Archive | April, 2015

EEVP’s Karmari Newman Rising Quickly On Recruiting Boards

29 Apr

0cq4Q48XKarmari Newman, a 6’3″ junior East English Village Prep guard, is among the state’s elite scorers, but there’s something else he’s been able to score in the short off-season, college scholarships.

Newman received two division one college scholarships in less than 48 hours, one from Kent State, while the other was hometown U of D Mercy as well as an offer he previously held from Cleveland State.

Newman convinced many schools of his potential and ability at the King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio, with a 35 point performance in the gold championship game.  Only a microcosm of how well Karmari has played this Spring.

“I’ve played extremely well,” Newman said of his play so far.  “Actually, I’ve been able to show them (colleges) my ability to play both sides of the basketball, and how bouncy I am.”

Newman mentioned style of play will be a key factor in his recruiting process.

“I want to play at a college that plays up and down,” Karmari added.  “Similar to my high school playing style.”

His playing style has received interest from Xavier, Iowa, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Northern Illinois, and Northern Kentucky.  With two months remaining of tournaments for Detroit Showtime, Newman promises to provide nothing but a show from here on out.

2015 King James Shootings Stars Classic Recap

27 Apr


Many of Michigan’s quality non-shoe sponsored teams descended on Akron for the King James Shooting Stars Classic.

Jason Williams 5’11” guard Detroit Stars 16u (Pictured)-

A classic Jason Williams performance this weekend, scoring the ball.  Williams, only a junior, has already scored 1,000 career points, and AAU is no different.  Williams quickly beat defenders off the dribble in the half-court, finishing multiple takes at the rim against taller defenders with either hand.  His jump shot has improved drastically in the course of a year, and should keep defenders honest.

Donnie Tillman 6’6″ forward Detroit Stars 16u

Donnie was a quality big man last Spring, now Tillman is an elite big man after spending a year at Findlay Prep.  Tillman’s best game was 32 points and eight rebounds.  He is the definition of a mismatch.  Place a larger defender on him he’ll face-up and drive to the basket.  Put a smaller defender on Tillman then he’ll over-power him in the lane.  Starting to play with a consistent motor on both ends of the court, finishing above the rim, while cleaning the glass, and challenging shots.

Jesse Scarber 5’7″ point guard Michigan Playmakers 16u-

His team doesn’t have a primary scorer, and Scarber decided to fill that void Saturday afternoon, 22 points overall.  Jesse plays one step ahead of opponents, he’s strong with the ball, attacks fearlessly to the lane, nimble enough to get through tight windows, limits turnovers, and was rewarded with multiple trips to the free-throw line.  Yet, Scarber’s strength is defense.  He consistently checks the opponent’s best defender the length of the court, and with his quick hands is able to generate steals to go along with anticipating passes.  Was also one rebound away from a double-double to go along with his 22 point outburst.

Daijon Park 6’5″ forward Michigan Warriors 16u-

Parker is quietly having a quality Spring.  After an impressive showing at the Michigan Invitational, Daijon followed up with a solid outing in Akron.  Parker’s not an eye-popping athlete, but he’s very methodical with his impact on the game.  He’s beginning to knockdown face-up free-throw line jumpers consistently, and looks quite natural doing so.  Rebounds his area well, and a promising weak-side shot blocker with improving footwork.

Tre Orr 6’8″ forward Michigan Playmakers 16u-

Orr had his moments throughout the weekend.  Tre has only been playing organized basketball for three years, and the next three years could even better for the Martin Luther King big man.  He’s starting to develop a feel for a back to the basket game, he’ll pass out of a double-team, however will call for the ball sensing a mismatch.  Many of his points we’re second chance putbacks.  With increased live action, his foot speed and athleticism should improve, making Orr a certain commodity come July.

