Archive | April, 2013

Detroit Lefty Wing Chooses Texas

30 Apr

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Today, Detroit Pershing wing Martez Walker gave a verbal commit to become a University of Texas Longhorn.  Walker was recruited by schools such as Temple, Providence, Oakland, and UCF before ultimately deciding on Texas.  The lefty had a tremendous senior season, averaging a double-double en route to helping Pershing capture a City Championship.  The key turning point in Martez’s recruitment came just a couple weeks ago when Walker took a visit to Texas to tour the campus.  Walker said that the visit was fun, and enjoyed the relationship with the coaches he had while on that visit.

Walker will bring a high-volume shooter that excels in coming off any type of screen, as well as a solid scorer to Austin this upcoming season.  Some of the up-and-coming portions of his game will be to improve upon athleticism, as well as going right to create offense for himself.  No doubt Martez will have to work if he wants to receive playing time at a school that produces tremendous players like Kevin Durant.  Martez expects to work hard, play his style of game, and not try to do anything he can’t to in an attempt to impress the coaches.

As an avid supporter of the high school basketball, it makes me feel good when a kid accepts high major scholarship to continue their sport.  And this is Pershing High School we are talking about.  The school is an absolute basketball factory.  From the greats of Steve Smith to the recent products of Keith Appling and Derrick Nix, few schools in the area can compete with the Tradition of Pershing basketball.  Martez is now writing a chapter of his own to that story of success and will look to make a name of his own.

Player Feature: De La Salle’s A.J. Turner

29 Apr

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Currently holding over 15 Division One offers as of now, Warren De La Salle 6’7″ wing A.J. Turner has established himself as one the most coveted prospects in the State of Michigan.  A.J.’s combination of size and length makes him a matchup nightmare on both sides of the court.  “Versatility is the best part of my game,” said Turner, “The fact that I can play three positions something that comes in handy.” With the rise of tall big men that can run the point like Kevin Durant in the NBA, and Otto Porter at Georgetown, A.J. looks to be right at home with similar skilled athletes.  Turner is a quality jump shooter with a fluid high arching release that has good rotation on the ball.  A.J. with his height to look over the defenders when passing, always seems to find the open man in the right spot to score the ball.  Was also the jump ball man for De La Salle this year even though he was a guard.

With no set decision time for Turner to decide on a school, this will be a quite interesting summer for Turner.  His AAU team Dorians pride is one of the best in Michigan.  The team almost every weekend travels outside of the state to attend some of the nation’s elite tournaments.  But that is not to say that A.J. will pick just any major program that comes to offer.  Turner is looking for a school that “develops players, fits my style of play, one that I can go to and play right away, and of course I would like to play in the NCAA Tournament wherever I go.

The one player that A.J. reminds me of is a Michael Carter-Williams, both are long lanky combo guards that can score and defend the ball.  When asked about the comparison,  A.J. did acknowledge that there are some similarities, “We both are very tall and are able to play the point guard position,” and “we both make great decisions with the ball.”  A.J. will look to improve upon “being able to defend all positions” this summer, to go along with at times this season being reluctant to score the ball.  He is a great player that needs to score the ball.  Whether it is with the jump shot or getting to the lane, coaches want a kid they can put the ball in the hands of and let them go to work.  But the main thing is that he is a team player that wants to get everybody on the court and lead them to a victory.

Kyle Steward Picks Youngstown State

25 Apr

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Detroit Cass Tech 6’7″ forward Kyle Steward decided to commit to the Youngstown State this afternoon on the 25 of April, 2013.  Kyle was a transfer from Detroit Crockett last year after the school closed.  Instead of going to East English Village, Kyle decided to join fellow division one signees, DeAngelo Stewart and D’Andre Johnson, for his senior year in which the Technecians captured the PSL West division championship before bowing out to Pershing for the City Title.  Steward had a great season, averaging 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game

Kyle will be joining a 18-16 Penguin squad that finished 7-9 within the Horizon league and lost in the second round of the CIT Invitational.  Kyle had offers from various schools across the country, including Jacksonville (FL), Houston Baptist (TX), Rider (NJ), and Cleveland State in Ohio.  Kyle wanted to be a Penguin because “It was closer to home so all my family and friends could see me play.”

