Duncanville - The Great American Shoot-Out and the cities of Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill and Arlington played host to over 360 teams that participated in the three-day event. Teams from 10 different states made up this year's crop, and many left with hardware to prove that they can compete at a high level at the GASO.
The Great American Shoot-Out, a NCAA OPEN PERIOD EVENT, showcased some of the state's top players and allowed for them to have the stage in front of college programs from across the country.
SAMUEL SHOWS HIGH MAJOR ABILITY
All 4 Sports Dream Team took a loss in double overtime to NHLA 17, but there was no doubt who the best athlete and player on the court was during the game, and you can argue that 6-foot-10 Kevin Samuel was the best player all weekend at the Great American Shoot-Out. RCHA (home school) prospect Samuel was blocking shots and rebounding everything in arms reach, and he can cover a lot of room with his length.
That game set the tone for Samuels as he grabbed the attention of several coaches who were in attendance, including Fresno State's head coach Rodney Terry. Samuel received an offer from coach Terry and the Bulldogs' program, along with Boise State, DePaul and Prairie View.
Samuel already holds offers from Houston, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, UCLA, among others. Houston and Baylor were on hand for the GASO's Championship Sunday.
Currently, Samuel is the No.23 ranked player in the state from the class of 2017, but that will change. There isn't another "big man" in the class with elite athleticism and rim protecting ability, that Samuels possesses.
On the offensive side of the ball, Samuels will take up space on the block and play with his back to the basket. Samuel displayed a nice touch around the rim finishing with either hand and throwing it down over the top of defenders. Still a little raw, as Samuel showed basic moves to get the job done.
C/O 2017, HOLLAND/GARY EACH PICK UP AN OFFER
All weekend, Tim Holland hovered around the 20 point mark of each game he played. Once again the 6-foot-8 power forward/center suited up for the Texas Hardwood Prospects (THP 17), which was founded by the late Tim Farley.
The big change in Holland is his frame that he has transformed since his freshman year of high school.
Holland dominated the paint, rebounding and blocking shots and being physical with his opponents. Holland plays with instincts on the offensive end, scoring in the paint and playing above the rim. There were a few occasions when Holland would find himself out on the perimeter and would hit the 12-15 footer. He even hit a few three-pointers. The three-point shot looked good coming out of his hands, but that seemed more as a "bonus" and not fully part of his game as of now, but there could be some potential. Keep in mind that Holland's biggest strength to his game is his inside presence and the Cedar Ridge High School Standout realizes it.
Prarie View A&M head coach Byron Smith extended an offer as did UT-Arlington over the weekend to Holland which goes along with the Indiana State offer that Holland received months ago. Teams are showing interest after the weekend such as San Diego, Sam Houston, and others, but more offers should be brewing.
Also with THP 17s is Austin High's point guard Jeff Gary. The No.60th ranked player in the state proved his ranking and may have put himself in a position to move up a few spots.
Gary is a long 6-foot-3 ball handler that understands the game and thinks through every possession quickly. He is the type of PG that sees the play developing and gets the ball to his teammates in the right spots. The one area that Gary has improved is his ability to fight off pressure. At the GASO, Gary was able to handle pressure by having enough burst to keep his opponent on his hip and create separation. His confidence as a leader shows in his game, and he utilizes his jump shot and floaters to score, along with a nice three-point shot. Gary is a nice passer and setup man and doesn't have to be the primary scorer.
During the last day of the Great American Shoot-Out, Gary picked up an offer from the Patriot League member school, Lafayette.
INSIDE-OUT GAME FOR SEAWOLVES PROVES TO BE DEADLY
The pair play for the Dallas-based Seawolves, whose program has produced many next level prospects. Brooks is a 5-foot-10 guard who rattles the ball in with range. In a four-game span, the Garland Lakeview Centennial prospect made 21 shots from behind the three-point line, showing off his quick trigger. In those four games, Brooks produced point totals of 23, 28, 20, and 28.
Brooks is a guard who plays fast and moves around looking for space for his jumper, but he can also get to the basket.
Jones of Mesquite Poteet, is a 6-foot-8 athlete who covers a lot of ground with his length as he runs the court. Jones can score inside the paint and uses his body to throw around on defenders as he lays the ball in. When the ball is pushed in transition, Jones gives his teammates an easy target as he streaks to the basket. He will play above the rim and does a great job of rebounding and altering/blocking shots.
SANNI SCORES AT A HIGH RATE
Class of 2018 Ajare Sanni can get shots off quicker than any other player in a short span of time. Sanni attends Clear Lake High School and plays for his father, Jarvis of Sanni Hoops.
