Tag Archives: U of D

Western Seizes Operation Friendship 58-49 Against U of D Jesuit

7 Mar

Number one ranked Detroit Western withstood a valiant U of D Jesuit second-half charge to claim the school’s first ever Operation Friendship championship.

Trailing 41-29 with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter, Jesuit junior point guard Cassius Winston decided to do what he does best, make plays.  Winston ignited a 10-2 spurt the next two minutes to close the Cub deficit to as low as four at one point.  Winston scored 10 of team-high 27 points in the third.

“We didn’t do a good job of containing Cassius,” Western head coach Derrick McDowell said.  “We let him roam free, and let him get angles.  You got to stay flat, you can’t shade him.”

Winston’s opponent on the day but Summer AAU teammate, Brailen Neely, matched Winston’s third quarter performance with his own in the fourth.  Neely connected on two threes, and poured eight of Western’s total 13 points in the final period of regulation.  Neely finished with 15 on the afternoon.

Western was able to somewhat nullify Winston in the fourth, only two fellow Cubs scored in the stanza.  Also, no U of D Jesuit player not named Winston scored more than seven points, Cedric Mutebi and Gary Collins each had six.

The Cowboys had greater balance compared to Jesuit.  Senior and U of D Mercy commit Josh McFolley only scored five points in the second-half.  But 16 of his Cowboy-high 21 were in the opening 16 minutes.  Josh has a reputation as a elite three-point shooter, but four-five times on the day beat his man off the dribble and finished at the rim.

“Coaches told me to attack the rim,” said McFolley.  “The last couple games I felt I’ve struggled with my jump shot a little bit.”

The Cowboys have debatably the two best perimeter shooters in their respective classes on the court at the same time.  Coach McDowell likes the opportunities and flexibility to have more than one shooter on the court to challenge defenses.

“When you got McFolley (Josh) going, and then you got Brailen (Neely) going, then you got to pick you poison.”

“You’re finally seeing the flow with Josh (McFolley),” who sat the first semester, “and everybody.  Their both playing off each other.”

For as much guard talent in the game, Western 6’8″ senior center Gerald Blackshear completely dictated the interior.  A future U of D Titan, Gerald scored 14 points and hauled 16 rebounds.  The lone obstacle in Gerald’s path was 6’7″ junior Ike Eke.  Jesuit’s other big Greg Eboigboden suffered an injury with 7:04 left in the first, and left the game immediately, his probability for the playoffs is unknown.  Regardless, Blackshear was able to capitalize against U of D with just one of their 6’7″ sophomores.

“I think I was just playing harder,” Blackshear said following the game.  “They were playing pretty hard, I was just playing harder.  I wanted it more.”

Operation Friendship was re-installed following a one year absence.  Coach McDowell, winner of multiple PSL championships, last appeared in the Operation Friendship as the head man for Detroit Redford during the 2005 campaign.  The event draws teams from two distinct leagues in the Metro-Detroit area, and determines the real city champion.

“I like playing Operation Friendship,” McDowell said, “this was a good game for us.”  “I think it’s good for the Catholic League, I think it’s good for the Public League, it’s good for the city in general.”

Both U of D and Western received first-round district byes in their respective brackets.  U of D (17-3), will play the winner of Mumford/Renaissance Wednesday.  While Western (19-0) takes on the winner of Cass Tech/Pershing Wednesday as well.


U of D Jesuit Betters Consortium 62-50

17 Dec

Detroit-U-D-Jesuit-CubsUniversity of Detroit Jesuit senior guard Gary Collins knows what it takes to win.  As a junior, he helped lead the Cubs to the Breslin Center for the first time in school history.  Now as the team’s only senior in the starting lineup, he has found ways to impact not confined to the offensive end of the floor.

In U of D’s first two games of the season, Collins has had to guard the opponent’s best overall offensive player, Chicago Morgan Park’s Marcus LoVett, and East English Villages’ Kamari Newman, holding them well below their season averages.

“I put the work in in practice,” Collins said.  “I just have to be ready when the opportunity arises.”

The third game of the year for the Cubs was against defending Class C state champion Detroit Consortium.  Both teams struggled to find any rhythm to their offense, as over 20-30 combined turnovers were committed in the contest.  U of D jumped out to a 12-4 lead at the end of one, thanks to five early points from Collins.  The second quarter started by a 8-2 spurt for Consortium to cut the U of D lead down to two with 5:35 left in the half.  Junior forward Jaylen Moore added seven of his 12 points in the second stanza.  The remaining five minutes of the second would remain relatively even, U of D would lead at halftime 25-19.

