This time of year is always exciting, because most kids have been off the summer circuit for about 2 months. There’s a sense of wonder about who might have grown some since you saw them last or a curiousity about how much a player has reached a plateu or continued to improve based on their work out ethic.
In terms of college prospects this year’s Class of 2012 in the Austin area is slimmer than any I can remember in the last decade. However, after watching games all day I quickly became excited about the younger kids in the Class of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The senior talent level was a far cry from last year’s event which pitted two Nike campers head to head when Bryan’s (J.Mychal Reese) and San Antonio Reagan’s Tre Demps (Northwestern) locked horns. In addition there were a slew of other D1 commits like Deon Mitchell (Northern Iowa), Malcolm Canada (Central Arkansas), Yolonzo Moore (Hartford), Jake Kocher (Texas aTm-Corpus Christi), Eric McClellan (Tulsa) and Max Yon (Air Force) who participated. To this point this year there were only two D1 commits from the Class of 2012 who played in the event.
2012 G 6’5″ Mareik Isom of Austin Bowie has verbaled to Arkansas-Little Rock
Isom showed his trademark perimeter shooting during the event which is what earned him his scholarship.
2012 W 6’7″ Taurean Waller Prince of San Antonio Warren has verbaled to Long Island. He was dominant. He ran the floor like a deer, shot the three, attacked the rim and dunked in transition.
There were three more guys in the Class of 2012 that are more likely than not to end up with a Division One opportunity.
2012 G Paul Baxter of Austin Bowie. Baxter is the most physical guard in recent memory in the Austin area. He compares favorably to recent Rice grad Bryan Beasley (Pflugerville). He’s strong with the ball and when he goes to the rim he sheds defenders, finishing with dunks as well as “And 1’s”. I expect him to have several options in the spring of 2012. Has a mid major game, but a high major body. Could move up the food chain with a great senior campaign.
2012 P Drew Wikelius of Austin Westlake has shed his baby fat, is healthy and has developed a bit of a mean streak. All bodes well for him. Currently in the last phase of amassing all requirements for West Point it’s a good bet that he will end up at Army.
2012 W 6’4″ Jereal Ellis of San Antonio Warren has a smooth and deadly perimeter stroke and pull up jumper. I’ve seen improvement in his involvement in other aspects of the game such as rebounding and defending. If he shows continued growth in those areas he could punch his ticket.
2012 P 6’10” Nate Anderson of Round Rock Stony Point. Big boy needs lots of work but you can’t question his size. Runs the floor well and plays physical. Louisiana-Monroe may jump on him.
2012 G R.J. Rowan of Austin Westlake was the weekend’s purest shooter. A 5’9″ guard is always a more difficult sell, but performances like his 43 point outburst against Elgin certainly can cause you to stop and think about him seriously.
Stay tuned for Recap #2 coming soon on the Class of 2013!