Detroit — Cassius Winston of Detroit Jesuit is a treat to watch and high school fans who haven't had the chance to watch him yet should make it a priority.
Winston, a 6-foot-1 junior point guard and four-star recruit, is smooth at everything he does, dribble-drive penetration, his passing, and his ability to score inside or from the perimeter. He has received Big Ten offers from Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Maryland, along with ACC offers from Notre Dame and Pitt.
MSU coach Tom Izzo was in attendance at Detroit Mumford last Monday for Jesuit's season opener against two-time 3-A Illinois state champion Chicago Morgan Park and Winston didn't disappoint in a 80-69 victory.
Winston put on a show and it wasn't just scoring. He passed it too and did it like few others, first with a cross-court pass to set up a 3-pointer, then sent a bounce pass to set up a transition basket, followed by a drive and drop pass for a short jumper, then a baseline move and shuffle pass underneath for a layup … and, to cap it off, an alley-oop pass for a dunk, all of these coming in the first half for a 41-39 lead.
Then, Winston scored the bulk of his 32 points in the second half, including eight in the third quarter to open up a 56-42 lead. He finished with 11 assists.
Winston — ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 34 ranked junior — said he enjoys passing as much as scoring. He averaged 18 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds last season to lead Jesuit to its second straight Catholic League championship and a Class A state semifinal appearance.
"I like seeing everybody happy so what I can do to get everybody involved and get everybody a feel for the game then that's what I'll do," Winston said. "They teach me to have a lot of poise when I work out and have everything slow down and play at my pace, the game has to play at my pace, that's what they taught me.
"Really, my Dad taught me that ever since I was little, whatever happens I'm in control of the game so the game has to go at my pace. My Dad didn't play basketball, just watched it a lot and picked up some things."
Winston scored 33 in a 76-72 win Wednesday over Detroit East English Village. He scored 18 during the final 10 minutes, including two free throws with 2 1/2 minutes left after English pulled within 71-70.
One elite level coach said Winston is the best high school passer he's seen since Magic Johnson in the mid-to-late '70s.
"His court vision is unbelievable," said Jesuit coach Pat Donnelly of Winston. "I actually had a high major coach tell me that he's the best high school passer he's seen since Magic Johnson and that's some pretty high praise. It was Tom Izzo who told me. That's Cassius' best attribute.
"Obviously, he can score the basketball, but if you collapse on him and try to take him away he'll find a guy for a layup. He just has unbelievable vision. He's a phenomenal passer and a great kid, too."
Marcus Lovett, the nation's No. 6 ranked point guard his junior year at San Gabriel Academy in California, transferred to Morgan Park for his senior season and left impressed with Winston.
"He's a good player, I like his game," said Lovett, who has been offered by Kansas, Illinois and DePaul. "He can handle pressure and he can control the floor out there."
Said Chicago Bogan head coach Arthur Goodwin: "He's better than any guard in Chicago right now, hands down the No. 1 guard in the entire state. He's solid, real poised. He makes everybody else better. He can score, but he makes everybody else better and that's the sign of a great point guard."
Jesuit (2-0) plays hosts to a strong Toledo St. Johns Jesuit team Saturday at 5.
West Bloomfield's Jackson dazzles
West Bloomfield's Trishton Jackson is having a special season
First, Jackson was a standout in football as a dual-threat quarterback, leading the Lakers to their first state playoff win in school history.
And, Jackson has already opened up some eyes this basketball season with a 41-point outing Friday in a 71-60 victory over Macomb Dakota.
Jackson made six 3-pointers and scored 18 in the second quarter after being held to two in the opening quarter. He had some impressive drives to the basket, including a dunk in the final quarter.
"I caught fire like I did with my 37-point game against Avondale last year," said Jackson, a 6-foot-2 combo guard. "My teammates kept finding me and I was able to score in a number of ways. I really got into a rhythm in the second quarter when I scored 18, made two or three threes."
So, what sport does Jackson enjoy playing more?
"I like them both equally and I like them both a lot too," said Jackson, who received his first Division 1 offer for football by Western Michigan last month. He has yet to receive an offer for basketball, but one could be coming soon if he continues to play like he did against Dakota.
Jackson averaged 24 points and 7 assists last season. He had six steals and five rebounds to go along with his 41 points against Dakota. West Bloomfield plays Berkley Saturday at 1 to kick-off the Battle of the Best tourney at West Bloomfield.
Western pulls off shocker
Detroit Western (2-0) showed it will be a factor in the battle for the Class A state title this season following an impressive comeback win over No. Saginaw Arthur Hill Saturday.
Sure, Western is ranked No. 4, but that elite ranking is for the second-half push, not the start of the season. It will be next month when Mt. Clemens' transfers Josh McFolley and Gerald Blackshear — both Detroit commits — will be eligible to play.
Well, guards Brailen Neely and Armani Tinsley showed Western is pretty special already, rallying Western back from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat Arthur Hill and one of Mr. Basketball's frontrunners, Texas-bound guard Eric Davis in overtime, 69-57.
Neely scored 23 and Julius Palmer had 17 points and 8 rebounds. Tinsley scored all 10 of his points during the fourth quarter and overtime, including a 3-pointer to pull Western even at 54 with 16 seconds left in regulation.
Davis scored 26 for an Arthur Hill team that plays defending Class A state champion Muskegon and 6-10 Deyonta Davis (MSU) Saturday at 8 at West Bloomfield.
And, for Western coach Derrick McDowell, he has to be thrilled with a deep, talented team which plays with tremendous heart … and will only get better in the months ahead.
Canton's soccer big day
Canton's state championship boys soccer team will be honored at halftime of the Chiefs' boys basketball game Tuesday, accepting the Army National Guard's national ranking trophy as part of the Fourth Annual MaxPreps Soccer Tour of Champions.
Canton finished ranked No. 6 nationally in the final MaxPreps Computer Rankings. Canton defeated Rochester Adams 1-0 in the Division 1 state championship game this past fall.
It was Canton's third state title in school history and second in the last four years. The Chiefs finished the season unbeaten, 24-0-3.
Defending Class A girls basketball state champion Birmingham Marian continued to play at a high level Saturday, dominating Benton Harbor, 68-41, at Grosse Pointe South.
Marian led 19-10 after one quarter, extending the lead to 34-22 at halftime and 57-27 after three. Benton Harbor is considered one of the top Class B teams, led by two of the state's top five players in guards Kysre and Kalabrya Gondrezick.
Marian had four players in double figures, led by Brittany Gray's 19.
Cassius Winston, Jr., PG, Detroit Jesuit: Winston had 32 points and 11 assists to lead Jesuit to an 80-69 season-opening win over two-time 3-A Illinois state champion Chicago Morgan Park Monday, then followed that up with a 33-point night two days later in a 76-72 win over Detroit East English.
"I actually had a high major coach tell me that he's the best high school passer he's seen since Magic Johnson and that's some pretty high praise. It was Tom Izzo who told me."
Jesuit coach Pat Donnelly on his junior guard Cassius Winston.
By the numbers
41 – points scored by West Bloomfield junior guard Trishton Jackson in a 71-60 victory over Macomb Dakota Friday. He made six 3-pointers and had a slam dunk in the fourth quarter.
29 – number of consecutive wins for defending Class A state champion Muskegon after its season-opening 79-49 win at Rockford Friday.
40 – Sade Lemons of Sterling Heights scored 40 in a 65-51 win over Warren Mott Friday.
13 – the second-half deficit Detroit Western came back from Saturday to defeat No. 2 ranked Saginaw Arthur Hill, earning a 69-57 overtime win after trailing 29-16 at halftime.