Monday, March 28, 2011

D1 Nation Live-Houston: Tournament Recap

The D1 Nation Live-Houston Event was an outstanding event . In addition to the great Texas talent on hand, we were also priveleged to host the Australian Institute of Sport in an exhibition game vs the Texas D1 Ambassadors or a "friendly" as the soccer folks like to call it.  There was lots of outstanding young talent on display during the weekend and I had to mull over quite a few ballers before making my final cut for the D1 Nation Live-Houston's 12 brightest prospects & performers.  The following are the guys who made this weekend's cut.

Coach Max’s Dandy Dozen
2013 G Adonte Jones           Garland Naaman Forest   Dallas Bad Boyz
Jones lit up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree, whether from the wing shooting threes or penetrating to the rim.  Well built guard looks like he will grow a bit.  He showed great body control going up for his shot off the bounce. Scored 29 in one contest.
2012 G Devon Turk               Houston St. Pius                   Texas D1 Ambassadors
Turk was “en fuego”, as one Texas’ purest shooters gave Australian Sports Institute the business putting up 18 points with his ultra quick release and assassin’s mentality. Once he improves his handles he moves his stock to a high major lock.
2012 G Devon Turk can light up the scoreboard in a hurry
2012 G Clifton Allen               Garland Namaan Forest     North Texas Bulls
Cat quick PG is part of the deep pool in talent rich Garland, TX. Played varsity on a tough Naaman Forest team this year, I look for him to have a strong senior varsity campaign.  Was the single quickest player off the bounce all weekend, getting into the lane at will. He needs to improve shot selection which will up his stock as a guy who can run a team.
2013 F 6’8” Brandon Williams       Stafford                                  Texas Pro
Long, lanky player has all the tools to be a high major.  Very athletic, he runs the floor extremely well for a youngster.  Lacks strength but will be a handful when he matures.
2012 G 6’5” Alex Caruso                A&M Consolidated         Texas D1 Ambassadors
“The Truth” was the best player in the gym hands down for the second consecutive week.  An unselfish player, he’s comfortable on the wing or with the ball in his hands. Outstanding court vision and superior bounce will make him one of the breakout high majors of the summer. He’s already got 10 dunks in the young season including a pair over a couple of 6’9” opponents. Yesterday he went baseline on some unsuspecting Aussie lad and gave him a facial. Caruso  may be in the “nobody knows” category at the moment but high majors better get in on him now. His Pops, Mike is the Associate AD at Aggieland, but he’s keeping an open mind as to where he hoops at the next level.
2011 G 6’6” Hugh Greenwood          Australian Sports Institute
Greenwood was the most polished player I saw all weekend.  Committed to the New Mexico Lobos and also a member of the Australian National team he scored 22 against Texas D1, and had close to double digit rebounds and assists.  Everything ran through him offensively. Defensive foot speed was so so but he made up for it with physical play and court savvy.  “Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi”!
2012 G   Chase Brogna            Houston St. Thomas   Texas D1 Ambassadors
All State G is making the transition from playing the primary role of spot up shooter on his high school team, Brogna took care of the ball against pressure and also hit his trademark timely shots which makes him dangerous.
2013 P 6’6”  Trayvon Teal         Spring Westfield             Houston Northside Shakaz
Well built soph, stands his ground defensively and blocks shots. He finished at the rim and also stroked it from 15 feet out.  Teal also has a nice motor and court demeanor.
2013 W Xavier Dupree              Alief Taylor                        Texas Pro
Devastatingly long on the front of the press, Dupree ran the floor effortlessly hitting the three pointer off the catch. He also shows advanced footwork as well as nice touch in the low post for a pup.
2012 P 6’4”  Albert Coleman      Rowlett                             North Texas Bulls
Undersized down low, but has a big heart.  Has a knack of finishing around the rim in traffic against longer players. Coleman uses his thick body to his advantage around the goal.
2012 F 6’7” Maurice Letcher-Ellis       Houston Yates          Texas D1 Ambassadors
After sitting out this season because of transfer rules, “Moe” is a little bit rusty BUT he is super bouncy and regularly rejects shots down low from much bigger players.  He’s a wing in the making as he increases his skill set but that hasn’t kept schools like Wichita State and Houston from offering him already based on his tremendous upside. (picture to follow)
2012  F 6‘3” Stanley Ede         Fort Bend Marshall              Houston Dream Team    
Ede battled around the rim against bigger players all weekend. Easily recorded  double doubles with points and rebounds based on sheer effort. 
2013 PG  Shawndre  Jones     Fort Bend Bush                      Texas Pro
Jones had all the assets a PG could want on his team filled with shooters, and long WF’s who played above the rim. His job was to run the team and get them their touches at the right time and place.  He did that effortlessly all weekend.  He took care of the ball, hit some shots and led his team to the 'ship.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Australian Institute of Sport 60 Texas D1 Ambassadors 57

