December to Remember
Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley
A busy season opening month for Inside Prep Sports, over 50 games were watched as teams and players from across the lower peninsula stood out. Dearborn Heights Robichaud's Lorenzo Bonam was the talk of the state through the first couple weeks of the season. Walled Lake Western's Miroslav Jaksic (pictured) made a believer of fans and coaches as he played very well at the Motor City Roundball Classic. The state's leading Mr. Basketball candidates, Flint Beecher's Monte Morris, Harper Woods Chandler Park's Derrick Walton, and Rochester's James Young put up big numbers. The junior guards did well for themselves as many had outstanding games and aren't quietly playing second fiddle to the strongest group of guards the state since their parents were in high school.
The 6'4" senior point guard Bonam opened up the season with big games in a win over Westland John Glenn and then almost led the Bulldogs to an upset win in overtime over preseason #1 Romulus. Just before Thanksgiving he was rumored to have signed with the University of Detroit-Mercy and that would have been a great get for them and the Titans' faithful would be proud to have the steal of Michigan's 2013 class; yes above Toledo signee Jonathan Williams (Southfield-Lathrup) and Oakland signee Kahlil Felder (Detroit Pershing).
Another rumored commit, Miroslav Jaksic, was said to be headed to Eastern Michigan but his recruitment is wide open and after a 35-point output in a fundraising game at Detroit Pershing the 6'10" skilled 4-man went on to put up impressive numbers throughout the month capped by a 20-point, 11 rebound effort in an overtime loss to Detroit Country Day in front of Michigan front man John Beilien, three EMU coaches including head coach Rob Murphy. Northwestern and the University of Detroit were also on hand. Northwestern's strong interest turned into an offer after the game. Video
As far as the Mr. Basketball running goes, Morris (Iowa State) has continued to keep Beecher's 30+ game win streak in firm standing, Walton (Michigan) and Chandler Park rose above Rochester in a head to head matchup in the middle of the month, and Young (Kentucky) continues to put up monster numbers. Morris and Walton have strong local support and fans (who aren't amongst the voters) have voiced their opinion while Young has the highest national ranking and a world of expectations. This race as mentioned a month ago has no clear cut winner as Morris has the state championship and win streak, Walton has the in-state school backing him and he's been outstanding on the court, and Young has the most potential and his production isn't far behind. Detroit Consortium's 6'8" energetic forward Vince Hunter will more than likely face up with Beecher as they did in last year's Class C playoffs while Felder leads the best team in the state should round out the five candidates.
With all the talk about the senior guards, many of the state's junior guards have a shadow that's been cast over them but Warren De La Salle's 6'6" guard AJ Turner solidified himself as a top five player with more than high major interest after a 35-point breakout win over Grand Rapids Christian and 6'5" junior point guard Drake Harris (Michigan State-football) early in the month. Harris is also a top five player in the state's junior class. Detroit Country Day's 6'4" combo guard Edmund Sumner has led the high scoring Yellow Jackets to an undefeated season thus far and has interest from ACC and Big Ten schools. He's another top five player in Michigan's junior class. Detroit Douglass' 6'5" junior point guard Darrell Davis holds offers from a host of mid-major programs as well as offers from Iowa and Iowa State. When Pershing's 6'8" junior power forward Justin Tillman returns from a nagging foot injury he will put Pershing that much further ahead of everyone in the state and expect high major offers to follow the athletic shot-blocker with an improving offensive game. Taylor Truman's 6'7" junior forward Aaron Foster-Smith has turned a great summer and fall into a very impressive first month of the season. Detroit, EMU, and Toledo have all taken notice and are hoping to pull off another recruiting coup to land the athletic Foster-Smith.
It is strongly suggested that any basketball fan or anyone who knows what a basketball is go check out Consortium's 6'6" freshman wing Josh Jackson. He's a top five player in the nation's 2016 class along and a couple of weeks ago considered a top ten player in Michigan regardless of class. At the end of the month, that discussion moved to top five player in the state regardless of class. Consortium hosts Toledo Scott at 7pm, Saturday, January 5th.
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