David Goricki of The Detroit News selects the top boys basketball players in the Metro Detroit area.
David DeJulius, 6-0, Sr., G, Detroit East English
DeJulius had the ability to step up and carry his team to victories. He scored 17 fourth-quarter points to rally East English from an 18-point halftime deficit in an 80-71 victory over two-time Class A state champion Clarkston, then scored 49 two weeks later in a win over Illinois state champion Chicago Orr, making nine 3-pointers. He averaged 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. “He was always trying to get better, always listened and was very coachable,” Coach Juan Rickman said. “He could score the ball, his ball-handling got better and he was able to read defenses, leading him to take the ball to the basket, find an open teammate or make the 3-pointer.” DeJulius, a Mr. Basketball finalist, will play at Michigan.
Mark “Rocket” Watts, 6-2, Jr., G, Detroit Old Redford
Watts impressed with his quickness and ball-handling, displaying the ability to take over a game by scoring himself or getting his teammates involved. He averaged 26.8 points, six assists, 5.5 rebounds and three steals. “Rocket led our team to its best record (18-6) in school history,” Coach Craig Covington said. “He was a great leader, shot the ball well and defensively stepped it up this year.” Watts has 22 Division 1 offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Xavier, Florida State, Marquette and USC.
Gary Solomon, 6-5, Sr., G, Detroit Edison
Solomon was an aggressive player on both ends of the court, able to attack the basket on offense while shutting down the opponent’s premier scoring threat. He averaged 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists to help Edison win its first PSL and state championships. “Gary pretty much gave us whatever we needed on a particular night, for him to score or defend our opponent’s best player,” Coach Brandon Neely said. “He had size as a 6-5 combo guard and scored 31 in the regional semifinal win over Pershing, then had 12 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 points in the regional final win over Loyola.” Solomon will play at LIU-Brooklyn.
Pierre Mitchell, 6-0, Sr., G, Detroit Edison
Mitchell averaged 17.2 points, five assists and 3.5 steals to lead Edison to its first PSL and state championships in school history. He scored 14 of his 17 points during the third quarter of the Class C state title game against Maple City Glen Lake to turn a deficit into a lead it would hold on to the rest of the way. “He was our floor general who took care of the ball and made sure we were in our offense and also had the ability to take over a game with his quickness and ability to score in transition,” Coach Brandon Neely said. Mitchell will play at Central Michigan.
Trevion Williams, 6-8, Sr., F-C, Detroit Henry Ford
Williams averaged 19.2 points, 17.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, including a mammoth performance (21 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists) in a 68-59 regional semifinal loss to Detroit Old Redford. “He had the ability to make others better while at the same time posting great stats,” Coach Taurean Wilson said. “Trevion played best on the biggest stage. I believe his best game was his last game (Old Redford) in which he had a never-give-up attitude and willed our team to a close finish.” Williams, a Mr. Basketball finalist, will play at Purdue.
Coach of the Year: Brandon Neely, Detroit Edison
Neely, in his sixth year as Edison’s head coach, guided the team to its first PSL and state championships, entering the state postseason run with a 10-10 record. “We had a very selfless group of guys who played great defense,” Neely said. “We had a floor general (Pierre Mitchell), a big man who was a rim protector (Deante Johnson), a 6-5 combo guard (Gary Solomon) who would do whatever we asked of him and then role players who did their job to make us successful.”
Daniel Friday, 6-3, Jr., G, U-D Jesuit; Myron Gardner, 6-5, Jr., F, Detroit Loyola; Carrington McCaskill, 6-8, Jr., G-F, Detroit Renaissance; Anthony Roberts, 6-3, Sr., G, Detroit Henry Ford; D’Juan Seal, 6-4, Sr., G, Detroit Pershing.
Elijah Collins, 6-2, Sr., G, U-D Jesuit; Marcus Gibbs, 6-1, Sr., G, Detroit King; Trey Jackson, 6-8, Sr., Detroit Western; Jalen Thomas, 6-10, Jr., C, U-D Jesuit; Chandler Turner, 6-6, Jr., G, Detroit Renaissance.
