1. Keith Appling, G, Detroit Pershing (2010) MICHIGAN STATE
There may be other players who are more athletic, some who are better shooters and some who might be as good at leading their teams on the floor, but no one puts all the pieces together in one package as well as Appling. His experience playing in big games shows. He accepts the challenge from all comers and usually comes out on top. His combination of the ability to break down defenders off the dribble, to make the 12-18 foot jumper, to set up his teammates with his deft passing and his tenacious defense puts Appling #1 on our list.
2. Ray McCallum, G, Detroit Country Day (2010) UNCOMITTED
If not for the presence of Appling, McCallum would be a top this list because there is very little difference in the level of their respective games. McCallum, son of University of Detroit head coach Ray McCallum, knows how to run a club, get everyone their shots and spot up for his own when needed. Expect McCallum to have a banner season playing with three other Division 1 prospects (DaShonte Riley, Jordan Dumars and Donnavan Kirk). He won't be phased by the pressure of high expectations. Kansas currently leads Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan and of course, Detroit for his services.
3. Trey Zeigler, G, Mt. Pleasant (2010) UNCOMMITTED
Zeigler is a rising star who shows off what you would expect from a coaches' son; a heady floor game, a solid mid range jumper and the ability to get to the rack and produce under pressure.
Zeigler is being recruited by schools from coast-to-coast and with good reason, seldom do you find a solid 6-foot-5 combo guard prospect with the ability to also run the point.
UCLA appears to have a slight early lead over CMU, Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State, Kansas and Pittsburgh, but Michigan appears to be making up ground quickly.
4. Derrick Nix, F, Detroit Pershing (2009) MICHIGAN STATE
No one has made more progress between his sophomore and senior seasons than Nix, who at one time was a big 310-pounder. He disciplined himself (cutting out the fast food), slimmed down, hit the weights and became one of the most dominating big men over the summer.
After MSU saw him outplay some of the most highly rated big men in the country on the AAU circuit, they moved to wrap him up and bring back the toughness and interior physicality that they were lacking. Teaming with another incoming freshman commitment for the Spartans, Ohioan Garrick Sherman, the two should provide the power interior game that MSU needs to balance out its perimeter attack.
5. Donnavan Kirk, F, Detroit Country Day (2009) MIAMI, FL
This is the one in-state prospect that got away from the Spartans.
MSU had so many talented backcourt and frontcourt prospects (Royce White, Richard Howell, Jamil Wilson, Ari Stewart, Noel Johnson) on their radar that they couldn't sign them all. Kirk, arguably the state's top small forward, will take his considerable talents to Miami, FL where he's likely to play immediately. At 6-foot-8, 205-pounds, Kirk's a strong finisher around the basket, runs the court well and just needs to get stronger on the boards to be the complete prospect.
THE REST OF THE TOP-25
6. Jordan Morgan, F, University of Detroit Jesuit (2009) MICHIGAN
7. Doug Anderson, F, Kalamazoo Christian (2009) UNCOMMITTED
8. Dion Sims, F, Orchard Lake St. Mary's (2009) UNCOMMITTED
9. Isiah Sykes, G, Detroit Finney (2010) UNCOMMITTED
10. DaShonte Riley, C, Detroit Country Day (2009) UNCOMMITTED
11. Brandan Kearney, G, Detroit Southeastern (2011) UNCOMMITTED
12. Alex Gauna, F, Eaton Rapids (2010) UNCOMMITTED
13. James Still, F, Detroit Community (2009) UNCOMMITTED
14. Jon Horford, F, Grand Ledge (2010)UNCOMMITTED
15. LaDontae Henton, F, Lansing Eastern (2011) UNCOMMITTED
16. Vonn Jones, G, Saginaw Arthur Hill (2009) UNCOMMITTED
17. Kevin McCarty, C, Warren De La Salle Collegiate (2009) UNCOMMITTED
18. Michael Talley III, G, Melvindale Academy for Business and Technology (2010) UNCOMMITTED
19. Carlton Brundage, G, Southfield (2011) UNCOMMITTED
20. Percy Gibson, F, Detroit Southeastern (2011)
21. Jordan Dumars, G, Detroit Country Day (2009) SOUTH FLORIDA
22. Tommy McCune, F, Saginaw (2011) UNCOMMITTED
23. Mohamed Conde, F, Belleville (2010) UNCOMMITTED
24. Amire Williams, F, Detroit Country Day (2011) UNCOMMITTED
25. A.J. Mathew, G, Ann Arbor Huron (2011) UNCOMMITTED
OTHERS BUBBLING JUST BELOW THE TOP-25.
Jared Myliwiec, G, Wyoming Tri Unity Christian
Alex Marcotullio, G, Warren De La Salle Collegiate
John Hoskins, F, Roseville Conner Creek Academy East
Duke Mondy, G, Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Drew Valentine, G, Lansing Sexton
Darrell Canady, F, Detroit Finney
Agree or Disagree? Did we miss someone who deserves a closer look? Do you think someone's too high or someone WAY too low? Post your thoughts in the Hoops Insight message board's top-25 thread.