Other reasons why Kyle chose Youngstown is because of the connections he has within the coaching staff and the incoming recruiting class.  Steve Hall, an assistant on the team, attended Cass Tech in the late 80s before having a successful college career.  Including a couple stints in Detroit as a head high school coach.  “Coach Hall has been recruiting me since the 9th grade,” said Steward, who will have little difficulty moving into a college athlete.  To go along with a familiar coach, Steward will be joined by Romulus’ Jalon Plummer.  “Yeah that’s my guy,” Steward on Plummer, “I’ve known been knowing him basically forever.”  Steward will bring a long athletic frame, with the ability to guard multiple positions on the court, a tremendous rebounder, and a guy who can hit a perimeter shot or two.

Player Profile: Redford Thurston’s Ray Croon

23 Apr

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Big, athletic scorer that can go off at any time for double digit scoring night.  Creates mis-match problems for smaller guards when playing the point.  Nice bounce and rebounding ability.

With a big summer in the EYBL, Ray could very well turn into a highly ranked prospect.  Right now with interest  coming from MAC schools.  Ray expects an offer to come really soon.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Name, AAU team, weight, height, position, and graduation year?

Ray Croon: Ray Croon, The Family, 6’5″, 170 lbs, SG, 2014.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Athletes you model your game after?

Ray Croon: Jamal Crawford, and Kevin Durant.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What was the best game you had this year?

Ray Croon: I had 38 points against Lake Shore in three quarters and sat the fourth quarter.  Also had six dunks that game.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some strengths you have to your overall game?

Ray Croon: I have a high IQ, I shoot really good and I’m very athletic.  I can also create a shot very easy.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some up and coming areas of your game?

Ray Croon: Me playing more of the point guard because I can handle the ball very well now.  Also I’m quick on my feet for rebounds.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some goals you have set for this off-season?

Ray Croon: Get some high major offers, move up in that ranking list, go to all of those exposure camps.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How much does playing with The Family going to elevate your game playing the EYBL?

Ray Croon: It will a lot because it’s a high level game that I like to play.  And it makes me wanna work harder and it makes me more hungry.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Could you describe your relationship with some your teammates like Edmond Sumner, Yante Maten, and Aaron Foster-Smith?

Ray Croon: We have a great relationship.  We are learning each others game and are building our chemistry.  But we are like brothers already.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some dream schools for you?

Ray Croon: Michigan, Syracuse, or Baylor.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some schools that have shown interest in you so far?

Ray Croon: Kent State, U of D (Mercy), Eastern Michigan, a ton of d2 schools.  Also Akron.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What do you think you can bring to a team at the next level?

Ray Croon: I can bring them someone who will be a lockdown defender, put points up, rebound and get WINS. I’ll sacrifice my body when needed.  I’m also a great leader I learn fast too.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What would you say to a college coach on why they should want you for their team?

Ray Croon: I would tell them that I will do whatever it take.  I’ll always give 110% and I will improve.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Lastly, what is a fun/interesting fact about you?

Ray Croon: No comment.

Ray Croon posterizes defender

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Ray on Twitter: @D1__Prospect

C/O 2014 Combo Guards To Watch Summer 2013

22 Apr

Juwan Clark 5’11 (Romulus High)– Brother of Missouri commit Wes Clark.  Juwan is a streaky jump shooter, but has a nice fluid release.  However, Juwan plays with a high basketball IQ, and is always looking to get others involved in the offense.  Sees the floor extremely well and has good anticipation when a teammate is getting open.  Is one big summer away from having an outstanding senior season. Highlight link

Darrell Davis 6’3″ (Detroit Douglass)– One of the most dynamic guards in the state.  Solid in the driving portion of his game and is in the stage of developing a consistent perimeter jump shot.  Once Davis gets his left hand as deadly as his right, it will be a hard thing to stop.  Plays with high emotion.  Already with offers from Iowa and Iowa State.  But the majority of his offers coming from mid-majors. Early season highlights

A.J. Turner 6’7″ (Warren De La Salle)– Long and lanky athletic guard that can shoot, take you off the dribble, break you down on the fast break.  No slouch making plays for his teammates, delivers passes where a teammate is in a position to do something productive.  Some people compare him to a Michael Carter-Williams.  Has many MAC offers but Big Ten schools are starting to show more interest. Highlights

Kenny Carpenter 6’4″ (Cass Tech)– A long combo guard, Kenny is a quick release spot up shooter on the wing with range to three-point land.  Finishes at the rim not going away from contact.  Has a nice floater while attacking the basket as well.  Link to highlights

Mike Laster 6’3″(Cass Tech)- Nice mid-ranger shooter that can create offense for himself off a high pick-and-roll.  Working on ball-handling and a go to offensive move will be keys for him this off-season.  Highlights

Romulus’ Juwan Clark Interview

20 Apr

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Juwan won a state championship in his second season on the varsity basketball team at Romulus High School.  However, played sparingly behind four NCAA Division 1 recruits.  But to be honest, Juwan would start at about just every other school in the area.  Clark is a combo guard who is a streaky jump shooter, but has a good IQ for the game and loves to pass the ball.  A big summer is on the horizon for Juwan, who looks to make a name of his own like his brother, Wes, did last year ultimately signing as a Missouri Tiger.

