Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pearland Classic/Frisco Wrap Ups

Several of the Texas D1 Ambassadors groups ventured off to Dallas & Houston this past weekend for spring tune up competition.  The following is a brief wrap up.

14U Pearland Classic  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Team Cress  Silver Champions
Texas D1 opened pool play by blasting the Houston Clippers & then losing a close, hard fought game to the Louisiana Rockets.  The Rockets were the eventual overall Gold tournament champions.  Texas D1 entered the Silver bracket & ran the table against Team Success, East Bay Soldiers (CA) & the host Houston Elite as they took home the Silver hardware.
2015 G Demarius Cress

The team is made up of players from Killeen & are led by 2015 G Demarius Cress who has a great first step and gets to the basket most any time he wants.  Killeen High will have another great guard to follow in the tradition of Benjamin Pitts, Tre Nicholls & Brian Long to name a few.

16U Next Level Ballers   Texas D1 Ambassadors-Team Morse   Silver Champions
Team Morse went 4-1 overall, losing once in pool play to eventual overall Gold Champion, Team Texas.  They beat their brothers in the Silver Championship, a 72-58 win over the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Team Battley group.  Austin Westlake G 2013 Will Morse led the team to the Silver ship with 13 points & 7 assists, 2013 Kerrville Tivy F 6'7" Zach Overby had 10 pts & 12 boards & 2013 G Stefan Vidovic of Austin Lake Travis added 12 points.  2013 G Darius Brooks of Pflugerville averaged 13 ppg over the entire tournament.
2013 G Will Morse

17U Next Level Ballers   Texas D1 Ambassadors-Team Bostic
The Texas D1 Ambassadors-Team Bostic (all 16U players) played up in the 17 division of the event.  Splitting their two pool games,  they were led by 2013 F 6'7" Wesley Brown with 12 pts & 12 boards. In their second pool game they rolled up 88 points as 2013 G Napoleon Onyeje went off for 27 points & 9 boards.  Onyeje has one of the sweetest strokes in the CenTex. 2013 G Rasmus Bach of Austin Anderson had 20 points in the win.
2013 G Napoleon Onyeje
On Day 2, in bracket play Team Bostic notched a win vs Team Ichiban & then had a great final game, losing at the buzzer on a controversial play to a talented Dallas Showtyme squad finishing the event 2-2.  With 5 players from Pflugerville HS on this 2013 team, new Pflugerville Coach David Raigosa has to be licking his chops as he takes over from Coach Mike Murphy who recently announced his retirement.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Player Spotlight: 2011 Austin Jenkins of Hyde Park

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Hyde Park's lanky F Austin Jenkins. After a so so summer last season where he was on and off Jenkins approached his senior year with a vengeance.  He's met a new friend in the "weight room" and has also gotten tougher mentally.  Put that together with his nice perimeter game and the ability to push the ball in transition and you've got yourself a player! 

After an excellent performance in Denver, CO two weeks ago at the Double Pump Spring Classic Jenkins caught the eye of the folks at the Air Force Prep School.  Last Wednesday they visited Austin, watched Jenkins work out and have offered him a scholarship.  The great thing about the academy preps are that the player's NCAA "clock" doesn't start which preserves all of his college eligibility while it allows him to mature physically, emotionally & academically (He has top notch grades too).  Throw in a cool $900 bucks a month too and it's a heck of a deal.

2011 F 6'7" Austin Jenkins of Austin Hyde Park
Expect Austin's college choices to widen as the season progresses and he has a chance to show off his new game to the D1 coaches in July.-Coach Max Ivany

San Antonio Area Super Team Announced

The San Antonio Express-News has announced their Area Super Team.  Once again they are dominated by Texas D1 Ambassadors alumni. (six of the ten) We are proud of these players and their accomplishments and wish them the very best in their educational & athletic endeavors.

2011 Cole Martinez       San Antonio Central Catholic    uncommitted
Martinez was the Express News Player of the Year & he was the D1 Nation's pick as the San Antonio POY as well.  The purest shooter in the area and an excellent student as well, Cole set himself apart with his clutch play time after time over the course of the year.  In a big game, you want him taking the shot!  Currently unsigned the 6'2" guard is a still for a D1 looking for the zone buster.  It is likely that Air Force's Prep School will offer him in the next couple of days.

