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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

San Antonio Churchill Goes North And Melts Jack Frost

To date, San Antonio Churchill has one blemish on it's record, a last second loss to San Antonio Stevens as Southern Methodist University signee, Uche Ofoegbu his a long range banked three just before the buzzer. Their record stands at 10-1 and will be tested tonight in the Championship game of the Lone Star Invitational as they play Converse Wagner.

I'm getting ahead of myself though as this recap is in regards to the Georgetown Jack Frost Invitational. It's less than a 3 hour drive up I-35 for Sir Winston Churchill and once they arrived they ran roughshod over the field.
Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill shown throwing one down in the summer with the Texas D1 Ambassadors. The Texas signee is dominating this school season.

San Antonio Churchill 95 Austin Reagan 23
Sadly, gone are the days of mighty, mighty Reagan once the scourge of Austin in football, track and basketball. Shifting demographics and the Austin ISD turning a blind eye to "magnet schools" pillaging their players have left them with almost nothing on the athletic scene. Churchill played everyone but the waterboy in this rout.

San Antonio Churchill 75 Austin Akins 68
2012 G P.J. Rivera led Akins with 20 points, while 2012 G Scott Mammell (Army Prep School commit) had 23 in the win.

San Antonio Churchill 96 Conroe Woodlands College Park 77
College Park's Evan Cooper dropped 32 points but Texas signee Connor Lammert dominated inside and out with 27 points.
2013 G 6'3" Taylor Sutlive of Churchill shown below at Max Ivany's Austin-San Antonio Challenge. He's coming into his own, is an excellent shooter and is showing some of Momma Sutlive's genes (she played for Virginia Tech).

San Antonio Churchill 76 HCYA South 48
2014 Justin Jackson of HCYA is big time in the National Rankings and he didn't disappoint as he scored 19 points. However, Churchill has too many weapons and 2013 G Taylor Sutlive's 21 points supported by 2012 P 6'9" Connor Lammert's (Texas signee) 18 allowed the Chargers to cruise to the "Ship".

Friday, December 2, 2011

San Francosco's Cody "Do It All" Doolin

While many of Central Texas' naysayers were dismissing Austin Westlake's Cody Doolin 2 years ago as "not being good enough" I was singing his praises. Today those same people shut their mouths and avoid the subject as Doolin continues to play at a high level for demanding San Francisco Dons Coach Rex Walters. The true soph has averaged over 30 minutes a game for both of his campaigns by the Bay.
Doolin continues to add to his legacy by scoring the 5th game winning bucket of his young career. This was nothing new to me as I saw him hitch talented Texas D1 Ambassadors squads on his back during the summers and lead them down the stretch. The tough as nails guard scored the equalizer in the last minute of the game against Montana, a three pointer. He finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 32 minutes. He saved his best for overtime though as he scored the game winning layup with 35 seconds to go in the extra session.

From the Helena (MT) Independent Record:

MISSOULA — Sophomore guard Cody Doolin scored on a layup with 35 second remaining to lead the University of San Francisco Dons to a 65-62 victory over the host Montana Grizzlies on Thursday evening in Dahlberg Arena.

The Grizzlies (4-3) took a six-point lead over the Dons (6-3) with 3:58 left to play on a lay-up by senior forward Art Steward. USF scored six unanswered point after that, though, and tied the contest 59-59 with 2:07 to go on a lay-up by senior forward Angelo Coloiaro.
Montana then regained the lead on a three-point play by sophomore guard Kareem Jamar, making it 62-59 UM at the 2:02 mark. But Doolin’s three-pointer with 1:40 left tied it at 62-all, and then Doolin made the game-winner about a minute later.
Texas D1 Ambassadors alum, Cody Doolin of Austin Westlake, the Justin Bieeber look alike of the West Coast Conference. All American boy with an assassin's mentality.

