Basketball recruiting and Catholic League coaching changes: Lamar Norman signs with Duquesne, Bryce Washington to Penn
Sealing the deal
There was a slew of late signings on the boys basketball front this week.
Wyoming Godwin Heights point guard Lamar Norman signed with Duquesne, Novi point guard Trendon Hankerson signed with Northern Illinois, Plymouth floor general Anthony Crump signed with Middle Tennessee State, Paw Paw shooting guard Luke Toliver signed with Western Michigan and Southfield Christian wing Bryce Washington chose Penn.
Norman had been committed to UTEP and Crump was previously committed to UNC-Asheville. Washington helped his team win a Class D state title and Hankerson helped spark his Novi team into the Class A semifinals this past winter. Toliver topped the state in scoring in 2018, dropping in 33 points per game and added eight rebounds and four assists, and broke the state record for free throws made in a single game with 29 in a triple-overtime victory in December.
From the Division II landscape, Canton center Chase Meredith and Auburn Hills Avondale wing Martone Cole both signed with Saginaw Valley State.
On the girls hoop scene, Warren Cousino junior sharpshooter Kate McArthur, considered a 2019 Miss Basketball candidate, committed to Central Michigan. McArthur recently de-committed from Clemson.
Scanning the coaching ranks
Hall of Famer Dennis Starkey, the coach at Petoskey the past 32 years, has retired. He ends his career with 553 wins. His Petoskey clubs claimed 17 district championships and 14 league titles. In the 1990s, he led the program to three straight Class B quarterfinals and back-to-back state semifinals (1997 and 1998).
The Catholic League Central will have a pair of new faces patrolling the sidelines next winter, as Birmingham Brother Rice parted ways with Ed Shaffer after 11 seasons and Detroit Catholic Central said goodbye to Bill Dyer following 12 seasons. Dyer won five Class A district titles and a CHSL Central banner (2012) and took the Shamrocks on a trip to the quarterfinals in 2012. Shafer captured repeat district titles in 2010 and 2011.
Young & Spectacular
Emoni Bates, a 14-year old from Ypsilanti, is being hailed by some as the best eighth grader player in the country. The 6-7 small forward has scouts swooning over his potential. Nike sponsors an AAU team that he’s on called Bates Fundamentals. Right now, it appears he’ll play his high school ball at Ypsilanti Lincoln.
The most-touted point guard prospects in the state’s sophomore and junior classes, respectively, Flint Beecher’s Jalen Terry and Detroit Old Redford’s Mark (Rocket) Watts, went wild on the AAU circuit this past weekend in Indiana. Watts, playing for The Family’s U-17 squad busted loose for 46 points in a tournament win (the Run’N Slam in Fort Wayne) Saturday and then Terry poured in 45 points in a win on Sunday as part of The Family’s U-16 club.