25 of the most sought after boys basketball recruits in Michigan – MLive.com


Lincoln’s Emoni Bates (21) handles the ball during Ypsilanti Lincoln’s game against Detroit Catholic Central at Ypsilanti Lincoln High School Thursday March 7 2019, MLive.com. Jacob Hamilton | MLive.com

The first games of the 2019-20 high school boys basketball season are set to begin on Monday across the state of Michigan. Once again, there is no shortage of talent when it comes to basketball in Michigan as colleges from around the country have been scouting out some of The Mitten’s finest.

Although there are plenty of great players out there, here are the top 25 recruits you should be following as the season unfolds. Some have already signed to play with schools next year while there are plenty still on the market that could get more offers as the winter rolls along.

Let us know who you think should be on this list and who you are looking forward to see play this winter in the comments section. The following players are presented in alphabetical order of last name.

Detroit Cass Tech’s Tyson Acuff is greeted by his teammates during introductions before his team’s game against Kalamazoo Central on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School. (Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com)

Tyson Acuff, G, Detroit Cass Tech

Senior

6-2

Commitment: Duquesne (signed)

With offers from UMass, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Siena, Toledo, Cleveland State, Georgia State and Oakland, Acuff simultaneously committed and signed to Duquesne in November. Expected to be a favorite for this year’s Mr. PSL award, he’ll be in the Mr. Basketball conversation as well. Last year, he averaged 16.6 points, 7.1 assists and 5.8 rebounds, shooting 75.8 percent from the free-throw line and 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Jaden Akins, G, Farmington

Junior

6-3

Commitment: Uncommitted

A rising recruit, Akins has been drawing interest from bigger and bigger programs. With offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Xavier, Georgia Tech and others, Akins led Farmington to a 15-6 record last season and hopes to carry the Falcons to at least an OAA White title this season. Last year, he averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Emoni Bates (21) tries to score over the top of Detroit U-D Jesuit’s Daniel Friday (0) during the MHSAA Division 1 boys basketball championship game at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Ypsilanti Lincoln won the game with a last second shot to beat Detroit U-D Jesuit, 64-62. J. Scott Park | MLive.com

Emoni Bates, G/F, Ypsilanti Lincoln

Sophomore

6-9

Commitment: Uncommitted

You might have heard of this kid. Given a perfect 5-star rating from the 247Sports composite, some consider Bates to be the best player in the country, regardless of class. As a freshman last year, he led Ypsilanti Lincoln to its first state title while averaging 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds last season. He’s already had his face grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and he is the real deal. The talk is Bates could jump into the NBA right out of high school and hold his own if he could. In the meantime, we will sit back, relax and enjoy the Emoni Bates Show as every powerhouse in the country should offer him. Michigan, Michigan State and Kentucky have already extended offers.

OLSM #11 Lorne Bowman II dribbles the ball down the court as U of D Jesuit #3 Jordan Montgomery defends during the match up between U of D Jesuit and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Tuesday at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Feb. 12, 2019. U of D Jesuit took home the win, 46-38. Tanya Moutzalias | MLive.com

Lorne Bowman, G, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Senior

6-2

Commitment: Wisconsin (signed)

Bowman has been one of the most skilled guards in the state for a couple years now and it’s no surprise he will play Big Ten basketball next year at Wisconsin. As a junior, he averaged 23.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists. As a sophomore, he averaged 22.5 points and 4.9 assists.

Pierre Brooks, G/F, Detroit Douglass

Junior

6-5

Commitment: Uncommitted

Brooks has been a difference maker throughout his still young high school career and colleges have certainly taken notice. He has He has offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Butler, DePaul, Oakland and Xavier, among others. He had a strong sophomore year, averaging 23.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season.

Grand Rapids Christian’s Kobe Bufkin dunks in the district semifinal against Catholic Central at Forest Hills Eastern in Ada on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. Catholic Central won 71-63. (Neil Blake | MLive.com)

Kobe Bufkin, G, Grand Rapids Christian

Junior

6-4

Commitment: Uncommitted

Bufkin recently picked up an offer from Michigan State, but already has offers from the likes of DePaul, Virginia Commonwealth University and Ohio. Last year, Bufkin averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Oak Park’s Maliq Carr scans the court during his team’s game against Muskegon on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School. Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com

Maliq Carr, G/F, Oak Park

Senior

6-5

Commitment: Purdue (football scholarship, basketball preferred walk-on)

Carr is such a strong athlete that he intends to play football and basketball in college. Receiving a fair amount of basketball offers, Carr had plenty more offers for football and chose to play for Purdue for both sports. Last year, Carr averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.

River Rouge’s Legend Geeter (4), left, celebrates a made basket during the MHSAA Division 2 boys basketball semifinal at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University on Friday, March 15, 2019. River Rouge won the game, 72-66, in overtime over Harper Woods Chandler Park to advance to the championship game. J. Scott Park | MLive.com

Legend Geeter, F, River Rouge

Junior

6-7

Commitment: Uncommitted

Legend was a guy who could have started on most teams last year but he came off the bench a lot and was the top sixth man in the state. He came up big in last year’s D2 semifinal game with a 17-point performance and averaged 8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the season. He has offers from Detroit and Miami (OH). Expect him to have a monster year for River Rouge.

