Jared Purcell, www.mlive.com
Now that the high school boys basketball season has come to an end, it is time to recognize the top talent that roamed the hardwood around MLive Detroit coverage area.
It is time to meet the MLive Detroit Dream Team selections for the 2017-18 boys basketball season, including the Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year. As far as the Dream Team is concerned, it would be amazing to see the five players selected to suit up together.
Also, the Second Team, Third Team and Honorable Mention selections are also announced below.
MLive Detroit Player of the Year:
Loyer's trophy case has grown a lot this season. He was named the Hal Schram Mr. Basketball winner and the Gatorade Player of the Year in Michigan for boys basketball this season.
Oh, and he added another state championship to Clarkston's trophy case this season after leading the Wolves to its first state title last year.
With that in mind, it is no surprise that Loyer is the MLive Detroit Player of the Year for boys basketball for the second season in a row.
The future Michigan State Spartan has the numbers to back up all of his awards and accolades as well. This winter, Loyer averaged 26.5 points per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field. He also averaged 7 assists and 3 steals. He finished with a bang, scoring 42 points in the semifinals and 40 points in the state championships. In that two-game span, he was 26-for-36 from the field, 13-for-22 from 3-point range and 17-for-18 from the free-throw line.
He finished his career as Clarkston's all-time leading scorer with 2,323 points for his career, which is good for 11th in state history. His 634 made free-throws in his career is first in state history while his career free-throw shooting percentage of 90 percent (634-for-704) ranks second all-time. His 272 career 3-point shots made ranks seventh in state history while his 589 career assists are good for sixth all-time.
How much does Loyer mean to the basketball program at Clarkston? Well, the team has already retired his No. 1 jersey.
No matter where basketball takes him, Loyer will always have a hero's welcome at Clarkston.
"You're going to be amazed at what this kid can do," Clarkston coach Dan Fife said. "I've said this so much but it's so true: He's as good a kid off the floor as he is on the floor. When he walks around school, you wouldn't know who he is and how much publicity he's had and all of the talk about him in all of the papers. You would never know it. He fits in with the whole student body and has a relationship with almost every kid at the school. If you talk to our teachers, they just marvel at how he is in the classroom and helping kids."
Despite a roster dominated by talent and athleticism, Brown still found a way to stand out this season for the Tigers. Shooting 52.8 percent from the field, Brown averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists this season.
Committed to Michigan State, Brown played a key role in Belleville's journey to clinching its first Class A region title in 14 years. Able to score from anywhere on the floor, he hit 71 3-point shots and averaged 42 percent from beyond the arc.
"Gabe has overcome a ton of personal adversity and worked extremely hard on his game over his career at Belleville," Belleville coach Adam Trumpour said. "Myself, our staff, and the Belleville community are extremely proud of him and excited for him to continue his academic and athletic career at Michigan State."
Detroit East English
It was a heck of a final high school season for the future Michigan Wolverine as DeJulius averaged 27 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds this winter.
A Mr. Basketball finalist and the Mr. PSL award winner, DeJulius scored 1,030 combined points his junior and senior year. In handing Clarkston its only loss this winter, DeJulius scored 42 points with 10 rebounds, including 17 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.
"He has superior work ethic," East English coach Juan Rickman said. "Him and Fred Wright-Jones (former Michigan walk-on) have had the best work ethic that I've ever coached ... I think the thing that really separates him from everybody else is that he has an immaculate work ethic."
Expected to be a front runner for Mr. Basketball next season, Weems dominated opponents all winter. This season, Weems averaged 23.5, points 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assist, 4.8 steals and 2 blocks per game. Weems scored 590 points in 25 games taking him to 1,497 career points. He is closing in on the New Haven school record of 1,840. He also developed in more of a deep threat this season, shooting 51-for-126 (40 percent) from 3-point range.
In the region championship victory over Detroit Country Day, Weems collected a quadruple-double with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 10 steals. He also had 7 blocks to finish just shy of a quintuple-double.
