Texans on Display in Metroplex

Frisco, Tx. – Last weekend in Frisco at the newly opened palace named Fieldhouse USA, the 2009 Next Level Ballers National Tournament took center stage with many of the top Texas prospects in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 classes taking part.

Sherman High and Team Texas Elite wing Cameron Clark continued his solid play knocking down catch and shoot three-pointers from the wing and corner as well as a couple of tough mid-range jumpers in the 12-14-foot range.

Throw in some quick burst finishes with dunks off of opponent turnovers and Clark was an attention grabber over the weekend. Clark also can score off of one or two hard dribbles elevating for a mid-range jumper.

Traffic rebounding and on the ball defense are areas for improvement.

Texas A&M commit Jamaal Branch continued to show his special court vision, great feet and ability to create separation off the dribble on Saturday morning before a bruised hip slowed him down. The 6-2 point guard has a blinding quick spin move and the ability to make very quick decisions with the ball under duress.

His jump shot release is still a little low, but slowly improving. Blessed with long arms, a wiry strong frame, elite level quickness and lateral movement and Branch has the makings of a difference maker off the bounce at the next level.

Zach Peters showed more of a well rounded game than he gets the chance to show at Plano Prestonwood Christian. The 6-7.5, 215-pound right hander showed his ability to put the ball on the floor, run the floor and finish in transition or create contact earning numerous trips to the foul line. The freshman scored in the paint, in the 8-10-foot range and one mid-range jumper. He does a very good job of pinning his man and possesses very good feet.

Peters, primarily a location rebounder, did a better job of chasing rebounds in a Saturday morning game. Finishing around the rim will be easier for him as he continues to work on getting full arm extension with both the right and left hand against taller, more athletic opponents.

As Peters shows the ability to shoot the ball from 17-feet and out, he will have the look of a pick and pop/face-up four man with underrated foot quickness.

L.J. Rose of Houston Hoops and Second Baptist has a smooth stroke from distance and plays with an ideal pace. The 6-3 guard never has the look of a frantic player when pressured and is a sound decision maker. More of a catch and shoot player at this point without blow by quickness, Rose beats his man off the bounce with subtle moves without wasting motion.

Rose is a long armed defender with the ability to create deflections, but isn't going to pressure the ball and play the role of menace with quickness and physical play.

Rose's trademarks are as an impressive catch and shoot player with range, smart decision maker and an even keeled steady player.

J-Mychal Reese is the backcourt mate of Rose on the Houston Hoops forming a gifted freshman duo. At 6-0 tall, left-handed with good quickness and feel for scoring the ball inside of 15-feet, Reese is a scoring guard that also has the ability to create for teammates. Not going to be a blinding quick, drive and kick point guard, but a player that can use an impressive offensive skill set to draw help defense with the ability to make the correct pass.

His release is a little low, but he makes shots consistently out to 16-17 feet off the bounce or catch. As he improves his consistency from three-point range, the Bryan High freshman will be a very tough guard to defend. Reese is fluid off of one or two hard dribbles going right getting into a quick fire jumper.

Isaiah Austin has the highest ceiling of any 2012 prospect in the state. Austin is closing in on 6-11 and already possesses an impressive skill set. The California native has the ability to face the basket out to 17 feet and is a shot blocking/changing presence on the defensive end with the ability to run the floor.

Playing on the Team Texas 16U may not be the best competition for Austin, but he gains confidence with each game after a varsity high school season at Mansfield Legacy of being pushed around by older opponents.

Austin simply needs time to get stronger and develop a go to move with his back to the basket and he will be as highly coveted as any player in the country.

Winston Sheppard is yet another freshman in Texas with a high upside. At 6-6.5 with a combination of quick feet and the ability change ends quickly, Sheppard is an intriguing prospect on the wing with a quickly improving jump shot.

Last weekend the athletic wing struggled finishing around the rim missing several easy scoring chances. As he learns to control his fast moving body better and work on extension, he will complete the plays more consistently.

Like most young players, Sheppard has to get more physical when a rebound is in the air and show the ability to rebound in traffic.

Cameron Clark mentioned Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Baylor, USC, UCLA, Memphis and Kentucky.

J-Mychal Reese listed Texas, Memphis, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas A&M Saturday morning.

Chatter on Zach Peters still has the Texas Longhorns out in front, but continued interest from North Carolina.

Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott was on hand all day Saturday as his son was playing in the tournament.


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