Gentleman Jim Weaver brought his charges up I-35 for the Super Showcase, and the trip was not in vain. In addition to our friendship, it was likely an early season bonding experience for the players and a little bit of hiding what he's got from the other San Antonio area coaches who had played in the GASO Fall Shootout the day before in the Alamo City. Sorry Coach, but the word is out.
He's loaded for bear. 2012 F 6'7" Taurean Waller-Prince will vie for the San Antonio Player of the Year. Long Island got a steal in the early commitment from him. Waller races from one end of the floor to the other. He can score it inside and out, blocks shots and likes to be physical. The other surefire D1 prospect on the roster is 2013 PG Marcus Keane. Keane is a well built guard who penetrates, facilitates, pulls up for jumpers and has a sweet step back three pointer. Toss in 2012 Jereal Ellis, a deadly shooter from the wing and the Warriors have a recipe for deep playoff success. 2012 P Damian Diaz and 2013 G Jordan Corona add some additional depth and firepower.
2013 PG Marcus Keane of San Antonio Warren
Shoemaker lost a couple of key players in the two McDonald's but the tank is never empty when your school is fed by soldiers and their families coming and going from Fort Hood. 2013 PG will run the offense for the Grey Wolves who also return last year's District Newcomer in Senior Chris Runnels. He'll be complimented by the scoring of 2013 Paris Verny and 2013 P Jose Roman who could really be good if he gets in the weight room.
2012 Chris Runnels (left) and 2013 Jose Roman (right) anchor the Wolves front court.
Killeen Coach Jason Fossett
There's good news and bad news. The team is talented, but young. There will be growing pains with nine players on the squad who are not seniors. However, when they cut their teeth, the Baby Roos will make people pay. In the meantime 2012 Victor Glaze will be a proven scorer (14.5). Amongst the youngsters he will have an absolute stud in 2014 slashing, rebounding, finishing guard 6'4" Brian Long. He's the real deal, dropping 25 in one game. 2014 Melvin Anthony is a work in progress but at a longish 6'6" and looking to grow a bunch more he's going to be nice down the line. What about the two fish that were thrown into the fire? 2015 G Mikell Clark could easily be the Roos most physical player. He may have to sit the season on JV though as move in rules are scrutinized. And finally, there's 2015 PG Demarius Cress. Someone forgot to give him the memo saying he didn't belong because his swagger already says, "It's my team, Baby". He was shooting three pointers froms 35 feet out and Coach Fossett smiled and told me, "He's got the green light".
2014 Brian Long of Killeen
Ellison graduated two D1 players to Indiana State and San Jose State. Those are big shoes to fill, but I liked the youngsters the Eagles brought to the gym. In what is Killeen's best frosh class in years, 2015 F Martin Shaqur also contributed and should have a varsity spot based on effort alone. 2014 Ronnie Edwards (a 4.0 student) is long, and did a great job around the rim keeping balls alive and then finishing with nifty moves. The prize though is a move in via Rice High School in New York City. Harlem's 2013 G Kevin Diaz was the most explosive scorer in the gym Sunday as he averaged 30 ppg. He hit NBA three pointers, got to the rim, showed sweet corssover and hesitation dribbles and simply showed the kind of flash and toughness you'd expect out of an NYC guard.
2013 PG Kevin Diaz (left) and 2014 F Ronnie Edwards of Killeen Ellison
Lake Travis Coach Clint Baty
I am trying hard to be positive about this one, I really am. Lake Travis seemed to be somewhat disinterested and there was a lot of petty squabbling amongst the players. I've no doubt that first year Head Coach Clint Baty will sort this out pretty quickly. Perhaps on the court leadership will come from 2014 PG Luke Hutton who is in football at the moment. 2014 G Jordan Manse showed promise with a 14 point outing. 2013 G 6'4" Stefan Vidovic wasn't productive scoring on this day, but he has the body and pedigree to be a next level guy as his father Sonny, played professionally and internationally for Serbia. Lake Travis has a proud basketball legacy. I'll be shocked if they don't show dramatic improvement soon.
There'll be plenty of minutes available for Lake Travis' youngsters, including 2014 Jordan Manse
Temple Coach Eric Jackson
2013 G Zach Behr (15.0) showed he was deadly from deep and must be accounted for when on the floor. He should get plenty of looks though as 2012 F Avery Polchinski is the heartbeat of this Temple Wildcats squad. The 6'4" Polchinski has a high motor and excellent basketball I.Q. He is long, can shoot it and has crafty finishing moves around the rim. If he'd played on a high level summer team he'd be getting buzz now. College coaches feel free to call me about him. he averaged 20 ppg, including 26 against a tough Bowie squad.
Temple's 2012 W 6'4"Avery Polchinski reminds me of Army's Dylan Cox
Elgin has an active frontcourt player in 6'7" Senior Bradley McDonald. It was the motor of undersixed 2013 F Troy Nash that caught my eye though as he dropped 31 on Austin Westlake, averaging 20 over the two games. Nash and his twin Trey are just players. At 6'0" they just flat got after it againt bigger guys.
2013 Troy Nash of Elgin