MIDWEST RECRUITING: Burney's basketball bonanza of offseason news and quick hits
Putting it in stone
Lamonta Stone is once again the new head boys basketball coach at River Rouge. Stone begins his third tenure at the helm of the tradition-steeped program where he played and won two state titles on the bench in the late 1990s (Class B state crowns in 1998 and 1999). He replaces Mark White, who headed the team the past two seasons and took the Panthers to back-to-back final fours.
White was fired last month after flirting with a return to Detroit Renaissance, where he led the program to a pair of state championships in the 2000s -- he's since resurfaced at little-known Summit Academy. Stone last coached River Rouge from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, he guided the Panthers to the quarterfinals. Between his first stints pacing the sidelines at his alma mater, Stone was a college assistant (Ohio State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan).
Chandler Turner (Detroit Renaissance G/F) – One of the top players in the PSL, Turner committed to Bowling Green. Turner’s big brother Justin is currently a starting guard for BG.
Elie Smith (Fowlerville F) – Cleveland State nabbed Smith last week, corralling one of the most underrated girls DI prospects in the state. Last season, she averaged 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists per night.
Nate Talbot (Lake Orion C) – From the under-the-radar gem department in the state’s boys hoopster ranks, this 6-foot-10 diamond in the ruff out of the OAA committed to Wayne State. Talbot posted 12 points and 8 rebounds a game last winter.
De’Airrus Ware (Muskegon G/F) – The high-flying swingman from the west side of the state committed to Northwood after coming over to Muskegon from Reeths-Puffer in the offseason.
Asaria Turman (Ann Arbor Pioneer C) — Pioneer’s power post will be staying in town for college, committing to Concordia University.
Stacy Davis (Detroit Loyola) – A tireless competitor on the blocks out of the Catholic League, Davis committed to Kentucky State.
In smaller-school connections, Josh Laman (Ludington), an all-state small forward, committed to Spring Arbor and twin power forwards Jeremy & Jack Luciani (Marshall) both committed to Indiana Tech. Laman hit a game-winning buzzer-beating triple in the Class B state semifinals as a sophomore in 2017 in a campaign Ludington lost to Romeo Weems (DePaul), Eric Williams (Duquesne) and New Haven in state championship game.
Trimming the list
The early frontrunner for the 2019 Miss Basketball award, Rickea Jackson (Detroit Edison), a nationally-elite forward prospect, narrowed her college choices to Mississippi State, South Carolina and Rutgers. She’s sparked Edison to two straight Class C state titles.
Hounded by the Hawkeyes
Orchard Lake St. Mary's junior Lorne Bowman (combo guard) and Birmingham Detroit Country Day sophomore Julian Roper (swingman) both collected offers from Iowa last week. Some scouting services peg Roper the No. 1 player in the state's Class of 2021. Bowman is one of the Class of 2020's purest shooters, able to decimate opponents with his quick-release 3-point game or his silky-smooth pull-up jumper. Nebraska offered Bowman last month, while Iowa is Roper's first of what will probably be many bids to the next level.