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, December 31, 2014

Larceny @ The LakeShow

In possibly the steal of the GLIAC gridiron recruiting season, Saginaw Valley State University has snagged West Bloomfield's defensive lineman Jalen Lewis.
This past fall, Lewis (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) was a dominant rush-end on the first WB football squad to ever win a playoff game, racking up 90 tackles and 10 quarterback sacks for a LakeShow club that went 9-2.
He committed to SVSU last week.
Because he basically came out of nowhere this year and hasn't played a ton of organized ball, the scouts were slow to come calling. As my old high school coach used to say though, the tape doesn't lie!! Lewis was a beast in 2014. He wreaked havoc on a consistent basis and only got better and better as the season progressed.
The WB's playoff-opener against Livonia Stevenson saw Lewis collect a gaudy 15 tackles.
Do the words, ROUGH, RUGGED & RAW mean anything to you!!
Boasting an upside that through the roof, the Lewis-get for the SVSU Cards is practically Grand Larceny!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Statement

I've thought about this for the last couple of weeks, and I say this with all due respect to my man Buddha Rogers, who is a STRAIGHT LETHAL WEAPON in his own right and will be giving Cleveland State a steal in the recruiting game when he steps foot on campus in the fall.
West Bloomfield's Trishton Jackson is the best boys hoopster in Oakland County.
He's probably the best guard in all of Metro Detroit, for that matter. (Something about him being a LICENSE-TO-THRILL TYPE QB on the gridiron, too).
Simply put, he's lighting in a bottle, the most electrifying backcourt prospect the area has seen since probably Kalin Lucas (OLSM, All-American at MSU). It's not just the points –he's averaging 32 by the way and dropped a 36-ball Monday in a 'dub' vs. WL Central and a 40-bomb earlier in the month. It's that he's playing winning basketball (the Lakeshow is undefeated), notching almost 10 assists per game (he had 10 dimes Monday) and being a true leader.
Only a junior, we've got a whole two more years of Action Jackson and Burney personally is going to savior every wow-inducing moment.
This kid has the world at his finger-tips right now. If he stays focused, on his books and his balling, (which I know he will), he'll have his choice of big-time hoops or big-time football next year at this time….I'm talking Big Ten, ACC, SEC caliber stuff here.
Right now, as the commercial says, "Soak it in, let it wash over you like a warm bath" cuz Action Jackson's game is so special, it's sick…..Yeah, I'm talking break out the Ther-A-Flu time.
Don't be afraid,....BURN, BURN.....Catch the Action Jackson fever!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Take Nothing For Granted

Don't be shocked if Birmingham Brother Rice all-state wide receiver Grant Perry winds up catching passes from his high school field general Alex Malzone as college teammates in Ann Arbor.
Perry, one of the state's all-time greats at his position, is currently committed to Northwestern and Malzone, a spectacular specimen of a quarterback, will enroll at the University of Michigan next month.
The experts are projecting Malzone into the race for the starting job under center in the fall.
Now, with Jim Harbaugh entering the picture this week, set to be named Michigan's new SAVIOR….wait I mean head coach, Perry becomes a factor in Maize & Blue's 2015 recruiting class.
Word is that Harbaugh likes Perry (I mean who wouldn't). He's familiar with him because Jimmy Gridiron God and Perry's dad grew up together.
So if Perry inks with TEAM HARBAUGH on Signing Day instead of the NW Wildcats, remember your boy Burney called his shot on this one!! The photo Perry Tweeted of himself and Malzone at the Dream Team banquet earlier this month with the heading "Just the beginning" might be a tip-off too.
Malzone-to-Perry at the BIG HOUSE……believe it!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Seeing Is Believing

