Archive for March, 2011

For anyone interested in becoming a basketball coach someday, here’s a good example of what you don’t do after one of your players gets slighted. Lansing Eastern coach Rod Watts, on the heels of Dwaun Anderson’s improbable Mr. Basketball award, told the Dayton Daily News this:

“LaDontae is still the best player in Michigan,” Lansing Eastern coach Rod Watts said. “The process doesn’t lend itself to make the best player Mr. Basketball. It turns out to be a popularity contest. If I can get more coaches from around the state to vote for my guy, then he wins it.

“LaDontae can guard all five positions. (Anderson) will have trouble guarding Michigan State assistants.”

Cute. Funny. Classless.

Is it Dwaun Anderson’s fault that he won the award? Obviously I thought Henton deserved it, but why throw a player (one that Watts has actually coached, if I’m not mistaken) under the bus?

Steve Bell told me over the weekend that this was coming down the pipe. I almost didn’t believe him when he said it, but there it is.

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Big Reds finish the deal: Sexton wins class B crown

Posted: March 27, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

The Lansing Sexton Big Reds, fresh off one of the biggest victories in school history over Detroit Country Day, finished the deal on Saturday night in East Lansing.

Sexton rode another strong performance from big man Tyrin Wade to a 75-60 win over Muskegon Heights. Wade, who made his impact defensively on Friday night versus Ohio State-bound Amir Williams, led Sexton in scoring with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Denzel Valentine, a 6-4 junior MSU commitment, also turned in a solid performance with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. His night was highlighted by a two-handed dunk in traffic at the end of the third quarter.

One major storyline in the game was the poor shooting of Heights’ star Deonte Hudson. The 6-4 senior guard scored 31 in the semis only to come back to earth in the final, shooting 5-for-25 from the field for 16 points.

FLINT, Michigan — Tryouts for the Mid-Michigan Lakers will be held on Wednesday, March 30 at the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium at Mott Community College in Flint.

The tryout will be for U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-17. The cost is $10 per player.

5-7 p.m. for U-14 and U-15

7-9 p.m. for U-16 and U-17

Coaches:

U-14: Chris Hutton and Chris Hutton, Jr.

U-15: Gavin Raath and Patrick Hayes

U-16: Marcellus Miller, Ivan Brouwer and Kelvin Garner

U-17: Jeremy Trent and Jim Pope

All players will be asked to fill out an information sheet before the tryout begins.

By Marcellus C. Miller, Columnist
Great Lakes Hoops

The idea of being a “role player” has been vastly misappropriated and mistreated in my opinion over recent history and it is high time to get back to what it really means…well, at least to me.  Detroit Southeastern star and future MSU Spartan Brandon Kearney was just recently labeled as such in the class A semifinal game because he sacrificed offense for defense, deferred to a dominate teammate, and played a more heady game.  Um, someone help me find where the negative is in that?  However, because he was a Mr. Basketball candidate, many expected him to shoot 20 times and dominate the game offensively.  Did I mention his team won?  It is amazing the standards that some are held to versus others.  But it is astounding to me the negative connotation that being a role player has gotten. So, let’s examine it just a bit from a coach’s perspective.

Every coach on the planet wants role players.  Notice that I did not say players that operate in a role.  Those type of players are categorized by what they do well.  For example, former Frakenmuth star Brad Redford is a great shooter.  Current Mott Community College stud Doug Anderson is a great athlete/leaper.  Anthony Crater at the University of South Florida is a great passer.  MSU frosh Keith Appling was a great scorer in high school.  These are all luxuries to have, but do not epitomize a role player in my eyes.  They are all players who operate inside of a role.  What I mean is something different.  Players that a coach can call into their office or locker room before the game or practice and say to them, “This game I need you to shut down the opposing team’s best player.”  Then the next week say, “I need double-digit rebounds and points from you this game.”  The best role players can even change that role during the game.  The best example that I can think of is none other than Magic Johnson.  Many people understand that he played all five positions in the NBA championship game, but not many understand how each position required a mentality and role change.  No one has done it better on a bigger stage in my eyes.  Coaches appreciate these players more than anyone even knows because the flexibility they allow for is paramount.  If the starting PG gets hurt or in foul trouble in a big game, it is quite the luxury to be able to move the starting SF there is there backup is stronger than the backup PG.  Versatility is essential in the biggest of games.  Just ask the BYU coach who would have loved to see Jimmer Fredette turn into a creator when the 3-pt ball wasn’t falling (4-15).  However, he was stuck in his operation as a scorer and stayed there to the detriment of the team in that game.  There is one player on the high school level in mid-Michigan that I believe was the best role player this year, that is, Dewrell “JD” Tisdale Jr. of Flint Northern.

