Archive | September, 2015

Mayor’s Notebook: A Pope Becomes a Cardinal

28 Sep

CPtT1aSUwAAc6EVRahsaan “Moot” Pope made it offical.  Pope, a senior 6-5 wing from Romulus High School, verbally committed to Saginaw Valley State of the GLIAC.  Moot started his prep career at rival Belleville for two years, with one campaign on varsity.  Then he took his skills across infamous Hannan Road, where he said he felt more apart of a family at Romulus.  Last year as a junior, he averaged nine points, five rebounds, and five assists per-game.  Pope had always been on the minds of college coaches, but he certified himself as a scholarship player after a strong Summer with the Michigan Warriors.  Come, July a familiar face followed the Warriors around the circuit.  It happened to be SVSU assistant coach Chin Nwachukwu, AKA Chin-a-Doodle.  Now Coach Chin has told me for several years, if I believe a player is good he would let The Mayor know about it.

Pope went on an unofficial visit to the University Center campus about a month ago, when he was gathering interest from IPFW and Grand Valley State at the time.  Rahsaan later returned on an offficial visit in mid-September.  He felt a strong connection toward the campus, gym accessability, and team/family atsomsphere.  Former Milan standout and current Cardinal junior forward C.J. Turnage helped introduce Pope to the SVSU family.  Finally, head coach Randy Baruth laid a out a challenge to Moot.  Put in the work and raise his game to a new level come Pope’s freshman season.  Rashaan is not the kind of player that backs down!

That is a rap.


Contributed by Adam Troia

Special thanks to Romulus head coach Jarret Smith for assistance on the piece.

Mayor’s Notebook: Ring The Bell! Bankhoops Minicamp Recap

22 Sep

Thanks to Mr. Steve Bell for his hospitality at the 11th annual Bankhoops All-State Minicamp.  There were 140 campers from all corners of Michigan in attendance.  Some were sure-fire blue-chip prospects, while others made a name for themselves.  There was also a nice presence of colleges on-hand.  U of M Dearborn, Adrian, Albion, Kalamazoo, Spring Arbor, Hope, Northwood, Great Lakes, Trine, and Marygrove all viewed potential prospects.

Top five performers:


Hayden Stauffer

Hayden Stauffer 6-5 2018 forward Centerville- Showed a great low-post skill-set.  Had a killer drop step move all day.  Kept the ball high in low-post and scored at will. Unreal footwork for a big at such a young age.  One of if not the top rebounder on the day.

Dylan Alderson 6-5 2017 wing Clarkston- Showcased a drastically improved jump-shot from a season ago.  Absolutely could not miss from deep.  He is on his way to a high major offer.  He currently has offers from Toledo, Central Michigan, and Wright State


Pierre Mitchell

Pierre Mitchell 5-11 2018 point guard Detroit Loyola- Deadly mid-range game.  Did a good job setting up unfamiliar teammates to score.  Going to have a big winter for the Bulldogs in Class C.

Emmanuel Gildo 6-5 2016 wing/forward Lansing Waverly- Punished the rims at Aim-High all day.  Displayed athleticism and control while finishing against the New Haven trees on a few occasions.  Had several follow-up jams and thunder-dunks


Darian Owens-White

Davion Owens-White 6-0 2017 point guard River Rouge- Coming off a Toledo offer this Summer, Owens-White has really picked up his ability to score, most notably with his killer pull-up jumper from the free-throw line.  Ultimate floor general.  Nicknamed “The Captain” for a reason!

Other Standouts:


Nick Welch

Nick Welch 6-6 2017 forward Monroe St. Mary- A big time sleeper in 2017.  A high division II low division I prospect right now.  True mismatch on the floor.  His quickness makes a him a tough cover for a big and his 6-6 frame allows him to eat when a smaller guy guards him.  Solid x-and-o type player.  Plus his outside game is improving.

