Archive | December, 2013

Taylor Truman Tops Detroit Western 65-48

29 Dec

TaylorTrumanWhat sums this game up is simply, Truman’s starting 5  was better than the Cowboys.  The Cougars used a 21-8 run in roughly a five minute stretch in the opening quarter to get a double digit lead and coast to an easy victory.  The only time Western would cut the lead down to single digits was 8 after the end of the third quarter.  However, the Cougars held Cowboy star sophomore guard Brailen Neely scoreless in the fourth, a major factor in winning the game, Neely finished up with 16 points in the game.   A key in the early first quarter run was senior point guard Devain Newbell, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the first quarter.  Newbill is an explosive guard in open space, with good handles that likes to get into the lane and create plays for Truman.  He has nice speed and can be effective when coming off a high ball screen.  To go along with 17 points, he had 6 assists, good enough to win the game MVP.

His partner in crime was 2014 U of D Mercy commit Aaron Foster-Smith.  Truman’s Mr. Basketball candidate did not disappoint, according to my stats,  Foster-Smith took 10 shots, and made all of them, including three three-pointers.  Aaron is wing with good size measuring in at 6’7″.  He is a explosive athlete, inside-out scorer, runs the break hard, and his body that needs to blocked out on rebounding, because if not, he will jump out of the gym and get the rebound, which he did 11 times vs. Western.  Foster-Smith is currently only under 100 points away from breaking Truman’s career scoring mark.

Not to be outdone in the victor fellow senior Anthony Wartley-Fritz.  In the win, Anthony had his best game of the season, getting a double-double with 11 points, and 13 rebounds.  Standing at 6’7″, Fritz, has good size, brings energy to the floor, and toughness.  He finished through a couple and-one plays, and went after rebounds hard the whole game.

With the victory, Truman is now 5-0 heading into the new year.  The Cowboys head into 2014 with a 1-4 record.

2013 Holiday Hoops Invitational Recap

28 Dec

comlogoEast Lansing High School was the host of the annual Holiday Hoops Invitational held at MSU’s Breslin Center.  The showcase featured teams the majority of which came from Mid/Western Michigan, but that does not mean there is a drop off in talent.  Just about every game was competitive, and plenty of prospects made names for themselves.

Paw Paw 77 Lansing Christian 50

The Redskins of Paw Paw were flat out more experienced than Christian.  Junior division one recruit Tanner Eubank led Paw Paw with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while senior Kyle Williams added 16 points for the Redskins as well.  The Pilgrims of Lansing Christian were led by senior Jordan Terry, who with Tanner took home the game MVPS, with 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds.  5’10” freshman shooting guard Matt Havey also played big Christian, adding 15 points, most of which came off nice perimeter jump shots.

Lansing Catholic 50 Schoolcraft 43

Catholic used their superior size, coming from the Poljan brothers David and Tony who are 6’8″ and 6’7″ respectively, to defeat Schoolcraft.  Although the two are brothers and tower over their opponents, the two each have a unique skill set.  Tony Poljan played more of the wing position, but still managed to come away with 14 rebounds.  He displayed the ability to handle to ball up the floor on the break and attack the basket in transition, with both power and graceful finishes at the rim.  David Poljan is more of a traditional power forward.  He has active hands that allowed him to deflect passes from the post, which resulted in steals for Catholic, good passer and vision from the post, and hit a few mid-range jump shots.  Central Michigan was in attendance for this game.  To go along with his 14 rebounds, Tony Poljan also had 20 points and 3 assists, good enough for the MVP.  His brother David, contributed 16 points.

Holt 79 Hudsonville 70

Holt does not have one central superstar on their team, however, the Rams do have players that each have their own abilities to impact the game, and 5’10” senior point guard Don’Quall Jackson is one them.  Jackson is a quick lead guard the plays well in space and likes to get into the lane and create plays. He is the type of guard that has the mentality of playing fast but never in a hurry. Another player that made contributions for the Rams was 6’3″ senior big man Colin Jones.  The undisputed vocal and emotional leader of the team, Jones played big and kept Holt in the game when Hudsonville made runs throughout the game.  Jones looks more like he would be a star football player, but makes up for it with his hard-nosed style of play.  He out willed rebounds numerous times from defenders, drew a few and-one post-up moves, and played defense the entire game challenging just about every shot.  Jackson took home the MVP with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists.  Jones also contributed 24 points and 8 rebounds.  Mason Opple led Hudsonville with 20 points.

