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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - WL Northern

Not many prep hoop squads in the area have made the leaps-and-bounds improvement on the hardwood that the boys basketball team at Walled Lake Northern has over the past few years under head coach Ron Thompson.
Buoyed and inspired by Thompson's leadership on the bench, the Knights have gone from nobodies to somebodies in the race for the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division.
This winter should be no different.
Primarily because Northern's cage attack is spearheaded by one of the best players in Oakland County in senior forward Gage Throgmorton, a 6-foot-6 offensive machine with a butter soft touch from beyond the arc and a winning attitude.
Freshman Tabin Throgmorton, Gage's little brother, is slated for significant minutes this season, too. Like his elder sibling, Tabin can bomb away from deep and find his way to the free throw line with a crafty offensive arsenal.
Heady senior Logan Wright will be the Knights' point guard and hard-nosed juniors Trent Landsaw and Brennan Williams will pace Northern in the post. Jake Ginster, an all-league football player who missed last season with an injury, will be a Mr. Do-it-all, for the Knights and could wind up being an X-factor in the rotation.
Sophomores Chris Cliff and Isaac Savage are expected to make sizeable contributions as well, both bringing athleticism and a high basketball IQ.
"We have a nice mix of players, guys that compliment each other well on the court," said Thompson of his season outlook. "Overall, they're a great group of shooters and they all know the game inside and out. Obviously, we have Gage, whose just a beast, but we've got balance and more than one guy that can hurt you if you let them."
Thompson and the Knights open the season next Tuesday against Northville.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - S'field Christian

Don't expect much of a drop-off in production from the defending Class D state champion Southfield Christian boys basketball team in 2013.
The Eagles will be flying high once again and still has a good chance at being the best small-school squad in Metro Detroit.
The battle-tested backcourt of sophomore Bakari Evelyn and junior Lindsey Hunter IV are the top two returners for second-year head coach Josh Baker's squad.
Evelyn is one of the most lethal point guards in the state regardless of school-size and Hunter IV is a proven scorer, averaging double-digits in the scorebook last season as a sophomore.
Transfers DeMarco White (Southgate Anderson) and Blake Washington (Birmingham Brother Rice) will be big impact additions in the frontcourt. White is 6-foot-7, long and jumps out of the gym. He will provide major match-up problems in Class D ball and could dominate around the rim. Once he becomes eligible in January, Washington will slot in the Eagles lineup at the small forward spot.
Fab freshman Marlow Brown, a crafty 6-foot-4 combo guard, will be hard to handle as well and along with Evelyn signifies a blazing hot future for the program.
Ben Cookingham, Kameron Garner and Christian Bankston, reserves on last season's state-title team, are back in the mix and are all reliable and spunky role players. Bankston is the team's only senior on the roster.
"We're young, we only have one senior, so we might take a few lumps early on, but we have a shot to be a pretty tough ball club by the end of the year," Baker said. "The first part of the season will be a learning process. But I'm confident these guys will be up to the task to get better and keep working hard until we work out all the kinks."
In Baker's first season on the bench last season, the Eagles never lost to another Class D team en route to the state crown. Their only two defeats of the year came to Class A Southfield and Class B Birmingham Detroit Country Day.
This winter Baker has loaded his schedule with powerhouse opponents, like Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Southfield-Lathrup, Walled Lake Western, Country Day and Detroit Community.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - Oak Park

Oak Park could be one of the biggest surprises on the local prep boys basketball scene this year returning the majority of last season's team that finished strong and made waves in the tournament.
The Knights have depth, experience, leadership and lots of athleticism and playmaking on the perimeter.
Second-year head coach Alonso Littlejohn has the program headed in the right direction.
"We're making big strides every time we hit the court," the longtime sideline general said. "We've improved vastly since the middle of last year and the best thing about this group of players is that they're eager to keep pushing forward and they're ready to put in the work to do it."
Many pundits have Oak Park pegged as the darkhorse in the race for the OAA White title.
There's good reason.
Led by a crew of 10 rock-em-sock-em seniors, the Knights can hurt opponents all throughout its vast rotation.
Charles Mason, Brian Williams and Kenny Lockhart, a trifecta of talented and tough-minded wings will form the core of the Oak Park hardwood attack.
Mason is the Knights' motor and the offense will go through him. He has a chance at making first-team all-league.
Williams is the squad's emotional leader and a finisher in the half-court set or on the fastbreak and Lockhart is a slasher-shooter combo with a nose for the bottom of the net.
Fellow seniors Storm Hudson, Josh Friday, Stephon Williams, Antoine Jones, James Hughes, Davion Hayes and Tyler Brown, as well as juniors Demetrius Gassaway, De Mariea Freeman, Antonio Davis and Demarcus Wilson will all see time on the floor for Oak Park this year.
Jones is the team's top post threat and Hudson is the Knights' most accurate 3-point assassin. Any number of Knights' guards have a chance to have breakout campaigns in the backcourt.
Brian Williams (WR), Hudson (S) and Friday (WR) all starred on the Knights league and district-champion football team back in the fall.
Last year, Oak Park went 10-12, pulling an upset of Southfield-Lathrup in the districts.