Here's a look at a few local boys basketball clubs that are making a believer out of Burney with their performances on the hardwood this month:
Farmington (3-1) – Slaying PSL dragon and defending Class A district-champ Detroit Cass Tech Friday, the Falcons are flying high and firing on all cylinders. Austin Thompson is steady at the point, diaper dandy soph Jordan Graham is a fast-emerging star on the wing, Justin Banks is a beast on the blocks, good for a double-double every night and the "Cookie Monster" Ryan Coucke is an underrated sniper from downtown. Alex Manassa and Malik Williams are tought-to-handle, too.
AH Avondale (3-2) – As long as Tim Morton is pacing the sidelines the 'Jackets will always be one of the hardest-working, scrappiest squads in the OC…that's a given…..but this winter they have a bonafide superstar in senior gunner Chris Barton, who can go for a 25-spot in the blink of an eye and is maybe the best rebounding perimeter player in the area. Darius Woods is a pesky and athletic jitterbug of a point guard that just does a lot of positive things. Jalen Latham is making a name for himself in the post and Ty Bland headlines a talented tenth-grade contingent
Pontiac (3-1) – The Ben Kelso Effect didn't take long implementing with the Phoenix opening the season 3-0. Justin Lavallis and Reggie Somerville are a pair of sweet-stroking guards that can each put up 20 if you let them. When Fab Frosh Jalen Kelso gets into the lineup in January, he'll take over duties at the point and him, Lavallis and Somerville will combine for a heck of a 3-headed terror in the backcourt. Israel Williams is a high-riser at a forward spot and plays hungry

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Burney's Boys BBall Rankings - Merry XMas

OC Top 10
1 Clarkston – Breslin or bust!!!.....'Nuff Said!!.
2 North Farmington – Has a legitimate chance to end up the best Raiders cage crew of the NOGO ERA (both father and son)….Take it 2 Tha Bank!!
3 Oak Park – Here comes the BOOM….oh, wait, it already came last week, my bad!!
4 West Bloomfield – LakeShow has collectively exceeded SWAGGER LEVEL FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND TRILLION…..please make a note and for God's sake take CAUTION when approaching Team Denha in 2015
5 Southfield – Upside Alert: Six-foot-nine junior Kenny "Speaker Box" Bailey will enter the 'Jays lineup next month after sitting out first semester. Bailey is raw (he's never played organized basketball before), but clearly he's athletic and crazy long…this kid's arms look like telephone poles
6 WL Western – Book it: Jerald Booker is a BOSS, HOSS, BALLER & SHOT CALLER at the point for TEAM LUTZ…..he changes games, that's just what he does!!
7 WL Central – The most accurate description of the Vikings hoop brigade this year is COOLER THAN THE OTHER SIDE OF MY PILLOW…...AKA these young men are coldblooded on the court 
8 Birmingham DCD – Milan Williams is a player to watch in the Jackets' Nest this season
9 Oxford – Something very special is brewing over in TEAM HENNING country….catch that O-Town Hoop fever, it's so so SWEET!! Maybe we should call these guys The Sugarland Express!!
10 Holly – Better than they're ranking indicates

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hitting His Stride

Of all the elite baseball players Birmingham Brother Rice has produced in recent years, Nick Plummer might be the best of the bunch.
If you believe the scouts he is.
Plummer (6-foot-0, 210 pounds), a left-handed hitting senior outfield prospect, is being projected a Top 10 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft this upcoming June. ESPN has him currently tabbed the No. 8 overall selection.
A four-year starter on the diamond for TEAM RIKER, he's 5-tool all the way. Burney knows Nick the Stick has ALL THE RIGHT MOVES to make it to The Show.
Just check the stats:
Last season, he hit .580 with 8 dingers and 35 RBI and was named first-team all-state for a Rice club that won another in a long line of Catholic League crowns.
Originally committed to the University of Michigan, over the summer Plummer de-committed from the Wolverines and pledged to play his college ball with the Kentucky Wildcats back in the summer.
Three Brother Rice alums were chosen in the 2014 MLB Draft: Western Michigan's Andrew Sohn by the St. Louis Cardinals, Michigan State's Jimmy Pickens by the Cincinnati Reds and schoolboy star Sammy Stevens (Georgetown) by the hometown Tigers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Revving Up For The Roundball

