Saturday, October 29, 2011
Amber Ramirez had me falling out of my seat at the DFW Fall Finish as once again I had a chance to see potential greatness in the making. Some players have it, some have it early and some have IT very earlly and while Ramirez could be a Top 100 player and one of the top guards in her class, there are others like Brandi Beasley
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Niaga Mitchell-Cole won't be worrying about any coyotes as she has decided to continue her academic and athletic career at University of Texas San Antonio. I mentioned the young lady attacked the basket at will during a write-up I did following one of their in the Big State Flava Jam and the moment I saw her I knew that next level was in her future. With an overall GPA of 4.0, this TABC All Region forward from Roosevelt High School won't have any problems on or odd the court as she moves.
If ever there was a day of days to see GBB in our area, November 18th is that day. Tell your friends, your enemies, the media or whoever because this will be a day to remember. Let's start with the Texas Invitational.
9:00 am-Mansfield Summit (TABC 4A #4) vs North Shore (TABC 5A #7)- Ashley Eli (North Carolina State) leads an outstanding group of players as they have to do battle against the Mustangs featuring Courtney Williams (Texas A&M)
10:30 am-North Crowley (TABC 5A #23) vs Clear Springs ((TABC 5A #4)- Chelsea Jennings (Texas A&M) and company looked good last season as they upset North Shore in the same tournament. Aaliyah Brown (George Washington University) wants to go out with a bang and when you look at their team having only 3 losses from last season, 2 of which were by single digits, well let's not use the U word just yet
NOON- Duncanville (TABC 5A #8) vs Bellaire (TABC 5A #16)- Empress Davenport (Texas) is a very gifted player surrounded by some talented players and based on the buzz, this team could win state. Bellaire's season started off rocky in this same tournament however three point specialist Raven Burns (Texas State) will have her team psyched and ready
1:30 pm-Desoto (TABC 5A #2) vs Cy Falls (TABC 5A #6)-Bryce Owens (New Mexico State) and Jordan Jones (Texas A&M) form one of the states top back courts. They bring pressure on both ends of the court and you will witness some amazing athleticism. Sedalia Ellis (Liberty) and Kit Metoyer (Harvard) know their season probably ended too soon last year.
Look at what you have folks, some of the top teams in the state going head to head, not to mention Klein Collins, The (why am I not ranked again) Woodlands and College Park all playing in the same tournament.
If that isn't enough, you have four potential quarterfinal match-ups going in the FBISD
Katy Taylor (TABC 5A #21) vs Hightower (TABC 5A #24)-No you are not seeing double but get ready for double, wait, triple trouble as the Hurricanes' Taylor and Tyler Gilbert (Houston) along with Jazmine Prophet form possibly the best interior in the state. Katy Taylor's Amira Jenkins and Logan Johnson are nobody's pushovers in fact Taylor surprised Hightower last season in this very tournament
Seven Lakes vs Manvel (TABC 4A #25)-I called Lakes a sleeper last season but the injury to Christin Inman meant doom. This year, she and Sydney Buchel, along with Jade Johnson (Texas Arlington) are wide awake. Manvel is ranked too low, the addition of Brianna Turner and Jordan Hosey alone makes them state contenders
Dekaney (TABC 5A #9) vs Memorial- Ellen Anderson leads the charge for the Mustangs however the most athletic team in the city has next level talent galore. Led by Alexis Durley (Cincinnati) and Shunta Nevitt (Texas Tech) I would be more surprised if they didn't make it to Austin than if they did.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Latunia Jeter, mother of Harker Heights post Eboniey Jeter, has informed me that her daughter committed to the University of North Texas. The 6'1 Jeter is an All District player who was also the Newcomer Of The Year in 2010. She averaged 14 points and 16 rebounds per game for the (27-11) Knights last season while helping lead her team to the Region 2 Elite 8.
I have seen so many changes over the course of the past 10 years in GBB but some things will never change. I recall getting into heated debates on message boards with people I felt that didn't know what they were talking about which sometimes lead to aggressive behavior on my part, however stringent internet laws made me change my ways. Several things happened because of my actions and although several people didn't like what I said, it made many take notice, especially since I was usually right and out of all the trouble I supposedly caused, an internet correspondent was born with Scout.com. I have criticized the Chronicle for years with their AGH picks because in a city this size, over 1500 high school players from various public and private schools, it makes no sense to pack them in together and say these are my 15.
