Archive | September, 2014

Romulus’ D’Angelo Hansbro Primed for Breakout Junior Campaign

23 Sep

r2ASMon_The pedigree of Romulus’ guards runs deep, from current head coach Jerret Smith (2005), to Wes Clark, and EC Matthews (2013).  For the upcoming 2014-2015 season, senior Jaylin Walker, a Kent State University commit, will garter most of the spotlight.  However, Romulus is also home to a few up and coming rising junior guards, one of which, D’Angelo Hansbro, received his first division one scholarship coming from the Buffalo Bulls.

“It feels great,” Hansbro had to say, ” it’s an honor, it always feel great when it’s your first.”

D’Angelo said Buffalo offered him the scholarship while at a school open gym.  The coach who was in attendance that day has a special connection to the Romulus Eagle program, Nate Oats.  Oats guided the Eagles to the 2012-2013 Class A state title, amassing a 27-1 overall record on the campaign, and over the course of his position as head coach took Romulus to the Breslin Center five times.  While D’Angelo was just a freshman on the undefeated junior varsity team the year Romulus won the state title, he still developed an important relationship with Coach Oats that eventually turned into a college scholarship.

“That’s someone I can always talk to,” Hansbro said of Coach Oats, “when I need anything, we are real close.”

At 5’11”, Hansbro isn’t the ideal size guard for the next level, but there is more than just height that determines the quality of a basketball player.  He’s very crafty with the ball in his hands, a pass first guard, competes with a high basketball IQ, can shoot the three, and a solid on-ball-defender for a guard.  All of which sound like a All-Star who happens to play in the NBA, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who Hansbro mentions he compares his style of play to.

D’Angelo played 16u travel basektball with The Family Detroit, a Nike sponsored grassroots team.  Traveling across the Midwest during the Spring and Summer, Hansbro said he recieved interest from Akron, Central Michigan, Oakland, Michigan, and Stony Brook.  D’Angelo has no dream school or offer, he only has the goal to become a division one college basketball player.

Hansbro will look for a breakout campaign his second year on varsity this Winter for Romulus.  D’Angelo will crack the starting lineup for the Eagles this year, and will serve as one of the primary ball-handlers and distributors on the team.  The team’s previous season didn’t go exactly as planned, bowing out in the quarterfinals unable to make the trip back to the Breslin Center.  Expectations will once again be high at Romulus this year, even though the team loses four starters from last year’s squad.  D’Angelo was blunt and to the point about his outlook on the season.

“Honestly I think this is the year we win another state championship.”

Milan’s Latin Davis Commits To Youngstown State

22 Sep

kepatmeretezes_hu_LatinDavis2Milan senior point guard Latin Davis has already accomplished numerous accolades throughout his high school playing career.  Such as recognized for the Class B all-state team, and leading his Big Reds to the Class B crown as a junior.  The latest achievements for Davis was his decision on where he will play next year in college, the Youngstown State Penguins of the Horizon League.

“It feels good,” Davis had to say,  “I feel great about my decision.”

The Penguins currently have four players from the greater Detroit area on their roster for the upcoming season.  Perhaps one reason for Youngstown State connection to the region is assistant coach Steve Hall.  Hall, who attended and played for Cass Tech in high school, guided Detroit Rogers Academy to three straight MHSAA Class D titles (2003-2005), before resurrecting the ailing Northwestern program to their first city league title since 1978 in 2008.

In addition to Coach Hall as Davis’ main recruiter, Latin also felt a connection to the campus as well.  He committed while on an official visit, and says he enjoyed the atmosphere, and hanging out with his soon to be teammates.  Another aspect of the Penguin program Latin appreciated was the educational opportunities Youngstown State provides.  Basketball won’t last forever according to Latin, and placed a heavy emphasis on schooling during the recruiting process.

“They really have a great academic program,” Davis mentioned, “they want all of their players too graduate and their team has a overall gpa of 3.0.  So I’m looking to get a good education first then basketball.”

Youngstown made Latin a priority in their class of 2015 because they liked his ability to attack the basket, create for teammates, and shoot the three.  For now, Davis returns to Milan for his last year of high school eligibility.  The Big Reds are amongst the favorites to win Class B this year.  Davis’ partner in crime will be 6’8″ power forward Nick Perkins, who has several division offers to decide between right now.  With Latin on the perimeter, and Nick down low, the two have set lofty goals of finishing high school careers strong this season.

“(We will) Try to get back to the Breslin Center,” Davis aid, “both of us (Latin and Nick) have too lead.

Michigan From a National Perspective

16 Sep

eric_davis_-_saginaw_athur_hillIt was a hard, long, arduous Summer in Michigan, a state which saw double-digit players from a year ago deciding to continue their high school careers in various corners of the country.  Most notably was junior guard/forward Josh Jackson to Justin-Sierra High School in California, a top three consensus player in the country for not only his age group, but youth basketball as a whole.  So the question is, what’s next for Michigan?  Who will pass on the proverbial torch they say to the future generations in the state?

Michigan is still well respected in various recruiting sites/services.  Starting with the class of 2015, the two players in ESPN’s, Rivals’, and Scout’s top 100 seniors are Saginaw Arthur Hill’s guard Eric Davis, and Muskegon’s 6’11” big man Deyonta Davis.  Deyonta, a defending Class A state champion and Michigan State commit, is ranked the 15th best overall prospect by ESPN, number 29 according to Scout, and 23 in Rivals.  One of the country most coveted recruits, Eric is tabbed for 41 in ESPN, 45 in Scout, and 52 in Rivals.  Both Davis’ figure to be playing at the Breslin Center in late March for a championship, and are both considered the front runners for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball award.

What was one of Michigan’s stronger classes, 2016, was hit particularly hard by the aforementioned transfers over the Summer.  The only player from Michigan ranked services is University of Detroit Jesuit’s 6’1″ guard Cassius Winston.  Winston is number 45 in ESPN,  and number 35 overall prospect in the Rivals Class of 2016 150.  A smooth moving true point guard, Winston currently holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, VCU, and Maryland just to name a few.

A96I1148Winston’s AAU teammate, Saginaw Arthur Hill’s 2017 wing Brian Bowen, is the only member of Michigan’s sophomore class ranked nationally.  Most recruiting services only have a top 25 ranking for sophomores, as does ESPN and Scout.com.  In both of their 2017 rankings, Bowen is tabbed for number six and seven in both ESPN and Scout respectively.  Bowen holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Missouri, NC State, Kansas, Boston College, Iowa and Iowa State.

What’s the next move for Michigan?  It’s becoming increasingly difficult for in-state players to compete under the current rules for national recognition with players from across the country.  There is no reason to speculate the rules can or will change soon. But the future is bright in Michigan, the Class of 2018 is off to a strong start with impressive performance at AAU tournaments during Summer time.  However for the time being, let’s just sit back and enjoy the upcoming year of high school hoops.

Billy Thomas Off To A Quick Start At Genesis Prep

12 Sep

36C80ED9-5508-4FAC-9D1AE8338B209409_W325_HautoYou might remember Billy Thomas as the starting shooting guard on U of D Jesuit’s 2014 Class A final four appearance last winter.  After the school year however, Thomas decided to take the prep route to college and chose Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia.  And including a Summer of travel AAU, and numerous open gyms, Thomas has now accumulated three division one scholarships, IUPUI, Louisiana Tech, and East Tennessee State.

“It feels great to know that all my hard work is finally paying off,” Thomas had to say.  “I’ve been really patient with the process and I have been enjoying it.”

Now a member of the class of 2017, the extra year of high school will be extremely beneficial to Thomas before he attends college.  Now 6’1″ and 160 lbs, Thomas’ primary role on the team a season ago was to hit perimeter jump shots.  Although he still wants to shoot at a high level, there are other aspects of his game he wants to improve upon.  In the short time he has been at Genesis, Thomas notes he has “gotten a lot stronger, ball handling skills have gotten better, decision making has got way better, shooting has gotten more consistent and I am starting to develop into a point guard knowing how to make my teammates better, making the right play and knowing when to score and when to facilitate.”

Thomas stated colleges haven’t been in contact with him since he came to Virginia, but Central Michigan, Oakland, and U of D Mercy all followed him in the Summer, and Xavier, Wake Forest, and Liberty have all been visitors to Genesis open gyms.  But for now, Thomas sets his focus to the regular season, and his and team’s goal “to win a national championship.”

Saginaw Arthur Hill’s Eric Davis To Announce College Decision Shortly

11 Sep

-38d8339b18da74c0It’s time for one of the best players in Michigan’s senior class to decide where he will play collegiately next season.

Saginaw Arthur Hill 6’4″ combo guard Eric Davis is a top two prospect in the state’s class of 2015, and ranked top 100 nationally according to ESPN, Rivals, and Scout.com.

Davis is scheduled to make his college announcement Tuesday, September 16th, at Arthur Hill High School around 6:00 PM.

Before settling on his list of seven, over the course of his high school career, Eric received offers from over 20 division one programs.  Colleges took notice of Eric’s ability to create his own shot from anywhere on the court, handle the ball as a point guard, and slash to basket as a scorer taking advantage of his length and athleticism.

