Wow! I cannot thank the various media outlets enough who took the time to write on our inaugural D1 Nation Houston Thanksgiving Jamboree and the players who performed in it. I will wait until all their stories are posted and then provide links for the competitors, high school coaches, college coaches, parents and fans to enjoy.-Coach Max Ivany
1. The MVP: 2012 G 6'4" Christian Sanders Houston St. Thomas (TX) Stanford
Stanford has gotten a gem in Sanders. Yes, he is a high level shooter but that's not all he brings to the table. He's longer, quicker and tougher than you think. MUCH Tougher! This kid is a competitor who does not like to lose and knows how to finish games. He wants the ball and never loses his focus. 18 points vs Brazosport and 32 against Houston Bellaire only tell part of the story.
Martin was the sure fire pro at the event. His talent is obvious. Ultra long, bouncy, skilled and has a nice perimeter stroke. How about the intangibles though? He's obviously on a second year team with talent not quite up to his level. Does he sulk or act above his other team mates? Absolutely not. His demeanor mever changes, he runs the floor with continuous effort on both ends and the score does not matter. He keeps working. Toss in the fact that he's only been playing basketball three years, only had one summer on the circuit and has only played a total of 11 high school games thus far. There's a reason that Louisville, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Louisiana State, Marquette and others have offered him already.
The Juice is loose!...and I'm not talking about the infamous O.J. This is Ken Williams who's as good a microwave scorer as you'll find in the 2013 Class. He can and will shoot it from deep but he's got a devastatingly quick first step and burst to the cup that's not easy to defend. He had 27 in EACH of Episcopal's wins. He defends hard too, only question I have is how does he distribute the ball at the next level? Not saying he can't, just that he was busy scorching and scoring during this event.
Long Beach State
Long Beach has a tough program, and they've gotten a tough kid in Jones. One of talent rich Houston's best guards he can score, distribute, defend and lead a team. He's got just enough of a swagger but he combines that with a hard nosed style of play.
St. Thomas' backcourt was the difference in their two wins. Running the point and off guard Brogna had an outstanding event. He scored 15 and 18 in his two games. It wasn't only with his trademark catch and shoot perimeter game though. He slashed to the hole effectively in traffic several times and hit clutch midrange shots.
The negatives, he's undersized. Now, forget the negatives. Go ahead and recruit Ramrale. He's got Ivy type grades, toughness and court savvy. He's strong physically and bangs on every play controlling the boards against bigger opponents. He was the event's leading rebounder, totalling near 30.
7. 2012 P 6'9" Jeremy King Houston St, Thoma
King's got it down pat on the defensive end. He rebounds exceptionally well and is an above average shot blocker. Offensively King shows flashes of brilliance but it's intermittent. Once he tidies that up and revs his motor he's a high major. He's a nice mid major get in the spring as things now stand. Good academics and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect.
8. 2012 G 5'11" D.J. Griggs Brazosport
Griggs is well put together and is quick on both ends of the floor. He's got multiple D1 offers but is currently scheduled to attend prep school. He's academically in order but feels he can get "better" offers with another year to hone his PG skills. Griggs has long range although he was off on Friday night. He did get to the free throw line a bunch and once there he knocked them down. He finished with 16 points.
Smith is going to be a real find. Playing on a low profile club team has kept him under the radar but the word will quickly get out that this active, high energy player is long, can shoot it from deep and slash to the hole. He's a nice mid major find.
10. 2012 G 6'1" Myles Elgin Houston Bellaire
Elgin was the heart and soul of Bellaire. He slashed to the hole and he battled bigger players for rebounds. He's fearless and plays with a high level of intensity. He would not allow his Bellaire team mates to quit, never let the crowd intimidate him and finished with 20 points.
11. 2013 P 6'8" Bobby Reeves Houston Furr
Reeves was a new face to me. He's raw, but has a great body; long and wide. Keith White, come get this guy and work with him! Had 15 rebounds and got better as the game went on.
12. 2013 PG 5'11" Robert Hatter Houston Westside
Hatter has some growing/filling out to do. However he pushes the ball well and has confidence in his shot from deep. Clearly made his team "go". SHowed a nice ability to both get out and to finish in transition as well.
Also, 2013 W 6'5" Khory Ross of Brazosport is a long, intriguing prospect. I felt he was too quick to shoot it on his first touch from the perimeter and unfortunately it limited his impact on the game. No doubt he's a prospect though and will be a nice mid major player when all is said and done.
2013 G Jamal Williams of Houston Episcopal is long, quick defensively and not afraid to take shots at key points in the game. Will be one of Houston's more intriguing 2013 prospects.