Tag Archives: U of D Mercy

Mayor’s Notebook: U of D Mercy Highlights

24 Jun
Rising sophomore guard Mark Watts has established himself in the 2019 class.

Rising sophomore guard Mark Watts has established himself in the 2019 class.

University of Detroit Mercy held their annual elite camp last week. It was the first under new head coach Bacari Alexander.  Coach Alexander is optimistic for what the future holds at UDM.  And while on the job for the past two months, Coach Alexander has devised a strategic, multi-phase step plan organized to the very last detail on how to reach the ambitions he has for the program.

“Well we’re on day seventy-one here,” said Bacari, “we used the first thirty days to get the roster in-order.  The second thirty days will be used to get the right staff in here and hopefully we use the last thirty days to get a strength and player development routines established. We got the corner of McNichols and Livernois jumping again. Remember the Titans.”

Standout Performers

2019 Allen Academy Mark “Rocket” Watts guard- Rocket had his improved offensive game on display.  He has clearly established himself as one of the top players in the 2019 class.  He holds an offer from Oakland while receiving interest from Xavier, Michigan State and Detroit.

2017 Ypsilanti guard Jamezell “Big Game James” Davis guard-  Standing at 5-9 ,Davis used his quickness to get to the rack and set-up his teammates all night.  He’s firmly ready to lead the Ypsi charge for Coach Brooks this upcoming Winter.

2018 Lamar Norman Godwin Heights guard- Norman was unstoppable in transition all day long.  Definitely can go get a bucket when needed.  Offers from Toledo and Ferris State.

2018 DJ Lundy Romulus forward- Playing on the same camp squad as his former Belleville teammates Davion Williams and Gabe Brown, Lundy cleaned up miss after miss and was hitting open jumpers.  It’s clear Lundy has worked on his game this summer.

2018 Jacob Boonyasith Jenison guard- Ability to knock-down the three-ball, especially playing with unfamiliar point guards, stood out. Kid can really shoot it.

2018 Jacob Polakovish forward Grand Rapids Catholic Central forward- He used his 6-7 frame to rebound the glass on both ends of the floor.  Ran the floor really well for a big.

Contributed by Al Troia

U of D Mercy Shootout Day 2

18 Jun

UnknownDay 2 News and Notes following Day Two of the U of D Mercy Team Shootout


2017 Amauri Hardy 6’0″ guard Southfield- Hardy is starting to prove himself as one of the top 2017 guard prospects in the state.  With size, speed, and strength at such a young age, Hardy is particularly hard to handle in the open floor.  With an aggressive left hand dribble and attack mentality, Amauri always looks to attack the basket and absorb contact when he gets to the lane.  He can play either guard position, and can fill it up from anywhere on the court.  With an improving consistent jump shot from the perimeter, Hardy is primed for a big July with The Family 15u.

2015 Jerald Booker 6’0″ point guard Walled Lake Western- There is no more underrated point guard in the state than Booker.  If you’re a D2 school in the GLIAC right now, you should be all over this kid.  He has a knack for taking games over when his team needs him the most.  He is dangerous both on the perimeter and in the lane, creating and taking defenders off the bounce, Booker loves driving to the hole, but his jump shot is what keeps defenders honest.  He is also an exceptional attacker of the basket for his size, and crafty finisher with either hand to go along with it.  Booker always seems to be one step ahead of the defender, reading their tendencies and attacking their weaknesses.  His size limits him a bit defensively, but can defend guards with equal physical tools and traits.

2015 Khary Fanning 6’5″ wing Southfield- Few in the state are better true athletes than Khary Fanning.  He is truly a spring machine in basketball shoes.  Fanning has exceptional hops that allow him to get off the floor quick and glide easily.  Combined with his athleticism, Fanning doesn’t shy away from contact.  When he’s not dunking on you, he’s looking for and-one opportunity going right through defender to the basket.  He can also rebound the ball well both offensively and defensively for his position.  What would make Fanning truly dangerous if he developed a consistent jump shot, at least a midrange game to keep defenders guessing whenever he gets the ball.  But with his size and strength, Khary is an interesting prospect to keep tabs on for the Class of 2015.


2016 Kamari Newman 6’2″ guard East English Village- Newman is one of the fast rising soon to be juniors in the state.  If Newman can continue his performance he had at the U of D Mercy camp, he will no doubt be in consideration for a top 5 player in the state.  With the Bulldogs starting point guard not playing, Newman was forced to handle the ball and facilitate The Ville’s offensive attack, and there where no let downs.  Known primarily as a shooter coming off screens and spotting up in the high school season, Kamari has developed a nice off-the bounce game this Spring.  Newman was able to use his length combined with ball handling to create space to to do what he does best shoot the three ball, but he was also dangerous in the mid-range game, finishing a few nice step backs on defenders to indicate the day was his.  He was also efficient running the point at times for EEVP, whipping some nice passes into the lane, and getting fellow guards involved from around the floor.

