Why would a team go through the trouble and expense of traversing two time zones to play in a tournament where there are no D-1 college coaches in attendence? The Texas D-1 Ambassadors fortified with 3 of Louisiana's best touched down Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas today to compete in Dinos Trigonis' Easter Classic.
The Editor of Full Court Press & Nothin' But Net Magazine carries a big stick in the West Coast recruiting world as witnessed by the variety of services at his event to evaluate and report back to college coaches. Yours truly was also there, repping the Lone Star State and The Boot (aka Louisiana) coaching the D-1 squad but also taking notes along the way for the Texas/Louisiaina Basketball Report. I got to rap a little with Nike's West Coast Rep and the ESPN West Coast Editor. They were watching the D-1 Ambassadors intently for their entire first game, and our boys didn't disappoint them.
With the Big Boys of the grassroots basketball scene watching us intently, the D-1 Ambassadors came out flicking the rock from behin the arc and before you knew it we had a 14-4 lead. We strapped it on shortly after getting off our flights with the hometown Las Vegas Dog Catchers. We've played them in the past and just as advertised they were chock full of hard nosed kids who just flat out got after it. On this afternoon we simply shot the ball incredibly well in the first half (as we're inclined to do) in building a 15 point lead at the half. We're as good a shooting team as there is in the country, & we are now working on getting tougher with teams who try to bump, intimidate and bully us.
The boys really answered the bell by playing great team defense against a team with quick guards. The scoring was balanced with six players in double figures. 2010 R.J. McGhee of Baton Rouge Istrouma hit 16, 2011 Tre Demps of San Antonio Reagan notched 15, 2011 Tre Drye of Baton Rouge Glen Oaks had 12, 2010 Daniel Alexander had 14, & Cody Doolin of Austin Westlake had 11.
When the Dogcatchers made their scrappy run at us it was the toughness inside of 2010 Conner Kemper & Tre Drye that kept the ship righted as they battled on the boards in a very physical 2nd half and were not intimidated. The final score was Texas D-1 Ambassadors 86 Las Vegas Dogcatchers 73
Uncharacteristically we missed several dunks in the game, but the kids did a great job considering we had just gotten off an airplane. We'll have fresh legs today as we all got in bed at 10:30 last night (Old Coach Max too!) and will do our best to hold it down as several of the West Coast's top programs lay in wait for us.