Former Flint Northern standout Tez Thomas is one of our 14 players to watch in 2014. Thomas transferred to Flint Beecher after Northern earlier this year.
With the graduation of the Flint area’s class of 2013, among the top classes for basketball talent in the area in the last decade, a market correction is certainly in order. Don’t get me wrong, what’s left after the departure of Mr. Basketball (Monte Morris), Denzel Watts, J.D. Tisdale, Bart Williams and company isn’t exactly chopped liver — there are some lesser-known kids out there this season who can really go.
Here are 14 players you should probably make a special trip to see this season. You should know most of these guys, but a few names might surprise you. One name that is missing is would-be senior Kaylin Johnson, a young man with high-level potential who sat out most of his junior year at Flint Northern last season. He is currently in a correctional facility after a run-in with the law over the summer. He’s the most physically gifted player in our area. Here’s hoping he can turn his life around before it’s too late.
Cam Morse, senior, Flint C-A (Player of the Year): Morse, a 6-3 combo guard, has evolved into a better all-around player than his D-1 counterpart from last seasons, Denzel Watts. Morse leans on skill more than brawn, and will put up numbers in the SVL South that will turn more than a few heads (he already has games of 29 and 30 points) this season.
Malik Young, senior, Flint Southwestern: Young certainly deserves consideration for the top senior in the Flint area this season, though his playing status is unclear after a preseason knee injury has kept him on the sideline. He’s small, maybe 5-10, but he has a quick burst and lives in the lane. He has been a difference maker at SWA for three years and, without him, the Knights have little chance of making a postseason run. Young will find out this week his playing status for the season.
Jake Daniels, Holly, junior: I saw Daniels for the first time when he was in the 8th grade. He was the smallest player on the floor, at the time, but he competed like he was 6-7. Daniels can play either guard spot and is under the radar after sitting out his sophomore season. Daniels started as a freshman at Grand Blanc before transferring to Holly to play for Lance Baylis and the fun-n-gun Bronchos.
Jaire Grayer, junior, Flint Southwestern: The son of former NBA player Jeff Grayer is probably the best college prospect on this list. At 6-4, he can take his defender inside and out. The Knights will lean on Grayer and fellow junior Neshua Wise (who really should also be on this list) for scoring in the absence of Young and, of course, nationally-recruited sophomore Miles Bridges, who is now playing at Huntington Prep in West Virginia. To be the best player in his family would be difficult, but he could certainly be as good or better than his similar-sized older brother Kevin, who was a stud at the JUCO level and all-conference at Midwestern State University.