Ajare moves the ball quickly up court and makes it very obvious that he is looking to score. The 6-foot-1 guard weaves in and out of the defense looking for spots to pull up from. He has a soft touch and it has been noted before by the TexasHoops.com staff, that Ajare is a high volume scorer. Ajare gets into the lane and uses floaters and pull-up jumpers, and he will nail the three-pointer. Because he has the ball in his hands, he gets to the foul line where he can rack up points.
Coming out of the gate of his first pool game, Ajare went for 39 points against Texas Select Slam in a 93-74 victory and followed that performance with a 35 point showing in a 72-60 win over Louisiana Roundballers.
D1 PREMIER PROGRAMS SHINE AT GASO
The D1 Premier Program is full of talent from top to bottom on multiple teams.
D1 Premier 210 - Ray's decision to reclassify has been a good fit
· Over a year ago, when Everett Ray was part of the class of 2016, TexasHoops had him ranked as high as 25th in the state. After seeing the potential in the 6-foot-6 forward, it would seem that more high-level college programs would have been on board with Ray and his 30+ ACT score. Ray made the decision to reclassify at the end of last year (summer of 2015) and work more on his game as he had taken care of his academics. Now, currently Ray is part of the class of 2017 and played for CHANT (home school) and his decision is paying off. Most recently the 6-foot-8 forward received an offer from TCU and after the GASO received an offer from Boise State and Utah State, both of the Mountain West Conference.
Ray has added strength and bulk to his frame and his perimeter scoring has picked up. He is the son of former NBA player Clifford Ray, and Clifford attended Oklahoma in college.
Ray works inside and out and battles for rebounds and scores in the paint and will stretch his game out to the three-point line.
D1 Premier Hall
· The Hall squad won one of the NBA Championships over the weekend, and it was Gabe Tanella who was a big part of the team's success. Tanella, a 6-foot-4 forward/guard represents HSSA (home school), and during the D1 Premier Hall championship run, he utilized his shooting ability inside the arc and rebounded the ball, showing an aggressive style of play.
D1 Premier 16s
Where do you start when sorting through all the talent on the D1 Premier 16s? Could be easy to start with the glue-guy of the bunch in Dallas Jesuit's Marcus Hill (c/o 2018). Hill is a guard that knocks down perimeter shots and is a skilled overall player. He defends, rebounds and is a good scorer.
Zac Watson (c/o 2018) played inside and out and showed his development as a dependable face up perimeter threat. From Frisco Liberty, Watson has a good feel away from the rim.
Jalen Wilson (c/o 2019) of Denton Guyer is a talented scorer, whether he heads to the paint off penetration or hits his jumpers. Wilson will also get hot and drop in his shots from the arc.
Tyrese Maxey (c/o 2019) of South Garland is coming off a broken ankle and he says that he is feeling better but not 100%, but the freshman was still able to get the ball to the paint and finish through contact and hit open shots. Maxey is regarded as one of the top players in his classification by TexasHoops.com staff.
De'Vion Harmon (c/o 2019) is a teammate of Wilson at Denton Guyer. At this moment, Harmon is among the elite by appearance alone. When it comes to athleticism, strength, and power in the class of 2019, Harmon has all the tools. He is a player that can create and get his shot and step on the accelerator to get by defenders.
Kaden Archie (c/o 2018) of Midlothian High School is a smooth wing that will rise up and nail shots over the defense. Archie has range on his shot and slashes to the bucket.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
· Sophomore shooting guard Jock Huges (VIDEO) of Houston Yates is a player that ran the floor and looked to get his feet set from behind the arc, and he made a splash in at the GASO when he dropped six three-pointers in a 76-50 win during bracket play while playing for All 4 Sports Dream Team.
· Sophomore shooting guard Salvador Martinez of Latino Select has a great looking stroke from behind the arc and has a lean basketball build. He moves along the perimeter setting his feet to catch and shoot. He is also skilled and will handle the ball. Martinez attends El Paso Harmony Science.
TEXASHOOPS JUKES AND JUMPERS
· Current No.124 ranked player in the class of 2017 is Jauron Freeman of GCBC Bullet out of Houston. The La Marque High School product plays with bounce and explodes by his defenders. Once he is airborne, Freeman uses body control to finish in traffic. His current rank will change and he will have a spot in the TexasHoops.com Top 100 when new rankings are released.
· Another player that will be making the jump into the TexasHoops.com Top 100 will be Luke Schultz who travels with the San Antonio-based SABO Gold. The junior "True" big-man has caught the attention of a few coaches and most importantly the back to the basket post received an offer from Fresno State. TexasHoops staff called Schultz a sleeper during the 2017 Ranking Preview in March, and he is proving our prediction to be correct. As it stands, Schultz is the No.111 ranked player and because of his size, ability to run the floor as a big man, block shots and rebound. Schultz is not a finished product, and has some polishing up to do offensively, but at a solid 6-foot-10, Schultz has upside.