Motor City Roundball Classic (Part 1)

The Motor City Roundball Classic gave GBW the opportunity to view some of the state of Michigan&#8217;s top young players in action. That was definitely the case in the first game on our docket between the Detroit Country Day Yellow Jackets and the Saginaw Trojans. <strong>Larry Wright</strong>, <strong>Josh Southern</strong>, and <strong>Alex Legion</strong> were a few of the notables on the day.

Sunday night’s match-up between the Detroit Country Day Yellow Jackets and the Saginaw Trojans marked GBW’s first time catching Saginaw’s big time Louisiana transfer, Larry Wright, in action (For more on him check out the Basketball Recruiting Primer). While his impressive skill set was obvious, we were also left wondering if he could have utilized it a little more. “Larry Wright is pretty quick and nice perimeter skills,” GBW correspondent Andre Barthwell said. “I would like to have seen him take it to the basket a bit more. He settled for the jumpshot a little too often.”

What stood out most about Saginaw’s squad (even more so than Wright) was their overall scrappiness. New Trojan headman Lou Dawkins really has his youngsters getting after it. Unfortunately for the visitors, Dawkins wasn’t on the bench for the contest thanks to a suspension that was handed down by the MHSAA in response to an outburst in the previous game versus Flint Northern.

That notwithstanding, it was easy to see the workman like attitude Dawkins has tried to instill in his team. No player exemplified that more on Sunday than sophomore center Josh Southern. The 6-8 230-lb. big man definitely caught our attention as one of the up and comers in the 2007 class. “I'd probably Josh Southern right up there with Devin Searcy right now,” Andre said. “I’ll have to see him a bit more before I move him ahead of Searcy, but he showed me something. He showed the ability to be a post presence. He can score in the paint and more than held his own against a tough player in Country Day’s Mark Coury. Coury is not a superstar, but the 6-8 220-lb. senior is not a pushover either. He is a tough player that will do the dirty work. Still, he had his hands full with Southern. Josh did what every kid his size needs to be concerned with. He ran the floor, blocked shots and rebounded. When all was said and done he had 9 points and a game high 15 rebounds.”

Despite the efforts of Wright, Southern, and Jamal Hibler (who tied Wright as Saginaw’s scoring leader with 15 points), Country Day was in control throughout. Legion turned in his customary smooth effort with 13 points in 16 minutes, while Omar Thomas tied led the Yellow Jackets with 15 points. Legion even flashed his versatility by moving over to the point guard slot and effectively handling the Trojan press.

DCD’s offensive efficiency was a big piece of the puzzle, but the real key was their defense. It was simply too much for the Trojans. They were so stifling on D that they held the visitors to one basket in the second quarter on their way to a 26-12 halftime lead.

Another important factor for the Yellow Jackets was their excellent depth, which can be partially attributed to the influx of freshmen talent on the roster. “When DCD’s two freshmen come in, the flow of the game completely changes,” Andre said. “Dale Brundige is 5-10 cat-quick point guard and Darnell Brown 6-1 shooting guard with a beautiful mid range game. We will definitely be hearing about Brown down the line. He has a mature body and is very aggressive. He refuses to back down.”

Saginaw made it a bit closer in the second, but was never really able to make a move. Country Day held on to win 57-48 and push their record to 5-0. The Trojans dropped to 4-2.

GBW will be catching Country Day in action again in the very bear future. Be on the ookout for more from the Roundball CLassic in part 2 a little later.

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