Ho-hum. Cedar Hill (Tex.) High School, ranked as the No. 6 prep team nationally by both USA Today and School Sports, won three more games -- its 16th, 17th and 18th in a row.
The Longhorns, led by 6-3 Michigan point guard signee Daniel Horton (right), took a 21-1 record into their meeting with Arlington Martin. They were up and down in the first half, taking a narrow 23-21 lead into the locker room before doubling their point total in the third quarter, in which they outscored Martin, 23-9. Cedar Hill held on to win, 63-50. Horton led all scorers with 28 points.
In its next game, Cedar Hill took on Arlington High. The Longhorns had an easier time of it in that game, riding Horton to a 73-49 victory. The future Wolverine hit 7-of-9 free throws to go with four three-pointers, and led all scorers with 31 points.
Mansfield, Cedar Hill's next opponent, made the mistake of coming out strong against the Longhorns. A 13-10 Mansfield lead after one quarter caught the attention of the Longhorns, who pulled out to a 31-20 lead at the half and extended it to 48-28 after three quarters. Mansfield endured a disastrous 34-12 drubbing in the final period as the teams emptied their benches, and fell by a final score of 82-40. Horton cruised with 20 points, knocking down five triples before he was done.
* * *
The going has been a bit rougher for Horton's fellow U-M signee, 6-6 wing Lester Abram, and his Pontiac (Mich.) Northern team. The Huskies sustained their second loss of the season in a recent game at home against Clarkston High, 54-51. Abram's effort was solid, as he posted 20 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, but it was not enough.
"At times it seems as if the chemistry is not there," Northern coach Robert Rogers told the Oakland Press after the game. "At times we're playing too much individual basketball." The loss dropped Northern to 6-2 on the year.
The Huskies moved back into the win column on Tuesday against Ferndale, but it was not easy. Down 50-49 with just 0.4 seconds remaining, Northern got a pair of clutch free throws from point guard Dominique Hardiman to pull out a 51-50 squeaker.
Northern may have struggled to live up to expectations in the season's early going, but Abram (right) has received nothing but praise for his individual play. Prep Spotlight recently took a look at the top seniors of Michigan among whom it ranks Abram No. 3.
"Sometimes I think Lester gets hurt in his national ranking because so many so called scouts don't really understand the game of basketball," wrote Prep Spotlight's Vince Baldwin. "If you watch him play for more than just a quarter, you will see a very special young player. Lester has the same problem that Grant Hill has. He can to so many things on the court well that no one part of his game really stands out.
"Lester is a smooth and gifted all around player who can play any position on the floor at the high school level, and has to for Pontiac Northern. He is best as a Wing Forward where he can attack the basket and score along the baseline. Lester is also a kid who is still hungry and you can see the work he has put in developing his ball handling and outside shooting."
Brown had 21 points and 18 rebounds against Tawas; 24 points and 16 rebounds against Posen; 24 points and 11 rebounds against AuGres; 16 points and seven rebounds against Atlanta; 37 points and 15 rebounds against Fairview; and 16 points and 16 rebounds against Whittmore Prescott.
In its most recent game, Mio defeated Alcona 42-38 to stay undefeated on the season.
* * *
In just a few months' time, 6-10 junior Drew Naymick of North Muskegon (Mich.) High School has come out of nowhere to emerge as the top junior big man and No. 5 junior overall in the state, according to Michigan Preps. He has also caught the eye of the Michigan coaching staff, which has him as one of its top priorities in the Class of 2003.
"The big red head is an old school center complete with back to the basket moves, a jump hook with either hand, and a mean disposition when people try and drive the lane on him," Prep Spotlight stated in a recent update on Naymick. "In short, he is a complete Center and he is proud to be one. He has no dreams of playing out on the wing."
The Wolverines can expect tough competition in Naymick's recruitment, which could prove to be the first of what will surely be many knock-down, drag-out recruiting wars between U-M head coach Tommy Amaker and his counterpart at Michigan State, Tom Izzo.
"Naymick is now a dominating bigman who has a chance to be a very special player for whatever college he chooses," said Prep Spotlight. "Right now, Drew has a very short list of schools on his list. Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State top his list, however he does have some affection for Western Michigan too."
Naymick has only fanned the flames with his play this season. In one recent game, who showed no mercy to Oakridge, tallying 35 points and 14 rebounds, both season highs, to go with his nine blocked shots. The performance was good enough to lead North Muskegon to a 72-58 win and even the Norsemen's record at 5-5.