Dequan Powell 6’0″ guard Michigan Playmakers 16u-

Powell at times was the best player on the court Saturday night and Sunday morning in bracket play.  His ability to transition from offense to defense quickly set the pace and tone for his team.  Powell was able to come away with steals and covert those into lay-ups, many of which were finished through contact.  However, Powell can also serve as a team’s glue man.  He rebounds well for a guard, and isn’t afraid to get scrappy down low.

Other News:

Detroit Showtime won the 17u Black Gold division title.  6’4″ East English guard Kamari Newman exploded for 35 points in the effort with various mid-major programs in attendance.

I was able to get a look at Michigan Soldiers 6’7″ forward Danny Pippen of Allen Academy, the first time since the big man was injured in January.  Pippen looks to have grown some since then, he does wear a size 22 shoe by the way.  Overall, Pippen looked comfortable running the floor, rebounding, and attacking defenders off the bounce.  Holds a U of D Mercy offer.

Hoops Canada 17u could easily be mistaken for a college level team.  Seven players suit up over 6’4.”  6’2″ sniper Omar Shiddo, and 6’8″ versatile inside-out Isiaha Mike were the standouts.

Interview With Jason Williams of Allen Academy

26 Apr

Allen Academy’s Jason Williams has had quite the high school career, 1,000 points before his senior season.  Here, Williams reflects the past regular-season, goals for the upcoming AAU campaign, and talks recruiting.


Warren Mott’s Derek Murphy Takes Extended Spring Break. Commits to Florida Tech

23 Apr

imagesWarren Mott does not strike the ear as a perineal basketball power on the east side of the state, but with two consecutive years of producing division one players, perhaps something is changing in Marauder land.

Derek Murphy, a 6’5″ senior guard, decided to continue his college career at Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, Florida.

Murphy said he knew the school was right for him when he toured the campus.

“I fell in love with the campus when I visited, ” stated Murphy.  “When I played up and down with them I really felt it was the right place.  Coach Mims is a great coach but a better person, and I feel he will guide me to the next level and help elevate my game.”

Strength is a vital aspect of Murphy’s game.  Derek thrives when attacking defenders downhill to the rim.  So where does his strength come from?

“The weight room and vertimax have been my best friends as I feel I attack the rim aggressively and covert a lot of 3 point plays,” Murphy said.

Murphy established himself as one of the premier players in Macomb Country this past-season, averaging  20 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists per-game despite returning as the team’s lone returning starter.

Derek joins friend and ’14 teammate Kenny Goins to continue their careers on the collegiate level.  Goins eventually walked-on at Michigan State, but when the two played together, Mott enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history, 21-5, and a spot in the Class A quarterfinal.  The team did take a step-back however for Murphy’s final year, 9-12 overall.

“Kenny and I have spent countless numbers in the gym to get where we are today,” Murphy mentioned.  “That has motivated me a lot.  Just to see people that I have personally dominated in games, practices or camps get so much recognition.”

With the high school portion of his career concluded, Murphy can lay claim to calling himself the winningest Marauder in school history.  However, he still plans and strives on doing plenty of winning in college.

“I plan on making a name for myself,” Murphy added of his endeavors at the next-level.  “Be one of the best players to ever come out, win freshman of the year, and become an All-American.”


Nike Spring Showdown Day One Recap

11 Apr

Every Michigan team won on day one of action at the Nike Spring Showdown. Here are a few standouts.

Playmakers 17u Shine in Season Opening Debut

The Michigan Playmakers received one of the state’s most coveted point guard prospects, Renaissance 6’3″ junior Justin Turner.  Turner did not look phased or flustered given a new situation or team.  As the team’s primary scorer, Turner displayed he can both shoulder a scoring load and facilitate a game.  He connected on three three-pointers, attacked the rim with trips to the free-throw line, and scored in the mid-range section en route to finishing with 18 points overall.  However, Turner is not self-oriented and plays with poise not too many have for a high school level guard.  He looks to create plays for others before himself.  Justin likes to make good shots better shots individually and for teammates.