Explosive Athletes Intitute Training

Coach Max Ivany of with 6'10" Tommy Smith (Phoenix North HS, Arizona State) Chicago Bulls 2003 Draft Pick and Houston native 6'11" Jake Voskuhl (right) Houston Strake Jesuit HS, member of UConn's 1999 National Championship squad and 9 year NBA veteran. For those of you who only see NBA guys from afar it's hard to understand how big and strong these dudes are. (I'm 5'10" and 205 pounds to give you a point of reference.)
Today I was invited to the Explosive Athletes Institute in Phoenix, Arizona by owner Sid Sharma. I've seen more trainers doing their thing and claiming to be the "best" than I have fingers and toes. I watched Mr. Sharma's workouts and was impressed with some of his thinking outside the box as well as his technical expertise as he holds two advanced degrees in biomechanical engineering. He certainly brings a unique scientific background to the business. Anyone who gets NBA guys to buy in have to be doing something right.

The most enjoyable part of the day was interacting with Tommy Smith and Jake Voskuhl, two really nice guys who are both looking to be in The League this year and getting their bodies ready. Both swore by Sid's methods. Jake and I both being Houston guys exchanged a lot of stories and of course know many of the same people. He got a chuckle out of recounting how John Lucas tabbed him with the name "Old Franchise" back in the day when he was getting up at 5AM to go to Luke's workouts....anyway, this is good stuff. Enjoy the video.-Coach Max Ivany

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

D1 Nation Houston Thanksgiving Jamboree Top Performers

All you Houston hoopers can follow me on facebook:  Max Ivany  or twitter @ d1nation
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
The D1 Nation Houston Thanksgiving Jamboree's Top Dozen Performers

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.
2. 2013 W 6'9" Jarell Martin Baton Rouge Madison Prep (LA)
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.
3. 2013 G 6'1" Ken "Juice" Williams Houston Episcopal (TX)
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 defeinds 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.
4. 2012 G 6'1" Branford Jones Fort Bend Elkins 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.
5. 2012 G 6'0" Chase Brogna Houston St. Thomas
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.
6. 2013 P 6'5" Kendell Ramrale Houston Episcopal
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.
9. 2013 WG 6'3" Jaleen Smith Brazosport
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.
Just outside the Top Twelve were 2012 P 6'4" Mark Gray of New Iberia (LA) who is undersized and not particularly fleet of foot. However, this kid showed the heart of a lion and a knack for rebounding and scoring down low which require me to give him props. Tough sell to D1 because of his size but he will help a college program at the D2 level.

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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

D1 Nation Houston Thanksgiving Jamboree Recaps

The inugural D1 Nation Thanksgiving Jamboree has now come and gone. The event was a huge success. As both days progressed the crods grew, culminating in a house that was rocking when the host team St. Thomas Eagles took the court in what turned out to be high energy victories over Brazosport and last night over Houston Bellaire. Despite the fact that many college teams are playing in tournaments of their own this time of year the first time field was strong enough to attract college coaches from Texas A&M, Lousiana State University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Louisville, Lee College, Springhill College (AL), Air Force, Baylor and UTEP. My man, John Lucas was in attendance as well.

The following media outlets were on hand to provide coverage for the event. and

Houston Furr 70 Sharpstown 65
Both teams have young coaching staffs and young players trying to make a name for themselves. The opener was a see saw affair. In the end it was too much of 2013 P 6'8" Bobby Reeves of Furr. As the game wore on, Reeves wore Sharpstown out to the tune of 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Houston Episcopal Baton Rouge Madison Prep (LA)
Episcopal were not good hosts to the young Louisiana squad as they broke open a close game late in the 3rd quarter behind the scoring of 2013 G Ken "Juice" Williams who had 27 points. I was also impressed with the work ethic of one of the State's top rebounders in 2013 P 6'5" Kendell Ramrale who had double digit boards and controlled the defensive end. 2013 F 6'9" Madison Prep's Jarell Martin had the crowd buzzing as he had several nice dunks, showed off his length and also highlighted his handles, which were pretty impressive for a young man that big. He finished with 15 points. Amazingly, this was only the 10th high school game of his career.

