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MIDWEST RECRUITING: Burney’s basketball notebook on boys ballers headed next level

By: Scott Burnstein, September 24, 2018, 2:45 pm

Recent boys basketball college selections:

Going to Division I

• Detroit Renaissance senior forward Carrington McCaskill committed to Florida Atlantic. McCaskill is a 6-foot-7 wing with length, skill and mad hops. He can make an argument for being the best leaper in Metro Detroit. A bunch of mid-major programs were pursuing him (10 Division I offers), but it was new FAU Owls head coach Dusty May (former top assistant at Florida) who landed him. FAU plays in Conference USA.


• Detroit U-D Jesuit senior center Jalen Thomas committed to the University of Massachusetts. The 6-foot-10 Thomas is considered the best traditional big guy in the state’s Class of 2019. UMass plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference and is coached by Matt McCall, who led UT-Chattanooga into the NCAA Tournament in 2016.


• Homeschooled senior big fella Luke Maranka committed to the University of Toledo. Maranka (6-foot-10) is probably the most intriguing prospect in his class. He plays for Home School Hoop Heaven in Hudsonville in a non-MHSAA league and can play down low in the middle or as a “stretch 4.”  Toledo plays in the Mid-American Conference and went 23-11 last winter.


• Former Old Redford player Mark “Rocket” Watts, who transferred to SPIRE Academy in Ohio, has committed to Michigan State. The four-star guard is ranked as the top guard in Ohio by 247Sports Composite, and was ranked as the top player in Michigan before his transfer.


Going to DII

• Williamston senior forward Sean Cobb committed to Grand Valley State. Cobb is a 6-foot-7 workhorse able to hurt opponents inside and out. He helped take Williamston to a third straight Class B regional crown in 2018.


• Gladstone senior gunner Reece Castor, an All-State pick in Class B, committed to Northern Michigan. Castor (6-foot-4) is a pure scorer with a silky stroke and a lightning quick trigger. He’s what we call PURE U.P. POWER from the perimeter.


• Maple City Glen Lake all-state senior shooting guard Xander Okerlund committed to Lake Superior State. As a junior, Okerlund (6-foot-5) led Glen Lake to an appearance in the Class C state finals, averaging 17 points per night.