Tyson Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech; Jayln Benning, Detroit Pershing; Pierre Brooks, Detroit Douglass; Johnny Davis, Detroit Pershing; Robert Davis, Detroit Central; Randy Gilbert, Detroit Cass Tech; Duron Gray, Detroit Collegiate Prep/Northwestern; Antonio Green, Detroit Henry Ford; Brandon Green, Detroit Mumford; Malik Fredrick, Detroit Cody; Ron Hill, Detroit Pershing; Isaiah Jackson, Detroit Old Redford; Deante Johnson, Detroit Edison; Lamar Kearney, Detroit Denby; Antonio Marshall, Detroit King; Jalen Mayfield, Detroit Denby; Chris Murry, Detroit Cass Tech; Andre Polk, Detroit Old Redford; Matthew Richmond, Detroit Cass Tech; Rozell Robinson, Detroit Delta Prep; Tariq Shepherd, Detroit East English; Anthony Taylor, Detroit Mumford; Deontae Ulmer, Detroit Henry Ford; Jordan Whitford, Detroit King; Rayvon Williamson, Detroit Community; Zachary Winston, U-D Jesuit.
Harlond Beverly, 6-5, Jr., G, Southfield Christian
Beverly averaged 16 points, six rebounds and six assists to help Southfield Christian earn the Class D state championship. He showed his ability to take over a game by scoring 14 points and grabbing four steals in the opening quarter of the state title game to set the tempo. “Harlond is a 6-foot-5 point guard who can make outstanding plays in transition,” Coach Josh Baker said. “He has great bounce and he can see a play or two ahead on his offensive reads. He can grab a rebound and push the break and make plays that others cannot.” Beverly already has multiple offers, including Michigan State, Ohio State and Xavier.
Lorne Bowman, 6-2, So., G, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Bowman averaged 22.5 points and 4.9 assists, shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range to help OLSM advance to the Class A regional finals. He scored 20 in the regional final loss to Clarkston, making 5-of-8 3-pointers. “He’s a strong all-around player with the ability to create his own shot and for a 10th grader he could be one of the better ones we’ve ever had,” Coach Todd Covert said. “He’s quick, he’s a good defender and his ability to do a multitude of things with or without the ball makes him really hard to defend.” Bowman already has an offer from Buffalo.
Foster Loyer, 6-0, Sr., G, Clarkston
Loyer earned the title of Mr. Basketball, then showed why by scoring 82 points in the Final Four at the Breslin Center, including a 40-point performance in the Class A title game win over Holland West Ottawa to help Clarkston repeat as state champions. He didn’t even know he would be able to play in the postseason after suffering a knee injury during the final week of the regular season. He averaged 26.6 points and six assists. “This kid works his butt off every day, never goes a day without getting his shots in and he’s always thinking of other ways to improve,” Coach Dan Fife said. “He’s never satisfied.” Loyer will play at Michigan State.
Traveon Maddox, 6-4, Sr., G, Novi
Maddox was known for his late-game heroics, making consecutive buzzer beaters to lift Novi to wins over Ann Arbor Skyline (Class A regional final) and Belleville (quarterfinal) to reach the Final Four at the Breslin Center. He averaged 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists. “Traveon was a four-year starter for us, our go-to player,” Coach Brandon Sinawi said. “He has been one of the most productive players in Novi history. He had the ability to score inside and outside, and helped our team to three straight district titles, including a dominant run to a regional title and Final Four berth for the first time in school history.” Maddox will play next year at Oakland.
Bryce Washington, 6-4, Sr., G, Southfield Christian
Washington averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists to help Southfield Christian earn the Class D state championship. “Bryce is the all-time leading scorer in school history,” said Coach Josh Baker. “He is explosive and incredibly fast and is as good in transition as any player I have coached. Bryce plays with a great motor and high energy and he has the ability to shut down opposing players. He has a knack for scoring.” Washington has multiple offers, including one from Penn of the Ivy League.
Coach of the Year: Brandon Sinawi, Novi
Sinawi helped Novi rebound from a 1-5 start to earn its first regional championship, advancing to the Class A Final Four, where it went toe-to-toe with Holland West Ottawa before falling 53-50 in a state semifinal. “Our team did some really special things this year, beat some really well-coached and talented teams to reach our school’s first regional title and Final Four,” Sinawi said. “The kids loved playing together and met every challenge head on. They had an edge to them and a ‘no back down’ attitude that championship teams need.”
