In our college basketball previews last month, we were able to take a close-up look at every college team in the state. Obviously, with mainly a staff of one right now, that same strategy won’t work for previewing high school basketball, so instead, I’ve broken the state up by regions and have asked a few guests who are familiar with those areas to share some thoughts on the best teams and players in those areas for our previews this week in a roundtable format.
Top five players in the Flint area:
4. Malik Young (Flint Southwestern JR G) – After the departure of Northern’s Richie Lewis to prep school, this Saginaw Valley first team point guard is the best player in the city. He has been an impact player since being called up to varsity as a freshman.
Top five teams in the Flint area:
1. Beecher – Even if the Bucs don’t go undefeated again this season, they will return to the Breslin Center to defend their state title. Morris, Markell Lucas, Emanuel Phife, Eric Cooper and company are much too talented to let anyone in class C (expect for maybe Detroit Consortium) put a cramp in their dominance.
2. Carman-Ainsworth – Guards, guards, everywhere guards. Watts leads a crowded backcourt into the tough Saginaw Valley. The Cavs always seem to disappoint in the playoffs, and this year may be the team’s last chance to make a deep run for a while. The Cavs are the best team in the south of the Saginaw Valley and, with solid forward play, could make a run.
3. Fenton – Readman and 6-foot-4 senior forward Cory Cox form one of the area’s best inside-outside combinations. The Tigers are the favorites to win the Flint Metro League again this season.
4. Goodrich – First-year head coach Tim Tenneriello has a ton of talent, but Beecher stands in the way of a GAC Red championship. If the Martians fail to win 15 games, I’d be shocked. Grant Smith, Alec Myers, Mitchell Rubio and Carlos Fordham will share the scoring load this season.
5. Swartz Creek – Fenton’s main competition this season in the Metro League, Swartz Creek goes as Tisdale and Max Cummings go. If the two can co-exist, they could upset the defending champions.
One under the radar player to watch:
One under the radar team to watch:
Montrose – They’ve been decent for quite some time, actually. The Rams, under head coach Rick Ustishen, are a sleeper team in the GAC Red this season The team is led by junior forward Jimmie Hodges and sophomore shooter Antonieo McMillion. Hodges can be a beast at this level.