Warren De La Salle 72 Grand Rapids Christian 64

What won De La Salle this game was their inside play and rebounding, which came from sophomore Kevin McKay, who contributed 27 points and 15 rebounds.  McKay is listed at 6’3″, but is forced  to play a power forward type role due to the Pilots’ lack of size.  Regardless, Kevin, is versatile enough to guard the 1-4 positions and be effective when doing so.  Christian senior center Darohn Scott looked to be a man against boy on the floor.  He caught several alley hoops, dunked everything around the basket, and defended the post well all night long.  Scott brought energy, intensiveness, and athleticism to the game.  Darohn was not only Christian’s MVP of the game, but also won the Invitational’s most outstanding player, adding 25 points, eight rebounds, and 5 blocks.  He currently holds offers from Oakland, Central Michigan, Detroit, and Illinois State.

Ann Arbor Huron 74 East Lansing 56

The junior class is deep for Huron, particularly at the guard position.  2015s Jalen Thompson, Xavier Cochran, and Dave Wren all had big nights for the River Rats, but each in their own separate.  Starting with Cochran, he can score the ball with the best of them.  In the third quarter, Xavier got it going from the perimeter, two three pointers and a long two, that resulted in an 8-0 run by himself.  Cochran didn’t attack the basket like he normally does, but it’s nice to have a dependable jumper that you can lean on to keep a defender honest.  Wren didn’t score much in the half-court set, but where he did gets his points was off steals that he and Thompson got off their traps from East Lansing.  Both Wren and Thompson are solid combo guards that can attack in transition and finish at the rim.  Wren had 16 points, and Jalen Thompson took home the MVP with a 24 point performance.

Consortium 66 Jenison 38

Another Consortium game means another Josh Jackson sighting.  Yes, it is apparent that he can score the ball from the anywhere on the court, rebound at a high level, and block shots with the best of them, but the key for this game was the calm demeanor he had throughout the game given the circumstances.  With Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo in attendance, Josh did not go out and try to put up a 50 point performance like he is capable of, instead, he let the game come to him, not forcing any turnovers, and playing within Consortium’s game plan, finishing up with a nice 21 point seven rebound performance to win the MVP.   Jenison senior Jake Arntson won the MVP, leading Jension with 14 points.

PSL Holiday Tournament Day One Recap

27 Dec

The fifth annual Detroit Public Schools League Holiday Hoops Classic was held at Detroit Cass Tech.  The two event features some of the top Public School League teams, including some of the top suburban teams as well.  Day one had several lopsided affairs, however, plenty of talent was on display for entertainment.

Detroit Douglass 68 Harper Woods 39

Another day another dollar for Douglass’ senior Daavi Bradley, expect it’s not a dollar, instead it’s another high quality performance for the 6’5″ wing forced to play center for the Hurricanes.  Bradley was a force all game long, rebounding, playing defense down low in the paint, and catching a few alley hoops from fellow senior Darrell Davis.  So far, Bradley has received interest mostly from D2 schools.

King 72 Ferndale 42

The more I see King senior Tyrone Acuff, the more he makes a case for deserving a division 2 offer at the least.  The 6’6″ Acuff does it all for the Crusaders.  He is big enough to play down low and rebound, but uniquely skilled to handle to ball and get to the basket against smaller defenders.  He contributed 23 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in the win.  His fellow bash brother in crime was senior football star Dayvon Austin.  Although he has said that he will play football at the next level, Austin is simply a bully for opponents.  He brings linebacker toughness to the hardwood, can score inside and outside, plays fearless, rebounds, and can stretch the floor to the three point line.