I never picked an all anything team because I knew there would be those who had their opinions about who was left off, so when I decided to do so, I had to set some GUIDELINES on who would be picked. The old me would have just said some bad words if people disagreed with me and that was that however since I've mellowed over the years, I'm all about educating folks with LOGIC and hopefully they COMPREHEND what I say after I break it down. Here were the guidelines.
1.You were a key player on a team that has a chance to go to state
2.You were a player that had committed and (or) had several options from schools that offered you a scholarship
3.You were a consensus TOP 100 player
You have to have a formula when you do things in a city this size and if two of those three applied, this narrowed the selections down. Advantage Guru!
Monday, October 24, 2011
If you know of any scrimmages going on this weekend in the Houston area other than at Dekaney, please email me at email@example.com. Also, as I told you 2012 would be a very strong and competitive class NATIONWIDE, so if you have any UNSIGNED SENIORS after the early signing period ends, please contact me if you need some help.
Back in my day, a knee injury was the kiss of death and so many magnificent players injuries were cut short. Over the years, there has been a significant change and players now come back even stronger from ACL injuries. One player in particular has worked hard to get back to the level of where she was before her injury and that hard work has paid of in a big way as point guard Shannon Evans from Barbers Hill has given the nod to Faulkner University. She also becomes the 26th area player to commit this season as NLI day is only a little over two weeks away. Evans will team up with Kendall Shaw (Vanderbilt) as the Eagles try and make a run in Region 3 4A for a state title.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Desseire Johnson did a lot of growing up over the summer as she excelled at her age and held her own playing up. She is one of many that have made the 2015 Best In Texas list on Girlz Prep Report. From a tad over 5'0 to a few inches under 7'0. This may wind up being one of the classes from Texas in this millennium, it's that talented and one you definitely want to keep an eye on. For more on the players, check out the GPR website
Little Rock's Erin Peoples has decided on the Lone Star State to continue her academic and athletic career as with her commitment to the Texas State Bobcats. This Parkview put on a show at DFW Elite's Big State Flava Jam and almost led her New Life team to an upset over T-Jack. She then played for DFW in the Basketball On The Bayou tournament in New Orleans and continued to impress. The icing on the cake happened a couple of weeks ago as her high school team participated in the DFW Elite Fall Finish and that's when her decision became clearer. Erin's mother, Clarisse Tatum, said " She is excited about playing in Texas again since the move to DFW last summer". I know Texas State is excited as well since they now have secured two dominant scorers for the summer, Raven Burns, Bellaire, committed a few weeks ago.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
The Big Three from KF all will all make the final cut for the 2014 Texas Top 100. The question is how high they will finish but as I tell everyone, rankings don't matter and having an opportunity to play at the next level is what it's all about and if you're serious about this, that's the thing which should really matter. The front page has changed on the GPR website and I've listed some of the top players in Texas for 2014 and 2015.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Move in Jasmine Nash, a Girlz Prep Report 2014 Watch List player, has been cleared to play varsity for Klein Collins this season which means that the race for the top spot in District 13 just got a little tighter. I initially predicted Dekaney and Klein Forest would battle out with Collins being in the hunt provided Veja Hamilton, a Girlz Prep Report Preseason All Greater Houston selection along with 2013 Texas Top 100 player Dominique Dillingham stayed healthy. Nash gives them an additional scorer and ballhandler and also a legitimate shot at not only making a run for a district title but also a chance to go deep in the playoffs.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
It's that time of year again when preseason team rankings along with top players or players to watch lists come out. TABC already has their rankings out, Hightower and Manvel are way too low and the Chronicle's picks will surely be out in the near future. I had a chance to pick the teams and young ladies for DA MAGAZINE, which will be out November 14th at Barnes and Noble. Although I picked 13 players, in a city this large, there are several others that could have been selected, some of those players will be in Vype's preseason magazine.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
If you've ever had a chance to watch one of those shows where they show you how things develop right before your eyes or even better, if you know what a Polaroid picture is, then you understand. Seeing kids work to get better is something I've always enjoyed watching and watching already talented kids continue to work on their games is even more refreshing. I first saw Breanna Hayden before her freshman season, I knew she had an older sister that was going to Baylor and I was impressed with the things she did on the court. I didn't see her again until last year when her school, Dallas Lincoln, played in the Aldine Tournament and I could see the improvement over the past two years.