2016 Justin Turner 6’3″ point guard Detroit Renaissance- It’s hard to both the teams leading scorer and facilitate the game, but that is what Justin Turner does.  Turner is a wizard at creating his own offense, as he can both slash to the basket off the bounce and get to the lane or create space on the perimeter.  He was feeling it from the three point line all day, which kept his team alive in the championship game.  But what makes him unique is that he’s unselfish with the ball.  It feels as if he looks to create shots for others first before he does for himself.  He’s come along way as a defender on the perimeter, so there’s really nothing he can’t do on the basketball court.  Turner came away with U of D Mercy offer as soon as the camp was over.

2015 Joeviair Kennedy 6’3″ wing Muskegon- With the absence of big man Deyonta Davis, Kennedy showed that he is no slouch to be a team’s leading scorer.  He’s mid-range game really stood out, primarily off the catch from the wing and than facing up.  Kennedy also created offense for himself, slashing to the basket and using his length and agility  to finish around taller defenders.  He’s a good rebounder for his position, and is certainly beginning to play as a scholarship player as the Spring/Summer moves on.

2016 Cassius Winston 6’1″ point guard U of D Jesuit– One of the hardest to guard individually in the state regardless of class.  The game just comes so easy to him.  Winston gets around the floor so easily it looks as if the defense is in slow-motion.  His consistent three point jump shot really stood out the day, regardless of either off the catch or the bounce, its just another weapon at his disposal for a talented guard already.

2016 Jaylin McFadden 6’3″ wing East English Village- Yet another weapon for the already stacked Bulldogs, McFadden comes to EEVP via Southfield Bradford Academy.  McFadden is a high energy scoring with athleticism and length.  He did most of his damage in the paint, finishing around the rim against taller defenders.  His guard/ball skills are still developing, but at times during the day he set a high ball-screen and dove to the rim like a 6’8″ forward to perfection.  McFadden will also bring rebounding to and undersized Bulldog front line.


U of D Mercy Team Shootout Day 1

17 Jun

UnknownSummer League is what you make of it, and at the U of D Mercy Team Shootout, the two sessions revealed some indication of what this upcoming season will turn out to be for some of the top teams, and players in the state.



AM Standouts

2015 Antonio Capaldi 6’5″ wing Bishop Foley- Capaldi was one of the more versatile players at the camp.  With the ideal size for the wing, Capaldi can play and guard both guard positions as well.  He can serve as both his team’s primary scorer or facilitate and create for his teammates.  Very good rhythm shooter from the 20ft and in, just needs to see one and get his confidence up.

2015 Demarco Dickerson 6’2″ guard Detroit Loyola– Dickerson is the classic version of a combo guard.  When he has the ball in his hands, he looks to get his teammates involved from all areas of the floor.  But throughout the day, he played more of an off-the-ball role.  He likes to takes defenders off the dribble and slash to the basket, either finishing or getting to the line.  Demarco also made his presence felt on defense.  When the Bulldogs went to a half-court trap, Dickerson was at the top causing havoc for opposing ball handlers with quick hands, footwork, and length, creating steals and deflection which resulted in easy run-outs for his team.

2015 Mykel Tyson 6’6″ forward Detroit Consortium- Tyson is undersized for the power forward position, but with a big-body and workman like attitude, Mykel still finds ways the affect the game.  He’s a very physical inside presence on either side of the floor, battling for rebounds and using his size to create space.  Offensively, he has a decent touch around the basket with a left or right hand, and even ran the high-low well sometimes sealing defenders and allowing his fellow forward a wide open area to pass.  Still working on a back to the basket/post-up game.


2015 Josh Davis 6’5″ wing Detroit Henry Ford- Josh was no doubt one of if not the best players in the gym throughout the whole day regardless of AM or PM.  Davis has a reputation for being a knock-down shooter on the perimeter, as he still did, but what caught the attention of Calihan Hall was the thunderous dunks the young man provided.  One a back-door alley-oop which brought the whole court to their feet, as well as a few momentum swinging baseline dunks off the dribble.  Just another reason as to why he has seven offers currently and high major interest on the way.

2016 James Towns 5’10” point guard Detroit Henry Ford- What Towns lacks in height or weight, he makes up for with heart and gritty determination, a true competitor on the floor.  As a point guard, James is a solid decision maker on the offensive side of the floor, he can run a half-court offense efficiently, but at times can create plays an scoring opportunities individually.  Despite his size, Towns is an exceptional leaper, as he pounded one down with his dominant left-hand beating his defender off the dribble.  But where Towns likes to leave his presence felt is on defense.  He’s a lockdown defender.  In the championship game, Towns made the game winning scoop and score to give his Trojans the w, but that is not to say he did not apply ball pressure and high intensity throughout the afternoon.