Clarkston 47 Detroit Western 33

What Clarkston doesn’t have in terms of a central superstar, they make up for with hard, old-school team play.  One thing you know your going to see when you watch Coach Fife’s Wolves are solid fundamental players.  Senior shooting Nick Owens is the prime example of that.  He isn’t the most athletic, or skilled ball handling on the floor, but he can flat out shoot.  Owens’ jump shot wasn’t consistent throughout the game, but stepped up his performance in the second half when it mattered most and scored 20 points in the winning effort.  He was able to connect on both corner and wing threes off the pass that allowed Clarkston to score just enough to beat the Cowboys.

Detroit Pershing 55 Southfield 42

Southfield made three pointers from the perimeter throughout most of the game, but that was only available because it is hard to drive the lane and get to the basket against Pershing 6’7″ and VCU commit Justin Tillman.  If there is anyone that plays harder than Justin Tillman on both ends of the floor please let me know.  Justin has been nothing short of spectacular the first few weeks into the season.  He is showing why he is the state’s top shot blocker and rebounder.  Tillman is so athletic to go along with his long arms that he even blocked shots were he seemed to be out of the play and come out of no where to pin the ball on the glass.  He gave Southfield 20 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 blocks.

 

 

Team Rankings Heading Into Week 3

23 Dec

puigStarting now, every two weeks there will be a new set of rankings for each class in Michigan.  Class A will have 25 ranked teams, Class B 20, Class C 15, and Class D 10.  Rankings will be based on victories, and strength of schedule.  There will also be a compilation of all classes into one big ranking with 30 teams.

Statewide Rankings

1. Pershing

2. Muskegon

3. Romulus

4. Mt. Clemens

5. Saginaw Arthur Hill

6. Cass Tech

7. Detroit Consortium

8. University of Detroit Jesuit

9. Bloomfield Hills

10. Ypsilanti

11. Grand Rapids Christian

12. Saginaw

13. East English Village

14. Clarkston

15. Jackson Lumen Christi

16. Detroit Henry Ford

17. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian

18. Cadillac

19. Detroit Country Day

20. Southfield Christian

21. Detroit Loyola

22. Jenison

23. Flint Southwestern

24. Melvindale abt

25. Otsego

26. Frederick Douglass

27. Taylor Truman

28. Milan

29. Detroit King

30 New Haven

Class A

1. Pershing

2. Muskegon

3. Romulus

4. Saginaw Arthur Hill

5.  Cass Tech

6. University of Detroit Jesuit

7. Bloomfield Hills

8. Ypsilanti

9. Grand Rapids Christian

10. Saginaw

11. East English Village

12. Clarkston

13. Jenison

14. Taylor Truaman

15. Detroit King

16. Holt

17. Flint Carmen-Ainsworth

18. Grand Blanc

19. Kalamazoo Central

20. Ann Arbor Huron

21. Canton

22. Mt. Pleasant

23. North Farmington

24. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

25. Detroit Renaissance

Class B

1. Jackson Lumen Christi

2. Detroit Henry Ford

3. Cadillac

4. Detroit Country Day

5. Flint Southwestern

6. Otsego

7. Frederick Douglass

8. Milan

9. Wyoming Godwin Heights

10. Zeeland West

11. Detroit Community

12. Corunna

13. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard

14. Goodrich

15. Ferndale University

16. Warren Fitzgerald

17. Grand Rapids South Christian

18. Comstock Park

19. Hudsonville Unity-Christian

20. Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy

Class C

1. Mt. Clemens

2. Consortium

3. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian

4. Detroit Loyola

5. Melvindale ABT

6. New Haven

7. Negaunee

8. Pewamo0-Westphalia

9. Detroit Allen Academy

10. Flint Beecher

11. Ecorse

12. Muskegon Heights

13. Elk Rapids

14. Pine River

15. Laingsburg

Class D

1. Southfield Christian

2. Allen Park Inter-City Baptist

3. North Central

4. Lenawee Christia

5. Bellaire

6. Westside Christian

7. Cedarville

8. Boyne Falls

9. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart

10. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Battle Of The Best Recap

22 Dec

images-5As the name would indicate, the best players and teams in Michigan traveled down to Detroit Renaissance to play one another in an early season showcase.  In a situation like this, teams and players want to make a name for themselves as legitimate state title contenders.  For the most part, the games were competitive and it was a great preview of what is to come when the playoffs start in March.

