CITYBEAT: Flint area top 10 players – Jaylen Magee takes top spot

With all due respect to the Journal’s Bill Khan, I will offer my humble opinion on the Flint-area top ten hoopers for 2010-11.  I must say I believe Mr. Khan is going a bit too much by press clippings than performance and potential.  This year I’m even going to try something a little different, that is, including the suburban schools in the Citybeat column.  That said, here we go:

1.) Jaylen Magee, senior Flint Northwestern – Simply the most explosive of all of the area players and works harder than many kids I have seen.  He frequently came up to Mott while my aau team was practicing just to get a skill workout in with his brother.  Some of the drills he did…wow…I expect his scoring may dip just a bit due to additional talent, but the way they run and gun at NW will provide ample opportunities.

2.) Javontae Hawkins, junior Flint Powers – Better know as “Hawk”, this Beecher to Powers transfer has really made his mark on the scene this summer with Team Detroit aau program.  Now clearly comfortable and the go-to-guy until Patrick Lucas-Perry comes back from an off-season knee injury, Hawk will be the biggest recruit in the area in some time.  I expect a junior season of career highs across the board.

3.) Patrick Lucas-Perry, senior Flint Powers (if healthy) –  The rumor around town is that PLP is not back 100% from the knee injury this past off-season and has additionally hurt the ankle as well.  When healthy, he displays a quickness and game understanding from the PG position that is rarely matched.  A good mid-range shooter, I would like to see his range extend to a more consistent 3-point shot.

4.) Shaquille Smith, senior Flint Northern – Shaq has been well-known for his quick first step for some time, but it is little-known that the 5’9″ PG can get up and dunk as well.  He has also worked hard on his outside jumper and in the scrimmages thus far has been the teams most consistent outside threat.  That is a far cry from the player who took (and made) only one 3-pointer as a soph.  The floater is still deadly and know he is using his quickness on defense as well.  He could easily move up this list by year’s end.

5.) Ahasuerus McDonald, senior Flint Northwestern – The first surprise on this list considering Khan didn’t even have him listed.  After a solid season leading Northwestern to the district championship from the point last year, Syro had a stellar summer with the Mid Michigan Lakers AAU basketball club and in the summer league as well.  He is only 5’10″, but is as strong as a bull and has speed that normally doesn’t come with that.  Routinely putting up 20 plus points on the aau scene, he won’t need to do that to be successful this season because the team is loaded.  However, after the season, I expect colleges to come calling from all over.

6.) Anton Wilson, junior Flint Carman-Ainsworth – Another surprise that was not listed on the FJ list.  All he did was start last season on a upperclassmen-laden C-A team and consistently put up numbers.  Blessed with a sweet stroke from all over the court, you cannot leave this kid open, period.  He is not far behind Hawkins in terms of recruitment either.  He needs some weight and strength to finish at the glass, but he is a teachable kid that is a coach’s dream.

7.) Monte Morris, sophomore Flint Beecher – What can I say that has not already been said about this kid.  He has a smooth shot and the instincts of a veteran.  He is one of the smartest basketball players I have seen recently anywhere.  He will have to shoulder more load at least at the beginning of the season due to his running mate Antuan Burks healing from a terrible football injury.  Although slight in stature, his shoulders are big enough to do just that.

8.) Dominez Burnett, senior Flint Northwestern – The third Wildcat on this list, it is easy to see why this team is loaded!  D-Nez could very easily move several spots up by year’s end based on his production while at Hamady.  He will provide NW with a presence inside provided that he doesn’t get stuck in the mode that he has to be on the wing every play.  However, when he is out there, he can shoot it and get to the hole to create his own shot.  I would like to see him work on being a better passer, but he has some big time potential at the next level.

9.) Deandre Parks, senior Flint Northwestern – Wow, a fourth Wildcat?  Yep, and the best shooter of the bunch.  He does not create his own shot as well or as much as the other 3 but is you give him an inch, he will kill you from the outside.  He now even has a leaner while moving to his right that is deadly as well.  He handles the all well enough to get through, but needs to strengthen that as well.  The question is can all four stars shine with only one ball?  That is yet to be seen…

10.) Denzel Watts, sophomore Flint Carman-Ainsworth – A starter from day one at Carman, this bowling ball of a PG is as strong as many power forwards in the high school game.  Also coming off a torn meniscus over the summer, Denzel’s recovery has been swift to say the least.  He appears to be at the form that had people comparing him to Mateen Cleaves (although I was not one of them).  He can also shoot the trey with great prowess so you can’t just protect against the drive.  He and Wilson will bear the burden of losing senior standouts Glenn Cosey, Jaylen Larry, and Demondre Chapman.

Other interesting prospects to consider:

Senior Standouts: Vincent Adams Jr.- Powers, Kevionte Goff- Beecher, Nathan Sauvola- Grand Blanc, Dalvin David-Northern, Marques Pool-SWA, Darius Wilson- International Academy, Ke’aris Perryman-International Academy, Eric Long-Northern, Logan Hull – Swartz Creek, Josh Fugate –  Holly.

Junior Jumpers: Jordan Fields-GB, The Hickoffs-Fenton, Donald Fisher-Northern, Cory Jones-SWA, Antuan Burks-Beecher, Nathan Landsgaard, Goodrich, Cortez Robinson-Beecher

Sophomore Sensations: Dewrell Tisdale Jr.-Northern, Richmond Lewis-Northern, Eric Cooper-Beecher, Cullen Turczyn-Lapeer West, Zeshawn Parker- Lapeer West, Rayshon Thomas- International Academy; Bart Williams, Grand Blanc

Freshmen Phenoms: Ra’mon Lewis-Northern, Kaylin Johnson-Northern (second semester)

All I can say is that it will be one very interesting season considering Powers plays NW in the first game, while Northern looks to fend off Beecher at home, before travelling to NW Friday.  We will learn some things right away!  Let’s go!