By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Mick McCabe of the Detroit Free Press unveiled his 2019-20 boys’ basketball All-Area teams on May 17.
Split into four geographically-defined teams, All-Detroit, East, North and West, McCabe’s honorees featured one local product.
Oxford Wildcats 2020 guard/forward Trey Townsend earned a spot on the All-North second-team, along with Jaden Akins (Farmington), Basheer Jihad (North Farmington), Brody Parker (Troy) and Julian Roper (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s).
This was the second-straight year Townsend’s play has been recognized by the Free Press, as he grabbed All-North honorable mention as a junior in 2018-19.
Graduating as the second-leading scorer in program history with 1,010 career points, Townsend averaged 21.7 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Wildcats as a senior. His 456 points in his final campaign were the most in a single-season in school history.
Capable of handling the basketball like a point guard and finishing around the rim like a power forward, Townsend will continue his student-athlete career at Oakland University, playing for longtime head coach Greg Kampe. He is projected to redshirt as a freshman in 2020-21 and begin appearing in games for the Golden Grizzlies in the 2021-22 season.
Interestingly, the All-North second-team features a couple of other ties to Oakland, as well. Parker, a 2021 guard, is also committed to play for the program and Jihad, another one of the state’s top 2021 prospects, is the brother of Golden Grizzlies redshirt freshman center Yusuf Jihad.
Roper is a four-star prospect, one of the top-30 shooting guards in the 2021 class and one of the top-five players in the state, per the 247Sports Composite. Possessing ten reported offers from schools such as the Alabama Crimson Tide, DePaul Blue Demons, Toledo Rockets and Wisconsin Badgers, he committed to the Northwestern Wildcats on May 4.
Clarkston Wolves 2020 center Matt Nicholson, who earned All-North first-team honors, is also headed to Evanston to play for Chris Collins.
In addition to Townsend, Oxford’s 2020-21 team will be tasked with replacing guard Michael Houston and forwards/centers Dylan Rebtoy and Ethan Robinson.
Fortunately, head coach Steve Laidlaw does return plenty of experience, especially in the backcourt. 2021 guards Pedro Bottene, Mason Mulholland, Palmer Speck and Zach Townsend all saw extensive minutes a year ago.
2022 center Bryce Esman, a force on the glass with a still-developing offensive game, projects to see an increase in playing time in the frontcourt.