While it may not have a roster of sexy, high-major names, Detroit Cass Tech has a talented, veteran, deep squad that won big in fall ball and looks poised to now do it in real games. They were 14-1 last season, and graduated just one senior.
The Technicians are “strong up the middle” with senior point guard Terrance Broughton, who signed with Malone, and 6-7 senior Rylan Bowens, who signed with Bluefield State. Broughton is a classic drive-or-shoot guard who didn’t play last season after transferring from Romulus, where he averaged 18 as a sophomore, but meshes on the court and has the confidence of teammates like a guy who has been around for years. A third-year starter, Bowens is an old school workhorse 4 man who has a leg up on most high school competition because he’s strong enough to match up physically, then really separates himself with end-to-end motor, and explosive pursuit of the ball, a combination that many high school kids don’t want to match up and deal with for 32 minutes. Not fancy, but a reliable, tough finisher. A fundamentally sound defender, not just a jumpy shot-blocker.
Then comes the depth, guys who play hard and in tune with each other, where the whole ends up greater than the individual parts, like 6-0 senior Duane Wright, 6-2 junior Mekhai Walker, 6-1 junior Christian Harrison and 6-2 senior DeVin Madison. Walker is a JYD who is always around the ball, plays bigger than his height on the glass or finishing through contact, and gets both steals and blocks. Wright, another third-year player, can turn the corner and pressure a defense while Madison is a good shooter.
There’s a plethora of size besides Bowens, with two much-improved 6-5 seniors, DaShaun Stigler and Daivion Smith, and a pair of 300-pound (and more) football players, 6-8 Deone Walker and 6-6 Jackson Pruitt.
Cass’ lone underclassman is a good one. Darius Acuff physically looks like a ninth-grader, especially among seniors who have spent time in the weight room, but he doesn’t handle the ball or make decisions like one, having played a year up in AAU with the Family.