Posted On: 01/5/17 9:15 PM
This was a game between two of the hottest teams in Class A, as undefeated East English Village and Wayne Memorial squared off for the headliner game at the Holiday Hoops Classic at Detroit King High School. The game featured multiple Division 1 level players, tons of great individual performances, and elite athleticism on display.
The game started at a fast pace with both teams pressing one another. Neither team had much difficulty offensively, as EEVP led a tight game 22-19 after one quarter. Rashad Williams of Wayne Memorial set the tone for the Zebras early by knocking down 3 triples in the first half. On the other end it was Greg Elliott blocking shots and getting out in transition for easy layups for East English. The two teams exchanged leads throughout the first half and EEVP took a 43-42 lead into halftime. The third quarter was the David DeJulius show, as he knocked down four 3s in a row and finished several shots at the rim that allowed EEVP to take a 20 point lead and effectively put the game out of reach. The Bulldogs would cruise to an easy victory in the fourth quarter behind a combined 72 points from DeJulius and Elliott.
MVP: David DeJulius (East English)
David put on an absolute show, scoring a game high 41 points and throwing down a monster dunk over a Wayne Memorial defender. Perhaps most impressive was the clutch nature of DeJulius’ scoring outburst, as he hit 4 threes in the pivotal third quarter that saw the EEVP lead go from 43-42 at the half to a 20 point lead after 3 quarters.
Best Offensive Performance: David DeJulius (East English)
DeJulius was absolutely stellar all game long, scoring at all three levels on a variety of difficult shots and finished 16-23 from the field. David hit stepback threes and midrange shots off the bounce, finished up and under layups with the left hand and buried floaters in the lane. DeJulius may very well be the best offensive player in the state of Michigan right now, as 40 point performances are becoming routine it seems.
Best Defensive Performance: Greg Elliott (East English)
Greg did a great job containing Eastern Michigan commit Keion Epps despite giving away 3-4 inches and 30 pounds. Elliott had 5 blocks on the game, and was tremendous in helpside situations and rebounded all night long as well.
Best Guy off the Bench: Napier Bryant (Wayne Memorial)
In a game where not many reserves saw the floor, Bryant was a key contributor in the second quarter where he scored 5 points and grabbed tough rebounds in traffic. Napier gave the Zebras some quality minutes as Coach Nkwane Young was able to buy 5 minutes for his starters against an EEVP team that really pushes tempo.
Best Intangibles: Travez Nyx (Wayne Memorial)
Travez is a guy that just plays hard regardless of the score. While Nyx doesn’t have many half court sets designed for him, he finds a way to consistently produce. His versatility allowed him to play the 2-4 spots in this game, and Travez finished with a double-double. Nyx is one of the best glue-guys in Michigan.
Best Under-the-radar Performance: Rashad Williams (Wayne Memorial)
Its not often you can say a player with scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and Cleveland State is under the radar, but that’s the case with Rashad. The good thing is he won’t be under the radar for long with performances like these, as he exploded for 32 points and 6 three pointers. He kept the Zebras in the game with his hot shooting deep into the third quarter and kept battling all game long.
Best Underclassmen: Isaiah Lewis (Wayne Memorial)
Isaiah looked comfortable playing against an experienced and talented EEVP defense, as he was able to finish contested shots at the rim and knock down catch and shoot 3s. While Lewis is primarily a shooter at this point, he has the ability to put the ball on the floor. His role should expand next year to more of an on-ball playmaker as an upperclassmen.
Best Highlight: Greg Elliott Dunk
Midway through the first quarter Greg gave the fans something to remember. Elliott came up with a loose ball just beyond the EEVP three point line, took three dribbles before taking flight just outside the dotted and absolutely hammering a dunk home on a Wayne Memorial defender. Greg really displayed some elite athleticism in a play that will be talked about for years to come.
Best Player Comparison: Rashad Williams/Chauncey Billups
Rashad has a long way to go before he can reach the level of Mr. Big Shot. That said there are some similarities, as Williams has the same type of thick frame and strength, and already has NBA range on his shot. Much like Billups, Rashad isn’t a great athlete, but uses his superior strength to protect the ball from quicker defenders and is a deceptively good passer. It will be interesting to watch Rashad’s development over the next few years.