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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: MI Basketball recruiting notebook (sleeper edition) — EMU gets high upside in Arbor Prep’s Clements

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, May 15, 2021, 12:16 pm

Ypsilanti Arbor Prep point guard Malcolm Clements made a name for himself as a senior, shaking and baking and moving and grooving out of the Gators’ backcourt. Now, he’ll be shimmying his way to down the street to EMU for his college ball. 

The 6-foot-3 all-state floor general accepted a scholarship offer from Eastern Michigan University last week, capping a four-month ascent from unknown entity to prized commodity. That’s what taking a team to the elite eight will do for you rep and recruiting stock.

Clements averaged 24 points, 10 boards and five assists per game in 2021. He ended the campaign by captaining his Arbor Prep squad to the program’s first regional title and a spot in the Division 3 quarterfinals. 

Some at EMU compare Clements to former Eagles star guard Brian Tolbert (Class of ’96), a sleeper prospect who also came from a small high school program (Detroit DePorres) and went on to earn All-MAC honors three years in a row (94, 95, 96). Alum Stan Heath (Kent State, Arkansas, South Florida) was hired to helm the EMU program last month.

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Joining the Lake Show

Lake Superior State just scooped a pair of late commitments from senior sleeper forwards Hunter Soper (Croswell-Lexington) and Kendall Smith (Muskegon Reeths-Puffer). Bringing the 6-7 Soper and 6-8 Smith into the fold gives Lakers head coach Steve Hettinga two great value grabs out of the frontcourt to complete his incoming recruiting class. 

Soper was the No. 1 player in the Thumb region of the state. In 2021, he dropped in 17 points a game to go along with 10 boards per night and a catalog of highlight-reel dunks displayed from his aerial repertoire. Smith balled out in the paint this past winter, registering 16 points and 10 rebounds an outing.

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Three underclassmen to know in the backcourt this offseason

Jordan Briggs (Muskegon 6-0 Class of ‘23) — The next big thing to come out of the west side of the state hoop scene.

Durral “Phat-Phat” Brooks (Grand Rapids Catholic Central 6-1 Class of ‘24) — Already showing flashes of greatness.

Chas Lewless (Novi Detroit Catholic Central 6-1 Class of ‘24) — The future at the point guard position in the CHSL.