After a sensational summer, Hayden moved into Top 100 status on the national frontier as she showed she was legit to many who questioned how good she was. I already knew she had Top 100 all over her, that wasn't the question. The question in my mind was how he should could rise and the jump from the summer to last weeks DFW Elite's Fall Finish showed before it's all said and done, she might be the top player in Texas. Hayden has some intangibles that just can't be taught and it's good to see the better players wanting to keep getting better. Hayden, along with Christen Inman from Seven Lakes High School in Katy, made the biggest jumps as far as Texas kids. For more on these young ladies, please visit the GPR website.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
When you spend a weekend concentrating on over 300 high school players and you observe that you have a number that's seven or eight times the national average on making it to the next level, it's easy to start in filling in the blanks and setting a foundation for a statewide Top 100 in the various classes for upcoming seasons. Starting with the 2013 class on down, as promised I am expanding my next level lists to cover the state of Texas and since I've finalized plans to attend both the Mansfield Rotary and Sandra Meadows Classic, not to mention the various teams from out of town attending the Houston area tournaments along with several club events on tap throughout the state, we'll have some solid players every year for not only the Texas Top 100 but also the Texas Best of the Rest on my Girlz Prep Report Scouting Service. I want to personally thank Corey Hegwood for inviting me to cover the event along with a couple of guys I've has a personal relationship for what seems like forever, Irving Butler and Daryl Horton. Still, more to come from the DFW Fall Finish!
Friday, October 14, 2011
When I do evaluations on players, I love seeing them in multiple situations such as on their high school and club teams because more time than not, they will be playing in different systems, so I like to see how they adjust because if they're fortunate to play at the next level, there will be an adjustment process. I also love seeing them in camp settings in order to break down their skill level, see their strengths and weaknesses and also see how much growth is left. Here I am, sitting in the stands watching this kid handling the ball like a yo-yo on whoever was guarding her at the time,while also throwing no look bullets between 2 or 3 defenders with her right hand. I'm thinking to myself, that's impressive. When she started to do it with her left hand, I had to find who she was.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce 5'2 freshman Tana Driver from Midland High School. The thing I like most about Driver is her heart, confidence and knowledge of the game. Don't get me wrong, I love showtime because it's good for the girl's game, if it's in the flow, and Driver's knowledge has what she doses working in the flow of the game. Even though I liked her a lot during the camp, I needed to see her in game situation and I wasn't let down. She can run the break, attack the basket and shoot the three and although she may not grow much more in height, she will grow into a next level player.
I met Coach Mike Ekanem during the DFW Fall Finish and after we exchanged pleasantries it occurred to me I hadn't really seen a lot of his team, primarily due to time restraints when we happened to be at the same event. I had caught bit's and pieces here and there but this time I made it a point to see what was happening and I was in for a pleasant surprise. They simply get after it on the court and with several outstanding players on hand, their team sometimes makes it look too easy.
With players from across South and Central Texas including some of the top 2013's like Chamaya Turner, Jasmine Goodwine and Moriah Mack, this team has several next level players, in fact one of their 2012's, Monet Neal from San Antonio Taft High School, already committed to Houston Baptist. Another player, Tabatha Richardson-Smith , above, recently transferred to Bay City and will have no problem using her 6'0 frame to become a scoring machine somewhere. If you're asking the question, is this the same Sophia Young as the 4-time WNBA All Star, the answer is yes, but you probably already knew that. What you probably didn't know is Coach Ekanem also has doubled as one of the strength and conditioning coaches for both San Antonio pro basketball teams,the Spurs and Silver Stars, just a little GPR trivia for you. Like Ray Caldwell's "She's Ballin", Mike also keeps you up to date on the "haps" around the Alamo City with his site," RiverCityHoops" and both can be found under the links section on this blog.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Cy Fair's Alexis Chandler has given a verbal to George Washington University, this was verified by her dad Ivory. Chandler started off her Houston career with Bellaire and as a freshman that had next level written all over her. She will end it with a bang as she brings new life to the Bobcats aand gives them a legitimate shot at continuing their playoff streak of forever. Chandler also becomes the 25th area player, that I know of ,who has committed as we have less than a month remaining before NLI early signing period
Desiree Caldwell is only in the 6th grade and although I won't put pressure on her, yet, I do some things that show me she will be someone to keep an eye on. First of all, her sister is one of the top guards in the country and more times than not, the younger ones are around the game so much at an earlier age, they get to observe things many kids that are young as they are don't. The first thing I noticed about Desiree was her handles and she brought the house down as she exploded to the basket for a floater between to defenders. No, it didn't go in but it will! The main thing about what she did was the fact that she's playing on an 8th grade team that was playing against older players.