A ton of great boys basketball games await in the 20th annual Motor City Roundball Classic, which tips-off later this week at Harper Woods High School.
Here's a list of the top local match-ups:
Friday Dec 26
Pontiac v. HW Chandler Park – The Kelso Era in 'Yaktown is off and running, come & catch that 'KVILLE Kage fever'
Saturday Dec 27
Troy v. Ashland (OH) – Team Fralick Michigan locks horns with Team Fralick Ohio....gonna be another classic!!
WL Western v. Toronto Eastern Commerce – Marcus Bailey living up to his nickname "Tank" by going MILITARY on the hardwood for the Western hoop club aka TAKING NO PRISONERS....No. 1 power forward in the KLAA...Yeah, I SAID IT!! 
Sunday Dec 28
Southfield-Lathrup v. Toronto Eastern Commerce – Lathrup's super soph in the frontcourt, Ethan Dixon, is a name to watch out for .....remember you heard from your boy Burney first!!
Monday Dec 29
WL Central v. West Bloomfield – Best ALL-OC showdown on the slate; THA WB's Action Jackson and the Zach Attack v.  The killer Kelser-Collins backcourt for IKE THE, can't wait!! This is Burney's XMass present right here
RH Adams v. Detroit Consortium – Will be good test for a Highlanders team trying to establish their identity....much better than their record indicates
Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes v. Southfield Bradford – Some major-league small-school talent will be on the floor in this one like Mr. ROBOTRON and the Kline brothers EXPRESS for Lakes and Quantez Ruffin, Deleon McDaniel and Cordell Kelly for Bradford
Tuesday Dec 29
Oak Park v. Ypsilanti Arbor Prep – The White twins are TENACIOUS on the basketball floor….who knew?
Birmingham DCD v. Chicago Hyde Park – You can't stop the TEAM BRAY Batman & Robin tandem of Naz Wallace & Deshawn Lewis, you can only hope to contain them....Make a note!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Stocking-Stuffer Special

There are stockings stuffed with scholarships around Oakland County this Christmas, as a bevy of local prep gridiron gladiators made college connections over the past few weeks.
Here's a breakdown:
Jevon Shaw (FH Harrison QB-ATH) – Certified lethal weapon with a pigskin in his hands and under for TEAM HERRINGTON, the best dual-threat field general in the county committed to Ferris State following the Hawks loss in the D2 final four
Jack McKillop (Clarkston LB) – Tackling-machine and genuine leader at the linebacker position, C-Town's BIG MAC committed to Saginaw Valley State
Michael King (West Bloomfield SB-ATH) – Pure electricity every time he touches the rock, King will be riding a lightning bolt a couple hours up 1-75, committing to  Saginaw Valley State
Jake Bills (Berkley DE) – Lived up to his last name and was straight Cash MONEY in the pass-rush department these last couple years committed to Grand Valley State
Aaron Cooper & Aaron Turner (Southfield DL-OL) – These two BlueJay trench-terror run-stoppers helped lead TEAM CONLEY into the final four and both committed to playing in college together at Grand Valley State
Tiroca Battle (AH Avondale DE) – Super Sleeper Stud that has an upside most-accurately categorized as in the stratosphere coming off the edge, Battle committed to Wayne State
Mac Hendry (Birmingham Brother Rice OL) – Stalwart at the point of attack for the Orange and Black the past couple of seasons, Hendry committed to the University of Chicago

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Power At The Park

It took a little time, but Oak Park is finally balling out in the fast lane.
The Knights boys hoops squad was the last team in Oakland County to tip-off the 2014-2015 season, playing their first game only a few days ago.
No worries Oak Park faithful, the lag has had little effect. TEAM TIPTON is 2-0 and crushing the comp.
In their opener Wednesday, the Knights pounded Detroit PEC. On Saturday, Oak Park snuck past a very good Toledo (OH) Rogers club 66-64.
Southfield-transfer Howard McInnis led the way with 19 points punching the clock overtime in his new digs. Junior power forward Kelvon Fuller, one of the top college prospects in the state's Class of 2016, had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
Rodney Scales (all-league center) and Devin Mills (sleeper stud who has never played organized bball before but is ready to set the OAA backcourt scene ablaze) will be eligible in January and the Knights could be making A LOT of noise come MARCH Madness

