What a Difference a Year Makes: Michigan Juniors to See
Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley
In Michigan, we like to stay on top of our basketball by knowing the up and coming players and there is no better time than now. Michigan’s 2018 class is the best Michigan has seen as far as depth and maybe even talent in over ten years and arguably the best in the 21st Century. Put this in to perspective, there are 28 players in this class with either Division I (25) or Division II (3) offers. The 2017 class has 30 total committed players as of today. That includes D I, DII, D III, and NAIA. Michigan’s 2016 class had 20 total Division I commits. It’s not a stretch to say the 2018 class will have 40 Division I commits. If this class doesn’t reach 40, then expect non-D I in-state schools to reap the benefits and believe me, they are licking their chops when thinking of the talent pool that can take them to championship levels. This class is owned and defined by size, skill, and depth. Here’s a look at five players to see soon and often:
6’9” 2018 forward Marcus Bingham (Grand Rapids Catholic Central, MI.) A transfer from Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills was hard to evaluate in the 2015 Motor City Roundball Classic as he didn’t show much offense, but had the raw tools of running the floor very well, length, and athleticism. Fast forward to April at the Storm Classic and Bingham showed a very impressive offensive set by getting to the basket and pulling up for deep mid-range jumpers while showing the same defensive tools as far as blocking shots, rebounding, and running the floor for put back dunks. He’s had over 20 D I coaches watch him work out this fall and unquestionably a top 5 player in Michigan’s 2018 class.
6’7” 2018 small forward Gabe Brown (Belleville, MI.) Let’s go back to December of 2015 and the Fastbreak Invitational where Brown was getting busy in a jv game putting up 35 points in Belleville’s auxiliary gym. A month later he was on the varsity knocking down jumpers and throwing down dunks in transition. April rolls around and the offensive minded lefty starts picking up his first offers and by the end of the summer his multiple offers solidify him as a top five player in the class. Belleville is loaded with juniors and will be one of the most talented and exciting teams to see over the next two years.
6’8” 2018 power forward LaTrevion “Tray” Jackson (Detroit Western, MI.) He made the move from Ypsilanti Lincoln to Detroit Western last winter and was potential with flashes of production. Moving into the spring the lefty’s production became more consistent and when he’s producing he’s a dangerous inside outside player. He’s earned offers from Horizon, MAC, and Summit schools with a lot of college interest. He has a solid and improving skill set with the natural tools of length, quickness, and athleticism. When the motor and consistency truly roll around he becomes a special player.
6’7” 2018 forward Carter Nyp (Wayland Union, MI.) He showed intrigue over the spring and summer by playing up and producing with the West Michigan Lakers 17u squad. In the Michigan Elite 25-Grand Rapids satellite camp he showed a lot of what looks to be a special player as he hit perimeter shot after perimeter shot. The players knew it, too, as they looked to get him open as he moved well without the ball and caught the ball ready to shoot. At one point hitting five threes in a row and eight in a game. Hand down, man down. Wayland Union is already a seasoned top 5 team in Class B and his play fits in well with all-state seniors and Davenport commits, center Zach Nieuwkoop and point guard Avery Hudson. He's also a great student.
6’8” 2018 power forward Trevion Williams (Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies, MI.) 13 months ago he was in Chicago, but moved to Detroit after a family tragedy. By end of December he was more myth as fans, college coaches, and opponents were awestruck by the 6’6” 260+ pound sophomore who made half-court jumpers, played all five positions, rebounded like every miss was his, and made the passes of the slickest point guard. Recruiting interest was there during the high school season and skyrocketed in April through the rest of the summer and into the fall where Big Ten offers flowed and visits became common. He is arguably the top player in Michigan’s 2018 class as he's slimmed down. He's also a great student and didn't turn 16 until late summer.
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