Michigan 2015-’16 Class B Preseason Rankings
Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley
Guard play and defense were terms used to describe Wyoming Godwin Heights state championship run. Godwin’s players were all able to handle the ball and play at a speed that was hard to duplicate for any of their opponents last season. They also shot the ball at a very high percentage (66.7%) from the perimeter in last season’s championship game vs. Detroit Henry Ford. This season’s team will look for the same recipe of success with many of the same ingredients.
1.Wyoming Godwin Heights (26-1) The Wolverines will have the uphill battle of repeating while replacing key seniors. Their swarming full-court defense is in place along with talented sophomores who and juniors who started or played meaningful minutes. This group is guard heavy and what they don’t have in size they have in structured system led by senior guard Leon Redd, senior forward Richard Major, junior point guard Christian Rodriguez, sophomore guard Lamar Norman, and sophomore Markeese Hastings.
2. River Rouge (18-6) Every year under head coach Lamonta Stone adds value to the Panthers and the state. Junior point guard Darian Owens-White, junior wing Delantae Peterson, senior forward Javon Lawrence, and sophomore Dalen Parker provide strength at multiple positions for a team that fell short in last year’s regional.
3. Onsted (19-5) 6’10” senior center Austin Davis is the Class B preseason Player of the Year and he has put in the work as have his teammates who should have plenty of open shots as the future Michigan Wolverine will demand two, three, and yes four defenders. Expect Davis to post gaudy numbers as 40 points with 25 rebounds isn’t out of the norm.
4. Hazel Park (10-11) Don’t let the record fool you, these Vikings were only freshmen. Since then guards Carl Bow and David Hearns have earned their first D1 offer from St. Peters (NJ.) after taking their freshman bumps and strong play since last March. Senior power forward James Jenkins has the size and athleticism along with a decent skill set. Look for sophomore transfer Kyle Washington to bolster the back court in January.
5. New Haven (25-1) The Rockets’ guard play will be the make or break for this squad. They have the post settled with senior centers Jerry Ben (Cornell) and Innocent Nwoko (Central Michigan). Look for freshman small forward Romeo Weems to be a big contributor in the starting lineup.
6. Williamston (17-5) Senior point guard Riley Lewis is a dangerous scorer with range to 25’ and freshman forward Sean Cobb has talent beyond his years. Also, expect freshman Carey Haney to be a solid contributor on the varsity squad.
7. Dearborn Divine Child (9-12) Head coach Andy Dold has waited for this group to gain the experience needed to put his squad back on the winning track. Junior center Liam Soraghan is coming into his own and junior point guard Jordan Jones is a big bodied point guard who is a solid playmaker. Sophomore forward Quinn Blair is looking to build off of a strong freshman year. Junior Scott Combs has the most experience with three years of varsity experience.
8. Wayland Union (19-4) Junior forward Zach Nieuwkoop and junior point guard Avery Hudson will add to the versatility of senior forward Michael Kelly. Kelly is a stat sheet stuffer and Nieuwkoop is a strong rebounder who can score from 17’ and in.
9. Big Rapids (16-7) Senior guards Jeffrey Davenport and Kenneth Davis put up great stats as juniors. This year’s junior to see is wing Demetri Martin who is one of the state’s top juniors and had games where he led the Cardinals in scoring.
10. Charlotte (15-9) The Orioles had a strong season in 2014-’15 but a meeting with the eventual state champs in March ended their run in the regional final. Senior wing Sy Barnett is an explosive scorer who had a strong junior year that continued through the spring and summer.
11. Detroit Henry Ford (21-6)
12. Haslett (18-6)
13. Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy (13-8)
14. Detroit CMA (14-6)
15. Detroit Douglass (13-9)
16. Holland Christian (18-7)
17. Benton Harbor (18-7)
18. Detroit Consortium (17-6)
19. Alma (18-5)
20. Sault St. Marie (15-6)
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