Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gregg enters new chapter at Louisiana Lafayette

I love seeing great things happen to great people and this week it was announced that Amber Gregg would be joining the University of Louisiana Lafayette as an assistant coach. This is one of those young ladies from another era, before the onslaught of experts who now recognize Texas as a hotbed for talent, she was in the mix as one of the top players in the 2007 class when she graduated from Round Rock McNeil. Gregg is definitely one of the top scorers I've ever seen from Texas but this didn't happen overnight, I caught her even before high school as a star for Austin Elite being coached by her dad Tommy Gregg and the things she showed me early told me she'd do quite well at the next level

That "next level" came oh so fast as she decided to stay close to home and wound up doing huge things at UTSA achieving numerous honors including Player of the Week and All Conference selections, but even more than that was her ability to shoot the long ball which when you add all of the other offensive weapons she had, this made her a definite threat every time she stepped on the floor. Gregg ended her career scoring over 1000 points for the Roadrunners and decided to give back by joining the Austin Elite staff as a coach and helping to develop the younger players.

Numerous young ladies have benefited from not only her coaching but ability to teach and to take it up another notch, she started coaching AE boys which included a young man I've been watching since he was four or five, Aaron Gregg who is one of the top 2017 players in the state. One evaluator wrote this on Aaron, "his motor won't stop, his outside shooting is way above average and his desire to be better than his peers fuels into his hunger which is unimaginable" well this mirrors what I thought about Amber who I'm expecting great things from at yet another level

Sunday, September 20, 2015

'22 Castillo one of many bright young players of the future

I ventured out the Beltway yesterday to catch a young lady I had heard so much about that I'm just glad I got a chance to see Ameria Castillo in person. Over the summer, she toned her skills with the Lake Houston Angels but the 2022 star had a chance to show me a few things in a co-ed league held at The Gym and to say she was one of the best players on the floor would be putting it mildly

When she walked in the gym, I saw poise and confidence before she even got on the floor and after the first couple of possessions, I knew she had some tools to work with. When you understand the "concept" and simple things of basketball like following your shot and anticipating the pass at a young age, well you're ahead of the game

It also helps if you have speed, love that first step, and she definitely knows how to attack the rim from the wing and being a girl playing against the boys, it's a double plus to not only take the contact but finish after taking it. To sum it up, she's athletic with good BB-IQ, that's definitely ahead of her years, but her ability to see the floor and change directions dribbling in traffic tells me she has a bright future ahead

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dekaney ready for "All That Jazz" and more

Dekaney has made a trip to the state championship and flirted with several others over the past two seasons and has consistently been the area's best team in the R2, okay now that we've got that out of the way, let me say me more time, the game starts at the one and Jaelyn Richard-Harris is the best true point guard area. Speed, handles, wait, speed with the ball and the ability to change directions, she defends, sees the floor but more importantly than everything else, she make her teammates better. The Wildcats lost Lauren Grigsby to Rice, GO OWLS, had to put a plug in for my baby, in fact my older daughter taught at Dekaney for two years, talk about Six Degrees of Whatever

You never know what they have coming in, year after year freshmen have stepped right into the fire so I'm guessing Dekaney will be in the hunt. The inside presence of Makeedah Collins, great body and the ability to damage on both ends of the paint and a kid that simply blew me away when she wore that orange and white with the Cy Fair Heat when she was in the 7th grade, Jasmine Smith. Smith excelled over the summer, several schools have offered but the talented 2017 is more than ready to continue showing she's legit

2022 GPR is ready for you


Yeah I remember it all too well, in fact, that's actually how my daughters started out before I found out about AAU, what I commonly refer to as club ball now but it served it's purpose and now 20 years later, I'm sure it's doing the same thing. I've glanced at a few leagues since then, time usually doesn't permit the ability to venture out all over the place however I'm making a special trip tomorrow to see a young lady I've heard so much about in a short span of time

Ameria Castillo just looks like a baller and the numerous stories I've already heard tell me I'm going to be in for a treat so I'll have a little recap coming your way soon

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thompson ready for next challenge at Northwestern State

If ever I was proud of a player overcoming adversity, Brynae Thompson's named would be among the top of the list. You see I've found out that a lot of this stuff is about everything but the kids and sometimes this has been a detriment to many who just gave up but now BT who showed me as an 8th grader she had plenty of potential, not to mention a left handed stroke that had me watching her drop eight 25 footers in a row in one game while double digit three's in many others but what I loved most of all was her desire to give back and help developmental players in our organization

As a freshmen, she immediately brought respectability back to Jersey Village, a program that had the cities first MDAA Nina Norman and were in thick of it with numerous D1 players like Norman and CoCo Reed (Texas) and the Isom sisters , Brittany and Natasha (Northwestern State) and it appeared they were head back with a solid nucleus in Thompson's group. Nevertheless, that never happened mainly because of pettiness across the board and Thompson finished out her career with Cy Fair who were arguably one of the areas top programs  last season.

