Tag Archives: Duos in East Michigan

East Michigan’s 20 Duos To Watch This Season

8 Nov

200430632-001Most high school teams have one good player, but when a team has two good players, then the team becomes increasingly difficult to defeat.  Below is a list of duos that can and will shape the outcome of the 2014-2015 Michigan high school basketball season.

Saginaw Arthur Hill’s Eric Davis and Brian Bowen: The Texas Longhorn verbal commit Davis enters his senior with debatably the best Arthur Hill team he’s had during his high school career. A top 50 prospect nationally and top ten overall guard, Davis averaged 27 points per game for the Lumberjacks a season ago. Davis will run the point with 6’7″ sophomore Brian Bowen on the wing. Bowen in his own right is a top ten prospect for his 2017 class nationally after averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds a game last season on varsity. After dominant performances during the AAU campaign with The Family, Bowen received offers for various high major programs including Louisville, Michigan, and Iowa State.
Josh McFolley and Brailen Neely: With these two in the back court, expect plenty of three pointers to be made for the Cowboys this upcoming season. The U of D Mercy commit senior McFolley, last season at Mt. Clemens, averaged 19 points in leading his team to a Class C quarterfinal appearance. Both Neely and McFolley will share time running the point guard duties for Western, only making them more dangerous when both are on the court at the same time.
Romulus’ D’Angelo Hansbro and Jaylin Walker: These two guards carry on the lineage and prestige that comes with being a Romulus guard. Both are high IQ players that take as much pride in their defense as they do offense. The senior Kent State commit Walker is instant offense. Just when you think you have him contained, he’ll score 20 on you in a heart beat. While Hansbro will make the transition from primarily a sixth man player last year to a starting point guard this season. D’Angelo earned a scholarship from Buffalo while playing the distributing role on a very talented The Family 16u team over the Summer.
Milan’s Latin Davis and Nick Perkins: It’s not too often the case a team has the luxury of pairing a division one forward next to a division one point guard. However, Milan returns Buffalo bound Nick Perkins and Youngstown State commit Latin Davis from last year’s Class B state championship team. The two seniors benefit each others game when on the floor at the same time. When Nick is down low on the block, he can easily pass it out to the three point marksman Davis. And when Davis penetrates and collapses a defense, he can find Nick down under for the easy score.
Detroit Henry Ford’s James Towns and Josh Davis: The Western Michigan commit Davis has the reputation around the state as a knock down perimeter shooter, which pairs well with the play of 5’10” James Towns. Towns plays fearless on both ends of the court, taking pride while defending the opposition’s best guard. On offense, he looks to the attack the basket, bringing defenders with him, and in doing so, defenses tend to often leave Josh open for what he does best.
Allen Academy’s Jason Williams and Danny Pippen: Juniors Williams and Pippen are referred to as their head coach as “Detroit’s Best Kept Secret.” Allen Academy is a Class C charter school on Detroit’s Eastside with an enrollment of only 250 students. However, Coach Covington will rely on Danny and Jason to build off of last year’s district championship season. A 6’7″ stretch-four forward, Pippen can do damage to the opposition from both the perimeter and in the paint, and has already received a scholarship offer from U of D Mercy. Jason will see his role increase with the departure of cousin Pakiya Ellis to Ferris State. Like Ellis, Williams has a quick first step and does most of his work from attacking the basket with a strong handle. With these two, the Wildcats have the formula to win some games this year.

East English Village’s Kamari Newman and Chris Rollins: Rollins joins Newman in the Bulldogs after transferring from Warren De La Salle, giving EEVP a dynamic scoring backcourt.  Rollins played on varsity for De La Salle since he was a freshman, and now as a junior gives The Village a true point guard that can both distribute and score.  His classmate Newman is an elite scorer in the state’s 2016 class.  The southpaw has always been able to shoot the ball, but is now starting to take defenders off the dribble and slash to the basket.  With Newman and Rollins guiding EEVP, the Bulldogs not only are a sleeper in the PSL but perhaps Class A.

