North Farmington fast out of the gate, sitting 5-0 heading into holiday break
Farmington Hills – An invasion is coming from the north. North Farmington that is.
The Raiders are raging hot on the boys hardwood, opening the season 5-0 and fresh off a 69-52 flogging of Detroit Pershing Saturday afternoon at the Best of the Best Shootout hosted by West Bloomfield High School.
This is a team that brings much more to the table than just their star player, all-state 6-foot-6 ½ senior forward Jeron (Buddha) Rogers, who is the son of retired NBA vet Carlos Rogers and signed with Cleveland State for his college ball.
"We’re playing with purpose and it’s a nice start, our larger focus though is getting better every day, both individually and as a team, to help us prepare to compete for a league title (OAA Red) and make a run in the state tournament at the end of the year," North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian said. "People remember how you finish not how you start."
Negoshian’s Raiders are deep. Their rotation reaches double-digits.
In addition to Rogers, senior forward Anthony Qasawa (6-foot-5) has proven surprisingly lethal on the wing. Qasawa and Rogers both scored 25 points Saturday against Pershing. It was the third time in North Farmington’s five outings that Qasawa has scored 20 points or more and the most-recent in a seemingly-endless streak of double-doubles for Rogers (10 rebounds).
"We play well together, we’re playing fast but in control," Rogers said. "I think we can compete with the best around."
Juniors Jacob Joubert (6-foot-2), Alex Darden (6-foot-5) and Josh Hogans (5-foot-9) have been tough to deal with as well. Joubert, North Farmington’s point guard, and Darden, the Raiders center, are in their third year starting and have experience.
Just like Rogers, they also come from an elite hoop bloodline – Joubert’s dad is MHSAA legend and 1980s-era Michigan Wolverine Antoine Joubert (Detroit Southwestern/current Oakland Community College head coach) and Darden’s grandfather is Oliver Darden, the Michigan standout from the 1960s.
The pesky Hogans has emerged as North Farmington’s sixth-man and sparkplug off the bench. Spunky and smart on both ends of the floor, he’s connecting on a steamy 70 percent from beyond the arc.
A sturdily-built southpaw, Darden is committed to play baseball in college at the University of Cincinnati. Scouts consider him a potential future MLB Draft pick on the mound.
Negoshian, 34, took over for his father and current assistant, Tom Negoshian, four years ago. An all-state point guard himself at Walled Lake Central, he served assistant stints under his dad and in the college ranks at Oakland University.
The elder Negoshian was on the bench at the helm of the Raiders since the early 1980s (minus a brief respite in the late-1990s) and accumulated more than 300 wins.