D1 Nation Live-Houston Tournament Recap:

Feature Game: Australian Institute of Sport 60 Texas D1 Ambassadors 57

The Australian team has spent the last two weeks in Houston & Dallas on a goodwill/competitive basketball tour. As always when we are requested to represent our country in international competition, the Texas D1 Ambassadors feel honored. As with most international teams, the Aussies are disciplined and fundamentally sound. Overall they lack the foot speed and athleticism of kids here in the United States but their focus on the team game and their maturity (17-21 year olds) make them a difficult opponent.
Texas D1 Ambassadors Coach Richard Law sharing pregame fellowship with his Aussie counterpart
Both teams spent the first half feeling each other out and not much scoring occured in transition. It didn’t take long to figure out that the University of New Mexico Lobos have gotten a good one in The Kangaroos G/W Hugh Greenwood. He had a nice stroke, was a competent ball handler & was extremely cagey in taking advantage of what the defense gave him.
Aussie Hugh Greenwood will soon be a New Mexico Lobo
On the flip side, this Texas D1 Ambassadors squad out of the Houston area has played only 4 games together and are still defining their roles. They are very talented, but also very young with a freshman (6’6” B.J. Jones), and four sophomores. They are 6’8” Kendrick Morris (Houston Second Baptist), 6’8” Jonathan Motley (Galena Park Northshore), 6’7” Kalvin Singleterry (Van Vleck), and 6’11” Anthony Morris (Van Vleck). They get their leadership from their junior trio of 6’5” Combo Guard Alex Caruso (A&M Consolidated), 6’0” Combo Chase Brogna (Houston St. Thomas) & 6’7” Maurice Letcher-Ellis a high flyer from Houston Yates. D1 rounds out its roster with one unsigned senior in 6’9” Kenyon Willis of Crosby.

The score was 28-23 in favor of the Aussies at the half. A combination of poor execution and excellent team D by the Aussies held Texas D1 scoreless for the first 6 minutes of the second half causing them to run out to a 17 point lead. In danger of getting blown out the D1 backcourt came alive. Two key three pointers by Brogna (the second tied the game at 57-57 with 20 seconds left) & two dunks by Caruso (one was a poster job) keyed the rally. With the clock running down the Aussies slipped a screen and they finished at the bucket with an “and 1” layup to seal the win. Great ball game!
Australian G Hugh Greenwood smiles the thrill of vicory as he's flanked by Texas D1 Ambassadors guards 2012 Devon Turk (left) & 2012 Alex Carso (right) who bite their lips through the agony of defeat.
The Texas D1 Ambassadors are proud to have represented their community, Texas & their country in international competition and fellowship.  Over the years we have gone 11-1 including a tour of France where they were undefeated, as well as domestic wins over teams from Japan, Chile & Mexico (3 times). The Aussies broke that streak and were a worthy opponent. We wish them well-Coach Max Ivany

Monday, March 14, 2011

D1 Nation & Full Court Press Host Mixer @ Houston's Big Dance: Thursday, March 21st, 2011

The D1 Nation & Full Court Press hosts the Big Dance Mixer in Houston, TX

Location: Little Woodrow's  2019 Walker St.  Houston, TX
Date: March 31st
Time: 6pm-9pm

An open invitation to college coaches at all levels as well as Texas High School Coaches. (Not open to the general public. Sorry, no parents of recruitable athletes may attend).

