I wasn't sure what to expect for the inaugural Stars and Stripes event held by Rhossi Carron and Ted Wheeler of Basketball University. Whatever my expectations were they were exceeded tremendously. From the time you walked into the gym at Houston Christian the music was blasting from the speakers, the Eastbay Experience was on hand with all kind of things to do for all fans of any age and there was basketball being played with several Top 100 type talent on the floor.
2020 Top 150 prospect Jon was active from the tip for iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy in a matchup against Top 10 2021 6'10 Jerrell Colbert and Texas Christian. He really crashed the glass and finished well around the basket. He handled passes in traffic and finished above the rim. Jon finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks.
2020 Top 150 prospect Quevian struggled to find his shot early but he used his versatility as a player to impact the game. He rebounded, handled the ball and made some nice passes to Jon Aku for easy looks. When the game got tight Quevian started getting to the basket for scoring opportunities. He finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.
Jahari Long was big in a win over Universal Academy. The Top 150 prospect showed why he is so highly regarded nationally. Long has good size for the PG position, excellent vision, burst and a tremendous floater that he finishes consistently once in the lane. He picked the defense apart last night finding teammates for easy baskets. You can tell he really enjoys passing the ball and he's really good at it. Jahari finished with 10 points and 7 assists in the win.
Jaquan didn't get many touches within the offense last night but he didn't let it affect him. He just went to the glass for rebounds and created his own scoring opportunities. Jaquan is one of the best rebounders in the state due to his toughness, athleticism, length and motor. He played with some finesse as well hitting a couple of nice jump hooks in the lane. While he didn't connect from deep last night he has shown the confidence and ability to knock down jumpers. Jaquan finished with 9 points and 13 rebounds in the game.
Arthur always shows flashes of brilliance when you watch him play, last night was more of the same. He rebounded, made jumpers, attacked the basket of the bounce and played excellent defense for stretches. Kaluma is so versatile as a basketball player offensively and defensively. At times he has the tendency to over handle the ball and that results in turnovers. I think he'll be ale to shake that as he matures over the next few years. There just aren't many prospects in the 2021 class with his combination of size and skill. Kaluma finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 3 steals.
Lancaster shooting guard Marco Foster has had some of the best shooting performances in the state over the last two seasons. He may have arguably had the best one last season when he made 7 three's against Oak Hill in a game. Foster's name must be mentioned when talking about some of the best shooters in the state of Texas.
This season Marco seems to be more consistent with his play and doing more than just making shots. He's handling the ball more and making plays for his teammates while still knocking down three's at a high percentage. The play of Foster this season along with his backcourt mates Wade Taylor IV and Mike Miles has led Lancaster to a 10-1 record. These three guards are playing like the best backcourt in Texas and show no signs of slowing down. If Foster can continue with his consistent play, look for Lancaster to make a long playoff run that may end with them cutting down the nets in San Antonio.
I decided to check out the Lake Highlands vs McKinney game last night after I finished watching Bishop Lynch play Greenhill. I had no plans of going to 2 games last night but I'm sure glad I did. I walked into a gym that was electric from the tip due to the shot making display put on by 2019 unsigned senior guard Byron Schoby from McKinney. The 5'9 PG hit shots from all over the floor. I'm not comparing Schoby to Steph Curry by any means but it was like watching Steph while he's in the zone. Schoby drained 35 foot three's with ease, made step backs, flashed slick ball handling and even got his teammates some easy looks. Schoby had 40 points at halftime and finished with 51 in the 90-78 win for his team. This young man is a scoring machine and is averaging 30+per game this season. Schoby can definitely help some college program next year.
In defeat 2020 Lake Highlands guard Preston Lawrence played well. He drilled three's, took charges and also made some nice passes to his teammates. Preston has been steady with his scoring this year but what sticks out is his ability to make winning plays. He's a good team defender, passer, can really shoot the three and plays with athleticism. He finished with 24 points in the game.
Paul Graham has coached a lot of basketball over the last 30 years. He's been at Washington St., Oklahoma St., and SMU during his tenure as a collegiate coach. The last few years he's been at Skyline HS in Dallas ISD and has coached players like Marcus Garrett (Kansas) and Jase Townsend (Denver). Graham knows what talent is and how to develop it. Skyline has a special talent on the roster this year in 2021 6'9 F Ed'Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes has a chance to be the most talented player Graham has had during his time at Skyline.
Rhodes is a 6'9 forward who runs the floor well, handles the ball, shoots it well out to 17 feet, rebounds, block shots and can pass. There isn't a lot of things he can't do. On Saturday he finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds 3 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals. His upside is through the roof but he is also productive in games now because of his length and skillset. DISD has had some very talented bigs come through there in players like Tony Battie, Maceo Baston, Darrell Arthur, Anthony Randolph and many more. Rhodes has a chance to be next in that long line, it's completely up to him to reach his potential but he has a tremendous coach and mentor in Paul Graham to help get him there.
I got a chance to head out to Forney for the Winter Classic and catch a rematch between Wylie HS and The Colony on Saturday. The game got away from The Colony after Wylie blitzed them out of the gate. What I came away with was that The Colony has two very good unsigned seniors and the youth movement happening in Wylie is serious.
Bryce Okpoh was good from start to finish in this game. He hit the glass, finished above the rim and showed tremendous touch on midrange jumpers. The unsigned senior shot 6/7 in the midrange and had 4 thunderous dunks en route to a 20 point and double digit rebound night for The Colony. Okpoh is a tremendous defender with plus athleticism who has added the midrange jumper to his game. He will be a good late get for some collegiate program.
