Sam Webb, Andre Barthwell, Kyle Bogenschutz, and Josh Newkirk contributed to this report.
Paris Bass – SF, Birmingham (MI) Seaholm, (reclassifying to 2014) - Out of nowhere this versatile youngster emerged as one of the camp’s top performers and one of the most versatile players in attendance. At 6-6 and roughly 190-lbs. he showed an impressive ability to put it on the floor and was a tenacious rebounder. One of his most impressive sequences came when he grabbed a rebound, shook a defender at the half court line with a crossover, and got to the rim for a lay-up. We saw him stick a few jumpers and follow up his misses aggressively for putbacks. In a match-up with Kameron Chatman he out-played his better known opponent. Bass matched Chatman’s length and quickness, but was stronger and was able to push four-star small forward around a bit. Offensively it was again Bass’ ability to get to the rim that stood out. He blew past Chatman on a few different occasions for high percentage looks at the rim. Word has it that it wasn’t Bass’ first time performing well in a toe-to-toe battle with heralded opponent. A few weeks back a match-up with Jae’Sean Tate brought out the best in the former Birmingham Seaholm star. It was a one-sided battle in Tate’s favor when Bass’ block of a dunk attempt began level things off. From there he reportedly showed his penchant for getting to the rim while also flashing three-point range. Bass is headed off to prep school next year to improve his game and his recruiting profile. Looks like he is already well on his way to doing both.
Devin Booker – SG, Moss Point (MS), 2014 - Last year at this time Devin Booker was mostly a shooter. Sure he had a good handle, but often he’d get knocked off of his dribble by opponents that chose to get physical with him. The strength issue would manifest itself on the defensive end as well. That strength issue is no more. Booker consistently got by opposition that came out to get a hand in his face on the perimeter, but now he dribbles through contact and finishes despite it. The best example of his improved physicality was his match-up with power forward Noah Dickerson. The 6-7, 240 lb. Dickerson worked to back Booker down, but Booker gave little ground. He played the game at a different speed the look a player has when he is the best player in attendance and can pretty much do what he wants. Easily the most comfortable player in attendance the entire day. He really got things cooking in all areas of his game towards the latter part of the scrimmage portion, knocking down the three ball with a hand in his face, step-back jumpers, aggressively attacking the rim to finish through contact with a finger roll, even attacking the offensive glass for a two-handed put back dunk that was one of the highlights of the entire camp. Clearly he is in a good place mentally and physically right now. His scrimmage team never lost and he was all over the floor falling for loose balls whenever he had the chance. The kid showcased a winner attitude. Off the court Booker looked like he was at home with friends he'd known his entire life -- laughing, joking, and chit chatting with coaches, current Michigan players, support staff, trainers, and more. Booker stood out above the rest Saturday.
Ricky Doyle – C, Fort Myers (FL) Bishop Verot, 2014 - The first thing one notices about Doyle are he extremely long arms. They allow him to play much bigger than his 6-7/6-8 height. His offensive game is all about versatility. He was very effective with jumpers out to 18 feet all around the court. He was also very good on the block, establishing position well and was never ridden off his spot. He isn't going to wow anyone as an athlete but he plays with a mentality that would make Tyler Hansbrough proud. Doyle is as intense a competitor as you'll see and didn't back down from any of the other big men participating in the camp. He finished absolutely EVERYTHING in the paint. Doyle has terrific footwork and utilizes his body to shield oncoming defenders from blocking his shot. He also showed an ability to do a little pick and pop offensively, stretching the floor and bringing the center or power forward guarding him away from the basket. No doubt Doyle was the most consistent big man in attendance Saturday and someone that should be a very productive four-year player in Ann Arbor.
Kameron Chatman - SF, Long Beach (CA) Poly, 2014 - Chatman's potential is obvious and his versatility was on full display. At 6-7, Chatman displayed terrific court awareness and an ability to get his teammates involved, almost to a fault at times. He was forced to carry his team during the scrimmage portion of camp and wore out towards the end. Before that wall came, though, Chatman was smoothly knocking down mid-range jumpers, sliding his way into the paint for tough finishes at the rim, and showing nice anticipation by jumping into the passing lane for steals on the defensive end. In the drill sessions he calmly hit 6/10 three-point shots in a 30-second interval, and during the 1-on-1 session he recorded four blocks in a five minute span alone. More consistency on his jump shot and more muscle to his frame are the necessary improvements to his game, but his potential is obvious and he showed why he is considered to be one of the top small forwards in the country.