Ann Arbor Huron 65 East English Village 60

The River Rats got a key win despite losing the day before to Detroit Henry Ford.  Compared to his showing on Friday at the Romulus Christmas Showcase, Xavier Cochran looked much more comfortable on the floor and led Huron with a game high 29 points.  Cochran, who already holds a Rhode Island offer,  had his full offensive display on hand, hitting threes, a solid mid-range game, and attacking the basket.  He is a 6’4″ lefty with point guard skills, which include ball handling and play making ability for either himself or teammates.

Saginaw Arthur Hill 71 Southfield Christian 56

Arthur Hill junior point guard Eric Davis, who already holds 10 plus division offers as of now, must have had this game circled for a long time now, playing fellow The Family teammate Bakari Evelyn.  Davis showed that he is worthy of being the number one prospect in Michigan’s 2015 class and as well a top 25 ranking in the national class.  Eric was a man on a mission against the Eagles.  What got Eric going in the first half was his isolation midrange jump shot, a stable in his offensive game.  Eric finished the game with 32 points, 24 coming in the first half.  But the key stat for Davis in this game was rebounds, with 10.  A 6’4″ point guard with length that can score 32 and rebound ten as well?  Call all the high-major coaches and tell them to watch Saginaw Arthur Hill.

Although he had a quite performance, 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks, 6’6″ 2017 forward Brian Bowen, already holding offers from Michigan State and Missouri, had a nice game for Arthur Hill.  It is hard to shine when you have Eric Davis on your team scoring 32 on offense, but to standout you need to make plays on defense, which Bowen did.  He has the long arms that allowed to come up with steals and deflect passes that resulted in easy transition points for the Lumberjacks going the other way.  His development on offense will no doubt improve before the season is over.

The lone bright spot for Christian was 6’6″ forward Demarco White, who finished up with 15 points and 11 rebounds.  An undervalued senior for SCS, White brings athleticism, rebounding, energy and a unique skill set to the table for the Eagles.  Demarco multiple times rebounded the ball, and ran the break with point guard ball handling skills attacking the rim and drawing fouls.  It’s not to often you see a power forward like that in Class D.

Detroit Country Day 80 Cass Tech 75

Go ahead, say Country Day has lost too much to be a legitimate Class B contender.  But never put anything out of reach for the Yellow Jackets when they have Xavier commit Edmond Sumner, who had 30 points in the win.  Sumner is the total package when it comes to point guards.  Size, speed, athleticism, can pass, shoot, dribble all are characteristics to describe Edmond’s game.  But what has changed the most about Edmond this year is that he is willing to score anytime he has the ball.  Last year, it was easy to give the ball of to Lehigh’s Austin Price, Mory Diane, and Poet Thomas, and let them run the show.  However, this is Edmond’s team, and Country will need to let their Mr. Basketball candidate make plays for them if they want to make a return trip to the Breslin Center come March.

It helps if your Country Day if you have former Piston’s star Rasheed Wallace’s son Nazir Wallace scoring 15 points and bring down 13 rebounds a game.  The 6’6″ Wallace is an active, skilled long wing forward that has a high basketball IQ.  You can tell that he has the fundamentals of the game down, it’s only a matter of time before he starts turning that into some big time performances for Country Day.

Frederick Douglass 70 Saginaw 65

With the pre-season departure of Andre Frederick to prep school, the Hurricanes will now depend on 6’5″ senior Daavi Bradley to play the center position.  Bradley stepped up for Douglass with Dayton commit Darrell Davis not playing for unknown reasons.  Bradley was forced to matchup against 2016 prospect Algevon Eichelberger, standing at 6’7″, and Daavi proved that it’s not the size of the man, but the heart of the man in a fight.  Bradley brought great energy to both ends of the court all night long, with nine rebounds, and 17 points, a few of which came off offensive put backs.  Although he will most likely be a guard a the next level, Bradley proved that he has the ability to guard and play multiple positions, and be effective doing so.

