Posted On: 07/19/21 3:31 PM
Despite its move to the Hoosier state for the second consecutive year the Brawl for the Ball Tournament had a decidedly Michigan feel to it. This was especially apparent in the 17 U division. As Flint’s Finest defeated Bates Fundamentals Red to take championship back up I-69. Here are first second team performers from the Mitten.
PG- Carmelo Harris Carmelo Harris 6'0" | CG Flint Beecher | 2022 State MI 5-10 Flint Beecher I could honestly put the entire Flint’s Finest unit in this one spot and been fine. It was basically a whole team of point guards. But alas I have to pick one. I’m going to go with Harris. Showed his state championship winning pedigree by securing the game winning tip in in a huge come from behind victory against the Academy NY2LA. Has everything but elite size. Quick enough to get the rim at will. Uses body well to shield off defenders as has no fear. Good outside shooter with a quick release. Next up in the long line of Beecher point guards. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the change at the top of this storied program.
SG- Carmelo Harris Carmelo Harris 6'0" | CG Flint Beecher | 2022 State MI 5-10 Flint Beecher I could honestly put the entire Flint’s Finest unit in this one spot and been fine. It was basically a whole team of point guards. But alas I have to pick one. I’m going to go with Harris. Showed his state championship winning pedigree by securing the game winning tip in in a huge come from behind victory against the Academy NY2LA. Has everything but elite size. Quick enough to get the rim at will. Uses body well to shield off defenders as has no fear. Good outside shooter with a quick release. Next up in the long line of Beecher point guards. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the change at the top of this storied program. SG- Ethan Crabtree Ethan Crabtree 6'5" | SG Coldwater | 2022 State MI 6-5 2022 Coldwater The book on this prospect is a very intriguing mix of perimeter skills in a tall and athletic package. In a Friday game against Parallel 45 got to the rim at will against their big frontline. A reverse layup down the baseline might have been the finish of the weekend. Showed the abilty to play the point for Anchor Basketball Academy in a close loss to DV45. Showed his defensive chops and foot speed in this contest be checking DV45’s water bug PG Scott Hughes Scott Hughes 5'11" | PG Kalamazoo Central | 2022 State MI . Highly competitive player who plays with a “good” chip on his shoulder. SF- Aidan Rubio Aidan Rubio 6'6" | SF Goodrich | 2021 State MI 6-6 2021 Goodrich (pictured at top of article) Hands down the most complete prospect on this list. Put simply there is just isn’t much he can’t do. Like a lot of Michigan kids just hasn’t been on the court due circumstances beyond his control. Hence his AAU participation despite being a 2021. Has elite size for the swing position and the game is catching up. Standout QB prospect who is focusing on basketball exclusively going forward. With this increased focus I really expect his game to take off in the coming year. I was most impressed with his shot making ability this weekend. Got it off in a variety of ways. Leaners, floaters, and just straight beasting smaller defenders in the post. He did it all. Has the quick and decisive court vision you would expect from a QB. Good passer with a tight handle. Will be attending DME Prep in Florida this year. I have a feeling we could be seeing him again on the big stage after that. PF- Kareem Rashed 6-9 2022 Detroit Country Day As you can probably tell already. This is going to be a really big first team. Rashed has the skills the be a stretch four. The depth and size of this field allows me to finally put him there. That being said he doesn’t mind moxing it up down low and can be an intimidating presence. Stat lines reflect this. Playing with the M&M Boyz Rashed’s standout game was against the West Michigan Lakers. Simply posted a ho hum triple double to the tune of 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 blocks. A huge AAU season has started to see the skills catch up to the impressive physical gifts. C- Gabe Newhof Gabe Newhof 6'8" | PF Unity Christian | 2022 State MI 6-8 2022 Hudsonville Unity Christian While I could play around with Rashed’s position. Newhof is a center all the way. And a good one at that. An old school post who does his best work with his back to the basket and around the rim. Knows who he is and takes advantages of mismatches. Playing with Grand Rapids Storm almost knocked off the eventual champions in Flint’s Finest. Went to work against this small frontline and notched 32 points. While he is probably never going to lead a fast break. He is fluid athlete who runs the court well. Broad shoulders allow him to take on contact in the post. I know there is an abundance