Amber Ramirez could start on many high school teams right now and when you see her vision, her court sense and of course, her flair for the game as she sometimes looks like a magician with the ball, you'll know your watching the kid develop into a prime time player right before your eyes. These guards are from around the San Antonio area and they are only a few. I've talked about several of the kids over the summer, the Rohawks, Hoyas and Xpress, all have shown that next level talent is out there from the area, you just have to know where to look and my next story on the Sophia Young team is a perfect example.
For more on San Antonio's guards, check out the story on GPR
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I've heard the nicknames given to Nekia Jones such as "Baby Barkley" and "Shaq" and Hoopgurlz even named her to the All Danielle Adams team but in fairness, there aren't anymore Adams out there that I've seen. What I will say is she has taken a little from all three and rolled that into a package in which once it's opened, I guarantee you will be on the edge of your seat every time she touches the ball. If you dare blink, you might miss something you probably never saw a kid this size do in your life, yes in your life. After her freshman season, I saw her rock the house at Basketball On The Bayou. This continued through not only the 4A Regional Tournament semifinals in Houston but in the state Final Four in Austin as Jones simply put on several shows. This summer, the buzz was how she razzled and dazzled the ball against T-Jack and most recently, Jones was still putting on a show in Arlington in front of numerous college. As she enters her junior season, Beaumont Ozen will once again be a favorite to make it back to the Regional F-4 with Jones being a major factor.
I want to see as many players as possible and I need your help. Please email the brackets of the local tournaments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I also plan on hitting the Metroplex 3 during the holidays, Mansfield, DISD and Duncanville.Thanks!
Some things stick in my head from my childhood such as slogans I used to read on license plates during our annual family vacations. One in particular was "Oklahoma is OK" but when you look at the talented basketball players that come out of there, it's more than okay. I remember watching Oklahoma players Danielle Gant (Texas A&M) and Earnesia Williams (Texas) battle against Marissa Coleman (Maryland) in the AAU National Championship game, so that was my first taste of the talent that came out of the state. Courtney Walker (Texas A&M), pictured above, is another talented player you'll be hearing about for the next few years after she graduates from Sante Fe High School in 2012.
What I noticed from of the top from watching the Oklahoma teams was the guard play and at times it seemed like they were almost clones of each other, showing speed, playing hard nosed defense, possessing good handles and the ability to knock down the long ball. One in particular that did all of those things was Dionna Collins of DFW Jim, a squad that was loaded with 2013 and 2014 players. The one 2015 player, Naklia Carter, is a name you might want to remember as she shows a lot of promise
The Oklahoma Magic have always had talented players and it seems like I've been seeing Coach Cobbins forever. This year is no different as their 2013 group looks like they will be competitive once the summer rolls around. A big key to their success will be how much 6'4 Hannah Robinson continues to improve. That old saying about you can't teach height is on point however this young lady has improved every time I've seen her play and she has a chance to be a force on the inside before it's all said and done
Monday, October 10, 2011
When I first saw Daneichka Canales at the DFW Elite Fall Finish Camp o Friday, I had no idea she was a 2012. Heading to the 9th grade, yeah maybe as several younger players were in attendance. The first thing that impressed me was her speed and the ability to get to the basket anytime she wanted to. Diamalisse Barcelo also appeared to be young as I watched her go through the drills. She had good size and footwork however something was missing during the drills.
