BASKETBALL: Josh Jackson Among The Top Performers At The Horatio Williams Foundation Tip-off Classic
DETROIT – The Horatio Williams Foundation Tip-off Classic held at Detroit Edison Academy ended early due to fights in the crowd, but even that couldn’t put a damper on the performances put on yesterday. The showcase was loaded with Division 1 talent on most of the teams, and here’s who stood out the most.
Detroit Consortium 2016 small foward Josh Jackson: Arguably the best player in the state, and the top sophomore in the country, Jackson had an okay season opener. The 6-8 Jackson only went for 27 points, 22 rebounds and 6 blocks against Detroit Frederick Douglass. He got off to a slow start, forcing the issue a bit, a turning the ball over, but picked it up in the second half. Jackson was just simply better than anyone on the floor, and even triple-teaming him couldn’t stop him from making plays. It’s no wonder just about every program in the country wants him.
Detroit King 2014 guard Tyrone Acuff: At 6-6, Acuff might not look like a guard, and is listed as a center, but once you see him play it shows. Acuff likes the ball in his hands, and can play inside or outside. He finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Detroit Edison. Probably the best senior who doesn’t hold an offer yet, Acuff can shoot it from deep, handles it like a smaller guard, and isn’t afraid to get physical down low. At mismatch problem for smaller guards and slower big men, Acuff can score in bunches. Some school should be able to use his many talents.
Detroit Frederick Douglass 2014 guard Darrell Davis: Once again Davis’ team fell to a quality team, and once again his performance was stellar. Going up against Josh Jackson would intimidate anyone, but not Davis. He trashed talk Jackson the whole game, and backed it up with 23 points and 6 rebounds. The Hurricanes will need much more than just Davis if they want to win Class B, but he’s a special talent. Checking him one-on-one is almost impossible, as Davis got to the charity stripe frequently, and dropped a few 3-pointers. He is committed to Dayton.
River Rouge 2014 point guard Kevin Lomax: Probably the lesser known prospect on this list, Lomax played like he belonged among the best last night. River Rouge lost to Detroit Cass Tech in a blowout, but Lomax managed to score 20. He had 15 of those at the half, and was fairly quiet in the second half. Still Lomax helped keep the game close, hitting 3-pointers, getting steals, and setting his teammates up for easy basket. He’s only 5-11 at the most, but Lomax showed he can certainly fill it up.
Detroit Western 2016 point guard Brailen Neely: The Cowboys are absolutely loaded with young talent, and Neely may be best of the bunch. At 5-8, he doesn’t have great size, but you can’t tell him that. Western lost to Southfield 54-51, but because of Neely they had a chance. He scored 20 points, and had just 3 assists, but that’s because Western missed so many shots early on. Neely is crafty, quick and can get in the lane even with his small frame. He also showed off his jumper, hitting five 3-pointers, including a 4-point play late.
Detroit Cass Tech 2014 guards Mike Laster and Sharif Black and 2015 guard Rob Edwards: The Technicians blew River Rouge out 86-58, and just about everyone on the team contributed their share to the win. Black led them in scoring with 19 points, all of them in the first half outburst. Laster added 17 points of his own, and 5 rebounds, getting to the basket and opening the game up for Cass Tech in the second. Edwards came off the bench with 13 points and 6 rebounds, and could start for any on other team. He’s crafty, and has good size for a combo guard.