A Great Eight and Some

Many members of this 17u group are "getting looks" and accepting offers from Division I teams. This is an alphabetical list and there are a few underclassmen in the mix.

TROY, MI --While yesterday's list from the Motown Showdown highlighted the best performance's today's list focuses on eight of the more recognizable names in the tournament. Many members of this 17u group are "getting looks" and accepting offers from Division I teams. This is an alphabetical list and there are a few underclassmen in the mix.

Flint Carman-Ainsworth's 6'2 Jonathan Lee is a top ten combo guard in Michigan's '08 class. He brings tough defense on every play and this lefty has a nice pull up-jumper from mid-range. Coaches like his toughness and I'm not sure who's looking at him on the D-I level but, his Common Bond AAU team is one that might have a Horizon or Ohio Valley player or two ready for the taking.

Adrian Lucienne has skipped around a little bit over the last few years but, he's always brought his game with him. The 6'5 wing/2 guard spent his first two years of high school in North Carolina and the first half of this year with Toledo Bowsher before transferring to Toledo Scott. He's playing with the Ohio Gators and he was tough on the boards, a good ball-handler on the wing, and an overall athletic player but, with a better than average shot. He's getting looks from Miami (OH.), Central Michigan, and other MAC schools.

6' point guard Dontae Molden already has a D-I body and a tenacious defender. He elevated his game over the high school season for legendary Detroit Pershing and is spending his season with the Michigan Mustangs. He's not super speedy but, has a few different gears, handles the ball well, and uses his size well. He's not the greatest shooter but, has proved that you can't leave him open or knock down that open three. Molden also has a nice basketball IQ. He might have an offer from IPFW and if he keeps developing his choices will only grow.

Dan Possehl is the 6'9 forward from Wyoming Tri-Unity that played so well in Michigan's high school semi-final and final games a few weeks back. This is his first year playing AAU ball and one can notice the difference between the two seasons as the versatile forward is getting used to the speed and size that the spring season brings. Expect this player to improve with every passing tournament and should be a player under the mid-majors scope when the Grand Rapids Storm head to Vegas in July.

Michigan's best shooter is Frankenmuth's 6'1 combo guard Brad Redford and has range from 25 feet (no joke). He didn't shoot it a lot in the Mustang's championship loss but, he popped six from deep in a pool play game. He made a verbal commitment to Xavier a few months ago.

Another highlight player from Michigan's State Championship games is Bath's 6'6 wing Eli Redman who runs with the Michigan Roadrunners over the AAU season. He's athletic and although thin isn't afraid to mix it up when needed in the paint. He really thrives when teammates find him on the wing while in transition as he can go the basket or pull up for a mid-range jumper. Coaches on the D-II level love him but, as he improves his average guard skills and better than average perimeter shooting his stock will rise.

A player that many in Michigan have been waiting to see since his high school season with Cadillac ended is 6'7 shooting guard/wing Ben Simons. This sophomore is playing on the Grand Rapids Storm 17u and he didn't let down the on-lookers as he hit four threes in one game and his heady play is surprising for a young player but, that's why he's playing up. As, he gets more dog and confidence in him his roll for the Storm will even become that much more. The kid can shoot it as well as anyone in his class and he handles the ball with experience. He's getting looks from mid-majors in Michigan and recently Xavier.

6'9 forward Jay Thames sure did enjoy winning again as the Michigan Select team he headlines took the weekend's championship. His high school team, Port Huron Northern, didn't have the best season as readers may remember from an article on the multi-talented forward few weeks ago. He plays a lot of four and five position for the Select team and is starting to show some signs of the grindy, Detroit brand of basketball that some questioned. He did a good job of facing up to the basket and beating his man with slithery moves around the hoop. He has offers from Central Michigan and Oakland University with bigger fish following his play over the spring/summer.

The other starter from the Pershing backcourt joined high school teammates, Molden and 6'6 forward Lugene Davis, on the Mustangs is 6'2 combo guard Demetrius Ward. He's a young rising senior that has grown three or four inches over the last year and I don't know if he's used a razor yet. I see a lot of upside in this kid as his play seems to improve every time he steps on the court. He can shoot with range, dunk with ease, posses above average handles, makes good passes, and thrives in the open court. I expect a lot of coaches in the coming weeks to ask, "Who's that?"

I expect Battle Creek Central's 6'10 Jason Washburn to continue his development as the best pure post man in Michigan's '08 class and there aren't an abundance of stellar post players in that class. His quick hops and ever improving game don't leave a lot of question in my decision. He talks his team up and plays hard on either end of the court. Washburn holds the ball high, finds good position whether rebounding or on the blocks while looking to score, and he's not quick to leave his feet for pump fakes. The big guy still needs to prove that he can put on more weight but, that hasn't stopped Oakland University from offering and even bigger fish like Purdue that are keeping Washburn under their micro-scope. He has been under Michigan and Michigan State's radar for over a year.

Fresh off a state championship with Saginaw this 6'2 combo guard Daniel West has all the confidence in the world and he backs it up with his game. He can fill up the scoring column quickly by bombing from beyond the arc, taking his man to the hoop, or on the break as his defense often translates into easy buckets for himself or teammates. He has given a verbal commitment to Bradley University.

Michigan's most talked about freshman was playing on Team Detroit's 17u team and manning the point. Well who wouldn't talk about a 6'5 starting freshman point guard? The Mt. Pleasant residence attends Dow and his father is the head coach for Central Michigan U. He still looks young and might have a few more inches of growing room in him. He didn't take over or anything this past weekend as he's playing with new teammates and may worry about stealing thunder from the rising seniors on his team.

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