Arthur Hill tournament notes: Is Maurice Jones the state’s best?

Posted: December 20, 2009 by Jared Field in High School
Tags: , , , ,

SAGINAW, Michigan –I feel it appropriate to give the short answer, paying homage to the 5-foot-6 Maurice Jones:


Jones is the best basketball player in Michigan this season and everyone in the gym at Saginaw Arthur Hill on Saturday knows it.

Jones, who will be playing at USC next season, shredded a much larger and more talented Kalamazoo Central squad to the tune of 33 points and 10 assists. No one could come close to covering him or matching his will to lead Arthur Hill to the 7-point win.

And, if you want to know the truth, he made Kalamazoo Central’s stud, Devon Oliver, look really average by comparison. (Oliver doesn’t even look like the best player on his team, though.)

The kid just makes plays. When his team needed a bucket, he always came through. If it needed one player to make it out of a scrum with the ball, he was that player.

He’s my Mr. Basketball.

In addition to Jones, the Lumberjacks got a huge performance out of senior forward Tyler Dwyer. This kid was an absolute warrior in the paint and out-worked every player on the floor for rebounds. Also, 6-9 sophomore forward Jordan Hare has to be the best big in the 2012 class. Matt Costello (Bay City Western) is really good, but I have a hunch that this Hare will develop into the best frontline prospect in Michigan. He’s long, athletic and seemingly not intimidated by opposing big men.

I stuck around for the Bridgeport vs. Saginaw Heritage game which took on the character of a Super Bowl Sunday worship service — only the true believers were there. The game had none of the prior game’s electricity, but nevertheless a few players stood out.

Bridgeport, despite losing by 12, still had the best player on the floor in 6-2 senior Derrick Davis. I don’t know what to call this kid, other than a playmaker. He’s somewhat positionless for the college game, but he is one heck of a high school player. He made his 29 points look easy and the Hawks had nothing for him.

Heritage’s best player, senior point guard A.J. Thomas, looked as quick as ever attacking the basket. He’s a match-up nightmare for opposing guards, and on at least one play he blew by Davis like he was standing still.

James Johnson, a 6-4 senior forward, played pretty soft throughout the game for the Hawks after scoring 21 the night before against Mt. Pleasant. Johnson has a ton of potential, but prefers to float around the perimeter rather than getting rebounds and high percentage baskets in the lane. He could stand to learn from 6-4 junior reserve forward Travon Cotton, who uses his size to his advantage down low.

The farther Johnson is away from the basket, the worse off his team will be.

— Jared Field

  1. Gavin Raath says:

    Also, George Goodman and Devonte Jackson looked awesome in their win for Buena Vista. Goodman is as quick a guard as I have seen.

    Nice to see Bridgeport playing a style more suited to their talent. If they played like that against NW, then they would have won. Heritage though just has too many weapons on offense to keep pace with.

  2. […] Arthur Hill tournament notes: Is Maurice Jones the state’s best? […]

  3. […] I wrote last week after the holiday tournament at Saginaw Arthur Hill that 5-6 senior guard Maurice Jones is the best basketball player in Michigan. It was a bit of a departure for me, since I’d been singing the praises of Detroit Country […]

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