Saturday, November 5, 2011

I-35 Austin-San Antonio Challenge: It's Academic

At the inaugural I-35 Austin-San Antonio Challenge there were some excellent and very promising youngsters participating who displayed their talents.  I asked everyone to fill out a profile sheet COMPLETELY.  One of the key reasons was so I could give recognition to the players who not only played well and played hard but also to note the who's who of academic achievement as well.  Unfortunately as I sort through the player info sheets, there were a good number who did not record their GPA.  If you have a GPA 3.5 or higher and want to be included when I send this academic report out to colleges on Tuesday, then you must have your parents email me at  no later than this Monday, November 7th with an update on your GPA in order for me to edit your info in to the compilation.

To have 50 players (half of the event participants) with a GPA of 3.5 or better shows clearly that compared to other metropolitan areas the Austin-San Antonio schools deserve an "atta boy" for their part in turning out quality student-athletes!  Thank you teachers and coaches.

D1 Ambassadors alum Bryan Beasley of Pflugerville (shown below at the Five Star dunk contest in Pittsburgh, PA) was a superior student and walked away this spring debt free with his degree from Rice University.
This report is primarily for the D3 schools who have no athletic scholarship money, they rely on being able to target the true student-athlete.  At the D2 level many of the schools give only partial athletic scholarship supplemented by academic money.  And finally, at the D1 level the coaching staffs are becoming more aware of a well rounded recruit and by NCAA bylaws they must keep their APR at an acceptable level.  The APR is a formula that schools must meet a benchmark percentage of graduating players or face losing scholarships.

Having said that, I'm not saying the following players are the only ones who are academically superior, I'm just reporting the info they've chosen to share with me at the event.  I was particularly impressed by the number of quality students we had in attendance and at this point will only list those with a 3.5 GPA or better.  The other criteria for evaluating the academic capacity of a player is the SAT/ACT tests.  I encourage every player to have taken this test by the end of their JUNIOR year.

Class of 2012
J.T. Dettman           W 6'3"                 Round Rock Westwood   3.95 GPA
Dettman is a physical, heady player who defends hard
Derek Nalodka      G   6'0"                 Round Rock Westwood   3.95 GPA
Allex Austin          W   6'6"                 San Marcos                       3.81 GPA
Academics, track and he's a great kid who loves to compete and always has a smile on his face.  Who will be the lucky D1 school that lands the dual sport athlete?
Marcus Roper       W  6'5"                 San Antonio Stevens         3.8  GPA
Jordan Corona      G   6'0"                 San Antonio Warren        3.8  GPA
Collin Hart            G   5'10"               San Marcos                        3.7  GPA
Spencer Phillips    G   5'10"               Austin Hyde Park             3.7  GPA
Phillips is a pass first guard who can also get in the lane and make things happen.
R.J. Rowan            G   5'10"               Austin Westlake                3.7  GPA
Jon Gosnell            W  6'4"                 Bastrop                              3.5  GPA
Stephen Graves     F   6'2"                  Liberty Hill                       3.5  GPA
Avery Polchinski  F    6'3"                 Temple                               3.5  GPA
Collin Tubbs          G  6'2"                  Dripping Springs              96.3 AVG
Cale Ham               F   6'4"                  Kerrville Tivy                   89   AVG
Kerrville Tivy's teams never lack toughness, but the addition of Ham who came over from the private school ranks will make them even more hardnosed.  Excellent rebounder.

Class of 2013
Johnny Azzinaro      G 5'10"              San Antonio Brennan       4.0   GPA
His combination of academics and an innate understanding of how to make his team mates better will provide Azzinaro with plenty of college options.

