Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fresh From The Nest

OL St. Mary's junior hoopster Jalon Bailey is a name to watch for.
This kid is catching fire at the right time. He just keeps getting better and better.
He's got a savvy, sugary type game, like Cotton Candy (future nickname alert!!) - silky stroke, fluid style, lip-smacking good on both ends of the court.
In the CHSL quarterfinals, he had 19. On Wednesday in the Eaglets 46-43 upset of Birmingham Brother Rice in the semis, he had 15 and swung momentum for his team early in the second half with consecutive triples.
To put it mildly, Bailey is a baby beast. AKA…… can see full-fledged BEAST MODE in his near future.
Agile and active on the wing, he has a soft touch on his long and mid-range jumper and his move to the tin is fast-improving. When he gets in rhythm from outside, forget about it….he's as MONEY as Floyd Mayweather. His footwork on defense is excellent and you can see he has natural anticipation skills by the way he gets his arms into passing lanes.
In other worlds, JBailey is BALLER, soon-to-be SHOT CALLER and all-around playmaker that you need to know about it… I just told, ya!! No thanks is needed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wondering In Waterford

In the world of what could have been, Waterford Mott is a beast on the boys basketball floor this season.
Mott is actually run-of-the-mill in 2015. If they had a starting frontcourt of D'Monta Harris, Austin Sherrell and KaKaun Williams, they wouldn't be. In fact, they probably would have challenged WL Western and WL Central for a league title in the KLAA North and had a chance at a long tourney run.
Harris (6-foot-4) and Sherrell (6-foot-6 1/2) are starring for 18-0 New Haven, following a transfer to play in the MAC for their respective senior campaigns. Harris is New Haven's leading scorer, excelling on the wing. The long, lanky and athletic Sherrell messed around and had a triple-double Tuesday night in an 84-78 win over Warren Lincoln (10 points, 10 boards, 10 dimes).
Last season, Harris was Mott's top scoring threat in the frontcourt. Sherrell started at center.
Williams (6-foot-4), the leading scorer and rebounder crosstown at Kettering in 2014, played one game for Mott this year before parting ways with the program. He broke the rim on a dunk in a preseason scrimmage.
What if all three were clicking on all cylinders in 2015 for TEAM JAYSON? Combine them with guys like Timmy Williams and DeMarquis Simmonton in the backcourt and you've got quite a contender.
Kinda crazy to think about, right?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pride, Passion & Poise

Berkley's boys hoop squad and its' star Jonathan Radner are playing some impassioned basketball right now. Radner, headed to play in college at Syracuse (preferred walk-on) and Oakland County's leading scorer last year as a junior, lost his dad Rick late last month.
The passing of the team's biggest fan (Rick never missed a game) seems to have galvanized the Bears. They're playing darn good down the stretch. Their danger level is at James Bond villain-status and getting more wicked and wild by the game.
Growling like a grizzly, the Bears have won six of their last seven contests. On Monday, TEAM BIG MAC pushed their record over the .500 mark, improving to 9-8 on the season with a 65-56 defeat of BH Cranbrook.
Senior point guard "Jitterbug Junction" aka Jerome Cobb touched up the twine for a game-high 21 points, while the MAD RAD BOMBER went for a double-double on the Cranes, scoring 11 and dishing 10 dimes and "Clever" Connor McKelvey posted one too, scoring 11 and snaring 10 boards.
Noah Witus is a genuine SIR-GRIND-A-LOT SPECIAL on the wing and the best kind, the kind that can drop a 20-ball in your lap on any given night – see last week's 28-point effort.
My man Mad Rad Senior is smiling down from above, no doubt, basking in Berkley's grit and resilience. Wouldn't want to face this Bears cage crew come March....just saying!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Burney's Boys BBall Rankings - Home Stretch