2011 Tre Demps            San Antonio Reagan                  Northwestern
Since moving from California to Texas for his sophomore campaign Demps has shown magnificent strides in his game.  He has matured physically and is a strong athletic player who is ready for the rigors of the Big Ten. The son of former NBA player & New Orleans GM Dell Demps has forged his own identity.

2011 Max Yon               San Antonio Reagan                  Air Force
It's appropriate that high flying Max Yon is on his way to the Air Force Academy.  They've got a steal in him.  His athleticism & aggreesiveness in attacking the rim is superior. Yon had a dozen D1 offers but opted to serve his country. He could be an NCAA D1 swimmer as well.

2011 Dylan Elias           San Antonio Taft                        Northern Colorado
Elias is tough physically & mentally.  He committed to Northern Colorado after his Texas D1 Ambassadors group attended a team camp on the campus at the end of his sophomore year.  He has never wavered in his commitment and is looking forward to joining fellow San Antonian, Paul Garnica in the backcourt.

2012 Matt Gramling     San Antonio MacArthur            Lafayette & Army have offered
Gramling is the only underclassman on this year's squad.  It's a testimony to his ability and mature game.  He can run a team, rebound and score the ball. He's yet to play on the spring/summer circuit as he suffered a nagging ankle injury in the State Playoffs.  Look for him to add to the two offers above as he gets seen by the various scouting services and college coaches.

2011 Clark Lammert    San Antonio Churchill    
Lammert is one of those guys who just knows how to win.  He's 6'7" and skilled.  Unselfish & hardnosed, he blocks shots, scores baskets & rebounds hard. He has a couple of great college opportunities that I will announce on this site in the next couple of days as he makes one last campus visit and makes a decision.         

Congratulation to these other young men and their families as well!  Please keep me posted on your future commitments.-Coach Max Ivany

2011 Jonathan Holmes San Antonio Antonian               Texas
2011 Jeremy Espinoza  Uvalde                                       uncommitted
2011 Deondre Logan    San Antonio Taft                      uncommitted
2011 Madison Turner   Boerne                                      uncommitted

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Unsigned Senior Showcase: May 1st Houston, TX

For anyone in the Austin, San Antonio, Houston or Dallas area who is making a last ditch effort to be seen by JuCo, D3 & NAIA coaches  (no D1's will be present per NCAA rules) I'd like you to consider the event outlined below.  I rarely endorse anyone unless I know them extremely well. In this case I do.  A.W. Robinson is one of Houston's most outstanding basketball trainers.  He's always looked out for players in the Houston area who were down to their last opportunity. He was instrumental in the development of his brother, who went on to star in the Big East with Villanova.

He has the ear of a number of coaches, as do I and he has always given me great insight into the evaluation of players.-Coach Max Ivany

Friday, April 22, 2011

San Antonio Stevens Brandon Thompson To Long Island

San Antonio Stevens PG Brandon Thompson was highly touted coming out of high school.  An outstanding summer with the Texas D1 Ambassadors & a subsequent excellent senior high school campaign had many high majors calling the 6'1" guard. Thompson cut his list down to Texas Tech, Georgetown & Arizona State.  He fell in love with ASU's beautiful campus but the basketball was not a fit.  After a frustrating freshman campaign with the Sun Devils, Thompson decided to transfer to South Plains Junior College where he had a banner year, being voted all conference.
Thompson, shown below with Arizona State University
After looking at various opportunities, Thompson is now headed to the East Coast where he'll play at Long Island University.  He'll join fellow San Antonian's Julian Boyd of San Antonio Taft & another Texas D1 Ambassadors alumni Jason Brickman (San Antonio Clark).

Brandon has played for the Texas D1 Ambassadors all the way back to his 5th grade year.  He is one of my all time favorite players.  He was extremely coachable, always quiet & let his game do the talking.  He is an excellent defender, and is very unselfish.  Brandon's greatest asset is that he is a clutch shooter & decision maker.  He is a winner.  Best of luck at Long Island & congratulations to you & your Family-Coach Max Ivany & The Texas D1 Ambassadors Family.

Harker Heights Royce O'Neale To University of Denver

2011 WG 6'5" Royce O'Neale of Killeen Harker Heights has committed & signed with the University of Denver.  O'Neale spent most of his junior campaign recovering from a broken leg.  His senior year was an entirely different story as he was a double double machine for Coach Celneque Bobbitt, leading Harker Heights into the third round of the 5A State Playoffs. 