of small college interest in this well schooled post. A big senior season might vault him higher than that. Second Team PG- Shane Rykse 6-2 2024 Schoolcraft What a long strange year it’s been. Seems like a lifetime ago but it was in this same gym that I saw a slight middle schooler put on an absolute shooting clinic with Storm UA Futures last year. Fast forward a year and not much as changed.Actually scratch that— a lot has changed. He’s now running with United Persuit. He’s filled out and sprouted up to 6-2. He also of helped Schoolcraft to a state semi final appearance. Ran the point in a loss against a good Puma Elite 1 of 1 team. Balanced distributing with a scoring touch well for 2024 prospect. Finished that contest with 27 points including 18 in a lights out first half. All prospects this age can get bigger and quicker. But right now you have an elite shooter with good size with big game experience. That’s a lot to work with. SG- Jaden Montague Jaden Montague 6'3" | PG Cadillac | 2023 State MI 6-1 2023 Cadillac It was nice to finally catch this Northern Michigan guard after injuries and circumstances kept me from catching him earlier in the season. This aggressive scoring guard had an excellent weekend for Parallel 45 16U. Standout contest was the last one of the one weekend. In the overtime victory against Indiana Game- Blue took over in the clutch. Wanted the ball and I believe he scored every point in the extra period. Has always had a mature floater and an explosive spin move. Has worked our the kinks in his release from deep and has improved his ball handling. Also played well in a Saturday evening victory against O3. Stood out defensively in this contest against their electric point guard Jamil Fuller. SF- Jalen Broyles Jalen Broyles 6'4" | SF Ypsilanti-Lincoln | 2021 State MI 6-5 2021 Ypsilanti Lincoln Like Rubio, a 2021 who just simply hasn’t been on the court that much. Made the most of it this weekend with The Academy NY2LA. Extremely long wing was unstoppable in transition. This is due to his long strides and ability to elevate quickly. Displayed this with several above the rim finishes and dunks throughout the weekend. Also very crafty with a series a euro steps that are hard to defend. Was more of a supporting piece last year with the Michigan Warriors. It was nice to see him excel in a featured role this weekend. I really feel that this young man could be a special late blooming prospect for a college coach willing to take a chance. PF- Drew Kozel Drew Kozel 6'4" | SG L'Anse Creuse North | 2024 State MI 6-5 2024 L’Anse Creuse North While his future is probably on the perimeter I’m going to place him at four right now. Playing for a small but quick Puma Elite 1 of 1 squad that was missing Braylon Isom Braylon Isom 6'1" | SG Saginaw Heritage | 2024 State MI he was really the only big on the roster. Filled in admirably. Especially Friday evening against Northwest Ohio and their 6-8 post Jake Knapke. As this shows he is tough and gritty player who plays bigger than his listed height. Earlier in the evening showed off his post savy against a smaller United Persuit frontline. Good outlet passer for a squad that really likes to get out on the break. Shoots it well from deep. With his skill set if he keeps growing he would be an ideal stretch four. C- Jalen Overway Jalen Overway 6'9" | PF Holland Christian | 2022 State MI 6-9 Holland Christian If placement was determined by the amount of college coaches watching your games. Overway might lead all prospects regardless of state. It seemed a cavalcade of coaches were watching MBA Lakeshore all weekend. What they saw was a rapidly improving prospect who is starting to fulfill the promise of his immense physical gifts. I have mentioned it before but I continue to be impressed by his vision and ability to pass out of the high post. Has always had a soft touch and the ability to finish with both hands. Good footwork in the post as well. Will never probably be the most explosive athlete. However the strides he has made in past year do not rule out growth in this area. Showed toughness by playing through an injury and still averaging double figures on the weekend. Special Mention William Young William Young 6'3" | SG Okemos | 2022 State #NA Nation MI 6-3 2022 Okemos Why special mention? Full disclosure it simply slipped my mind that Young is a Michigan kid until I was going through my notes. Shot the lights out for Indy Heat Red. Especially in their thrilling double OT loss to Indiana Game Premier. Almost willed his team to a victory and did not back down from numerous crunch time moments. A true three level scorer who can really explode at the rim. Appears to have improved his ball handling ability markedly since last summer. Intelligent player who used his body well to draw fouls and get to line. In line for big senior season.