San Antonio Stevens Uche Ofoegbu To SMU

This morning I received a call from Pastor John Ofoegbu telling me his son had made his decision on where to attend college.  His son Uche Ofoegbu’s choice, Southern Methodist University in Conference USA.  In the end, it came down to a combination of high end academics and an opportunity to play for a coach who really wanted him.  Matt Doherty was there at every turn of the recruiting period showing Ofoegbu that he was the guy they just had to have.  
2012 G Uche Ofoegbu shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors

 There was a history with SMU as Coach Doherty had Uche’s older brother Ike as a player when he first came to SMU.  Ike is a big Matt Doherty fan.  That’s 4 for 4 now for Mr. and Mrs. John Ofoegbu of San Antonio as their eldest son John, along with Uche’s older sister both played at Texas Tech.  They also have represented Nigeria in international play and are overseas pros.

At 6’5″ Uche Ofoegbu is a physical, fearless guard. He is a streaky shooter from the perimeter, but when he’s hot he’s HOT.  He is strong and fearless when going to the hole, and rebounds relentlessy.  If you don’t put a body on him he will throw it down on you.
Below: Ofoegbu is matched up against his old D1 Ambassadors team mate Rasheed Sulaimon who is committed to Duke.  Ofoegbu got the best of Sulaimon on this day as he led the D1 Ambassadors to the Las Vegas Live Championship over the Houston Hoops.

SMU also gets a player of impeccable character, has very good academics and old school values.  How many teenagers do you know who don’t even own a cell phone?  Uche has come by this honestly as Pastor Ofoegbu and his family work tirelessly in their native Nigeria bringing relief, building schools and supplies from Texas twice a year.-Congratulations Uche from Coach Paul Josephs and Coach Max Ivany and the D1 Anbassadors Family

Advertisements

San Antonio Stevens Uche Ofoegbu To SMU

This morning I received a call from Pastor John Ofoegbu telling me his son had made his decision on where to attend college.  His son Uche Ofoegbu’s choice, Southern Methodist University in Conference USA.  In the end, it came down to a combination of high end academics and an opportunity to play for a coach who really wanted him.  Matt Doherty was there at every turn of the recruiting period showing Ofoegbu that he was the guy they just had to have. 
2012 G Uche Ofoegbu shown below with the Texas D1 Ambassadors

 There was a history with SMU as Coach Doherty had Uche’s older brother Ike as a player when he first came to SMU.  Ike is a big Matt Doherty fan.  That’s 4 for 4 now for Mr. and Mrs. John Ofoegbu of San Antonio as their eldest son John, along with Uche’s older sister both played at Texas Tech.  They also have represented Nigeria in international play and are overseas pros.

At 6’5″ Uche Ofoegbu is a physical, fearless guard. He is a streaky shooter from the perimeter, but when he’s hot he’s HOT.  He is strong and fearless when going to the hole, and rebounds relentlessy.  If you don’t put a body on him he will throw it down on you.
Below: Ofoegbu is matched up against his old D1 Ambassadors team mate Rasheed Sulaimon who is committed to Duke.  Ofoegbu got the best of Sulaimon on this day as he led the D1 Ambassadors to the Las Vegas Live Championship over the Houston Hoops.

SMU also gets a player of impeccable character, has very good academics and old school values.  How many teenagers do you know who don’t even own a cell phone?  Uche has come by this honestly as Pastor Ofoegbu and his family work tirelessly in their native Nigeria bringing relief, building schools and supplies from Texas twice a year.-Congratulations Uche from Coach Paul Josephs and Coach Max Ivany and the D1 Anbassadors Family

Arizona Under Classmen Prospects

Yesterday was a whirlwind tour of six different Phoenix area high school campuses. I accompanied old friend David Grace of Oregon State University along with Area Code’s Chad Groth went to a series of athletic periods and open gyms to catch some of Arizona’s top underclassmen. It was also a great opportunity to shake hands and build relationships with high school coaches as well. It wasn’t quite as bad as driving across Houston but Phoenix is no picnic as I clocked 40 miles one way from Chandler Basha HS to my condo in Paradise Valley.

