Thursday, December 29, 2011

A&M Consolidated Over Clear Lake In Austin

Silver Bracket: Pflugerville 78 Houston Westbury 56
2013 G T.J. Williams continued his superior play as he scored 24 points to lead the Panthers. 2013 W Justin Moss contributed 15, 2013 G Bryce Bierbower 14 and 2013 G Napoleon Onyeje 14 as Pflugerville cruised. 2013 W Donivan Jones had 31 for the second straight game in a Westbury loss.
2013 G T.J. Williams

Gold Bracket: 3rd Place Game
Austin Westlake 55 Converse Wagner 53
Wagner and Westlake both tasted defeat last night in overtime. Both should come out hungry...and they did. It's no surprise that it's going down to the last possession. This one had an unlikely hero, 2013 G Vince DeBlasio. DeBlasio is a 6'3" hopper who is a very deceptive shot blocker and rebounder. His final rebound (10th) secured Westlake's win but it was his two prior boards which turned a Westlake deficit into a W. He blocked a shot and grabbed the rebound off a Wagner jumper and then had an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, got fouled and converted the freebies for the win over a gritty Wagner team in the closing seconds.
"My Cousin Vinny", Vince DeBlasio keyed Westlake's final two minutes
The bulk of the Westlake scoring came from 2013 G Will Morse who finished with 21. 2012 G R.J. Rowan added 13 while 2012 Drew Wikelius had 12. Senior Ken Bray had 11 for Wagner, as did Senior Rakim Sharkey.

Converse Wagner 13 18 13 9-53
Austin Westlake 18 15 13 9-55

Austin Westlake Holiday Classic Championship
A&M Consolidated 66 Clear Lake 64

A&M Consolidated jumped out to a 29-19 lead on the strength of 2013 F Jimmie Gilbert's work on the boards and subsequent conversion of 7 straight free throws. Alex Caruso had a quiet, but efficient 10 points in the half as Rob Lewis and Colton Krenek were on the bench with foul trouble for Clear Lake. Paris Clayton picked up the slack and had 12 points to bring Lake close at the half.

At the end of 3 quarters, Consol is clinging to a 1 point lead, 46-45. I expect to see a lot of Lewis and Caruso in the final period. The winner of that battle will probably decide the game. Clear Lake takes it's first lead of the game on free throws from 2014 G William West with 3:33 to play. The last two minutes the lead changed hands multiple times. With the score 64-64, Jimmie Gilbert is on the line with the score at 64-64. This tournament has had some incredible finishes! Gilbert had a hot hand in the first half but was 1-10 from the field in the second half. Now he's at the line with the game on the line. He hits them both, he's 11-11 from the line for the game! Consol wins and are the Westlake Holiday Classic Champions!

Paris Clayton and Rob Lewis led Clear Lake with 17 and 15 points respectively. Alden Miles added 13, and soph William West had 12. 2013 Josh Stewart had 10 points, 5 boards for Consol and Gilbert had 21, none bigger than the final free throws. Alex Caruso had 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. His last was a textbook back door cut for a thunderous slam. He was clearly the tournament MVP. More on that in another post tomorrow.

A&M Consolidated 20 13 13 20-66
Clear Lake 17 12 16 19-64
I'll have my complete All Tournament performers tomorrow. Below are from left to right: 2013 6'5" Josh Stewart, 2012 G 5'11" Rob Lewis, 2012 G Alex Caruso (MVP), 2013 G Paris Clayton and 2013 F 6'5" Jimmie Gilbert

Houston Performances In Austin

Austin Westlake Holiday Classic Silver Bracket

Fort Bend Willowridge 62 Houston Westbury 61 (Double Overtime)
This one went to overtime as Coach Howie who moved over from Westbury this season to take the Willowridge job caAme from trailing all game long to steal this one in the second extra session. 2013 G Michael Hunter had 21 points and Senior G Chris Hynes hit for 15, all on three pointers. None were bigger than his final one in the first OT. 2013 W 6'5" Donivan Jones had an outstanding 31 point effort in the loss for Westbury.
Michael Hunter is a powerful guard who can get to the rim and finish

