In Play with Tom Markowski

Jamal Cain shows versatility, unselfishness in a season that will benefit he and his Cornerstone teammates

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

Jamal Cain shows versatility, unselfishness in a season that will benefit he and his Cornerstone teammates

Warren – Jamal Cain isn’t the same player he was last season and Detroit Cornerstone is the benefactor.

Cain, a 6-8 senior who signed with Marquette in November, has become a more complete player, not just a scorer as he was last season.

Cornerstone (7-3) whipped Detroit Edison, 69-46, in the second game of the six-game Martin Luther King Freedom Classic, presented by the Horatio Williams Foundation, held at Warren Fitzgerald on Saturday.

Cain had 20 points, 17 rebounds, a handful of assists and two blocks to lead the Wolves. Cain was nine-of-15 from the field, 1-3 from the free throw line.

Last season it was not uncommon for Cain to attempt 15 shots from the field in one half. This season is different. He trusts his teammates, like senior Davion Bradford and junior Damon Gilmore, and he’s become a more unselfish player.

Bradford, a strong, athletic guard, had 13 points and Gilmore added 12.

Sophomore Dreyon O’Neal led Edison (2-6) with 15 points.

Edison will soon become a deeper and more experienced team. On Tuesday Detroit Loyola transfer P.J. Mitchell and Detroit Cass Tech transfer Gary Solomon will become eligible. Both are juniors.

“I’m trying to be more of a passer,” Cain said. “I want to get my teammates the ball. I love passing the ball. I love seeing my teammates score.

“I think (today) was a great performance. The guys stepped up. Our guards stopped their guards. Coach (Derrick Edwards) brought it to our attention that they don’t get back on defense. So we pushed it.”

As an example of Cornerstone’s fast-break capabilities, Cain attempted just four shots in the third quarter and he converted three dunks, two off of a fast-break opportunity. One was two-handed, the second a one-handed windmill and the third was off of an alley-oop pass.

Cornerstone led 28-21 at halftime, 49-28 at the end of three quarters.

Cain is averaging 23.5 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals. Most consider him a candidate for the Mr. Basketball award and Edwards said Cain should be one of the top candidates for the award despite the drop-off in scoring. Last season Cain averaged 26 points as a junior.

“(Cain) hasn’t put up big numbers like the guy at (Detroit) East English (Village Prep), Greg Elliott,” Edwards said. “But he’s going out there every game doing all of the things we need to win.”

Cain said when he signed with Marquette it lifted the pressure a senior could have placed upon him with regards to which school he might attend. He said he chose the Big East Conference school because it fit his style.

“I’m able to concentrate on my grades and my team (by signing early),” he said. “The best part of my game is running the floor and rebounding. I won’t be playing inside t the next level. I’ll likely play the two or the three.”

Cain weighs 180 pounds. He said he intends to bulk up before playing in college saying he’d like to increase his weight to 215.