David Goricki of The Detroit News selects the top boys basketball players in the state.
6-9, Fr., F, Ypsilanti Lincoln
Bates was a freshman phenom — the top-rated player in the nation in the 2022 class — who had the flair for the dramatic, knocking down a 3-pointer in the final seconds in a 58-55 regional semifinal win over Ann Arbor Skyline, then tipping in a missed shot as time expired in an 81-79 regional title game win over Detroit Catholic Central. He averaged 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds to help Lincoln not only win its first regional, but also its first state championship in school history with a 64-62 win over U-D Jesuit.
“Emoni is an exceptional gifted player,” said Coach Jesse Davis. “He’s as tall as a big man with a skill set like a guard. What makes him special is his ability to put the ball in the basket where he can score at all 3 levels. He plays the game with the mentality of Kobe Bryant.”
6-0, Sr., G, Marcellus Howardsville Christian
Jergens became the first player since Richie Jordan of Fennville in 1965 to average 40 points when he averaged 40.5 points, scoring 971 points this season (98 3-pointers) and 2,782 for his career, placing him third all-time in state history behind Jay Smith (2,841, Mio, 1976-79) and Mark Brown (2,789, Hastings, 1982-85).
“He just put a lot of hard work into his game, even when he was in second grade, he played on our sixth-grade team and you could tell he was special, where he hung with them and was one of the better players,” coach Tim Jergens said of his son, who also averaged 6.9 rebounds, six assists and 4.7 steals. “He could always shoot and just always practiced to get better. When he was in junior high he played on the junior varsity team and averaged 25 points. Then, as a freshman he averaged 20 on the varsity team, then continued to get better, being able to score in multiple ways. He’s a great passer, too, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.”
Jergens will play at Central Michigan as a preferred walk-on.
CARLOS “SCOOBY” JOHNSON
6-6, Jr., F, Benton Harbor
Johnson followed up his sophomore year where he led Benton Harbor to a Class B state championship with a strong junior year, averaging 30.4 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, three steals and three blocks while getting an offer from Michigan.
“Carlos is a position-less winner who excels at ever facet of a game, a three-level scorer with a college-ready frame,” coach Corey Sterling said.
5-11, Jr., G, Flint Beecher
Terry averaged 22.5 points, seven rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.6 steals to help Beecher earn a No. 6 ranking in The News Super 20 before a loss to Detroit Edison in a Division 3 state quarterfinal. He committed last week to play at Michigan State.
“He can shoot the ball from NBA range, he handles the ball very well and can get to the glass,” coach Mike Williams said. “His athleticism is out of this world, there’s nothing that he can’t do on the basketball court. Every night that we played, it was the other team’s state championship game. We played 26 games and I’d say we played one bad quarter all year. He not only increased his points, but he increased his rebounds, assists and steals and his turnovers went down. He was the key that drove the engine.”
6-7, Sr., F, New Haven
Weems became the first player from Macomb County to win Mr. Basketball, finishing his career with a 99-7 record, and leading New Haven to a Class B state championship in 2017. He averaged 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 steals, 3.5 assists and two blocks his senior year to win another regional title.
“Romeo has improved the most over the years with his shooting with his ability to hit the 3-point shot,” coach Tedaro France said. “He has turned into one of the top shooters around, and becoming a great shooter really took his game to another level with already being able to do so many things on the basketball court. What is unique and special about Romeo is his versatility on the court and his ability to defend and play all five positions at a high level.”
Weems, who scored 2,151 career points, will play next year at DePaul.
Coach of the Year
Davis, in his fourth year as head coach, guided Lincoln (23-4) to its first league (SEC White) title in 15 years, then first regional championship before going on to earn the Division 1 state championship at the Breslin Center in a thrilling 64-62 upset win over U-D Jesuit, with Jalen Fisher making a 15-footer as time expired.
“This was a special team mainly because of our experience,” said Davis who added 6-9 freshman phenom Emoni Bates to the mix to get things done. “Tahj Chatman was a four-year starter, Amari Frye was a three-year starter, Jalen Fisher a two-year starter and Cam Johnson a three-year varsity player who was a key player as a sixth man. These kids sacrificed their own personal agenda for winning. They worked very hard to get better as a team. They learned to fight as 1 no matter what the situation was during the game. I’m very grateful to God to have had the opportunity to coach this special group of young men.”