Taylor Currie, 6-9, Sr., C, Clarkston; Ashton Franklin, 6-5, Sr., F, Waterford Mott; Wendell Green, 5-11, So., G, Detroit Country Day; Devin Pettus, 6-2, Sr., G, Hazel Park; C.J. Robinson, 5-10, Sr., G, Clarkston.
Leon Ayers, 6-4, Sr., G, Troy; Carl Bow, 6-1, Sr., G, Hazel Park; Maliq Carr, 6-6, So., G-F, Oak Park; Trendon Hankerson, 6-3, Sr., G, Novi; Donavan Moore, 6-3, Jr., G, West Bloomfield.
Noah Baylis, Holly; Austin Brown, Madison Heights Madison; Ray Bryant, Farmington; Matt Buschman, Brighton; Demetrius Champion, Detroit Country Day; Martone Cole, Auburn Hills Avondale; Nate Davis, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek; Jason Dietz, Troy; Nick Dueweke, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Jacob Dunn, Brighton; Ethan Emerzian, Rochester Adams; Alex Finney, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook; Brady Flynn, Birmingham Seaholm; Kip French, Howell; Lamarcko Gulledge, Rochester; Gunnar Gustafson, Milford; Jack Hannon, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Brandon Harrison, Hartland; Tre Harvey, West Bloomfield; David Hearns, Hazel Park; Caleb Hunter, Southfield Christian; Jalen Kelso, West Bloomfield; Jamie Lewis, Lake Orion; Davis Lukomski, Detroit Catholic Central; Taylor McCaskill, Troy Athens; Will McCoy, Hartland; David McCullum, Waterford Mott; Jiovanni Miles, Novi; Josh Palo, Howell; Ryder Patterson, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian; Cass Phillips, White Lake Lakeland; Julian Roper, Detroit Country Day; Grant Ross, Waterford Lakes; Hunter Schattler, Rochester; Johnny Shields, Howell; Josiah Smith, Birmingham Roeper; Keenan Stolz, Brighton; Danny Sully, Troy; Aidan Warzecha, Milford; Kyle Washington, Hazel Park; Torrell Williams, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook; Tariq Woody, Novi.
Romeo Weems, 6-7, Jr., G-F, New Haven
Weems led New Haven to a 52-game winning streak before a Class B state semifinal loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central at the Breslin Center. He stuffed the stat sheet on a nightly basis, averaging 23.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 4.8 steals and 2.1 blocks. He had 40 points, 16 rebounds, 10 steals and six assists in a win over Macomb Dakota and had a quadruple double (21 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists, 10 steals), along with seven blocks, in a regional final win over Detroit Country Day. “What makes Romeo a special player is his IQ of the game and his versatility,” Coach Tedaro France said. “He is able to do so many things on the basketball court at his size. His great improvement in his 3-point shooting took his game to another level and made him and our team tough to defend.” Weems is being recruited by numerous national powers, including Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Amier Gilmore, 6-4, Sr., G-F, St. Clair Shores South Lake
Gilmore was an outstanding all-around player, averaging 19.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.6 steals to help South Lake earn its first district championship since 2006 before a Class B regional semifinal loss to River Rouge. “At 6-foot-4 he got to the basket and his mid-range was easy for him and he shot a high percentage from 3,” Coach Kurt Wilson said.
Ryan Rollins, 6-3, So., G, Macomb Dakota
Rollins averaged 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals to help Dakota repeat as MAC Red and Class A district champions. “Ryan is a special young player,” Coach Paul Tocco said. “He is a dynamic 6-3 guard who can score in a lot of ways and has point guard skills against any pressure. He has a bright future.”
Justin Fischer, 6-4, Sr., G, Warren De La Salle
Fischer was the floor general for De La Salle, averaging 10.5 points, seven assists and four rebounds to help De La Salle win a regional championship, then end a 12-game losing streak in its series with U-D Jesuit with a state quarterfinal win to earn a trip to the Breslin Center for the Class A Final Four. “He’s a great leader and he has a tremendous work ethic,” Coach Greg Esler said. “He was outstanding because he could go to his left as well as his right. He was a great role model for the school, for the basketball team and certainly for the coaches, just a great leader on the floor.” Fischer will play at Lake Superior State.
