2012-13 Kalamazoo Area HS basketball preview

December 7, 2012 in High School

In our college basketball previews last month, we were able to take a close-up look at every college team in the state. Obviously, with mainly a staff of one right now, that same strategy won’t work for previewing high school basketball, so instead, I’ve broken the state up by regions and have asked a few guests who are familiar with those areas to share some thoughts on the best teams and players in those areas for our previews this week in a roundtable format.

Scott DeCamp is a Kalamazoo-based sports reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette and MLive.com. You can contact him at sdecamp1@mlive.com and make sure to check out his work at MLive and follow him on Twitter. — P.H.

Top five players in the Kalamazoo area:

1. Bishop Robinson (Kalamazoo Loy Norrix SR G) – The 6-3 slasher was a unanimous AP Class A first-team all-stater in 2011-12, who averaged 23.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Went 168-for-227 from FT line. Probably a Division I low-major prospect.

2. Luke Ryskamp (Schoolcraft SR G) – The 6-3 slasher was AP Class C first-team all-state last season, when he averaged 22.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.6 steals. Signed with Grand Valley State. Stole show in Schoolcraft’s state title run as sophomore in 2010-11 season.

3. Reid Dugan (Otsego SR C) – Big-bodied 6-8 center averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds last season, when PG Jared Klein (now at WMU) was in Otsego’s backcourt. Likely D-II prospect. Sophomore brother Seth Dugan (6-10) already offered by WMU.

4. Malachi Satterlee (Climax-Scotts SR F) – Large-framed 6-8 forward averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks last season en route to AP Class D first-team all-state honors. Panthers lost big to Southfield Christian in Class D state finals. Division II prospect.

5. Dean Kolstad (Gull Lake SR F) – The 6-4 forward tough in paint with quick-jumping ability. First-team all-area last season in Classes A-B after he averaged 15.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Will play collegiately at Notre Dame College (Ohio).

Top five teams in the Kalamazoo area:

1. Kalamazoo Central The Maroon Giants have more question marks than they’ve had in the past four years, when Mike Thomas coached them to three straight state finals and back-to-back titles. Thomas left for an assistant coaching job at Albion College. In came Ramsey Nichols from Jackson High School. This team still has good (not great) talent.

2. Kalamazoo Loy Norrix – The Knights have one outstanding player in Bishop Robinson, but can he do it all against double- and triple-teams? He’s the tallest player on the roster at a generous 6-3. Loy Norrix has the athletes to get up and down the floor, but could have problems on the boards.

3. Otsego – The Dugan brothers (6-8 senior Reid and 6-10 sophomore Seth) make the Bulldogs tough, and they have a decent (not great, by any means) supporting cast around them. Finding a serviceable point guard to replace Jared Klein (WMU) will be tough. If Otsego finds it, then it could be a team to watch in Class B.

4. Sturgis The Trojans have two pretty strong players in Chance Stewart – the 6-5 junior forward and three-year starter who is committed to Wisconsin as a quarterback – and 6-4 senior southpaw wing Jalen Cox. Coach Keith Kurowski usually has them playing tough defense. Can Sturgis score enough, though?

5. Climax-Scotts – Having two 6-8 forwards on one Class D team is quite rare, but that’s what the Panthers have in seniors Malachi Satterlee (plays 15 feet and in mostly) and Aaron Cook (lefty tends to hover around 3-point area). They’re surrounded by good athletes, but not great basketball players. Has chance to make another run to Class D state finals.

One under the radar player to watch:

Matt Crowl (White Pigeon SR F/C) – The 6-8 post will play his college ball at Northwood. Further ahead defensively than offensively, although he possesses a nice shooting touch for a big guy. Averaged 12.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks last season.

One under the radar team to watch:

This is a tough one. Not sure there are any teams that are true sleepers – capable of making deep state-tournament runs. A couple teams to watch, though, could be Paw Paw and Vicksburg, both from the Wolverine Conference. Paw Paw will be led by 6-3 sophomore G Tanner Eubank, who is getting Division I attention. Vicksburg is led by senior guards Abe Barwegen and Colin McCaw.

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