► Julian Dozier, 5-9, Sr., G, U-D Jesuit: 12.1 points, 5.7 assists, 2.7 steals
► Daniel Friday, 6-4, Sr., F, U-D Jesuit: 16.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 blocks (Brown)
► Joe Moon IV, 6-0, Sr., G, Westland John Glenn: 27.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists
► Chandler Turner, 6-6, Sr., G-F, Detroit Renaissance: 23.8 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists (Bowling Green)
► B. Artis White, 5-11, Sr., G, Canton: 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5 assists (Western Michigan)
► Lorne Bowman, 6-2, Jr., G, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Matt Nicholson, 7-0, Jr., C, Clarkston; Sir’Real Smith, 6-0, Jr., G, Saginaw; Evan Thomas, 6-4, Sr., G, Okemos; Jarvis Walker II, 6-2, Jr., G, Muskegon.
► Tyson Acuff, 6-3, Jr., G, Detroit Cass Tech; Michael Fletcher, 6-6, Sr., F, Flint Carman-Ainsworth; Yusuf Jihad, 6-9, Sr., F, North Farmington; Davis Lukomski, 6-7, Sr., G-F, Detroit Catholic Central; Ryan Wade, 6-2, Sr., G, Ann Arbor Skyline.
► Maliq Carr, 6-6, Jr., G-F, Oak Park; Jalen Fisher, 5-10, Sr., G, Ypsilanti Lincoln; Drew Lowder, 5-10, Sr., G, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Fletcher Loyer, 6-2, Fr., G, Clarkston; Martell Turner, 6-1, Jr., G, Roseville.
► Jaden Akins, Farmington; Trevor Arico, Saline; Darien Banks, Roseville; Caleb Bates, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; Jalal Baydoun, Dearborn Edsel Ford; Isaiah Bridges, Midland; Connor Bush, Belleville; Blake Charboneau, Gaylord; Tahj Chatman, Ypsilanti Lincoln; Cade Coleman, Davison; Chris DeRocher Alpena; Brendan Downs, Detroit Catholic Central; Nolan Foster, Mattawan; Amari Frye, Ypsilanti Lincoln; James Gilbert, Muskegon Mona Shores; Joe Gjonaj, Warren DeLaSalle; Marius Grazulis, Marquette; Gunnar Gustafson, Milford; Lucas Henderson, Ypsilanti; Shamar Howard, Lansing Everett; Jamoni Jones, East Kentwood; Christian Knox, Ypsilanti; Isaiah Lewis, Wayne Memorial; Jadakiss Lewis, Kalamazoo Central; Blake Lund, Linden; Kaylein Marzette, Detroit Renaissance; John Massey, Detroit King; Menalito McGee, Wyoming; Gage McGuire, Coldwater; Freddie McIntosh, Saginaw; Brandon Michrina, Sterling Heights Stevenson; Jordan Montgomery, U-D Jesuit; Donovan Moore, West Bloomfield; Vernon Nash III, Muskegon; Jayden Nunn, Flint Carman-Ainsworth; Joe Ostrowsky, Mt. Pleasant; Josh Palo, Howell; Max Perez, Hudsonville; Noah Pruitt, Okemos; Kasean Pryor, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Elias Ramirez, Bay City Central; Kevin-David Rice, Grand Blanc; Ty Rodgers, Grand Blanc; Ryan Rollins, Macomb Dakota; Kareem Rozier, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Justin Rukat, Detroit Catholic Central; Jimmy Scholler, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central; Tobin Schwannecke, Traverse City Central; Tariq Shepard, Farmington; Dexter Shouse, Mattawan; Vinson Sigmon, Canton; Eli Steffen, Zeeland West; Trent Summerfield, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern; Nathan Talbot, Lake Orion; Jalen Thomas, U-D Jesuit; Renel Thrasher, Westland John Glenn; Mark Tocco, Macomb Dakota; Trey Townsend, Oxford; John Udomadu, Roseville; Josh Warren, Woodhaven; Keegan Wasilk, Clarkston; Michael Washington-Hill, Detroit Cass Tech; Kalil Whitehead, Detroit Cass Tech; Jordan Whitford, Detroit King; Reggie Williams, Saginaw Arthur Hill; Mason Wojtusik, Mt. Pleasant; Griffin Yaklich, Saline; Omar Zeigler, Detroit King.
