Archive | May, 2013

Adidas Chicago Best Buy Classic

27 May

The Best Buy Classic in Chicago featured some of the best teams and players in the region as well as the country.  Here are a few players that stood out to me.

IMG_1114Leonard Harper-Baker (SF Michigan Hurricanes 2014)- Has Harper-Baker been working out more since the end of the high school season?  Yes.  Leonard is turning into, from what I saw a more consistent scorer and perimeter shooter compared to his high school season.  And his defense against Eric Gordon’s All-Stars was tremendous, blocking shots and causing match-up problems outside.  Expect this Southeastern Jungaleer’s stock to rise this summer.



Antonio Singleton (6’5″ F Eric Gordon All-Stars 2016)- A real matchup problem for defenders with his combination of athleticism and shooting ability.  Attacks the rim hard and finishes with ease above the rim.  Provided the crowd with a few highlight dunks.

Austin Conway ( 5’11 PG Colorado Hawks 16U 2015)- One of the quickest guards in Chicago this weekend.  A real lighting bolt in transition.  Can score and dish out assists to teammates.  Reminds me a little of Trey Burke.

IMG_1112Brandone Francis ( Combo Guard 6’5″ Florida Elite 2014)- Tough, physical off-guard that can shoot and drive to the basket.  Just an all around true basketball player that has no real weakness in his game.  Holds several high-major offers.


Eron Gordon ( 6’2″ SG Eric Gordon All-Stars 2016)- The best shooter I saw at the tournament.  Defenses, please, do not leave this man open from beyond the arch.  It is almost over when that happens.  And on the defensive end, it was hard for anybody get past him with long arms and quick feet.

IMG_1111De’Ron Davis ( 6’9″ F Colorado Hawks 16U 2016)- Davis dominated the down low post and the paint in several of the games I saw him play.  Rebounds, defends, blocks shots, and has athleticism.  Kind of tweener between a small forward and power forward.


Sumner Decides on Xavier

13 May


Detroit Country Day has been a mecca for high school basketball in Metro Detroit. Former greats include Chris Webber and Shane Battier, to recents who have put on the Yellow Jacket jersey such as Ray McCallum and Amir Williams. And adding a new chapter to the history of the school is C/O 2014 PG Edmond Sumner. Sumner, who competes for the EYBL team The Family, recently took a visit down to Xavier the weekend of May 4th, which pretty much put a bow on top of his recruitment with Xavier. “They have been on me the longest,” said Sumner, “and made a priority unlike other schools,” who reportedly chose between the Musketeers and the Minutemen of UMass.

Don’t think that just because Sumner is going to a smaller school means he doesn’t have game, this guy can play and had high major coaches watching. He single-handedly took over multiple playoff games in the postseason leading Country Day to a Class B crown, including a remarkable 30 point three steal performance in the semi-final victory over Cadillac. He has even continued that high level of play into the early EYBL season, averaging 12.7 points a game and dishing out 40 assists so far. Sumner wanted attend a school that fits his play style, and that school is Xavier because “At most schools they play only one point [guard], at Xavier, they play two point guards and they give them a lot of freedom.”

As far as Sumner’s game is concerned, he is hands down one of the most exciting guards to watch operate in the state. Edmond excels in the open court with great speed and court vision, with the ability to finish at the rim despite a slender frame. To go along with very quick and steady three point jump shot. All of these are skills that Xavier will need to compete in the first season for the newly formed Big East Conference.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Following in His Brother’s Footsteps. Romulus’ Kris Clyburn

12 May


Every year, the Romulus Eagles always have Division One college talent.  This year, it was a quartet of seniors, Jalon Plummer [Youngstown State], Leo Edwards [Louisiana Tech], Wes Clark [Missouri], and E.C. Matthews [Rhode Island].  In years past, the school has produced Ray Lee [C/O 2012 Eastern Michigan] and Justin Moss [C/O 2011 Toledo].  With all this talent comes great success!  The Romulus Eagles make it to the State Championships at the Breslin Center just about every year and this year 2013, the team captured its first state title since 1986 defeating Detroit Southeastern in the championship game.  However, there is something more than basketball at Romulus.  It’s the life lessons; such as hard work and perseverance that are instilled in the players by the Romulus coaches.  And this has had an impact on the lives of a pair of two brothers, Will and Kris Clyburn.