Leading Saginaw High with 15 points was 5’10” 9th grade point guard Ron’Quavious (Qua) Southward.  His grade level is deceiving, because Southward played like an experience veteran for the Trojans.  In extended minutes where most freshman would be likely to force the issue and turn the ball over, Southward proved otherwise.  Qua did not take much shots, but when he did, Southwards was effective.  He has nice fluid and quick jump shot with nice rotation, and arch on the ball, from both three pointers and mid-range jump shots.  The Saginaw High vs. Arthur Hill rivalry is ensured to be enjoyable for years to come, with 2017s Brian Bowen and Southward at the helm.

Consortium 58 Detroit Southeastern 43

When is 28 points and 15 rebounds just another day at the office, welcome to the life of 2016 6’7″ forward Josh Jackson.  Jackson holds offers from the likes of Kansas, Ohio State, and Florida State right now.  A big turn around for Josh from a year ago is his improvement as a complete and overall player.  Last year, it was unneeded for him to rebound the ball with Vince Hunter down low for the Cougars.  But this year he has rebounded the ball in double digits both times I have seen him played, to go top of scoring 20 plus a game.

Pershing 57 Ypsilanti 54

The matchup that was highly anticipated to end the night was the battle between 2014s Jaylen Johnson and Pershing’s Justin Tillman.  Johnson found himself in foul trouble throughout most of the first half, and that was where Tillman, a VCU commit, went to work.  My first time seeing Justin and the Doughboys this year, has me scared for any other opposing forwards.  Tillman has a nice soft-touch around the basket, usually banking in buckets off the white square, which gave him most of his 14 points.  When he wasn’t scoring, Tillman made the difference on defense.  It is one thing to challenge a shot, but it is entirely different to block the shot leaving no possibility for a make and an offensive rebound.  To go along with his 14 points, Tillman had seven rebounds and eight blocks.

Providing a spark offensively for the Doughboys was junior transfer Marquel Ingram.  Ingram last year, who played for three different teams including U of D Jesuit, Southfield, and as well as a prep school in North Carolina, has found himself a home at Pershing.  Ingram 6’2″ combo guard that did most of his damage playing off the ball.  Marquel hit 3 three pointers, and was fearless when attacking the basket with his right hand, he finished up with 19 to lead Pershing.

Romulus Day One Notes

22 Dec

romulusRomulus High School held their 10th annual Christmas Showcase this previous friday.  Everything is new at Romulus this year, new coach, new players, and a new gym floor.  But one thing hasn’t changed.  It’s a commitment to basketball excellence, and it was on display with the teams they invited to participate in their showcase.

Henry Ford 64 Ann Arbor Huron 60

The Trojans did not make it easy on themselves, leading by double digits throughout most of the game, but played just well enough to cruise by and get the win.

King 56 University Prep 35

The Crusaders used a big third quarter to extend their lead and get the victory.  It was a team effort by King that got them the victory.  Junior wing Armani Lee came out in the second half after struggling through most of the first and set the tone with 10 early points.  He let the game come to him, hitting three pointers and mid-range jump shots off penetration from his fellow guards.  Senior football star Dayvon Austin showed that he can play a little basketball as well.  He had one-handed dunk that brought the whole gym to their feet, to go along with rebounding, and scoring down low on put backs.  Dayvon will give the Crusaders the ability to stretch the floor, because he is also a pretty good three-point shooter standing at 6’3″ with a muscular build.  Another player that played well was 5’7″ 2015 point guard Brandon Jones, although his contributions don’t usually show up in the stat sheet, Jones played great defense, and ran the offense with minimal errors.  He is the type of player that a coach would love to have because he is always going to put in the extra hustle on those crucial 50-50 plays.  Austin led the Crusaders with 19, Lee finished up with 15, and senior point guard LeShawn Ellington led University Prep with 15.

