This was my 1st time making the 5 hour trek from Houston to Wichita Falls, TX to see some of the best teams in Texas and Oklahoma. Nina Zavala, and crew did a great job assembling elite talent and drawing plenty of college coaches. Head coaches from Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M were in the building. Along with assistants from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Sam Houston State, Stanford, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, UT Arlington, North Texas, UTSA, & Arkansas. The event also might have had a top 5 hospitality room! Chicken & shrimp pasta, fried chicken, sugar cookies, brownies, pulled pork sandwiches… I felt like I was at “Madea’s Family Reunion”.
The lone greater Houston area team was Texas Christian, and definitely have several guys on the “All Airport Team”. With the addition of 6’9 2021 forward Jerrell Colbert, they now have the tallest, deepest front line in the country. 7’0 2021 Sam Ayomide is such a physical presence inside, he patrols the paint, and rebounds the ball well out of his area. Colbert compliments him as he can step out a little further from the paint to defend and score. They also added two freshman, 5’9 Austin Benigni, and 6’4 Chanse Perkins. They both add a little more skill and basketball IQ to this group. Benigni will look to fill the void at PG, and Perkins gives them a wing who’s versatile & can guard smaller players. This team right now is like a gumbo that’s not quite ready, they have some good ingredients, but it’s still missing that one thing to make it just right.
JERELL COLBERT TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT
This is the 1st time seeing him with his new Texas Christian HS team. The one thing about the 6’9 sophomore big that you notice is his length. He didn’t put up huge scoring numbers, but he rebounded the ball really well, blocked shots and he ran the court hard. These are two things that he ALWAYS has to do. He also was able to knock down some free throw line jumpers. I think once his team gets more in sync, he’ll get a chance to use his strengths a little more. I think the stable environment & coaching that coach Donte Mathis has in place will help him. He will have a big year, and I’m excited to see his progression.
JAHMIUS RAMSEY CAUGHT FIRE
Everybody knows about the bounce the 6’5 highly touted 2019 guard has. His ability to get to the cup, and his elite athleticism, what I didn’t know was that he had range, and he could consistently make 3’s. If he hits his 3’s at a 38%+ clip in college, he won’t spend much time on any university campus. Had maybe the highlight of the event when he made a defender slide from the top of the key to the bathroom with a hard jab move.
DREW TIMME IS A THROWBACK
In an era where kids don’t compete all the time, especially on the defensive end, it’s refreshing to see someone who gives it his all. The 6’9 2019 forward is a do it all dude for Pearce HS, that is Christian Laettner like, I’m not calling him Christian Laettner, I’m just saying he has some of his characteristics. He’s tough, he has a great handle for a big, he has range, HE REBOUNDS, and he’s a top 5 trash talker. It’s a two team race between Texas A&M and Gonzaga for his services. His announcement is Nov. 14th and whoever gets this kid will get a McDonald’s All American type of player.
JORDAN TURNER LOOKS LIKE HE’S READY
From seeing him as a 6’7 skinny freshman trying to find his way on the court, to watching him dominate as a senior, put a big smile on my face. He’s gotten so much stronger, and is a more efficient player. He still has his unlimited range, and unique length. With his added muscle he can now play the 4 spot with much more confidence. Plays on a loaded Sunrise Christian (KS) team, and was the best player on his team Saturday. Had an exclamation point vs Justin Northwest when he went baseline and finished with a nasty 2 hand dunk in traffic. Baylor may have their next NBA project on the way to Waco.
ANDREW LACZKOWSKI IS MAKING STRIDES
The 2020 6’6 long, wiry stretch 4 from St. Marks HS, knocked down three 3’s and scored his team’s 1st 10 points vs Heritage Hall. Showed the ability to take guys off the bounce, and rebounded the ball really well. Has seem to have taken another step since I saw him last at the John Lucas camp in Houston in September. Spoke to his dad, and Andrew has heard from several Ivy league schools, SMU, TCU, and others. Big time academic kid.
COLIN SMITH & HARRISON INGRAM ARE TWO BIG TIME BUILDING BLOCKS FOR ST. MARKS(DALLAS)
Smith, the 2022 6’7 forward still has the “Bambi syndrome”, legs and arms going everywhere, is a skilled 4 man right now. He showed he can handle the ball, and hit a few 3’s. With his skill set you can see him trying to transition to the wing. He was effective from 17 feet and in, I love his mid range game. I would have liked to him see rebound the ball a lot more and take advantage of his mismatches by posting up more on the block.
Ingram, 2021 the 6’8 versatile forward initiated the offense for St. Marks Saturday. Like Smith, he’s extremely skilled, and has a college ready body right now! Used his strength to attack rim, and create space to get his shot off. Without sounding like a broken record, I think he should average at least four offensive rebounds with this strong frame and athleticism. Is in the conversation for the top 2021 player in Texas. They will have a chance to compete for the SPC championship.
TREY ALEXANDER IS LIVING UP TO HIS BLOODLINE
The 6’4 sophomore is a BUCKET for Heritage Hall(OK). Having had several D1 basketball players in family, you can see young fella has been taught how to score the ball. I can see him being a combo guard at the next level, uses his handle to get wherever he wants. Has on old school feel to his game, not really a lot of wiggle, but uses hesitation moves and spin dribbles. Gets to the free throw line a lot for a young player. Had Tulsa, OU, and OK State watching him on Saturday.