Monday, November 26, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - Holly

The Horseshoe will be a rocking for the foreseeable future.
Holly's boys basketball team, which plays in the famed Horseshoe gymnasium, is loaded with young and hungry talent. Add that with some key fast-improving upperclassmen and the Holly Hoop Contingent is set to be a force to be reckoned with again on the local high school hardwood this winter.
Coming off a 15-6 campaign last season, the Bronchos have a crew of underclassmen that is one of the best in the area.  
Super Sophs Isaac Casillas, Parker Rowse, Mogan Baylis and Josh Simms and Fab Frosh Kyle Woodruff and Adam Tooley will lead head coach Lance Baylis' baller brigade into battle this year, flanked by nails-tough seniors like Mike Alexander, Justice Kerner and Cannon Konzer and hard-working junior Logan Spiker.
Casillas is a go-to scorer in the making, as is Simms, the program's JV MVP last. Baylis is a typical coach's son, a crafty combo guard and gym rat type that is dependable in a pinch. Rowse is a quickly-emerging standout in the backcourt, setting the tempo for the squad on both ends of the floor from his floor general spot. Woodruff is a natural sharpshooter that will probably be one of his league's top 3-point bombers as only a ninth-grader.
Alexander is the quintessential 'program guy' a lankly lefty forward that could do a little bit of everything out there. Spiker (6-5) and Konzer (6-5) will anchor the post for the Bronchos. Over the summer, Spiker hit the weight room, trimmed off some baby fat and is in peak shape. Konzer is a smart player and natural athlete that could wind up his team's MIP and make the most significant surprise impact on the season. Kerner, a gritty slasher, will spell Casillas, Rowse, Simms and Baylis in the guard rotation, while Tooley, a grinder who started at linebacker on the school's varsity football team, will see time in the frontcourt beside Alexander, Spiker and Konzer.
This will be the first year in eight seasons that a member of the Hopkin or Fowler family won't be in the Bronchos lineup.
"I expect this to be a bit of a transition year in the fact that we don't have a lot of the traditional Holly basketball names in uniform anymore," Baylis said. "These guys are going to have to prove themselves as commodities and make other teams respect them with their play and their attitude. I think they're going to do it and judging by how great our offseason was and how awesome are practices lately have been going, I think we have a bright future around here. I have no doubt in my mind you're going to see a nice portion of that future right off the bat this year."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - RH Adams

Rochester Adams is fixing to be quite formidable on the prep boys basketball floor this winter.
Expect the Highlanders to be right in the thick of things when the OAA White title is decided come a few months from now.
At the top of the Adams lineup this year is junior point guard Akhemji Williams and senior forward Zack Littleson.
Williams is a fire-igniter in the backcourt going into his third year as a starter and will certainly be one of the top floor generals and overall playmakers in Metro Detroit. The highlight reel is always in full motion with Williams doing his things on the court.
Littleson is a dangerous 6-foot-4 wing who has made marked improvement in his game in each of the past two offseasons. Him and Williams have great chemistry and can out-think opponents in a variety of two-man sets.
Andrew McBride, C.J. Borglin, Jack Twitty and Ben Limb will all be making significant contributions to the Highlanders hoop squad. McBride is a tough-as-nails shooting guard that will be the team's best perimeter defender and can keep defenses honest by sinking the open jumper. Borglin, Twitty and Limb each fit in nicely next to Littleson in the frontcourt and do all the little things that make it possible for the Highlanders star performers to hog the majority of the headlines.
Head coach John Hall is confident in his cage crew this season.
"I really like this team," he said. "We're senior dominant and looking good in practice so far. These guys have grown up together and have a lot of cohesion in the way the play as a unit. They've learned to known how to challenge each other out there in order to get the most out of their overall abilities. Hopefully we'll hit the ground running when we tip off our schedule in a couple of weeks."
Last season, Adams finished in second place in the White, making a furious late-year push to force a final-game take-all throwdown with Troy. Two years ago, the Highlanders made a memorable run into the Class A Sweet 16, taking home a district title and bouncing a heavily-favored Pontiac team in the regionals.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Everybody's Talking

