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Michigan's Preseason Teams 1-5

Inside Prep Sports/By TJ Kelley


The state's cream of the crop and while there is no clear cut #1, 2, 3, 4, or even 5 in this group, these are the best teams in the state.  All have the key components to win: Experience of big games, depth, solid guard play, defense, and while Saginaw Arthur Hill did it in 2006 without a post presence, these teams all have solid bigs who impact games.  Arthur Hill has hard nosed players, one of the top guards in the state, junior Eric Davis, a post presence in Josh Jones, a glue guy and tough defender in Martel Handley, and the state's top freshman, Brian Bowen, jr.  Pershing lost to the eventual Class A state champion, Romulus, by a bucket in the quarterfinals and while they are anchored by Justin Tillman in the middle and point guard Darsean Woodson the Doughboys will rely on transfers, Mory Diane, jr. and Marquel Ingram to make outside shots.  Muskegon has the state's top junior big man in Deyonta Davis, but it will be senior point guards Deshaun Thrower and Will Roberson along with junior wing Joeviair Kennedy who will get the motor clicking on all cylinders.  Ypsilanti has the state's top three seniors in Jaylen Johnson, who will need to show the consistency from this spring and summer rather than the ups and downs of a good junior year.  The Phoenix also have senior point guard Janeau Joubert, a back up at the point in junior transfer Amir Poole, and one of the state's top shooting guards Corey Allen.  Detroit-Jesuit has the state's top floor general in sophomore Cassius Winston along with often overlooked senior wing Noah King, sophomore guard Billy Thomas, and twin tower freshmen, Eke Donatus and Greg Mike.

1. Saginaw Arthur Hill- Head coach Greg McMath has been here before and last a champion in 2006.  The recent hurdle has been in districts against rival Saginaw who have won three state titles since the Lumberjacks were king in Breslin.  It's not who wins the first two meetings; it's who wins in March.  Key players:  6'2" 2014 shooting guard Martel Handley, 6'3" 2015 combo guard Eric Davis, 6'8" 2015 center Josh Jones, 6'6" 2017 wing Brian Bowen, jr.; Key Games: @ Mt. Pleasant 12/17, Southfield Christian @ Best of the Best (Detroit Renaissance) 12/21, @ Saginaw 1/28, Mt. Pleasant 1/31, Saginaw 2/4, @ Detroit Consortium 2/15

2. Detroit Pershing- The Doughboys' Wydell Henry enters his second year as head coach and like last year he has the luxury of key upperclassmen along with transfer and state champion from Detroit Country Day Mory Diane, jr.  Key players: 6'2" 2014 shooting guard Mory Diane, jr., 6'8" 2014 power forward Dwayne Embry, 6'5" 2014 small forward Daniel Gwyer, 6'7" 2014 power forward Justin Tillman, 5'9" 2014 point guard Darsean Woodson, 6'2" 2015 shooting guard Marquel Ingram, 5'7" 2017 point guard Armani Felder; Key games: Chicago Morgan Park @ Derrick Coleman Midwest Challenge (Detroit Mumford) 1/9, Westland John Glenn @ Horatio Williams Tip-Off Classic 12/14, Ypsilanti @ Best of the Best (Detroit Renaissance), Southfield 12/26 @ PSL Holiday Classic, Chicago Orr @ Motor City Roundball Classic (Harper Woods) 12/29, Detroit Western 1/7, @ Detroit King 1/10, @ Detroit Consortium 1/11, @ Detroit Henry Ford 1/17, @ Detroit Cass Tech 1/24, @ Detroit Douglass 1/28, Detroit Southeastern 1/31

3. Muskegon- Keith Guy has made the trip to the Breslin many times with Muskegon Heights and this season, his second with the Big Reds, should be his first in Class A as Muskegon has the key components as well as great guard play.  Key players: 6' 2014 point guard Deshaun Thrower, 5'10" 2014 guard Will Roberson, 6'8" 2015 power forward Deyonta Davis, 6'3" 2015 wing Joeviair Kennedy; Key games: Chicago Curie @ Muskegon Basketball Classic 1/4, Grand Rapids Christian 1/21, Mt. Clemens 2/15, River Rouge 2/28

4. Ypsilanti - Head coach Steve Brooks almost saw the Breslin last year before falling to Saginaw in the quarterfinals.  This year they'll see Arthur Hill and they'll match-up well.  Key players: 6'8" 2014 power forward Jaylen Johnson, 6' 2014 point guard Janeau Joubert, 5'9" 2015 point guard Amir Poole, 6'3" 2016 shooting guard Corey Allen; Key games: Detroit Pershing @ Best of the Best (Detroit Mumford), @ Ann Arbor Huron 2/4, Ann Arbor Poineer 2/18, @ Ypslanti Lincoln 2/21

5. University of Detroit-Jesuit - Last year's Catholic League Champion almost knocked off Pershing in Districts, this year head coach Pat Donnely has many key returners and freshmen who are going through an eligibilty dispute.  Key players: 6'4" 2014 wing Noah King, 6' 2016 shooting guard Billy Thomas, 6' 2016 point guard Cassius Winston, 6'10" 2017 center Eke Donatus, 6'8" 2017 center Greg Mike; Key games: Lakewood (OH.) St. Edwards 12/14, @ Toledo St. Johns, @ Cleveland St. Ingatius 1/3, @ Warren De La Salle 1/7, Detroit Loyola 1/7, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 2/17, Warren De La Salle 1/24, @ Orchard Lake St. Mary's 2/7

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