Liberty Hill Coach Barry Boren
The only 3A team in this weekend's field will not be an easy out. It never is, as Coach Boren always fields hard nosed, disciplined teams in the growing suburbs of beautiful Liberty Hill. This year he'll get Senior leadership from Stephen Graves who averaged 13.5 for the Showcase, but the two who had me excited were 2013 PG Shane Lacaille (16.5) and 2013 6'7" F Blake Danielak (16.5). Lacaille is a tough scoring point, while the rail thin and still growing Danielak can hurt you inside and out showing nice touch around the rim, in the mid range and at the three point line.
PG Shane Lacaille (left) and F Blake Danielak (right) are two of Liberty Hill's young leaders.
Austin Westlake Coach Tres Ellis
Gaudy winning records are no stranger to Westlake. They were young last year, but cut their teeth and this coming season figure to be one of Austin's premier outfits. They'll be led by two seniors; 2012 P 6'7" Drew Wikelius (15.0) and 2012 SG R.J. Rowan who poured in 43 points in his only game of the day. Westlake had played several games in the GASO event in San Antonio on Saturday so they rested many of their varsity guys in the Showcase. A special thanks to Coach Ellis for supporting me as he could have easily bailed. 2013 G Will Morse (not in attendance)ran the squad last year and will be a big contributor after having an excellent summer. He's a savvy combo with a deadly shot. 2014 G Chase Carlton brings additional ballhandling, defensive toughness and an ability to score which should open up other opportunities on the floor. The X factor could be 2013 W Vince DeBlasio a very unassuming looking player who has mad hops and brings an energy on the boards that will be much needed for the undersized Chaparrals.
R.J. Rowan, Will Morse (left) and Chase Carlton (right) gives the Chaps a potent backcourt
Cedar Park Coach Blake Brown
Cedar Park is fresh off it's regional championship and first ever trip to the State Tournament. Coach Brown's teams are as disciplined as they come and will impose their will on you more times than not. Ala, there is no Dylan Cox on this team. Last year's do it all leader has moved on to West Point where he'll be doing his thing for Army. The Timber Wolves will get Senior leadership from 6'5" F Travis Guebert (12.5) who can score inside and out. The two other big contributors should be underclassmen. 2013 W 6'4" Jamie Xia (9.5) is physical and has the ability to slash to the rim. 2014 G Cole Price (9.5) plays like he's a veteran. He goes hard to the hole and will also pull up and shoot it.
2013 Jamie Xia (left) and 2014 Cole Price (right)will be asked to do a lot for Cedar Park this year
Pflugerville Coach David Raigosa
Wow, seems funny not to say "Mike Murphy" as long time assistant David raigosa takes over the helm. He's got plenty to work with though. Most of his key guys are Juniors so their best days are ahead. With floor general 2013 T.J. Williams on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury, it gave the other Panther guards an opportunity to shine. 2013 G Napoleon Onyeje ((10.0) can fill it up from long distance. His running partner 2013 W Justin Moss (13.5) brings a huge transition threatas he runs the floor like a deer and has great chemistry with Onyeje when the two are on the floor. 2013 P 6'7" Wesley Brown will have to bang on the boards so those guards can get out and run as he's the tallest player by far on the roster. 2013 G Darian Bostic (9.0) also shows promise and should have an opportunity to step up, especially if Williams' injury lingers or his minutes need to be limited. Keep an eye on 2014 G Bryce Bierbauer (10.5) who came out of nowhere to make a bid for varsity minutes.
2013 G Napoloeon Onyeje
Austin Bowie Coach Celester Collier
Death, taxes and Bowie basketball. Three constants. At the worst of times, Bowie is tough. However, give Coach Collier two Division One players to work with and that spells trouble for opponents. It's early and roles for the others will have to be defined, especially with hard nosed down low scoring machine Connor Robinson off to college. In the meantime 2012 G 6'5" Mareik Isom (Arkansas-Little Rock) averaged 9.5 and will fill it up from outside. The City's most athletic player Paul Baxter (20.0) will run the point. Baxter will have his choice of a number of schools in the spring signing period. Look for 2013 W 6'4" Zach Nunnery (14.0) to fill that third scoring option. He'll hit from the perimeter and he'll do the dirty work down low as he plays much bigger than his wiry 6'4".
2013 W Zach Nunnery plays is versatile and plays big
Round Rock Stony Point Coach Brian Route
The big draw at Stony Point will be 2012 P 6'10" Nate Anderson (13.5). Will be highly effective at the high school level because of sheer size. He had good touch around the goal. Once he ups his court awareness and softens up his hands could really be an impact big at the next level. The scoring load will be handled by Senior G Jordan Russell. He averaged 21.0 ppg and seems to be scoring option #1, #2, and #3 for Coach Route's Tigers. PG Chris Dramberger (not in attendance) will be the man who runs the offense.
Harker Heights Coach Celneque Bobbitt
In Coach Bobbitt's words he could "just roll the ball out" with a veteran team led by Royce O'Neale (Denver). This year it will be a "coach 'em up" campaign. The Knights are young, although 4 year varsity player Thomas Cherry (8.5) will run the offense. 2014 G Cameron Delaney (11.5) shoulld be the primary scoring option and 2012 P 6'7" Trumell McCrimmon must control the boards and be a defensive presence in the paint. Heights is big and have a couple of 6'6" wing types in 2013 Andre Hughes and 2013 Roderick Taylor. The most intriguing prospect may be the coaches son, 2015 Celneque Bobbitt. Last year he showed he was an emerging prospect at Max Ivany's All American Prodigy Camp. At the time he was 6'2" and a bit of a butter ball. Fast forward and now young Bobbitt is a legit 6'5", battles down low and can also step out and stroke the three with confidence. He'll be fun to watch for 4 years.
Harker Heights will depend on youngsters this year, including 2014 Camaeron Delaney (left) and 2015 F Celneque Bobbitt who could grow to 6'8" or more.
Recap #3 will be coming soon!