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East Detroit boys hoops team sees move to MAC Red

Published December 12, 2012

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In moving to the MAC Red, the East Detroit High boys basketball team is eyeing a deep playoff run and sees playing the division as a way to get prepared for the postseason. Pictured are Shamrocks players Tramon Wiley, left, and DeAngelo Kirkland.

EASTPOINTE — East Detroit High boys basketball coach, Dave Zauner, said the Shamrocks’ move to the Macomb Area Conference Red Division from the White can only help the squad.

“The goal myself and some of the other coaches in the league had was to set up the best league possible,” said Zauner, in his 14th year with East Detroit.

“If you look at the district we’ll be in come the (Michigan High School Athletic Association) playoffs, with a couple of schools from Detroit and both Grosse Pointe schools, we want to be ready for that, and being in the MAC Red helps that. I think it’s the best league in the MAC, with us and (Warren Cousino) coming in.”

The move comes as the Shamrocks, 10-11, 7-5 MAC White last season, return just three players — all of whom are prospective starters, according to Zauner. East Detroit (0-0 at press time) will carry 11 players, Zauner said.

Players Zauner expects to lead the team include senior forward Tyrell Yharborough, junior forward Kelvin Mack, and senior forward DeAngelo Kirkland.

A slow-it-down halfcourt offense has been replaced with a more up-tempo attack, said Zauner, who last led the Shamrocks to a division title in the 2010-11 season. The team will run various offensive sets, along with looking for opportunities to run. East Detroit will also look to force a lot of turnovers and turn those miscues into points.

The Shamrocks averaged 53.9 points per game last season. That would have been good enough for third in the MAC Red.

“The change isn’t because of personnel or anything like that,” Zauner said. “I brought in (former Madison Heights Madison coach) Steve Rhoads, who coached me in high school. We get a lot of the same types of kids, so he’s brought in some of his offensive philosophy.”

Defensively, the Shamrocks will run a mix of zone and man schemes in both the full and halfcourt. East Detroit will look to push the ball off misses, with the goal of getting a lot of two-on-one fastbreak opportunities.

“We just have to play strong on both ends of the floor, and I think we can surprise some people,” said senior forward Tyrell Yharborough, in his third year with the Shamrocks. “I think some of the new things we’re working on could put us over the top.”

Zauner said he knows the MAC Red will be tough, but he has set a goal of winning a league title. He said defending champion Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, Romeo and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley will all provide tough tests for his team.

“I think all the teams in the league are improved, so night in and night out, there’s going to be some hard-fought contests,” Zauner said. “You’ve got six teams that can legitimately make deep playoff runs, and I think we’re in that group.”

The Shamrocks next hit the court for a road tilt with Anchor Bay, set for 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Anchor Bay.

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