Tag Archives: MHSAA

Out of State Transfers Hit Michigan Hard

5 Aug

mhsaa_logoSince the 2013-2014 school year ended, there have been a total of six out-of state transfers who have decided to leave Michigan and continue their basketball careers elsewhere.  An underlying theme throughout many of the player’s decision’s to transfer was the problem of gaining greater exposure opportunities on the national stage.  Other states are more lenient towards allowing their member athletic institution schools to compete on the national level, traveling greater than 300 miles, having 30-40 game seasons, and playing on TV such as ESPN and CBS Sports, which are the basis of many programs across the country.  However, all of which have been banned in Michigan, influencing many of Michigan’s best to finish their high school careers elsewhere.

Billy Thomas, a former 2016 point guard at University of Detroit Jesuit, was the first to announce he was leaving on June 18th, roughly two weeks when classes ended of U of D.  Thomas, by many whom would agree as one of the state’s top shooting guards for the rising junior class, will attend Genesis Academy, a prep school in Lynchburg, Virginia, and reclassify to the class of 2017.

The next out of state transfer hit Michigan the hardest, as the number one player in the class of 2016 according to Rivals.com, Josh Jackson, will not return to Detroit Consortium next season, instead returning to his home state of California, to attend Justin-Siena High School on July 10th.  Jackson, a member of 1Nation 17U and also of National Team USA 17u, received his first collegiate offers in July, coming from Arizona, Michigan State, Auburn, and Kansas.

Only five days later, Flint Southwestern rising senior wing Jaire Grayer stated in an interview with MLive’s Eric Woodyard, he will not return to Flint City to complete his final year of high school eligibility.  Despite after successful AAU stints with The Family and Michigan Mustangs receiving offers from Cleveland State, Oakland, U of D Mercy, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, Texas-Arlington, and Bowling Green.  According to the interview with MLive, Grayer is considering Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, or IMG Academy in Florida.  Grayer is now the second division one caliber kid to leave Southwestern, as prior to last season, Miles Bridges, ranked by many National recruiting sites as a top 20 prospect in 2016, left to attend Huntington Prep in West Virginia.

Less than two weeks later, former Southfield Christian 2015 guard Bakari Evelyn tweeted he will play his senior year at Gilbert Christian in Arizona,  Gilbert Christian is coached by former Detroit Country Day head coach, Kurt Keener, winner of nine state titles for the Yellow Jackets, while producing NBA stars such as Chris Webber and Shane Battier.  Evelyn won three straight Class D state titles with the Eagles, and has a offer from Oakland.

On July 30th, the most surprising of the six transfers came way from Detroit Cass Tech, when class of 2017 Donnie Tillman announced via his Twitter account, he will attend the prestigious Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada next year.  Tillman was just coming off a Summer in which he received three collegiate offers, Cleveland State, Iowa State, and UNLV, and was top 5 prospect for his class in the state.

The last of the six transfers was rising senior Tariiq Jones, who will attend Deon Sander’s Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, Texas.  Jones was a integral member of Mt. Clemens district and regional championships from a year ago.  However, when head coach Jermaine Jackson was fired, and rumors of the school closing all together, it was time for Jones to move on.  Tariiq earned his first offer from Division 1 Fairfield after playing in July for 1Nation.

These student-athletes aren’t the first or the last to follow the out-of state transfer route, but what can Michigan do to prevent the mass exodus from continuing?  It’s good kids want to play against the so-called “top players in the country” on a regular basis in front of the premier college programs in America, thus why AAU and travel basketball is popular the way it is today.  However, high school ball is still important and should be valued just the same as AAU.  Michigan is heading towards a long deemed unavoidable crisis which for years has been brewing but is now just beginning to gain greater and greater attention.  If no action is done by the MHSAA to prevent transferring out of state, the once storied reputation and image of basketball in Michigan will begin to deteriorate into pieces, one transfer at a time.

Changes to Football Playoff Format?

7 Mar

What I like about the current playoff format, is that it allows every team to make the playoffs. Regardless of how bad or weak your conference is in terms of strength of schedule, all that matters at the end of the year is that you have no more than three losses. This current offseason, the MHSAA has come up with a new proposed format regarding the playoffs.

Instead of the current 6 wins and in procedure. Teams will be assigned into 8 divisions similar to that of what we have now, but at the beginning of the season. From then on, say for example a division three team, Orchard Lake St. Marys, defeats a division one team, Cass Tech. OLSM will receive 88 playoff points. And say if Cass Tech goes on to beat another division one team, such as Catholic Central, the Eaglets would continue to get 8 playoff points for every Cass Tech win.

The format is good for those in tough conferences. Such as the CHSL Central Division, where one year the league had three teams competing at Ford Field for state titles. In that league, the one team that always struggles is U of D Jesuit. U of D will now be thankful they are that league because of the amount of strong teams they play every year. On the flip side of the format, it does have some holes. The system has potentially to destruct weaker conference, the Detroit Public School League, where there are really only 4 teams a year that are competitive. They system also has the potentially to make scheduling for non-conference games more difficult, which is a well known commodity for the State of Michigan.