Braelon Green, G, Ypsilanti Lincoln

Freshman

6-2

Commitment: Uncommitted

It seems like there is a strong freshman in the recruting ranks every year and Green seems to be well on his way to being this year’s big-time freshman. After spending eighth grade at Novi Christian Academy, he makes the move over to Lincoln for high school. So far, he has offers from Eastern Michigan and LIU Brooklyn.

Southfield Christian’s Da’Jion Humphrey gets air as he shoots a jump shot during the first half of the Division 4 boys basketball state semifinal on Thursday, Marc 14, 2019 at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center in East Lansing. (Jake May | MLive.com)

Da’Jion Humphrey, G, Southfield Christian

Senior

6-4

Commitment: Holy Cross (signed)

Humphrey played a huge role in Christian’s Division 4 championship run last year, averaging 16.4 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a junior while shooting 41 percent from the floor. He signed with Holy Cross, picking the Crusaders over Brown, Cleveland State, Kent State, Sam Houston State and Lafayette.

Isaiah Jackson, F, Waterford Mott

Senior

6-9

Commitment: Kentucky (signed)

Jackson is back in Michigan after spending last year at SPIRE in Ohio last year where he averaged 14.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. He transfers into a Waterford Mott program for the first time and instantly makes the Corsairs contenders. He is a 5-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite rankings and is listed as the No. 3 power forward recruit in the nation’s 2020 class. He ultimately narrowed his schools to three and selected Kentucky in November, choosing the Wildcats over Syracuse and Alabama. He had over 20 offers from around the country.

Benton Harbor forward Carlos Johnson (11) shoots over Grand Rapids Catholic Central forward Marcus Bingham Jr. (23) during the MHSAA boys basketball Class B championship game at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (J. Scott Park | MLive.com)

Carlos “Scooby” Johnson, F, Benton Harbor

Senior

6-6

Commitment: Butler (signed)

Johnson has been a well-known name since his freshman year and helped Benton Harbor capture the 2018 Class B state title as a sophomore. Lasy year, he averaged a whopping 30.4 points 13.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. He is able to play anywhere on the floor and he signed with Butler over offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Oakland, Duquesne, Missouri, Virginia Commonwealth and others.

Ann Arbor Huron’s Julian Lewis (5) dribbles the ball down the court as Lincoln’s Amari Frye (4) defends during the match up between Ann Arbor Huron and Lincoln in the 2018 Ypsi Tip-off Classic at the EMU Convocation Center on Monday evening, Nov. 26, 2018. Lincoln would take home the win after defeating Ann Arbor Huron, 80-69.(Tanya Moutzalias | MLive.com)

Julian Lewis, G/F, Ann Arbor Huron

Junior

6-6

Commitment: Uncommitted

Huron is always one of the most solid basketball programs in the Ann Arbor area each year and Lewis is going to be a reason why that won’t change this season. As a sophomore, he averaged 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds and began to catch the attention of Division I basketball programs. So far, he has a handful of offers including Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toldeo, among others.

Clarkston’s Matt Nicholson (24) dunks the ball during the high school basketball game between Clarkston and Oak Park at Clarkston High School, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 in Clarkston. Clarkston defeated Oak Park, 77-43. (Ben Allan Smith | MLive.com)

Matt Nicholson, C, Clarkston

Senior

7-0

Commitment: Northwestern (signed)

A true big man in the paint, Nicholson is a problem for opponents near the basket on both ends of the floor. He’s added about 20 pounds of strength this year and looks to lead a still relatively young Clarkston program to a deep run. Last year in his first season as a starter, he averaged 13.6 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.2 blocks while shooting 57.2 percent from the field. He committed to Northwestern after offers from Creighton, Ball State, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Brody Parker, G, Troy

Junior

5-11

Commitment: Oakland

One of the best 3-point shooters in the Detroit area, Park committed to Oakland in October. Parker shot 45 percent from 3-point range for Troy and averaged 24 points per game. With Ethan and Jake Emerzian transferring in from Rochester Adams, Parker could be set up for a big year individually and with the team.

Grand Blancs Ty Rodgers (23) takes a free throw in the match up between U of D Jesuit and Grand Blanc Tuesday night at U of D Jesuit, Dec. 11, 2018. U of D Jesuit would go on to win 57-44 against Grand Blanc. (Tanya Moutzalias | MLive.com)

Ty Rodgers, F, Grand Blanc

Sophomore

6-5

Commitment: Uncommitted

Emoni Bates wasn’t the only freshman making waves last year. Rodgers is considered a major up-and-comer as well and had a strong freshman year with Grand Blanc, averaging 14.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks. He also shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range. So far, he has offers from Rhode Island and Houston while a lot of high-major schools are circling. He had a visit with Michigan State scheduled this last week.