Whatever was missing was quickly found during the games played on Saturday and Sunday and she saved her best for one of the best teams in the tournament, DFW Washington, as she simply went into beast mode scoring on a variety of ways inside and out along with quickly making me do an about face as I was impressed by her arsenal of offensive weapons, remember my saying, it's not what you do, it's who you do it against.
Finding out those kids were from Puerto Rico reminded me of how Carla Cortigo took Houston by storm when she arrived. She took Bellaire from being a good team to a legitimate contender and made it the cool school to go to in HISD for GBB. Pictured above, she drives against fellow 2005 graduate Takia Starks as both represented Houston in Big 12 from that star studded class. I'm sure the question many want to know is do I believe these kids can play at the next level. The answer is yes and though they might not be clones of Carlo, both bring something to the table and have the ability to play somewhere.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
With three major events all within an hour of each other, most areas might suffer because of the diluted talent pool however since everything is considered "BIG" in Texas, this would not be the case, especially in Arlington. Players from as far as Puerto Rico were on hand to showcase their skills starting on Friday night at the Fall Finish Camp and the action heated up as games began Saturday morning.
Initially my plan was to cover both the Fall Finish and Summer Showcase in Duncanville since they were 20 minutes away from each other however after numerous emails weren't responded to from the Showcase staff, I decided to focus on the talent that was right there in front of me. That wasn't hard since it came in all shapes and sizes and if you haven't seen 5'2 Tana Driver throw no-look bullets with either hand, you are missing a treat. Throughout the week, I'll be updating the blog with information along with adding new names to the GPR Scouting Service.
Don't turn your back and snooze because several stories will be coming out during the week. From the high octane players that San Antonio continues to come up with to a young lady who may wind up being the best 2013 player in the state before it's for all said and done, stay tuned.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Elsik pulled off something very few people thought they could do and that's represent Region 3 in Austin's Final 4 last season. It was a great run, they showed a lot of heart and they didn't care what the skeptics thought, which is how it should be. Comparing last seasons 9 best teams in R3 to this seasons, all but two teams lost key pieces to their puzzles. Many of these teams weren't very deep to begin with and when you talk about making a run for a state title all that means is this season is going to be wide open once again. Based on logic, mine at least, I've done a mini breakdown on the Top 9 from last season
1.Elsik-The Big 3 are back for one last run. What they lost from last season is two starters and a sixth man that saw valuable playing time on a not so deep squad
2.North Shore-The Courtney and Mo show is about to close and even though they weren't that deep last season, they also have to replace two starters, a point guard and a beast under the basket, plus a kid that could off the bench and give them some O
3.Cy Falls-It's always good to have a zone buster or in their case multiple ones as they too have to replace two starters
4.Hightower-The good news is they have 3 D1 posts, bad news is they lost their starting backcourt
5.Elkins-Without Breaux they were average, with Breaux they beat Hightower
6.Cy Woods-Almost 40% of their offense came from one player that's gone
7.Katy Taylor-Everything Jungwirth did wasn't in the box score, she was the glue
Only Bellaire and Clear Springs return with the same arsenal as last season and as others try and regroup, these two teams are set and this doesn't mean I consider them the two best teams. Bottom line, none of this matters, it's all about chemistry and who the best team is that particular game. GPR's Preseason Top 20 teams plus my Preseason All Greater Houston squad will be coming out in Da Magazine
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
GPR heads down to the Metroplex for a weekend of what appears to be some exciting basketball. I have seen most of the top teams from the area at least once however this will me my first look at Clear Springs, GPR's pick to, well we'll see. The Fall Finish in Arlington and the Southwest Showcase in Duncanville will give me a chance to watch close to 100 teams and over a 1000 players from not only Texas but Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Stay tuned for the excitement and college coaches more kids will be added to the scouting service as well.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Last seasons tournament champ, Cy Falls, returns to defend their title and a match-up between them and Klein Forest could be your final. Sedalia Ellis and Shernise Robertson lead the Eagles while Regina Scott and Ekiyah Gray are two of the talented foursome of 2014 players on hand for KF
Memorial, Klein, Westside and Cy Ranch are some of the teams that may have something to say about who makes it to the championship