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Sexton shocker: Big Reds down DCD in state semis

Posted: March 25, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

EAST LANSING, Michigan — Lansing Sexton avenged last year’s loss to Detroit Country Day in a big way on Friday night at MSU. Led by junior guard Bryn Forbes, the Big Reds rode the run-outs in transition to a 69-59 victory over the heavily-favored Yellowjackets.

Sexton’s game-plan mirrored that of the DCD’s chief rival, Flint Powers. The Big Reds beat the Yellowjackets down the floor with the frequency throughout the game. Amir Williams saved them on a couple, but the barrage didn’t stop in the second half.

Forbes was simply magnificent in all facets of the game. He scored a game-high 29 points on 15 shots for the Big Reds.

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Gavin Raath | Great Lakes Hoops

LANSING, Michigan — Somewhere in the conversation of the match-up between Bay City Western and Detroit Southeastern I forgot about Percy Gibson.  I was too focused on the match-up between future Spartans Brandan Kearney and Matt Costello.  Too focused on Costello using this platform to all but seal next year’s Mr. Basketball.  But the real story Friday afternoon was Southeastern’s Percy Gibson.

The 6’9ish center kept it simple all night long, Kevin Love-style.  He took shots close to the rim, and actually took advantage of the “free” aspect of free throws.  Not to mention the solid work on the glass and defense.  Matched up against Western’s twin towers of Costello and 6’8″ senior Brandon Havercamp, Gibson should have struggled.  Instead he emerged as the best player on the floor with a 22 point and 11 rebound performance, including an astonishing 10-11 from the line.

But Costello isn’t far off.  The junior is the complete package.  Unlike Gibson, he doesn’t keep things simple, but he makes it look that way, hitting threes, jumpers and handling the rock.  An early scare when Costello pulled up lame in the second quarter minimized his stats, but he was still the most talented player on the court, and his performance may have been impressive enough to make him the front-runner for Mr. Basketball.

Now I have a rule.  I usually devote a commensurate amount of writing space based upon contribution to a game, therefore I can write nothing about Brandan Kearney.  I’ve never seen a Mr. Basketball candidate who I forgot was on the floor.

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If the Twitter page belonging to Flint Powers’ junior Javontae Hawkins is any indication, the 6-5 junior guard prospect is on his way out of Flint. There’s nothing on there about any other schools, though another Twitter page @alleyesonuhoops has him going to Quality Education Academy in North Carolina for his senior season — that, of course, is not substantiated.

This would be quite a blow to Flint Powers and to the Flint area’s basketball community, if indeed it comes to fruition. Hawkins really came into his own in the second half of his junior season before his team fell short against DCD in the state quarterfinals.

I really hope this is just some youthful exuberance. I have no idea why a player with more D-1 offers than he could fit in a backpack would leave a winning program for one season.

In case you missed it yesterday, the top two teams in class C basically shot themselves out of the tournament from 3-point range. Look at these numbers:

Flint Beecher: 2-for-20 (10%)

Detroit Consortium: 3-for-27 (11%)

What’s worse is that Consortium didn’t need overtime to hoist up 27 3-point attempts. DC had two players with 10 attempts apiece.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine why these two teams would rely so heavily on outside shots. I think both are athletic enough to attack a zone.

Should be a great day in East Lansing.

Former Saginaw High head coach Lou Dawkins will be an assistant coach under former MSU assistant Mark Montgomery at Northern Illinois.

Dawkins held a press conference on Monday to announce  his resignation from Saginaw High but hasn’t yet formally announced the pending move.

Flint Beecher goes down in overtime at state semis

Posted: March 24, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

Flint Beecher, in the final four for the third time in four years, never trailed in regulation and ultimately lost to McBain in the state semfinals today at Michigan State, 70-66. Beecher’s largest lead was 11.

Great season for the Bucs at 24-3. McBain hit some incredible shots down the stretch to get back in the game.

Who would have ever imagined both Beecher and Detroit Consortium losing today?