Noah Dickerson – PF, Atlanta (GA) Lovett, 2015 - Dickerson was an absolute bull in the post. The Peach State star commanded space in the paint like few others at the camp. He was ready to challenge any and all players that dare stepped into his paint. One of his more impressive sequences featured him grabbing a rebound, starting the fast break, then dishing off to a guard on the wing before getting it back as he sprinted to the rim for a lay-up. Activity is the staple of his game. Though his mid-range jumper wasn't falling, he was able to grab rebounds, set solid screens, and put the ball in the bucket inside. Still tightening up his body and looking to add more muscle to his frame, the upside with this young man is high and should be in line for some major development in his game over the next couple of years. In a match-up with Ricky Doyle, Dickerson was bested by the Michigan commit but was never afraid to challenge him… all the way until the end when his shot attempt was blocked by Doyle in the closing seconds of a loss.
Others of Note
Nate Fowler – C, Cincinnati (OH) Moeller, 2015 - Fowler is a very physical big man that continues to use his body well and run the floor. Whether it's sealing off his man to help his teammate get an easy bucket or setting a hard screen, Fowler does a lot of little things that really help on the floor. Still developing his mid-range jump shot, there's a lot to like about the size and ability of Fowler, someone tough enough to play in the Big Ten someday. Fowler will need to learn to shield the ball with his body a little better at the rim, having his shot rejected on a few occasions Saturday, receiving coaching advice to pump fake from time to time and finish. . He is listed at 6-foot-8, but might be closer to 6-foot-10 now, and is probably still growing. He should be a guy to keep an eye on over the next year.
Janeau Joubert – PG, Ypsilanti (MI), 2014 - The nephew of former Michigan standout Antoine Joubert impressed with his shooting ability. The 6-0 170-pounder again showed he can knock down triples standing still or pulling up off the dribble. His deep range helps create alleys to the basket, as opponents have come out to contest. In the floor-generalship department he made a habit of finding the open man in transition. He won’t make a living blowing by opponents off the dribble in the half-court, but his shooting ability and high basketball IQ are tailor-made for a ball-screen heavy offense. That’d get him in the lane with greater frequency, and more times than not he’d make the right decision when he got there. Currently he is a solid mid major prospect with a chance to be even more.
Mack Mercer – PF, Plymouth (IN), 2014- This guy on the low block was impressive with the way he called for the ball and then finished at the basket. Mercer is a tough cover because he can also step out and drop a mid-range jumper or a three on you. Plus he is a solid rebounder who also can defend. Fortunately for him he had a point guard that involved him in the game. (See Nick Rogers) He is up to 12 offers at this time and it’s easy to see why.
Prentiss Nixon – SG, Bolingbrook (IL), 2015 - Nixon looked far more confident Saturday than he has been in quite some time. When he caught the ball on the wing there was no hesitation. The shot was going up if he was open. If there was any possibility for penetration, Nixon aggressively snuck through the defense looking to set up a teammate for an easy one inside or glide in for a finger roll. He now looks quicker and more athletic than the last few times we observed him at length. He is looking more and more like a point guard that can score when necessary and live in the painted area.
Nick Rogers – PG, Whitestown (IN) Traders Point Christian, 2015 - Just plain solid is the best way to describe Rogers. Not a lot of flash, but he gets the job done. He wasn’t focused as much on his own scoring as he was setting up teammates. There were flashes of driving to the basket, but for the most part he ran his team like a solid point guard should. Rogers involved his big guys by getting them to touches as often as he could. Teams looking for the quintessential pass-first / shoot-second point guard will love this kid.
Jaylen Walker – SG, Romulus (MI), 2015 - When watching Walker his effort always stands out first and then his athleticism. He plays hard ALL THE TIME. Now his skill is coming into play. He starting to knock down three and still gets a lot of buckets going to the basket. Defensively he is going to be a terror because he takes it personal when he is guarding someone. Walker is not a kid many know about right now, but with the summer he is having you will hear more from him.
Staff’s Top Five Camper Picks
|Devin Booker||Devin Booker||Devin Booker||Devin Booker|
|Ricky Doyle||Ricky Doyle||Ricky Doyle||Ricky Doyle|
|Paris Bass||Paris Bass||Kameron Chatman||Kameron Chatman|
|Kameron Chatman||Kameron Chatman||Prentiss Nixon||Noah Dickerson|
|Noah Dickerson||Noah Dickerson||Noah Dickerson||Nate Fowler|