BOYS BASKETBALL: Top Performers from the Battle of the Best showcase |
DETROIT - How many basketball tournaments can you go to and see the top senior, junior, sophomore and freshman players in the state in one place? Not many. The Battle of the Best, held at Renaissance High, had all of that and more. Twelve of the best basketball programs in the state and dozens of the best prospects squared-off in the event. Several under the radar players had good games, but star power ruled this event.
Saginaw Arthur Hill 2015 shooting guard Eric Davis: He isn't a top 30 player in the nation for no reason, with offers from the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, Providence, Iowa State and more. Davis showed why schools are coveting him, dropping 32 points in a win over Southfield Christian. He scored in a variety of ways, showing off his sweet jump shot, to attacking the basket at will, and getting to the charity stripe. Davis isn't just a scorer, he also grabbed 10 rebounds had three assists.
Detroit Country Day 2014 shooting guard Edmond Sumner: The Yellowjackets were down nine at the half to Detroit Cass Tech, until Sumner went on an offensive tear in the third. The 6-3 guard commit scored nine straight points at one point to give his team the lead. Sumner finished with 30 on the night, and led his team to victory. His coach called him the best player in the state after the game, and his performance with his team down backed up that statement. Sumner is committed to Xavier.
Detroit Consortium 2016 small forward Josh Jackson: The No.1 rated sophomore in the country just happens to reside in the city of Detroit and the entire gym was buzzing about what this young man has done so far. Jackson got off to a slow start, but didn't disappoint, even when he was double and triple team. His stat line read 28 points and 15 rebounds at the end of the night, in a win over Detroit Southeastern. Jackson displayed an all-around game and will only get better. His tip-dunk over several defenders put an exclamation mark on his performance.
Detroit Pershing 2014 power forward Justin Tillman: The matchup just about everyone came to see, was Tillman against Ypsilanti's Jaylen Johnson (Louisville). There is some debate about who is better between the two, and Tillman might have put those talks to rest. He outplayed Johnson, recording 14 points, seven rebounds and blocking eight shots. Tillman is committed to Shaka Smart and VCU, and plays hard on both ends of the floor. He will need to put on weight in college, but his length and motor makes up for whatever he lacks.
Ann Arbor Huron 2015 shooting guard Xavier Cochran: Most players aren't fans of playing games at noon, but Cochran showed that he was more than ready to go. In a win over Detroit East English Village Prep, Cochran poured in 31 points, and was basically unguardable. The 6-5 Cochran hit from long range, mid-range, and was excellent on the glass and at the rim. The lefty Cochran has an offer from Rhode Island, but with his size, athleticism and scoring ability, will recieve more by the end of his senior year.
Other top perfromers: A pair Technicians played well for Detroit Cass Tech in their loss to Detroit Country day. Senior Kenny Carpenter is as versatile as they come at 6-5 and can play three positions. He scored 17 points. Junior guard Rob Edwards could start for any other team and is very athletic and can score, leading them with 19 points.
Detroit East English Village Prep has an abundance of young talent, and sophomore shooting guard Karmari Newman might be the best of the bunch. The 6-3 lefty loves to shoot the rock, especially from deep, and had 13 points. As he matures, he'll work on his control on the floor.
Detroit Fredrick Douglass senior Daavi Bradley helped lead the Hurricanes to a victory over Saginaw, with star point guard Darrell Davis forced to sit out. Bradley is undersized at 6-5, but was still active on the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds and adding 17 points to go with it.
The top freshman in the state is Saginaw Arthur Hill's Brian Bowen. Davis did a lot of the scoring for the Lumberjacks, but the 6-7 Bowen did a lot of the dirty work. Bowen grabbed 13 boards and blocked four shots. He also scored 10 points.
In Detroit Pershing's big win over Ypsilanti, 2015 guard Marquel Ingram scored a team high 19 points and showed that he was more than capable of stepping in for departed point guard Kahlil Felder. Ingram likes to shoot it from three and will make them if you leave him open.
Southfield Christian fell to Saginaw Arthur Hill, but senior forward DaMarco White had himself a good game. The 6-6 White scored 15 points and used those long arms of his to grab 11 rebounds amnd block three shots.
Janeau Joubert of Ypsilanti kept his team in the game, with superstar Jaylen Johnson having a subpar game. The 6-1 point guard is an able scorer, finishing with 14 points ans was afraid to go down low and grab 6 rebounds.