West Michigan Top Prospects of 2023 (10-6)

Written by
Tate Baker

We're entering the top 10 for prospects in the 2023 class from West Michigan. If you missed it, check out the athletes ranked 25-21, 20-16, and 15-11. Also, check back in tomorrow for players ranked 5-1.

6. Tyran Thomas, G, Northview

Tyran played a vital role in his sophomore season for a Northview team that has one of the more talented rosters in the area. Tyran's role and responsibilities were to grab boards, make the hustle plays, lock up defensively, and contribute to the scoring load when called upon. He played that part perfectly and proved to be one of their most consistent players last season. I fully expect Tyran to make the jump in his junior season and become one of the best two-way players in the area. Tyran has natural athleticism that exceeds that of just about anyone in the 2023 class from West Michigan. He can finish above the rim, take away shots that are at or near the rim, and grab boards at spots where only he can get to. Defensively, Tyran is someone you can trust to guard the opposing team's best ballhandler and dictate the matchup. Expect Tyran's role to exceed what it was in 2020-21 and become one of the OK White's best players in 2021-22.

7. Javion Otten, G, Kenowa Hills

Javion introduced himself to the high school hoops scene this past season, leading a young Kenowa Hills team that made significant strides in the OK Black under first-year head coach Mike Moorehead. Javion is a lanky athlete whose game blends across multiple positions. Javion is a great rebounder who does a great job of high pointing the ball off of missed shots. He creates a ton of second-chance opportunities for the Knights and limits opponents' second-chances due to his effort on the glass. Javion has also displayed a smooth stroke from behind the arch and an ability to take his man off the dribble and attack the paint. As Javion goes through another summer of developing his game and physical attributes, I expect Javion to be one of the morse sought-after recruits in the area and lead Kenowa Hills to a win total that exceeds the general public's expectation.

8.Marshaun Flakes, East Kentwood

Marshaun played a big role for an incredibly young East Kentwood team this past season. Marshaun has great size for his age and is at the moment, more physically developed than most in the 2023 class. Marshaun operates very well in transition, playing with an essence of smoothness when he knifes through defenders on his way to the basket. A big part of that is his footwork when he's going through traffic. He can score effectively when he's off-balance, and it seems to come naturally to him. Defensively, Marshaun has very quick hands and does a great job of anticipating where opposing guards are going to go, beating them to the spot or baiting them into a turnover. Another area of Marshaun's game that s promising is his perimeter jumper. His ability to knock down threes with consistency will open up other avenues of his game, making him an even tougher player to guard.

9. Damarie Thompson, G, Godwin Heights

Damarie comprised half of what was, in my opinion, the best underclassmen-led backcourt in the area for a Godwin Heights team that took home the OK Silver title in 2020-21. Playing alongside fellow 23' guard in Jakhary Towns, Damarie played the slasher role, tearing apart opposing backcourts from both ends of the court. Damarie has exceptional quickness and uses his speed to blow past defenders with several hesitation moves. An area of his game that is continuing to evolve is his finishing ability in the paint. Despite being a bit undersized, Damarie has shown he can take contact, even initiate it, and finish the unconventional three-point play. Defensively, he's shown an ability to apply pressure and stay in front of his man for a full four quarters in fullcourt and halfcourt situations. Expect Damarie to help navigate Godwin Heights to another title-contending season in the OK Silver this year.

10. Drew Caswell, G, East Grand Rapids

I saw Drew live multiple times throughout this past season and was thoroughly impressed with how he handled being the lead guard as a sophomore in what was one of the toughest leagues in the state. Drew has a natural ability to lead, which was evident by the number of high assist games he recorded last season. His handle is solid and continues to evolve, as does his ability to score. Drew has a good-looking perimeter jumper, which warrants a heavy contest/closeout. A big reason why I like Drew's game so much is he doesn't try to force things offensively. He has a solid core surrounding him, and he does a great job of setting up his guys in good situations to score. Expect Drew to be one of the area's premier point guards on what should be a highly competitive East Grand Rapids team next season.