Posted On: 12/11/17 7:15 AM
Detroit Cass Tech was the place to be on Saturday afternoon for the annual Horatio Williams Tipoff Classic. The third game of the day featured a matchup between perennial PSL contender East English Village and Class B sleeper Hazel Park.
2018 Michigan commit David DeJulius came out on fire, knocking down 2 triples and converting at the free throw line for a quick 9 points within the first 4 minutes of play and it appeared the Bulldogs had complete control of the tempo. Hazel Park coach Brandon Barrett had seen enough, he then called for double and triple teams of DeJulius, making it difficult for him to even get the ball moving forward. That proved to be a pivotal move that would change the complexion of the game. Hazel Park strung together a few stops and their confidence level was extremely high, as they repeatedly broke the Bulldog full court press for open layups in the open court. In the half court, senior forward Khari Adams was a revelation, buying midrange jumpers after breaking his defender down in isoloation situations and attacking the offensive glass for putbacks. At the end of the first quarter, it was clear this was anyone’s game. The Vikings would carry that momentum over and they simply outworked EEVP, beating them for nearly every rebound and loose ball. That effort would result in a 48-36 Hazel Park lead heading into halftime. East English was able to take advantage of Khari Adams getting into a bit of foul trouble in the third quarter, and went on a mini-run to cut the Viking lead to 7 at various points. But in the end Hazel Park was simply more dedicated on the defensive end, forcing the Bulldogs out of their comfort zone on offense and just getting out in transition at every opportunity on the way to an 86-72 victory in impressive fashion.
MVP: Khari Adams (Hazel Park)
Khari was the breakout performer on Saturday, as he showed a versatile skillset that could make him the sleeper of the 2018 class. Physically, Adams has legit size for a forward at 6’5 with a nice frame and good motor. In terms of skill, he was able to create his own shot off the dribble from the wing. Khari was able to do just that while displaying great perimeter footwork in beating defenders on a few occasions before knocking down midrange jumpers. He also did well out of pick and pop action as a screener, burying an elbow jumper after the opposing big hedged hard on the Hazel Park guard. In the open court Adams proved to be a good athlete with fluidity, hitting a defender with a euro-step before finishing with a nice finger roll on one possession and a nice two hand dunk on another possession. Khari crashed the glass hard all game and had a few putbacks as well. Adams would finish with 14 points, 7 rebounds and a block. Division II colleges should be all over this 2018 prospect as a 3/4 with a college ready frame and versatile skillset.
Best Offensive Performance: David DeJulius (East English Village)
David was hands down the best offensive player in the game, and finished with 22 points and 5 assists despite being double and triple teamed for nearly the entire game. He started out with two triples before Hazel Park coach Brandon Barrett decided he simply would not allow DeJulius to beat him. Over the next three and a half quarters, David would have to work extremely hard just to get the ball, let alone make plays. Despite that, Dave would bury stepback threes, drive to the rim for finishes and consistently found teammates for easy layups at the rim when the defense collapsed on him. Michigan is getting an ideal fit at the point guard spot, a shotmaking floor general that excels in the pick and roll as a scorer and passer.
Best Defensive Performance: Hazel Park Guards
No single player can get the nod here, as it took a collective effort from the Vikings backcourt to contain the Bulldogs high octane perimeter players. The Hazel Park guards took on the challenge and brought all out effort for the entire 32 minutes, constantly swarming and trapping David DeJulius and forcing him to expend energy just to get free. The Vikings did a good job of trapping the sidelines and icing screens all night long, not allowing much room to operate.
Best Underclassmen: Colin Golson (East English Village)
The 6’6 sophomore was a load in the paint, finishing with 17 points. With DeJulius being somewhat reduced due to the defensive gameplan of the Vikings, Golson shouldered the offensive load for the Bulldogs with several nice finishes around the rim with nice touch. The lefty has great hands, catching everything tossed his away and absorbs contact really well when finishing. With continued development, Colin has the potential to be one of the best post prospects in the city next year.
Best Intangibles: Kyle Washington (Hazel Park)
Washington played like a man possessed all game long, his effort level was off the charts. He was a key part of the Hazel Park trapping defense on David DeJulius and made defensive rotations extremely quick. Offensively, he had several putbacks after crashing the offensive boards and a transition dunk that had the crowd buzzing. His energy on both ends of the court was as big a storyline of this game, as he finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a drawn charge.
Best Glue Guy: Julian Jones (Hazel Park)
Really liked what Jones brought to the table on Saturday. A wiry 6’3 prospect that defended multiple positions when Khari Adams was in a bit of foul trouble, Julian was the type of versatile player that every coach covets. He finished everything around the rim in both transition and the half court and trapped on the perimeter and patrolled the backside/paint area as well. Finishing with 10 points for the game, Jones is a plug and play type that you simply put in the game and he’ll produce.
Best Under-The-Radar Player: Carl Bow (Hazel Park)
Carl has kept a low profile over the past year or so, but Saturday served as a reminder of just how good the senior point guard is. An electric athlete with quick twitch explosion and good size, Bow was able to knife his way through the EEVP half-court defense before knocking down midrange jumpers or finishing at the rim with verticality. He also displayed some nice vision on a few pick and roll sets, hitting rollers for easy buckets in stride. Carl was dynamite in the open court, using his superior speed to simply outrun defenders before finishing with authority. Bow finished with 16 points and appears primed for a huge senior season.
Best Shooter: Devin Pettus (Hazel Park)
With David Hearns sitting out the first half, the Vikings needed another scorer to shoulder the offensive load to compliment that stingy defense on the Bulldogs. Pettus would prove to be just that, as he knocked down four triples on his way to 12 points for the game. What made Devin’s performance so impressive is that he wasn’t limited to run-of-the mill catch and shoot threes, he connected on shots from distance coming off the high ball screen and forced EEVP to take that away later in the game. And when the bulldogs hedged hard, Pettus found his teammates for easy shots and finished with 5 assists on the day.
Best Guy Off the Bench: Keyon Brown (East English Village)
EEVP Coach Juan Rickman needed to shuffle his lineups a bit due to the extreme pressure Hazel Park was applying to David DeJulius. He decided to go small for large parts of the game and needed some more ballhandling, senior Keyon Brown was up for the challenge. Brown handled the majority of the point guard duties, he ran the offense well and dished out a few assists, knocked down multiple shots from the perimeter and got to the free thrown line and converted. Brown would start for a fair share of teams in metro-Detroit, but he’s playing behind three Division I prospects at East English and fulfills that role quite well. We really love Keyon’s ability to slide to either guard spot and the team doesn’t miss a beat.
Best Athlete: Zavon Godwin (East English Village)
Zavon had a few jaw-dropping moments in the matchup against Hazel Park. In one sequence he rotated helpside before blocking a layup attempt where his head was approaching the backboard, before sprinting down the court and catching a lob and throwing it down for a vicious dunk. In a game full of good athletes, Godwin had something extra in the tank from a physical standpoint. Because of his natural physical abilities, EEVP coach Juan Rickman has the luxury of having Zavon defend up to 4 positions in a given game. This is extremely valuable considering his standard defense is a press that requires speed, range and length.