2013 W Donivan Ross' 31 points weren't quite enough for Westbury.

Fort Bend Bush 92 Pflugerville 69
From the opening tip Cameron Ridley (Texas) tried to tear down the rim. Some 6 dunks later the rims were still intact but a lot of Pflugerville players had knots on their heads from Ridley "freakin the oop". Bush raced to a 20 point first quarter lead before Pflugerville knew what hit them. Ridley had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. Senior Ryne Williams had 18 and 2014 W 6'6"Kelly Oubre showed flashes of future brilliance as he scored 17 points.
Pflugerville was led by 2013 G T.J. Williams with 18, 2013 Napoleon Onyeje (11), Justin Moss (10 points, 7 rebounds) and 2013 G Bryce Bierbower who added 15.
W 6'6" Kelly Oubre is one of Houston's finest 2014's
Pflugerville 14 18 17 20-69
Fort Bend Bush 33 19 22 18-92

Gold Bracket

Clear Lake 74 Austin Westlake 70 (OT)
Clear Lake jumped out to a 11 point lead behind the hot three point shooting of 2013 G Alden Miles and the tough inside presence of 2012 P 6'6" Colton Krenek with 4 blocked shots in the first quarter. Clear Lake maintained that lead at the half. The third quarter was all Westlake as Drew Wikelius had as good an offensive burst in a 3:00 span as I've seen in 4 years from him. Wikelius finished the half with 13 points and 6 boards. Will Morse had 2 fouls early in the first half but he was a scoring machine once he returned and had 17 by the end of the quarter.
2012 G Rob Lewis brought it down the stretch and in OT for Clear Lake.
The 4th quarter started slow but had a frenetic finish as 2013 Rob Lewis hit an 8 foot jumper for the Clear Lake lead with 6 seconds left, only to have R.J. Rowan race the length of the court to tie it and send the game to OT.
Foul trouble made for a quiet 1st half, but 2013 Will Morse finished with 21 for Westlake
The tone was set in OT by Chase Carlton as the soph reached in and got a big tie up on Lewis. Westlake took a one point lead for the first time on a Wikleius bucket but Clear Lake answered with Miles 4th triple of the game. R.J. Rowan hit an NBA three to draw Westlake back to 1 down with 10 seconds left. It's all about free throws and Clear Lake is hitting them. The difference was Rob Lewis. The unsigned senior is a D1 player waiting to be scooped up. He gets where he wants to go on the floor and hits all his freebies. He finished with 26 points, including going 14-16 from the charity stripe. Alden Miles had 17 for Lake. 2012 P Drew Wikelius had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the loss and 2013 G Will Morse had 21 after overcoming his foul trouble. R.J. Rowan had 16 points and Chase Carlton had 7 assists.
2012 P Drew Wikelius had his second big game in a row, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds.
Clear Lake 20 14 15 16 9-74
Westlake 9 14 25 17-5-70

A&M Consolidated 64 Converse Wagner 61 (OT)
The first half had several lead changes with Wagner going up by 4 on a pair of three pointers from 2013 G Tre Powell. Consolidated answered with back to back three point plays of their won and two steals and dunks by Alex Caruso (Texas A&M). The score at the half is 37-35 in favor of the Tigers.

The Wagner Thunderbirds are doing it by committee and living by the three pointer (they've got 7 of them. They enter the final period with a 4 point lead. Wagner built their lead to 8 points until a dose, no make that an over dose of Alex Caruso was administered to them. Wagner's most effective player, 2013 Tyler Collins fouled out with 2:00 left. He had 15 points and 6 boards on the night. It's tied at 59 with 1:00 left............another overtime game!
The overtime was punctuated by Alex Caruso. He set up his man with a sneaky half effort defensively. As the offensive man went by him, he wrapped around, tipped the ball and was off to the races for an unbelievable dunk, being fouled hard and landing on his back. Two additional free throws on his next possession and he sank them both for the deciding margin. One great player makes a difference! His stat line: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 8 steals...a hair off a quadruple double. 2013 Jimmie Gilbert did a lot of the dirty work for Consol finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds. 2013 W Josh Stewart added 18 points and 5 rebounds. 2013 G Tre Powell had 12 points on 4 three pointers for Wagner who had balanced scoring otherwise.

A&M Consolidated 18 19 10 12 5-64
Converse Wagner 13 22 16 8 2-61

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cinco Ranch Chris Saiz R.I.P.