Oregon State’s David Grace and Max Ivany of D1 Nation observed some of Phoenix’ top talent


Joy Christian High School. Stop #1 on the northwest side of town in Glendale was to see intriguing 2013 P 6’11” Jeremiah April. April, originally from Chicago has settled in to the Valley of the Sun at a great environment at Joy Christian, and a terriffic opportunity for the long, lean prospect as he’s coached by former NAIA All American Bob Henige who came within a whisker of the League and went on to play overseas. As a 6’9″ big, Coach Henige is a great mentor for April. In addition to the obvious of being 6’11”, April has advanced footwork, soft hands and a nice face up touch out to 12 feet. I was impressed by the conscientious way he went about his workout and was very coachable. Comparisons were drawn to a young Channing Frye.
2013 P Jeremiah April (left) and Joy Christian Head Coach Bob Henige´╗┐

2013 W Paul Watson of Paradise Valley is high major.

Pinnacle High School. Ten years had passed since I’d seen Coach Charlie Wilde. My son, Chip who went on to play at South Alabama played the first semester of his freshman year at Pinnacle before we moved back home to Texas. In the meantime, Pinnacle has built a high quality program and had two underclassmen that have a chance to be really good. 2013 Combo 6’4″ Drew Bender is skilled, showed a superior ability to shoot the ball, solid handles and a high basketball I.Q. Looks like the kind of player who could flourish in a conference like the West Coast.


Coach Wilde’s player with perhaps the biggest upside is 2014 WG 6’4″ Dorian Pickens. Already showing enough promise to be offered early by Arizona State he’s long and skilled. Just a baby faced kid at the moment, with the sky as the limit.



Brophy Prep. It was back down to Central Phoenix and a visit to Brophy Prep. Prior to walking in to the gym I did not realize that former Pepperdine and Stanford Coach Tony Fuller was now coaching in the high school ranks. While at Stanford he signed one of our players from the D1 Ambassadors (Will Paul of Corpus Christi Calallen) and had heavily recruited another (Bryan Beasley who recently graduated from Rice). Coach Fuller still owes me a lunch from his visit to Austin, TX. ­čÖé


Brophy looked like the consummate team, where the sum is greater than the parts but it was hard to overlook 2013 P 6’9″ Tim Kempton. A wide body who is not afraid to bang Kempton is in the mold of the old school, back to the basket player who’ll be an effective D1 player. He’s the son of former Notre Dame and NBA player Tim Kempton Sr.


Mesa High School. I had dropped by Mesa High School two weeks ago to meet Coach Shane Burcar and had watched his team in an athletic period. They are young but talented. Everyone wants to win NOW, but their best days are ahead of them as he’s got a slew of young guys including 2014 6’10” Isaac Allen a post man who runs the floor well and already has a great basketball body. Although we all covet big men, guards win ball games at the high school level. Enter what is likely Arizona’s top freshman player, 2015 G 6’3″ Jaylen Jenkins. He’s got a 3.9 GPA to go along with his advanced game. The Oregon transplant is athletic, aggressive and not afraid to flick it from deep.

2015 G Jaylen Jenkins of Mesa High´╗┐



The man in the middle is 6’9″ Maurice Kirby. Originally verballed to Arizona State he made a decision to reopen his recruiting to play in a more wide open offense. I’d seen Kirby in the spring and he looks to have trimmed 15 pounds of baby fat and is running the floor at a much higher level. He’s got nice touch and is developing a bit of a mean streak between the lines too.

2013 F 6’8″ Torren Jones is a difference maker. He’s tough around the goal but handles the ball extremely well in transition. He’s going to slash to the goal and get more than his share of points and second effort boards and put backs.

2013 G 6’4″ Jaron Hopkins has tight handles, can get into the lane just about any time he wants and if you aren’t careful to close out will finish by dunking it every time. Oddly enough Penn State called me about him ealrier in the day. I hadn’t seen him until last night. Nittany Lions better get on this kid fast. The long line forms here!

Chandler Basha High School. The last stop in a long but fruitful day was at Basha High. I don’t know how it will all shake out for this coming year’s State Championship but they certainly pass the eye test. Coach Brad Pinter has three high major players in the Class of 2013 to anchor his squad and some other nice complimenting pieces as well.Paradise Valley High School. Stop #2 was during Coach Mark McGowan’s athletic period and a chance to see 2013 WG 6’6″ Paul Watson. Watson is an athletic slasher with nice rise who moves effortlessly up and down the court. He’s particularly effective in transition.

