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Detroit Edison (DEPSA) pulls off a big upset topping one of the PSL Favorites Cass Tech 59-51
In what might have been the best basketball game of the day, Class C contender Detroit Edison (6-8) took on Cass Tech (11-3) in the 2nd PSL quarterfinal game of the day.
Cass Tech came into this game as the favorite. They have one of the best teams in the state and have more quality depth than anyone else in Michigan. They legitimately play 10-12 players every game and all of them have the talent to start for most other teams in the state. Some of the top players in that group would be Randy Gilbert (Ferris State), Jalen Tobias, Tyson Acuff, Khalil Whitehead and Tyland Tate.
Detroit Edison plays a thin rotation, but have as much elite talent as any team in any class in the state. They are led by 2018s Deante "Spider" Johnson (Cleveland State), PJ Mitchell (CMU), Gary Solomon (LIU-Brooklyn) and Keith Johnson (Ferris State football) and 2019 wing Brian Taylor.
There was a full house on hand for this one, and it did not disappoint.
Detroit Edison came out of the game more focused and alert, and they took a 19-11 lead after 1. Gary Solomon killed the Technicians, scoring 7 points at the rim in transition. Deante Johnson also chipped in 6 points. He too did much of his damage in transition in the first quarter.
Cass Tech won the second quarter, cutting the lead to 1 at the half and holding DEPSA to just 8 points in the quarter. They began to handle the pressure DEPSA threw at them better and got better looks around the rim. Cass Tech had a balanced attack at the break, with only one player scoring more than 4 points and 3 or 4 players scoring 4 points.
The third quarter was a very entertaining back and forth battle, and Cass Tech ended up taking the lead going into the final quarter. Matt Richmond caught fire in the quarter, knocking down 3 threes in a very short stretch and giving Cass Tech a 40-39 lead going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter proved to be all DEPSA though, and the Pioneers just used their elite talent to make plays. They held Cass Tech to 11 points in the quarter, while DEPSA scored 20 to pull off a big 59-51 upset. The win by DEPSA knocked out one of the two heavy favorites to win the PSL tourney going into this game.
PJ Mitchell led DEPSA with an efficient 20 points, Deante Johnson posted a double double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, Gary Solomon filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists and Keith Johnson finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds
Below are some notes on a handful of the players from this game:
The point guard scored an efficient 20 points for DEPSA, and all his buckets came at timely points. Despite having the game high, it was a quiet 20 points because of the efficiency, which is a good thing. He made 4 threes and was 4-5 at the line, and scored a couple tough buckets at the rim. CMU loves shooters and Mitchell certainly is that. His range extends out to the NBA line when he steps into his shot. He might need to adjust his shot mechanics some in terms of where he gets the momentum from, but it is a pretty release and the follow through is consistent.
Gilbert looks like he is a division one football prospect. If anyone was watching him for the first time and knew about Cass Tech's historic football program, they likely would ask what football school he is committed to. Gilbert uses that frame to bully opponents inside, and he did that in this game. He used his wide shoulders to create space inside to get shots off, but struggled to convert. His motor was pretty good in this one as well. Gilbert also has a real good looking three point shot, which makes him an interesting combo forward. Ferris State is getting a good one in Gilbert.
Richmond caught fire in the third quarter for Cass Tech. He knocked down 3 straight threes and gave them the lead entering the fourth quarter. He has been known to be a solid shooter, but in other games I have seen him this season, he was struggling from deep. He has more of a set shot, but its a good release and he gives off that feeling of when he shoots it, there is a good chance of it going in. He also has solid size for a small college shooter, standing around 6'2.
"Spider" is an extremely lanky, mobile and athletic center that dominates around the rim. He did a great job containing Randy Gilbert and Jalen Tobias, and also made an impact on the offensive end for DEPSA. Spider always has been considered an elite rim protector in Michigan, and that didn't change in this one. He blocked at least 2 shots and altered many more. Spider also showed some improvement in his offensive game, stepping out to mid range and looking comfortable knocking down shots from there. He went 2-2 at the line as well. It might take a year for Spider to bulk up, but he should be a big time player in the Horizon league for the vast majority of his college career and should be successful.
Tobias is a physical, blue collar forward who gets after it inside. He really works hard and tried to lead his team by example in this game. He is very ambidextrous around the rim, which makes him very tough to defend because of his wide shoulders and ability to finish with either hand. A big limiting factor for Tobias is his inconsistent shot. In this game he looked shaky shooting from 15 feet extended, but he is a capable shooter from there normally. Tobias could be a beast at the JUCO level, which is the route I think he should go because he is a bit of a tweener forward right now. With a year or two of development, he could play at a high NAIA or D2 level.
I have always thought that Solomon has been considered one of the state's most underrated players, and in front of a capacity crowd, he backed that up. Solomon was tough going downhill like he always has been, and he did a great job at filling other parts of the stat sheet as well. Gary has good size and a motor that helped him to be effective on the glass. His vision and composure with the ball also stood out. Cass Tech frequently tried to trap him, but he took a back dribble and stayed composed all game long. He was DEPSA's most composed player on the day.
Whitehead might be Cass Tech's best prospect, yet you would not have known it in this game since he might have only played around 5 minutes. He had a big dunk in the 4th quarter, but that was his only contribution during the game really. Whitehead is an athletic wing who also is a capable shooter. He currently holds a Ferris State and IUPUI offer.
Tate is a very similar player to Whitehead. I think Whitehead is a little more polished skill wise, but Tate might have a more intriguing college frame for coaches. He is long, fluid and athletic. Tate also does have some good wing skills and is a solid perimeter defender.
Taylor did not have a great game statistically, but he still did a good job on the defensive side of the ball. His length, athleticism and fluid mobility make him a very intriguing prospect. He did not make any threes in this game, but Taylor has a great looking shot with elevation and consistent mechanics. You can tell he is pretty comfortable shooting from deep as well. He has a great frame that college coaches would love to get their strength and conditioning coaches hands on, and it makes Taylor a pretty coveted prospect in the 2019 class. He recently picked up a Ferris State offer, and I expect some MAC/Horizon league D1 programs to begin showing more interest in the 6'6 DEPSA wing.
Acuff did not have a huge game statistically, but he did run the offense fairly well. He just got the offense going and took care of the ball. He also is a 6'3 point guard, which makes him very intriguing for colleges. I expect D1 programs to be on him heavy once AAU gets rolling.
Here are some highlights from the game: