Inside Prep Sports’ Fall Super Showcase Standouts
Inside Prep Sports/TJ Kelley
Since 2006, the Inside Prep Sports’ Fall Showcase has provided a platform for student-athletes to expand their recruitment in front of numerous college coaches and scouts. This past Sunday was no different as the talent was deep and the energy was contagious throughout the events’ drills, coaching and games. Here’s a first look at some of the many standouts and more information is on the way.
5’9” 2019 point guard Elijah Belle (Detroit Voyaguer College Prep MI.) 4.0/11 SAT and just as productive on the court as he made efficient plays for others and scored without hunting his shot. A solid shooter, Belle uses a diverse game, quickness, and strength to create space in the half court. He’s also a good defender with good hands and anticipation in the passing lanes. Belle has strong interest and opportunities from Hillsdale, Wayne State, WHAC, and MIAA schools.
6’7” 2019 small forward Brendan Downs (Novi Catholic Central, MI.) With a 3.5 GPA/32 ACT and an offer from Saginaw Valley State, Downs jumper and athleticism were on full display at the IPS Fall Showcase. His smooth jumper off the catch or one dribble is in contrast to explosiveness throwing down dunks including one off the glass from teammate and floor general, Max Perez. Like most high school wings, he needs to work on his guard skills, perimeter defense and get stronger but his production is being followed by multiple GLIAC coaching staffs as well as Oakland University who offered a walk-on opportunity.
6’10” 2019 center Caleb Hodgson (Dansville, MI.) Another high academic prospect (4.0 GPA/1250 SAT) who was strong in drills and productive in games as he dominated the boards and paint. He was solid in screen drills as his ability to pop and knock down the mid-range jumper of roll to the basket finishing with dunks was impressive. Hodgson has strong legs and a good upper body with length as well as strong hands. He rebounded well and kept the ball out of the reach of the vertically challenged. He also gets up and down the floor well often finding great position on the block where his seal was the deal. Hodgson holds D1 offers from Central Michigan, Loyola Marymount, and Western Michigan with Air Force and Cornell becoming more involved.
5’8” 2019 point guard DeShawn Marbury (Detroit Henry Ford, MI.) One of the state’s better perimeter defenders has improved his shooting and decision making at the basket the past few months. His abilities were evident at the IPS Fall Showcase as he brought positive energy throughout the day. In fast break situations he made the right plays finishing with either hand or making the efficient pass for pay ups. Despite his size he looks to make contact and create separation while extending to the basket. Marbury was also efficient in drawing defenders on the drive and finding open teammates open on the wings or corners. He has a 3.5 GPA and has an opportunity to play on the college level at Adrian while other D3 schools are also recruiting him.
6’6” 2019 power forward DeSean Munson (Ann Arbor Skyline, MI.) Energy, very athletic, good size, protects the rim, and a developing offensive game who hit the glass hard. As his game develops, so will his opportunities to play on the next level. He moves very well, has good hands, solid footwork, and gets good height on his jumper so many of the necessary tools are there. Paris CC offered in July.
6’3” 2019 wing Colten Nelson (Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, MI.) A strong student with an 1150 SAT score and a good shooting touch as perimeter and mid-range jumpers fell in with consistency. He’s a good not great athlete wo extended well going to the basket but getting stronger will help him finish through contact. Nelson showed good ball skills and kept defenders off-balance with head fakes and changing speeds. He has opportunities from Albion, Alma, and Mid-Michigan College while Defiance contacted Nelson after the showcase. Local NAIA programs have also been in contact.
6’8” 2020 power forward/center Will Dunn (Quincy, MI.) He keeps improving and another step was taken this past Sunday at the IPS Fall Showcase as he threw down dunks, hit the glass, defended the rim, and was efficient from the mid-range and in. While the perimeter isn’t his bread and butter he effectively used pump fakes and a dribble to get to the basket or pull up at the elbow. He’s a good student with length and one can tell that the weight room is helping. Ferris State and Hillsdale have offered. Air Force, Ball State, Central Michigan, Davison, Duquesne, Holy Cross, Miami (OH.), Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Iowa, Stanford, Toledo, Western Michigan, and William & Mary are recruiting Dunn.
6’6” 2020 center Dylan Hignite (Holly, MI.) A player to keep an eye on in the future as he has a good motor, length, and plays in the post despite his slight frame. He has good hands and uses his length well on the defensive end. His offense will improve with repetition as he sometimes seemed to rush his scoring opportunities in the post instead of gathering himself to power up and finish. Son of former 20th century EMU quarterback John Hignite.
5’11” 2020 point guard Mark Mayberry (Detroit Loyola, MI.) Mayberry has good pace and does a great job of keeping defenders off balance with a slow ‘em up/slow ‘em down style that helped him get to the basket and get the window of opportunity to knock down jumpers. He has good balance, body control, and athleticism while finishing at the basket. He’s also a solid defender and the younger brother of Keith Appling.
5’10” 2020 point guard Max Perez (Hudsonville, MI.) The floor general did a great job of setting the table and dropping dimes all day. Smart play, took care of the possession, called his own number at the appropriate times, and made shots. He’s confident going left or right and his court awareness allowed him to read passing lanes on the defensive end and throwing the dime off the glass for a Brandan Downs dunk was one of the event’s many highlights. Perez also has a 3.4 GPA.
6’5” 2020 small forward Tae’Veon Ruffin (Belleville, MI.) If anyone thought Belleville would drop off hard after their loaded 2018 class graduated, it’s not going to happen. Ruffin will be a player to keep an eye on over the next year as he has a quality skill set, plays with confidence, athleticism, length, and a knack for making others around him better whether it be making the right passes or setting timely screens that lead to buckets. He played like a future scholarship player and the level will start to become clearer in the next year.