Denver runs a modified version of the Princeton offense, which means that a shooter like O'Neale should really prosper in that system where he'll have plenty of screens set for him.  He also rebounds extremely well at his position. The Pioneers currently play in the Sun Belt Conference & will be headed to the WAC for the 2012 season.

2011 WG Royce O'Neale has signed with the University of Denver

Royce played several seasons for the Texas D1 Ambassadors but this past year his mother took a position in Kansas and they elected to play their summer basketball with a team out of Dallas, TX.  Not wanting to disrupt his senior season his mom, Ms. Deborah Kingwood drove down from Kansas every Thursday this past high school seaosn to watch her son's weekend games. Now that's commitment!  Congratulations to Royce & His Family-Coach Max Ivany

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

National Media Recognizes Texas D1 Ambassadors---Again

Texas D1 Ambassadors 2012 PG 6'5" Alex Caruso of College Station A&M Consolidated is quickly becoming a National name on the 2011 circuit.  Big schools are beginning to call and visit the lanky guard who can play from the one to the three.  Oregon, & Oregon State are scheduled to visit tomorrow the last day before the dead period begins.
Successful trips in back to back weekends in Las Vegas, NV at the Fullcourt Press Easter Classic & in Denver, CO at the Double Pump Spring Classic has thrust some new names from Texas into the National prep spotlight.  The following are excerpts from national writers:

Van Coleman of  who viewed the Top Players of the Full Court Press Easter Classic had this to say:

Devon Turk 6-3 SG Texas D-1 Ambassadors (TX) – This athletic wing man can flat out stroke it from three, he hit four while we watched in first half last night. He has solid ball skills and can get to hoop too.

Alex Caruso 6-6 P/WG Texas D-1 Ambassadors (TX) – This long and athletic combo guard was the major find of the event so far, He can handle rock in transition or make pinpoint pass, and oh yes he can bring it at the rim and dunk on bigs and sets it up with solid perimeter jumper. He will get high major looks this summer!

Kendrick Morris 6-8 PF (2013) Texas D-1 Amabassadors (TX) - He has good skills on the blocks, hit 10 footer on pop out and did good job on the glass. he needs to hit weight room and get stronger to reach full potential.

Jonathan Motley 6-8 PF (2013) Texas D-1 Ambassadors (TX) – Another Surprise, this long and bouncy forward can finish with dunk or elbow jumper. He has immense upside so stay tuned!

Kenyon Willis 6-9 W/PF (2011) Texas D-1 Amabassadors (TX) - B/T athlete showed he can get it done in quarters going for 29 points. He has big-time hops and ability to finish around the rim with flush or touch off the glass. He can face and drive on bigs from the wing. Late bloomer for mid to high majors.

Adam Gorney of had this to say:

Alex Caruso (2012, Texas D-1 Ambassadors Houston) - Caruso was the biggest surprise Friday night. With only an offer from Sam Houston State, the College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated recruit has a bright future ahead of him and should pick up more offers soon. His father is in the athletics department at Texas A&M and Caruso was the Aggies' ball boy growing up so there's a good chance he could end up staying home but he definitely has Big 12 talent. Caruso is crafty with the ball, takes it to the rim well and can also hit the outside jumper.
Devon Turk (2012, Texas D-1 Ambassadors Houston) - Turk listed Cal Poly, Rice, San Francisco, Weber State, Sam Houston State and Oregon State as the schools involved and said Sam Houston State and Weber State were the two standing out most. Either school would be getting a steal in Turk, a spot-up three-point shooter who basically knocked down every shot Friday night. He doesn't do much going to the basket but once Turk catches the ball on the perimeter he is money from behind the line.
Joel Francisco of said:

Alex Caruco (College Station, Texas/Texas A&M Consolidated)

2012, WF/SG, 6-6, 180 pounds

Caruso might be the last guy you look at during warmups, but his game will immediately grab your attention. The slender wing-type can play all three perimeter positions because of his passing, explosiveness and willingness to make big plays. Sam Houston State will not be his only offer.

Austin High & Texas D1 Ambassador Eric McClellan To Tulsa

I spoke with Austin High & Texas D1 Ambassadors PG Eric McClellan this morning and he was excited to have given his commitment to Coach Doug Wojak and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.  McClellan had visited both Northeastern & Wichita State, returning from his WSU visit last night.  We exchanged texts last night and he told me that "Coach, I just can't see myself being here for 4 years".  My thoughts back were that "It's like a marriage. If it doesn't feel right early, then it's not likely to get better as time goes on".

