As my mind wanders during this championship Friday at the Breslin Center on the campus of MSU:
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL AND FINAL FOURS OF ANY KIND IN GENERAL ARE AWESOME WITH A CAPITAL 'A', BABY!!
The word that best describes Ann Arbor Huron's full-court zone press, DESTRUCTIVE. Wow, do the River Rats run North Farmington head coach Todd Negoshian's defensive scheme to perfection. A couple more adjectives to describe Huron's defensive effort in its 76-64 win against Southfield in a Class A semi-final: menacing, stifling, frenetic, fast-paced, overwhelmingly-frustrating (just ask Carlton Brundidge and Pee Wee Barnes), havoc-causing, and most importantly MAD EFFECTIVE.
It's an outright travesty of epic proportions that DCD's Ray McCallum finished fourth in the voting for the state's 2010 Mr. Basketball Award. REALLY? Ray McCallum is the fourth best player in the state? There couldn't be a more absurd statement made in any sports or non-sports related vote this year than the one that sent this kid's dream of equaling his dad's accomplishment (Ray, Sr. won the award as a prepster in Indiana back in the late-70's) crashing to the ground. Whoever voted in that poll should be ashamed of themselves. Oh, yeah, and just to shove it in their face, I personally guarantee that "Big Play" Ray is going to lead the Yellowjackets to the state title on Saturday night. He scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out six dimes in his team's outright 72-47 stomping of Musekgon Heights in the semi's on Friday, including 10 in the pivotal third quarter which saw the 'Jackets run away with the game. THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND (and this is with great admiration, respect, and love for Keith Appling's game) THAT RAY MCCALLUM, JR IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE STATE BAR NONE!
I commend Southfield for its ability to withstand the onslaught that was that vicious AA Huron trapping 'D' and keep battling through the aggravation to cut its once 22 point deficit to just six with less than 2 minutes to play. What about the play of DCD reserve guard Adam Zavadil on Friday? Since recently breaking into the playing rotation after starting the season on JV, Zavadil, a junior, has been giving solid contributions off the bench for coach Keener whenever he's been called upon to do so. And in the Final Four against Muskegon Heights, it was no different. Zavadil netted a season-high 8 points and played with passion, energy, and aggressiveness every time he made it on the floor.
STAT OF THE DAY – The Keener Kage Krew….er…..the Birmingham Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets have won their seven state tournament games by an average of 26.5 points per game. No disrespect to Kalamazoo Central's all-state wingman, Devin Oliver (Dayton), but I personally like his teammate, T.J. Buchanan better as an all-around ball player. Oliver scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards in his squad's 68-49 drubbing of Detroit Denby in the other Class A semi, but I swear it could have been the quietest double-double in a big time game I have ever witnessed. Buchanan put up a game-high 24 points, to go along with six rebounds, and four assists.
DCD big fellas, Amir "The Big Dandy" Williams continued getting his mad hoop on through the state tourney in his team's beat down of Muskegon Heights on Friday by collecting another double-double (this guy stacks double-doubles like their cheeseburgers and his name is former Kansas head football coach Mark Mangino) of 11 points and 16 rebounds. He also added 6 blocked shots to go with his highly-proficient outing and once again displayed the type of aptitude in his game that has college recruiters from across the nation salivating at the thought of bringing him onto their respective campuses in the fall of 2011.