Romulus 50 Detroit Southeastern 44

Some teams like to run a four guard lineup, but for Romulus, the Eagles have to do it because junior 6’8″ transfer Rio Washington will have to sit out until the middle of January.  Regardless, Romulus still used the same formula coach Nate Oats had to win game, outplay the opposing teams guards.  Senior Kris Clyburn was the man for the Eagles all night long.  The long and lanky lefty wingman Clyburn loves to shoot three pointers, which he did, but also slashed to the basket off the bounce to score the ball, a clear improvement from a year ago.  Clyburn can also jump out the gym on the fast-break if needed, he finished up with 22 on the night.  2014 Deonte Bell is another Eagle that is sure to gather attention this year.  Playing behind Missouri bound Wes Clark last season, Deonte learned one thing that he used all night to make an impact, defense.  Deonte did a fantastic job guarding the opposing team point guard all night long.  Whether it was him picking him up in the full-court and getting steals, or keeping the Jungaleers guard from getting into the lane, Bell limited Southeastern’s ability to get the ball into the hands of star forward Darryl Bingham.

For Southeastern, senior wing Leonard Harper-Baker is another unknown prospect that is still offerless.  But the way he played against Romulus proved otherwise.  Harper-Baker, at 6’4″, is an improved mid-range jump shooter that single handedly kept Southeastern in the game with a 20 point contribution.  He made plays all night long for S.E, with improved ball handling from a a year ago, he got to the lane, and then eventually the free-throw line, and also rebounded well on both sides of the floor.  Harper-Baker will be key for the Jungaleers heading into PSL play.

Horatio William’s Tip-Off Recap

15 Dec

images-5Another solid tip-off showcase was put on by the Horatio Williams Foundation at Detroit Edison High School.  The showcase featured some of the best teams within the city of Detroit, along with a few quality teams from the surrounding suburbs.  However, there was no shortage of individual talent at DEPSA.  From players who have already signed or been offered by division one schools, to players eager to make a name for themselves this year, Detroit Edison was the place to be on Saturday.

Detroit Community 70 Detroit Osborn 58:

Community junior point guard Darryl Smith was the clear standout for the Hurricanes in their win over Osborn.  He has grown two inches from last year, 5’7″-5’9″, and is set up to have a big 2013-2014 campaign.  Smith showed a quick first step when attacking defenders from the perimeter, and then finished nicely at the rim with either hand.  Smith rarely made any turnovers or mistakes the entire game, and led either team in scoring with 23.

Detroit King 54 Detroit Edison 41

If any senior in Michigan is more deserving of a college offer than King’s Tyrone Acuff, please let me know.  Mr. do it all Acuff was a man on a mission against the Pioneers.  The 6’6″, big bodied, long armed, broad shouldered, put the Crusaders on his back en route to victory.  Despite his size, Acuff has point guard skills that make him a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches.  He had everything going his way on the offensive side of the floor, hitting perimeter three pointers, took smaller defenders to the basket, rebounded offensively, finished in transition with authority, and played clutched during crutch time when DEPSA was mounting a comeback.  An absolute steal for any college that wants a solid late addition to their program.  Finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Southfield 54 Detroit Western 51

A sloppy, error prone game did have its standouts.  For Southfield, 6’7″ junior forward Isaiah Green is listed as the tallest player the Blue Jays, and they needed every inch of that going up against the long and lanky Cowboys.  Green was a force all game long down low for the Blue Jays.  He was the games leading shot blocker, and sometimes even blocking multiple shots on just one trip down the floor.  He is good around the offensive rim, with an improving back to the basket game.

Western was led by 5’8″ sophomore point guard Brailen Neely.  Although he does not have the assists he should’ve had, Neely displayed excellent court vision throughout the game finding teammates for jump shots and layup that were simply missed.  The bread and butter for Neely’s offensive game is his three point jump shot.  Once he makes a few, which he did late to keep the Cowboys in the game, Brailen can stroke it with anyone.  Neely will be counted on for the Cowboys if they wish to contend in the PSL.

Detroit Cass Tech 86 River Rouge 58

The depth at the guard position for Cass Tech is hard to match with any team.  Even with division one prospect Kenny Carpenter not playing because of an injury, it was the guard play for the Technicians that won them the game.  Senior Mike Laster, one of the state’s top uncommitted seniors and had 17 for the game, did most of his damage going to the basket and finishing at the rim.  Class of 2015 prospect Rob Edwards, a transfer from U of D Jesuit, will contribute size, athleticism, craftiness, and play making ability for the season, Edwards finished with 13 points and six rebounds.  However, the guard that stole the show for Cass was senior Sharif Black.  Sharif played sparingly last year for the Technicians, sitting behind soon to be Florida Atlantic commit D’Andre Johnson.  Black was the reason why Cass had a strong second quarter and pulled away from Rouge at getting the win.  Sharif is a point guard who has a nice feel for the game.  He picks his spots well when he wants to attack the basket and when to set up for his teammates.  Sharif did a nice job of changing speeds on the defense keeping them uncomfortable, and facilitating throughout the entire ball game.  Black will be another weapon at the disposal for the Technicians if they wish to march to the Breslin Center come March.

