D1 Nation-Houston Contributing Editor- Coach Orin Bailey

Good Evening Houston!! Many of you know me as Coach Bailey. It will be my pleasure to represent the greater Houston area basketball community as one of the editors of the D1 Nation- Houston.  Our goal is to provide in-depth anaylsis and exposure to local players and schools. I have been a part of the local basketball scene for well over a decade.  In my experience as a player, coach, scout, personal trainer, and event operator I plan to continue to raise the level of awareness of Houston basketball. 
Along with Clear Lake & South Alabama alum Richard Law, I also host shooting clinics with my company, Legacy Basketball
“Most people spend their whole life writing their legacy. Legends leave great  legacies. What kind of legacy will you leave?”-Coach Orin Bailey

D1 Nation-Houston Contributing Editor: Tim Glover

Good Morning Houston!  The D1 Nation- Houston is already on the trail of preseason high school basketball.  We’re interviewing players and talking to coaches in the area, and they’re excited we’re here.  One of the things we pledge is quality, positive, professional content brought to you by degreed basketball professionals.  These are guys who know the game, and respect the game.
One of our contributing editors is Tim Glover.  His basketball resume’ is a mile long.  He understands how to hoop.  He was All State in Texas, and played at Pittsburgh.  A native of Clear Lake, he played for two State Titles while under legendary Coach Bill Krueger.  He also understands the value of obtaining his degree.

Coach Glover now runs Next Level Basketball Academy.  He runs skills sessions and gives private lessons to players hungry to advance to the next level. You can find more info at:
Welcome aboard, Coach Glover!    Max Ivany  Editor

Follow us on Twitter for immediate posting of news:  D1Nation

2011 Trevante Drye Narrows It Down

Silver, blue & black  OR silver orange & black?  2011 W/P Trevante Drye of Baton Rouge Glen Oaks looks good sporting either one.  In the summer of 2009, Drye suited up with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors and did a great job playing up as a 16 year old at the highest level.  In the summer of 2010 with D1 having a stand alone crew out of Louisiana, Drye was able to stay closer to home and run with the New Orleans D-1 Ambassadors Elite. It’s all good in the D1 Nation!
Below: 2011 Trevante Drye shown with the New Orleans D1 Ambassadors Elite
The 6’6″ Drye is one of my favorite players to have personally coached.  He goes to work and gives you 100% at all times and NEVER complains. He’s had a great high school career and would like to get back to the Cajun Dome one more time for a crack at a Louisiana State Championship.  Drye handles pressure as well as anyone.  He’s had a heavy load to bear from the time he laced up his sneakers as he’s the son of Louis Earl (LSU) & nephew of McDonald’s All American  Lester Earl (LSU & Kansas).
Tre is his own man though, and in addition to his basketball talents is also academically off the charts with a 4.2 GPA.   Numerous colleges have called and many have offered too.  I had a chance to speak with Coach Jeff Jones this morning regarding Drye’s recruitment.  Jones, a longtime friend of mine is extremely close to Drye’s family and has been both an on and off the court mentor over the years.  He coached Drye for 3 years as the Assistant at perennial powerhouse, Glen Oaks.  Jones has now earned his Master’s and has moved on to become the Dean of Students & Head Coach at Madison Preparatory Academy in Baton Rouge.  The common theme here is education.
Drye, shown below in the summer of 2009 with the Texas D1 Ambassadors

“Tre’s had lots of action, and has narrowed down his options to UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, Tulane & SMU.  Because of the importance of education to his mom and him both, SMU & Tulane are the clear leaders at the moment. The lure of a $250,000 education and the alumni connections of the latter two schools may be too hard to pass up.  I believe he could be a 3 time all conference player at either of these spots. He’s setting up visits now and will likely head to SMU for an official in the 2nd-3rd week of September.”- Coach Jeff Jones

Drye is now topping out at 6’6-6’7″ but he competes so hard that he’s much “bigger than that.  His handles are improved and so is his intermediate shot.  Drye does most of his damage around the hoop as he is a relentless rebounder and will dunk on anyone in traffic or out.-Coach Max Ivany

I expect Tre Drye to be a success both on and off the court.  He’ll be a nice get for either of these programs.  They say SMU doesn’t get enough Texas kids, but if the Mustangs and Matt Doherty can pry him away from the new staff at Tulane (45 minutes from Baton Rouge), they will quickly adopt him as a Texas at Southern Methodist University.

