Posted On: 02/13/18 7:10 AM
King High School was the place to be on Sunday, playing host to the Detroit Public School League Quarterfinals. The previously scheduled games were postponed due to inclement weather, but I actually preferred the weekend consolidation format, as the gym was full in great day of hoops between 8 quality teams.
A full rundown of Sunday’s top guard performances below:
P.J. Mitchell (2018/6’0/DEPSA)
In a highly competitive and intense game against Cass Tech, the Central Michigan commit came up big. Finishing with 21 points on the afternoon, P.J. made an impact when it mattered. Mitchell opened the first 4 minutes of the 4th quarter with 2 big threes from the corner and a driving layup in transition plus the ‘And 1’. While the scoring will get all the headlines, I was most impressed with his decision making under pressure. P.J. was very strong with the ball, putting defenders on his hip under pressure and making excellent passes against a very lengthy and tall Cass Tech defense. It was an MVP worthy performance to help get the Pioneers to the PSL semifinals.
Anthony Roberts (2018/6’3/Henry Ford)
Although the Trojans lost a close game to Pershing, Roberts may have turned in the best individual offensive performance of the day. The 6’3 guard really impressed with his shot creation ability off the dribble, where he was able to change speeds and direction to get space before finishing at the rim. A shooter first and foremost, Anthony buried two triples, one being an impressive stepback after a behind the back dribble. The Bryant commit showed tremendous versatility as well, posting up smaller defenders and converting on a jumphook over his left shoulder before attacking a closeout and hitting a free throw line jumper with great balance. Anthony finished with 21 points and was extremely efficient.
Keon Henderson (2021/5’10/Renaissance)
Superb performance for the freshman point guard, as he turned in 7 points and 4 assists in the biggest game of his young career. Keon showed a great handle and good acceleration, breaking East English defenders down off the bounce before dropping dimes to teammates for dunks once the helpside defense committed. Henderson also knocked down an open catch and shoot three from the right wing and looked more confident in his stroke than at any point this year. The shifty floor general also finished in the half court after absolutely blowing by a Bulldog defender. More than any stat, a freshman playing with that sort of poise in front of a big crowd and getting a W against a top 10 team is a testament to just how bright Keon’s future is.
Deontate Ulmer (2018/6’2/Henry Ford)
Shooters shoot, period. Deontae knocked down four shots from behind the arch against Pershing, two of which came in the final 5 minutes to nearly give the Trojans the lead. The lights out shooter also finished in transition and ended his afternoon with 20 points in a tough loss to the Doughboys. Ulmer has a pure stroke when his feet are set, with range out to 30 feet and NAIA/JUCO schools that need floor spacing should be all over him.
Marcus Gibbs (2018/6’0/King)
Widely known as the premier shooter in the state, Gibbs showed off a really diverse game against Western on his way to 21 points. Marcus has made a ton of improvement in terms of creating his own shot. On one occasion he received a high ball screen and froze a Western defender with two quick between the leg dribbles before accelerating to the rim and finishing in traffic. Marcus also hit a few midrange pullups off the bounce and moved well without the ball to get a few bunnies off backdoor cuts. He also knocked down his bread and butter shots from distance, converting on two triples after getting a down screen. This was the most well rounded performance I’ve witnessed from the sharpshooting senior.
Matt Richmond (2018/6’2/Cass Tech)
After a quiet first half, Richmond would put his stamp on the game. With DEPSA controlling the tempo and threatening to take a double-digit lead, the CT senior leader stepped up and knocked down three straight triples to give the Technicians a 40-39 lead with 1 minute remaining in the third quarter. That 3 minute stretch gave Cass some much needed energy and made for some entertaining basketball. While the Technicians would ultimately fall to DEPSA in a nailbiter, Matt finished with 13 points in a clutch performance.
Jalen Nix (2018/6’0/East English Village)
Can’t say enough about Jalen’s performance against Renaissance. In a game where David DeJulius couldn’t get it going to his normal standard partly based on constant doubles, it was Nix that took the pressure off. In the second half, the Bulldog senior buried 4 huge triples, one of which was a four point play in the closing minutes of the game to cut the Renaissance lead to 3. While his shot can take a bit of time to get off, Jalen is a very good shooter when his feet are set and provided a quality kickout option for DeJulius. Nix finished with 14 points and made critical baskets for EEVP.