Westland John Glenn Scrimmage
Inside Prep Sports/TJ Kelley
Westland John Glenn’s annual pre-season scrimmage is arguably the top scrimmage in Michigan with recent state champions and many of the state’s most talented teams participating. Basketball fans should be excited for the upcoming season as the 2018 class is one of Michigan’s best over the last twenty years and there are plenty of juniors who have become impact players for their teams.
DEPSA made it to the Class C semi-finals in March losing to eventual state champion Flint Beecher. The Pioneers are the #1 Class C preseason team and have the pieces to beat any team in the state. Senior point guard PJ Mitchell signed with Central Michigan and Beecher has been his post-season nemesis as he keyed Detroit Loyola to a Breslin run as a sophomore before losing in overtime. 6’5” senior wing Gary Solomon, jr. (LIU-Brooklyn) brings toughness, athleticism, and a scorers’ edge while 6’8” senior center Deante “Spider” Johnson (Cleveland State) is the state’s top shot-blocker and among the top rebounders. 6'5" junior small forward Brian Taylor, jr. is one of many 6'3"-6'7" juniors in Detroit who either have scholarship offers or are trending towards offers. Taylor adds scoring from the perimeter and added strength is helping him become a more productive players inside of 10'.
Flint Beecher has won five of the last six Class C state championships and return key players who can return them back to the Breslin. The Bucs’ guard play will have to carry the squad and they’re good. 6’2” 2018 shooting guard Theatrice King knocked down jumper after jumper on Saturday’s scrimmage at Westland John Glenn and he can emerge in an expanded role. Sophomore point guard Jalen Terry is a top 50 player in the country with the skill and physical tools to play anywhere in the country. Embracing leadership as the team’s floor general will be key to Beecher’s success. Fellow sophomore Earnest Sanders is one of the state’s most electric players and his aerial display was on full throttle on Saturday as he knocked down jumpers and rocked the rims with dunks. Point guard Keyon Menefield, jr. is one of the state’s top incoming freshman and he plays much bigger than 5’8” and 130 pounds.
Warren De LaSalle won a football state championship on Friday and in John Glenn’s gym on Saturday morning. De LaSalle is a top ten preseason team in Class A and confidence often flows from football to basketball and the Pilots have key players who play both sports. Lake Superior State landed a commitment from the state’s top passing point guard in 6’5” senior point guard Justin Fischer. His improved jumper is the difference between him being coveted as a D3 or NAIA recruit to one of the GLIAC’s top teams. 6’5” senior power forward Luke Pfromm didn’t play in the scrimmage as he led the football to a state title on Friday. Pfromm is a solid all-around player who can hurt teams on the block, the high post, or the perimeter where he is a threat to score or make the key pass for a bucket.
Detroit Renaissance has the front-court to compete with anyone in the state but their guard play will key much of their success. 6’5” junior wing Chandler Turner is one of the state’s most versatile players and he will move over to play the point as needed as he did last season. 6’7” junior Carrington McCaskill is one of the state’s most athletic players and his game has expanded as he’s become a more consistent mid-range and perimeter shooter. 6’5” senior power forward/center Devin Holmes brings energy, strength, toughness, and rebounding to the table. Senior point guard Cortez Garland and freshman point guard Keon Henderson, jr. can be difference makers for the Phoenix.
Muskegon was solid but far from being at full strength as nine basketball players were busy winning a football state championship. However, when a player’s name is called and he better but ready. Such is the case with 6’2” senior guard Edriese Jenkins who did a great job of scoring at the basket, hitting floaters, slashing through defenders, and the lefty also hit perimeter jumpers.
Grand Rapids Union’s trio of senior point guard Justin Fox, junior guard Jose Torres, and junior power forward Jaivian Fowler were solid in their scrimmage on Tuesday and very productive on Saturday in Westland. Fox’ speed and aggressive ability to get to the basket compliment Torres’ shooting and perimeter game while Fowler will trend towards larger college opportunities if he continues to clean up the glass, dunk every opportunity, and put in work in the paint.
6'6" 2018 forward Nelson McCaulley (Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills, MI.) signed with Ferris State in mid-November and on Saturday he was arguably the top player at Westland John Glenn's scrimmage. Too big, too strong, and too athletic to be stopped on the way to dunks down the lane. Defenders picked their poison as he knocked down jumpers from 19' and in when he was given too much space or dragged a couple of defenders with him on the way to the basket. The Bulldogs got a good one.
6’8” 2020 power forward Isaiah Jackson (Detroit Old Redford, MI.) is Inside Prep Sports’ top 2020 player and a top 25 player nationally. At Waterford Kettering’s scrimmage on Friday, Jackson showed his value as the state’s top defender regardless of class. He guards all positions anywhere on the court, rebounds in and out of his area, and his timing when blocking shots is only outdone by his ability to keep blocks inbounds.
6’ 2019 Joe Moon IV (Westland John Glenn, MI.) is the consistent player that most successful coaches look for in their point guard and it won’t stop in high school. Moon is Michigan’s top point guard in the 2019 class as communication, defense, passing, and efficiency are all keys in helping make his teammates better. While he has a reliable jumper, consistency from the perimeter will be a determining factor on what level of Division 1 basketball he will play.
6’6” 2019 power forward/center Caleb Bates (St. Claire Shores Lakeshore, MI.) is taking the necessary steps in looking more like a basketball player than a football player and while that may never come full circle, the dropped weight has helped athleticism and stamina. Such play was evident as he went off two-feet multiple times for two-handed put back dunks. He sets a mean screen and his improved jumper makes him a tough check as he’s already near unstoppably going to the basket. With a 3.5 gpa he should have many suitors beyond the MAC and Horizon.