Friday, December 19, 2014

Burney's Boys BBall Rankings - Quiet Riot

OC Top 10
1 Clarkston – Foster Loyer for President!!! 4 more years, 4 more years….oh wait, that's what we're about to get!!
2 North Farmington – By the end of the year, we might be putting Buddha Rogers' face on the NOGODOME Mt. Rushmore….Yeah I said it!!!
3 Oak Park – Might be the No. 1 team in the county when it's all said and done
4 Southfield – 'Jays sophomore floor general Amuri Hardy is a human highlight reel..…make a note!!
5 West Bloomfield – TEAN DENHA cage crew could equal or exceed buzz that surrounded the LakeShow Grid Attack
6 (tie) WL Central – You can't stop the Vikings sizzling backcourt of Walter "Baby Special K" Kelser and Nate "The Great" Collins, you can only hope to contain them…..and that's pretty darn hard to do, too!!
6 (tie) WL Western – The first leg of the Lutz Era is a RESOUNDING SUCCESS…..this will be a special year for the Warriors on the hardwood aka THE CHIPPER is that final piece of the puzzle to get this tremendously talented group to turn the corner….it's kind of already happened
7 Stoney Creek – Sleeper lethality ….'Nuff Said!!
8 (tie) RH Adams – Once they figure everything out, they have the potential to be a Top 5 team in the county
8 (tie) Birmingham DCD – Look for Dawan Perry to have a breakout year out of the backcourt
9 Holly – Burney likes what he saw from the Bronchos 'D' in Gm. 3, if they get things in check on defense, the sky is the limit with this squad
10 (tie) Oxford – Sleeper lethality Pt. 2…..'Nuff Said!!
10 (tie) Troy Athens – Probably should be higher in these rankings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cheers For Joey Ball Game!

All he needs is a bow.
Joey Prechtel is a prize on the diamond.
The University of Toledo won that prize this week by gaining the commitment of the Rochester Hills Adams baseball star and junior hurler for its 2016 recruiting class.
Prechtel is a 6-foot-3 righty that flirts with 90 on his fast ball and confuses opposing hitters with a sizzling curveball-change-up combo.
Toledo is hot for talent on the mound in the city of Rochester. The Rockets will be welcoming Rochester senior pitcher, Jake Stout, come next fall.
Last spring, Toledo went 22-32.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Penny Made Of Stone

North Farmington's boys basketball team will be memorializing Raiders alum Kevin Penny this winter by wearing his No. 10 in the center of their warm-up jerseys.
Penny passed away last month. He graduated in 2012.
The fact that his former number will rest on the fabric located closest to the North Farmington players' hearts epitomizes what Kevin was.
Point blank: The kid was all heart.
Whether in the backcourt on the hardwood or under center at quarterback on the gridiron, Penny was a prized competitor – the kind of young man that plays every sport with tremendous grit and determination and bleeds gravel instead of blood.
On the basketball floor, he was possibly the best pick-setter the OC has seen in the last decade. TEAM NOGO would run plays just for him to be setting picks, that's how tough he was.
As a Raiders hoopster he won a district title. As the school's starting field general his senior year, he led them into the playoffs.
His baby brother, Kyle, currently a senior two-sport stud at North Farmington has followed in his footsteps.
So every time a Raider dives on the floor for a loose ball this season or sets a bone-crushing pick to free up one of his teammates for an easy basket, think of KP!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On The Look Out