McClellan was a hot commodity this spring, with several West Coast schools chasing him in April including Fresno State, where longtime Texas Assistant, Rodney Terry has gotten the Head Coaching position.  McClellan has yet to visit the Tulsa campus but attributed his choice to the great home visit he had with the Tulsa staff last week, which lasted more than 2 hours.  The Tulsa staff believe that paired with San Antonio Wagner G 6'5" Jordan Clarkson that they could potentially be the best backcourt in Conference USA.

At 6'4", McClellan has great court vision & is extremely bouncy.  His length makes him a tough defender, and he can also get to the rim with his long strides. McClellan can and will dunk on you in traffic despite his wiry frame.  His shooting is solid, but not spectacular, so he'll need to continue to work on that and put on weight as well. Congratulations to Austin High Coach Andy Dudney, Eric & His Family (mother Kim Woody)-Coach Max Ivany

Monday, April 18, 2011

Texas D-1 Ambassadors Finish 2-2 At The Deep South Classic

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 43  Maryland Horizon 40
Our first game on Sunday was at 8am. The girls got plenty of rest and came ready to compete. This was one of the best games in the tourney. D-1 really played hard down the stretch to close out a tough horizon group out of Maryland. With under a minute to play and the game tied. 2013 G 5'9 Carly Truesdale took her man to the cup and got the and 1 to put us in the lead for good.
D-1 Ambassadors talking it over

(L) 2013 G 5'9 Carly Truesdale of Churchill High School was clutch the whole game. Truesdale continued to be a match up problem for the horizon. Truesdale has great range on her shot with nice moves to the basket.

(R) 2012 W 5'10 Doreccia Johnson of Giddings High School gets the hustle award. Doreccia plays very hard and always seems to find her self where the ball is. Nice athletic player with an excellent skill set.

2014 W 5'11 Saundra Guillory of Anderson High School was a force in the middle. Saundra did a great job protecting the basket and ended with tons of blocked shots.

2012 G 5'6 Moriah Riley of Bowie High School gave us key minutes. Moriah defended very well throughout the tournament and continues to be an impact player with D-1.

D-1 Ambassadors chilling at the Dean E. Smith Center
(L) 2014 G 5'6 Jada Riley of Bowie High School continues to develop. Jada plays on our 16U elite group but took the trip with us out to North Carolina. Jada is a young player with loads of potential. She played some key minutes for us and did a great job on both ends of the floor.

(R) 2012 W 5'10 Nicole Alcantara of Hays High school was key to our success. Nicole has great range on her shot and will continue to be an impact player for D-1.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassadors @ Double Pump Tournament: Denver, CO

It was an early Saturday morning for Texas D1-Houston after their late night buzzer beating win over Double Pump Elite (CA). Their first opponent of the day was a Denver team, Next Level Elite.  Early road games are always a concern as players tend to not get rested while other guys sleep in their own beds.
Pool Play:

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  64  Next Level Elite (CO)  46
All the typical concerns of morning games quickly went away as Texas D1 came out with energy and held a 38-21 halftime lead.  It allowed our young sophomores to get more opportunity and they really show signs of growing into higher levels of production.  The scoring was balanced as 2012 G Devon Turk had 11 points, 2012 F Maurice Letcher-Ellis, had 11 & 2011 Keynon Willis dropped 11  and chipped in with 7 boards.  2012 PG Alex Caruso had 7 points, 7 rebounds & 7 assists.
2012 Maurice Letcher-Ellis (left) of Houston Yates is a double double machine, while Houston St. Pius' Devon Turk (right) has as sweet a stroke as you'll see.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin 59  San Diego All Stars Pump N Run  50
This was a nip and tuck game with Texas D1 trailing 25-23 at the half.  They were down by 9 at one point, but improved shot selection turned the game around.  The second half was like night and day as the final score was 59-50.  The entire roster contributed. 2011 Adam Whitlock hit three from behind the arc (12 points) & 2013 G T.J. Williams of Pflugerville showed great leadership. He scored 12, had 5 boards & dropped 5 dimes.
2013 G T.J. Williams (left) of Pflugerville continues to show his leadership and a nice mid range game to compliment his play making skills. 2011 Adam Whitlock (right) of Austin St. Michael's will knock down the open three pointer at a high percentage.