 

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Height, weight, position and AAU team?

Juwan Clark: 6’0″,  165 lbs, and undecided.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Looking back now, how successful was this season for Romulus and for you individually?

Juwan Clark: Very.  I mean a state championship is as good as it gets, but I wanted to do more this year.  But I can’t complain.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Was it hard for you to play behind Wes (Clark) and the others this season knowing if you went to any other school you would be starting?

Juwan Clark: Yeah of course, but they made me better everyday in practice and it’s the best school.  And I know it’s my time next year so I was mad at first but I also understood.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What does it mean to you to be on the team that won a state title for one of the most respected coaches in the state in Coach Oats?

Juwan Clark: Man it’s an honor.  Not everyone gets to experience something like that.  It’s a great feeling and we put a lot into it so to see it pay off was the best feeling.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What were some of the improvements you made from your first year on varsity to the second?  And what are some things you are still trying to work on?

Juwan Clark: My attitude and how hard I play.  I’m still trying to play better defense and be a more vocal leader.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: On the flip side, what are some strengths you bring to the team?

Juwan Clark: I know how to get people going.  I see the floor well and I can score when needed.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Do you have any schools looking at you right now and any offers?

Juwan Clark: No offers but Xavier, Rhode Island, Missouri and a couple more.  Not really sure.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will you bring to a college team and what would they be getting out of a player like you?

Juwan Clark: I can bring hard work and dedication.  And they will be getting a solid point guard who has a high basketball IQ.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some of you off-season goals to get better for your senior season?

Juwan Clark: Live in the gym and in the weight room.  Get stronger and mentally prepared.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Where do you see yourself compare to the other elite guards in the state’s class of 2014?

Juwan Clark: I’m #1 in my book always.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Does having someone to look up to, in your case Wes (Clark), help you know to take it slow during your recruitment?

Juwan Clark: Yeah.  It helps me think to never get down because there’s no telling what can happen like when he blew up so yeah.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Do you think the current juniors, you, Kris Clyburn and (Tyrone) Hamby can rise to the standard of excellence that has been set for you by previous players at Romulus?

Juwan Clark: Yeah.  I think we are going to go beyond what is expected by far.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What can Romulus fans expect out of you next year?

Juwan Clark: Another state championship.  I’m saying at least 15 (points) and 10 (assists).

Metro Detroit High School Athletics:  What is a fun/interesting face about you?

Juwan Clark: I am a golfer.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Juwan on Twitter: @JuwanClark5

 

C/0 2014 Point Guards to Watch this Summer 2013

17 Apr

Edmond Sumner 6’3″ (Detroit Country Day)- Probably the fastest guard in the state.  Edmond has the ability to score at will against opponents, which most of the time is getting around them and getting to the basket.  Do not let him get the first step on you, buy then it is just about over.

Keyon Addison 6’0″ (Saginaw)– One of the best on ball defenders in the class. Addison is a true menace on the defensive side of the ball.  Makes it hard to breath if you are playing offense.  Not a slouch on the offensive end as well.  Good driving abilities allow himself to get to the line.

Darsean Woodson 5’8″ (Detroit Pershing)– Short but quick point guard that excels in the open floor.  Capable of hitting the kick-back jump shot from the post. Will get a turn to have the ball in his hands much more this summer than when he did playing for his high school team.

Evan Kraatz 5’10” (Allen Park Inter-City Baptist)– Already Baptist’s leading scorer in school history.  Kraatz has one of the best pull-up jump shots in the area to go along with a solid catch-and-shoot game. Knows how to create offense for himself.  Was relied on so much this season to put the ball in the basket that true point guard skills were never tested.

D.J. Lazarus 5’9″ (Macomb Dakota)– Not the quickest of guards out there, but what D.J. makes up for that is his shooting ability.  Do not let this man get into a rhythm from beyond the arch, because if he does, you will be in for a long night. Excels in ball screens coming around a screener and pulling up for a jump shot.  Which ultimately opens up other aspects of his game which is penetration.

Michigan Invite Standouts

15 Apr

Here are some recaps of the talent filled days that the Michigan Invitational featured this previous weekend.