Houston St. Thomas Brazosport
Brazosport jumped out early on the home team, St. Thomas 16-7. That was the highlight of their night though as St. Thomas is just too talented and methodical in getting the shots they want. Their backcourt is polished with 2012 G Christian Sanders (Stanford) leading the way with 18. 2012 PG Chase Brogna had 15. I've watched Brogna for awhile now and he is continuing to make strides in his defensive footspeed and improved handles and a little slash to his game. He's rounding into a more complete player while still maintaining his shooter's edge. Brazosport were led by 2013 G D.J. Griggs as he scored 16. His shot wasn't fall tonight and most of his points came from the free throw line.
2013 G D.J. Griggs

2012 P 6'10" Jeremy King showed more offensive aggressiveness in a 3 minute span than I've seen out of him before as he had two monster dunks, including one off the bounce from the wing. He finished with 10 points. Both King and Brogna are unsigned and have excellent credentials on the academic side of the coin as well.

Houston Episcopal 65 New Iberia (LA) 35
The folks in Louisiana probably have never heard of Episcopal High School before this weekend. Now that they have, it will not be pretty. For the second day in a row they gave a Lone Star whuppin' to their neighbors from "The Boot". Once again, Ken Williams showed why he's one of H-Town's premiere scorers as he torched New Iberia for 27. 2013 G Jamal Williams added 12 for Epicopal. 2012 P 6'4" Mark Gary led New Iberia with 20 points as he battled hard all night long on the boards.
2013 Mark Gary of New Iberia (LA)

Fort Bend Elkins 69 Bryan 60
With Bryan's roster depleted of a couple of key players (2012 G J. Mychal Reese-Texas A&M, and 2013 F Chris Johnson deciding that football is his future) their trademark full court pressure was limited. When you toss in the fact that Elkins is very talented and physical, it wasn't that big a shock to see the Knights pounce on the Vikings and hold a 20 point plus lead. The Vikings did show pride under first year Head Coach Chris Jones though and pushed hard towards the end of the game. They closed the gap but ran out of time. The Knights were simply more talented and bigger in their backcourt. They were led by under rated G Branford Jones who scored 20 and physical WG Chance Allen. Jones is signed to play at Long Beach State while Allen mulls countless football and basketball offers.
2012 G Branford Jones brings his winning game to Long Beach State

Houston Westside 56 Baton Rouge Madison Prep (LA) 46
Madison jumped out to a 29-21 halftime lead but the Westside Wolves came roaring back early in the 2nd half to take a 31-29 lead. The rest of the game was spirited with baskets being traded until Westside's late surge propelled them to the win. Westside's 2013 PG Robert Hatter led with 16 points in the win. 2013 F Jarell Martin turned in another solid performance with 20 for Madison Prep.

Houston St. Thomas 60 Houston Bellaire 53
This was the game of the night. The energy level was high and you could see that the teams had a healthy dislike for each other. The officials let them play, and play they did. No shot went unchallenged and no rebound was snagged without bodies banging. The Reckling Rowdies, (St. Thomas' version of Duke's "Cameron Crazies") razzed the Bellaire players at every opportunity. It was nip and tuck the whole way but once again St. Thomas' backcourt was the difference.

It was a healthy dose of Christian Sanders early, followed by Chase Brogna scoring key baskets in the 3rd quarter. With the game on the line, Christian Sanders showed why schools like Texas and Colorado offered him and why Stanford will be lucky to have signed him. Brogna had 18 clutch points and Sanders was dominant with 32 as he hit big free throws, broke pressure and scored after he got in the lane.
2013 Myles Elgin of Houston Bellaire

Saturday, November 26, 2011

D1 Nation Alumni NCAA Thanksgiving Updates

it may be Thanksgiving, but these D1 Ambassadors alumni are no turkeys. We had some notable performances last night.

Deon Mitchell Freshman G 6'0" Pflugerville (TX) Northern Iowa
Mitchell had the first of what will be many HUGE performances as the true freshman led his "other" Panthers over Rice at the South Padre Invitational.
When Deon Mitchell signed with UNI, they knew they'd gotten a high major steal and a four year starter

John Henson Junior 6'10" Round Rock (TX)/Tampa Sickles (FL) North Carolina
Henson had 18 points and 8 rebounds in a win over South Carolina.