Thompson is now ready for her freshman season, she still reminds me of that eager to get after MS balla I caught way, way back and I'm looking forward to seeing her in college. Here's a flashback on what I've said about her game read more 

Westbury Christian loaded and dangerous for any classification in 2016

Marissa Banfield has plenty of trophies, in fact as a 10 year playing 2 or 3 years up, I knew she would be a trophy as well, as far as the recruiting process goes. The GPR Under The Radar star is definitely on plenty of radars now and as I revisit the shooting performance she put on at the Rice camp,, 8 or 9 3s in a row and missing only a couple out of maybe 15, keep in mind while being guarded, well she's definitely continued to show she's putting in the work. IMHO, she's among the top PGs in the state for the 2017 class, kid is just solid, knows how to run a team yet can takeover when needed

Banfield and Tyra Cormier formed a nice duo last season however, the addition of '17 Laura Daulton, 6'3 and can control the inside as well as '17 Emer Nichols, she's 6'4, has me thinking this Wildcat squad would make the playoffs in probably every 6A district and win the many of them, that's keeping it real from someone that actually knows what they're talking about. Daulton's and Nichols' presence on the inside will free up Cormier to step out to the wing but that has got to be one of the most impressive interior's in the state because they also added 6'2 Mia Perkins

Clear Springs stays in hunt for 2016 run

Clear Springs has made noise since the doors opened a few years ago and although I don't have time to go through team wins over the past seven years, let it be known that the Chargers have won 198 games, with over 30 wins in three of the past four seasons and for the area, that has to be among if not the top win total during that span. The era of "The Chosen One" had a hand in the majority of those wins however that dynamic 2017 duo of D1 locks Tasharian Robinson and Sierra Cheatham both made the transition to varsity easily as freshmen and are among the top juniors in the state

Big ups to the improvement of several Clear Springs players I caught in the summer, it's not what you do it's who you do it against and even more importantly, who you do it in front of and the Jackson duo, Labraye and Brianna as well as Destini Hall are more than ready to bring that "energy" "heat" or whatever term or phrase you want to use for the trio of seniors that help fuel the fire on both ends of the court.

Janay Redic also came into her own over the summer and with the kind of ball Clear Springs has played like forever, it's always good to have an abundance of weapons but peep this, one of the biggest weapons you want to have is one where the game starts and that's at the one where Dymond Gladney simply came into her own midway through last season and never looked back. The 2018 PG has "yours truly" seal of approval as one of the top points in the 2018 Texas class and what she did over the summer solidified her status and this is yet another team that could get out of here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hurricanes could become a Category 5 in 2016 run

Okay Hightower lost a Lott from last season, as well as many other teams, but it was going to be Cy Woods' race to lose no matter what anyone else did in 2015, it's just that simple, however this a new day and if everyone is healthy, the Hurricanes could conceivably be the team representing R3 in 6A when you look at the firepower they have on paper.

Jasmine Harvey and Taylor Howard, pictured above, are two of a group of five talented 2017 players that are going to make even more noise than they did last season. Harvey, a long ball extraordinaire and Howard, long and athletic, both had huge games numerous times last season for Hightower

Big summer for Eneily Rodriguez, she was doing something positive every time I saw her in the summer on both ends plus a healthy Treazure Mouton, one of the state's top defenders and Lenecia Mitchell who hasn't really showed what she can do on varsity yet due to the injuries, trust me, she has the package, gives the Hurricanes a solid five that will be in the mix not only this season but the next one as well and all five are definitely next level players at various levels, that's my birthday freebie to you college coaches

I don't know who Hightower has coming in or moving up this season but I definitely know some of their players that would love to go out with a bang in their senior season. Panebi Shirey's length and athleticism created problems on both ends last season as well as her height as she stands over the magic number.

 Rachel Brown showed she could run both the one and the two as well as knock down the long ball, I don't know why I wrote that, I said it when she was in middle school and it ain't like she forgot but let's not forget the explosive Madison Glass who simply bring so much the table from the one on both ends that this group is going to definitely make some noise

Monday, September 14, 2015

Seven Lakes ready for challenges ahead in 2016

I've been throwing out a few mini stories o teams that could possibly make runs, please the disclaimer I throw out every year, "I don't know who's where because of incoming freshmen or transfers" but the teams that I have a pretty good idea about are the ones I'm commenting on, as far as with enough firepower to head 1-10 West come March as far as the public schools. Seven Lakes came up 4 points shy of their second Campbell Center appearance in three years losing to Westside in a tough one however the Spartans simply have enough to make it back this season

Cydney Varner is one of the best midrange shooters in the state, I've been saying that the past three seasons, she simply elevates over defenders and creates well of the dribble. Varner and Michelle Foakam provide a 1-2 punch offensively that few teams can handle, Foakam herself plays as if she's over 6 feet however at 5'9 she gets the job done on both ends. Hadassah Bennedoch truly elevated her game the past season, she's actually a shade under the magic number but the athleticism and energy she brings coupled with Foakam is going to definitely be a threat down low

