Top Five Boys Basketball Storylines for this week.

Written Sunday January 29th at 10:35 AM

Here are my top five storylines to watch this week.

Royal Oak is in deep trouble.

The Ravens had high expectations after winning the Gold last season. They had almost everyone back from that team and went up to the Blue which was going to be a tough enough challenge for them. Royal Oak started the season at 5-0 with their best win being over Ferndale University at the time but their not as strong non conference schedule in November and December has caught up to them. They are 2-6 since the New Year came. This was the same story as the 2017-2018 Berkley Bears in which something very similar happened to them. What hasn’t helped Coach Aaron Smith’s team has been their inability to defensive rebound which was pretty evident in their loss to Berkley earlier in the season. They are not a big team so fundamentals like boxing out are very important. Another problem has been their mental toughness. There has been times that Royal Oak has had mental lapses that has cost them games. The other problem that has plagued them is that opposing star players have torched them ranging from DJ Morrow (Lake Orion), to Jake Champagne (Oxford), to Tamir Runkenvich (Berkley), to Tre Walker (Stoney Creek), and to Anthony Simmons and Bowen Moore (Holly.) The Ravens rely on their outside shooting and have the proven shooters in Dylan Hoffman, Davis Arbeiter, Nick Hoffman, Rashad Wilson, and Camden Clark. I will talk more about the Ravens problems on the podcast but this team is in deep trouble with the schedule ahead and not to mention their district is brutal with proven teams in Detroit University-Detroit Jesuit, Detroit Renaissance, Oak Park, and Berkley in there along with Detroit Mumford, yikes.


Is Ferndale for real???

The Eagles have played a really tough schedule against proven teams in the State but they haven’t been able to get above 500 however the MPR looks strong. Caleb DeFoe is back and he will be a big help to go along with Cameron Reed and Chris Williams for Coach Juan Rickman. Ferndale could be North Farmington’s biggest challenger in the Red. The non conference schedule despite all that they have went through is still very daunting with Portage Northern, West Bloomfield, and Detroit Edison looming. Rickman really doesn’t care about how tough the schedule is which I severely disagree with but he feels that playing that schedule will get them prepared to get back to the Breslin Center which at times hasn’t been the case. If Ferndale can win over North Farmington on Tuesday then that non conference schedule they played proves that they could be a player even without Jason Drake and Trevon Lewis whom have since graduated.


The White is a gauntlet.

A lot of people look at the Red and that division is a gauntlet but the White has proven to be a gauntlet this season. All six teams have very impressive non conference wins to go with as well. Troy has the early edge on the division with their road win over Bloomfield Hills. Speaking of the Blackhawks, they, West Bloomfield, and Groves already have league wins and are very good teams as well. Lake Orion is also a very good team despite the 0-2 record. There are no easy games in this division that is for sure.


Harper Woods is the front runner in the Gold.

The Woods control their own destiny in the Gold despite being two games over 500. They also have played a really tough non conference as well and has games against Oak Park, Mattawan, and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. Harper Woods is also in a tough district which has both Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South. The Pioneers have gotten proven experience from Julian Young and company for Coach TaJuan Porter. Avondale might be their toughest challenger in the division but right now things are looking upward for the Pioneers.


The Blue is wide open again.

The Blue was thought to be Berkley’s for the taking all of sudden changed. The Bears had a very tough home overtime loss to Stoney Creek but they still control their own destiny in the division. Berkley has not won a league crown in a long while and this could be their best chance to get it done. Oxford has been up and down as has Troy Athens whom have had their moments. Seaholm is coming back with a vengeance. The Wildcats, Maples, and Red Hawks are one game behind the Bears while Stoney Creek is two games back and Rochester is two and a half games back. Royal Oak is in a very tough spot in the division being three games back but they can beat anyone with their three point shooting. These next few weeks will tell a lot about the Blue that is for sure.