It was a great 24 hours to be a Birmingham Brother Rice Warrior on Friday, as the school's football program raised a ninth state championship trophy with a thrilling 35-28 victory over Muskegon in the D2 state finals.
Let's take a look at some of the Warriors players' thoughts throughout the day via their tweets:
"Knowing you're getting your pads together for the last time this year is a crazy feeling – Alberto Sandoval (DL)
"I've watched countless hours of film, mentally prepared, visualized everything I will see on the field and now I'm ready for the game of my life" – Jonny Reschke (LB)
"I want this game so bad!!!" – Alex Malzone (QB)
"It still hasn't hit me…I love my teammates so much" – Anthony Dalimonte (CB)
"I love my team, I love my school!!!" – Jonny Reschke
 "We did it!!!" – Kyle Marsh (OL)
"I was raised to win….it's in my blood" – Lucas Cherocci (LB)
 "Words can't describe how blessed I am" – Chris Carter (S)
"The hotter the fire, the harder the steel" – Dominic Perkovic (DL)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day Watchers

A few names from the OC prep gridiron scene to watch out for this Thanksgiving weekend out at Ford Field in the MHSAA state football finals;
Sergio Perkovic (Birmingham Brother Rice) – Turning into quite the two-way TERROR the past two games….we already knew my boy Perk was a filthy presence on the defensive line, but recently he's displaying knockout skills on offense, catching three touchdowns in the past two games – the first three scoring-grabs of his career. Gronknation? What about PERKNATION?
Tristan Wiegers & Jacob Hill (Birmingham DCD) – Everyone knows about Moe Ways, the 'Jackets No. 1 receiver, however, the team's other options in the passing game in Wiegers and Hill are VERY DANGEROUS, too. These two define the term 'FEAR THE STING'
Brandon Malinowski (Novi Detroit Catholic Central) – Quietly putting together a very strong season at linebacker…..Note to Cass Tech; prepare to experience some MAL-Nutrition!!
Tyson Smith (Orchard Lake St. Mary's) – This sizzling super sophomore could give Muskegon fits whether at both the safety and wide out spots……Mr. Smith is about to go to the SHIP!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - WL Western

The expectations were probably a tad too high last year for the Walled Lake Western boys basketball team.
That said, under first-year head coach Ra'Redding Murray, the Warriors did double their win-total from the 2011 season, finishing the 2012 campaign hovering around the .500 mark.
This year, with a season of Murray's system under its belt, the Western hoop crew should be ready to take a big step forward.
Seniors Miroslav Jaksik and Korey Wade will head the charge for the Warriors on the hardwood, making up one of the best inside-outside duos in the area. Wade is a playmaking combo guard entering his fourth year on the Western varsity. At 6-11, Jaksik is a D1 recruit with a refined skill set in the paint and out on the perimeter. Following a season of getting acclimated to the American prep game, he could be in for a huge season in the stat column.
A stacked sophomore class will fill in most of the spots around Jaksik and Wade in the Warriors' rotation. The best of the bunch is Jerayld Booker, set to assume floor general duties for the squad and the MVP of the JV team last season as a freshman. The athletic and aggressive Marcus Bailey - a rising football star in the offseason - will flank Jaksik on the block and John Flowers will join Wade and Booker in what could turn into a much-feared 3-guard lineup in the Western backcourt. Demond Young (G) and Anthony Harris (F) will be a pair of Murray's top reserves.
Senior Bryan Matacen, a solid and smart reserve cage general, will spell Booker at the point guard spot and junior David Walczyk is a grinder that will help out patrolling the paint and might wind up leading the team in floor burns.
"The goal is to just keep growing as a program," said Murray, who took Detroit Crockett to the final four back in the early 2000s. "We're moving in the right direction and that's all I can ask for. I think we understand how to prepare better then maybe we did last season. These guys like being in the gym and are all hard-workers. They work well together as a unit and they are hungry for success. The pieces are in place."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - BH Lahser