Bracket Play:

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  82   Idaho Triple Threat  67
2012 Alex Caruso continues to impress at the national level.  He had a monster game, filling up the stat sheet. (6 points, 5 rebounds, 8 steals & 12 assists)!  2011 Keynon Willis led all scorers with 19. 

Chase Brogna         10 pts   3 assists
Devon Turk             11 pts
Jalen Washington    5 pts  7 assists
Maurice Ellis           14 pts  8 rebounds
Johnathan Motley   9 pts

Texas D1 Ambassadors 50  Arizona Magic Pump N Run 48
This game had many lead changes but neither team ever led by more than 7.  It was tied at the half, 21-21.  Texas D1 was sluggish and picked up a tech in the second half to fall behind 41-34.  At that point 2012 PG Michael Hardge of Georgetown took the game over. he scored 16 of the last 18 points as the D1 Ambassadors clawed back.  Hardge saved the best for last as he drove tomards the right baseline, pulled up and swished a jumper from 12 feet out for the buzzer beating win!  He finished with 22 points.  2011 Austin Jenkins of Austin Hyde Park had a great defensive game as he had 8 rebounds & 4 blocked shots.
2012 Mike Hardge of Georgetown brought his A game as he dropped 22 on Arizona Pump N Run.

Colorado Hawks  95  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 75
Not a lot to be said when your opponent comes out hitting 8-9 from the three point line and piling up a 60-33 lead at half time.  I was really proud of the team though because they could have folded their tent, but they gathered themselves and cut the lead to only 8 points with 5 minutes to go.  Poor free throw shooting then kept us from making one final push.  I've been doing this a long time and 2013 W Chris Thomas (son of NBA player Michael Ray Richardson)  was as tough a soph as I've seen.  He was freaky athletic and got to the rim most anytime he wanted.

The second half was a war of egos, and pride as 2011 Keynon Willis of Crosby dunked 6 times all over the opposition as we made our 20 point run.  Willis finished with 18 points and 15 boards. Alex Caruso also got in on the act, throwing down three dunks in that span finishing with 15 points & 6 assists.  If you like high flying acrobatics, then this was the game for you.  Close to 600 fans crammed in to watch this contest.
Two high major players:  2011 Keynon Willis (left) & 2012 Alex Caruso (right)

Devon Turk         15 pts
Chase Brogna      8 pts   4 assists
Maurice Ellis       10 pts  9 rebounds

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Texas D-1 Ambassadors Performing Well In North Carolina

D-1 Ambassadors Live From the Dean E. Smith Center

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 41   Seattle Lady Styles Elite 45
The Texas D-1 Ambassadors landed inTarheel country Thursday to compete in the Deep South Classic. With over 350 teams and 250 college coaches on hand, D-1 split their first two games by going 1-1. We tipped off our first game against a tough Lady Styles Elite team out of Seattle Washington. We played very well and competed all the way down the stretch. With the game tied at 41-41 we missed a couple of key shots and lost by 4.

(L) 2012 F 6'0 Avrianna Henry of Mc Neil High School played very well. Avri scored 9 points and had several key boards against a front court of two 6'3 post.

(R) 2012 G 5'8 Michelle Wagner of Calhoun High School hit the key free throws to tie the game with 45 seconds left. Michelle is a solid Pg with a nice smooth game.

Texas D-1 Ambassadors 60  Carolina Lady Steelers Elite 31
Our second match up against a nice Carolina team was exciting. The D-1 ladies came out on fire and played with lots of intensity.

(L) 2012 G 5'6 Jasmyn Booker of Pflugerville High School was in rhythm. Booker went 6-6 from downtown and close the game with 22 points. Jasmyn is a true Pg with loads of next level potential.

(R) 2013 W 6'0 Kiara Etheridge of Marble Falls was a beast on the boards. Etheridge notched 15 for the game.

Coach Dean with Nolan Smith of Duke University Mens Basketball
After our game today we headed over to Applebees for a team meal. the girls really had fun bonding together and discussing the different years of summer basketball. Unfortunately we were hit by a bad storm during our meal and tornadoes hitting all over including 1 block over from the Applebees. thank god our kids, parents, and coaches remained safe but it was a scary moment as the girls had to take cover in a bathroom at the restaurant.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassadors @ Double Pump Tournament: Denver, CO

The Texas D1 Ambassadors are on a Rocky Mountain high at the Double Pump Event in Denver.  Played under one roof on 6 beautiful courts at the Gold Crown Fieldhouse this is the "The Pumpers" signature event of the spring.  Texas D1 is in the house with two teams; one from Austin & the other from Houston.  It's a beautiful, brisk spring day in Denver and it was also a beautiful day on the hardwood.

