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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Farming It Out

Let's take a look at a few of the top candidates for the Farmington HS boys basketball job
Jamie Thomas – Currently the high-energy girls hoops coach at WL Central, where he's injected the Vikings program with some life again, Thomas was an assistant on West Bloomfield's boys' and girls' Class A final four squads in the early-2000s so he's familiar with the OAA. He played DI ball at Western Kentucky
Ben Kelso – Veteran area head coach and current Lakeland assistant that played in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons in the 1970s and won three straight Class A state crowns at Detroit Cooley (1987, 1988, 1989), Kelso was on the bench at Waterford Kettering last year. Word on the street is that Kelso is hot for the gig.
Jon Djokai – One of the top young assistants and JV coaches in the area, everywhere this guy goes, the program wins (see league titles at Birmingham Seaholm, Bloomfield Hills and Troy Athens the past half-dozen seasons. Right now, Djokai is the JV coach and varsity assistant at Walled Lake Northern. High-character workhorse of a sideline general who knows how to relate to and develop talent.
Matt Mikel – Hometown star of the early 2000s, Mikel is a former Falcons JV coach and currently the freshmen coach and varsity assistant at North Farmington. Strong basketball mind and understanding of coaching principles. 
Mike Maryanski – Longtime area assistant and West Bloomfield head coach Jeremy Denha's No. 1 lieutenant at multiple jobs, the OC Eminem is as deserving of a shot at the top spot.
Pete MantylaAnother hometown hardwood hero, Mantyla is one of the most respected assistants in the OAA and had a good showing in his brief stint in the head coaching seat crosstown at Farmington Hill Harrison.  He's currently the JV coach and varsity assistant at North Farmington, the position he was in before taking the helm at Harrison.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

All Together Now

Burney held his first-annual boy hoops shootout over the weekend.
Here's the ALL-STAR team
Kyle Woodruff (Holly) – This kid has "Big Time" written on everything he does on the hardwood, elite shooter, honed his handles and move to the tin over the offseason
Steve Redmond-Ian Hodges (Holly) – Who needs next year?... The backcourt of the future for Bronchos Nation is pretty darn good right now
Devin Mills (Oak Park) – Just a beast in the backcourt in every way, genuine sleeper stud, defines the term explosive
Mason Vires (Oxford) – One of the most improved players in Metro Detroit, stronger, more diverse, total playmaker, not simply an ace long-ranger bomber (which believe me he still is)
Del Alexander (Oxford) – The 'D' stands for DYNAMIC with this rangy and athletic wing,
Jamal Thomas (Oxford) – One of the top underclassmen in Metro Detroit, a complete point guard with outstanding instincts, motor and court vision
Connor Elzerman (Oxford) – Has the chance to become a Wildcat 'ALL-TIME GREAT', we're talking pantheon here folks, deadeye shooter, natural scorer and leader and as clutch as they come
Nate Collins (WL Central) – Ready to erupt out of the backcourt in the KLAA this winter, pure stroke from deep, smart and tough
Joey Ziniti (RH Adams) – When you combine this kid's natural ability and athleticism with his grit, heart and determination you have one heck of a player
Richard Feagin (Southfield Christian) – The OC "Faygo Pop Man" was popping off on the comp all day long!!...fearless shooting guard with increasing versatility
Theron Pringle (Bloomfield Hills) – Could be the next BIG THING in BlackHawkLand, part of an up-and-coming cage contingent of BABY MEGA BALLERS about to set off on another memorabl era under Coach Graves
Mykel Bender (Birmingham Groves) – Raw, but MAD NICE!! A possible terror in the post

Friday, September 26, 2014

Shaking & Baking In Southfield

Southfield sophomore boys basketball studs Amuri Hardy and Michael Flowers could be the top underclassmen backcourt in the whole STATE…..YEAH I SAID IT!!
Rare talents I tell you, true gems.
I think I'm going to call these two "Shake and Bake."
The "Shake" in this equation is Hardy – a lefty floor general that has a game that is SMOOTH as silk. He already has D1 offers and is a complete workhorse. This kid's at a mode on the court that is ALWAYS as cool as the other side of my pillow and he sports a hoops IQ of a seasoned vet despite only being 15 years old.
Then we have "Bake" as in Flowers – he's an expert rifleman from downtown that can heat up like a microwave in the blink of an eye and is crafty on both sides of the ball. Coldblooded is the most accurate way to describe this young man's demeanor on the court in crunch time.
Man, Burney can't wait to see these two PRIMETIME PLAYAS balling out on the hardwood in BLUEJAYLAND in a couple months from now.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Burney's OC Football Rankings - Week 5