Alright, everyone knows the Best of the Best in the backcourt on the OC boys hardwood. Here are a few more names to keep an eye out for this winter
Hunter Schattler & Ivan Barraza (Rochester) – Backcourt of the future for TEAM PLEASANTVILLE is backcourt of the present, this Fab Frosh-Sensational Soph combo will be formidable in the years to come
Devin Mills & Howard McInnis (Oak Park) – Pair of transfers that will anchor a Knights backcourt to counter their club's frontcourt, the best in the county without question in Kalvon Fuller and Rodney Scales. Mills is a coldblooded combo-guard that was at Ferndale last year, but didn't play basketball. McInnis played at Southfield last season and is a jack-of-all-trades type and rock-steady at the 2-guard spot
Martin Elmalik & Joey Turnbull (Lake Orion) – Elmalik (formerly on JV at RH Adams) has some MAJOR LEAGUE swagger and returns to Oakland County after a one-year absence at Melvindale ABT. He can take over a game. Turnbull is nails-tough and will burn opposing defenses from deep or using a tight mid-range skill-set to get int
C.J. Wilson & Jason Boswell (OL St. Mary's) – By far the most underrated backcourt in the Catholic League…Take it 2 tha bank!! Wilson is one of the premier super sophs in Metro Detroit, he's electric. Boswell is a game-changer who plays with a chip on his shoulder and ALWAYS outworks the comp
L. Arnold, J.P. Sinacola, S. Reader, J. Allen, S. Holloman & B. Reiter (Stoney Creek) – Wow, there's a ton of these guys & they're all SIR-GRIND-A-LOT SPECIALS that compliment each other brilliantly (see Friday's night upset of RH Adams)
Austin Roth & Austin Paritee (Birmingham Seaholm) – MAD MAPLE GUNNER ALERT: Roth has the capability of dropping a 30-ball any night. An aggressive defender, Paritee is a natural finisher on offense and bulldog taking the rock to the tin whether in the half-court set or on the fast break
Jordan Wiley, Joey Ziniti & Brandon Barrows (RH Adams) – Almost too steady for words, just pencil this trifecta into the stat sheet for double-figures every game: Wiley is the epitome of a slick, savvy floor general. Joey ZA ZA is smart, gritty and consistent on both ends of the court and Barrows is an expert sniper from beyond the arc

Friday, December 12, 2014

From East To West

The destination has changed from Ypsilanti to Kalamazoo.
This week, West Bloomfield senior football star Obbie Jackson de-committed from Eastern Michigan and immediately committed to Western Michigan.
Jackson (5-foot-10, 165 pounds) is a lockdown cornerback prospect, but was also an all-league wide receiver with the Lakeshow in the prep ranks.
He and his baby brother Trishton (all-league quarterback) teamed to help lead The WB to a banner-campaign (9-2, third playoff berth in school history).
Obbie had four picks, almost 500 yards receiving and eight touchdowns this fall.
Western Michigan went 8-4 in 2014 and will be facing Air Force in the Idaho Potato Bowl on December 20. Second-year Broncos head coach, P.J. Fleck, has been aggressively recruiting Metro Detroit since taking the helm in late 2012.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Burney's 2015 Boys Basketball Primer