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin  60  Tru Playaz (CO) 53
Texas D1 came out blazing, knocking down four early three pointers and jumped out to a 15 point lead.  Mediocre shot selection on the next four trip, coupled with an opponent had the game quickly back down to a 3 point lead.  2012 PG Mike Hardge of Georgetown had two key steals for breakaway dunks to right the ship and they cruised to a 60-53 win.  Hardge finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds & 4 steals to key the win.  2011 W 6'5" Allante Faust also added 14 points & 5 rebounds.  2011 W 6'5" Brooks Pawsat had 10 points, including a couple of shots from behind the arc.  The prettiest play of all came from 2013 PG T.J. Williams of Pflugerville as the first half wound down, he spread the floor drawing three defenders as he went to the goal and then dropped the sweetest dime to Faust for the dunk at the 1st half buzzer.
2012 Mike Hardge (left) & 2011 Allante Faust (right) led the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin to the 60-53 win over Tru Playaz (CO)

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 52  Double Pump Elite 50
This was the game everyone came to see.  Texas D1 was fresh off a 5-1 showing at the Fullcourt Press Easter Classic and a big buzzer beating win over Belmont Shore (CA) last weekend.  Now in our first game in the Mile High City the opponent was the host Pump Brother top crew, featuring 8 high major D1 players including 2013 Nigel Goss Williams of Findlay Prep, 7'6" Mamadou Abareguiye (yes, seven foot 6 inches!),  2012 Xavier Johnson of Mater Dei & Mamadou Dao of Stoneridge Prep to name a few.  Rivals, Scout & ESPN were all in the house for this one as it was standing room only in the gym.

This isn't our first rodeo on center court in front of highly touted opponents and our kids didn't back down.  Our frontline is big, but young and even sporting  several 6'8" players we looked like little kids out there at times as Double Pump had a couple of 6'9" and the footer.  Neither team hit many shots as the defense was intense and the referees let them play for the most part.  Double Pump was up 25-21 at the half and stretched out to a 9 point lead with 10 minutes left to play.  From that point on it was a war with the key shots over the next few minutes coming from 2012 Devon Turk of Houston St. Pius & 2011 Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson who bagged a deuce of 3 pointers a piece.
Chase Brogna (left) & Alex Caruso (right) led Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston to the thrilling buzzer beating win over Double Pump Elite (CA) 52-50 with 9 points a piece.

Nigel Goss Williams is a handful to say the least but he was made to work for everything he got due the the defense by committee by guards Alex Caruso, Chase Brogna & Jalen Washington.  It was truly a team effort down the stretch with everyone contributing including our trio of sophomores; Kendrick Morris, Johnathan Motley & Parker Callender.  The game was tied with 50 and with 11 seconds left, 2012 PG Chase Brogna drove the lane and pulled up for what looked like his trademark sweet jumper.  It was just short with 2 seconds left catching the front of the rim.  Then out of nowhere came Keynon "Slim" Willis as in one motion he slammed a two hander through the nets for the win.  DUNK!  Texas D1-Houston with the buzzer beater!
Keynon "Slim" Willis (left) had the dunk at the buzzer for the win, while 2011 WG Jalen Washington had 8 points (including two key three pointers, 4 assists, 4 rebounds & 2 blocks.

Brogna           9
Caruso           9
Washington   8
Turk               8
Ellis                8
Willis             7

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Las Vegas Easter Classic-Day 3

The Las Vegas Easter Classic had some terriffic teams and some tremendous individual talents too, including highly touted Baylor commit, 7'2" Ike Austin (Compton Magic),  Shabazz Muhammad (Dream Vision) & 6'9" Grant Jarrett of Belmont Shores.

Platinum Quarter Finals:  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  74  Belmont Shores (CA)  72
Belmont Shores boasted three high major commits in Grant Jarrett & Erci Cooper Jr who are both headed to the Arizona Wildcats.  In addition they had Arizona State commit Maurice Kirby & 2014 sensation Stanley Johnson.  Texas D1 has a few weapons of it's own though and they jumped on the Shore early, leading 43-34 at the half. Belmont Shore came roaring back and briefly took a one point lead.  Each time Texas D1 went up by 4-6 points, the game came back to even again. 