Houston, We’re SOLVING A Problem

Greetings to all our friends in H-Town, or Clutch City as it was known in the Rockets hey day.  With almost 5 million people, basketball crazy Houston is one of the most happening basketball cities in the USA and the World.  It’s also my hometown.  I got married there, earned my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston & my son, Chip was born at Herrmann Hospital.  Wow, that was 23 years ago!

Above left:  D1 Nation Alumni Darrington Hobson & right: Garland Judkins

Most of you know me as being the architect of the Texas D1 Ambassadors and as a champion of giving players an opportunity to receive top flight exposure and ultimately an improved shot at receiving a college scholarship.  Although originally based out of Austin, we’ve had some incredible players from Houston including scoring wizard Fort Bend Bush’s Junior Treasure (Texas Southern), Heritage Christian’s Jason Ebie (TCU), Gulf Shores Academy’s Darrington Hobson (New Mexico & Milwaukee Bucks) & Christian Life’s Garland Judkins (Arizona/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) to name a few.

I am excited to announce the launch of Max Ivany’s D1 Nation-Houston.  Our goal is for this site to give additional coverage and an alternate voice when it comes to the reporting of high school and club basketball.  In no way is this a knock on my friend Jimmy Hicks at RCS Sports who does a great job.  Friendly, professional competition is a good thing! 

Our pledge, as with our Austin-San Antonio site is to provide lots of coverage and pictures of local players and schools including those outside the loop.  Yes, they play some pretty good basketball in the suburbs and communities surrounding Houston.  With 50 plus D1 signees annually coming out of Houston there is lots of news to report and players to spotlight, and there’s plenty of good young ballers to bring to light.

Our goal is to cultivate relationships with high school as well as summer ball coaches from Tomball to Galveston & Katy to the North Shore and all points in between.  We’ll establish a ranking system for prospects in the Greater Houston area from the 6th grade and on up.  We’ll do this through our crack reporting team watching events all over the Metropolis and through the offering of our own D1 Nation evaluation/exposure camps & tournaments.  We’ll shoot out of the gate with fall ball coverage and then into the school season and of course the summer ball wars.  We can hardly call them shoe wars anymore, can we?

We are blessed to have several outstanding basketball guys who will be contributing editors to the site.  Welcome to Orrin Bailey, who has overseen the All 4 Sports Dream Team program and has been an instructor at John Lucas’ Camps as well as our own All American Prodigy Camp.  Welcome AW Robinson of Gym Range Training, & welcome Tim Glover who led Clear Lake to the Drum and went on to play at Pittsburgh and then UT-San Antonio.

Feel free to look our Austin-San Antonio site over for archived stories that will give you a pretty good preview of what to expect.  http://www.texasbasketballinc.blogspot.com/
So, pass it on.  Tell your friends, your coaches and your parents about this new site.  Bookmark it, and then hang on for the ride.  You can email me at  TexasBasketball@aol.com with any constructive criticicisms or suggested storylines.
 Coach Max Ivany   Editor

