Dullack's Docket

Five questions for the 2016-2017 Boys Basketball Season

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Five questions for the 2016-2017 Boys Basketball Season

Will Detroit U-D Jesuit win a second straight Class A State Championship?

After winning its first basketball title in school history last season, the Cubs enter the 2016 as the No. 1 ranked team in the State Champs! Preseason Rankings, but can they win the state title once again? While U-D Jesuit lost star point guard Cassius Winston (now playing at Michigan State), the Cubs have several key returners on this year’s team, including star forwards Ike Eke and Greg Eboigbodin, along with key contributors from last year’s team in Scott Nelson, Elijah Collins and Zach Winston. The big key for this season will be sophomore point guard Julian Dozier, who saw playing time as a freshman, but will need see a significant increase in playing time this season.

Who will win the 2016 Mr. Basketball Award?

Grand Rapids Christian’s Xavier Tillman is the favorite for the award to start the 2016-2017 season, but make no mistake, there are several players that could wind up winning the award. Tillman is the state’s top player and is arguable the most complete player in the state, but Detroit Cornerstone’s Jamal Cain proved to be nearly unstoppable last year and is capable of putting up some impressive numbers. Also keep an eye on guards Amauri Hardy (North Farmington) and Jermaine Jackson Jr. (Macomb Dakota), both who have proven to game-changers in a number of different ways, and Kalamazoo Central’s Isaiah Livers, who is one of the state’s top post presences and can be a difference maker on both ends of the floor.

Can this be the year that Clarkston finally wins its first state title?

The Wolves have plenty of firepower returning to this year’s team, led by junior point guard Foster Loyer and senior wing Dylan Alderson, but Clarkston will also have a new face this season as well. Taylor Currie, a 6-9 transfer from Ohio, will anchor the front court for the Wolves this winter as they look to advance past the regional final this year. The big key for the Wolves this year will be how the players around their “Big Three” of Loyer, Alderson and Currie, step up, including junior point guard C.J. Robinson.

Which transfers will make the biggest impact in the 2016-2017 season?

Several of the top players in Michigan transferred to new teams this year and could make a big difference this winter. Start with David Dejulius, who transerred from Detroit Edison to East English Village Prep, playing next to Greg Elliot in the backcourt, East English will once again be one of the state’s top scoring teams and the backcourt duo will be one of the state’s best. Jack Ballantyne, one of the state’s top post players transferred from De La Salle to Macomb Dakota and playing next to Thomas Kithier gives the Cougars one of the best frontcourts in the state, possibly second best to U-D Jesuit.

Can Macomb Dakota return to the Breslin Center for another shot at a State Championship?

The Cougars advanced to the Class A semifinals a year ago, before running into U-D Jesuit in the semifinal, but return several key players this season. Led by point guard Jermaine Jackson Jr. and forward Thomas Kithier, the Cougars are without a doubt one of the small handful of title contenders in Class A. Add in transfer Jack Ballantyne, who comes over from Warren De La Salle and a strong group of role players, the Cougars are a dangerous team in class A.