► Andre Bradford, 6-3, Sr., G, Harper Woods Chandler Park: 17 points, 4 assists
► Nigel Colvin, 6-1, Sr., G, River Rouge: 13.5 points, 5 rebounds
► Ronald Jeffery, 6-0, Sr., G, New Haven: 21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists
► Sudi McElroy, 6-6, Sr., F, Ferndale: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
► Tyler VanKoevering, 6-5, Sr., F, Hudsonville Unity Christian: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
► SirQuarius Ball, 6-5, Sr., G-F, Bridgeport; Austin Braun, 5-10, Sr., G, Grand Rapids Catholic Central; Sean Cobb, 6-7, Sr., F, Williamston; Zach Goodline, 6-0, Sr., G, Coloma; Charlie Woodhams, 6-3, Jr., G, Otsego.
► Pierre Brooks II, 6-6, So., G, Detroit Douglass; Derrick Bryant, 5-8, Sr., G, Harper Woods Chandler Park; Joshua Laman, 6-4, Sr., F, Ludington; J.D. Rawls, 6-0, Sr., G, Mt. Morris; Brady Swinehart, 6-0, Sr., G, Ionia.
► Karsen Barnhart, 6-5, Sr., F, Paw Paw; Trevor Boers, 6-9, Sr., C, Capac; D’Quarion Cole, 6-4, Sr., G, Pontiac; Legend Geeter, 6-7, So., G-F, River Rouge; Parker LePage, 6-0, Sr., G, Dearborn Divine Child.
► Cory Ainsworth, Wayland; Ethan Alderink, Holland Christian; Brec Alward, Alma; Jamaal Bailey, Wyoming Godwin Heights; Jayce Bourcier, Freeland; Kobe Bufkin, Grand Rapids Christian; Riley Bugg, North Branch; Devon Bryant, Detroit Henry Ford; Reece Castor, Gladstone; Drew Davis, Richmond; Isaac Davis, Plainwell; Tyson Davis, Goodrich; Mason Docks, Williamston; Parker Ellifritz, Three Rivers; Spencer Eves, Hillsdale; Dan Few, River Rouge; Alex Finney, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook; Donovan Freeman, River Rouge; Markele Garrett, Bridgeport; Travis Hill, Onsted; Logan Karnemaat, Fremont; Jarrett Kelley, Chesaning; Logan LePage, Corunna; Owen Lobsinger, Flint Powers; Jeremy Luciani, Marshall; Jacob Martinson, Big Rapids; Teonta McKeithen, Ferndale; Mitchell Mowid, Haslett; Brad Osborne, Hamilton; Micah Parrish, River Rouge; Gerrid Rutledge, North Branch; Clay Sampson, Ida; Luke Schrotenboer, Grand Rapids South Christian; Cam Sutherland, Alma; Connor Swinehart, Newaygo; Tyland Tate, Harper Woods Chandler Park; Liam Thompson, Ovid-Elsie; Bralin Toney, River Rouge; LaTa’Vius Vaughter, Clio; Solomon White, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern; Noah Wiswary, Hudsonville Unity Christian.
► Caleb Hodgson, 6-9, Sr., C, Dansville: 23 points, 16.1 rebounds, 5.3 blocks (Central Michigan)
► Earnest Sanders, 6-3, Jr., G-F, Flint Beecher: 17.5 points, 11 rebounds, 4.3 steals
► Andre Smith, 6-7, Sr., C, Pewamo-Westphalia: 14.1 points, 6.8 rebounds
► Brian Taylor, 6-5, Sr., G-F, Detroit Edison: 16.9 points, 5 rebounds
► Foster Wonders, 6-5, So., G, Iron Mountain: 24.2 points, 7 rebounds
► Austin Brown, 6-0, Sr., G, Madison Heights Madison; William Dunn, 6-8, Jr., C, Quincy; Tyrese Hunt-Thompson, 6-1, Sr., G, Cassopolis; Marcus Johnson, 5-10, Jr., G, Iron Mountain; Joe Liedel, 5-10, Jr., G, Erie-Mason.
► Trevor Boers, 6-9, Sr., C, Capac; Bryce George, 6-6, Jr., C, Detroit Edison; Reece Hazelton, 6-7, Jr., F, Maple City Glen Lake; Tharren Hill, 5-11, Fr., G, Detroit Pershing; Xavier Okerlund, 6-5, Sr., G, Maple City Glen Lake.
► Heath Baldwin, 6-4, Sr., F, Kalamazoo Hackett; TJ McKenzie, 6-3, Sr., G, North Muskegon; Matt Ojala, 6-1, Sr., G, Calumet; Gabe Robinson, 6-3, Sr., G, Resse; Coleman Street III, 6-1, Sr., G, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.