Derek Nicholson 6-7 2017 forward Williamston- A young 2017.  The kid loves contact under the hoop.  Showed a nice touch down low.

Jesse “Scrappy” Scarber 5-8 2017 point guard Detroit King- Mr. Scarber is as tough as nails on the court.  Pesky defender with great footwork and lateral quickness.  Probably a trackstar if he opted for another sport due to deceptive athleticism and speed.  Exceptional passer when not in a rush.  Received an Adrian College offer immediately following the camp.  But watch out division II and division I schools.

Logan Ryan 6-7 2016 forward Canton- Come on division II schools, we know there’s a weight program for this guy.  Logan had it going from the outside again and a couple of nice dunks mixed in.  Big winter coming from this kid.


Seth Wright

Seth Wright 6-6 2019 forward Constantine- Showed worthy of conversation as a top 10 prospect in the state’s 2019 class.  At 6-6, Wright ran the floor like a deer and showed he can step out and be a threat to knock-down open attempts.

Logan Steffers 5-11 2016 point guard Stevensville-Lakeshore- Good ball hander that you can’t leave open behind the arc.

A.J. Crawford 5-10 2017 point guard Warren Cousino- Athletic guard who got by his man and finished with finesse regularly.

Showed Up and Showed Out:

Brandon Wade 6-0 2018 point guard Ann Arbor Skyline

Ryan Wade 5-11 2019 shooting guard Ann Arbor Skyline

Deyuan Heard 6-6 2016 wing Dearborn ATA

Tabin Throgmorton 6-4 2016 wing Clarkston

Andrew Kline 6-1 2016 point guard Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

Hunter Page 6-0 2016 combo guard Parma Western

Brennan Bushka 6-5 2017 wing Grosse Pointe South

Daeshon Pride 5-11 2016 combo guard Flint Southwestern

Contributed by Adam Troia

Mayor’s Notebook: T.J. Kelley’s IPS Showcase Recap

14 Sep

The annual Inside Prep Sports Fall Showcase was organized by none other than T.J Kelley.  Seńor Kelley always brings together some of the best talent in the state.  And 2015 was no different.  Roughly 60 kids from across Michigan participated.  Here are those that stood-out.

Top Three Performers:

Jamal Cain Cornerstone 6’7″ 2017 Wing: Mr. Cain showed his Rivals top 100 ranking was no fluke by taking it to the field at the showcase.  On the day, Cain guarded all five positions on the floor due to superior length, athleticism, and agility.  With a polished mid-range game in the works, high majors will be calling Jamal soon to go with offers from Kent State, Oakland, and U of D Mercy.


Diego Robinson

Diego Robinson Lansing Everett 6’6″ 2017 Wing: Robinson assaulted the rims all day long.  He dunked every open look either off-the-dribble or from a standstill, and owned the defensive glass.  Robinson will continue to round out his entire skill-set before the actual season starts.


Dylan Alderson

Dylan Alderson Clarkston 6’5″ 2017 Wing: Another high-flyer on the day, however, Dylan showed off his outside game and his ability to drop dimes while playing point guard.  Has all the tools needed to become a plus perimeter defender from all three positions.  This versatility has aided Alderson in receiving offers from Toledo, Central Michigan, and Wright State.  More will definitely follow.

Other Notables:

Brandon Wade Ann Arbor Skyline 6’0″ 2018 Point Guard: Great passer.  Thrives in using body to shield defenders from the ball while getting into the lane and making point guard plays.  Soild in-between guy who makes everyone around him better.  Holds offers from Eastern Michigan, Toledo, and Northern Illinois.

Richard Talley Detroit Renaissance 5’10” 2016 Point Guard: Justin Turner is not the only guard that can play at Renni.  Talley is a soild/pesky on-ball defender with quick hands and feet.  And holy smokes can this kid jump despite his size.  Wow!

