BOYS BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Ypsi’s Johnson choose Cards, among top names in Class of 2014 to find homes at next level
A tantalizing trio of the state’s best incoming senior boys basketball players committed to colleges this past week.
Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti) – Committing to defending NCAA National Champion Louisville, this long, lean and spry 6-foot-9 standout in the post is one of the frontrunners in the race for the 2014 Mr. Basketball nod. A high-flyer in both the half-court and transition sets, Johnson has soft hands and a soft touch in the paint and is a big-time shot blocker and rebounder. He led Ypsilanti into the Class A quarterfinals last season, posting a double-double of 16 points, 12 rebound and four blocks a night. Ranked a Top 100 player in the country and tabbed a four-star recruit by most scouting services at the power forward position, he chose the Cardinals and head coach Rick Pitino over Tom Izzo and Michigan State, Florida State and Oregon.
Darrell Davis (Detroit Douglas) – Committing to Dayton, Davis is a dynamic talent in the backcourt, a big point guard (6-5) that can score and distribute in multiple ways and does it with a rare combination of flashy and fundamentally-sound. Last season, he averaged 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds per game. Davis has led Douglas to back-to-back Class B district crowns and the Hurricanes will be a favorite to raise a state-title banner this winter with Davis, Terrell Hales (Cleveland State) and Andre Fredericks (Robert Morris) headlining the attack. The kid everyone calls “Baby D” chose mid-major Dayton over man-sized offers from bigger schools like, Michigan State, Florida State, Iowa, Providence and UMass. Entering his senior year in high school, Davis is a serious darkhorse candidate for Mr. Basketball, especially if he takes Douglas to a state championship.
Mory Diane (Detroit Pershing) – Committing to Buffalo, Diane is a crafty 6-foot-3 combo guard with a smooth style of game and a considerable upside at the next level. Set to play his senior year as a prepster at Pershing, after transferring from defending Class B state champion Birmingham Detroit Country Day, he is a mid-range specialist that is an active presence on defense and a finisher on the break. A three-year varsity letter-winner at Country Day, Diane started in the backcourt on two straight final four teams and last March’s state-title squad. As a junior, he averaged 15 points per game for the Yellowjackets. At Pershing, he will team with Mr. Basketball favorite and his AAU running buddy this summer, Justin Tillman (VCU), in a quest to grab a Class A state-title ring to go along with the Class B one he already wears.