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Top available 2018 prospects from the PSL Quarterfinals
The Detroit Public School League (PSL) is likely the toughest and best conference in the state regardless of school size. Many of the best basketball prospects in this state's history have played in this conference, and many of the top basketball teams both past and present play in this conference.
Sunday, February 11th turned out to be one of the biggest and best day of hoops during the MHSAA season. This was by accident and was not a planned event. A major snowstorm just days earlier caused most schools in mid and eastern Michigan to cancel all evening activities for Friday and Saturday.
With all 4 PSL quarterfinals taking place under 1 roof in just 1 day, many of the state's top prospects in every class were participating in games. Below are a handful of the top available 2018 prospects that played in the PSL quarterfinals:
Zavon was dominant in their loss to Renaissance. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds and a couple blocks, which was the highest amount of anyone on the day for rebounds. Godwin has one of the best motors in the state, and he combines that with his plus athleticism to make him a consistent double double threat. He gets off the floor effortlessly off 1 or 2 feet which allows him to be a great finisher and rim protector. Zavon plays bigger than 6'5 and has proven that in AAU and in one of the top conferences in the state. He should be a high priority recruit for D2s and even some low D1s.
Detroit Western had no answer for Gibbs in the opening game. He had 21 points and did it in a variety of ways. Gibbs' calling card at the next level will be his shooting ability. He knocked down shots in different ways all game long. Off the catch, off curl screens or off his own dribble. He did all these at both mid range and from deep as well. He is an undersized shooting guard, which likely means he would be best if pursued by D3 and JUCO schools.
Tobias is a tough, blue collar forward who provides a little bit of everything for Cass Tech. Inside, he is one of the better two handed players in the state. He frequently preferred finishing with his "weak" left hand, and looked extremely comfortable shooting hook shots over either shoulder with both hands. Tobias is also very strong inside, and has a good motor going after shots off the rim. At 6'6, he is a bit of a tweener in terms of his size and his position, but he still has been a consistent producer versus high level competition. He does not have any offers currently, so JUCO school should really be on Tobias going forward.
In AAU, Richmond was a very good shooter for REACH Legends, and he also ran quite a bit of point guard duties for them. For Cass Tech, his role this season has been playing more off the ball. He shown in their game against DEPSA that he can easily do it, and is likely even better at the 2 than the 1. He caught fire in the third quarter and made 3 3s in a row in about a 2 minute stretch. Versus DEPSA, he finished with a team high 13 points. Richmond has always been considered a shooter, but he frequently has struggled during the season. Likely in part due to never being able to get consistent minutes due to Cass Tech's ridiculously high quality depth from top to bottom. D3s are holding out hope for him, and JUCOs will likely be on him as well.
Benning was the Doughboys best two-way player in their game against Henry Ford. He posted a double-double, which has been a fairly regular occurrence this season. He is undersized for a forward, but he has the combination of strength, athleticism and a wide from that allows him to play closer to 6'7 or 6'8. More than just a motor, he has quite a bit of skill facing up at mid range and making plays with his own dribble or finishing down in the low post. His touch is pretty good and he has the power to regularly finish through contact. JUCOs should be all over Benning, and it would not surprise me to see him land at a D2 in 1-2 years as highly productive undersized forward.
Toodles is one of the toughest players in the state. And like Godwin, you can bet that he will bring it every single game. Toodles struggled against Henry Ford offensively, especially in the half court, but he was still effective on the glass and on the defensive end. He has multiple D2 offers, and could be a really good player at that level. If Toodles can show improvement in the half court in breaking down opponents and making plays, he could easily slide up to a low D1 level. He also is extremely young for a senior, so there are rumors he could do a post graduate season instead of going to college.
Brown is another Doughboy who was not only one of the top available seniors on this day, he is one of the top unsigned seniors in the state. Brown looked comfortable shooting from deep, as he hit a pair of threes and has displayed a good ability to shoot from deep in previous games this season. He also has good size for a wing and has the athleticism to bring crowds to their feet. Brown is an intriguing prospect, because some think he could play at a low D1. Yet his recruitment has been amazingly quiet. It is rumored that a few top NAIA programs have been on him and if they land him, they could have a potential star for much of his college career.
You would think that this is a Detroit Pershing article, but they really do possess a handful of the top available seniors in the state, and these guys have proven it in both AAU and high school. Hill has one of the quickest first steps in the state with the ball, and it makes him an extremely difficult guard to stay in front of. That quick burst explosiveness allows him to get his shots almost whenever he wants. He also has real nice handles in tight spaces, and is actually pretty athletic despite only standing around 5'9. He could be a highly productive guard at the JUCO level next season.
Ulmer is one of the top pure shooters in the state, and he put that on display against Pershing. He started out the game on fire, hitting 3 3s and scoring 11 in the first quarter. At 6'2, he has great size to be a pure shooter at the college level. He knows how to move around the perimeter to get space from defenders when teammates drive and try to kick, and he knows how to utilize screens to get open as well. His range also extends several feet behind the high school 3 point line, which makes me believe he should have no issues at all shooting from the college line. He needs to improve in other areas of his game, like handling the ball and lateral mobility on defense, but he is such a good shooter that it would be insane for some college at the JUCO or D3 level not to take a shot at him.
Garland is a score first guard, who is natural at doing just that. Against East English and several other games I have seen this year, he has scored in a variety of ways. Off the catch, mid range pull ups, basket cuts or slashes in the half court, he has shown he could get it done. Garland does need to improve his handles a little more and become a little bit more of a playmaker. If he does, he could be a very successful D3 guy right off the bat.
Holmes is not a high level scorer, but he does a lot of other things that could make him a good JUCO player. He rebounds well, is a great low post defender despite giving up some height, and he does a lot of other little things that have helped to make Renaissance so good this season. With some additional work on his touch, Holmes could be a real good player for a JUCO team that competes for their conference and regional championships.
Nix is a microwave scorer off the bench for the Bulldogs. Against Renaissance he was killing the Phoenix with timely buckets that helped East English claw their way back into the game, including a 4 point play late. His lack of size and the fact that he plays as a SG limits his ceiling, but he could still be a pretty good D3 or JUCO player just because he has a knack for scoring.