V.J. King 6’6″ 180 lbs (King James Shooting Stars 17u)- One of the most talented freshmen in the country.  The long athletic wing showed the ability to dominate in just about every phase on the offensive side of the ball.  Whether it be getting to the rim or hitting the perimeter jump shot, V.J. is a force to be reckoned with.  Already possess offers from the likes of Big Ten schools.

A.J. Harris 5’8″ 145 lbs (King James Shooting Stars 17u)- The smallest player on the court is no short of talent.  The 5’8″ point guard featured a variety of moves one would expect of a bigger guard.  A.J. has tremendous court vision and passing ability.  But defenders must be honest because he can score the ball with the best of them.  Mid major offers as of now but those will turn to higher as the aau season continues.

Darrell Davis 6’3″ 170 lbs (Reach Legends 17u)- Darrell will improve his game so much over this summer.  Davis is improving on the jump shot, but a strength is his raw scoring ability.  Davis will be no doubt by the end of the summer of the state’s elite combo guards.

Aaron Foster-Smith  6’7″ 215 lbs (Michigan Warriors 17u)- An explosive, tough forward, Foster-Smith has a variety of skills that one would not expect from a post player.  Aaron rebounds, is athletic, scores in the paint, and more surprisingly, runs the break with the ball in his hands like he is a point guard.  Many high major schools are predicted to keep an eye or two on him.

Paris Bass 6’8″ (Michigan Warriors 17u)- The long, versatile wing averaged over 20 points a game during his senior season, but is still eligible to participate in aau games.  Bass has a nice face-up jump shot that has range to three point land.  Rebounds, passes and scores.  Just plain and simple, can do it all.

Player Profile: Lorenzo Collier

9 Apr

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Lorenzo was sometimes the forgotten piece that helped lead Pershing to a Detroit Public School League championship this season.  Lorenzo is a quality shooter that has some range to his shot.  Effective when both feet are set.  Developing an all around game, such as ball handling and ability to create for himself, to become a complete player.  Has better athleticism than most people give him credit for.  A decent finisher in transition as well.  Interest is coming from Division Three schools.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Height and position?

Lorenzo Collier: 6’3″ shooting guard

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Best game for you this year and why?

Lorenzo Collier: Flint Beecher.  It was a high level of competition, and I felt like I dominated my match up.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Players you model your game after?

Lorenzo Collier: James Harden and Ray Allen

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you think this season went for Pershing?

Lorenzo Collier: It was a great season, I just feel we didn’t accomplish our biggest goal.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Is there added pressure being a Pershing Doughboy?

Lorenzo Collier: I wouldn’t call it pressure, it’s just something that expected.  Like working harder on and off the court.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some strengths and weaknesses to your individual game?

Lorenzo Collier: Ball handling is my weakness, shooting and ball pressure defense are my strengths.  I plan to get better at all of that this summer.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some schools that are interested in you and did any offer so far?

Lorenzo Collier: Earlham and Albion offered.  I won’t know the rest until after I take the test.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Eastern [Michigan], Ball State, and the Division Two Notre Dame are looking.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Any visits taken or planned?  And when do you expect to make a decision?

Lorenzo Collier: I plan to make my decision before April is over, and I will take a visit after I get accepted to Earlham and I hope Ball State comes along.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will go into your decision about a school such as academics and a potential major?

Lorenzo Collier: Engineering.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What role would you like to have once you are on a college team?

Lorenzo Collier: Handling the ball when I have to.  Also the big thing is knocking down shots, and playing defense.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What do you see as an ideal freshmen season?

Lorenzo Collier: As a freshmen, if I work hard as I can, I think I have the ability to have a great freshmen season.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What would a team and coach be getting from a player like you?

Lorenzo Collier: Someone that plays hard and never gives up, also someone who plays solid.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What is a fun/interesting fact about you?

Lorenzo Collier: I have a good personality on and off the court.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Lorenzo on Twitter: @lorenzocollier

 

Plummer’s Penguins

6 Apr

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Romulus C/O 2013 wing Jalon Plummer committed to Youngstown State this weekend after visiting the school a couple of weeks ago.  It has been an outstanding season for Plummer.  Jalon missed a significant portion of his junior year, but worked hard to become an x-factor for Romulus en route to their first state championship since 1986.  Jalon told me that the school is a perfect fit for him,  “The program fit my style of play, and the coaches made me fill comfortable,” said Plummer.  Youngstown State will be getting “An extremely hard worker, great spot up shooter, rebounder, size and a kid who will only get better as the years go on,” added Romulus assistant coach Nate Schmidt.”  Jalon is expected to receive quality playing time next year for the Penguins.

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