In its next game, North Muskegon came up against a Shelby team that came into the contest with a perfect 7-0 record. The Norsemen failed to mar Shelby's mark, falling 57-40. Naymick scored nearly half of his team's points, finishing with a game-high 17, and pulled down 12 boards.
North Muskegon got back to .500 with a 66-42 win over Hart on Tuesday. Naymick's offensive output was a more modest 11 points, but he saw to it that Hart struggled mightily as well, blocking 11 Hart shots. And, according to the Muskegon Chronicle, "Hart's emphasis on stopping center Drew Naymick helped NM connect on 10 3-point shots."
The Wolverines hope that Naymick can provide a similar benefit to players like Dommanic Ingerson and Daniel Horton in a few years.
* * *
Led by another top junior target of Michigan's, 6-4 shooting guard Dion Harris, Detroit Redford has found its way into the national rankings of both USA Today (which has it at No. 20) and SchoolSports.com (No. 24). Redford's one loss this season came against Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary, itself a top-10 team in both polls.
Redford maintained its perfect mark against in-state foes when it defeated Detroit Cody, 65-46. Harris led the way for his team with 20 points, and 6-7 sophomore post Jamaal Lock, ranked No. 5 in his class by MichiganPreps.com, contributed 10 points and six blocks.
In Redford's game against Detroit Mumford, it was Lock's turn to lead the team in scoring; he finished with 19 points and 10 boards. Harris added 18 in the 73-49 victory, with which Redford improved to 12-1.
* * *
Detroit Southeastern's star juniors, 6-3 point guard Brandon Jenkins and 6-9 center Walter Waters, put up the kind of numbers that strain credulity. Can a high school team really have two players post triple-doubles in a 32-minute game? At least one statistician thought so, crediting both Jenkins and Waters with that feat in a 74-66 win against Detroit Denby. But accounts varied -- significantly.
The Detroit News reported that Waters finished with 30 points, 22 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, while Jenkins came through with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Detroit Free Press, on the other hand, credited Waters with "just" 13 points and six blocks. It gave no statistics for Jenkins other than his 16 points.
There was no such discrepancy in reports of Southeastern's next win, its 11th in as many games this year, although the numbers were again eye-popping enough to raise an eyebrow in the process. Jenkins was credited with 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the 87-78 defeat of Pershing, while Waters' totals were 20 points and 22 boards.
* * *
Flint Northwestern stumbled out of the gate this year, losing its first five games of the season. The Wildcats bounced back to win their next three, though, and had the chance to really gain some momentum if they could continue the winning streak against Saginaw High and its Florida-bound senior point guard, Anthony Roberson.
Unfortunately for Northwestern, it could not. Roberson torched the Wildcats for a Saginaw school-record 46 points and dished out 10 assists, leading his team to a 98-71 victory. Northwestern's star junior and U-M recruiting target, 6-6 forward Olu Famutimi, led his team with 18 points.
Northwestern bounced back with a win, its fourth in five games, against Saginaw Buena Vista. The Wildcats needed overtime to do it, but managed to gut out a 73-66 victory. Famutimi was solid again, tallying 20 points and 14 rebounds.
* * *
The 20-point mark is a common standard for judging a good scoring output, but for 6-1 Detroit DePorres junior Brandon Cotton, 30 points seems to be the point of demarcation. As is his custom, he cleared that mark yet again when DePorres played Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, finishing with 31 points as his team rolled to a 71-42 win.
Cotton's point total in his next game was 19 -- solid for most players, but sub-par by his standards. It did nothing to slow DePorres, though, which stayed perfect at 11-0 with a 68-51 win against Detroit Benedictine.
* * *
Ronald Coleman is MichiganPreps.com's early choice for the top sophomore in the state. The 6-6 forward's play this season with Romulus High has done nothing to call his standing into question.
Against Ypsilanti Lincoln, Coleman led his team in scoring with 20 points and grabbed 11 boards. That effort was good enough to help Romulus to a 68-53 win, bringing its record to 4-3 on the year.
In its next game, Romulus fell to Belleville, 63-51. Nonetheless, Coleman once again gave a strong performance, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The story was the same against River Rouge, which beat Romulus 60-45, but could not prevent Coleman from dropping in 18 points.
Tommy Amaker and his staff have already been expressing strong interest in Coleman. He will be one to watch over the next couple of years.
Please support those who support this site by clicking on the ad banner at the top of this page and each time you access a message board. Visit our Basketball message board for analysis and discussion of U-M basketball and recruiting or to post any questions you have.