Memphis Sweeps Opponents In The Bahamas: DJ Stephens 19 Points

Some guys highlights are their high school career, or signing their scholarship papers.  Not DJ Stephens.  The 6’5″ swingman from Harker Heights has embraced his opportunity with the Memphis Tigers, becoming a fan favorite in the process.  The Texas D-1 Ambassador had a couple of offers, but none were of to his liking so he decided to play as an unsigned senior one more time as he donned the orange and black of D1.
Who can forget the AAUslugfest in Houston between the Houston Hoops & Texas D1 Ambassadors as Stephens traded highlight reel dunks with Brandon “Snap” Peters (Western Kentucky) before a standing room crowd in basketball crazy H Town?  The crowd was electric as the two skywalkers went toe to toe with Texas D1 grabbing an OT win.  You could tell from this spring event that Stephens was destined for greatness.  Always shy, he had a new swagger. (And why not, we measured him as having a 43 inch standing vertical on the electronic jump pad).                                   Memphis photos courtesy Mr. Joe Smith
August of 2010 saw Stephens get offered by Tulsa and others but it wasn’t until this time last August that I got a call from old friend, and new Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner asking for additional character info on Stephens.  In a matter of 72 hours, DJ was on the Memphis campus and enrolled in class.  He averaged 8 minutes, 2pts & 2 rebounds as a true frosh.  But who could shake the vision of his two monster dunks on the road against the Syracuse Orangemen on National TV, or his incredible between the legs windmill dunk at the Memmphis Midnight Madness where none other than judges Rudy Gay, Penny Hardaway & Allen Iverson gave him perfect 10’s?
Fast forward to this preseason where the Memphis Tigers went on an exhibition trip to the Bahamas.  Stephens had 19 points, 4 rebounds & 3 steals.  Last year Stephens was a fuzzy faced frosh playing with Elliott Williams who is now in the NBA.  This year Memphis has a ballyhooed recruiting class including McDonald’s All Americans Will Barton & Joe Jackson, but don’t expect Stephens to be a shrinking violet. You can expect leadership from him in games, practices, as well as the classroom.  As he told me this morning: 
“Coach, I am having the time of my life.  I am doing things through basketball (like his trip to paradise, aka the Bahamas) that I would never experience otherwise.”-DJ Stephens
We are all proud of you back home, DJ.  I’m sure there are more folks on your bandwagon now.  I know Ms Love is proud of you.
Coach Max & The D1 Ambassadors Family

Austin St. Michael’s Jake Kocher Weighs Options

Anyone who follows the private school basketball scene in Texas knows that historically it has not been a very fertile recruiting ground for Division 1 coaches.  In recent years things have begun to change, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth & Houston areas.  As in most basketball issues, the Austin & San Antonio areas have lagged even further behind.  
That’s set to change this year as San Antonio Central Catholic, San Antonio Antonian, & Austin St. Michael’s will have several very nice prospects.  Antonian’s 2011 bookends 6’7″ Jonathan Holmes (mulling between Texas, Texas A&M) and 6’8″ Darrious Hamilton who transferred over from San Antonio Reagan are D-1 locks.  Look for Central Cathloic’s Cole Martinez to really light it up this coming season.  He has as pretty a shot as anyone, and put up big numbers this summer with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Hargis.
Two of the private school stars who can get it done are SA Central Catholic’s Cole Martinez (left) and SA Antonian’s 6’7″ Jonathan Holmes (right), a high major.

Make no mistake about it though, the PREMIER SCORER in the Austin-San Antonio area this year will be Austin St. Michael’s 2011 WG Jake Kocher.  The baby faced kid with the big smile called me last night at about 10PM to give me the heads up that he had received his first D1 offer, from the Southland Conference’s Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  That marks the second Texas D1 Ambassador in less than a week that Coach Perry Clark and his staff have targeted.  (Arizona transfer Garland Judkins committed to them last week).
Kocher can get to the hoop, going left or right

Last season, Kocher averaged 29 plus per game, easily outdistancing everyone in the area with the exception of super scorer 2010 Paul Garnica (they were summer backcourt mates with the D1 Ambassadors) who is now entering his freshman year at Northern Colorado.  St. Michael’s loaded up their schedule with 15 different 4A-5A public schools last season and Kocher scored at an even faster clip against the publics. It’s likely that Kocher will have to redesign his shot at the college level with a higher release point but for the time being expect him to keep putting up points at a break neck pace.  Not only can he flick it from the perimeter, but he has a knack for getting to the goal and scoring against much taller players with an assortment of moves and “dipsy doodles”.
Kocher will take an official visit to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in September.  He’s also receiving interest from Texas State, Stephen F Austin, Bradley, VMI, Weber State & Lafayette.  Expect more to follow, although once he visits the beautiful Corpus Christi campus it could be all over.

