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BOYS BASKETBALL: Detroit Mercy Team Shootout standouts

By: Branden Hunter, June 18, 2014, 3:55 pm

DETROIT – It was on their premises, at West McNichols and Livernois, so it was only fitting that the afternoon portion on the final day of the University of Detroit Mercy Team Shootout Camp have a Detroit theme to it. The final six schools were all from the city, UofD Jesuit, Renaissance, Pershing, Cass Tech, East English Village Prep, and Allen Academy. 

The Cubs of UofD Jesuit went undefeated on the day, and survived a late comeback by Renaissance in the title game, 29-24. Junior Cassius Winston led the way with 13 points, and was arguably the best player at the event. The 6-0, 165-pounder is a master at controlling the tempo of games, and was able to get his teammates easy baskets. Michigan offered him on Sunday, letting you know the type of talent he truly is.

Justin Turner of Renaissance doesn’t have  the national attention, or high major offers as Winston just yet, but he was just as good at Detroit the past two days. More of a combo guard, Turner has great size already at 6-2, and knows how to put the ball in the basket, whether it’s by attacking or shooting. He won’t do a lot of talking, just a lot of doing, earning him his second offer from the Titans on Tuesday night.

Renaissance got to the final game by knocking out East English Village Prep and junior shooting guard, Karmari Newman, in the semifinals. Newman wasn’t at his best that game, but was terrific throughout the rest of the camp. He loves to shoot the three, and everyone in the the gym knows that. Newman’s height, 6-4, and quick release allowed to get off shots whenever he wanted, and when he’s on, he’s on. His shot selection needs to improve, as well as his ability to go to the right. Still, Newman is a good talent, prompting Cleveland State to offer him over the weekend at their came he said.

A few of Cass Tech’s outgoing seniors were on hand to check out the younger guys in the program, most notably sophomore power forward Donnie Tillman. He’s around that 6-5 range, so if he ever reaches 6-8, he’d be one of the top players in the country probably. Tillman is super athletic for his size, was a monster on the glass, and has impressive post moves for a high school player. He also displayed his ability to handle the ball, rebounding it and pushing it up the court a few times. He’s one to watch out for these next couple of years.

Tillman’s team was knocked out by Pershing and Marquel Ingram, who was a man on a mission yesterday. He’ll have to shoulder most of the load for the Doughboys this season, but showed the ability to do so. Ingram isn’t afraid of competition, and can score in bunches by penetrating, and shooting the three-ball. Ingram shot it well from behind the arch, something he can do well when his feet are set. The Titans floor may be his home court these next four years, something he wouldn’t admit to, but said wanted to make his decision soon. 

Allen Academy may not be a school that you have heard of, but they certainly have some talent. Juniors, point guard Jason Williams (not that one) and forward Danny Pippen are a playmaking duo that will make Allen go as they go. Williams is a 5-11, scrappy point who can score, while Pippen is a raw 6-6 forward with perimeter skills. The two have a nice chemistry together on a floor with their two-man game, and should lead Allen to another successful season in 2014. 

Other standouts from the camp were Darwin Hubbard from Cass Tech. A man with no true position right now, Hubbard can play down-low, as well handle the ball. Southfield sophomore point guard Amauri Hardy is physically imposing, and is hard to stop when he’s attacking the rim because of his strength. Khary Fanning is Hardy’s teammate on the Bluejays team, and may be the most athletic player in the state. Just around 6-3, Hardy plays much bigger that his size with the ways he jumps. He dunks just about everything, sometimes on you. 

The Titans will hold there Elite Camp on Wednesday, where most of the top players in the area will showcase their skills in front of the coaching staff.