IMG_0416Turner was complemented in the team’s 53-30 win against Playground Elite by Southfield 6’5″ wing Miguel Priest (pictured).  Priest was highly active on the night.  Miguel is a unique combination of size, athleticism, grit, and hustle.  He powerfully plays above the rim, and nearly had an impressive tip-in put-back slam that nearly brought the court down.  However, Miguel is a plus rebounder for a wing, offensively and defensively.  The powerfully built lefty is a menace in transition and semi-halfcourt, attacking and was repeatedly rewarded with free-throw line trip opportunities.  Priest is surely one to watch for in the Spring session of the circuit.

Other 16u Playmakers Standout

Trenton Temple 6’4″ Southfield Christian

Temple led the team in a 36-26 victory against Quad City Elite with 10 overall points.  Aside from scoring the most points, it was his overall activity that led Temple to standout.  He isn’t the primary ball-handler, facilitator, or shooter, but he just seems to be around the ball and makes the right plays.  Playing the passing lanes well for deflections, scoring on offensive rebounds, and finishing around the rim with either hand.

Tre Orr 6’7″ Detroit King

Orr continues to progress in the early Spring session.  Orr gained confidence last week at the Michigan Invitational and gradually improved his play as the tournament went along.  Friday Orr made a statement against a vertically superior Quad City Elite team.  Orr showed flashes of scoring in the paint, completing an impressive drop step crossing the lane to the right side of the rim for the layup.   And as his team’s tallest player, most importantly for a George Ward led team, defended without fouling, only one on the night.  It seemed opponents grew tired of receiving Orr’s physicality.  On one play, Orr stood directly in-front of on-coming attacker, stepped out the way, and the offensive player was so stunned he blew a wide open two points.

Baylor Basketball/TMT Sportz

2014-2015 Game Winners Vote

8 Apr

We all love clutch plays.  Fortunately I was able to capture four game winners on the year, and received a few user submitted entries.  Go vote for which one you think was the best.

Detroit Loyola’s Dequan Powell half-court winner vs. Notre Dame Prep:

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Detroit Allen Academy’s Jason Williams jumper against Grand Rapids Union:

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Chandler Park Academy’s Jalen Martin winner against Warren Mott:

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U of D Jesuit’s Cassius Winston’s lay-up vs. Clarkston:

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Southfield Bradford game winner:

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Ann Arbor Pioneer’s D’jon Dudley against Bedford:

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Detroit Henry Ford’s Josh Davis’ tip-in at the buzzer against Southfield:

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Southfield’s Michael Flowers with the game winner:

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Rochester Adams’ Joey Ziniti with the fall-back jumper:

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Saginaw ’13 Graduate Markell Bradshaw Commits To Claflin University

6 Apr

tn7pwrdkbhs3lzjrTwo years ago, Markell Bradshaw adamantly stated his desire was to play division one college basketball.  The then Saginaw High senior had reason to believe so.  He was a member of the Trojan ’12 state championship team, and starting point guard for the ’13 Class A final four team.

According to the NCAA, only 3.4% of all high school basketball players will continue their careers collegiate, and one percent in division one.

Markell had just one scholarship offer following high school, Livingstone College (NC).  Bradshaw had hopes of receiving quality playing time, unfortunately for Markell, he did not achieve his goal.  Markell did not suit for a single game.

“It was hard being under the radar in high school knowing you were good,” Bradshaw said.  “Then going to a D2 and sitting out was hard.  I chose to sit out, but it was still hard not playing and watching everyone you graduated with playing.”

Immediately following his freshman year of college, Markell returned home.  Just in time.

Delta Community College, located in nearby University Center, Michigan, had just hired a new coach, Kyle Blackburn.  Desperate for players, Coach Blackburn reached out to Markell and offered him a spot on the team.