Ashton Sherrell, 6-7, Sr., F, New Haven
Sherrell was an outstanding two-way player, helping New Haven reach the Class B Final Four with his strong defense and ability to score inside or from the perimeter. He averaged 16 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 steals. “Ashton’s a natural stretch forward that can score inside and out and has the ability to step out and shoot the 3-point shot,” Coach Tedaro France said. “He is a great passer from the high post and short corners. He’s an excellent rim protector, averaging over three blocks and can get out on top of our presses and pressure the ball.”
Coach of the Year: Greg Esler, Warren De La Salle
Esler guided De La Salle to a regional championship and Class A state semifinal appearance in his 24th year of guiding the program, watching his team end a 12-game losing streak in the series with Catholic League rival U-D Jesuit in a quarterfinal. “I don’t think anybody played a harder schedule than us in the state of Michigan,” said Esler. “We beat Williamston, we beat Detroit Edison, we beat U-D Jesuit when they were on a big roll and went to Toledo St. Johns and beat one of the top teams in Ohio, and that was incredible. Those four wins alone speaks volumes of our team, and getting to the Final Four was special.” Esler has a 531-217 career record, has led his teams to seven regional championships, four Final Four appearances, five Catholic League championships and a Class B state title as head coach of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore in 1994.
Mavrick Gildyard, 6-6, Sr., F, Sterling Heights Stevenson; D’avion Moore, 6-5, Sr., F, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse; Tavares Oliver Jr., 6-1, Sr., New Haven; Luke Pfromm, 6-5, Sr., F, Warren De La Salle; D’Lano Woods, 5-11, Sr., G, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.
De’Jon Gantz, 6-4, Jr., F, Warren Mott; Ronald Jeffery III, 6-1, Jr., G, New Haven; Blake McRae, 6-1, Jr., G, Romeo; Tommy Schuster, 5-11, Jr., G, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley; Mark Tocco, 5-10, Jr., G, Macomb Dakota.
Charles Anderson, Warren Woods Tower; Arthur Asbury, Warren Cousino; Joe Ayrault, Grosse Pointe North; Tyler Balon, Port Huron; Darien Banks, Roseville; Caleb Bates, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; Matt Bird, Warren Woods Tower; Jaylen Blackwell, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse; JayQuan Clark, Utica Ford; Ben Davidson, St. Clair; Robert Davis, St. Clair Shores South Lake; Ryan Downey, Jr., Grosse Pointe South; Malot Dushaj, Sterling Heights; Daniel Everhart, Marine City Cardinal Mooney; Nik Gjonaj, Utica; Devin Goodwyn, Sr., Clinton Township Chippewa Valley; Wally Grabowski, Lamphere; Ayhem Hanna, Jr., Sterling Heights Stevenson; Cole Harko, Romeo; Ryan Heimbuch, Romeo; DT Higgins, Clintondale; Jashun Houston, Center Line; Johnny Jakaj, Sr., Sterling Heights Stevenson; Omari Johnson, Clawson; Demetric Knight, Madison Heights Madison; Billy Krempa, Sr., Utica Eisenhower; Matt Lockhart, Fraser; Mario Mattson, St. Clair; Haneef Minus, Warren Fitzgerald; Nicholas Olmeda, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore; Jalen Passmore, Warren Lincoln; Angelo Patsalis, Marine City; Will Patsalis, Marine City; Trenell Payne, Sterling Heights; Carl Pettway, Warren Fitzgerald; Justin Schultz, New Baltimore Anchor Bay; Emmanuel Spillman, St. Clair Shores South Lake; Dominque Stephens, Clawson; Martell Turner, So., Roseville; Lee Veasley, Warren Woods Tower; TJ Verner, Clawson; Dane Vos, Port Huron Northern; Richard Washington, Clintondale; Ryan Webb, Jr., Grosse Pointe North; DeAngelo White, Warren Lincoln; Jaylyn Williams, St. Clair Shores Lakeview; Jordan Winowiecki, Warren De La Salle.
Gabe Brown, 6-7, Sr., G-F, Belleville
Brown averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks to help Belleville reach the Class A regional finals. He had the ability to score by making the perimeter shot, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range, or by taking the ball to the basket. “Gabe is super talented at taking the ball to the basket and he’s starting to rebound better,” Coach Adam Trumpour said. “He’s as talented as any player, just not as polished and he’s just scratching the surface on potential.” Brown will play at Michigan State.