Paul Garnica Sophomore G 6'0" San Antonio Lee (TX) Northern Colorado
Garnica had 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in their win over Western Carolina.
J.J. Avila Sophomore F 6'7" McAllen (TX) Navy
Avila had 12 points and 9 rebounds

Cameron Moore Junior F 6'10" San Antonio Roosevelt (TX) Alabama-Birmingham
Moore is putting up big numbers on a nightly basis. He had 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Cody Doolin Sophomore G 6'2" Austin Westlake (TX) San Francisco
Doolin's 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists were not enough as Murray State nipped the Dons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

D1 Nation Houston Thanksgiving Jamboree Preview

Thank you to for providing event coverage. You can click on the big link below for their story on ther D1 Nation Thanksgiving Jamboree.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Hoops fans. When you get your fill of football today, head to Houston St, Thomas High School tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday for the inaugural D1 Nation Thanksgiving Jamboree. Over 20 D1 prospects will be on display in the 7 games on tap. Come see a future pro when Madison Prep's (Baton Rouge, LA) 2013 W 6'9" Jarell Matin takes to the floors twice against a loaded young Houston Episcopal squad Friday at 6PM and then Saturday at 6PM vs Houston Westside.

Two D1 Gunslingers Out New Mexico Way

How many backcourts on the summer circuit will rival Danny Granger's D1 Ambassadors based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico next spring? Two interchangeable, and also complimentary players in 2013 G 6'3" Bryce Alford of Albuquerque La Cueva and 2013 G 6'4" Cullen Neal of Albuquerque Eldorado are a couple of 2013's top prospects.
Cullen Neal with Coach Max Ivany on his unofficial visit to Arizona State last week.
Opening night of the New Mexico High School Season, Neal drops 40 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a win as his talented Eldorado squad. Meanwhile, Alford will be called upon to carry La Cueva this year and it looks like he's up to the challenge as he lit it up for 44 in an overtime win over Cibola, 78-74.
2013 G Bryce Alford of Albuquerque LaCueva dropped 44 (Photo Compliments of Rivals New Mexico)
It doesn't seem to bother or pressure these two hoopers that they have famous basketball fathers: Coach Steve Alford (New Mexico Head Coach and Indiana Hoosiers legend) and Craig "Noodles" Neal (New Mexico Associate Head Coach and Georgia Tech star/Toronto Raptors Assistant).

It's going to be a great year for both young men during the high school season and then it's going to be a blast watching them do their thing on the circuit with Danny Granger's D1 Ambassadors. We will be looking at making three impact out of state additions to this New Mexico based team. If you are interested you must fit the criteria. 6'6" or bigger wing/forward position or 6'8" or better true post man. You can reside in the neighboring States of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma or Arizona.- Contact Coach Max Ivany. 512-791-5455

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

D1 Nation: 1000 Stories

Today is a special day for me. Almost 3 years ago I threw my hands up in the air with disgust at the negative things being written about kids on another basketball site. Rather than complain, I began writing on We've now added reports covering Houston, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and New Mexico. However, the roots were right here in Austin/San Antonio , Texas which is home to me. I didn't know if anyone would bother reading what I had to say but this past month we had almost 50,000 hits on our site in October alone. This is my 1000th story, along with several hundred more while covering the other geographic areas. THIS IS A FREE SITE. THERE IS NO SO CALLED "PREMIUM" SECTION YOU HAVE TO SUBSCRIBE TO.
The years of hard work have allowed me to have a lot of influence at the college level. My opinion as to what level a player is capable of performing at is valued nationally. I take my responsibility to be able to provide opportunity to deserving players very seriously and pledge to keep working hard for the quality player who is also a quality student and good person. -Coach Max Ivany
I spend approximately 2 hours daily actually compiling, researching and writing (I'm no writer). As far as in the gym goes, the hours are countless. Counting tournament games and summer basketball I would think I easily see 350-400 games annually. It's become a big part of my life that makes me feel I am doing something positive and productive in the community. I have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, we have some great expansion plans on the table. I hope you enjoy reading these reports as much as I do in providing them.
Max Ivany

