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Cass Tech a State Contender

Detroit Cass Tech sophomore guard Darius Acuff.

A 2022 regional champion, Detroit Cass Tech looks ready to reach that level again in March, and maybe more. A Derrick McDowell-era Detroit Redford model team with lots of guards and depth that defends and plays hard, the Technicians are 5-0 going into 2023 with a pair of convincing post-Christmas wins over Saginaw Heritage and Grand Rapids Northview.

Darius Acuff  6-1  So  Cass Tech: The face of the program as only a 10th-grader, and backing it up as for the second year in a row he’s their leading scorer, checking in at over 20 a game. It’s trouble when Cass goes 5 out as Acuff can break down with change-of-speeds and strength, and if you double him deep he’ll find a teammate for a layup. Good shooter off the dribble, and can make them when guarded. Has various release points and tricks to score on his drives. The kind of scorer who when he gets the hot hand it picks up his teammates’ energy, rather than causing then to stand around or be jealous, with still lots of room to make them better as a pure point guard as he ages.

Travon Cooper  6-5  Sr  Cass Tech: Elite defender on the backline which allows Cass’ guards to really get after it with pressure, as he covers a lot of space to clean things up behind them. Great motor on both boards. The kind of athlete who will get a rebound in traffic on the defense end, then finish a lob on the other. Needs to define himself offensively with a go-to move.

Christian Hairston  6-2  Sr  Cass Tech: A program guy who is now flashing as a college prospect. He can score from the post or face up and drive. Changes speeds, has a useful Europ step; can also dish off of penetration. Could be a star in the MIAA.

Amari Johnson  6-6  Jr  Cass Tech: Gives the Technicians their most size, coming off the bench. Ideal for matchups with true low post players. Had a put-back bucket at the end of the first half with Northview. A different look when he’s in the game, more ball screens. Can work quicker and smarter defensively; don’t give up baseline, you’re the baseline help!

Derrick Miller  5-11  Jr  Cass Tech: Instant offense off the bench. To wit, his first touch against GR Northview ended up a three-point make from the corner. On another play he drove and kicked for a missed 3, then buried a 3 from the top of the key when Cass got the ball back on the same possession. Attacks closeouts with a big first step and keeps chin to the rim. A clever cutter who finds himself open to pile up easy points as well as the tougher defended ones, as natural scorers are wont to do. Hustles for loose balls. Tends to gamble on defense more than CT’s other guards, which is maybe why he comes off the bench as that’s easier to play through once the flow is established, rather than early breakdowns.

Kenneth Robertson  6-0  Sr  Cass Tech: The finesse guard of the unit. Comfortable handling the ball on the break, or running to the corners to shoot. Heads up passer with a quick delivery in the half-court. Good in pressure defense, making quick decisions off of turnovers.

Corey Sadler  5-10  Fr  Cass Tech: A freshman football all-American with already multiple Big Ten offers, he hoops beyond his years as well. Looks more like a scrappy, physical upperclassman than a ninth-grader still in his first month of varsity hoops. Best passer on the roster, with the basic ones on cue, and some flair when called for; and all of them good velocity.

Mehki Walker  6-2  Sr  Cass Tech: Burly chested returning starter who plays more like he’s 6-6 on the offenive glass or setting screens. Can finish nose-to-nose at the hoop. High IQ in the half court, with his movement and spacing. Can drive and pitch off of the break.

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