The final year of the Bloomfield Hills Lahser Knights boys basketball team should be a pretty memorable one.
Defending league and district champions, the Knights have the chance to be one of the best hoop squads in the area this winter before merging with Andover next year to become the Bloomfield Hills Blackhawks.
The mega-talented junior trio of Yante Maten, Armand Cartwright and Khalil Gracey return to lead Lahser into battle this season. Maten is a 6-foot-8 monster in the paint and the top post player in Oakland County. Cartwright is the Knights' point guard and pacesetter, a heady backcourt general with added hops to his game who is just as deadly scoring the rock as distributing it. The sleeper of the group is Gracey, a super-smooth 6-5 wing with a quick first step to the rack and a master stroke from both midrange and outside. After a banner sophomore campaign, Gracey is ready to erupt this winter.
Seniors Martez Jones, Andrew Gikas and Kyle Riley and junior Xavier Reynolds will be the Knights' other major components in their quest for repeat crowns in 2013.
Jones is a do-it-all shooting guard, while Gikas and Riley are gritty forwards set to help Maten anchor a tough-as-nails Lahser frontcourt. Gikas will most likely be playing football at the D1 level in college. Riley moonlights as a star pitcher on the baseball diamond.
Reynolds is a steady back-up for Cartwright and Jones in the backcourt and a boost of energy off the bench.
Corralling a title in the OAA Gold last year, head coach Duane Graves – entering his third season on the sidelines – and his Knights move up to the OAA Blue Division this winter and will compete against Birmingham Seaholm, Farmington Hills Harrison, Farmington, Lake Orion and Berkley for first-place bragging rights.
"These guys are motivated and love to work hard," said Graves of his team. "We have one more year of experience under our belt to learn from and that's going to help us a lot going into our new division. I think everybody is excited about the challenge that awaits us and the prospect of what we might be able to accomplish this year."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five For Fighting - Just Doing It

FIVE FOR FIGHTING – The Best outings on the OC prep gridiron Saturday afternoon in the Final Four
1 Jonny Malone (Novi Detroit CC) – The senior WR-DB went all NEON DEION circa 1995 with the Cowboys, catching a touchdown, returning a kickoff to the house and snatching an crucial INT in the Shamrocks' 35-6 throttling of Rockford…….Can you say PRIMETIME PLAYER?
2 Grant Niemiec (OL St. Mary's) – One of the classiest acts around in the state's high school sports scene, Niemiec became the Eaglets all-time single-season rushing leader by going for 181 yards and two touchdowns in St. Mary's 28-7 downing of Battle Creek Harper Creek. All this kid does is WIN and GRIND and then WIN some more!!!!
3 Brian Walker-Shon Powell (Birmingham Brother Rice) – This electrifying tailback tandem is killing the comp lately, showing why they are both Class of 2014 D1 college prospects; Powell went for 105 yards and a touchdown while Walker had 155 all-purpose yards and a score in the Warriors 31-3 walloping of Wyandotte Roosevelt. Can you say DOUBLE TROUBLE?
4 Chris Carter (Birmingham Brother Rice) – The junior safety was in ED REED mode on Saturday in the Warriors gridiron whipping of their downriver foes, making a game-high 13 tackles, to go along with a vicious quarterback sack in the second half on a blitz where he went straight up the middle and smothered Roosevelt field general Kevin Matejko
5 CC 'D' – Limited state-power Rockford to a paltry 6 points the entire way in the Shamrocks win….'NUFF SAID!!!! WAR Team Mach TRUCK!!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - Rochester