Jordan Graham Farmington 6’4″ 2017 Wing Guard: He might be the biggest sleeper in Michigan’s ’17 class.  Jordan had a great summer with the Michigan Warriors before getting hurt in July.  He can really run the floor, create his own shot, knockdown open jumpers, and has great size for a guard. Would be a steal for a low-major.

Brennan Buszka Grosse Pointe South 6’6″ 2017 Wing: Another Michigan Warrior.  Had a strong month of July, and I’ve got a feeling he’s not done growing yet.  Really good in open floor either with the ball or running the break.  A good rebounder for his size.  Student of the game type player given his dad played college ball at U of D Mercy.

Calvin Blaydes Belleville 6’5″ 2016 Forward: Athleticism is off the charts.  Ability to create own offense is developing, but never ceases from the dirty work and rebounding side of the game.  Tallest kid on high school team so that might limit his ability to play his more natural height-given position.  One premier community college took note of him.

More Standouts:
Jack Ammermen Ann Arbor Skyline 5’10” 2018 Shooting Guard: Kid can flat out shoot it

Robert Iaquaniello Walled Lake Northern 6’2″ 2017 Shooting Guard: Another one opponents can’t leave open behind the arch.

 Joe Chavey Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 6’4″ 2016 Combo Guard: Attention D3/NAIAs, here’s a steal.  3.5 GPA and 24 ACT.  Plays extremely hard and willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Skylar Lipinski Onsted 6’6″ 2017 Forward: The future of Onsted is strong with Lipinski.  Defenders will no longer be able to double-team Austin “Big Country” Davis now that Lipinski is on varsity.

Contributed by Adam Troia



Mayor’s Notebook: DeWitt’s Dynamic Class of 2018 Duo

6 Sep


Sophomores Tanner Reha (left) and Luke Hyde (right) look to lead DeWitt on the hardwood.

Running over the old notebook, something jumped out – a school known predominately on the gridiron instead of the hardwood–DeWitt.  Now I admit I know little about DeWitt hoops.  However, two players that stood out during the travel circuit and high school team camp sessions were DeWitt sophomores, Luke Hyde and Tanner Reha.

I first saw Hyde at the University of Michigan College Practice camp.  His size, almost 6’6″, and ability to guard stood out against many of the camp’s premier talent.

Despite only being a ninth grader, Luke was the sixth man for the Panthers last winter on varsity.  In addition to the Michigan camp, Hyde has camped at Central Michigan and Akron.  Northern Illinois is another school which has expressed interest in the DeWitt swingman.   Unfortunately for Hyde, he was not able to participate in the July live evaluation period of games with his Michigan Mustangs-Haney 15u team due to a leg injury.  But Luke says he’s has been working to improve his ball-handling and shooting while in motion over the course of the off-season.

Classmate Tanner Reha had a strong summer to go along with Hyde.  He was a definite top five player at U of D Mercy’s camp in June.  Reha also had the opportunity to attend the Elite 25, and the Central Michigan camp with Hyde.

One of Tanner’s best individual games was his first ever game at the high school level.  The 6’4″ shooting guard poured in a team-high 22 points against an East Lansing team coached by stout defensive guru, Steve Finamore.  Tanner thus far has received interest from University of Detroit Mercy, Central Michigan and Kent State.  He is a very heady, tough, kid that is usually in the right position for a steal or rebound on defense.  Offensively, Tanner wishes to become a reliable knockdown three-point shooter.

Enough of the notebook. Let’s see what Luke and Tanner think about each other.

Tanner on Luke: “Luke has a killer mid-range game. He is a great teammate because he’s always positive.  Almost too nice.”

Luke on Tanner:  “Tanner is a great shooter and even better leader.  He’s definitely the spark plug on our team.”

DeWitt won the Capital Area-Red conference championship last year, posting an 8-2 record.  The team looks to repeat in 2016.  If DeWitt wishes to do so, a large amount work will be put on the shoulders of freshmen Hyde and Reha.  Can’t wait!

Contributed by Al Troia


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