OC Top 10
1 Birmingham Brother Rice – Mike Roney is the best tight end you don't know about….YET!!! Him and Mr. Human Highlight Zone make up quite an underrated MAD NICE pass-catch combo
2 Clarkston – C-Town is THE PLACE to B-Town on the gridiron these days
3 Oxford – Surprise, surprise The Cats' are straight SICKNESS this fall, maybe instead of TEAM ROWLEY we should referring to O-Town as TEAM THERA-FLU
4 OL St. Mary's – The Eaglets' Pigskin Prowlers have a License to Thrill and they're using it at ALL TIMES
5 (tie) Oak Park – It's Greg Carter's world here in the OC, we're all just living in it……what did Burney tell you guys the day he took the job? I said with GC at the helm, KNIGHTS NATION became state powers immediately and I was right!
5 (tie) Southfield – Wanna know who Burney likes? The McDowell-Marshall-less D-Line in BlueJayLand, guys like Charles Harris, Aaron Turner and Aaron Cooper, among others, are really getting after it in 2014…….Just so NASTY!!
6 WL Western – He's only played four games of varsity ball, but junior quarterback Kyle Thomas has already reached SWAGGER LEVEL FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION….make a note!!
7 South Lyon – All Burney can say is WOW!!!
8 FH Harrison – Another John Herrington classic!!!
9 West Bloomfield – Welcome back Eddy Wilson, captain of the Grocery Boyz Crew, all offensive players in the OAA Red beware!!
10 Novi Detroit Catholic Central – Alex Bock is one BAD, BAD man on the football field…THAT'S A BURNEY CERTIFIED FACT

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Going To The Mat

Stoney Creek's Andrew Price will be hanging up his football cleats soon.
After this season is through, Price, one of the toughest and smartest linebackers in Oakland County's prep ranks, is done on the gridiron.
Instead, Price, also a star wrestler, has a future that lies on the mat.
The standout Cougar grappler recently committed to wrestle at the college level for Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.
This kid's a force of nature in both sports. Whether attacking ball-carriers or pinning opponents, he's a genuine playmaker, a winner to the core of his being and the Lehigh athletic program is lucky to be getting him.
Last fall, Price helped lead Stoney Creek into the postseason for the first time in six years on the football field.
During his junior campaign on the wrestling mat, he went 57-4 at the 160-poung weight class, accumulating the second-most wins in Oakland County. Finishing fourth in the state in D1, Price personally brought home league, district and regional crowns for the mantelpiece in his trophy room.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Knocking On Wood

Oh, how times are changing. And for the better if you're residing at The Horseshoe these days.
We all know Holly hoopster Kyle Woodruff aka The OC RAINMAN as an elite marksman from downtown.
But Burney's main man Kyle has been tirelessly at work in the cage laboratory cooking up some added dimensions to his already-loaded game on the hardwood.
Sprouting up to 6-foot-3, increasing his vertical and improving his handle, Woodruff is more versatile as ever and all of a sudden a terror taking it to the rack, in addition to his Cash-Money long-distance dialing which might be the best in all of Metro Detroit!!!.....Yeah I said it!!
Translation: SWAGGER LEVEL FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION and much consternation for opposing coaches and defenders
Oh, yeah not to mention a cherry on top of the already tasty college recruiting hot fudge sundae the OC Rainman was before…i.e. the scholarship offers should be stacking up to the ceiling soon.
Woodruff and his Holly running buddy Jake Daniels are a vicious 1-2 punch in the backcourt. The Bronchos aka TEAM BAYLIS will return a bulk of their 2014 rotation and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with on a statewide level when the 2015 campaign tips off in a couple months.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hooping It Up

In honor of Burney's first-annual boys basketball exposure camp (Sunday Sep 28, at Southfield Bradford Academy – day-of registration 8-10 a.m – , contact me for details or @Burneystweets on Twitter), here's a look of some fall position rankings on the OC hardwood
Top 5 Point Guards
1 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield)
2 Drew Myers (Clarkston)
3 Jerald Booker (WL Western)
4 C.J. Wilson-Jason Boswell (OL St. Mary's)
5 Devin Mills (Oak Park)
Top 5 Combo Guards
1 Jake Daniels (Holly)
2 Timmy Shayoka (Troy Athens)
3 Walter Kelser (WL Central)
4 Jonathan Radner (Berkley)
5 (tie) Spencer Littleson-Joey Ziniti (RH Adams)
5 (tie) Timmy Williams (Waterford Mott)
Top 5 Shooting Guards
1 Kyle Woodruff (Holly)
2 Nick Robak (WOLL)
3 Cameron Dalton (Bloomfield Hills)
4 Connor Elzerman (Oxford)
5 Chris Barton (AH Avondale)
Top 5 Small Forwards
1 Jeron (Buddha) Rogers (North Farmington)
2 Kevin Hayes (Birmingham Brother Rice)
3 Marlow Brown (Southfield Christian)
4 Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD)
5 Tabin Throgmorton (Clarkston)
Top 5 Power Forwards
1 Kalvon Fuller (Oak Park)
2 Freddy John (Southfield-Lathrup)
3 Nazir Wallace (Birmingham DCD)
4 Marcus Bailey (WL Western)
5 Corbin Vrinj (Troy Athens)
Top 5 Centers
1 Isaiah Green (Southfield)
2 John Van Hoef (Troy Athens)
3 John Rexroth (FH Harrison)
4 Justin Banks (Farmington)
5 (tie) Cole Chewins (Clarkston)
5 (tie) Gary Perry (MH Bishop Foley)