Going back a couple of years, Will Clyburn was a member of the 2008 class at Romulus High School.  Will Clyburn was often overlooked when scouts came into the building to watch Romulus compete, even though he averaged double-figures scoring wise each game that season.  And at the end of his senior season, Will only received one offer, from Marshalltown Community College in Iowa.  He made the best of it by working hard, a thing that Will admits to not accomplishing in the early stages of his high school career.  Will ultimately received a scholarship after two years at Marshalltown to attend the University of Utah for the 2010-2011 season.  Will had a tremendous season for the Utes!  He averaged 17 points a game  and hauled down 8 rebounds per game.  After the season ended, Will decided to transfer and sit out a year in order to play at Iowa State.  Will came back better than ever when he was allowed to play for the Cyclones.  Although his scoring went down, Clyburn was a vital contributor toward leading Iowa State to an at-large birth in the 2013 NCAA tournament.  And far as the draft goes, Will is projected by many to be a late second round selection.

Will’s pathway to college has not been easy.  But his example has taught many athletes that when you work hard, great things can be achieved.  Will is a role model to his younger brother, Kris, a rising senior at Romulus High School who competes for the Michigan Warriors AAU team.  One major thing Kris admires of his older brother is his work ethic.  “When he got to college, he worked even harder because he felt like he should prove [something to ] everybody that doubted him wrong,” said Kris whose plans include, “For the offseason, I need to live in the gym.”  The two, according to Kris, are mirror images of each other on the court, acknowledging that both are very versatile and do all the intangibles, the only thing differing is that Will is right handed.

Kris is yet to receive an offer, but has various D1 schools showing interest.  Kris can look up to Will’s arduous recruiting process for guidance during a difficult time for a any high school basketball player.  “I know what I need to do and expect to try and be a successful college basketball player,” says Kris.  Of goals he has set for the AAU season, one that will make anybody affiliated with the Romulus High School basketball team happy, is that he is going to “Practice on bringing home hardware,” for the Michigan Warriors this Summer, “because we plan on winning another State TItle [for Romulus] this year.”  A goal that can only be accomplished by hard work.  A task that is not unfamiliar to the Clyburn brothers.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Kris on Twitter: Kris_Clyburn21

Interview with Ricky Watson of Grosse Pointe North

8 May


Ricky is a 5’10”, 165 lbs junior poing guard who attends Grosse Pointe North High School and competes on Team Indiana for AAU.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some athletes you model your game after?

Ricky Watson: Trey Burke, and Keith Appling.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you feel your high school season went?

Ricky Watson: My high school season was alright, (10-11) [record]. We took a bitter first round loss to Lakeview in the first round of districts but we battled a lot of injuries this season including myself.

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

Ricky Watson: My best asset is I’m very crafty, I can get to the basket whenever & I have a strong mid range shot. My jump shot extended out to the three-point line is getting better & my ability to react quickly to what the defense gives me.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you think this AAU season is going to shape out for you?

Ricky Watson: I think it’s going to shape out good. I hope I can rack up some more interest and hopefully an offer.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some goals of your this off-season?

Ricky Watson: Just to get stronger and more explosive.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What can scouts expect out of you and your team this summer?

Ricky Watson: They can expect me to play hard, and give my all every possession. And to win a lot of games.

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

Ricky Watson: Michigan State. Growing up that is the only school I watch.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some intangibles you have?

Ricky Watson: Just very intense competitor, and I hate losing!!

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

Ricky Watson: Northwood, U of D [Mercy], Iowa State, has sent me mail. Findlay and Bowling Green.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How do you see your skills translating to the college game?

Ricky Watson: I play pretty fast up temp pace. I think it would translate pretty well.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What makes you different from other point guards with similar skills of yours?

Ricky Watson: I ‘m fearless! I’ll never back down from any challenge.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will go into picking a school for you?

Ricky Watson: Atmosphere, how the coaches treat me, and will I be successful the next four years.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will a coach and a program be getting out of a player like you?

Ricky Watson: Hard work and dedication. Knowing I will give my all every time I’m on the court.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Expectations for next high school season and remainder of AAU season?

Ricky Watson: To win a district title, and make all state. And hopefully get an offer from a good mid-major school.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What role do you see yourself playing in college?

Ricky Watson: Hopefully I can come in as a staring PG, but if not just play my role until it’s time.

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

Ricky Watson: I like to ski.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Ricky on Twitter: @SlickRick_

Weekend Recap 5/6/13

6 May

It was a busy weekend this previous weekend as some of Michigan’s last few remaining  unsigned seniors decided on where they will be playing next year.

Sam McClendon 6’0″ Guard (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s)


The Eaglet point guard received interest from low D1 and D2 schools before finally deciding on Mt. Zion Prep in Durham, North Carolina.  It came as a surprise to most because it looked as if Sam was going to decide on a four year school, which will have to wait another year.  Sam will bring toughness, and a floor general to Zion who could have a very good prep season next year.