Southfield’s Michael Flowers and Amauri Hardy: The pair Blue Jay sophomore guards are back along with two seniors for Southfield giving them four total returning starters and full of hope.  Hardy, already with a scholarship offer from Buffalo, is the scorer of the two.  He’s always looking to take defenders with his left hand and finish around the rim.  While Flowers is the shooter, but worked on developing his point guard skills during the Summer AAU circuit.

Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Ty Groce and Devin Haygood: Ypsilanti Lincoln will start the season with high expectations from a year ago, coming off a 14-7 record and only losing one senior from last year’s team.  If the Railsplitters are to achieve success this season, the front court duo of Groce and Haygood will have to set the tone.  Devin, an early commit to Youngstown State, gives Lincoln an athletic, rebounding, inside presence.  Junior Ty Groce became one of Michigan fastest rising prospect this past Summer, amassing eight total scholarship offers in a three month span.  The 6’7″ Groce plays predominantly as a guard, he can run the point, handle, pass, and shoot for Lincoln.

Warren De La Salle’s Kevin McKay and Jack Ballantyne: Not to0 many teams around the state have the front court combination De La Salle does.  An undersized power forward, McKay gets the most out of his 6’4″ frame.  With his back to the basket type game, with great footwork, and hands, McKay earned a scholarship offer from Central Michigan.  His front court mate Ballantyne comes in at 6’7″ and played on varsity last season as a sophomore.  He’s a pick-pop type forward that moves well for his size and rebounds his position well.  As always with a Greg Elster led squad, just when the outlook is bleak, the team rallies and finds ways to win.

River Rouge’s Lamonta Stone and Jalen Gibson: The Panthers enter the new year with a change at point guard and head coach.  Coach Lamonta Stone returns to the school where he delievered a Class B state championship in 1999.  Coach Stone’s son, Lamonta Jr. comes along with him from Bowling Green High School, where Stone Jr. was regarded as one of the premier point guard talents in Ohio.  Lamonta Jr. comes to River Rouge after playing with current University of Wisconsin sophomore Vitto Brown as a tenth grader.  The 6’8″ Gibson is a bit unpolished, and does most of his damage around the basket, on putbacks and in the paint.  Having the presence of Stone on the court will make Gibson look a whole lot better and give Rouge a chance to compete in Class B.

Ann Arbor Huron’s Trio of Xavier Cochran, Jalen Thompson, and Dave Wren: Ann Arbor Huron returns four starters from a year ago, giving Coach Samaha plenty of options for the opposition to deal with this year.  Huron will be led by senior Xavier Cochran, a 6’5″ crafty scoring wing with point guard type skills.  Along with Cochran will be classmates Jalen Thompson, and Dave Wren will also be relied upon for Huron to become a force in Class A.  Both Wren and Thompson score in bunches for Huron, predominantly driving to the basket.  Given the skill set, Huron’s best offensive play this season could possibly be a defensive stop, then Cochran, Thompson, and Wren pushing tempo in transition and attacking the rim.

Not to be outdone:

North Farmington 6’4″ forward Anthony Qasawa and 6’7″ forward Jeron Rogers

West Bloomfield 6’3″ guard Trishton Jackson and 6’7″ Zack Allread

Rochester Adams 5’10” guard Joey Ziniti and 6’2″ Spencer Littleson

New Haven 6’8″ forward Jerry Ben and 6’8″ Innocent Nwoko

Walled Lake Western 6’0″ Jerald Booker and 6’3″ forward Marcus Bailey

Flint Beecher 5’8″ point guard Malik Ellison and 6’6″ forward Levane Blake

Detroit Renaissance 6’2″ guard Justin Turner and 5’10” Richard Talley

University of Detroit Jesuit 6’2″ guard Cassius Winston and 6’2″ guard Gary collins




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