It's that time of the year. The NCAA Live evalution period is in full swing and I'm like a kid in a candy shop. Over the next couple of weeks the boys and girls Texas D-1 Ambassadors teams will be competing all over the Nation as our student athletes puruse their dreams of a college scholarship. I want to wish them safe travels as their various stops include North Carolina, South Carolina, Tulsa OK, Los Angeles CA, Phoenix AZ, Minneapolis MN and God knows where else :-). In this, my 10th year evaluating talent, it never ceases to amaze me how many talented players there are in various gyms all over the country trying to meet their goals. I hope that all who work hard can move on to the next level!
I have split my last three days between Tulsa and Dallas, and will head to Minneapolis in the morning. I am frustrated by a laptop which flakes on me intermittently and have not been able to post (until now) since I left home. First stop was Jerry Mullen's High Profile Team Event/Top 120 Junior College Showcase. Mullen's the most respected guy in the country when it comes to evaluating the wild and woolly Junior College players. The "Jukes" really get after it and the first thing you notice is their intensity and the way their bodies are developed compared to the high school kids. Mullen's event is unique because the college coaches get to "double dip" and watch the hhigh school kids at the same venue, hence they flock their in droves. This year's event was on the Oral Roberts University campus.
Their were several guys from Texas (and one from Louisiana) in attendance who are near and dear to my heart as they've played in the D-1 Ambassadors program at one time or another.
Hutto's Thomas Orr recently of State Fair JC (MO) was looking for a new JuCo.
Louisiana Prep's William Nelson of Baton Rouge CC was putting his skills on display for next year's anticicpated D-1 transfer.
San Antonio Madison's Jonathan Landry of Coppin State was there looking for a JC transfer opportunity. Landry tweaked his ankle early on, limiting his explosiveness but he did display his toughness by playing hard through obvious pain.
Houston Christian Life's Garland Judkins of Arizona was there looking for a new D-1 home.
Below: Arizona transfer Garland Judkins had a great showcase.
San Antonio Stephen's Brandon Thompson of Arizona State who recently transferred to South Plains JC (TX), was honing his game. (I expect him to sign with Texas Tech next season.)
At Mullen's High Profile Team Tournament the Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Cress had mixed results. One game vs. a talented MoKan team resulted in a 20 point loss but after that the kids hit their stride and beat a group from Oklahoma, Team Eleate (CA) and then a tough loss 60-57 to Team Illinois to finish up the event.
2011 SG Jake Kocher (below right) of Austin St. Michael's continues to show he can score against any level of competition and in a variety of ways on the floor. Kocher averaged 17 ppg, and just as importantly showed his upgraded brand of defensive intensity on the defensive end of the floor. His stock's going up, BUY now!
2012 P Drew Wikelius of Austin Westlake may be a 2012 guy, but he's showing he'll go head to head against some of the Nation's older bigs. Wikelius at 6'6" and growing has great footwork and is extremely solid on the boards. Now that he's healthy, Austin Westlake will continue to have a strong post presence even after the graduation of Gus Leeper (Arkansas-Little Rock).
2013 PG Travon Landry of Bryan showed he can run a team full of older guys and can command their respect. He did a great job of taking care of the basketball and averaged 4 assists per game.
2011 P Mark Nwakamma (below left) of Leander is coming off a 5 month injury and surgery on a badly broken foot. He's still not near his explosive self but Nwakamma competed HARD at all times. He had a game high 8 rebounds v Hoops Impact (OK).
Team Cress heads to Minnesota tomorrow to compete in the Best Buy Summer Classic.
Meanwhile down in Duncanville, TX the Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Hardge was in the Super Pool, emerging with a 89-68 win v Danny Granger Hurricanes (NM), and an exciting 79-72 OT win v. Houston Elite. The powerhouse Dallas Mustangs were too much to handle as they were led by future NBA lottery pick LeBryan Nash of Dallas Lincoln. Today I caught bracket action as D1-Hardge overcame a 10 point half time deficit to beat a talented Houston Lynx team 86-84. In the nightcap they strapped it on with the San Antonio Ro Hawks and came up short 77-73 in a knock down, drag out contest. Hats off to the Ro Hawks, and best of luck the rest of the way.
2011 PG 5'9" Josiah Monroe of Bastrop continues to play hard nosed D, while being fearless going to the hole. His deadeye perimeter shot was off today but his hustle plays and ability to get to the free throw line against kids 6'7" and above was remarkable.
2011 PG 6'0" Deon Mitchell of Pflugerville continues to put up points with ease showing why he's a high major talent. He averaged 16 ppg with a high of 28 v the Houston Lynx.
2011 SG Jonathan Perry led the way with 24 points v the San Antonio Ro Hawks.
2011 W Max Yon (below left) of San Antonio Reagan had 20 points, including two rim rattling dunks v Houston Lynx.
2011 G Dylan Cox (below right) of Cedar Park does all the dirty work on D, while rebounding and providing energy.
Team Hardge heads across Dallas to participate in the DFW Metroplex Showcase starting tomorrow afternoon.