Chris Saiz R.I.P.
Earlier today I received an email from my friend Chip Morris, whose son had played summer basketball in the past with Chris Saiz on the Texas Cagers team.  Today the Saiz Family grieves the loss of a son.  The entire Texas basketball community and the D1 Ambassadors Family grieves with the Saiz Family.  God Bless.  Coach Max Ivany

By ADAM COLEMAN Houston Community Newspapers
Cinco Ranch standout guard Chris Saiz was killed late Tuesday in a car accident that left the Cinco Ranch community reeling. “Chris was such a fine young man, an intelligent young man,” said Cinco Ranch basketball coach Neil King. “He was a great student-athlete. He did everything in the classroom that was ever asked of him.
“Obviously you’ve seen him play before. He’s a very talented young man on the court. He comes from an outstanding family. His mom and dad and brother are just unbelievable people.”
The standout basketball player was in a car with fellow teammate Derrick Jones when the car spun out of control and hit a tree.
Saiz was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Jones was injured in the accident, but survived.
King said he received a phone call Wednesday morning about the accident.
At the hospital, King said, many of Saiz’s teammates as well as former Cinco Ranch players were there.
“ It’s a sad day,” King said. “We’re just trying to lean on our Cinco family and try to get through this.”
A memorial service was planned for Wednesday at the school’s gym. No other details on funeral arrangements were available.
Saiz was a talented point guard, who was the second-leading scorer on the team with 15.4 point per game. He also was a master at distributing the basketball and was the catalyst on a talented Cinco Ranch boys basketball team.
Saiz teamed with Garrett Wilson to form a dynamic backcourt for the Cougars.
Saiz was known as a slasher who penetrated defenses while Wilson is a standout shooter.
Saiz was also a master at making the right pass at the right time. He had a team-high 41 assists on the year.
He also was a asset on the boards, snaring 71 total rebounds this year.
In an interview earlier this year, Saiz said what he’s able to do on the court combined with Wilson’s ability made Cinco Ranch as dangerous as any team in the district. Opponents had to choose who they wanted to guard, which allowed the other to thrive.
“Garret’s a great shooter, so he stretches the floor,” he said. “So when he’s shooting well, it opens up the floor for me and when I’m driving, I can kick it to him. So it’s just hard to guard both of us at the same time.”
Wilson has the same sentiments as his teammate in remarks made earlier this year. He said it’s hard to lock both of them down defensively.
“Pretty much when one of us gets it going, the other feeds off that,” he said. “But even when one of us isn’t shooting as well, the other one picks it up. It’s just back and forth, back and forth.”
Cinco Ranch plays its next game in the Alvin Holiday Classic on Dec. 27. It was unclear as of press time whether the team would still play in the tournament.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Darrington Hobson Re-Signs With Milwaukee Bucks

Huge congratulations to Texas D1 Ambassadors alumni Darrington "Butta" Hobson. The former New Mexico Lobo and Mountain West Conference MVP was drafted with the 37th pick overall in the NBA's 2010 Draft. Unfortunately, two hip surgeries put him on the shelf before he ever played a minute for the Milwaukee Bucks and he's spent the majority of the last few months in Albuquerque, NM rehabbing and getting ready for what has become a strike shortened NBA career.
The 6'7" lefty G can score, rebound and has great court vision. I am so happy to announce that he has signed a two year partially guaranteed 1.4 million dollar deal with the Bucks a couple of days ago. When Darrington and I touched base a couple of months ago, I pointed out to him that I think I had a full head of hair back in the day when myself and Coach Beasley were mentoring him. :-) He is the first of what are soon to be several NBA players from the Texas D1 Ambassadors.
Below is a great picture compliments of USA Today. Far left is Austin, TX own A.J. Hardeman of Del Valle H.S. (#00) and Darrington Hobson (#1) both going up for a rebound. Both are Texas D1 Ambassadors alumni, shown here repping the New Mexico Lobos.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Albuquerque La Cueva's Bryce Aford Throws One Down

2013 G 6'3" Bryce Alford of Albuquerque La Cueva Throws Down In Transition

I know I'm getting old but I don't remember New Mexico Lobos Heac Coach Papa Steve Alford doing this back in the day for the Indiana Hoosiers. Can't say that Bryce can shoot it like his dad (not many could) but he can also fill it up from behind the three point line.

