Austin Akins: This is a crew poised to be arguably among the best in the Cen Tex this coming season. They did lose to a talented Killeen Ellison team by going cold and seeing a 10 point lead evaporate into a 10 point loss. Akins will be lacking in heighth this season, and in depth (as Head Coach David Peavy will only carry 8 men on his varsity). Fatigue/injuries could become a factor but if the stars line up for the Eagles they’ll be carried by their backcourt tandem of 2011 Yolonzo Moore (Hartford) and 2011 WG Malcolm Canada. With these two guys penetrating to the hole, it will be sure to leave 2011 SG Jeremy Mendez wide open for more than his share of open three pointers. The wild card for Akins will be super soph Lionel Hollins. The 2013 6’2″ W is super athletic and very strong for a youngster. Coach Peavy shared that he is very coachable and mature for his age.
San Antonio Reagan: How tough was this event? Reagan has the tools to be a Regional contender, and yet they went 0-2. It was a great matchup vs Bryan High and then a heartbreaking buzzer beater vs Pflugerville. But all that means nothing as they’ll be anchored by two D1 seniors: 2011 PG Tre Demps (Northwestern) & 2011 WG Max Yon (Air Force). Throw in 2011 P 6’6″ Brad Coulter, 2011 Brian Hardy & an intriguing pair of underclassmen in 2013 G Mike Williams who’s extremely mature for his age, & 2012 W 6’4″ Jack Johnson who looks like a pup. I had a chance to visit with Johnson who informed me he moved here mid year from Italy. New Head Coach John Hirst who came over from San Antonio Stevens will not have a bare cupboard anytime soon. I look for the Rattlers to have a potent bite for quite a while.
Austin Westlake: Not too many schools can graduate a pair of D1 guys (PG Cody Doolin (San Francisco) & 6’9″ P Gus Leeper (Arkansas-Little Rock) and be immune to a fall off. Westlake will be young this year, but they’ve got a bright future. Their 2013 class is pretty good. PG Will Morse will be a 3 year starter, and definitely has the skill set and poise to be a Division One guard. 2013 classmates Patrick Floyd and Vince Deblasio also bring something to the table. The wildcard will be the health of 2012 P 6’6″ Drew Wikelius. When healthy, he brings a nice low post presence, great footwork down low & a knack for being in the right place at the right time on the glass.
Marble Falls: No doubt that Coach Bruce Etheridge will have them playing harder than their two blowout losses showed once the regular season begins. The Mustangs have a promising freshman in 2014 W 6’3″ Garrett Gray. He’s athletic and can get to the rim, playing well above it when he gets there. 2011 P 6’9″ Shane Minnick is definitely a sleepr D1 player. I fully expect his recruiting action to heat up and he’ll be a hot commodity in the spring. He runs the floor extremely well, can handle the rock some, & has that nasty streak that so many Austin/San Antonio guys lack.
Pflugerville Connally: My old buddy (and my son’s high school coach) Marshall Sanders can trot out an impressive array of athletes but there’s definitely some sorting out to do regarding chemistry issues. In his defense, he was looking at 15 guys during the Showcase so that affected their continuity. They’ll definitely need leadership from Seniors Dion Gaddy & Dadrian Gage. The best hope may be in the future though as there are two promising freshman in Cougarland. 2014 P 6’4″ 250lb Joseph Britton & G Dyshon Riddic could be contributors in their first year in high school.
San Marcos: As goes, 2012 G Colin Hart & 2013 W 6’5″ Allex Austin, so will go the Rattlers. A new coach means a fresh start for the boys in purple. Hart is a tough guard who handles the ball adequately, competes hard and can knock down shot after shot from beyond the arc. The energy, and athleticicm on the squad is definitely Austin. The slender high riser likes to finish with authority, can shoot the perimeter shot and also is an above average shot blocker. As his ballhandling improves, his stock will rise from mid major prospect to the “sky’s the limit”.
Austin St. Michael’s: The top private school program in the Austin area prides itself with their outstanding record agains tpublic schools over the past couple of years. This was not their day as they took two swift kicks in the pants from Austin High & Pflugerville. They showed no desire to defend in this preseason event. Having said that, they can score with the best of them. 2011 Jake Kocher is the best scorer in the area, bar none. He led the City of Austin with just a shade under 30 points last year. Don’t expect him to slow down this season. He’s put on about 20 lbs of muscle which is allowing him to finish at an even higher rate in traffic as well as behind the arc. I expect him to make his decision in the next week as to which D1 school he’ll accept his scholarship at. The Crusaders also have 2011 Adam Whitlock who can flat out fill it up from beyond the arc, and 2011 Austin Burch who can score in bunches as well.
Austin Waldorf: Waldorf is to be commended as the small private school didn’t shy away from the competition. They got after it hrd in both games, getting leadership from 2011 PG Santiago Paredes who is the straw who stirs their drink. I was also pleasantly surprised by rawboned 2012 P 6’4″ Zachary Rosanova who has packed on muscle during the offseason and has a high revving motor on the boards. Rosanova was also a surprise at the D1 Nation All American Prodigy Camp as he tested out as one of the quickest players in attendance.
D1 Ambassadors: A late tournament scratch caused us to put together some kids in the area who were members of the D1 Ambassadors whose high school teams opted not to enter as a group. The Hyde Park duo of 2011 All State G Brooks Pawsat & 2011 W 6’7″ Austin Jenkins could have the Panthers getting their swag on for private school bragging rights when they face St. Michael’s later on this fall. Pawsat can fill it up, and hen Jenkins has his focus he’s a D1 talent. 2013 G 6’3″ Rasmus Bach of Austin Anderson continues to impress as he just keeps getting better and better. He continues to move up the ranks of the 2013 Class. 2013 G Dylan Larson of New Braunfels will be part of a tough Unicorns squad this year. He can shoot it, handle it and is fearless in going to the rack.