University of Detroit-Jesuit 2016 Cassius Winston
Michigan 2015-’16 Class A Preseason Rankings
Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley
Three times a charm? It’s hard not to say that the University of Detroit-Jesuit is destined to win this season as they seem to have all the pieces and experience that Class A champions are made of. They have the best player in the state, an absorbent amount of height along the front line, quality coaching, and a cool concentrated swagger.
- University of Detroit-Jesuit (22-4) They’ve made trips to the state semi-finals the last two years and it seems that this is UD-Jesuit’s time as they have the Class A preseason Player of the Year in senior point guard Cassius Winston (Michigan State), junior centers Ike Ekechuwu and Greg Eboigbodin, as well as a sophomore guard and defensive stopper in Elijah Collins. The new comers, sophomore transfer Kamari Johnson adds height to the front court and freshman Julian Dozier is the Cubs’ top shooter and backup point guard. Freshman center Julian Taylor will be a name to know in the future. Perimeter shooting may be their only Achilles heel.
- Detroit Western (26-0) The defending Class A champs graduated a lot of height and one of the state’s top guards, however they still have the best combination of guards going four deep with seniors Brailen Neely (Oakland), Karim Murray, Armani Tinsley, and Kyree Boynton. Junior power forward Josh Long is an athletic rebounder who will be expected to defend the post especially when the playoffs roll around. Sophomore shooting guard Anthony Roberts is another player to watch.
- Clarkston (24-1) The Wolves were seconds away from a quarterfinal win in March and while they graduated key seniors, sophomore point guard Foster Loyer and senior shooting guard Tabin Throgmorton will combine with Davison transfer junior Dylan Alderson to form arguably the state’s top backcourt. They’ll need help from senior post player Mitch Heaton who will play college football.
- Kalamazoo Central (23-2) The Maroon Giants took a hit earlier this year when senior Devon Daniels transferred to Prolific Prep in California. K-Central is still really good with a strong core of front court players in juniors Isaiah Livers and Rog Stein who will provide scoring at the center and power forward positions. Senior wing Orlando Little is one of the state’s toughest matchups as he rebounds like a power forward yet can beat bigger defenders off the dribble. Junior wing Ontario Burnett has talent and will have the opportunity to fill the void of Daniels’ absence. Senior point guard Jeremiah Richard will help the state’s top most productive frontcourt click.
- Detroit East English Village (16-5) Keeping up with the Bulldogs’ scoring will test opponents as they are a senior laden team who have the state’s best scorer in Karmari Newman (George Mason), one of the top floor generals with Chris Rollins (IPFW), and ultimate glue guy in forward Jaylin McFadden (Ferris State). Senior point guard Nate Boleware has speed and is a defensive ball hawk who will play college football and Lamar Neely is scorer from the wing. Cedrick Lattimore is a bull in the post and the all-state football player is headed to the University of Iowa next year. All points are leading for junior shooting guard Greg Elliott to continue his upward trend over the last year as he will take the big shot, rebound, and defend. They will more than likely see their nemesis Detroit Western in the PSL and State playoffs.
- Macomb Dakota (21-3) The Cougars 2014-’15 season was upended by Clarkston in a regional final and will be the #1 team in Macomb County. Head coach Paul Tocco will look for sophomore center Thomas Kithier and junior forward and transfer Brendan Sackey to step up in the place of a graduated front court who are all playing college basketball. Senior guard Chris Marshall will combine with one of the state’s top point guards, junior Jermaine Jackson, jr., who is a triple threat option as a scorer, facilitator, and defender.
- North Farmington (20-4) A regional finalist a year ago won’t have to worry about the University of Detroit-Jesuit this upcoming March unless they reach the Breslin but, will more than likely are on a collision course with Dakota in this season’s regional. The Raiders have a strong backcourt led by seniors Billy Thomas and Jacob Joubert will be boosted in a big way by junior transfer Amauri Hardy in December or after the semester in late January pending the MHSAA’s ruling on the transfer from Southfield. Junior power forward Nate Brooks moved to the area from Georgia this summer and will provide immediate production on both ends of the court. Senior forward Alex Darden is headed to the University of Cincinnati for baseball next season and for now will provide scoring, rebounding, and defense.
