BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. -- The 16th annual Motor City Roundball Classic was loaded with quality teams and Division I players from not only the Detroit area but from around the state of Michigan and boarding states in the talent-rich Midwest.
Derrick Walton (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy)
2013, PG, 6-foot, 165 pounds
Walton is a true point guard that has an excellent feel for the game. He has a tight handle and pushes the ball up the floor on makes or misses. He does a great job of keeping pressure on the defense. He plays with great pace and moves the ball down the floor with a high, but under control, speed dribble where he can change speeds and directions on a dime. Walton's handle at times reminds us of Stephon Marbury, the way he hops and glides with the ball, especially when he goes in between his legs multiple times. Walton does a good job finding teammates, but can flip the switch to scoring when he sees an opportunity or needs too. He is terrific in the open court with his passing or getting to the rim. Walton can make open shots to the arc especially midrange pull ups when in rhythm, but he still needs to work on his jumper to make it a consistent weapon. Walton is a good, not great, athlete with matching bounce but he is tough and competes on both ends of the floor. As he adds strength he will become a more physical player. Walton runs his team and has great upside. He scored 26 points and handed out five assists in a 75-65 win over Detroit Community.
Mycheal Henry (Chicago, Ill./Orr)
2011, SF, 6-6, 200 pounds
Henry was physical and aggressive as he attacked the rim in transition and from the wing, where he welcomed and finished through contact. That includes a couple big-time dunks in traffic. The future University of Illinois wing had some man against boys possessions en route to a 42 point, 13 rebound performance during his team's upset win over host Country Day 71-67 in overtime. Henry was all over the glass on both ends and hit a couple midrange pull ups in the heat of the battle. Henry must give his jumper some immediate attention and work to make it a consistent weapon because his form is not bad, but his shot preparation needs to be addressed. He is a strong and capable defender of both wing positions as well. The challenge for Henry will be consistency because when he is focused and attacking, big numbers can become the norm.
Sherron Dorsey-Walker (Detroit, Mich./Pershing)
2012, SG, 6-5, 170 pounds
Dorsey-Walker is a long and very skilled shooting guard who has a super smooth floor game. He has a nice handle and is an excellent passer with either hand, which will allow him to help at the point if needed. He has a terrific midrange game and can knock down the open 3 off the catch or rhythm dribble, although he's a little streaky. He uses his length extremely well to pass and shoot over smaller defenders. He rebounds well, especially on the defensive glass, where he can lead the break and make the right decision with the ball most of the time. Dorsey-Walker competes and shows good leadership. However, he must add strength, finish better in traffic and improve his shot selection at times in addition to not picking up unnecessary fouls. Defensively, Dorsey-Walker has the length and athletic ability to defend all three perimeter positions. He scored an easy 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out in a hard fought win against Jackson (Mich.). Michigan, Indiana, Baylor and Dayton among others would love to obtain his services.
Amir Williams (Detroit, Mich./Country Day)
2011, C, 6-10, 230 pounds
Williams impacts the game in a major way with size, length and athletic ability. He runs the floor and scores over his left shoulder pretty well. He also likes to spin off defenders after attacking the middle. He is an above-the-rim finisher on all clear paths and displayed the ability to hit free throws, including two to send the game into overtime in a hard fought loss to Chicago Orr where Williams finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. Williams has great shot block timing and the ability to change shots on or away from the ball. At times he seems to lose focus or interest in the game, which directly affects his production. His upside is off the charts, but he has to learn to keep his motor running the entire game if he wants to be a big-time player for the Buckeyes when he arrives in Columbus next season.
Mar'qyell Jackson (Detroit, Mich./Crocket)
2014, SF, 6-5, 160 pounds
The young and athletic wing is just ozzing with potential. Jackson is long, skilled and he can handle and pass very well. He excels on the break where he can finish above the rim when ahead of the pack. Jackson has a sweet midrange game and can also get to the basket from the wing or along the baseline with his quick first step. Jackson is thin and needs to add strength, but he does not let that keep him from hitting the glass on both ends of the floor, especially offensively where he had a couple put-back baskets. Jackson plays with great energy and urgency as well. He must extend his range, work to make his jumper consistent from behind the arc, learn to have better shot selection at times and stay in attack mode, but Jackson has all the tools to be a terrific player if he continues to work hard and build his game. Jackson finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 75-48 win over Davison (Mich.). Michigan State, USC, Indiana, Arizona and Cleveland State among others have already taken notice.
Player to watch
Luther Page (Ann Arbor, Mich./Gabriel Richard)
2011, PF, 6-7, 200 pounds
Page plays with great energy and urgency on both ends of the floor on every possession. He plays at times to exhaustion and gets on the floor for loose balls without hesitation. Page runs the floor very well where he can finish at the rim with a clear path. He simply has a great motor that is constantly in high gear when he is on the floor. He scores in the post with drop steps or off drop-off passes and open 15 footers with needed time and space. Page competes for rebounds on both ends as well and gets his share because he out-works opponents for the ball. Page plays in a stance on defense and moves his feet pretty well on the perimeter, although he is a good, not great athlete. He has pretty good strength, but must finish better in traffic and work on his post footwork and ballhandling, especially his left hand. Page just wins you over with his effort that leads to good production. He plays in attack mode and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 66-61 win over Inkster (Mich.). Hofstra, Tennessee and St. Francis (PA) have a close eye on Page.
• Cincinnati Withrow (Ohio) went 3-0 beating East Grand Rapids, Detroit Pershing and Detroit Renaissance. Florida State signee SF Aaron Thomas lead Withrow with a three game total of 74 points and 20 rebounds. Sophomore post Devin Williams supported Thomas with 48 points and 26 rebounds after three games.
• Class of 2012 6-9 C/PF Khalig Spicer (Robichaud, Mich./Dearborn Heights) is an athletic, but raw above-the-rim finisher that is loaded with upside. Dayton, Oakland, Minnesota, Central Michigan, Xavier and St. Bonaventure are mentioned the most with others closing in fast.
• Class of 2012 5-11 combination guard Deonte Smith (Detroit Consortium Prep) is a big-time shot maker with NBA range. Smith pulls the trigger from deep with great confidence and without hesitation. He hit five 3s in a 62-58 comeback win against Benton Harbor (Mich.). Smith could be a specialist on the low-major minus level.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.