You'll be able to find Alford in the backcourt with Danny Granger's D1 Ambassadors on the circuit this coming spring and summer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

D1 Ambassador Robert Griffin III Wins Heisman Trophy

In 11 years since founding the D1 Ambassadors basketball club there have been many special moments. As a father, without question my own son seeing his goals realized of playing Division One basketball and subsequently obtaining his bachelor's degree tops the list. I always say that the McDonald's All American Honors won by John Henson is "sexy" but that each of our guys is equal and a player such as Reinier Strobos of New Braunfels Canyon going to M.I.T. arguably the world's #1 engineering school is just as gratifying to me as the program founder. Last night added another chapter in the book. (Photos compliments of Baylor University)

Texas D1 Ambassadors and Copperas Cove (TX) multi sport athlete Robert Griffin III took home one of amateur sports biggest prizes. He is the 77th winner of the Heisman Trophy. His exploits at Baylor on the gridiron speak for themselves and are well chronicled. He has had an amazing career. It was both joyous and painful watching him kick the Texas Longhorns around last week which was a performance that likely cemented the Heisman for him. (I watched the game in Arizona at a Phoenix Texas Exes gathering).

There is however, another RG III that most casual fans do not know. An old friend of mine, Coach John Avritt was the girls basketball coach at Copperas Cove back about 8 years ago. Coach told me unequivocably that he had a freshman at the high schoool who just had to play for me. He could run, jump, dunk handle the ball and was an excellent team mate and top shelf person. As with many of our players, an endorsement of our program was given by the high school coach and Griffin was on his way with Texas D1.

His family were outstanding folks but I remember well his dad being firm on playing multiple sports so many times he had to juggle basketball with track and sometimes we'd miss him not being at hoops events. He had good reason though as he was a world class 400 meter hurdler and there was this other silly little thing getting in the way....FOOTBALL. Good choice, Robert although I believe anything you'd chosen would be done at a high level.

Griffin finished high school in December, enrolled at Baylor early not only for spring football but to run track as well. At a school with several Olympic Champions coming out of the 400 meter ranks (think multiple Olympic Champion Michael Johnson) he also made his mark on the football field. First he made it as a runner (1000 yards rushing as a freshman) and then as a passer/dual threat. Don't be surprised if he turns down the millions from the NFL Draft to stay for his senior year and snag a Baylor Law Degreee while he's at it. It's not improbable for the straight A student.

Congratulations Robert and to his parents, Mr. and Mrs, Robert Griffin of Copperas Cove. We're proud you wore the jeresy of the Texas D1 Ambassadors. As with all things you did it with class, dignity and a smile on your face. You have truly gone on to be an ambassador to your community of Copperas Cove, Baylor and Texas D1.-Coach Max Ivany and the D1 Nation Family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Travon Landry Commits To Tennessee Volunteers

I received a text message this afternoon from Papa John Landry informing me that his son, Travon Landry had verballed to UT. "Not Texas, says Big John, but the other UT." Landry a 6'1" G in the class of 2013 will play in the Southeast Conference for the Tennessee Volunteers. Landry started as a freshman at San Antonio Madison (TX), started alongside J. Mychal Reese (Texas A&M) as a soph at Bryan (TX) and recently moved to Huntsville, AL as his father took a job there and currently starts for Huntsville Bob Jones, an Alabama 6A powerhouse. Travon's older brother Jonathan played at Coppin State and is now at Alabama A&M.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Bob Jones basketball coach Danny Petty has confirmed that Travon Landry, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior point guard who transferred in from Bryan (Texas) High this past summer, verablly committed to Tennessee this weekend.

Landry had drawn interest from other SEC schools like Alabama, Vanderbilt and Georgia. He is averaging approximately eight points per game through four games this season after averaging 12.3 points and 3.5 assists per game last year as a sophomore.

"He's not shooting that much," Petty said. "He's a great point guard and sees the floor extremely well. He's a great defender, too. "He's a coach's dream in that he's very coachable. He goes hard in practice, which is what you want from your leaders. He's got a lot of basketball knowledge, and he's still learning our guys."

Bob Jones is 4-0 this season and is coming off an appearance in last year's Class 6A Northwest Regional final. The Patriots won the state title in 2009.

Landry is a super athletic point. Always looking to attack and get into the paint, he's a tough guy to stop when it comes to dribble penetration. His shot is improving and he defends hard. Travon played with the Texas D1 Ambassadors starting back when he was in the 6th grade and is shown above with Texas D1 in Minnesota. he began playing 17U with Texas D1 when he was a freshman. Congratulations to the Landry's.-Coach Max Ivany and The D1 Ambassadors Family