OC Top 10
1 Clarkston – PERRRRRRRRRRRRRRFECT!!!.....'Nuff said!!
2 North Farmington – Back in gear, back at No. 2….all is right with the world now
3 WL Western – Book it, Jerald Booker is MVP of the KLAA North!!!
4 West Bloomfield – Lakeshow junior point guard Trishton "ACTION" Jackson showing why he's the best player in the OC by sticking a 35-point spot on a beleaguered Bloomfield Hills over the weekend…….my man Action just keeps
5 Birmingham Brother Rice – Calihan is calling, boyz!!  See ya there Sunday!!
6 WL Central – Transfer junior forward Anton Lukaj (West Bloomfield) recently reached SWAGGER LEVEL THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION with his Viking Hoop Voodoo…..please spread the word!!
7 (tie) AH Avondale – Darius Woods is a mini Brandon Jennings….Yeah, I said it!!
7 (tie) Holly – All Hail the Flint Metro Champs!!!.....AGAIN!!
8 Oak Park – Man, has AD and football sideline guru Greg Carter done an amazing job stabilizing what was an about-to-rage-out-of-control situation in the basketball program or what?  
9 RH Adams – Just so many ace marksmen gunning from downtown for TEAM HALL they must hold practice at a shooting range….splish, splash!!
10 Pontiac – 'Yaktown Pride has returned on the hardwood….catch the fever!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Better Than The Mailman

New UofM head football coach Jim Harbaugh delivered scholarship offers to two of the OC's top junior prep grid prospects in Southfield's Matt Falcon and Farmington's Dez Fitzpatrick last week.
Falcon is a versatile tailback with sprinter speed. He has over a dozen major DI offers, including bids from the Maize&Blue, Oho State, Iowa, Northwestern, N.C. State, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt.
Fitzpatrick is a fundamentally sound, big-play wide receiver who is already committed to Louisville. Don't be surprised if Fantastic FITZY is inking with Team Harbaugh next winter. Can you imagine a UofM aerial assault in a few years from now piloted by Alex Malzone (Brother Rice) and featuring Fitzpatrick, Maurice "Mo Money" Ways (Detroit Country Day) and Grant Perry (Brother Rice) stretching the field.....are you kidding me....Burney would be in Big House Heaven!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oh, My These Ladies Can Hoop

Who needs a five-year plan? A four-year plan is better, don't you think?
The O-Town Reclamation Project is complete.  Spread the word!
Sideline maestro Steve Emert has officially turned the Oxford girls basketball team completely around in his fourth season captaining the pine.
On Thursday, the Wildcats won the program won its first league crown in over a dozen years (14 to be exact) with a trouncing of Troy.
I knew once Emert got on the bench at Oxford, it was only a matter of when not if the 'Cats would start growling again. And man, do they flash some mighty ferocious fangs in 2015. Tea,m EMERT aka the O-Town Lady Cager Crew is 14-0 and ran the table in the OAA White, putting together a perfect 8-0 league mark.
The 'Cats are bountiful in the balance department.
Senior captains Jessica Murphy (Wayne St) and Cheryl Benas (Lawrence Tech) anchor the perimeter and junior center Sky Donaldson fuels Oxford in the paint. Murphy is as explosive on the wing offensively as any player in the state....YEAH, I SAID IT!! She dropped a 25-spot vs. Troy....that's what she does, she makes sweet, sweet net music, like recording-contract and American Idol sweet. Benas is the ultimate pace setter at the point and Donaldson is one of the most improved post presences in the area. Emert came out of retirement to helm the Oxford girls program, years removed from guiding both the boys and girls clubs at WL Central in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sad State of Affairs

It's hard to watch what is the painful downfall of one of the greatest prep-hoop dynasties the state of Michigan ever saw.
To say former national high school cage power Birmingham Detroit Country Day is a shadow of its former self on the boys hardwood would be the understatement of the New Millennium.
The cavernous drop-off in the program once led by the OC ZEN MASTER himself, Kurt Keener (departed for Arizona in 2013 after taking the 'Jackets to 8 state titles in three and a half decades on the bench while mentoring tons of Division I college players on and off the court), happened lightning quick and isn't at all the fault of Keener's successor Mark Bray.
This was an untenable situation. However, Bray is out in front taking the brunt of this cataclysmic storm, as we've witnessed a team who just two years ago could go toe-to-toe with literally any club in the country and just yesterday got completely dismantled and embarrassed in a 30-point blowout loss to a very average Orchard Lake St. Mary's squad.
DCD will finish below the .500 mark for the first time since I can remember this winter and tragically I am of the opinion that this is what the school itself wanted and why Keener is no longer there. They resented being known as a "basketball school" and want to be known as an elite academic school - why it can't be both, like it had been since the 1980s, I'm not quite sure.