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Detroit Cornerstone junior Jamal Cain

Michigan 2015-’16 Class C Preseason Rankings

Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley


A year older, a year wiser, and another season of expectations leads Flint Beecher to the #1 position of Inside Prep Sports’ Class C preseason rankings.  The Bucs’ will look to become the first Michigan team to win four state championship in the 21st century and they have the pieces to repeat and win their fourth title in five years while leading the basketball rich community.

Don’t be fooled by these top teams’ records as each has a loaded schedule chalked full of the state’s top Class A, B, and C schools.  Preparation is built in empty gyms and respect is earned in games from those who says you can’t.  Three of the top nine teams’ seasons are guaranteed to end in the first week of playoffs as DEPSA, Allen, Pershing, and Loyola will duke it out in districts.

Here are the Top 20 Class C Preseason Teams:

  1. Flint Beecher (26-1) G-O-O-D, really good.  Senior wing Aquavius Burks, junior center Levane Blake, and junior point guard Malik Ellison are starters from last season’s championship team.
  2. Detroit Edison Public School Academy (17-6) DEPSA won the toughest Class C district in the state last March and with a very young team and new coach.  A year’s experience will improve their chances of getting past the regional where their game season ended last season.  Like Allen, Loyola, and Pershing they’ll first need to get out of District 73.  Point guard Dave Dejulius is arguably the top point guard in the state’s sophomore class.  Junior forward Will Weems is on his way to Division 1 offers.
  3. Southfield Christian (21-4) It isn’t a given that they’ll make it through their district as Cornerstone will get stronger in January as injuries heal.  The road won’t get easier with Beecher more than likely waiting in the 21st  Region.  The Eagles are led by two-time state champion (Class D ’13 & ’14) senior wing Marlo Brown who holds multiple Division 1 offers.  The Washington brothers, Brock ’17 and Bryce ’18, were starters last season and will be focal parts of the offense and defense.  Freshman point guard Caleb Hunter will be able to run the show early.
  4. Detroit Cornerstone (15-5) The Wolves have the talent to make it to the Breslin and even win.  The road won’t be easy.  Jamal Cain is the Class C preseason Player of the Year Rivals #70 junior in the country after a great summer that has led to numerous mid-major offers with a versatile game that has high major attraction.  Junior point guard Davion Bradford has emerged as a college prospect.  Junior power forward Ethan Dixon will return from injury in January and is a matchup problem.
  5. Detroit Allen Academy (12-9) Their starting five is arguably the most talented team on paper and that’s beyond Class C.  Again, District 73.  Senior point guard Jason Williams (East Tennessee State) and senior forward Daniel Pippen (Kent State) have signed to play college basketball and provide one of the state’s top 1-2 punches.  The Wildcats also have junior wings Drequan Bell and Juwan Snoddy will also play college basketball while Mark Watts is regarded as one of the best freshman in the state.  
  6. Detroit Loyola (15-6) The Bulldogs have the youngest commit in Michigan with sophomore point guard PJ Mitchell committing to Central Michigan and strong guard play in senior Dequan Powell.  Football players and a solid group of basketball players round out the group.  See, District 73. 
  7. Monroe St. Mary’s (22-4) They graduated the Class C player of the year and were a regional winner last year after beating DEPSA.  Senior Stephan Umfress is a super athlete off the wing and junior transfer forward Nick Welch is coming into his own.
  8. Detroit Pershing (10-10) Not a misprint, the Doughboys are in C and….District 73.  6’7” senior forwards David Syfax and Charles Manson will provide a tough match up as both will be on the court at the same time.  Junior guard Patrick Hatcher and sophomore point guard Ron Hill will need to stabilize the backcourt.
  9. Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian (21-6) Another 2015 semi-finalist with a quality group returning.  They’ll have to get by on point guard by committee as they did last year.  6’5 seniors Tyler Baker and Spencer Peterson are future college players who have the versatility to play towards and away from the basket.
  10. Hanover-Horton (24-2) A semi-finalist last season and return of starters who advanced with a win over the preseason #9.  Senior forward Preston Laketa is the loan starter returning and will have the opportunity to play college basketball.
  11. Grandville Calvin Christian (12-10)
  12. Flint Hamady (15-6)
  13. Riverview Gabriel Richard (13-6)
  14. Arbor Prep (13-9)
  15. Melvindale Academy of Business & Technology (11-10)
  16. Millington (19-6)
  17. St. Ignace (14-10)
  18. Addison (12-12)
  19. Muskegon Heights (13-6)
  20. Vassar (17-6)

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