"With him it starts in the gym," New Haven coach Tedaro France said. "His work ethic and leadership is second to none and it is contagious to everyone in our program ... Romeo improving his shot took his game and expanded it to a another level, which made it that much harder for teams to defend him and our team. He is only getting better everyday and it is scary to know that he is going to be better next year and he wouldn't have it no other way."
Detroit Henry Ford Academy School for Creative Studies
An absolute force in the paint, Williams put up massive numbers against his vastly undersized competition. He averaged a massive double-double this season with 19.8 points and 18.8 rebounds while also averaging 3.4 blocks.
Signed with Purdue, Williams had 23 points and an incredible 37 rebounds in a win over Detroit University Prep, according to MaxPreps. He also had 8 assists, 8 blocks and 6 steals in the game. According to MaxPreps, Williams recorded 19 double-doubles this season.
"It's amazing because he does things that are hard to teach," Henry Ford Academy coach Taurean Wilson said. "He's a do-it-all player. He can pass the ball well and his vision is very great. He rebounds the ball like no one else, along with the outlet pass to compliment that ... I think that the confidence that the guys get from playing around him is probably the biggest attribute that can't be filled in a stat sheet."
Coach of the Year:
Brandon Neely, Detroit Edison Public School Academy Edison
started the season with plenty of hype as a contender in Class C. However, the hype quickly cooled and disappeared as Edison opened the season 0-4 and held a 5-9 entering the Detroit Public School League tournament. At that point, people thought Edison's season was a bust.
Yet, despite losing to Catholic League champion Detroit U-D Jesuit in the Operation Friendship game, the Pioneers were ready to take Class C by storm.
Winning five straight to claim the program's first ever PSL championship, also becoming the first Class C team to win a PSL title.
The Pioneers continued to roll through the state tournament, getting to the semifinals for the second year in a row and then beating Maple City Glen Lake, 53-38, in the state championship game for a 17-10 final record.
"We started the season ranked No. 5 in the state, so to go 2-6 was a big disappointment, but we always understood that everyone makes it to the playoffs, and we didn't worry about who we had to play first," Neely said after claiming the title. "We thought we were talented enough to compete with anyone. I have three Division I athletes on my team, so I had a lot of confidence and was very optimistic that once we got in the playoffs, we were going to be a tough team."
It was an amazing second half of the season for Edison and credit goes to Neely for keeping his players focused and on track.
Holding many Division I offers, Beverly averaged 16 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals per game this season. In helping Southfield Christian claim the Class D state championship, he scored 23 points with 8 blocks, 7 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 assists as the Eagles topped Buckley, 64-54. He was also named Class D Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
Clarkston might feel a bit robbed that Currie is graduating after this school year because he reclassified from the Class of 2019 to 2018 before the school year. Signed to play at Wisconsin, Currie continued to improve throughout the season, averaging 13 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as Clarkston claimed its second-straight Class A title.
It was another fantastic year for Washington, capping it with the first state championship of his high school career. This season, he averaged 21.6 points, 8 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field. He graduates as the all-time leading scorer in Southfield Christian history, finishing his career with 1,685 points.
Mark "Rocket" Watts Jackson,
Detroit Old Redford
Rocket is such an appropriate nickname for this talented player as he continues to fly higher and higher with each passing season. This winter, Watts averaged 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals while leading the Ravens to a Class B district title and an appearance in the region championships. He was also named the Charter School Conference Player of the Year.
Williams played a huge role in leading the Wayne Memorial team back to relevance in the basketball landscape. While leading Wayne to its first district title in 21 years this season, Williams was able to average 23.2 points 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds through his first 16 games in the regular season. He also scored over 1,000 points in just two seasons at Wayne and he will play for Cleveland State next year.
Second Team coach:
Dan Fife, Clarkston
After winning the program's first Class A state championship a year ago, Clarkston was immediately tabbed as a favorite to win the title again this season.
However, after dealing with the drama surrounding Thomas Kithier's eligibility through the first half of the season, the road was not as smooth as Fife would have liked for his players. Plus, there was that ever present "target on our backs" that Fife referenced throughout the season as everyone tried to take down the defending champions.
Finishing the season 26-1 with a dominating performances in playoffs, including a running-clock victory in the title game, Fife was able to keep his players on the straight and narrow all season. He also claimed win No. 700 during the tournament run.