Top 100 G Alex Caruso To Texas A&M

As I tweeted yesterday at noon, 2012 G Alex Caruso of aTm Consolidated High School in College Station, TX has given his verbal commitment to the hometown Aggies.  That has to have a bunch of crazy Aggies yelling “WHOOP”. Alex and his family had visited Colorado last weekend and up until mid day yesterday was conflicted about which was the best option for him.  In the end, the draw of playing in his hometown was the deciding factor.  Caruso grew up as the Aggies ball boy, when Coach Billy Clyde Gillispie (now at Texas Tech) was the Head Coach so it was ingrained in him.  Coach Billy Kennedy and Assistant Kyle Keller (who came over from Kansas) did a great job of recruiting him.
Alex Caruso shown below at the Texas D1 Ambassadors training camp in Galveston, TX

What are the odds of two of the top guards in the country in the Class of 2012 growing up within 5 miles of each other in two separate, small Texas towns? Of being alumni of the same club team, the Texas D1 Ambassadors?  And of course playing in the same district?  Apparently those odds are better than average as he joins Bryan’s J.Mychal Reese in the Aggies 2012 backcourt sweepstakes.

Caruso throwing one down at the Pangos All American Camp in Los Angeles.  Photo compliments of ESPN.´╗┐

Caruso, at a shade under 6’6″ can play the one, two or three.  He rebounds exceptionally well, has great court vision and is the best off ball defender (ability to read passing lanes) than anyone I’ve had the pleasure to coach.  Perhaps the thing that shocks folks about the wafer thin Caruso is his rise.  With the exception of Shabazz Muhammad there is not a guard in the country that brings that kind of explosiveness.  He’s above the square and perhaps one of the most dominant prep dunks I’ve ever seen was when he went baseline against the Australian 19U team in Houston this past spring and threw it down on the head of a 6’9″ MAN who had no idea what hit him.

Caruso at the NBA Players Camp in Charlottesville, VA´╗┐

Unlike Reese who’s had national attention since he was 10 years old, Caruso is a late comer to the party.  We knew he was pretty good last year at 6’3″, but it was his overal maturity this past spring which shocked a lot of folks.  An outstanding spring at the Las Vegas Easter Classic and at the Denver Spring Showcase had his name on everyone’s lips.  He followed that up with an outstanding Pangos All American Camp in Los Angeles which garnered him an invitation to Dave Telep’s NBA Top 100 Players Camp in Charlottesville, VA. 

Alex is the son of Mr and Mrs Mike Caruso of College Station, TX.  Gotta give props to Papa Mike who was a player and later a coach in his day at Creighton under Coach Eddie Sutton. Mr. Caruso is now the Associate Athletic Director for the Aggies.-Congratulations Alex from the D1 Nation Family-Coach Max Ivany

Top 100 G Alex Caruso To Texas A&M

As I tweeted yesterday at noon, 2012 G Alex Caruso of aTm Consolidated High School in College Station, TX has given his verbal commitment to the hometown Aggies.  That has to have a bunch of crazy Aggies yelling “WHOOP”. Alex and his family had visited Colorado last weekend and up until mid day yesterday was conflicted about which was the best option for him.  In the end, the draw of playing in his hometown was the deciding factor.  Caruso grew up as the Aggies ball boy, when Coach Billy Clyde Gillispie (now at Texas Tech) was the Head Coach so it was ingrained in him.  Coach Billy Kennedy and Assistant Kyle Keller (who came over from Kansas) did a great job of recruiting him.
Alex Caruso shown below at the Texas D1 Ambassadors training camp in Galveston, TX

What are the odds of two of the top guards in the country in the Class of 2012 growing up within 5 miles of each other in two separate, small Texas towns? Of being alumni of the same club team, the Texas D1 Ambassadors?  And of course playing in the same district?  Apparently those odds are better than average as he joins Bryan’s J.Mychal Reese in the Aggies 2012 backcourt sweepstakes.