Quinn Blair, 6-6, Sr., F, Dearborn Divine Child
Blair averaged 20 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists to help Divine Child to a Class B state quarterfinal final appearance, finishing 18-7 with an unbeaten record in Catholic League AA play. “Quinn has great knowledge of the game, you can put the ball in his hands and he’ll make the right decision,” Coach Mac Horvath said. “He scores a lot of points, but he’s unselfish and is a great passer. He’s played just about every position, bringing the ball up the floor while giving us an inside presence defensively.” Blair will play at William & Mary.
Chase Meredith, 6-7, Sr., C, Canton
Meredith was a physical presence inside for Canton, helping it to an unbeaten record until a loss in the KLAA playoffs. He averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals, shooting 60 percent from the field, and had his best games against the toughest opponents, coming through with an 18-point, 10-rebound effort in a KLAA North Division title clinching win over Wayne. “Chase has the unique ability to score in multiple ways depending on how he is being guarded and one of his best attributes is his passing,” Coach Jimmy Reddy said.
Rashad Williams, 6-2, Sr., G, Wayne Memorial
Williams averaged 23.7 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds to help Wayne earn its first district title in 21 years. He was an outstanding perimeter shooter, making 77-of-153 3-pointers. “Rashad helped turn around Wayne’s program in his two years, helping it go 35-12,” Coach Nkwane Young said. “He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the court.” Williams will play next year at Cleveland State.
Brandon Wade, 6-2, Sr., G, Ann Arbor Skyline
Wade averaged 23.2 points, 7.2 assists and 4.3 rebounds to lead Skyline to an SEC Red Division championship and an unbeaten regular season before a regional final loss to Novi. He scored 34 in a win over Wayne and 32 in a victory over Detroit Old Redford. He shot 43 percent from 3-point range, making 52 of 121. “Brandon had an unbelievable senior season,” Coach Mike Lovelace said. “He brought his best every single game and led Skyline to 23 straight wins, including a perfect 10-0 SEC record, a district title and a trip to the regional final.” Wade will play next year at Duquesne.
Coach of the Year: Mark White, River Rouge
White has guided River Rouge to consecutive Class B Final Four appearances, this time around with just one senior – 6-1 guard Jayvien Torrance-Jackson – on the roster. “We were a great defensive team and were very competitive and had a special year after losing all-state players from a year ago,” White said. “We weren’t going to accept excuses that this would just be a rebuilding year and everyone bought into the defense first philosophy and we had a different kid step up every night and lead us in scoring. Jayvien (Torrance-Jackson) set the tone and was the heart and soul of the team, definitely one of the hardest working players I’ve ever had.”
Jack Ammerman, 5-10, Sr., G, Ann Arbor Skyline; Drew Lowder, 5-9, Jr., G, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Jayvien Torrance-Jackson, 6-1, Sr., G, River Rouge; Ryan Wade, 6-2, Jr., G, Ann Arbor Skyline; Davion Williams, 6-2, Sr., G, Belleville.
Nigel Colvin, 6-0, Jr., G, River Rouge; Isaiah Lewis, 6-0, Sr., G, Wayne Memorial; Vinson Sigmon, 5-11, Jr., G, Canton; Joshua Warren, 5-10, Jr., G, Woodhaven; B. Artis White, 5-11, Jr., G, Canton.
Trevor Arico, Saline; Eian Barker, Canton; Niko Barach, Northville; Jalal Baydoun, Dearborn Edsel Ford; Frankie Braxton, Westland John Glenn; Anthony Crump, Plymouth; Devin Dunn, Livonia Stevenson; Matt Elrod, Livonia Franklin; Chris Fazica, Livonia Stevenson; Jaylan Franklin, Gibralter Carlson; Donavan Freeman, River Rouge; Dalton Gaisor, Livonia Franklin; Parker Graham, Livonia Stevenson; Mark Grimes, Northville; Taji Hall, Livonia Churchill; Jordan Ingram, Salem; Luke Jaroszewicz, Livonia Churchill; Mark Mettie, Livonia Franklin; Joe Moon IV, Westland John Glenn; Steven Morrissey, Northville; A.J. Neal, Plymouth; Kasean Pryor, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Grant Racer, Salem; Joe Robb, Plymouth; Renel Thrasher, Westland John Glenn; Terreance Williams, Wayne Memorial; Lewis Willis, Ann Arbor Huron; Griffin Yaklich, Saline.