- P.J. Mitchell, G, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Sr.
- Traveon Maddox, G, Novi, Sr.
- Gary Solomon, G, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Sr.
- Quinn Blair, G/F, Dearborn Divine Child, Sr.
- Davion Williams, G, Belleville, Sr.
- Coach: Brandon Sinawi, Novi
Honorable Mention selections
Players are presented in alphabetical order of last name.
- Tavares Oliver, G, New Haven, Sr.
- Ashton Sherrell, F, New Haven, Sr.
- Tyson Acuff, G, Detroit Cass Tech, So.
- Devin Alverson, G, Belleville, Sr.
- Leon Ayers, G, Troy, Sr.
- Caleb Bates, F, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, Jr.
- Carl Bow, G, Hazel Park, Sr.
- Austin Brown, G, Madison Heights Madison, Jr.
- Malik Carr, F, Oak Park, So.
- Elijah Collins, G, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Sr.
- Jason Dietz, G, Troy, Sr.
- Devin Dunn, G, Livonia Stevenson, Sr.
- Donavan Freeman, F, River Rouge, Jr.
- Daniel Friday, G, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Jr.
- Myron Gardner, F, Detroit Loyola, Jr.
- Marcus Gibbs, G, Detroit Martin Luther King, Sr.
- Randy Gilbert, F, Detroit Cass Tech, Sr.
- Kole Gjonaj, F, Warren De La Salle, Sr.
- Wendell Green, G, Detroit Country Day, So.
- Trendon Hankerson, G, Novi, Sr.
- Tre Harvey, G, West Bloomfield, Sr.
- Kyle Hensley, F, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, Sr.
- Kaloh Holmes, G, Rochester Hills Christian, So.
- Caleb Hunter, G, Southfield Christian, Jr.
- Isaiah Jackson, F, Detroit Old Redford, So.
- LaTravian Jackson, F, Detroit Western International, Sr.
- Deante Johnson, F, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Sr.
- Jalen Kelso, G, West Bloomfield, Sr.
- Tyler Koons, F, Gibraltar Carlson, Sr.
- Isaiah Lewis, G, Wayne Memorial, Jr.
- Antonio Marshall, G, Detroit Martin Luther King, Sr.
- Carrington McCaskill, F, Detroit Renaissance, Jr.
- Chase Meredith, F, Canton, Sr.
- Kavon Merriweather, G, Belleville, Sr.
- Jiovanni Miles, G, Novi, Jr.
- Donavan Moore, G, West Bloomfield, Jr.
- Devin Pettus, G, Hazel Park, Sr.
- Luke Pfromm, F, Warren De La Salle, Sr.
- Cass Phillips, F, White Lake Lakeland, Sr.
- Caden Prieskorn, G/F, Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Sr.
- C.J. Robinson, G, Clarkston, Sr.
- D'Juan Seal, G, Detroit Pershing, Sr.
- Vinson Sigmon, G, Canton, Jr.
- Jalen Thomas, C, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Jr.
- Jayvien Torrance-Jackson, G, River Rouge, Sr.
- Chandler Turner, F, Detroit Renaissance, Jr.
- Josh Warren, G, Woodhaven, Jr.
- Zach Winston, G, Detroit U-D Jesuit, Sr.
- Tariq Woody, C, Novi, Sr.
Honorable Mention coaches
- Tedaro France, New Haven
- Josh Baker, Southfield Christian
- Brandon Barrett, Hazel Park
- Mark Bray, Detroit Country Day
- Pat Donnelly, Detroit U-D Jesuit
- Greg Esler, Warren De La Salle
- Gary Fralick, Troy
- Steve Hall, Detroit Cass Tech
- Wydell Henry, Detroit Pershing
- Mac Hovath, Dearborn Divine Child
- David McGlown, Waterford Mott
- James Reddy, Canton
- Juan Rickman, Detroit East English Village
- Bobby Thompson, Oak Park
- Paul Tocco, Macomb Dakota
- Adam Trumpour, Belleville
- Mark White, River Rouge
- Nkwane Young, Wayne Memorial