There were no surprises when the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan released the names of the six finalists for the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award, given to the state’s best boys basketball player, on Monday afternoon.
Those finalists, which include a host of future Division I talent with offers from elite programs, are Detroit Cornerstone Health and Technology’s Jamal Cain, Detroit East English Village’s Greg Elliott, North Farmington’s Amauri Hardy, Kalamazoo Central’s Isaiah Livers, Grand Rapids Christian’s Xavier Tillman and Powers North Central’s Jason Whitens.
The winner will be announced March 20 and honored at the Free Press.
Here are the brief résumés for each of the players.
Jamal Cain, Detroit Cornerstone Health and Technology
• Cain, a 6-foot-7 four-star small forward, is signed with Marquette. He entered the season No. 2 on the Free Press’ Top 100 list of players in the state and is the fifth-best recruit in Michigan, according to ESPN.
Greg Elliott, Detroit East English Village
• Elliott, a 6-4 three-star shooting guard, picked up a late offer from Michigan State a month ago but also has interest from Marquette and Detroit. He has proven he can take over offensively, eclipsing the 40-point scoring mark in several games this season.
Amauri Hardy, North Farmington
• Hardy, a 6-3 four-star point guard headed for Oklahoma State, chose the Cowboys over 10 other offers, including Eastern Michigan and UDM. He came in at No. 6 on the Free Press’ Top 100 players list and has helped North Farmington to a 13-3 record this season.
Isaiah Livers, Kalamazoo Central
• Livers, a 6-8 four-star power forward, committed to Michigan over the summer, despite having offers from every Division I team in the state except for Central Michigan. He is considered a Top 150 player by most recruiting outlets and debuted at No. 3 on the Free Press list.
Xavier Tillman, Grand Rapids Christian
• Tillman, a 6-8 four-star power forward, is the top-rated prospect in the state, according to recruiting experts, and chose to stay close to home at MSU. He’s ranked a top-90 recruit by all major recruiting services and appeared No. 1 on the Free Press’ Top 100 players list.
Jason Whitens, Powers North Central
• Whitens, a 6-5 swingman from the U.P., has Division II interest as well as interest from bigger programs as a preferred walk-on. His Jets have won back-to-back Class D state titles and haven’t lost a game in three seasons — in both basketball and football.