Rochester's boys basketball program was betrothed a glorious gift from the basketball gods this past offseason.
His name is James Young and he's the best prep hoopster in the entire state of Michigan.
Recently signed with Kentucky for his college hoops, the 6-6 ½ swingman is an astoundingly well-rounded talent and considered the No. 5 prospect in the whole United States by ESPN.
Transferring to Rochester late this summer from Troy, his arrival makes the Falcons automatic contenders for a long run this upcoming season.
"Obviously, it was pretty exciting news," said Rochester head coach John Pleasant of learning of Young's enrollment back in August. "James is a rare talent and I'm sure he's going to help us a lot."
Not that Pleasant and his program needs much help. They've been doing pretty darn well in their own right the past couple campaigns.
Rochester is coming off back-to-back OAA league titles, but still looking for the program's first district championship in over two decades.
Senior center Arben Carmaj will probably benefit most from Young's presence in the lineup. Carmaj, a 6-foot-7 workhorse with good footwork in the paint and a silky-soft touch around the rim made big strides last season and has the potential to explode this winter with defenses so preoccupied with his brand new superstar teammate.
Along with Carmaj, senior forward Manny Mendoza, an athletic 6-foot-2 wing, is returning to reclaim his role as one of the area's best perimeter defenders and sparkplug junior point guard Jason Lee, entering his third year on varsity, is ready to assume starting floor general duties after two seasons in a reserve capacity.
Junior Mike Murri, another back-up last season, will take on more responsibility this year as well. He had a very productive summer and can keep opposing defenses honest with his steady shot from the outside.
Dametrius Magee, the JV's top player last season, has a good chance at being the breakout star of the year for the Falcons. He'll split time coming off the bench and starting and is a force to be reckoned with in the open floor.
"We have some expectations now that we didn't have a few months ago and these guys know that," said Pleasant on his outlook on the upcoming campaign. "I think they'll be up to the task."

Friday, November 16, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - Waterford Mott

Waterford Mott will be hard to handle once again on the boys basketball court this winter, looking to defend its league and district titles from last year.
Heading the Corsairs quest for a pair of repeat championships will be all-league senior point guard Khalil Malone, one of the top playmakers in the area. Malone has added about 10 pounds of muscle and improved his outside shot.
"We're going to put a lot on Khalil's shoulders this season," said Mott head coach Jeff Jayson, entering his second year at the helm of the program. "I know he's ready for it and I think he'll have a great season for us."
Quincy Norman, a high-profile 6-foot-7 transfer from Detroit Renaissance, will be holding down things in the paint for the Corsairs and will certainly prove a match-up problem for many opponents in league play.
Senior guards Michael Haggerman and Juwaan Mourad were key reserves last season and will both be asked to step in and fill more primary roles in the team's offense. Mourad is a spry and a pesky defender with a nice mid-range game, while Haggerman is a spunky perimeter threat who has nifty lefty stroke from downtown.
Hard-working Devin Maddox-Nalls will start in the frontcourt alongside Norman. They will get help patrolling the paint from returning sixth-man Justice Bolling, a heady forward and 6-foot-8 transfer Cam Williams (Auburn Hills Avondale), a skyscraper with a positive attitude and a significant wingspan.
Junior sharpshooter Billy McDonald, a JV call-up, will help Malone and Haggerman bust zones with his sniper skills.
"The talent is there on this team, it will all come down to how we gel as a group," said Jayson of his outlook on the upcoming campaign.
The season-opener for Jayson and the Corsairs is no small undertaking – Mott tips off its schedule against Oakland County cage superpower Clarkston.
Most experts consider the Corsairs pre-season favorites to win a second Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division crown.

BBall Training Camp Report - Bishop Foley

There's a new lineup in place on the boys basketball court at Madison Heights Bishop Foley this year.
Former Ventures stars Corey Green (North Georgia), Mike Oravetz (Kalamazoo College) and Max Aleshire (Rochester College), the core of back-to-back Catholic League title teams, have graduated.
Stepping up to fill the bill and become the new leaders of the Bishop Foley baller squad will be sophomore sensation Gary Perry and rock-solid senior point guard DeAndre Jackson.
Perry is a quickly-improving, long and athletic 6-foot-6 big fella that has a number of D1 colleges already recruiting him. He was a reserve on last year's team and after a very good summer on the AAU circuit, he's ready to blossom into a menace on the hardwood in the paint.
Jackson has been a valued backcourt threat for the Ventures the last two seasons, but he will now become the engine the drives the entire program, a responsibility he's more than ready to take on and thrive in.
A lightning-quick and hard-nosed floor general, Jackson has an excellent chance to become one of the CHSL's best lead guards this winter. Seeing spot duty in the team's first five since he was a sophomore, he has two dozen starts under his belt.
Juniors Tony Kameicek, Nick Gwisdalla and Jimmy Paprocki will slot in beside Perry and Jackson in the Venture's starting lineup. Kameicek is set to replace Aleshire as the team's resident bomber and has been impressive shooting the ball from long range all offseason. Gwisdalla is a 6-foot-3 lefty gunner with a savvy style of game at the small forward spot and Paprocki is a 6-foot-7 grinder in the post that will team with Perry to give Bishop Foley a rough and rugged frontcourt with extreme size for its league.
Steve Carey and Craigen Oster will be two of the Ventures' top reserves, with Carey spelling Perry and Paprocki in the paint and Oster injecting the backcourt with energy off the bench.
"We're going to be young, but I think we'll have the size, length and depth to make up for our lack of experience," said Bishop Foley head coach Marc West, who has guided the Ventures to six straight district titles entering the current campaign. "It will be a growing process. I'm eager to see these guys develop."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - Lakeland