Ryan Rollins, G, Macomb Dakota

Senior

6-4

Commitment: Toledo (signed)

Rollins was off to a great start before getting injured midway through Dakota’s regular season schedule. Still, he averaged 17.1 points, 7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in his time on the floor. Despite his injury, he had 11 total offers and picked Toledo over the likes of Central Michigan, Wright State, Ferris State, Long Island, Cleveland State and others.

Julian Roper, G, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

Junior

6-3

Commitment: Uncommitted

Roper made the unorthodox decision to transfer from Detroit Country Day to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the middle of the season last year. He averaged over 20 points per game before sitting out at St. Mary’s. He will join top 2020 guard prospect Lorne Bowman in the back court to form quite a formidable duo for the Eaglets. He has offers from Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Alabama and many others. His list should only continue to grow this season.

Beecher junior Earnest Sanders soars toward the basket as he viciously dunks the ball one-handed from distance in the second half as Beecher defeats Grand Blanc 81-69 on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 at Grand Blanc High School. Sanders scored 22 points. (Jake May | MLive.com)

Earnest Sanders, F, Flint Beecher

Senior

6-2

Commitment: Kentucky (football)

Despite committing to Kentucky for football, Sanders got plenty of interest on the recruiting trail. At one point, it was reported that Sanders had talked to Michigan State about playing football and basketball. However, he chose to stick with football, leaving behind offers from Oakland, Southern Mississippi and Ferris State. Last year, he averaged 17.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.3 steals, 2.6 steals and 1.6 blocks.

Saginaw’s Sir’Real Smith leaps toward the basket for a successful layup in overtime as Saginaw defeats Grand Blanc 82-70 in overtime in a Division 1 regional boys basketball semifinal game on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at Flushing High School. (Jake May | MLive.com)

Sir’Real Smith, G, Saginaw

Senior

6-0

Commitment: Uncommitted

Smith was the Saginaw News Play of the Year last winter and has earned All-State honors twice already. Last year, Smith averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to help led Saginaw to the Division 1 quarterfinal. He holds an offer from Cleveland State and other Division I and II programs are keeping an eye on him as he prepares for a strong senior season.

Beecher junior Jalen Terry works his way toward the basket under heavy pressure from Goodrich sophomore Tyson Davis in the second half as Beecher defeats Goodrich 73-59 on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 at Goodrich High School. Terry led Beecher with 17 points. (Jake May | MLive.com)

Jalen Terry, G, Flint Beecher

Senior

6-1

Commitment: Uncommitted

Terry is the top uncommitted recruit in the state’s 2020 class. He was committed to Michigan state but decommitted back in October and has since kept his recruitment open. Ranked as the country’s No. 10 point guard according to the 247Sports composite, Terry averaged 22.5 points, 5.7 assists, 3.6 steals and 1.1 blocks. He also has offers from LSU, Louisville, Butler, Iowa State and others. He was the Flint Journal Player of the Year and AP Division 3 Player of the Year selection last season.

Trey Townsend, F, Oxford

Senior

6-6

Commitment: Oakland University

Townsend is considered one of Oakland County’s top wings and he was a big reason why Oxford was able to end its long district title drought last season. Last winter, he averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds. He picked Oakland over an offer to play at Lake Superior State. Townsend’s father, Skip Townsend, also played for Oakland.

Muskegon’s Jarvis Walker (4) dribbles the ball past Mona Shores’ DaVarius Carter (2) at an OK Black Conference, in Muskegon, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Kayla Renie | MLive.com)

Jarvis Walker, G, Muskegon

Senior

6-2

Commitment: Purdue Fort Wayne (signed)

He didn’t join the Muskegon lineup until January last year after transferring from Mona Shores and helped make an immediate impression. He had such a strong effort that he was the Muskegon Chronicle Player of the Year. He ended up averaging 18.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals last season while shooting 48 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He also held offers from Northern Illinois and Mississippi Valley State.

Simon Wheeler, G, Ypsilanti Lincoln

Junior

5-8

Commitment: Uncommitted

Wheeler is at his third school in as many years after going from Detroit East English to Ferndale to Lincoln. He didn’t have any stats last year as he sat out while at Ferndale. Taking the court this year, Wheeler has offers from Wright State and Detroit Mercy.

Saline’s Griffin Yaklich (23) dribbles down the court during the final division I district basketball game at Belleville High School on Friday, March 1, 2019. Lincoln defeated Saline 61-49. (Mary Lewandowski | MLive.com)

Griffin Yaklich, G, Saline

Senior

6-5

Commitment: Uncommitted

Yaklich was an Ann Arbor Dream Team selection last year while also gaining all-state honorable mention. So far, he has offers from Detroit Mercy, Saginaw Valley State and a preferred walk-on offer from Washington State. As a junior, he averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds per game.


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