His aforementioned list of seven schools in no particular order is Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Texas, UNLV, LSU, and Kentucky. The only school not to officially offer Davis a scholarship is Kentucky, although he has took unofficial visits to the campus various instances during his recruitment.  He has also taken recent official visits to Texas and UNLV in late August/early September, to go along with multiple unofficial visits to Michigan State and Michigan during his time in high school.

Where will Davis give his verbal commitment?  Guess we’ll just have to tune in on September 16th for the answer.

Josh Davis Pledges to Western Michigan

10 Sep

josh“It’s a great place to be in,” were the words of Detroit Henry Ford senior guard Josh Davis, “a place where I can mature and start my life with basketball and life outside of basketball.”

Davis ended his recruitment with a pledge to Western Michigan, the same school where his mom, dad, and uncle attended college.  As a junior for the Trojans last winter, Josh averaged 14 points, and seven rebounds a game.  Josh notes his greatest strength is shooting, from anywhere on the court.  At 6’5″, he has the length and athleticism to get a shot over any defender, and is particularly effective once sees one go down.

However, his off-the-court accomplishments are just as impressive as the stats he fills on the hardwood.  Davis has a reported 3.8 GPA, and is in various advanced placement classes for his grade.  College coaches love the basketball side of him, but Davis was unique because he was told “how great a teammate” and “coachable” he is.

Josh is considered to be a lead front-runner for the coveted Mr. PSL Basketball award, given to the leagues best player annually.  While individual accomplishments are nice, Davis has never been a self-gratifying type of player.  With his recruitment out of the way, Josh enters his senior campaign as one of only three seniors on the Trojan roster.  Ford competes in Class B, a division won by Milan a year ago.  In addition to the Big Reds, Wyoming Godwin Heights, Wayland, Detroit Country Day, and Detroit Consortium all have realistic possibility to capture the crown.  Henry Ford was a young, inexperienced team a season ago, combined with one of the states most respected coaches in Ken Flowers, Josh believes this is the year people will start to take note of Ford.

“I’m very excited for this upcoming season,” he said.  “I’m confident enough to say we are going to be city champs and also make a deep run in the states.”  “We have been working out all summer and everyone is buying into getting better and that winning mentality.”

 

 

9/1-9/8 Recap

8 Sep

Walker Picks Kent State

Romulus 6’2″ shooting guard Jaylin Walker picked his college destination last week, deciding on the Golden Flashes of Kent State.  Walker’s lone offer he picked up during the Spring Evaluation Period, Jaylin was receiving interest across the MAC, A10, and even a few Big Ten Schools.  Walker is known for his athleticism.  His dunks have brought fans to their feet during Summer League and AAU only months ago.  But he’s also a quality shooter from three-point land with his feet set, with the capability to heat up quickly.  Still improving with ball skills, Walker overall is never going to back-down from anybody on either side of the court, and plays with a flare to his game.  With a big senior season for the Eagles, is Walker a dark horse in the Mr. Basketball voting?

Derek Murphy with GLIAC Offer Number 3

Warren Mott’s Derek Murphy now has Grand Valley, Ferris State, and Lake Superior State offers before his senior campaign starts.  He plans to take a few unofficial visits in the upcoming weeks, and is also gaining interest from some mid-major schools in the great lakes region.  A versatile 6’4″ wing, Murphy has the size and skill to exceed at the next level.  He’s a scorer that excels getting to the basket and either finishing or getting to the free-throw line.  Derek can also rebound the ball well for his position, and still working on a consistent perimeter outside jump shot.

Couple Big Time Visitors

Trevor Manuel took an official visit to Oregon for the football game vs. Michigan State, Henry Ford senior wing Josh Davis took a visit over the weekend to Western Michigan, and Grand Rapids Christian 2015 guard Deleon Brown took his official visit to Kent State.

Notable Transfers

Anthony Johnson, a 6’5″ wing 2016 wing formerly of Flint Beecher, has transferred down I-75 to Detroit Southeastern.  Adding depth to a team in need of impact players with the departure of a coach and two do it all seniors.

The ninth out-of-state transfer to hit Michigan was Romulus 6’4″ guard Blake Furcron to Elyria High School in Ohio after impressive showings at the Romulus Summer League.

 

Lamonta Stone Returns to River Rouge as Head Coach

5 Sep

mi-miriverrougehighschool-letter-150Few programs across the State of Michigan have the prestige and winning pedigree as River Rouge does.  Under the direction of Lofton Greene, head coach from 1945 through 1984, the Panthers captured 12 of their 14 Class B state titles, including five straight from 1961-1965, while amassing a 739-231 overall record.

The last of the Panthers’ two titles came in 1998 and 1999, with Lamonta Stone at the helm, and guard Brent Darby, who later went onto star at Ohio State University and eventually overseas before dying of blood clot related issues.