Delta felt like home to Bradshaw.  Blackburn had recently hired Carlos McMath, a long coach of rival Saginaw Arthur Hill on the coaching staff, and Markell’s long-time friend and teammate Julian Henderson, Saginaw ’13, joined Delta after a year at a community college in Illinois.  Given the comfortable environment, Markell thrived.

Bradshaw doubled as the team’s leader in both points-per-game and assists, 15.8 and 4.6 respectively.  He gradually worked his way into the starting lineup as the season progressed, and guided the Pioneers to a 19-13 overall record, and NJCAA District 10 championship game.  Earning MCCAA Eastern first team, and All-Freshman first team honors along the way.

With his success on the court, and in the classroom (he was the salutatorian of his ’13 graduating class), Markell earned and accepted a scholarship with Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

“I decided to go with Clafin due to how the coach (Ricky Jackson) recruited me,” said Bradshaw.  “He showed me a lot of love and we built a relationship, and I am able to walk right in and play.”

Bradshaw is confident as he begins classes at Claflin in the fall the school is the best personal fit for him.  He has grown and changed his perceptions on colleges during his two year journey.  He is thankful for the lessons it has taught him, and has a message for younger athletes who, once like him, were fixated on playing division one.

“Because a lot of them (high school players) go just because it’s D1 and never play.  I learned to go where the coach is going to show you the most love.”  “Guys from D2 get a chance at overseas and the NBA too.”

“If you ball, they will find you.”

Photo Credit: Delta College

Stats as of 2013-2014 NCAA survey.



Michigan Invitational Day Two Recap

5 Apr


Championship Saturday action of the Michigan Invitational hosted by Reach.

Michigan Mustangs 15u Roll On

It’s not too often the time a 15u team has the combination of size and skill the Mustangs have.  With four legitimate future division one prospects in the lineup, the Mustangs won all five of their games by at least twenty points, and captured the gold title.

First off, the Mustangs run through 5’8″ Carman-Ainsworth point guard Ja’Kavien Lewis.  Lewis is a pass first guard, as he can make plays in both the full and half-court with stellar court awareness, passing ability, and presence.  Complimenting Lewis in the backcourt is Roseville 6’4″ wing Zavon Godwin.  Godwin is a consistent above the rim athlete at such a young age, he easily skied for rebounds on both ends with ease against helpless opponents.  However, Godwin is versatile as well.  Zavon can handle the ball, shoot, and pass for guard of his size.  He should be able to guard multiple positions, and play the passing lanes due to his freakish length.

For as much talent there is in the back-court, the front-court of the Mustangs is as talented with 6’8″ Thomas Kithier and 6’4″ Jalen Tobias.  Tobias is the more athletic of the two.  He gets up and down the court well for a big, and similar to Godwin, is an above the rim finisher.  Jalen’s length indicates more growth in the future for Tobias, which equals more rebounds and high-flying dunks.

Kithier is already built like a college-level big, but he does not compromise skill level and feel for the game.  Thomas is more often in the right spots on the court than not, defensively for rebounds and offensively for easy buckets.  Kithier is the low-post presence the Mustangs will rely on to win multiple tournament championships in the coming months.

Even more Mustang players, Goliath Mitchell is a 5’8″ point guard that received quality minutes for the Goodrich Martians.  With Mitchell, he sparks instant energy off the Mustang bench.  He can create for himself and teammates, but more importantly, he adds depth to in the early going the top 15u team in the state.

IMG_0400The Playmakers

The 16u Michigan Playmakers were a late add to the Michigan Invitational.  And after a mediocre first day of 1-1, the team rallied to win three straight tournament contests against Reach, Detroit Spartans and Common Bond to capture the 16u Gold title.

