Saturday, September 20, 2008

Philadelphia, PA Texans @ Midnight Madness

Top Left: Coach Max & former Philadelphia eagle lineman Greg Brown.
Top Right: 2015 game MVP Malik Ellison with Coach Max and former NBA & University of Louisville great, "Never Nervous Pervis Ellison. FYI, Malik is one of the country's top players in the Class of 2015.
Bottom Left: Coach Max & Midnight Madness Founder Big Rick Barrett.
Good Morning from chilly Philly. It is my pleasure to be here for the 2nd year in a row at Rick Barrett's Midnight Madness Showcase. For 6 years Barrett was consultant to Scoreboard Inc, and was front and center in the signing of among others; Shaquille O'Neal, Marshall Faulk and Steve McNair to their playing card contracts.

Rick has asked me to be the sole nominator, a one man committe if you will on Texas kids who deserve a chance to be in his Annual Showcase. The series of games (by class year) attracts most of the top players in the Philadelphia-New Jersey area as well as a smattering of big names from around the country. Last year I brought up 6'9" Baylor commit, Cory Jefferson of Killeen, TX. It was a great experience.
Alumni of this game include Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Antonio Walker and a total of 42 NBA players. Feel free to contact me with nominations in the Spring of 2009 for potential deserving players. This year we have three Texans on hand and ready to show their stuff in today's games.

6'0" 2011 Jake Kocher CG from Austin St. Michael's

Jake has a smooth outside shot and handles the ball adequately. Hard to describe his game in the sense that he doesn't stand out athletically, but he competes extremely well against older kids and has a KNACK, something you just can't teach to be able to get the ball in the hole. Sometimes he's all arms and legs, and you just scratch your head and say "How'd he score 20?" Kocher will play in the 2011 Game. Privates school ball in the Austin area tends to get limited respect but St. Stephen's and St. Michael's have played pretty good ball and has produced several D-1 players each over the last 5 years. Look for young Kocher (his older brother Chase is a senior PG on the St. Michael's squad) to be an integral part of the Crusaders success this coming capaign.
Game Update: Kocher was matched up against some very athletic players from the East Coast but more than held his own, hitting two trples and totalling 10 points. Post game Jake shared with me his respect for the athleticism and tough as nails demeanor of the Philly kids.
6'4" 2010 Jacob Horton SG from Houston Clearlake

Jacob is one of the deadliest shooters in the Greater Houston area. He has deep range on his shot. He's becoming more aggressive at taking the ball to the hole. His confidence is growing because he has hit the weight room hard and is a solid 200 lbs. Look for him to be the primary scoring option for the Coach Lin McDonald's Falcons this year as they graduated a boat load of seniors. Horton will play in the 2010 game.
Game Update: Horton scored 5 points. 2-3 from the field, and added 5 boards. Tough to score when you don't shoot, and it's tough to shoot when kids don't pass...but that's "all star" type settings. Every man for himself. Speaking to Jacob after the game he was very complimentary of the fast pace of the East Coast ballers. He played solid "D" throughout the game. That was a rarity in this one, he may have been the only kid who

6'8" 2010 Daniel Alexander W from Dripping Springs

As noted in the Dripping Springs HS Preview, Alexander is one of the State's top players even as a junior this fall. It's this National Reputation that will have Alexander as one of the few underclassmen in Barrett's feature game of the evening. It will be televised on the East Coast to over 9 million cable viewers.
Game Update: CN8 Comcast is broadcasting the game, complete with television timeouts. It's a real electric atmosphere. There are 5 big time commits in the game; Dion Waiters 2010 from New Jersey-Syracuse University, Aaric Murray 2009 from Pennsylvania-LaSalle, Tony Chinault 2010-Wake Forest, Maalik Wayans 2009 Pennsylvania-Villanova and Khalief Wyatt 2009, Pennsylvania-Temple.
Alexander is defending Big Devin Long a widebody out of Michigan. The kid's a load, but Daniel has blocked 2 shots in the early going and had 2 boards and one steal in his first 4 minute shift. He's yet to take a shot. In his 2nd shift, Daniel notched another steal, ran the floor and got it back for a thunderous dunk. He added two more rebounds and a steal.
Cezar Guerrero 2010 PG from Cali is the real deal. He's here with his summer coach, my buddy Dinos Trigonis who along wth his club, Belmont Shores he runs the prestigious Pangos All American Camp in Los Angeles and the Fullcourt Press recruiting service. The Guerrero kid is cat quick and hit close to 30 perimeter shots in a row in warmups. He is not shy about jacking it up.
Maalik Wayans is starting to do his thing. The Villanova commit is the best guard on the floor. At halftime the red team is up 49-44.
Alexander is continuing to play hard. He picked up 3 more boards including two on the offensive end, one of them leading to a put back.
Red 118 White 93
Game MVP Aaric Murray, committed to Lasalle University.
2015 Baby Ballers Game
Red Malik Ellison Voorhees, NJ
White Kamari Peel Harrison, NJ
2013 Middle School Elite Game
Red Austin Colbert Chesapeake, VA
White Sha Sha Matthews Staunton, VA
2012 True Ballers Game
Red Ameen Tanksley Philadelphia, PA
White Malcolm Sterling Detroit, MI
2011 Best of The Best Game
Red Octavious Booker Philadlelphia, PA
White Brian Parker Jr. Philadelphia, PA
2010-2009 Junior All American Game
Red Shaquille Duncan Philadelphia, PA
White Malcolm Gilbert Dover, Delaware
All American Game
Red Tamir Jackson, NJ & Aaric Murray, PA
White Maalik Wayans , PA & Khalief Wyatt, PA
Aaric Murray was clearly the best player on the floor, hands down. He had 31 points and 21 boards. LaSalle has a steal in him. I wondered why I had never seen him on the summer circuit. After some snooping with the Philly insiders I found out that Murray had some ongoing issues with truancy, so the State of PA placed him in an alternate school. It's my understanding that his weekend freedoms were limited too, hence the lack of exposure for the kid. Good news is he seems like a pleasant youngster who is not "bad" and I'm going out on a limb and say he's learned a valuable lesson and will be a very productive college player.