially in one game where he connected on six! His court vision and shooting ability are strengths that allow him to contribute in any setting.