However, the Cubs would gain separation from the Cougars in the beginning of the third.  A 10-2 run ignited the home crowd and forced Consortium to call a timeout.  In the third, Collins scored seven of his 14 points, while junior backcourt mate Cassius Winston had four in the third.  U of D led 42-34 entering the final quarter of play.  Consortium senior guard Larry Williams was the only bright spot in the third, his seven points brought the Cougars into striking distance mid-way through the quarter.

U of D was able to build and maintain a double digit lead in the fourth quarter, and coast the rest of the way to the victory.  The aforementioned Winston scored 14 of his game high 23 points in the final eight minutes of play, including 7-9 from the charity stripe.

Collins primarily guarded Consortium standout junior Luster Johnson, a friend he has played AAU with, and held him to 13 overall points.

“I had to step it up, simple as that.”

The Cubs lost four senior starters from last year’s semi-finalist team, the added role for Collins has meant he has had to provide senior leadership throughout much of the early season.

“Just experience,” Collins added.  “Playing last year for the whole year, first year on varsity, comes with a lot of experience and senior leadership.”

Consortium falls to 2-1 on the season, while the Cubs remain undefeated at 3-0 and will wait until Saturday to face off with out of state Jesuit rival Toledo St. Johns.


Derrick Coleman Day 1 Action

9 Dec

The second annual Derrick Coleman showcase held at Detroit Mumford saw four games of Chicago Public Schools square off against four Detroit area teams.  Last year, Chicago went three and one on the day.  This year however, the script was flipped, Michigan went 3-1.  Here’s a look at the action from the victorious Detroit teams.

King Edges Out Harlan 55-54

Coach George Ward found himself in a tough one against Chicago Harlan in his Detroit King debut.  Tied 52-52 with under thirty to go, Rakeem Beal made 1/2 free-throws to give King a one point lead.  However, on the second, senior Armani Lee came away with one of his team high 10 rebounds to send teammate Jesse Scarber to the line for two more free-throws to put MLK up three.  On Harlan’s ensuing procession, senior Michael Johnson was fouled and granted three shots.  Johnson, the team’s leading scorer with 15 points made the first two, but missed the third.

Senior Armani Lee led King with 31 points and 11 rebounds, including ten in opening quarter of action.

Western Rolls Through Marshall Behind Neely and Tinsley

Detroit Western, the state’s pre-season number three ranked team in the state, had little trouble with Chicago Marshall.  The Cowboys jumped out to a 31-12 half-time advantage, and coasted to the 64-36 victory.

Senior transfers Gerald Blackshear and Josh McFolley were ineligible to play for Western per MHSAA policy.  Regardless, Western was still able to outplay a scrappy Marshall team that went 12-12 a year ago.  Junior point guard Brailen Neely paced Western with 19 points (3 3s), four steals, and 3 assists.  Fellow 11th grade backcourt mate Armani Tinsley chipped in with 14 points and 4 rebounds..  Tinsley was primarily a rotational player in 2013, but the added opportunity to start and play extensive minutes should bode well for the Cowboys depth as the season progresses.

U of D Makes Statement in Upset of Chicago Morgan Park

Morgan Park won last season at the very same Derrick Coleman Classic, 82-69 over Detroit Pershing.  This year, the Mustangs returned with one of the top players in 2015 Marcus LoVett, whose youtube highlights have amassed millions of views.  From the beginning of the contest, the Cubs went straight at LoVett holding him to only nine first half points, after coming into the day fresh off a 32 point performance.

The Cubs led from start to finish, and held a lead at one point in the fourth quarter as large as 18.  U of D also has their own star with as much notoriety as LoVett, junior point guard Cassius Winston.  Winston started  the game strong with 11 points and five rebounds in the opening quarter, nearly 1/3 of his game high 32 points while adding 10 overall rebounds.  Aside from Winston, senior guard Gary Collins added 10 points to go along with four steals, and was primarily assigned with the task to shadow LoVett throughout the majority of the game.  While junior guard Obe Duru scored 11 points off the bench, sophomores Donatus Eke and Greg Eboigboden made their highly anticipated high school debuts.  The two combined for nine points, and hauled down ten rebounds.

Charlie Moore paced Morgan Park with 26 points, while fellow junior Jamal Burton tallied 10 points.  LoVett finished with 17 points and 4 assists.


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