RONALD SEARLES RECAP
February 8, 2011By Jahlil Banks of Texas AAU Basketball
Ronald Searles Recap
9U / 3rd Grade Recap
TEXASAAU.COM Congratulates CCYA of Austin. They played solid basketball throughout the tournament. They have a very scrappy team that plays hard on both ends of the floor. Some of the big boys should take note on how this squad played suffocating defense all weekend. We should have known. Any 9u team willing to travel this early in the season must be pretty good right? Rytes Warriors (Lawrence) is team to look out for. They are my early season favorites for the team most likely to knock off the Defenders Select 9u bunch. Pencil them in as number two, for now. Good to see coach Lawrence with Rytes, he was with Houston It's On last season. The Hawks were my favorites but have to knock off some football rust. They will be back I'm sure.
10U / 4th Grade
Business as usual for the TX BU All Stars. They blew out all contenders in impressive fashion marching along to the championship by besting the Hawks. The biggest surprise was they achieved this without their best player Jalen Wilson. We hear he has joined the Dallas Mustangs. Major lost for BU. It might not hurt them locally but bet the National teams will breathe easier after hearing this. He was their leading rebounder and toughest matchup. They still managed to go undefeated against some of Houston's best. We will have a change in the updated gulf coast rankings as some teams performed poorly and others showed promising signs. Looks like Morgan Mitchell (TX BU) will continue to be a major problem on this level. He scored in the post, on the wing, in transition and at the line. Very good rebounder as well. MVP type of performance. I would have liked to see them challenged without Wilson but their pressure defense was to much. Rytes struggled against it mightily in pool play and GCBC never figured it out on the way to the finals. I do like the shooter on the wing GCBC added. Scoring is what the good Dr. ordered for GCBC. They need one more ball handler and coach Simmons will be in business.
The Hawks looked to be the best defensive team. They played their standard man to man and applied full court pressure when needed. They handled Rytes Warriors Black with little problems. That was a bit surprising. Rytes added size but still need another guard to compliment DJ.
D Gibs Hoops struggled big time which no one saw coming. They were beat in pool play by a combined forty points. Ouch. Looks like they were ranked to high. TX BU well deserving of their press and looks to be the top team in the state even without the big guy (Wilson).
11U / 5th Grade
There were many story lines for this group. Coaches calling timeouts when there were none, multiple lead changes, upsets and near upsets. The class of 2018 is loaded with talent. Each team had a standout performer. More on that later. First, the Rytes Warriors (Holt) machine was "almost" derailed. TX BU All-Stars gave "the believers" a huge scare in the finals. Up fourteen at the half and double digits for most of the game. But, this Rytes team is well seasoned. Each starter made HUGE plays to get them back in it and eventually take the lead for good in the final minutes of the game. Congratulations to Coach Holt and the number two team in the USA for a great showing.
Texas Celtics played well enough to play in the finals until they got blew out by Rytes in the semi's. Grant looks like Kirk Hinrich and Spencer appears to have big time skills. GCBC didn't play any stiff competition until bracket play which probably hurt them. PJ played great but TX BU dialed up the pressure and eventually overcame them. Kaden was to much and easily the best player on the court.
The Rytes (OC) played really good basketball throughout. Props to them for an impressive showing and a serious contender for a top five gulf coast ranking. Aldine Hawks were good as well. Terrific guard play and great defense propelled them to bracket play and a two seed in their pool. CY Fair Heat and Houston Flyers were the biggest disappointments. They were not done any favors being in a tough pool together either. Martin Brothers have a great backcourt led by Sam Martin. They can really shoot the ball. Off screens, off penetration and off the dribble. They possess really good fundamentals. Team Snead has good guard play and great team speed. The team played well in spurts but defensively they need work. D Gibs played hard but need more fire power. Coach Gibson did a fantastic job but will need to revamp this squad if they are going to compete with the best that Houston has to offer. Pearland Bulldogs was a pleasant surprise. Fall ball pays off. They looked like they were in mid season form and did a great job of competing. Houston Elite has nice size (Mustapha is the best of the bunch) and good guards. Experience will be a major factor for them. Will they gain enough court time before the travel season comes? Their fun to watch and Shavir made the transition to 5th grade look natural. No doubt the biggest surprise was Rytes OC.
12U / 6th Grade
LA Prime Time. They came, they saw, they conquered. They knocked off the Texas Celtics in a high profile matchup in the finals and made it look easy. In fact, their toughest game was against Houston Elite who was without their best player (Jared Vanderbilt, "L.O."). Elite has added shooting, and length to a squad that has been tops in Houston for a couple of years now. AJ Bullard fits in well as a spot up shooter. He stretches the floor better than anyone they have ever had with this group. A really nice pick up. Big Marvin ran the court well and played tough against Prime Time. Prime Time had a balanced attack led by number 21 (Keytron). The top performer of the tournament who scored most of his points in the paint. Prime Time looks ready for another deep run at Nationals. GCBC have several players from other teams last year so chemistry was an issue. In time they will be tough to beat. Rytes Warriors needs a ball handler to get the ball to the big guys they have down low. Houston Cowboys Select played well but inconsistent. When their guards struggle so does the team. Coach Nelson 's crew always competes and plays hard. I was a little surprised the Texas Celtics with Chris Giles didn't finish the job.
13U / 7th Grade
I'm not going to lie. I thought the Dedenders would get beat missing their starting backcourt. Boy was I wrong. They are a well oiled machine. They took on all comers and came through without incident (no pun intended). Undefeated and another championship. The question is are they the top team in the nation with the full squad available? Foxx can do everything on the court and can defend every position effectively. He plays with a high motor. Josh played great and you wonder what this group lacks if all players are playing at full strength. The Hoop Dawgs are the biggest threat to their throne locally. Rytes Black, Franchize Force, Team Witness and GCBC are all worthy contenders but have a good distance between them and the Defenders. This was obvious as the Defenders blew out the Hoop Dawgs in the finals. Makes you wonder what other players were missing. We may need to hold off judgement on the locals until the middle school season is done.
TEXASAAU.COM will be releasing the updated rankings for the younger levels New Year Day.