Posted On: 12/29/17 10:10 AM
Cass Tech would be a huge test for a young Goodrich team playing on the road versus a top flight team. The Martians would hang tough early with some timely shooting from Nick Waterworth, who knocked in five triples on the game. By the second quarter it was obvious the CT defense was too long and athletic for Goodrich to handle, as they took a 20 point lead going into halftime utilizing a zone press. There were some bright spots for Goodrich, as freshman Tyson Davis made his presence felt while Kevin-David Rice manufactured 20+ points by getting to the free throw line a lot. In the end though, there was simply too much Tyson Davis, the Technician freshman would finish with 20 points and 5 assists while orchestrating the Cass Tech offense to perfection. CT would cruise to an easy W, emptying out the entire bench in the second half on the way to another impressive victory.
As we look toward the future for both teams, here are five items that stick out in the aftermath.
The Technicians are the best team in Michigan right now, period. The roster is oozing with talent, size, length, experience and most importantly………depth. Steve Hall’s crew goes a legitimate 10 deep in the rotation, and the parts are interchangeable at nearly every position. There is no superstar, not for now anyway, but rather an elite collection of players that gel together, play fundamentally sound and compete every possession. There are college prospects up and down the roster ranging from Division I to NAIA/JUCO level.
The wing/forward spot is easily the deepest and most talented position in Michigan. Starting at one forward is Ferris State commit Randy Gilbert, an athletic 6’6 post presence with a capable jumpshot that can score with his back to the basket and is a nightmare on the offensive glass. At the other forward spot is Jalen Tobias, an ambidextrous 6’6 inside-outside threat that can handle the ball on the perimeter, knock down midrange jumpers in addition to a sweet jumphook over his right shoulder. Tobias appears to be a high-end Division II prospect. Khalil Whitehead comes off the bench as an athletic 6’6 wing that puts an opposing player on a poster almost every game while having a very good perimeter shot off the catch. Khalil holds a Ferris State offer and is getting DI looks as well. Another super sub is 6’6 Tyland Tate, a fluid wing that causes havoc on the defensive end with his length. Tate stretches the floor well from distance and is a versatile player currently getting DI looks. Any high school team with two Division II prospects at the wing/forward spot is going to be good, a program with a total of 4 kids that will be DII or better is reserved almost exclusively for elite programs and prep schools. That gives you an idea of how good the wing spot is for CT.
The backcourt is headed by super sophomore Tyson Acuff, a jumbo 6’3 point guard with DI interest. Acuff has great vision/passing off the dribble, gets to the rim and finishes and spaces the floor from distance off the catch. Matt Richmond is a sharpshooting 6’2 senior with range out to 25 feet that is a deceptively good ballhandler. Matt is a very strong NAIA/Division III prospect that could be a star at that level. Rounding out the guard group is 6’2 senior Chris Murray, another NAIA/Division III prospect that is an athletic combo guard that specializes in getting to the rim and finishing while being a secondary ballhandler as well.
Other rotational notables include junior Josh Harris, an athletic 6’6 forward that is a strong rebounder and finishes at the rim. 6’1 junior Michael Washington-Hill is a penetrator with great vision that is always in attack mode. Kaylein Marzette is a 6’3 junior with a nice looking stroke from the perimeter.
The Goodrich PG introduced himself to the public against the best team in the state, dropping 23 points and 6 assists against Cass Tech. His poise for a freshman was astounding against a team of that caliber. Tyson was able to handle the Technician zone press relatively unscathed, making few mistakes while attacking the pressure with speed, some shifty handles and the ability to absorb contact without getting shaky. His finishing ability is absolutely stellar for his size, as he displayed tremendous body control with an array of side steps and up and under finishes that either led to conversions at the rim or made free throws. Davis has nice vision in the open court where he finds the open man consistently and does not overdribble into trouble. The freshman was able to bury a catch and shoot triple from the wing and connected from the charity stripe at a good clip, but may need to polish his perimeter shot a bit, but its not bad by any means. When watching Tyson, one cannot help but to see glimpses of former Beecher great Malik Ellison (Eastern Michigan), a smaller PG with lightning quickness, superior strength and the ability to finish over much bigger players. Davis is going to be one of the most entertaining players in the state over the next 4 years and if a growth spurt is in the cards, he will be nearly unstoppable.
Tate is not a prospect that is well circulated at this point in the basketball community, but it may be time for that to change. At 6’6 with incredible length, Tate is extremely disruptive on the defensive end at the top of a zone defense or in man to man on the perimeter. Offensively, Tyland is a good shooter off the catch from distance and it is difficult to alter his shot due to his height and release point. He runs the floor well in transition and is a plus finisher. The Cass Tech junior is a good athlete with fluid movement and good lateral agility. Although he has an underdeveloped frame at this point, he mixes it up in the paint and shows a willingness to rebound the ball. What you have is a very versatile and intriguing prospect that can play multiple spots on the floor on both ends of the court that goes a bit under the radar on a loaded team. The best thing about Tate at this point is upside, his ceiling is extremely high. Adding 20 pounds of muscle mass will go a long way toward his development. Division II programs should certainly give Tyland a hard look, as he looks the part of a legitimate 3 & D wing. If he can continue to develop his ball skills and add strength/muscle mass, he’s a no-brainer to be a Division I prospect.
The Martians are very young and they’re going to take some lumps this year due to inexperience, but change is coming. Three of their core pieces in guards Kevin-David Rice, Latrell Fordham and Tyson Davis are extremely talented, but all 3 are underclassmen. That trio along with their teammates are going to show glimpses of just how good they can be in spurts over the next few months, but they aren’t even close to scratching the surface of their potential as a team. The backcourt will all return next year, with one more year of development and chemistry under coach Gary Barns and a program that has been relatively successful over the last 10 years and it should be a significantly better team with potential to do some damage in Class B.
The Flint/Saginaw area is rich with tradition, with the Class A state champion coming from the region 11 times since 1981, 7 times in Class B during the same time period and Flint Beecher winning 5 out of the last 6 rings in Class C.
The trend will be bucked this year, with Beecher recently losing to a shorthanded UofD team without Daniel Friday, Eli Collins, Jalen Thomas or Julien Dozier. Earlier in the year Goodrich lost to Benton Harbor by 40 and wasn’t all that competitive with Cass Tech in the aforementioned game. Saginaw Arthur Hill came to the Hoops for Hope event and faced a 30 point deficit to Detroit Renaissance early in the first half. The common thread is youth………these teams have not been able to stockpile the talent to the same extent as they have in the past. The net result is a rebuilding year in an otherwise well-oiled machine. That said, its not all doom and gloom, as Carman Ainsworth is a solid team that is a threat to make a run in Class A. But perhaps even moreso, the future is bright for next year and beyond. Teams such as the above-mentioned Beecher and Goodrich with big time talent in the backcourt and multiple Division I prospects that will be a serious problem as soon as next year, and certainly heading into the 2019-2020 season.