Stone makes his return to the Panther sideline for the 2014-2015 campaign after collegiate assistant coaching stints at Eastern Michigan, Ohio State, and Bowling Green State University.

Coach Stone replaces Bobby Thompson.  Thompson decided to step-down from the program after four seasons in which he went 60 and 32 during his time at Rouge, the best season being a 19-5 record in the 2011-2012 campaign competing in Class C and losing to eventually champion Flint Beecher in the quarterfinals.

Southfield’s Amauri Hardy Breaks Down Buffalo Offer

3 Sep

SunBB-fullNot too many freshman start for their school’s varsity team, and not too many sophomores around the state are fortunate enough to receive division 1 offers.  Class of 2017 Southfield combo guard Amauri Hardy answers yes to both of those statements, and picked up his first collegiate offer from the Buffalo Bulls of the Mid-American Conference.

“Words cant describe the happiness right now,” Hardy had to say, “but It feels real great to actually be able to pick up my first D1 offer.”  “And knowing that I am only sophomore, hopefully more opportunities should come along the road through out my high school career.”

Hardy, who played AAU this Summer for The Family and 1Nation, noted Buffalo had the opportunity to watch him play at the Brawl for the Ball in Grand Rapids, playing two levels up from the 15u to the 17u division.  According to Amauri, Bulls assistant coach, Nate Oats, who guided the 2013 Romulus Eagles to the Class A crown, has had a continuous relationship well before the Summer of 2014.

At 6’2″ and still growing, Hardy has the size needed to become a division one guard.  He’s athletic, likes to attack the basket off the bounce, and can handle to ball well.  But Hardy says college coaches like his ability of “being able to manage, to be a good teammate, and to score and pass/share the ball with others.”

Still early in the recruiting process for Amauri, Hardy noted he has heard from Central Michigan, U of D Mercy, and Eastern Michigan.  However for the time being, Hardy will focus on the upcoming 2014-2015 campaign.  Amauri shares a bright and talented Southfield Blue Jay backcourt with fellow sophomores Reme Torbert and Michael Flowers.  Expectations will be high this year at Southfield, and Amauri is ready to prove himself worthy of a division one scholarship.

“You can expect alot of wins most importantly,” Hardy had to say, ” but also excitement and entertaiment that will be showcased each game that I play this year.”

 

Recruiting News from 8/25-9/1

1 Sep

Starting now and every Sunday/Monday, we will give a full week write up about recruiting news across the state.  From offers, to interests, and visits, check back weekly for up to the minute news.

Allread Picks up Two Offers

West Bloomfield 2015 forward Zach Allread picked up two new offers this week, one from NAIA Madonna located in Livonia, Michigan, and the other from D2 Malone from Canton, Ohio.

Big Week for Sophomore Xavier Tillman

The biggest recruiting news this week came when it was announced that Grand Rapids Forest Hill Central star forward Xavier Tillman picked up his first offer, from Purdue.  Tillman, with the departure of Donnie Tillman to Nevada, by many is considered the best forward in the rising sophomore class.  Tillman is also said to have interest from in-state powers Michigan, and Michigan State, and is also in contact with basically the whole Big Ten Conference.  The 6’6″ Tillman visited MSU on Friday for an open gym session and football game, and then quickly headed south for an unofficial visit to Kentucky on Saturday.

Various Visitors Across The Country

2016 Cassius Winston of U of D Jesuit took two unofficial visits this weekend, to MSU and Michigan respectively.  One of the hottest names in the midwest, Winston is fresh off a Summer collecting offers from Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State, Maryland, and Boston College, just to name a few, and visiting the campus’ of the previously mentioned Maryland, VCU, Georgetown, and Davidson.

Joining Winston on a visit to Michigan was AAU teammate Brian Bowen.  Bowen, the number one player in the class of 2017, has been on the college coach radar well since entering high school.  He already has an offer from Michigan, in addition to several high-major offers across the country.

Under the radar and visiting Michigan as well was rising junior point guard Justin Turner of Detroit Renaissance.  Turner isn’t as heralded as Winston or Bowen, but a standout junior season could possibly bring greater interest coming from Ann Arbor.

The number one player in 2015 point guard Eric Davis of Saginaw Arthur Hill took an official visit to Texas this weekend, number two for him visiting UNLV in late August.  It was also said Davis dropped UCLA and only to replace the Bruins with the Tigers of LSU on his list of top seven, who he plans to take an official visit to.

Also from the westside of the state, 6’4″ guard Deleon Brown took an official visit to Northern Illinois.  Although Brown just picked up a football for the Eagles of Grand Rapids Christian, basketball is more of his cup of tea.  6’6″ Brent Hibbitts of Hudsonville took an official visit to Lehigh this past weekend as well.

 

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