Lakeland High School's boys basketball team could be the sleeper special of the year in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association this winter.
The Eagles are young, hungry and have the potential to be quite good.
Head coach Bob Brugger hopes that his program has turned the corner after a few down years and is on the verge of returning to its once-prominent stature in the KLAA – Brugger's 2007, 2008 and 2009 teams were some of the best in all of Oakland County, not just in their conference.
"We've taken out lumps, but in that, we've built for the future," said Brugger of the program's recent slip. "I think the future can be very bright. Everyone's ready to get things back on the right track."
The biggest reason for such optimism surrounding Lakeland's future on the prep hardwood is junior forward Nick Troxell, an explosive presence on the wing ready to pick back up where he left off as a sophomore when he was lighting it up in the stat column and showing his knack for finding the bottom of the hoop in the most efficient and entertaining ways. Troxell was the only tenth-grader in all of the KLAA to be named first-team all-conference last season and will be in the discussion for conference MVP this year.
Rounding out the starting five for the Eagles will be junior Brad Govan and sophomores Timmy Brotherton, Luke Ells and Grant Osborn, all three of which got experience on the varsity last season as freshman.
Govan is a gritty post player with a solid set of moves in the paint and a motor that never stops. He will be the squad's emotional leader in the huddle and display a game-by-game toughness that will hopefully be contagious.
Brotherton is the floor general and a fast-emerging pace-setter with a high basketball IQ and a demeanor on the court that exceeds his young age.
Ells is a deadeye shooter and Osborn an ace defender with slashing ability and a nice mid-range game.
The squad's sixth-man will be junior Ross Heiman, the school's quarterback on the football team. Heiman is a do-everything type that would start on a lot of other teams and is sure to bring an x-factor mentality off the bench.
"This is a group that's ready to bring the pride back to this program," Brugger said. "These are kids with great character and a superior work ethic and I think there's a lot of exciting things ahead for them and this team in the future."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BBall Training Camp Report - N. Farmington

Basketball fans around the world already know about the Miami Heat's 'Big 3' of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and the Boston Celtic's former 'Big 3' of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
They both won NBA World Championships.
Now comes the new breed.
This upcoming prep season hoop heads from around Oakland County are going to get to know North Farmington's new 'Big 3' of Caleb Hogans, Sterling Sharp and Jeron (Buddha) Rogers, up close and personal on the boys high school hardwood. That's because they'll be three of the best players in the area, leading a Raiders' cage crew that should be a tough team to handle
Second-year head coach Todd Negoshian is coming off a 14-8 campaign last season and he's sure to have RAIDERSNATION back in the mix for bragging rights in the OAA Red this winter.
Senior co-captains, Hogans and Sharp are both going into their third year as starters and make up a tantalizing perimeter tandem. Hogans is a crafty floor general that can equally hurt teams tickling the twine or distributing the rock. Sharp (signing with Eastern Michigan for baseball) is a dynamic presence on the wing expected to up his scoring load this season while continuing to show off his expert outside marksmanship.
Rogers is a rare gem, billed by some scouts as one of the best in the nation in the Class of 2015. The son of former NBA vet Carlos Rogers, the 'Buddha Baby' is a 6-foot-6 menace, whether on the block in the post, shooting it from the elbow or finishing strong on the break.
Cameron Darden, a senior big fella, and Anthony Quasawa, a sophomore guard, will most likely round out Negoshian's starting line-up. Darden is 6-foot-6, long and athletic. Quasawa is a spry gunner on the wing that will make teams pay if they leave him open.
Depth might be North Farmington's Achilles heel. Negoshian will have a very inexperienced bench that will hopefully get better as the season progresses. Some names to watch out for as possible bench standouts for the Raiders are juniors Kendall Vinales and Grant Eatman and Fab Frosh Alex Darden (Cam's baby brother) and Jacob Joubert.
Vinales is the little brother of former North Farmington all-state point guard Kyle Vinales, currently tearing it up at the college level at Central Connecticut State. Joubert is an intriguing prospect in the backcourt with a sweet stroke, similar to his father former all-state prep legend Antoine 'The Jugde' Joubert, back in the 1980s at Detroit Southwestern and then at UofM.
Eatman is a workhorse forward that can spell Rogers and the Dardens in the frontcourt
"We've got solid leadership and some real good talent, we're just going to be young in a lot of spots," Negoshian said. "These guys like being in the gym and they like putting in the work, so we should make strides throughout the course of the season that are noticeable. Everyone's excited to get started."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tipping It Off

