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BOYS BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Group of hoopsters land scholarships, set reservations for next level

By: Scott Burnstein, April 16, 2014, 7:00 am

Following the conclusion of boys hoop season season late last month, the local hardwood recruiting scene has been bubbling over, producing rampant activity from both the Division I and Division II ranks..

A number of the state’s top players found homes at the college level and below is an alphabetical listing of the most recent prospects to link-up with schools.

Maceo Baston, Jr. (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) – Fresh off a breakout campaign where he averaged close to 20 points per game and was an all-state pick in Class B, Baston Jr., the son of the former Michigan star and NBA player, signed with Florida Atlantic University. Checking in at 6-foot-4, he’s long, is a lights-out shooter and knows how to use his body to his advantage to draw fouls. As a junior in 2013, he was a integral reserve on a Country Day club that captured a state championship.

Kenny Carpenter (Detroit Cass Tech) – One of the state’s most underrated standouts on the perimeter, Carpenter, a 6-foot-4 off-guard, that can slash, shoot and finish equally well, signed with Cleveland State University. An enticing combination of silky-smooth finesse and raw power in the open court, he led Cass Tech to a Class A district title and a spot in the regional finals this season. A first-team All-PSL honoree in 2014, he pumped in 17 points per game and thrilled the Technicians’ faithful with numerous big plays in the regular season and playoffs.

Eric Cass (St. Claire Shores Lakeview) – Diverse talent that can play guard or forward at 6-foot-6, Cass signed with Michigan Tech. Spurring his Lakeview squad to a historic season (first league title in three decades), he averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists per outing and projects with a high upside as a collegiate.

Pakiya Ellis (Detroit Allen Academy) – The prototypical hard-nosed 6-foot-2 combo guard, Ellis signed with Ferris State University.  Taking Allen to a 20-3 record as a senior in 2014, he averaged 23 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals a night.

Kenny Goins (Warren Mott) – Standing a barrel-chested 6-foot-7, Goins is a pure beast in the paint and passed up Division I scholarship offers from places like Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Oakland University and University of Detroit-Mercy, to accept a preferred walk-on spot at Michigan State University. Displaying a relentless motor and a game that is a mix of skill, intelligence and grit, he averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds a night on a Mott team that appeared in the Class A quarterfinals. Don’t be surprised to see this post grinder eventually earn time on the court and a full-ride for Spartans coach Tom Izzo and his program.

Andrew Meacham (Northville) – Heady and versatile, Meacham signed with Ferris State University. Well-built at 6-foot-8, he averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four assists per game this winter, earning MVP honors in his league.

Mike Nicholson (Clarkston) – The picture of the term ‘upside’, Nicholson, a fast-improving and gutty 6-foot-8 center, signed with Lake Superior State. He started in the paint on two straight Clarkston league-title teams and helped lead the Wolves to a district crown this winter. Averaging roughly 10 points and eight boards per night as a senior, he had a handful of huge efforts, going for more than 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game on multiple occasions.

DaRohn Scott (Grand Rapids Christian) – Rough and rugged on the blocks, the 6-foot-9 Scott signed with Central Michigan University. Scott put up 16 points, 12 rebounds and almost six swats per outing in 2014, after a junior campaign where he averaged 15 points, 10 boards and four blocks per evening on a GRC club that advanced to the Breslin Center in East Lansing and the Class A final four.

Ahkemji Williams (Rochester Hills Adams) – Electrifying floor general with an edge to his game that makes him bigger than his 5-foot-10 frame, Williams signed with Lake Superior State.  A four-year starter and three-year all-state selection, this fiery point guard averaged close to 25 points and 10 assists per night the past two years, willing his team to an undefeated regular season in 2013 and an unexpected 16 wins this winter surrounded by a cast of inexperienced role players.