We're excited to announce a new experience surrounding college basketball's biggest event. Max Ivany of D1 Nation Prep Report & the D1 Ambassadors has partnered up with longtime associate Dinos Trigonis of Full Court Press & the Belmont Shore to host a mixer for Texas' High School Coaches & all college coaches who will be in Houston for the NCAA Final Four.
The event will be hosted at one of Texas' most recognized names in the "Sports Bar" business by Little Woodrow's.  With 7 locations in Austin & Houston it's a classy place to unwind and talk hoops, and to catch the latest buzz on who's interviewing for job openings as we lead up to the games on April 2nd & 4th.

This private mixer will be held on March 31st on the patio at Little Woodrow's newest location, 2019 Walker in Houston, TX just a stone's throw (less than 5 minute walk) from the George R Brown Convention Center where most of the NCAA's coaches clinics, meetings etc will be held.

Click on the link below to head to Little Woodrow's

Dinos Trigonis Recognized as an expert on the West Coast prep recruiting scene. Editor of the Full Court Press Report,  Director of the Pangos All American Camp & architect of the Belmont Shore Basketball Club.

        Dinos Trigonis                              Max Ivany
Max Ivany Recognized as an expert on the Texas, Louisiana & Mississippi prep basketball recruiting scene, Director of the All American Prodigy Camp & architect of the Texas, Louisiana & Mississippi D1 Ambassadors.

Monday, March 7, 2011

St. Thomas Brings TAPPS 5A State Championship To Houston

After having watched Houston St. Thomas High School struggle in the first round of the TAPPS Playoffs at home a couple of weeks ago vs Argyle Liberty Christian (they pulled it out in overtime) I was hard pressed to envision them winning a title.  But Coach Danny Evans rallied his charges and they got stronger as each round went on. 

After dispatching Dallas Bishop Dunne with a stifling defensive effort in the semi finals (St. Thomas held Dunne to 24 points in a 42-24 win), they had to face mighty Prestonwood Academy in the Championship Game.  Prestonwood is talented, and BIG.  The man in the middle for them is 2012 Zach Peters who has committed to play for Coach Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks, while 2013 Forward Julius Randle is near the top of everyone's list of the top players nationally in his class.

St. Thomas is no slouch either though as they have a trio of 2012 Division One prospects.  They anchor their two-three zone with lanky 6'9" Jeremy King, 6'3" combo guard Christian Sanders who is a superior academic student as well which is why the Ivies, Stanford, Vanderbilt and the like are watching him closely (Christian's Pops, Brad played for Kansas back in the day) & the other outside threat is 6'0" Chase Brogna who when he is hot is as good a shooter as Texas has in the 2012 class.
Brogna will be on every mid major plus list for a top level shooter in the Class of 2012
Prestonwood shot out of the gate and had the Eagles on the ropes going up 14-2, and King was quickly on the bench with two early fouls.  A couple of buckets away from a knockout punch St. Thomas composed themselves and behind Brogna's hot second quarter shooting ( 14 points).  It was knotted at the half, 27-27.

The foul situation flipped in the 3rd quarter, and with Randle & Peters in trouble the duo of Brogna & Sanders got red hot.  Outscoring Prestonwood 19-5 in the 3rd caused them to become unravelled and St. Thomas won going away, 76-57.  Chase Brogna, who will suit up for the Houston version of the Texas D1 Ambassadors led the way with 27 points while Sanders added 20 of his won for the school's first ever State basketball Championship.  Congratulations to Coach Evans & his staff, along with the players and their families.

King, Brogna & Sanders made the All Tournament Team

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Texas D1 Ambassador J.J. Avila Named Patriot League Rookie of the Year

I just spoke with Navy Coach Eugene Burroughs who recruits Texas hard.  he couldn't be happier as former McAllen High School star and Texas D1 Ambassadors alum J.J. Avila had been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year.  Click on the link below to read the story.

Avila, shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors at the Arizona Cactus Classic
Congratulations to J.J. & His Family!-Coach Max Ivany