In the end, all that fans, players and coaches want in the playoffs is for the teams that deserve to be in get in. Why do you think you see so many early district playoff end up in blowouts? It is because of the strength of schedule. Think of how Cass Tech in 2011 the first year of their state championship. If they would have gotten one more loss, they would not have qualified for the playoffs. We would not have been able to see a defense hold four different teams in the playoffs to under 10 points. If a 4-5 team gets in over a 7-2, 6-3 teams who cares? All that matters in the end is that the deserving teams qualify.

Additional Info.

Teams also receive one point when a team it losses to wins a game.

Points one gets according to who they beat, Div.1 : 88 points; Div. 2: 80; Div. 3: 72; Div. 4: 64; Div. 5: 56; Div. 6: 48; Div. 7: 40; Div. 8: 32.


Unsigned Front Court Players

15 Feb

Unsigned Senior Front Court Players

1. Miroslav Jaskic (Walled Lake Western)- The Canadian transfer is one of the most dominant big men I have ever seen play in the MHSAA.  There is nothing he can’t do on the basketball court from a front court player perspective.  A truly offensive weapon.  He is effective in both the pick-and-roll, and the pick-and-pop.  Some reports have that Duke is looking at him.  Will attend a year of prep school after the season.

2. Kyle Steward (Cass Tech)- Kyle at times can get lost during the course of the game, but when involved he leaves his impact.  The long athletic forward knows how to crash the glass from an offensive perspective, helped by the fact he got the winning tip-in against Southeastern.  So far mid-major schools are showing interest.

3. Romondo Ray (Detroit Western)- Ray might be the rawest big man in the state.  The one thing that I like about his game is if takes a jump shot, he beats defenders who were down low in the post to the ball.  A high energy type of player.  If he finds the right coaches to tweak his game up a little bit, he could be a diamond in the rough.

4. Jerrell Martin (Detroit Community)- Martin fits the definition of a grinder.  A true workhorse on the court.  His main skill is his defensive presence in the paint.  Makes you think twice about putting the ball up.  A nice D2 prospect.

5. Rashawn Walker (Detroit Midtwon Academy)

Photos from 11/24/12 Games at Ford Field

26 Nov

Cass Tech Dynasty?

22 Nov

The thought in my mind of Cass Tech becoming a dynasty hit me when Cass beat Lake Orion in the semi-finals to go to Ford Field for the second straight year.  Last year, the Technecians man-handled CC on route to their first state championship and first in division 1 for the PSL.  Most people would say that they are not a dynasty, but there is reason to say that they are building one.  The past three seasons have been remarkable at Cass Tech.  In 2010, Cass went 9-0 in the regular season, and a city championship.  In 2011, you already know that they won the state championship.  But there is something else that must come up when a dynasty is being formed, that is the development of elite players.  Cass Tech has developed division one players like Dior Mathis, Thomas Gordon, William Campbell, not to mention a NFL player named Vernon Gholston.  It seems that Cass always has a kid ranked in the top 10 in the state.  This year it is Jourdan Lewis who is a Michigan commit and is a captain of a loaded Technician defense.  Jourdan is carrying the Cass Tech tradition of elite corners.  A tradition that has included players like the previously mentioned Dior Mathis, Delonte Hollowel, and Terry Richardson.

The most common dynasties people think of in the MHSAA are the traditional powers like a CC, a Brother Rice, a Muskegon, a East Grand Rapids, teams that seem every year to be playing at Ford Field for a championship.  Well I’ll tell you, Cass is very close to becoming one of those schools.  They have over 20 kids this year with division one interest.  It would be great for the DPS to have a team that could compete with the perennial state powers to show that they are one of the best leagues in the Michigan.

Game of the Week 10/26/12

26 Oct

My game of the week selection usually takes place on Thursday, but for this week it will happen on a Friday.  The game of the week for the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs will feature a rematch of the Prep Kickoff Classic, with Martin Luther King leaving the City of Detroit to battle the Blue Jays of Southfield High School.  If you remember the game back in August, the Crusaders had control for most of the game, but stalled in the fourth quarter due to their seven turnovers.  The defense looked very good for MLK, only allowing a total of 21 points to a team that ended up beating perennial power Farmington Hill Harrison.  Southfield’s offense is quite interesting from what we have seen from them in the years past.  Their quarterback Tre Walton, a converted wide-receiver, lines up in the pistol with a running back in a three-point stance directly behind him.  They will send a receiver in motion trying to create a triple option and try to take advantage of Walton’s running ability.  If the Crusaders find a way to figure the offense out, they will most likely have no problems winning the game.  But I am not convinced that after last weeks city championship performance, where they gave up 48 points to East English, they will be able to contain this potent Blue Jays Offense.  Who needs to stop the ball when you score 51 points?  That is what the Crusaders did last week.  Devaun Williams was flawless connecting with Mycial Allen for two touchdowns.  King also got production on special teams with Avonte returning a kickoff for 81 yards.  This game will be a shootout.  The Blue Jays will give the Crusaders a battle, but King will march on to the district final.

Southfield: 35 King: 42

Enjoy the first round everyone!

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