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.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Training Camp Report - Always Elite

The core group of hoopsters that led Birmingham Detroit Country Day to a state championship and back-to-back final fours is gone and a whole new cast of players are in place for the 2011-2012 boys basketball campaign.
Don't expect to see much of, if any, drop off in the win column.
The current crop of Yellowjackets might be a bit short on experience, however there is no question they are mega talented and hungry to continue their program's legacy of success.
"This is an intriguing team," longtime Country Day head coach Kurt Keener sais."It's my most inexperienced squad ever, but it has a lot of heart, a nice mix of talent and leadership and a very high level of overall basketball IQ. There's a natural cohesiveness with this group in the locker room and on the court that would make it appear that they've all been playing together for much longer than they actually have."
Anchoring Country Day on the hardwood this winter will be Jodan Price (11 points, 5 rebounds per game in 2010-2011), a long and active wing signed with DePaul as well as the team's lone returning starter and Robert Pulekis, a 6-10 transfer from Lithuania with several Division I college scholarship offers already under his belt.
Price is one of the state's top 3-point shooters, hitting 47 percent of his shots from long distance as a junior last season. Pulekis' presence in the middle will significantly help cushion the blow from losing All-American center Amir Williams, now playing in the Big 10 at Ohio State, to graduation.
Junior Austin Price, Jodan's little brother, and sophomore Maury Diane, both D1 recruits and important reserves last year, will highlight the 'Jackets' backcourt and could easily be one of the best guard duos in Metro Detroit by the conclusion of the campaign.

The Prices' came to Country Day last fall from Indiana and like Pulekis follow a trend of high profile Yellowjackets' transfers (see Collin Dill, Da'Shonte Riley, Donovan Kirk, Ray McCallum, etc) through the years.
Senior Reid McManus, another reserve from the 2011 team and captain of the school's football team, along with sophomore Edmund Sumner, the JV squad's No. 1 player last winter, will fill out Country Day's backcourt rotation.
Big-time college football-recruit Poet Thomas (6-7 275) and Chazz Miller (6-5 240) join Pulekis in the team's frontcourt. Thomas, a junior and Miller, a senior, were both reserves on last year's final four squad as well.
Sophomore swingman Jordan Hall, a standout JV player in 2011, will also receive minutes backing up Diane and the Price brothers.
Like usual, Keener, owner of 8 state championships in his 31 years on the bench, has his Yellowjackets playing a schedule peppered with top flight matchups against traditional foes like Romulus, OL St. Mary's and Saginaw Arthur Hill.
An interesting game to keep an eye on will be a mid-season showdown with Ferndale.  Keener played his own prep hoops at Ferndale in the early 1970s alongside Eagles head coach Tom Staton.
Country Day opens the season on December 6 against Detroit Douglas in the 'Jackets' Nest.


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