R.I.P. Joe Phillips

I was informed today that Joe Phillips has passed.  My condolences to his family.  Joe was a constant on the club basketball scene in Austin, TX with his competitive Texas Thunder teams.  Joe succumbed to cancer after a lengthy battle.  God Bless him, he has gone home.
Coach Max Ivany
Texas D-1 Ambassadors Family

All American Prodigy Camp & Dinner Austin, TX October 2, 2010

The Fall Austin version of Coach Max Ivany’s All American Prodigy Camp is here! 
OCTOBER 2, 2010 @ Concordia University   Austin, TX
*Skill Stations **Evaluation  ***Rankings
Each Player receives a dri fit jersey, instruction, evaluation & RANKINGS
Staff has a combined 100 plus years experience in the basketball game.
Poster below shows last spring’s camp highlights

The camp is located on the beautiful new Concordia University campus in northwest Austin, TX.  

(Mapquest link below)

Cost:   $149.00    includes dri fit jersey and awards reception/ceremony
Online registration will be available as of August 18th.  
First 120 paid players ONLY!
Max Ivany’s D1 Nation is the ONLY National Recruiting Service located in Austin, TX!

Garland Judkins Commits To Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

This is a deeply personal recount of a young man’s basketball and life journey.  Garland Judkins is one of my favorite players to have ever worn a Texas D-1 Ambassadors uniform.  He doesn’t mind me telling it, and hopes that it’s an inspiration and a guiding light for other young players.

The last year has been a humbling time in the life of young Garland Judkins.  After starting several games as a true freshman during the 2008-2009 season on an NCAA Sweet 16 Pac-10 powerhouse Arizona Wildcats team that featured two NBA Draft picks (Chase Budinger & Jordan Hill), Judkins found himself relegated to the bench in what became a frustrating season. 

Fast forward to 2009-2010 and with new Coach Sean Miller coming over from Xavier to coach the Wildcats, Judkins was optimistic that he’d get a fresh start.  However, things just never fell into place as the new staff had their own ideas as to who “their guys” were and Judkins wasn’t one of them.  (This is a great lesson for young players who sign with schools where there’s a high likelihood of a staff change). 

Arizona Coach Miller called me this past Christmas and communicated with me that Garland would be in a better spot elsewhere and asked me to assist him in a transfer.  We did that, and Judkins was excited about heading to UT-San Antonio and being closer to his home in suburban Houston (Angleton, TX).  It had been a tough fall for Garland though as his grandfather passed away last fall and his Pops Garland Jukins Sr. was ill, and when UTSA evaluated his transcript it had fallen below the magical 2.0 line, rendering him ineligible for D1 transfer.

Garland Judkins shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors

To Garland’s credit, he went home to Houston and began taking online courses.  The UTSA staff assumed he would not get eligible and they moved along, signing all 8 of their available scholarships.  To add to the challenges, Garland lost his beloved father in late June of this year.  After a long illness he suffered renal failure and went home to our Lord Jesus Christ leaving behind Beverly Judkins and her only son.

Garland has boundless energy on the court, and showed the same great relience off the court with all the challenges he’s recently faced.  He completed several online courses over the spring and summer and once again is eligible for D1 basketball!  The next step was to head to Jerry Mullin’s “Availables” event in Tulsa, OK.  Judkins was head and shoulders the best player there.  He quickly received interest from Boise State, North Texas, Cal-Riverside, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and an unnamed Big XII school who were (still are) waiting to see if one of their signees was going to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse.

A lot of history, I know.  But today Garland texted me during his official visit with his mother to the beautiful Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus and told me he really like the environment and the coaches.  I sat in my hotel room with my son, Chip and cried tears of joy for this young man.  The world of NCAA recruiting is a tough, no holds barred business that swallows up more than it’s share of kids.  I am so happy that Garland Judkins will not be one of those.