Bailey Brown and Anna Bowman both played huge roles in several of the Spartans games I watched last season, Bowman in fact went off offensively when I saw her in the summer and one thing I know and you should too is that you can never have too much firepower when you're attempting to make run. Solid play from Brooke Bigott  in her freshman season will also be a plus for Seven Lakes this season because one more time, the game starts at the one and usually that helps dictate where a team finishes and this group could actually get out of here

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Johnson era set to begin as Crosby sits pretty in 5A

Okay fasten your seat belts for one top freshman in the country, Briauna Johnson. She may not be a household name yet but you just have follow my consistency, 100% so far, on telling you how it is . The Under The Radar player should create plenty of buzz immediately because she has several tools you just can't teach on top of that, she's ready to run with the big girls, well that's something she's been doing since the 6th or 7th grade

This is a star studded 5A squad that has the "capability" to run with with the top 6A schools when you look at who's driving the Carr as in Sydney Carr (HBU) one of my top players in the Texas 2016 class, I only go by what I see and she definitely showed me she was legit years ago. Another 2016 player who is unheralded and underrated probably should be, no definitely should have been on many schools short list is the electrifying Shannon Jones who was one of those middle school Lady Phenoms I raved about in the pink attire

Paris Netherly got some national buzz over the summer, she's among my Top 2018's in the state as well and that group in itself is going to create plenty of problems if they stay healthy and the killing part is that they have several other players who have the "go to girl" capability and mindset

Cy Ranch tested and ready for 2016 run

I can't think of any other team that has had to deal with injuries to key players three seasons in a row and still manage to be in the hunt than Cy Ranch. Like the other Mustangs (North Shore) this Mustang squad could easily be the team that represents R3 in the 6A division because of numerous D1 players. High flying Rachel Tapps (UTEP) is coming off of a brilliant summer as she continued to defy gravity and when you throw in that she sometimes sings the National Anthem, well this could be a story within a story itself

The Mustangs also have a couple of the top 2017 players in the state, Deauzya Richards is listed by many services as a national Top 10 lock, if you do your research I think I called that back when she was in the 7th grade wearing those orange shoes and as usual, if I call it someone will answer and she definitely get's off to the challenge. Arianna Whitfield blew up after the summer, I hate to say I told you so, well actually I don't , but Whitfield is a gamer and has turned out to be someone who relishes pressure situations

One of the states top freshmen last year was D'Asia Collins who I knew would be a college player back in the 3rd grade simply because of her mindset and BB-IQ, well also that mental toughness that you can't teach. Well she's continued to raise her game and stock and should be ready after an injury over the summer which is very important since the game starts at the one. Cy Ranch has plenty of firepower, the previous four players have all shown they can score double digits consistently and the way Alyssa Guerrero drops the long ball, that's at least five coming at ya

Saturday, September 12, 2015

New addition may have Mustangs on top

I've had a few calls from parents, writers and reporters asking about who the top teams were for the upcoming season, what better person to ask than one who actually watches the players right, and let me add that also has a pretty good insight on what they're looking at. To be honest, I really don't know, due to transfers I've heard that may or may not have happened, so after the dust has settled, I should have a pretty good idea on the major players and sleepers. One transfer that actually did happen was Victoria Blankenship moving from Corpus Christi West Oso to Galena Park North Shore and if you don't know anything about the senior, then you probably don't pay attention to everything I write and a couple of seasons ago, this young lady simply blew me away

It's easy for someone to just start watching and be impressed with some of the things they see on the court however I've been watching a very long time and this young lady is a throwback player that simply won't let you outwork her. I spoke with a parent a few days ago about Blankenship and he compared her to a female Barkley type player, well that's a very good comparison because like the name on her jersey, she can create HAVOC on both ends. Pound for pound and inch for inch, she is definitely the most underrated player in the state and is a "legitimate" D1 prospect and when you add her to what the Mustangs have returning, this team could conceivably be heading to San Antonio to represent R3 in 6A

North Shore has a couple of "I told you so" players in Chastity Patterson, a highly nationally ranked guard from the 2017 class that I nicknamed "The Future" when she was in the sixth grade, well the future is now and this could be their year especially with a player that SHOULD be nationally ranked, North Carolina commit Alyssa Okoenne. This is a pretty impressive trio that could average 40 to 50 points between them so we'll just have to see how everything plays out with chemistry, depth and everything else that goes into the magical world of girl's basketball

Friday, September 11, 2015

Branch commit gives Cougars Fab 5 2016 group

Natasha Mack gave University of Houston head coach the big okay the same weekend that Jasmyne Harris decided to bring her high flying exploits over to Hofheinz Pavilion and the addition of the ultra athletic guard Angela Harris as well as one of the states best catch and shoot shooters, with accuracy Quatera Limbrick a few days later, the puzzle started coming together. Well another huge piece was added this past weekend when Dorian Branch decided she too wanted to be a Cougar. Mack is a national Top 100 player while a case could be made for both Branch and Jasmyne Harris to be on those lists as well, but I've done several articles in the past on none of that really matters once you get on the true big stage and this group has a legitimate shot at helping the team make some noise