► Jordan Abrams, Niles Brandywine; Trey Ackerman, Hartford; Jayden Alfred, Mancelona; Ethan Brady, Millington; Joel Breeding, Petersburg-Summerfield; Ali Brewster, Flint Hamady; Jack Brockie, Hanover-Horton; Jeffery Carrier, Mason County Central; Ben Clark, Wyoming Potter’s House; Micah Cramer, Unionville-Sebewaing; Sandyn Cuttrell, Cass City; Nolan Finkbeiner, Hemlock; Owen Franklin, Oscoda; Andrew Geiger, Brown City; Jonathon Giglio, Saginaw Valley Lutheran; Aiden Gillig, Kalamazoo Hackett; Andrew Gunn, Saginaw Valley Lutheran; Tyler Heckroth, Unionville-Sebewaing; Dylan Hemphill, Detroit Loyola; Paire Hill, Detroit Pershing; Tyler Horky, Manchester; Kyle Hulett, Byron; Kaden Kelly, Clare; Donovan Kennedy, Hanover-Horton; Larson Kever, Union City; Luke Laketa, Hanover-Horton; Kollin Lienau, New Lothrop; Lucas Lueder, Sanford-Meridian; Brayden Mallak, Oscoda; A.J. Massucci, Royal Oak Shrine; Danny Passinault, Traverse City St. Francis; Trever Salani, Manton; Brayden Saxton, Cassopolis; Justin Smith, Burton-Atherton; Brock Stevens, Grandville Calvin Christian; John Sweeney, Erie-Mason; Cody Talaski, Bad Axe; Tucker Taylor, Gwinn; Collin Trierweiler, Pewamo-Westphalia; Sam Vasiu, NorthPointe Christian; Richard Washington, Clinton Township Clintondale; Jason Waterman, Negaunee; Raynard Williams, Detroit Edison; Ty Wyman, Blissfield; Zac Yorke, Millington; Landin Zimmer, Unionville-Sebewaing.
► Da’Jion Humphrey, 6-2, Jr., G, Southfield Christian: 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds
► Will Newbold, 6-0, Sr., G, Frankfort: 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists
► Jon Sanders, 6-1, Sr., G, Southfield Christian: 16.5 points, 4 rebounds
► Bennett Sinner, 6-0 Sr., F, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian: 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds
► Jack Stefanski, 6-3, So., F, Frankfort: 14 points, 17.9 rebounds
► Jake Burger, 6-4, Sr., G-F, Pittsford; Tanner Byard, 5-8, Sr., G, Pellston; Ashton Janke, 6-3, Fr., F, Dollar Bay; Connor Riley, 6-2, Sr., G, Blanchard-Montabella; Kevon Washington, 5-10, Sr., G, Muskegon Heights Academy.
► Andrew Blanchard, 6-3, Sr., G-F, Engadine; Blake Cassidy, 6-4, Jr., F, Pellston; Cole Eshuis, 6-1, Sr., G, Climax-Scotts; Marcus Harris, 5-10, Sr., G, Brimley; Noah Robak, 6-0, Sr., F, Waterford Lakes.
► Britton Angell, 6-3, Sr., G, Big Rapids Crossroads; Jared Dugener, 6-2, Jr., G, Muskegon Catholic Central; Trey Gilbert, 5-10, Sr., G, Bear Lake; Joseph Kimmerer, 6-2, Jr., F, Hale; Wyatt Waterbury, 5-10, Sr., G, Bellevue.
► Connor Arnold, Coleman; Elijah Badgero, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian; Dillon Brown, Walkerville; Zac Clark, Britton-Deerfield; Nathan Cloyd, Kingston; Jarett Cook, Morenci; Gino Costello, Bellevue; Luke Epperson, Genesee Christian; James Felton, Lansing Christian; Conor Gausselin, Battle Creek St. Philip; Adrian Haligus, Walkerville; Reece Herschbach, Marcellus Howardsville Christian; Drew Hess, Mio; Chase Ingersoll, Fife Lake Forest Area; Daniel Jacobs, Athens; Jason Jergens, Marcellus Howardsville Christian; Connor LeClaire, Dollar Bay; Atlas Marlatt, Ellsworth; Anthony Mattson, Munising; Kyle Mikolajczak, Manistee Catholic Central; Evan Neff, Kingston; Colten Nelson, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy; Brayden Ophoff, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian; Noah Rheker, Southfield Christian; Brandon Scheurer, Portland St. Patrick; Rahmon Scruggs, Southfield Christian; Owen Simon, Fowler.