2016 Devon Daniels 6’4″ guard Kalamazoo Central– Very skilled offensive player at the two guard position.  Can create his own shot off the dribble, and was primarily effective in the mid-range section of his game throughout the day.  He is the type of player that a team can run an offense through and receive quality contributions.

2015 Arlington Hambright 6’4″ forward Belleville- On a team predicated on guard play, Hambright was a pleasant surprise for the Tigers.  Hambright is undersized for his role on the team, power forward, however, his big body and high motor give opposing teams problems.  Hambright did the dirty work for Belleville, playing physical down low, rebound, and get loose balls.  What caught the attention of Hambright offensively was the times when he got the ball on the elbow, faced up, and knock-down a contested jumper on the opposing teams forward.  He didn’t just do it once, Hambright did it at least five times.  It will be interesting to track Hambright’s development as the Summer moves on and what type of player he will become by the Fall.

Bass Happy with U of D Decision

6 Aug

VG Paris Bass 1When the 2012-2013 boys basketball season for the MHSAA started in December, Birmingham Seaholm 6’7″ wing Paris Bass was not usually in the conversation regarding division one basketball prospects in the State of Michigan.  However, Bass quietly put up an excellent senior campaign, averaging a double-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, to go along with three steals, rebounds and assists respectively.  But where Paris really started to make a name for himself was competing with the 17U Michigan Warriors AAU team.   “Well it was a big part of my team getting me the ball and helping my confidence,” Paris had to say for the improvement of his game with the Michigan Warriors, “but also I started to work on my game and not just be satisfied where I was.”   Traveling through the midwest and partaking in some of the most prestigious AAU tournaments the region has to offer, Paris was exposed to division one basketball coaches in the month of July where offers started to pour in for him, and the one school that stood out to him the most was U of D Mercy.

Paris had accumulated double-digit offers during the Live Period of July, where division one college coaches may attend AAU games.  Paris eventually cut his list down to five schools including the Titans, Rhode Island, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, and Eastern Michigan before deciding on U of D Tuesday.  “Basically I feel real close and comfortable with Coach Ray [McCallum]” said Bass, “and also the staff made me feel like I was at home.”  And regarding how U of D plays, Paris is excited to get on the floor because “They play my style of basketball and I also feel I can continue to improve the program.”

Paris is a unique and versatile wing that seems to cause mis-match problems wherever he steps on the floor.  Bass is a long athletic wing, that can fill the ball up in a variety of ways, off-the bounce going to the basket, facing up from the perimeter with a jump-shot, and slashing and finding wholes in the defense from the off-guard position.  The one thing that is intriguing about Paris is that he is so tall, one would not think that he could handle the ball.  But at times this Summer  with Warriors, Paris controlled the ball like a point guard out there pushing the ball after he got a rebound on the break and finding teammates for the assist.

At the college level, Paris does not what to be labeled as just being able to play one position, “Guard, post, anything I can do to help the team.”  Paris is a late great pick-up for the Titans this time of year, and is a future star in the Horizon League.

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Notes from U of D Mercy’s Team Camp

18 Jun

Josh McFolley (2015 Mt. Clemens/Michigan Hurricanes 16U PG)- Josh showed the ability to hit threes from all sides of the court, whether they were off the dribble or of the catch. Made some nice finishes through contact in the open court. Will pair along nicely with Jermaine Jackson Jr. next year for the Bathers.

Darrell Davis (2014 Detroit Douglass/Michigan Hurricanes 17U combo guard)- Darrell was one of the more crafty players at the camp. Davis took players off the dribble to the hole with different spin moves and ball handling moves. Finished in traffic a few times and kept defenders honest with a perimeter jump shot.

Cassius Winston (2016 U of D Jesuit/ The Family 15U PG)- One of the state’s most coveted freshmen, Winston proved why he recently picked up a Michigan State offer. One thing Cassius wanted to improve on this summer was strength, and it looked like he already has. Winston a few times just bullied his way to the basket with little resistance. But what makes Cassius unique is his high basketball IQ. He made the extra pass and saw the play before the play even happened. Has all the tools to be a national recruit for the class of 2016.

Tyron Hamby (2014 Romulus Guard)- Hamby proved to be a hard nosed defender for his opponents today. Coming away with multiple steals that led to easy bucket for the Eagles. Tyron also has nice bounce and athleticism throwing down a couple highlight worthy dunks.

Miles Bridges (2016 Flint Southwestern Wing)- Just by being on the court creates match-up problems. The kid looks like a football player on the court. Bridges likes to use his physical advantage to out muscle smaller defender down low, which also helps him rebound at a high level. But put a bigger forward on him, than he will just go around him. The next star out of Flint has arrived.

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