Judkins is an explosive high level athlete that can get to the rim and will mash on you when he does.  A streaky shooter, you still have to respect his perimeter game.  Judkins can defend and handles the ball well, especially when he’s pushing upcourt a la Clyde “The Glide” Drexler.   I full expect Judkins to be an All Conference player in the Southland Conference.  He’ll be one of  a handful of elite athlets in the SLC and should prosper playing for veteran Coach Perry Clark (prior stops at Tulane & Miami)  You can look for him to fill the shoes of recently departed Kevin Palmer as the Big Dog in Corpus Christi before his career is over.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will petition the NCAA for a hardship waiver to be able to play immediately and perhaps even to have 3 years eligibility remaining.  I had a chance to be interviewed by an NCAA investigator last summer in Kansas City.  He asked me what I thought they could do to make college basketball a better game for the kids.  Amongst the topics we touched on was getting AAU guys who are friendly with agents (along with the agents themselves) away from the kids. 

However, I feel it’s more simple than that.  Just err in favor of the kids.  This is a young man that deserves his waiver.  He’s endured the passing of a father & a grandfather.  He did not ask for 3 coaches in a tumultuous year when he went to Arizona.  The legendary Lute Olson absolutely loved Garland’s game.  Who knows how this would have turned out if Coach Olson was still in the Head Seat with the Wildcats?

Coach Max Ivany

Jonathan Perry Says NO To A Division 1 Offer

How does it feel to be a 4 year varsity starter, 3 times an All Region Player in the talent rich State of Texas & in your senior year to add All State Honors to your resume but STILL have no Division One offers?  Most players and families would likely panic, or perhaps even turn their backs on the pursuit of college basketball out of frustration.  Not Kerrville Tivy’s Jonathan Perry!

After 100 plus games on the highest level of the circuit with the Texas D1 Ambassadors, Perry had lots of D1 nibbles but no offers at the end of this spring.  College staff changes killed sure fire opportunities at the Citadel and Army.  So, the Perry Family made the trek to Virginia this past spring and decided that Fork Union Academy with it’s rigorous academic and social policies (no vehicles on campus and limited cell phone usage by the players/student body) was the place he was going to be.  He’d reclassify and look at his college opportunities after an additional year.

My friendship with the Perry Family runs deep so I suggested that Jonathan get back on the circuit with the D1 Ambassadors this summer and let’s see if something would break as far as offers.  Perry continued to work on his game and his body (working with my partner TJ Garza of Speed Killz Period to improve strength & quickness).  The result was an even more versatile player.  The 6’4″ Perry could already handle the rock and shoot it, but now he’d dramatically improved his first step in getting to the rack and was physically handling 6’6″ guys defensively down low as well as coming out to the perimeter to keep his man in check.

All this culminated on Tuesday evening when veteran Coach Tim Floyd (Chicago Bulls, USC, New Orleans Hornets etc) called the Perrys and offered Jonathan a scholarship to the defending champion UTEP Miners of Conference USA. Not only did Coach Floyd offer the scholarship he also said Jonathan would get 8-10 minutes a game as the back up point/combo guard. For good measure let’s throw in Floyd’s extensive resume of developing players (including a remarkable 3 who did NOT play high school ball, yet played in the pros!)  Hard to turn down, right? Wrong!

 After a day and a half of deliberation the Perrys politely refused and said they would honor Jonathan’s COMMITMENT to Fork Union and legendary Coach Fletcher.  It was the right thing to do, in their way of thinking.  I’ve got to hand it to them, they are people of faith and are staunch in their belief of God’s Plan.  I respectfully disagree, as I think it is a great opportunity BUT good people can have differing points of view.  🙂   So, on that note we wish Jonathan Perry all the best as he prepares to head off to Fork Union Academy in the next few days to pursue his educational, spiritual & hoops dreams.  You can bet he will be in somebody’s D1 uniform in the 2011-2012 season.

Coach Max Ivany & The D1 Ambassadors Family.