Aggies target 2010 guard

Houston Bellaire is loaded with talent, the only problem? It's young talent. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop takes a look at Bellaire's performance in last weekend's tournament in Houston and visits with 2010 guard Jamel Outler about this season and his recruiting process.

Houston Bellaire High School (TX) boasts some of the best young basketball talent in the country, with sophomores Tobi Oyedeji, Jamel Outler, and freshman Sheldon McClellan. That youth can result in some inconsistent play as was seen last weekend in the prestigious Houston vs. The Nation Tournament held in the north Houston area of Aldine.

The Cardinals went stone cold after holding a 22-14 second quarter lead, and eventually lost to Alief Hastings 65-51 on day one of the tournament. Bellaire bounced back to win the next game 59-46 behind the hot shooting of Outler.

"We're very young, mainly freshmen and sophomores and only a couple of seniors," Outler said after the tournament. "When everything is going well, we're cool. But when we get off, some of the guys get frustrated and press, and it's hard to get it back. We need to be better about playing through adversity and being more consistent every game."

At 6-foot-3, 171 pounds, Outler is considered one of the top Class of 2010 guards in the state, and is listed as a Top 75 national prospect by several recruiting services. He certainly lived up to that billing last weekend, proving to be one of the most impressive and smooth athletes on the court as a sophomore with excellent quickness and elevation on his jump shot.

"The strength of my game is that I can either stop and pop with a pull-up jumper, or I can penetrate and take it to the basket," Outler said. "I can also hit the 3-pointer from the outside, so the defense has to guard the whole court with me and that creates opportunities."

Outler showed off those abilities in the win over Aldine, scoring 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting and draining his only three-point attempt. His doctor says he should top out between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 when he stops growing, which should provide a significant height advantage for Outler who has the skills of a combo guard.

College coaches have definitely noticed the potential with Outler's current skill set and his projected height. He's already heard from numerous major programs such as Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Marquette, OU, Wichita State, and USC to name a few. The Aggies have offered, and he attended the Midnight Madness event at A&M in October along with his dad and highly-regarded teammate Tobi Oyedeji.

"I really liked it up there. The atmosphere was great," Outler said. "I like Coach Turgeon, Coach Pooh (Williamson) and the staff. Deandre (Jordan) and the players were great. I felt comfortable there."

Outler, Oyedeji, and his dad hope to come up for Saturday's game against LSU in front of a sold out Reed Arena.

"We don't have a game on Saturday so I think we'll come up for that game," Outler said. "It will depend on my dad's schedule, but we're planning to come up and Tobi will probably come too. I hope we can make it. That will be a good game."

Outler is in no hurry to end the recruiting process and will evaluate his options over the next year and likely choose a school during his junior year. While he likes the Aggies, he indicated that it's too soon to say he's leaning one way or another and has a lot of schools to study, especially Texas, Baylor, and Marquette.

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