5’8″ point guard Jesse Scarber is the leader of the playmakers, with his play and vocally.  Jesse is responsible for most of the ball-handling and decision-making of the team.  He’s strong with the ball, gains separation off a quick first step, and sees the floor well.  But where Scarber made his greatest impact on the tournament was on the defensive end of the floor.  If you’re going to play for George Ward during the high school season and travel season, than you better play defense.  Jesse drew the assignment of shadowing the opponent’s best offensive player, and all three we’re held well below their normal outputs.  You’d be hard-pressed to find another guard that takes pleasure in drawing charges, but that’s Jesse.  Scarber reacts one play ahead of opponents on the defensive end, and results in extra possessions for his team.

Jesse is also not shaken with pressure.  As he connected on crucial free-throws in both the quarterfinal and championship games to salt both away.

Scarber is relatively unknown at this point in the state, but with repeated MVP caliber performances in the future as he did at the Michigan Invitational, expect Jesse to hear from colleges soon.

Scarber is joined in the backcourt by King teammate Keyon Brown.  Brown, a 5’10” freshman, plays up one level, and during flashes does not look phased by older players.  Brown’s best performance came in the championship against Common Bond, 20 overall points, however it was the timing of the points that stood out.  The Playmakers led up until the last two minutes, and the largest deficit was five.  Desperate for points, Brown calmly knocked down a three to get the margin down to two.  Then less than 30 seconds later, Keyon took an outlet off a steal, then finished an and-one to regain the lead for the Playmakers for good.

Brown overall is a combo guard, but with Scarber on the floor thrives more off the ball.  He’s a confident plus shooter in the mid-range and three-point departments.

Other Standouts:

IMG_0395Armani Tinsley 6’0″ Guard Reach Legends 17u

Tinsley scored the game winning three-pointer in the team’s semi-final against the rival Michigan Warriors.  Tinsley is fresh-off a state championship with Detroit Western, and continues to play confidently in the early spring circuit.  Tinsley is a quality three-point shooter from beyond the arch, but also has some flare and creativity to the game.  He can play both on and off the ball, but his best attribute is defense.  Armani takes just as much pride in locking up his opponents as he does scoring on them.  He’s laterally quick, has fast hands, and just an overall nuisance on defense.

Eric Williams 6’1″ Guard Michigan Playmakers 16u

Williams overall had a solid weekend of production.  The St. Clair sophomore guard’s greatest individual output was against the Spartans where he scored 17 overall points.  Eric did his damage off the ball, his coaches like to place him in the middle of the key because he can create for himself and others.  Williams has great footwork in the paint when he sees taller defenders, and despite a slender frame, finished through multiple and-ones on the weekend.  He’s improving defensively, but that shouldn’t be the problem with more practice and games under head coach George Ward.

Leonard Silas 5’10” Guard Detroit Spartans 16u

Quick, shifty, and athletic describe Silas.  Leonard gets into the paint at will when he wants to.  Silas competes with a high-motor and tenacious effort on both ends of the court.  Graceful finisher at the rim.  Fearless, aggressive, and opportunistic defender.

Michigan Invitational Day One Recap

4 Apr


Less than a week past the high school season, the travel circuit has commenced.  With less than one week until the first NCAA live period of the Spring, teams look to find continuity among one another prior to viewings from college coaches.

What’s The Hype About?

The opening of every team’s travel season begins with optimism, Hype Athletics is no different.  Team Hype has found a new 17u head coach, local legend Mike Talley.  Talley’s team went 2-0 on the day, with an impressive victory against the traditional respectable Michigan Warriors.  6’5″ forward Jaylin McFadden (pictured) completely dominated the game, pouring in 28 points.  Jaylin has always thrived in the open-court and in transition with his athleticism, but McFadden also expanded his range beyond the arch on the night.  Combined with high-motor and effort, McFadden is going to be one to watch in the travel circuit.

McFadden will pair well with Ypsilanti ’17 5’10” point guard Marlin Talley to give Team Hype a reliable front and back-court presence.