- Detroit Renaissance (13-8) In a loaded group of Class A teams, the Phoenix have the talent to hoist trophies in the PSL and State playoffs. The senior trio of point guard Richard Talley, Justin Turner, and center Alaric Jackson is arguably the best in the state. Each brings a different dynamic of facilitator, scorer, and strong post play. Talley is highly sought after by GLIAC schools with some D1 interest, Turner is high on the list of MAC and Horizon schools, and Jackson has high level football offers including Michigan State as an offensive tackle, but college basketball isn’t out of the question. Sophomore power forward Jalen Tobias is one of the state’s top rebounders and wing Chandler Turner is one of the state’s top freshman who can expect a meaningful role.
- Rochester Adams (15-8) The Highlanders will have to face Clarkston and North Farmington twice as part of OAA-Red league play and will more than likely see the latter a third time in the first round of playoffs. They have experience, chemistry, and are led by senior guards Spencer Littleson (Duquesne) and Joe Ziniti as well as senior David Rinke who will hold down the post. All three will have the opportunity to play college basketball.
- West Bloomfield (18-3) West Bloomfield were going to be good this season whether or not senior guard Trishton Jackson played this season. The Lakers got a boost when he decided not to forgo basketball as he has signed to play football for the Michigan State Spartans. Combo guard Kevin McAdoo is one of the state’s top up and coming juniors and senior Gervon Winn adds depth to the back court.
- Muskegon (23-2)
- Ypsilanti (19-5)
- Saginaw (13-7)
- Grand Rapids Christian (12-10)
- Ann Arbor Huron (20-3)
- Ann Arbor Pioneer (12-10)
- Detroit Cass Tech (9-11)
- Saginaw Arthur Hill (24-4)
- Walled Lake Central (20-6)
- Detroit King (9-12)
- E. Lansing (12-9)
- Romulus (18-6)
- Belleville (12-9)
- Warren De La Salle (14-10)
- Hudsonville (16-8)
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Innocent Nwoko (New Haven) - Central Michigan
Jerry Ben (New Haven) - Cornell
Austin Davis (Onsted) - Michigan
Brailen Neely (Detroit Western) - Oakland
Chris Rollins (Detroit East English Village) - IPFW
Kevin McKay (Warren De La Salle) - Central Michigan
Spencer Littleson (Rochester Adams) - Duquesne
Kameron Hankerson (Novi) - Wisconsin-Green Bay
Braden Burke (Stevensville-Lakeshore) - Robert Morris
Ryan Schuller (Sturgis) - Michigan Tech
Cassius Winston (University of Detroit-Jesuit) - Michigan State
Cody Kegley (Yale) - Michigan-Dearborn
Rahsaan Pope (Romulus) - Saginaw Valley State
Jason Williams (Detroit Allen Academy) - E. Tennessee State
Daniel Pippen (Detroit Allen Academy) - Kent State
Jaylin McFadden (Detroit East English Village) - Ferris State
Corey Allen (Ypsilanti) - Detroit-Mercy
Karmari Newman (Detroit East English Village) - George Mason
Dylan Carl (Alma) - IPFW
Ty Groce (Ypsilanti Lincoln) - Northeastern
Billy Burton (Saginaw Arthur Hill) - Ferris State
Jackson Schrameyer (Traverse City Central) - Lake Superior State
Tyler Baker (Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian) - Cornerstone
Michael Peterson (Rockford) - Ferris State
Preston Laketa (Hanover-Horton) - Alma
Ryan Stevens (Lowell)- Alma
James Towns II (Detroit Henry Ford) - Niagara
Micah Rosser (East Kentwood) - Indianapolis
Justin Turner (Detroit Renaissance) - BGSU
David Syfax (Detroit Pershing) - Morgan State
Billy Thomas (North Farmington) - Oakland
Ian Hodges (Holly) - Northern Michigan
Kyle Woodruff (Holly) - Mariettra
Malik Smith (Flint Hamady) - Livingstone College