Clark Bishop 6’0″ Combo Guard (Detroit Renaissance)


The 1,000 point career scorer held a few D2 offers before heading on a visit to Florida Atlantic last weekend.  And on that visit it was decided Clark will become an Owl.  Bishop will be reuniting with former AAU teammate and fellow Detroit Public School League standout, D’Andre Johnson, “It’s going to be a blast to play with my former teammate/high school rival,” Clark said of the duo reuniting.   Clark is a hard nosed defender on the defensive end, but can light you up on the offensive end as well.  Solid jump shot, finishes at the rim and very dangerous in transition are all skills Clark will be bringing to FAU.  “I picked FAU because of the coaching staff,” said Bishop, “Coach Jarvis really made me feel at home.”


Jalen Adams 6’4″ Wing Guard (Saginaw Arthur Hill)


When the opportunity to play D1, take it.  That is what St. Bonaventure commit Jalen Adams did this weekend when he committed to play for the Bonnies.  Similar to Clark, Jalen took a visit this weekend and fell in love with the school, “The environment and I connect with the players and the education,” were reasons for the commitment according to Jalen.  Adams is hands down one of the best and electrifying athletes in the state.  The guy is reported to have a 40 inch vertical allowing him to explode out of the gym.  Jalen uses that athleticism not only for dunks, but rebounds as well.  Don’t forget other aspects of his offensive game.  Jalen finishes at the rim and is not afraid of contact, and gets by defenders with a nice spin move.  Working on a consistent perimeter jump shot game will be a key for him this summer.  Adams told me that he expects to play more of a two guard role this coming season.


Kyle Kuzma of Rise Academy

2 May


Flint born Kyle Kuzma is emerging as one of the state’s top players but the funny thing is that Kyle does not attend school in Michigan, Kyle attends Rise Academy in Philadelphia (PA).  With that being said however, Kuzma still does play for one of Michigan elite basketball AAU teams, Dorians Pride.  Kuzma is a good combination of size and length with a jump shot that has a soft touch.  Also has good moves to take defenders of the dribble and finish at the rim.  Working on ball handling will a key for him this summer.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: List name, height, weight, position, AAU team and school team?

Kyle Kuzma: Kyle Kuzma, 6’8″, 200 lbs, wing, Dorians Pride, and Rise Academy.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some athletes that inspire your game?

Kyle Kuzma: I try to trace my game as Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some skills you have as a basketball player and some up and coming areas of your game?

Kyle Kuzma: Some skills I have: being a good shooter, good court vision, great basketball IQ, rebounding.  Up and coming: defense has picked up, and working on my ball handling.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: How would you say your high school season went this year?

Kyle Kuzma: Went really well.  Averaged about 15 [points], and 8 [rebounds].  Helped my team win a lot.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will be some keys to this AAU season to be sure scouts see the total package of your game?

Kyle Kuzma: Just to stay healthy, keep playing consistently, and just show coaches what I’m capable of doing.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What can scouts expect out of you and Dorians Pride this summer?

Kyle Kuzma: That when I’m on the court I will do whatever it takes to win and produce.  Whether it’s points rebounds etc.  And you can expect Dorians pride to be in the championship game of most tournaments every weekend.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Now what are some schools that have offered or showed interest in you?

Kyle Kuzma:  Offered: Manhattan, Detroit, Oakland, Tennessee Tech, Bradley, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, UC Irvine, Rhode Island, Utah, and Texas A&M.  Interest:  Missouri, VCU, Villanova, St. Johns, Boston College, USC, UAB, Iowa, and Cincinnati.

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

Kyle Kuzma: Don’t really have one.  But I really like how Michigan plays.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What are some things you want out of a school that will go into your decision?

Kyle Kuzma: Being able to contribute as a freshman, a coaching staff that’s going to help me get to the next level, and a good education.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What will a coach be getting not only out of your skills, but also your intangibles?

Kyle Kuzma: He will be getting a good basketball IQ, solid defense and rebounding, and good leadership skills while I’m on the court.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Why should a coach take you over a similar skilled athlete?

Kyle Kuzma: Because I can out smart opposite players, and some maybe be more talented than me but won’t outwork me.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: Goals for the AAU circuit and off-season?

Kyle Kuzma:  AAU: wins as many tournaments as we can.  And off-season goals are to get better and put some more weight.

Metro Detroit High School Athletics: What can fans and scouts expect out of you in the upcoming months?

Kyle Kuzma: More muscles added to my body and production on the court.

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

Kyle Kuzma: That I’m a very out going person.  And I play a lot of video game!

Follow me on Twitter: @mdhsathletics

Follow Kyle on Twitter: kkuzma35

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