The lone bright spot for River Rouge was 5’11” senior guard Kevin Lomax.  Lomax did all he could to keep the Panthers in the game, coming out in the first half and simply balling.  Hitting three’s, getting past defenders with nice ball handling skills, and using his speed to get into the lane to either create for teammates or himself, which usually got him to the free-throw line.  Lomax will pair nicely with other Panther senior guard Terrell Crawford for Rouge, who compete in Class B.

Detroit Consortium 67 Detroit Douglass 52

Even though the score does not indicate, this was the most exciting high school basketball game I’ve been to in a while.  The game pitted the number one player in the state, Consortium sophomore Josh Jackson, against Douglass’ Dayton commit, Darrell Davis.  Josh finished with 27 points, and 22 rebounds.  Yes that is right, 22 rebounds.  Can you get any more versatile than that for a 6’8″ SF?  Jackson showed the public that he is a big time player that can put the team on his back when needed.  He struggled throughout most of first half, giving up a few turnovers, and forcing the issue quite a bit.  But in the second half, is where Josh picked up his game.  He found is rhythm offensively, attacking the basket and getting into the lane for his mid-range game, and don’t forget about his defensive stats, the phenom finished with six blocks.  This is Jackson’s team.  Unlike last year where he had fellow superstar Vince Hunter to lean on during adversity, Jackson rose to the occasion for Consortium and led them to a win.

Davis finished with 23 to lead Douglass.

Detroit Pershing 34 Westland John Glenn 12

Yeah, you read that score correctly.  The Pershing vs. John Glenn game was suspended during the second half due to numerous quarrels in the stands.  Regardless, Pershing was given the victory, the Doughboys are now 1-1 on the young season.  The Rockets however, fall to 0-2, with both losses coming to PSL powerhouses, the other being a 72-35 setback to East English on Tuesday.

Next Horatio Williams Showcase

As previously stated, the Horatio Williams foundation does a fantastic job of organizing basketball showcases for Detroit area high schools.  The next showcase will be the Horatio Williams Foundation Freedom Classic Games, held on Saturday, January 18, at Warren Fitzgerald High School.  Here is the event schedule:

12:00 Warren Fitzgerald vs. Detroit Renaissance

1:45 Detroit Southeastern vs. Southfield

3:30 Detroit Western vs. Detroit Country Day

5:00 Detroit Cass Tech vs. Flint Beecher

6:30 Detroit Frederick Douglass vs. Warren De La Salle

8:30 Detroit Pershing vs. Ann Arbor Huron

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Key Players in the 2013 Horatio Williams Tip-Off

13 Dec

photo-2Players to watch at Detroit Edison on December 14th for the Horatio Williams Foundation Tip-Off Classic.

12:00 Detroit Osborn vs. Detroit Community

Players to watch (Osborn): PG Nikeem Merchant, PF Alex Burney

Players to watch (Community): PG Darryl Smith, PG Jalin Gardner, SF Jason Buyuck

1:45 Detroit King vs. Detroit Edison

Players to watch (King): SF Tyrone Acuff, SG Armani Lee, SF Dayvon Austin

3:30 Detroit Western vs. Southfield High

Players to watch (Western): SF Aaron Austin, PG Brailen Neely, PG Kareem Murray, forward Kheir Maxwell, PF Julius Palmer, forward Will Weems

Players to watch (Southfield): PG Amauri Hardy, PF Isaiah Green, forward Khary Flanning

5:00 Detroit Cass Tech vs. River Rouge

Players to watch (Cass Tech): PG Rob Edwards, PG James Murray, SF Mike Laster, SF Charles Keys, PF Isaac Bowles