The 2012-2013 Prep boys basketball season officially starts practice across the state of Michigan on Monday.
Here's a quick look at some teams to keep an eye out for:
Rochester – Two words; James Young!!!!!!
Rochester Adams – One word; AKHEMJI!!!!!!!
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes – One Letter: 'G'!!!! (best small-school player in the CHSL bar none…..'Yeah I said it!!!!)
North Farmington – TEAM NOGO will sport a tasty trifecta of stars in Buddha Rogers, Caleb Hogans and Sterling Sharp
Clarkston – The King of the Clipboard aka Dan Fife is still heading the Wolfpack on the bench…….'NUFF SAID!!!!
Birmingham DCD – A boat-load of spectacular guards highlight the latest edition of the KEENER KAGE KREW……ROLL CALL; Austin Price, Maury Diane, Edmond Sumner, etc…
Southfield Christian – Has sufficiently re-stocked the TEAM BAKER cage cabinet and will once again be the best small-school team in Metro Detroit
Lake Orion – The DREAM SEASON part II? TEAM RISI is ready to roar like a lion for a second straight year on the hoops court behind my boys Kruse, Miller, McCarty, Kuster and co.!!
Waterford Mott – Burney's preseason favorite to win the KLAA North…….again!!!!
Oak Park – The Knights have the best kept secret in the OAA in senior wing Charles Mason aka MA$E Dinero!!!!!
Birmingham Seaholm – Maples forward Paris Bass is the best kept secret in the state!!!!!......YEAH, I SAID IT!!!!
Southfield-Lathrup – The Denham Era begins!!!!
Orchard Lake St. Mary's – Once the football wear-and-tear subsides (all that trophy hoisting gives your arms a major workout), the Eaglets will be flying high on the hardwood behind the likes of Sam 'McCLUTCH' McClendon, "Matty Ice" Linehan, Jalen Watts-Jackson, aka THE NOTORIOUS JWJ, etc…
Bloomfield Hills Lahser – Big things are ahead for the Lahser ‘Big 3’ aka Yante Maten, Khalil Gracey and Armand “The Dark Knight’ Cartwright

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Five For Fighting - OC Primetime

Five For Fighting – Best performances on the prep football field Friday night in the regionals
1 Jacob Miller (Lake Orion) – Went BUCKWILD Arian Foster-style, rushing for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns and leading the Dragons to a 51-35 defeat of Macomb Dakota
2 Shon Powell (Birmingham Brother Rice) – Proving himself of a genuine D1 recruit throughout the entire second half of this season, TEAM FRACASSA's jitterbug junior running back cut loose for 145 GINORMOUS yards and 2 touchdowns on just 13 carries in the Orange&Black's 42-12 downing of WL Western
3 Chazz Miller (Lake Orion) – Got NICE for a pair of receiving touchdowns in the Dragons 'W'……one of the OAA's best and brightest GOING BONKERS once again in CRUNCHTIME
4 Sergio Perkovic (Birmingham Brother Rice) – This SUPERSTUD on the D-Line looked like Rob Gronkowski in the Rice victory, catching the first two touchdowns of his varsity career
5 Kyle Bambard (WL Western) – Kicked a monster 52-yard field goal in the Western loss (as well as throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter)…….HE'LL BE BACK!!!!