We got a great early look at a few teams and prospects this weekend at the "War Before The Storm" showcase. Here's a quick rundown of what I observed
YGC36 is a very long and athletic squad that can really defend and make shots. These particular players stood out this past weekend:
5'7 2019 PG Bryce Cook (South Grand Prairie) was in mid-season form for YGC attacking the basket, finding teammates, stroking 3's and leading his team on the court. Tulsa is getting a gem in this kid.
6'3 2019 SG Jalen Thomas (Waxahachie) had an excellent first half against Drive Nation hitting 5 three-pointers before the half. JT can really make shots all around the arc. Definitely one to track if looking for a tough shot maker.
6'10 2020 PF Gethro Muscadin (Sunrise Christian) showed some serious flashes this weekend. He runs the floor like a gazelle, gets off the ground quick and is a big time shot blocker. Still a bit raw, big time upside though!
6'8 2019 F Jalen Wilson (Denton Guyer) showed the ability to knock down shots well beyond the three point line. He showed an improved handle playing with the ball in his hands. He was able to get to his spots and make plays for himself.
17U Drive Nation
Drive Nation is quite frankly the most talented team on paper in the Metroplex boasting 5 players ranked in the top 150 players in the country. That was before word broke right before tip-off of their noon game that they added arguably the state's top ranked player and #12 Nationally Ranked Tyrese Maxey. These particular players stood out this past weekend:
6'9 2019 F Drew Timme (JJ Pearce) had it clicking all weekend. He is so versatile with his skill set, it makes him a walking mismatch. What stuck out to me this weekend was his ability to see the floor. Timme has to be one of the best passing big men in the country. He had his usual day of hitting jump hooks, cleaning the glass, mid range jumpers and being a great secondary ball handler. He makes his teammates better.
6'4 2019 PG Jahmius Ramsey (IMG Academy) looked tremendous with his new squad this weekend. He sliced and diced his way to the rim, made open jumpers and displayed elite athleticism. Ramsey is a tough on ball defender who is excellent in pick and roll.
6'2 2019 PG Avery Anderson (Justin Northwest) had his pull-up jumper on display this weekend. He showed his vision making a few really good passes to set up teammates and made shots. Anderson also showed some big time athleticism attacking the rim.
6'5 2019 G Tre Williams (Wasatch) played with a motor and toughness unmatched by anybody this weekend. Tre defended well, rebounded, finished above the rim in transition and displayed high level passing all day. His energy is infectious to the rest of that team.
6'7 2019 G Sam Williamson (Rockwall) is as smooth as they come. His mid-range game is what separates him. Sam understands where his spots are and how to get there. He is automatic from 15-17 feet shooting over defenders. His stock will continue to rise as a national name on the EYBL circuit this year.
Mudiay Elite features two of the most dominant players at their position in the Metroplex in RJ Hampton and Tyreek Smith. These particular players stood out this past weekend:
6'3 2019 G Garren Davis (The Colony) was very good this weekend. It was my first time seeing him and I was very impressed. Excellent body at the guard spot, tight handle, finishes in traffic and can shoot it. He was a pleasant surprise this weekend. I look for his recruitment to take off after April, he's a guy that low majors should be all over right now!
6'4 2020 PG RJ Hampton (Little Elm) needs no introduction as he is a well known commodity nationally. He was his usual self scoring from all over the floor and running pick and roll to perfection with Tyreek Smith. His athleticism is getting very close to "freakish," as he finished way above the rim with several dunks. RJ is as polished a player as we have in DFW.
6'8 2019 PF Tyreek Smith (Trinity Christian) put on a dunking and shot blocking clinic this weekend. He truly understands that he needs to dunk everything in the paint. Tyreek literally tries to assault the rim on every dunk attempt. The timing he displays on shot blocking along with his athleticism and length makes it tough to get easy baskets when he is in the game.
Texas Titans 16U
The Texas Titans have a new look this year with some new faces, one face remains the same and that is at the PG position. These particular players stood out this weekend:
6'2 2020 PG Mike Miles (Lancaster) continues to impress every time I see him. Mike attacked the rim, finished at the rim, made three's consistently and ran his team. Miles is the quintessential point guard who you can't speed up and doesn't turn the ball over.
6'4 2020 G Paxton Anderson (Highland Park) played outstanding defense and played with a high motor all day Saturday. He has a really good release on his jump shot that extends out to the three point line. Plays with an edge and toughness!
6'7 2020 PF Jakolby Coles (Denton Guyer) was a force on the glass this weekend. He has great hands that allow him to make catches and finish in traffic. He showed the ability to step out and consistently make jumpers as well.
Drive Nation 16U
Drive Nation 16U is one of the biggest teams you will see playing 16's. They have 2 6'10 guys and a 6'9 2021 with plenty of length on the perimeter as well. This team is a PG away from being very good. These particular players stood out this past weekend:
6'5 2020 SF Andrew Laczkowski (Saint Mark's) is a fluid athlete who can really slash and finish at the basket and make jumpers. He was very good for Drive this weekend.
6'7 2020 SF Cade Cunningham (Arlington Bowie) was the primary ball handler for Drive this weekend. He handled pressure well and was able to make plays for himself off the bounce. I would really like to see him attacking and slashing from the wing a lot more as he is so skilled from that spot. He made big time plays down the stretch to propel his team to a victory over YGC36 16's.
This team has a couple of sleepers nobody is talking about, let me introduce you to a few particular players who stood out:
6'8 2020 F Darryl Brown (Jesuit) is a very intriguing prospect. At 6'8 with long arms and a high motor he is one to track the next few years. He showed the ability to step out and make jump shots, rebound and block shots.
6'3 2020 G Jarren Cook (Newman Smith) is a strong bodied SG with big time range that extends well beyond the three point line. He was on fire early in their game against Drive Nation 16's.
6'1 2020 PG Mekai Pope (Waxahachie) showed the ability to run his team this weekend. He played an excellent floor game, and scored when his team needed him to. He has a nice right hand floater and is a big time three point shooter. He didn't force any shots this weekend and really let the game come to him.
Kellen C. Buffington