Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Training Camp Report - Charged Up!

Southfield-Lathrup head coach Mike Avery and his Chargers boys hoop squad are all charged-up for the start of the 2009-2010 basketball season. Returning All-State senior swingman Roy Marble, Jr. along with a nice mix of young talent and veteran players off last season's district championship-winning team, Avery and his troops will be revving and roaring to go when they tip off their season on Dec 12 against Detroit King.
The sweet-stroking and high scoring Marble, is a 6-7 "do everything" type who will most certainly go down as one of the best to ever play in the Lathrup program – move over Chappell brothers, Greg Grays (Penn State/UofD-Mercy), Jason Jones (EMU/NFL), etc…there's another mega-hoopster about to join the ranks of the all-time Charger greats.
The fact that Marble is a top scale bonafide baller should really come to no surprise to hoop enthusiasts, since he comes from such a choice gene pool. For those who don't know, Roy Marble, Sr, Baby Roy Jr.'s proud papa, is a University of Iowa and Big Ten Conference legend from his playing career back in the day. Roy Sr., a prep phenom himself from Flint some 25 years ago, was an All-American guard for the Hawkeyes in the late-1980's and a first round NBA draft selection of the Atlanta Hawks. Despite having the same name, father and son have styles of play that are quite opposite of one another's. While Roy Sr. was more of a slasher, stuff-it-in-you-face type of player, Roy Jr. has a bit more finesse to his game and is more of a playmaker than his pops – he can distribute the ball almost as well as he can score it.
Last year led by Marble's 23.5 points (fourth best in the county) and 4.5 assists per game, Southfield-Lathrup finished the season 12-12. On the surface that record might not be that impressive, but if you look deeper and put it into context, the season can be categorized as a genuine success. After working out some early-season kinks regarding team chemistry, the Chargers came on strong late, winning a Class A district title by beating Ferndale last March prior to losing to eventual state champ, Detroit Pershing, and bowing from the tournament in the regionals.
Marble, signed with Iowa and entering his fourth year starting on the SL varsity, will headline would could end up being a vicious and multi-faceted Chargers' attack. Augmenting the always reliable Marble will be fellow seniors and returning starters, Bryan Coleman, one of the area's top forwards, and Drew Gilchrest, a hard-nosed and heady point guard.
Joining the tenacious trifecta of Marble, Coleman, and Gilchrest in the starting-line up this season will most likely be junior forward Jemetrius Way, a rangy, athletic wing, and freshman Jonathon "John John" Williams, a slick and slithery combo-guard who has earned a spot in the playing rotation in pre-season camp by competing at a level way beyond his young age.
Senior Anthony Nelson and junior Mario Pearson will anchor the Chargers' bench unit. The S-Lathrup coaching staff intends to use Marble a portion of the game as a "point forward", having him share ball-handling duties with Gilchrest, the theory being that it would allow him a little more freedom to dictate certain offensive sets that play to his strengths on the court.
Avery, entering his tenth season on the sidelines for the Chargers, acknowledges the groundswell of anticipation surrounding his team this year.
"There are some pretty high expectations there for us to try to reach this season," he said during a recent practice as he watched his squad scrimmage in front of him. "But I like it that way. And I think the team does too. The core of this group are kids that have been with me on varsity for three years now. The experience is there. The desire and talent are there. We just need to put it all together and we could have a special season in front of us. What's encouraging to see is that we're focused and committed and I honestly feel this bunch of players want to put the work in to be the best they can be. They want to keep improving and getting better every time they hit the court. I'd say I the only thing I would like to see is a little more vocal leadership out of some of the seniors but other than that I'm pretty excited for what this team could end up accomplishing. These are unselfish kids and that have a true love for the game. That's always a great combination."
The 42-year old head coach with five district crowns under his belt is quite the expert on excellence in prep basketball. As a high schooler growing up in Flint – on the roster of the original "Flintstones" of the working class city's first glory era of prep hoops dominance in the 1970's and early-1980's – , Avery was a starter on what was arguably the best high school basketball team in the history of the state.  Well, it was actually two teams to be exact: the 1984 and 1985 Flint Northwestern squads featuring seven future D1 ballers and a number of future pro athletes like Glen Rice (Michigan/NBA), Jeff Grayer (Iowa State/NBA), and Andre Rison (Michigan State/NFL), that finished 55-1 with two Class A state championship banners over the course of two seasons. He played collegiately himself at Central Michigan and first came to S-Lathrup as an assistant coach under Bob Herm in the mid-1990's before taking over the program upon Herm's retirement in 1996 following the Chargers run all the way to the Class A state title game.


Anonymous HSbasketball said...

Thats a DAMN LIE ROY MARBLE is a ball hog in the making he doesnt even average 20 points a game! The Coach for the Chargers has boosted his stats for a long time now and its about time someone said something. Dont believe me? then go to the Games! The best and most consistent Players on the team are Coleman and Gilchrest If you all Keep this up your in for a world of trouble! As a Fan of all high school basketball i know outstanding talent when i see it and Trust me Marble is Far from outstanding, he is an average player with average stats that were boosted by the coach, and dont let me get started on the coach, if he keeps this up i will expose him for fraudulent point counting WHICH IS ILLEGAL! and i know about the other extra curricular activity going on as well! Stop robbing these Kids of their Chance at getting Scholarships!

December 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home