May 20, 2010

Kearney leads Team Detroit to tourney title

FERNDALE, Mich. - PPTPW (Players Play, Tough Players Win) is an acronym that has defined the Michigan State basketball program during the Tom Izzo era in East Lansing.

This summer, Spartan commitment Brandan Kearney is trying to some toughness to his game as he prepares for his senior season at Detroit Southeastern.

Kearney showed plenty of toughness over the weekend as he and his Team Detroit running mates won the title at their own Team Detroit Spring Showdown. Kearney, his high school teammate Percy Gibson, each recorded double doubles as Team Detroit knocked Detroit Fire 58-47 in the championship game.

"My strength, getting to the basket, dealing with the physicality of the game," responded Kearney when asked what improvements he has made since the end of his junior year at Southeastern. "Coach Izzo always says that players play, tough players win. I am just trying to take that mentality every time I step on the court."

Kearney scored a team high 15 points and displayed the ability to score on the perimeter as well as drive to the basket and finish through contact. Kearney also showed off the improvements he has made as a point guard by finishing with 11 assists. Kearney pulled down six rebounds in the final.

Kearney believes that his numbers will jump up during his senior year if he continues to take the ball to the basket the way he has during the first six weeks of the travel basketball season.

"I think that is the biggest part of my game that I need to improve on," Kearney said. "Getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line should push my scoring up."

Gibson finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and added three blocked shots in the victory over a Fire team comprised of a lot of rising juniors and seniors to be from Detroit looking to make a name for themselves against the high profile duo of Kearney and Gibson.

A southpaw, Gibson has shown improvement with his off-hand. That improvement has made him a more consistent scoring threat for Team Detroit.

"It is definitely more put together now," said Gibson. "I can do a lot more things with my right hand than I could last year."

SpartanMag.com staffer Rico Beard filmed, edited, and produced the package of highlights embedded in the text above.

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