Caruso throwing one down at the Pangos All American Camp in Los Angeles.  Photo compliments of ESPN.´╗┐

Caruso, at a shade under 6’6″ can play the one, two or three.  He rebounds exceptionally well, has great court vision and is the best off ball defender (ability to read passing lanes) than anyone I’ve had the pleasure to coach.  Perhaps the thing that shocks folks about the wafer thin Caruso is his rise.  With the exception of Shabazz Muhammad there is not a guard in the country that brings that kind of explosiveness.  He’s above the square and perhaps one of the most dominant prep dunks I’ve ever seen was when he went baseline against the Australian 19U team in Houston this past spring and threw it down on the head of a 6’9″ MAN who had no idea what hit him.

Caruso at the NBA Players Camp in Charlottesville, VA´╗┐

Unlike Reese who’s had national attention since he was 10 years old, Caruso is a late comer to the party.  We knew he was pretty good last year at 6’3″, but it was his overal maturity this past spring which shocked a lot of folks.  An outstanding spring at the Las Vegas Easter Classic and at the Denver Spring Showcase had his name on everyone’s lips.  He followed that up with an outstanding Pangos All American Camp in Los Angeles which garnered him an invitation to Dave Telep’s NBA Top 100 Players Camp in Charlottesville, VA. 

Alex is the son of Mr and Mrs Mike Caruso of College Station, TX.  Gotta give props to Papa Mike who was a player and later a coach in his day at Creighton under Coach Eddie Sutton. Mr. Caruso is now the Associate Athletic Director for the Aggies.-Congratulations Alex from the D1 Nation Family-Coach Max Ivany

Pflugerville’s Next Great PG: T.J. Williams

The tradition of great point guard play runs deep with the Texas D1 Ambassadors program. Nowhere is it more entrenched than in Pflugerville High School’s succession of outstanding floor generals.  The PG legacy at Pflugerville, an Austin suburb began with Bryan Beasley (Rice), Jonathan Garza (Lamar) and recently departed Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa).
The heir apparent is 2013 PG T. J. Williams.  I first met T.J. and his father, Tim when he was in the 4th grade and can remember this little kid who just had a sixth sense for how to play the game.  He not only understood the next move two passes before anyone else saw it coming (very similar to an accomplished chess player) but even more importantly even though he was the best player on the court his first thought was to make a pass to involve other players for easy baskets.  In this day of me first basketball, Williams was a mature thinking basketball player at only 10 years old.

For years, Williams was the undersized thinking man’s player…that is until this past spring when he began to sprout.  He’s now a legit 6’1″ in his bare feet.  Of course we’ll list him at 6’2″.  The doctors say his growth plates are still wide open. We initially had him playing 17U as a freshman and he took his lumps but this past spring and summer was a different story.  Paired in the backcourt with cat quick 2012 PG Michael Hardge of Georgetown allowed Williams to alternate time playing off the ball and taking on combo duties.  His passing ability and ballhandling were never in doubt, so this summer he showcased the additional ability to shoot the three ball, mid range and a new found strength in finishing around the goal.

This season Pflugerville will be led by longtime Assistant David Raigosa as legendary Coach Mike Murphy steps down to do a little bit of broadcasting and to work on his potent golf game but don’t expect any fall off from the Panthers.  They’ve got too many talented young players and a healthy tradition of being winners.. Expect T.J. Williams to lead the way and then head off into the sunset to play D1 basketball like his fellow Pflugerville and D1 Ambassadors alumni before him.

The D1 schools are already calling and visiting his high school workouts.  At the moment he is being courted by Texas State, San Francisco, Denver, Evansville, Albany, and Missouri State.  LSU has even made contact.  If Williams continues to grow you can expect more of the power conference schools to come calling. T.J. is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tim Williams of Pflugerville.