It looked like we had put the game away with a 5 point lead and 45 seconds left but missing the front end of three straight one and ones allowed Belmont Shores the opportunity to tie the game with 1.2 seconds left. Belmont Shores had the ball and inbounded it in their backcourt and Houston St. Thomas guard Chase Brogna intercepted the ball & quickly sent a floater to the hoop.  The shot was blocked on the way down for an obvious goal tend and a great road win for the D1 Ambassadors. 
2012 G Chase Brogna had 25 for Houston St. Thomas in the State Championship game.  He has now turned his focus to the lead guard role on the spring/summer scene & is making quick strides.

This was a total team effort. Brogna, who is quickly adapting to his lead guard role had 14 points, including the game winner.  Backcourt mate, 2012 Josh Hagins of Bossier City Airline (Louisiana) was a defensive stopper all day long.  He had 5 points and 8 assists.
2012 G Josh Hagins was a 5A All State selection in the talent rich State of Louisiana & he showed why as he's a lock down defender, crafty ballhandler who plays with intensity.
2012 F 6'7" Maurice Letcher Ellis of Houston Yates consistently beat the Belmont Shores bigs back down the court and led the way with 14 points & 5 rebounds, while another of our promising youngster 2013 F 6'7" Parker Callendar of Clear Lake Clear Springs had 11 points, including three from beyond the arc.  2011 F Keynon "Slim" Willis of Crosby had 8 points & 12 rebounds.

2013 F 6'7" Parker Callendar is a deadeye three point shooter & one to watch in the Class of 2013

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Austin/San Antonio 103 Las Vegas Irish 43
Obviously a little bit disappointed and irate at the same time about not making the top bracket play, the Centex D1 Ambassadors squad evened their tourny record at 2-2 with a thrashing of the Las Vegas Irish.

Leading scorers were:
2012 Connor Lammert  18
2011 Austin Jenkins     16
2012 Jeffrey Rodewald 15
2012 Uche Ofoegbu      12
2012 F 6'9" Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill is rapidly moving up the prospect ladder.
Platinum Semi Finals: Branch West (CA) 67  Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston  54
Texas D1 bowed out of the tournament with a 5-1 record losing to a well coached Branch West squad.  The kids were out of energy and only went 2-18 from beyond the arc. 2011 Keynon Willis led the way with 18 points & 10 rebounds, & 2013 F 6'8" Kendrick Morris of Houston Second Baptist battled on the boards, snagging 10. Morris is slender but skilled and has a bright future ahead of him.
2013 Kendrick Morris of Houston Second Baptist battles more mature players nose to nose

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 All Centex Team

I've been a little behind on my reporting as the Final Four held last week in Houston, TX really had me going.  It's time to catch up a little bit with the All Centex team chosen by the Austin American-Statesman (photo compliments of the Statesman). This could almost have been a Texas D1 Ambassadors team photo with the exception of Austin Bowie's Connor Robinson. From left to right:

2011 PG 6'0" Deon Mitchell of Pflugerville has committed to Northern Iowa.  The silky smooth Mitchell was also named the Centex Player of the Year. He can score and drop dimes almost effortlessly.

2011 P 6'4" Connor Robinson of Austin Bowie. Robinson is a workhorse down low, with great low post footwork, great strength and tenacity on the boards. He was a double double machine all season as the Bulldogs #1 scoring option.
2011 PG 6'4" Eric "Quick" McClellan of Austin High has still not decided where to suit up at the next level.  He's visited Northeastern, and is scheduled to visit both Tulsa & Wichita State in the next two weeks.  He's a long defender, with great bounce and ability to finish at the rim.

2011 Combo 6'5"  Jalen Washington of Pflugerville Hendrickson originally committed to Mount St. Mary's last November but at the last minute decided to reopen his recruitment.  Washington is tough to stop going to the cup, rebounds as well as most forwards & can also shoot the three ball.  He has opted to play the summer as an unsigned senior where I believe his stock will soar.

2011 PG 6'4" Dylan Cox of Cedar Park has committed to West Point.  The two sport star (football) chose Army, and he'll have an instant impact there as a tough minded lead guard who can score & rebound the ball.

