Chad Groth’s Arizona Preps Elite 8 (actually 16 teams) was said by many in attendance to be the deepest assembly of talent ever in one event held in the Grand Canyon State. The Texas D-1 Ambassadors more than held their own, going 3-1 in the event. Their only defeat was a disappointing overtime loss to a talented Arizona Magic Pump N Run squad.
Texas D-1 Ambassadors 61 Joe Ward All Star Elite (AZ) 55
As predicted, the player who I felt was most likely to burst on the national scene this weekend was 2011 Combo 6’3″ Eric McClellan (below) of Austin High. Playing in his first tournament on a national stage, McClellan showed no stage fright as he led the D-1 Ambassadors with 19 points over Joe Ward All Stars Elite. He has vaulted from relative obscurity to the front of the pack, sitting aside fellow Texas D-1 Ambassador Deon Mitchell as the two top combo guard prospects in the Austin/San Antonio area in the Class of 2011. He got to the rim at will and went 9-11 from the free throw line. 2011 PG Deon Mitchell also chipped in with 12 points, including the only two three pointers for D-1 as we struggled from the field.
Arizona Magic Pump N Run 78 Texas D-1 Ambassadors 73 (OT)
2011 W 6’4″ Billy Sherakas of Austin Lake Travis showed why the Cavs should not be underestimated this coming school year. Sherakas plays HARDER than anyone in the State of Texas. He is still adjusting the the U.S. game after having moved from Copenhagen, Denmark this past year. Along with the highest revving motor I’ve ever coached, Sherakas also can get hot and hit his threes. Needs to be a bit more selective with his shots but it’s hard to get mad at a kid who just wants to compete so HARD. He scored 20 points and had 9 rebounds against the Arizona Magic squad and along with McClellan (who scored 15 points) has also burst onto the recruiting scene as several services interviewed him after his gritty performances this weekend.
Texas D-1 Ambassadors 77 Las Vegas DC Elite 57
D-1 had extremely balanced scoring with 5 players in double figures as they dominated a less scrappy than usual DC Elite team, 77-57. 2011 G Jake Kocher (below) of Austin St. Michael’s led the way with 14 points but it was his improved defensive performance (including 4 steals) which is causing his stock to rise.
2011 W Adam Whitlock of Austin St. Stephen’s has to get more aggressive but there’s no denying his ability to stroke it from the perimeter. he put up his 13 points in the span of about 2:30 as he led the Ambassadors back from a mid game deficit.
2011 PG Deon Mitchell had 12 points. He’s capable of dominating a game at any moment. His style is effortless and he gets to the rim at will.
Billy Sherakas added 11 and Eric McClellan scored 10.
Texas D-1 Ambassadors 89 Arizona Pump N Run Seniors 65
We got stronger as the tournament went on (too bad it was only 4 games) as we totally outclassed and outplayed an Arizona Magic Seniors group 89-65. Once again, McClellan led with 21 points. he was closely followed by 2011 W 6’6″ Logan Webb of Georgetown with 20. Webb can hit from deep and has nice hops. He’s maddeningly inconsistent though and has to become more involved on a regular basis. When he’s on though, he’s a very intriguing prospect.
The Austin St. Michael’s duo of Jake Kocher and Adam Whitlock (below) had 16 & 14 respectively.
Seven footer David Hahn played only 2 games as he turned his ankle, but still attracted lots of recruiting attention. Look for Hahn to be one of the hottest commodities of the July live period as schools line up for him as he’s a qualifier. 2011 W Jalen Washington was nursing a hip pointer all weekend, so he did not have his normal explosiveness. However, he impressed me with his toughness under the circumstances and rebounded like a champ. Washington is so long he gets his hands on countless balls in the passing lanes. 2012 G Mike Hardge of Georgetown is really progressing and is putting himself in position to be one of the most dominant scoring PG’s in the area next season.