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

D1 Nation Real Talk: 2012 W Trey Guidry

2012 Trey Guidry of Houston St. Pius readies for a great senior year and then it's on to the West Coast Conference to play for the University of San Diego.  He can play the 2, 3 and 4 positions and is pushing hard for even more respect in talent rich Texas. He is a strong slasher and rebounder, always playing above the rim. D1 Nation's A.W. "Gym Range" Robinson caught up with Guidry to rap in today's edition of Real Talk.
Q. When did you first start playing basketball?
A. 5

Q. What is your favorite class in school?
A. Goverment

Q. What music are you listening to before a game?
A. Hanging out with my friends

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Gumbo

Q. What college or NBA player do you model your game after?
A. Rudy Gay

Q. List some goals you’ve set for this year?
A. Win State

Q. Who is the best player you played against all spring or summer?
A. Marcus Smart

Q. List the Top 6 players in Houston right now?
A. Me, LJ ,Sheed, Delvin, Christian and D House

Q. What part of your game needs improvement the most?
A. , Getting more confident with my left hand.

Q. Who is your favorite NBA player from Houston?
A. Deandre Jordan

Q. Who are the Top 5 teams in 5A or 4A this year?
A. Fort Bend Travis ,Houston Yates, Fort Bend Bush, Lamar Consolidated and Flower Mound Marcus.

Q. Where do you see yourself being 5 years from now?
A. Doing something I love and making people happy when I do it


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coach Max Ivany of D1 Nation on

The high school seaosn is well under way in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Meanwhile the players in Oregon, New Mexico and Arizona are preparing for the opening of their seasons shortly. I'm almost finished my early college fall tour of campuses and teams in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico and will be back in San Antonio on Monday for Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, I was contacted by Keith Perrin of to come into their studios to talk about club basketball and the D1 Nation. Below is a link to the interview which lasts about 20 minutes. (Yes, I know that's a long time to hear me drone He does ask some very pertinent questions though about the club scene, what you should look for in an organization etc and did allow me a couple of minutes to brag on the players who are part of the D1 Nation and in particular shouted out to the talent in Texas. (I forget who said it, but I believe the quote is "you ain't braggin' if you can back it up").

I was very impressed with and their professional studio. Great people, who love youth athletics! I want to thank them for the opportunity to be part of their broadcast. You can click on the link below. When Mr. Perrin finishes interviewing me he then speaks with Chad Groth of who spent many years as VP of Player Personnel with the Harlem Globetrotters. Great interview!

2013 G Cullen Neal Visits Arizona State

2013 combo guard 6'4" Cullen Neal of Albuquerque Eldorado (NM) spent the day in Phoenix/Temp, Arizona today on an unofficial visit on the Sun Devils campus. In an interesting juxtaposition, Neal wore a burnt orange Eldorado shirt to the game, not Arizona State maroon, nor the silver and red of New Mexico Lobos where his dad, Craig is Associate Head Coach.

Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek offered Cullen today. This is his 4th unoffcial visit thus far. He's been to St. Mary's, Stanford and Gonzaga and to this point says he has no clear favorite. There will be plenty of offers coming along for the talented guard who can score, create and just flat understands how to compete and run a team. He'll be paired with UNM Head Coach Steve Alford's son, 2013 combo guard 6'3" Bryce Alford of Albuquerque La Cueva (NM) this spring to form one of the Nation's most effective backcourts when they lace them up for Danny Granger's D1 Ambassadors on the circuit.
2013 G Cullen Neal at Arizona State with Coach Max Ivany of the D1 Nation

New Mexico won in a squeaker as Texas D1 Ambassadors alum, Senior post A.J. Hardeman had a huge bucket in the last minute to seal the win on the road for the Lobos. After the game, young Neal made his way to the Arizona State dressing room to thank Coach Sendek for his visit and offer. Already recognized as a Top 100 player in the country Neal attended the Nike Jamboree in St, Louis, MO with many of the country's top sophomore players.
Del Valle (TX) A.J. Hardeman came to battle ASU's two 7 footers tonight.