Reach 17u Reloads

Reach every year is one of the premier programs in Michigan, and ’15 is no different.  Reach went 2-0 on the evening in pool play, and appeared unstoppable at times.  The Legends are led by dual-sport star Trishton Jackson.  The versatile 6’3″ guard is just as much a problem on the grid-iron as on the hardwood.  Jackson is complimented by guards Armani Tinsley, and Karim Murray in the backcourt, two competitive Detroit Western Cowboys fresh-off a state championship.  6’3″ Terrance Sewell has a nose for the basket and initiates contact at the rim, and Churchill’s Joan Andoni will be a reliable three-point shooter Reach will use to space the floor.

Up front, Reach could be mistaken for All-State football squad.  6’3″ Jalin Martin, and 6’6″ Alaric Jackson.  Martin, Chandler Park, is a division one prospect at wide receiver, but finishes above the rim on the court and rebounds well.  The 6’6″ Jackson clogs the lane defensively, and can face-up offensively, shoot from the perimeter, and find open teammates from the post.

16u Section Loaded

The 16u division is the most competitive at the Michigan Invitational.

Common Bond has three to four 6’2,” 6’3″ guards/wings they use in their rotation, notably the Huron combination of Alec Anderson and Lawrence Rowley.  The two are highly athletic and active on both ends of the court.  Rowley and Anderson finish above the rim, rebound, and alter shots defensively due to length.

While the front-court for Common Bond is Huron, the back-court is Pioneer.  Cedric Benton and Deric Murray are two guards primed to a big circuit.  Benton is a 6’2″ guard that enjoys attacking the rim in both the half-court and transition, while Murray is an aggressive point guard with a quick first-step to blow past defenders and get into the paint.

The Michigan Warriors have a guard and a forward on the 16u level as well.

Kelvon Merriweather is a freshman, but plays up an age level.  Physically, he does not look reminiscent of a ninth grade, 6’2,” wide shoulders.  Merriweather competes relentlessly with a high-motor and the competitiveness that has become a staple of a Romulus guard.  He should be able to defend both guard positions, and his ability to finish above the rim should bring Merriweather attention from the next level.

6’5″ John Glenn forward Daijon Parker is the anchor of the Michigan Warriors defensively.  Parker moves well laterally for a young post, as he blocked numerous weak-side shots on the night.  Parker isn’t the quickest to get off the floor, but is very methodical with his positioning on the glass.

Other Standouts

Jesse Scarber (Michigan Playmakers 16u)- A joy to coach on the floor.  Only 5’8,” but plays with a bigger heart.  He’s a quick and athletic point guard that does most of his work defensively.  Scarber can defend the opponent’s best offensive player and stay in-front without fouling the length of the court.  In one game, Scarber came away with five steals.  Jesse dives on the floor for loose balls, and anticipates errant passes well.

Derek Jamerson (Michigan Soldiers 17u)- Jamerson continues off a strong high school season at Cornerstone.  At 6’5,” Jamerson is a knock-down catch and shoot three-point assassin.  In one game against Reach, Jamerson connected on three-straight beyond the arch attempts to keep his team within striking distance.  He just needs to see one go through before he catches momentum.

Terrance Bowens (Michigan Playmakers 16u)- A lanky 6’3″ wing, Bowens showed flashes at times of developing into a promising scorer.  Put a smaller defender on him, and he’ll rise up off the mid-range for two.  Put a bigger defender on him, and he use his dominant left hand to put it on the floor and get to the rim.  His footwork hasn’t caught up to his body yet, but should improve as time goes on.

2015 AAU Season Preview

2 Apr

The high school season has concluded, off to AAU.

Initial teams to watch for before the first weekend.  More to come.


The Family


Michigan Mustangs

Reach Legends

Grand Rapids Storm

Michigan Warriors

Michigan Playmakers

Team Basketball

Detroit Showtime

Michigan Soldiers


Michigan Mustangs

Detroit Stars

Reach Legends


Common Bond

The Program Elite

The Family

Tripe Threat

Detroit Spartans

Michigan Playmakers


Michigan Mustangs

The Family

Michigan Warriors


Reach Legends

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