T.J. Williams: Pflugerville (TX) Next Great PG

The tradition of great point guard play runs deep with the Texas D1 Ambassadors program. Nowhere is it more entrenched than in Pflugerville High School’s succession of outstanding floor generals.  The PG legacy at Pflugerville, an Austin suburb began with Bryan Beasley (Rice), Jonathan Garza (Lamar) and recently departed Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa).
The heir apparent is 2013 PG T. J. Williams.  I first met T.J. and his father, Tim when he was in the 4th grade and can remember this little kid who just had a sixth sense for how to play the game.  He not only understood the next move two passes before anyone else saw it coming (very similar to an accomplished chess player) but even more importantly even though he was the best player on the court his first thought was to make a pass to involve other players for easy baskets.  In this day of me first basketball, Williams was a mature thinking basketball player at only 10 years old.

For years, Williams was the undersized thinking man’s player…that is until this past spring when he began to sprout.  He’s now a legit 6’1″ in his bare feet.  Of course we’ll list him at 6’2″.  The doctors say his growth plates are still wide open. We initially had him playing 17U as a freshman and he took his lumps but this past spring and summer was a different story.  Paired in the backcourt with cat quick 2012 PG Michael Hardge of Georgetown allowed Williams to alternate time playing off the ball and taking on combo duties.  His passing ability and ballhandling were never in doubt, so this summer he showcased the additional ability to shoot the three ball, mid range and a new found strength in finishing around the goal.

This season Pflugerville will be led by longtime Assistant David Raigosa as legendary Coach Mike Murphy steps down to do a little bit of broadcasting and to work on his potent golf game but don’t expect any fall off from the Panthers.  They’ve got too many talented young players and a healthy tradition of being winners.. Expect T.J. Williams to lead the way and then head off into the sunset to play D1 basketball like his fellow Pflugerville and D1 Ambassadors alumni before him.

The D1 schools are already calling and visiting his high school workouts.  At the moment he is being courted by Texas State, San Francisco, Denver, Evansville, Albany, and Missouri State.  LSU has even made contact.  If Williams continues to grow you can expect more of the power conference schools to come calling. T.J. is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Tim Williams of Pflugerville.

Colorado’s Roberson Projected High In NBA Mock Draft

This afternoon I received a call from Papa John Roberson of San Antonio, TX preceded by a text with a link to the 2013 NBA Mock Draft.  He asked my thoughts after seeing that his son, Andre was the #4 overall pick in that publication.  I replied the following:
1. Get an insurance policy
2. Looks like the Roberson Clan would be living large
3. Make sure his boy sponsors a D1 Ambassadors team out of his native San Antonio!..lol
“Who’d a thunk it?” Roberson was a standout player at Converse Wagner High School in the suburbs of San Antonio who along with Tulsa’s Jordan Clarkson twice led his team to the Texas 5A Final Four.  Papa John played at New Mexico State and then followed it up with a 13 year pro career. When Roberson left high school he was razor thin but had a reputation of rebounding fiercely against much bigger players.  I sat with the UCLA coaches during the 2010 Texas High School Playoffs and all but begged them to take a flier on young Andre.  They were intrigued, but resisted as they didn’t think he could help them immediately.
Colorado Buffaloes Soph Forward 6’7″ Andre Roberson
(Photo compliments of Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Andre was scheduled to visit Penn State in late April of 2010 when he travelled to Denver for a spring tournament (Best Buy Spring Showcase) when he joined his Texas D1 Ambassadors team mates for an unofficial visit to Boulder.  He immediately fell in love with the campus.´╗┐
Time moves on.  Roberson (far right) enjoyed his unofficial to Colorado in April of 2010.  That was a pretty good crew. From left to right: Coach Max Ivany, Jake Kocher (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Alex Caruso (who just returned from his official visit to Colorado yesterday), Jalen Washington (Kilgore JC), Jaleel Williams (San Jose State), Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa), Big Dave Hahn, Reinier Strobos (the brains of the operation who is now a freshman at M.I.T.). Missing from picture is Dylan Elias (Northern Colorado)
Just in case Andre starts getting a big head, his older sisters will rein him in.  Ashlee played basketball for Texas Tech and then professionally last year in Romania leading her team to the Romanian Cup and the Central European Championship and sister Amber is s 4 year starter for the Texas Longhorns nationally ranked volleyball team.  As the Buffs 6th man last season as a true freshman, Roberson averaged 22 minutes, 6.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Colorado’s Roberson High In NBA Mock Draft