Burney's 2015 Boys Hoopster Power Index
1 Jeron "Buddha" Rogers (North Farmington) – Cleveland State-signee with possibly the most complete game in the OC, inside, outside, on the break, in the half-court set aka he's got a License 2 Thrill
2 Kalvon Fuller (Oak Park) – PURE POWER IN THE POST!!! of the most
3 Jake Daniels (Holly) – Saginaw Valley State-signee and BAD, BAD MAN in the backcourt….think Suge Night and Tupac Death Row bad
4 Trishton Jackson (West Bloomfield) – His nickname is Action Jackson…..'Nuff said!!! Oh, wait one more thing….the best 2-sport athlete in the area, electricity personified!!
5 Jerald Booker (WL Western) – Force of nature running the point and the most dangerous player in the KLAA Central
6 Kevin Hayes (Brother Rice) – Athletic and versatile wing that can drop a 25-10 spot on any given outing
7 Amuri Hardy (Southfield) – No. 1 sophomore in the OC, this kid is a TALLADEGA NIGHTS SPECIAL, all SHAKE&BAKE all the Time!!
8 Freddy John (Southfield-Lathrup) – Super underrated DYNAMIC dual-threat, is a KILLER from down-low and downtown
9 Isaiah Green (Southfield) – Top prospect in the paint in the OAA Red, silky smooth and really rugged at the same time
10 Tabin Throgmorton (Clarkston) – Fearsome small forward with PRIMETIME written all over him
11 Nazir Wallace (Birmingham DCD) – Mr. Ball DON'T LIE is in the BUILDING, boys!!....get ready for a huge year for NAZ, forget automatic, this kid is ILLMATIC!!
12 Deshawn Lewis (Birmingham DCD) – BREAKOUT CAGE ASSASSIN ALERT: Four-year varsity stud in YellowJacketsLand ready to erupt in his senior campaign
13 John Rexroth (FH Harrison) – Like a roaring lion with his back to the basket, Windex Man on the glass, one of the best big guys to ever don the Hawks Green and Gold on the hardwood
14 Rodney Scales (Oak Park) – Lefty banger on the block with a soft-touch and superior finishing skills
15 Marlow Brown (Southfield Christian) – Juggernaut junior with possibly the most consistent mid-range game in the area, tenacious slasher with a coldblooded nature on the court
16 Walter Kelser (WL Central)
17 Connor Elzerman (Oxford)
18 Timmy Shayoka-John Van Hoef (Troy Athens)
19 Jonathan Radner (Berkley)
20 Nick Robak (WOLL)
21 Kyle Woodruff (Holly)
22 Zach Allread (West Bloomfield)
23 Del Alexander (Oxford)
24 (tie) Drew Myers (Clarkston)
24 (tie) Foster Loyer (Clarkston)
25 (tie) Spencer Littleson (RH Adams)
25 (tie) David Rinke (RH Adams)
1 Clarkston
2 North Farmington
3 Oak Park
4 Southfield
5 Birmingham DCD
6 RH Adams
7 Holly
8 WL Western
9 WL Central
10 (tie) West Bloomfield
10 (tie) Troy Athens
10 (tie) Southfield-Lathrup

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Burney's 2015 Girls Basketball Primer

Burney's OC Girls Hoopster Power Index – 2014-15 Campaign
1 Erika Davenport (Clarkston Sr. F) – Dominates in her sleep, best player in the area by far
2 Amber Jamison (RH Adams Sr. F) – Perfect combination of power & finesse
3 Gabi Bird (SL East Sr. F) – Maybe the most underrated player in the whole gosh darn state
4 Samantha Thomas (Birmingham Marian Soph. F) – Are we looking at a future Miss Basketball here?
5 Taylor Jones (FH Mercy Sr. G/F) – Natural scorer, long, active defender, winner through-and-through
6 Deja Church (Southfield-Lathrup Soph. G) – High-octane sizzling soph about to set the OC on fire
7 Taiye Bello (Southfield-Lathrup Jr. C) – Could have the biggest upside of any lady cage prospect in the state
8 Kristen Nelson (FH Harrison Jr. G ) – Does it all….'Nuff Said...oh, wait, one more thing....Simply ELECTRIC with the rock in her hands
9 Destiny Pitts (Birmingham DCD Soph. G/F) – The 'D' stands for dynamic, fast-flourishing wing with all the tools for greatness  
10 Megan Carter (North Farmington Sr. G) – Classic combo guard with clutch and tough written all over her game
11 Kyla Roland (FH Harrison Sr. C) – Thunderous presence in the post with exceptional leadership skills and the ability to step outside the lane and tickle the twine with the 'J' if teams overplay her in the paint
12 Amber Stephens (FH Harrison Jr. G) – Poised for a GINORMOUS junior season
13 Jessica Murphy (Oxford Sr. F) – Excellent nose for the hoop and a grinder on the wing with deep range and a lightning-quick release
14 Bailey Thomas (Birmingham Marian Jr. G) – Smartest, steadiest floor general in the OC
15 Mackenzie Harbort (Birmingham Seaholm Soph. G) – Should be higher on this list, Burney-Certified game-changer