Blake Danielak         F  6'7"                Liberty Hill                       4.0   GPA
It wasn't hard for me to convince schools like Rice to take an ealry look at him.  Has all the skills to be a big time player.
Ethan Gilbert           W 6'5"               Austin LBJ                         4.0  GPA
Isaak Gonzales         G 5'10"              Pflugerville Hendrickson  4.0  GPA
Derion Harris           G 6'2"                Round Rock Cedar Ridge 4.0 GPA
Taylor Sutlive           G 6'2"               San Antonio Churchill       4.0  GPA
Jacob Vick                G 6'2"                Georgetown                        4.0  GPA
Alex Frame               F 6'7"                 Austin Anderson               3.97 GPA
Frame is still growing into his...uhh..frame.  Long and runs the floor well.  He's getting stronger and is an active shot blocker.

Will Morse                G 6'2"                Austin Westlake                3.9  GPA
John Gramlich         G 6'0"                Austin Anderson               3.85 GPA
Jordan Manse          G 6'2"                 Lake Travis                       3.85 GPA
Lawrence Ammons  F 6'4"                 Austin LBJ                        3.8  GPA
Justin Brickman       G 5'8"               San Antonio Clark             3.8 GPA
On or off the court, Brickman is a winner. I expect him to follow in his brother's footsteps and perhaps have the best career of the bunch.  Big pick up for an already potent Clark back court.
Zach Behr                 G 6'4"                Temple                               3.7  GPA
Devin Penn                G 6'0"                Temple                               3.7 GPA
Zach Overby             F 6'6"                Kerrville Tivy                    3.7  GPA
Shane Lacaille          G 6'0"                Liberty Hill                        3.6  GPA
Zach Nunnery           F 6'4"                Austin Bowie                     3.6  GPA
Stefan Vidovic          G 6'4"                Lake Travis                       3.6  GPA
George King             W 6'5"               San Antonio Brennan       3.5  GPA

Griffin McHone        G 6'0"                Boerne                               97   AVG

Class of 2014
Aubrie King               G 6'5"               Mumford                            4.5 GPA
King was the event's "GPA Champion" at 4.5.  Long range or mid range gunner, it's all good.  May end up being the top scorer in Texas 1A history over his career.
Chase Carlton           G 6'0"               Austin Westlake                 4.1  GPA
Tough court general has intangibles, gets team mates involved, defends and hits shots.

Ceddrick Ali              G 6'0"               San Antonio East Central 4.0  GPA
A.C. Reid                   G 6'5"               Smithson Valley                 4.0  GPA
Sky's the limit for this slashing guard who has a beautiful stroke from way downtown.

Melvin Anthony        P 6'7"                Killeen                                3.9  GPA
Luke Rowan              G 6'1"               Austin Westlake                3.9  GPA
Tobe Akabagu          W 6'3"               San Antonio Antonian      3.5  GPA
Joshua Delaney         G 5'11"             Harker Heights                  3.5  GPA
Delaney has true lead guard instincts and skills. Can score too but looks to involve team mates.

Class of 2015
Zach Madlom            P 6'7"                Boerne                                4.0  GPA
Emerging big man, Zach Madlom of Boerne has all the intangibles to become a very successful player.  Length, post skills, cachable and high academics.
Jabrell Scott              G 5'7"               Austin LBJ                         3.8  GPA
Jonathon Jones         F 6'4"                Round Rock Westwood    3.7  GPA
Jones has athleticism and a long frame.  As he grows into hos body and continues to spout he will be one to watch.
Heath Agnew            F 6'4"                 Buda Hays                         3.6  GPA
Callen Mikulencak   G 5'11"              Liberty Hill                       3.6  GPA
Mikulencak is a tough, physical guard who knows how to run a team. He'll defend you too!
Logan Sneed              G 5'10"             Cedar Park Vista Ridge   3.5  GPA
Nick Thies                  G 5'8"               Buda Hays                         3.5  GPA
Harrison Hackney    G 6'0"               Austin Westlake                3.4  GPA
Hackney, a skilled and physical guard will continue the tradition of excellent backcourt play at Austin Westlake when his time comes.