This afternoon I received a call from Papa John Roberson of San Antonio, TX preceded by a text with a link to the 2013 NBA Mock Draft.  He asked my thoughts after seeing that his son, Andre was the #4 overall pick in that publication.  I replied the following:
1. Get an insurance policy
2. Looks like the Roberson Clan would be living large
3. Make sure his boy sponsors a D1 Ambassadors team out of his native San Antonio!..lol
“Who’d a thunk it?” Roberson was a standout player at Converse Wagner High School in the suburbs of San Antonio who along with Tulsa’s Jordan Clarkson twice led his team to the Texas 5A Final Four.  Papa John played at New Mexico State and then followed it up with a 13 year pro career. When Roberson left high school he was razor thin but had a reputation of rebounding fiercely against much bigger players.  I sat with the UCLA coaches during the 2010 Texas High School Playoffs and all but begged them to take a flier on young Andre.  They were intrigued, but resisted as they didn’t think he could help them immediately.
Colorado Buffaloes Soph Forward 6’7″ Andre Roberson
(Photo compliments of Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Andre was scheduled to visit Penn State in late April of 2010 when he travelled to Denver for a spring tournament (Best Buy Spring Showcase) when he joined his Texas D1 Ambassadors team mates for an unofficial visit to Boulder.  He immediately fell in love with the campus.´╗┐
Time moves on.  Roberson (far right) enjoyed his unofficial to Colorado in April of 2010.  That was a pretty good crew. From left to right: Coach Max Ivany, Jake Kocher (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Alex Caruso (who just returned from his official visit to Colorado yesterday), Jalen Washington (Kilgore JC), Jaleel Williams (San Jose State), Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa), Big Dave Hahn, Reinier Strobos (the brains of the operation who is now a freshman at M.I.T.). Missing from picture is Dylan Elias (Northern Colorado)
Just in case Andre starts getting a big head, his older sisters will rein him in.  Ashlee played basketball for Texas Tech and then professionally last year in Romania leading her team to the Romanian Cup and the Central European Championship and sister Amber is s 4 year starter for the Texas Longhorns nationally ranked volleyball team.  As the Buffs 6th man last season as a true freshman, Roberson averaged 22 minutes, 6.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

D1 Nation Recruiting Visits

Three members of the D1 Nation head off on recruiting visits.  2012 G 6’2″ Matt Gramling will finish quarterbacking San Antonio MacArthur tonight and then he’ll hop a flight to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina birght and early Saturday morning to the Citadel.  Gramling has offers from Citadel, Army, Navy, Air Force, Monmouth, Lafayette, Bradley, New Hampshire and UT-Arlington where his godfather, Scott Cross is Head Coach.  Frankly, any of these schools will be fortunate to land Gramling who is tough as nails and a winner.  He went head to head against the country’s top guards all spring and summer leading the Texas D1 Ambassadors -San Antonio to the 17U Las Vegas Live Platinum Championship.

2012 G Matt Gramling of San Antonio MacArthur
Stretch 3/4 man Connor Lammert continues his official visits.  After visiting Vanderbilt and Texas A&M last week he made the 90 minute drive up Interstate 35 from San Antonio to Austin where he’ll enjoy an official visit with the Texas Longhorns, tour the facilities, watch the football game and listen to Coach Rick Barnes’ plans for him.  Lammert has already taken two unofficials to The 40 Acres. Lammert will take a week off for homecoming and then take his final official visit to Texas Tech on September 24th.
2012 F 6’9″ Connor Lammert of San Antonio Churchill
After literally walking across the street from his College Station home for his official visit at Texas A&M last week 2012 G 6’6″ Alex Caruso a versatile, high flying guard who can play either the one, two or three will visit somewhat familiar territory as he heads to Denver and then up to Boulder, Colorado to the University of Colorado.  After being hosted by Tecas D1 Ambassadors alum Daniel Alexander last week in Aggieland he’ll be hosted by another D1 Nation alum as Colorado soph Andre Roberson (Converse Wagner) shows Caruso the ropes. Caruso made an unofficial to Colorado last year while playing an April tournament in Denver with the D1 Ambassadors.
2012 G Alex Caruso of College Station Consolidated´╗┐ shown below at the D1 Ambassadors training camp in Galveston, TX