Garren Davis scored from all three levels in this game. What really stood out was his ability to shoot the three and his range. Davis shot 4/5 from three and a couple of those were from way behind the line. Garren has a strong body, athleticism and a beautiful jump shot. The unsigned senior is a prospect coaches should be flocking to see during the holiday tournament season. He finished with 17 points in the game.
Elijah Taylor began the first half really initiating the offense and setting up easy baskets for guys like Drew Lutcher and John Achebe. In the third quarter he took over the game with his scoring. He scored 10 points in the quarter and finished with 19 for the game. Known as a terrific on-ball defender he showed he can run a team and really score as well. He's extended his range out to the three point line and showed off a nice stroke connecting on 2/4 three point attempts while also getting into the lane at will.
Drew Lutcher started out hot for Wylie. The 6'6 sophomore showed off a beautiful stroke from three connecting on his first three attempts. He has a high release and nice follow through that makes you think every time he shoots the ball it's going in. He rebounded well and looks to have added some muscle since the last time I've seen him. He finished with 13 points in the game.
John Achebe was a grown man in this one. He blocked shots, rebounded, finished everything around the rim and played with unmatched energy. He did everything you could ask from a senior leading a young team. The unsigned senior was named MVP of the tournament after finishing with 20 points and double digit rebounds. John is a collegiate basketball player at some level.
The DFW is still in full tournament mode with several team participating locally and a few teams out of town representing the Metroplex. There were several big time performances this week which made it tough to filter them all for our Starting 5. These 5 were special this week in some good wins for their teams.
JaKobe Coles helped lead his Denton Guyer team to a 2-0 record this weekend in Arizona at HoopHall West . Coles had a huge game against perennial national power Bishop Gorman compiling 23 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists in a big time win.
De'Vion Harmon was his usual self at HoopHall West this past weekend. One of the top PG's in the country continued his amazing play leading his Denton Guyer team to a 2-0 record. Harmon scored, facilitated and defended at a high level.
Caleb Lohner is quietly (for whatever reason) having some big time performances at Flower Mound this season. He scored 31 points and added 12 rebounds in a win against LD Bell and backed that up with a 23 points and 11 rebound performance in the game after. Lohner is one of the top prospects in the country and his recruitment has skyrocketed.
Baylor Hebb had an outstanding weekend helping lead his team to a championship at the Colleyville Heritage Classic. He had games of 38, 33 and 22 points en route to an undefeated championship run. Baylor continues to back up his status as one of the top guard prospects in the state of Texas.
Wade Taylor IV was huge in a come from behind win for Lancaster early in the week against South Garland. The sophomore scored 28 points including the go ahead three to give Lancaster the win. He capped off the week by scoring 19 points in the championship game at the Cy Falls Invitational this weekend in Houston.
The DFW gave us plenty of action this past week with a few very good tournaments. A few surprises and plenty of big time performances helped us choose our Starting 5 this week.
Julius Marble led his team to a championship and was named MVP of the Knights of Columbus Tournament. The unsigned senior averaged a double double in the event and had 25 points and 9 rebounds in the championship game.
Marcus Sasser Jr. had the clip locked and loaded this past weekend at the Arlington Classic. The University of Houston signee scored 35 points in the semi-final to take down Desoto and led his team to a championship while taking home MVP honors. The high scoring guard continues to show he is one of the best in the state.
Mike Miles led his team to a 2-0 record with wins over OD Wyatt and iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy. The junior guard notched 26 points in the game against OD Wyatt and had 25 points , 6 rebounds and 5 assists including scoring the final 8 points in 47 seconds to get the win against iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy.
CJ Smith led his Timberview team to a big win over Denton Guyer scoring 18 points in the 4th quarter and OT. CJ was dynamic all weekend leading his team to an improbable run at the Spring Creek Classic while being named MVP of the tournament. CJ is an unsigned senior guard who is a dynamic playmaker for himself and others.
Garren Davis had a great weekend leading his team to a Prosper Classic championship and taking home the tournament MVP award. The unsigned senior averaged 17 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds a game to propel his team to a championship.
Lancaster High School hosted iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy last night in a matchup between some highly rated prospects. There were four top 150 ranked prospects between these two programs on the floor. 2020 6'3 PG Mike Miles and 2021 6'0 PG Wade Taylor IV for Lancaster and 2020 6'10 C Jon Aku and 2020 6'7 wing Quevian Adger for iSchool.
Lancaster started off hot out of the gate jumping out to a 16-2 lead behind the hot shooting of Wade Taylor IV who connected on three 3's in the first three minutes of the game and Mike Miles knocking down a three and a few layups. Jon Aku settled in and started scoring around the block and hitting the glass to help get his team back in it to end the first quarter with Lancaster leading 24-20.
iSchool Entrepreneurial Academy got big time performances from 2020 Jon Aku who finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds, 2020 Petar Krivokapic finished with 17 points with four triples and 2020 Quevian Adger finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Lancaster got a HUGE game from Mike Miles who finished with 25 points, 8 of them coming in the last minute of the game with his team trailing by 2 points. Marco Foster made some big shots in the second half, making five triples and finishing with 18 points of his own. Wade Taylor IV finished with 11 points in the 77-71 victory for the Tigers.