Congratulations to all these kids.  I've had the pleasure of coaching four of them and getting to know them and their families well.  They are all winners and will represent their communities well at the next level-Coach Max Ivany

Monday, April 11, 2011

Las Vegas Easter Classic-Day 2

It was a chilly day in Las Vegas.  Temperatures were low and the wind was howling.  However, we awoke to some nice publicity from as Adam Gorney wrote this nice piece after viewing the Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston playing the Las Vegas Prospects. Be sure to subscribe to 

Reprinted from  Thank you, Adam!-Coach Max Ivany


Alex Caruso from College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated was the best player on the Texas D-1 Ambassadors Houston squad Friday night that downed the Las Vegas Prospects but there were a bunch of other mid- to high-major players on the team as well.
Caruso, a 6-foot-5 prospect, can play either guard position and was one of the smartest players on the court especially with the ball in his hands.
So far, only Sam Houston State has offered but Caruso said Wichita State, UTEP, Texas-Arlington and Northern Colorado are interested.
Caruso grew up being the Texas A&M ball boy because his father is in the Aggies' athletic department so if they got involved Caruso said he'd definitely be interested.
"I'm going to go through the summer and see what looks I get," Caruso said. "I'm hoping some major programs get interested and we'll see where I am after the summer.
"I might not have the natural talent that some people have but I feel with my defense and my mental game I'm there."
The other player who shined was 2011 shooting guard Devon Turk, a spot-up 3-point shooter who hit jumpers from all over the court. Turk wasn't at his best creating his own shots off the dribble but when he spotted up on the perimeter and got the kick-out pass Turk was pure all game.
Cal Poly, Rice, San Francisco, Weber State, Sam Houston State and Oregon State are some of the programs interested in Turk, who said Sam Houston State and Weber State stand out most at this point but he's going to wait through the spring to see which other schools get involved.
Others on the Texas team that stood out included 2013 prospects Kendrick Morris and Jonathan Motley and 2011 recruit Kenyan Willis, a lanky 6-foot-9 forward who impressed with his passing.

San Diego Magic  87  Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio/Austin 79 
San Antonio Stevens Uche Ofoegbu a 6'5" G showed off his athleticism and aggressiveness around the rim.  He led the D1 Ambassadors with 14 points.
2012 G Uche Ofoebu of San Antonio Stevens
Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 68 College Bound All Stars (AZ) 48
2012 F 6'7" Maurice Letcher Ellis of Houston Yates runs the floor like a gazelle.  The transfer from Houston Cy Woods had several mega dunks in transition leading the way with 16 points & 4 rebounds.  2011 Keynon Willis a 6'9" forward from Crosby had 13 points including 7 from the charity stripe.  The Arizona squad was coached by former Old Dominion & NBA star, Chris Gatling whose son had a double double and is going to be a nice player.
Maurice Letcher-Ellis of Houston Yates
Texas D1 Ambassadors-San Antonio/Austin 74  Belmont Shore Silver (CA) 69
D1 raced out to a near 20 point lead, but the Los Angeles area kids wouldn't quit playing hard.  The D1 Ambassadors had to hit a one and one with seconds left to finally cement the win. They were led by 2012 W 6'6" Jeffrey Rodewald of San Antonio Alamo Heights with 20 points. 2011 WG 6'5" Allante Faust of Killeen Harker Heights could also be on the verge of being a late D1 signee.  He had 12 points, 5 rebounds & 3 blocks.  His form on his shot is sweet & he plays above the rim.  2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown also had 11 points for the Texans.
2012 Jeffrey Rodewald (left) of San Antonio Alamo Heights has a great motor. 2011 Allante Faust (right) of Killeen Harker Heights making a late push for a D1 scholarship

Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston 80  Mark of a Champion (CA) 63
A tight one point halftime lead was broken open by the rebounding and scoring of two of Texas D1's lanky forwards.  6'9" Keynon Willis had 29 points & 7 rebounds while 15 year old Johnathan Motley, a 6'8" sophomore from Galena Park Northshore added 14 points & 7 rebounds. 2012 G Devon Turk tossed in another 13 points, showing his deep range several times.

"You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the Old Lone Rager, and you don't mess around with Slim- Jim Croce"  Make that, Keynon "Slim" Willis who can do it all.  The unsigned senior from Crosby was the most productive member of Texas D1-Houston all weekend long.  He had a high point game of 29 & 3 contests with double digit rebounds. Slim runs the floor hard & swiftly, loves to finish with authority around the goal and as the stakes rise in a game so does his intensity.