Boys Basketball Preseason Top 25 Players: Tillman of G.R. Christian is at the top, Cain is No. 2

Basketball   | Scott Burnstein

Boys Basketball Preseason Top 25 Players: Tillman of G.R. Christian is at the top, Cain is No. 2


1. Xavier Tillman (Grand Rapids Christian 6-8 Sr. F) – Maybe the No. 1 power forward prospect in the Midwest, a true “4” and menace on the blocks.  He averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last season. He blasted onto the scene two summers ago when he won MVP honors at Duke’s big man camp.  The frontrunner for Mr. Basketball, Tillman signed with Michigan State.

2. Jamal Cain (Detroit Cornerstone 6-7 Sr. G/F) – Possibly the highest upside at the college level of any player in the state, the silky-smooth Cain is the prototypical swingman with a smooth stroke and a quick first step to the basket. He averaged 26 points, 16 rebounds and four assists last season and eclipsed the 40-point plateau three times. He signed with Marquette.

3. Brandon Johns (East Lansing 6-8 Jr. F) – Arguably the best junior in the state and a consensus 4-star college recruit, the explosive, fundamentally-sound forward put up 20 points and 10 rebounds last winter, leading his East Lansing team to an undefeated regular season and a district title.  He currently has offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue and Alabama and checks in at No. 40 in the country in ESPN’s Class of 2018 rankings.

4. Isaiah Livers (Kalamazoo Central 6-8 Sr. F) – A long and versatile wing with a nasty streak, Livers made a giant jump in his game from his sophomore to junior seasons, earning a 4-star prospect ranking and a bevy of scholarship offers. Signed with Michigan. He averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 blocks an outing in 2016.

5. Amauri Hardy (North Farmington 6-2 Sr. G) – Lightning-quick lefty combo guard coming off a dynamite junior season where he averaged 21 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals a game and helped take North Farmington to the Class A final. Most likely he’ll be play in the south in the ACC, SEC or Big 12, with word out of the Raiders program that he’s deciding between scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma State. 

6. Romeo Weems (New Haven 6-6 So. G/F) – The top sophomore in the state and o