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December 5, 2001
Dec. 5 Basketball Recruiting Updates
Michigan signee Daniel Horton, a 6-3 point guard from Cedar Hill (Tex.) High School, scored 77 points on Fri., Nov. 30. Granted, it took him three games to get there, but there is no doubting Horton's endurance.
Evidently a morning person, Horton scored 25 in an 8:00 a.m. tilt with Sulphur (La.) High School, helping Cedar Hill to a 64-52 win, its fifth of the season in as many games. At 10:00 a.m., the Longhorns were back on the court, this time against Pflugerville. Horton (at right, with former Wolverine Jimmy King of Plano, Tex.) matched his point total from the first game, with 15 of his 25 points coming on five three-pointers as Cedar Hill rolled, 73-54.
The Longhorns received a little more rest between their second and third games. Evidently, it was just enough time for their muscles to tighten up, because in a 7:30 p.m. meeting with A&M Consolidated, Cedar Hill sustained its first loss of the season, 63-56, after opening the year with six straight wins. Horton, however, showed no let-up, scoring 27 of his team's 56 points.
After a good night's rest, the Longhorns made quick work of their next opponent, La Porte, on Saturday. Horton scored 23 in the 73-35 win.
On Tuesday, Horton posted a season-high point total as Cedar Hill improved to 8-1 with an 82-69 victory against Lancaster. His 31 points, including five three-pointers, raised his scoring average for the year to 22.4 points per game.
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Chris Hunter continues to build on a solid showing in the Champaign News-Gazette Thanksgiving Tournament. In that event, which took place over the Thanksgiving weekend, the 6-11 U-M power forward/center signee averaged 20 points and 8.3 rebounds in three games, helping his Gary (Ind.) West Side Cougars to the tourney title and receiving Most Valuable Player honors in the process.
In its first game after the Champaign Tournament, Hunter led West Side against Lew Wallace High School. And once again, he posted the kind of numbers that are expected of a top-notch prospect.
Thanks in part to his 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line, Hunter tallied 20 points in the win and added six rebounds and three blocks. The victory was the Cougars' fourth straight since they dropped their opener at Chicago Farragut, and moved their record to 4-1 on the year.
In West Side's next game, it faced Layayette Central Catholic, the No. 1 team in Indiana's Class A, at the Munster (Ind.) Times Region Roundball Rumble. In the first half of that game, the Times reported, "Hunter looked all-world, hitting 7 of 9 shots to go with eight rebounds." West Side took a 36-29 lead into the locker room, but Lafayette was not done yet.
The tables turned in the second half, and by the end of regulation, Lafayette had pulled even, forcing overtime. With six seconds remaining in the extra period, Hunter scored his 23rd and 24th points of the night, sinking a pair of free throws to seal the game, which the Cougars ultimately won 70-66. In addition to his 24 points, Hunter was good for 12 boards and three blocks.
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Boys high school basketball finally began play this week in Michigan. Neither of the Wolverines' two in-state signees, 6-6 Lester Abram of Pontiac Northern and 6-9 Graham Brown of Mio, has debuted yet, but some of the state's top underclassmen were on the court Tuesday.
Detroit Redford's 6-4 junior guard Dion Harris announced his return to the court with a 35-point performance against Detroit Cooley. Redford won going away, 70-45. A major recruiting priority of Michigan's, Harris was recently ranked by the Detroit News as the No. 4 player, and No. 1 junior, in the state.
Detroit Southeastern may have two of the nation's top 50 high school players in the Class of 2003. Brandon Jenkins, a 6-3 point guard, and Walter Waters, a 6-9 center, were ranked as the No. 9 and No. 18 players (3rd and 5th among juniors), respectively, on the Detroit News' list, but in the first two years of their high school careers they have not been able to lead Southeastern to much team success.
On Tuesday, they started the season on the right foot in a 62-58 win over Detroit Kettering. Waters led the way with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, and Jenkins contributed 16 points.
Jenkins' rival for recognition as the state's top junior point guard, Brandon Cotton of Detroit DePorres (No. 4 among juniors and No. 12 overall by the News), scored more points than the entire opposing team on Tuesday. Thanks in part to Cotton's 24, DePorres coasted to a 73-20 win over Harper Woods Bishop Gallagher.
Junior wing Olu Famutimi (the News' No. 8 player and No. 2 junior) found the going a little rougher in his Monday opener. In its first game since the graduation of Michigan State freshman Kelvin Torbert, Famutimi's Flint Northwestern team fell to Flint Powers, 56-46. He was limited to six points in the loss.
Abram's senior season opens on Friday, when Ferndale visits Northern. A near-unanimous pick as the preseason No. 1 team in the state, the Huskies will be looking to defend their Class A state title when they retake the hardwood. If it is to repeat, Northern will have to do so without point guard Ricky Morgan, now a freshman at Iowa State.
"I always had Ricky to guide me," Abram (right) told the Detroit News recently. "It's going to be strange to take the court without him. When somebody did something wrong I wouldn't have to say anything, do anything. I'll have to change. We have some guys up from the JV who mess up, don't know what to do all the time. I found myself screaming at them. It's all part of being a leader."
But Abram, who was ranked as the News' No. 3 player in the state, behind only Michigan State signee Paul Davis and Florida signee Anthony Roberson, believes that the Huskies can live up to the hype. "I've got all the confidence in the world in my team," he told the Oakland Press. "I think we'll be able to take care of all the expectations that people have for us."
The stage is not quite as big for Mio, although after going 22-3 last year in Class C, the Thunderbolts look like a potential contender in their new classification, Class D. "Mio has never been a team to sneak up on anyone, and we're not going to be able to this year," head coach John Byelich told the Bay City Times. "Everyone is going to save their best basketball for us."
What most opponents will not be able to match, though, is Mio's 6-9, 235-pound Michigan-bound center, Brown (right). The Detroit News ranks him as the No. 8 senior and No. 11 player in the state.
"Our guys gained a lot of confidence last season," said Byelich. "I don't want them to get overconfident before this year even starts, but if things go the way they should, this could be a very good year for Mio basketball."