Players to watch (River Rouge): PG Terrell Crawford

6:30 Detroit Frederick Douglass vs. Consortium College Prep

Players to watch (Douglass): PG Darrell Davis, guard Terrell Hales,  SF Daavi Bradley, SG Deshawn Sanders, SF Keion Epps

Players to watch (Consortium): SF Josh Jackson, PG Ronald Booth, SF Malik Dawson, SG Kenny Turner

8:30 Detroit Pershing vs. Westland John Glenn

Players to watch (Pershing): SF Mory Diane, PG Darsean Woodson, SG Marquel Ingram, PF Justin Tillman

Players to watch (Glenn): PF Michael Edwards, SF James Pruitt

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Davis Pledges to MSU

13 Dec

Muskegon 2015 forward Deyonta Davis is the number two player ranked in Michigan, and has decided to play for his home state’s school the Spartans of Michigan State.

Little was known about Davis entering his sophomore season.  He had a quiet year averaging about six points a game, will little to very few colleges interested in him.  However, Deyonta saw his recruitment rise when he played for ABC Bankhoops, one the state’s elite travel AAU basketball teams.  Traveling across the Midwest and playing in some of the most prestigious tournaments, Davis caught the eye of several notable college coaches.  Davis received offers from the likes of Iowa State, Memphis, Missouri, UNLV, and Butler with interest coming from Florida and Louisville just to name a few.

Deyonta will give MSU height, rebounding, low post defense, and potential to become a solid Big Ten player.  Perhaps, maybe one day he will be the next Adreian Payne at Michigan State.  It will be interesting on how Davis’ decision affects the other Michigan State top recruit in 2015 coming in Saginaw Arthur Hill’s point guard, Eric Davis.

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Bulldogs Take Bite Out of Rockets for Opening Night Victory

11 Dec

388031_429017143815488_1320387447_nEast English Village took an 9-0 lead within the first three minutes of the game, and never looked back beating Westland John Glenn 72-35 for an opening night victory giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 record.  The score even got so bad for John Glenn that a running clock started early in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs built a commanding 40 point lead.

The key to the EEVP win was defense.   The Bulldogs did a fantastic job all night using their length and quickness on their half court traps not allowing Glenn to set up any form of offense, which led to steals and easy buckets on the other end.  Senior Marq’ywell Jackson led East English in scoring with a game high 25.  The state’s top uncommitted senior and heart and soul of EEVP, showed that he can score from anywhere on the floor.  He took defenders from the high-key to the basket, consistently made one-on-one three pointers, and even scored down low against taller defenders.  He is quick and nimble for his size and always seems to be one play ahead of the defense.  Jackson rebounded well offensively and defensively, and was at the top of the EEVP trap that caused turnovers for Glenn.

Jackson was assisted in scoring from rising sophomore Kamari Newman.  The long and lanky lefty scored seven of the Bulldogs’ first nine points, coming on two three pointers, with one of them being an and-one.  When Newman is not forcing his shot over the defense he can be very effective.  Newman does a nice job of coming off-downscreens and getting his feet set and releasing a nice fluid jumper.  Kamari also has a nice little cross-over that got him open in transition for pull-up jump shots .  He is deceptively quick and one of the best guards in 2016.

Down low for EEVP, Southfield-Lathrup transfer Dietrich Cole held his own against the Rockets all night.  Cole is a hidden gem in 2014.  He has the type of length and the willingness to go up for a block the college coaches love.  He wasn’t involved much on offense, but when he did get opportunities to score, he used his long frame to shield defenders from the ball and finished through contact.  Rebounded extremely well for EEVP that led to second and sometimes even third chances on the offensive side of the floor.  Cole will be the key for the Bulldogs moving forward into PSL play.

The Bulldogs have no doubt improved from a season ago.  EEVP last year only started one senior.  With more than half of their starting lineup coming back, the Bulldogs will not only be the dark horse in the PSL , but also the state.  Their depth at the guard spot is hard to match with any other team.  Two other players that were not mentioned above, sophomore Cedric Lattimore and junior Fred Jones, had their moments in the game, and will be the x-factors for EEVP moving forward.

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