The spring season of the Great American Shoot-Out will wind down this weekend in Carrollton. The six-court Integrated Athletic Development will be the official site for the GASO.
A total of 84 teams will take to the floor Saturday and Sunday to claim an NBA, an NCAA or a NIT division championship. Here are eight teams to watch, in alphabetical order.
Coaches: Gerald Booker, Delvin McQueen
Players to watch: Shirmane Thomas (Dallas Skyline), Jordan Mickey (Richardson Berkner), Marcus Foster (Wichita Falls Hirschi)
Notable: Don't mistake the team's youth for a lack of talent. There's plenty of talent on this all-freshman team to make a senior-laden squad suffer. Keep an eye on Kendal Harris, as well.
DERON WILLIAMS ELITE 2011
Coach: Randy Feemster
Players to watch: Austin Chatman (The Colony), Caleb Feemster (Addison Trinity Christian), Tyler James (Dallas Bishop Lynch)
Notable: This team has the tools to be a finalist on Sunday. It balances good guard play with solid defending big men, and it also has a good coaching staff. If 6-foot-10 Ivan Rangel is healthy, this team is easily a contender.
Coach: Booker Woodfox Jr.
Notable: Lewisville plays an up-tempo style that can frustrate any team. It's not the tallest team of the tournament, but its athleticism outshines whatever lack of height it has against an opponent. Bowie and Dorsey make up a solid backcourt.
Coach: Phil Forte Jr.
Players to watch: Marcus Smart (Flower Mound Marcus), Phil Forte (Flower Mound Marcus), A.J. Luckey (Flower Mound Marcus)
Notable: The majority of this team made it to the Class 5A semifinals of the UIL state tournament in March. Smart and Forte (actually, he is Forte III) are taking a break from playing with their regular AAU team, the Texas Assault.
SAN ANTONIO ROHAWKS 17
Coach: Ed Johnson
Players to watch: Jonathan Holmes (San Antonio Antonian), Darrious Hamilton (San Antonio Antonian), Marshall Harris (San Antonio Taft)
Notable: The RoHawks traditionally have had success in the Great American Shoot-Out. The Antonian tandem of Holmes and Hamilton are two of the tournament's best big men. Keep an eye out, however, on the guard play on this team.
TEXAS D-1 AMBASSADORS - HARDGE/CHIP
Coaches: Mike Hardge, Chip Ivany
Players to watch: Deon Mitchell (Pflugerville), Jalen Washington (Pflugerville Hendrickson), Dylan Cox (Cedar Park)
Notable: The Ambassadors have great guard play. Mitchell can lead the team to a trip to the tournament finals. Washington is a 6-foot-5 swingman who can score inside and out. Cox could be a reliable X-factor in the backcourt.
TOP ACHIEVER PISTONS
Coach: Lawrence Mann
Players to watch: RaShad Smith (Plano), Prince Ibeh (Garland Naaman Forest), Demarcus Holland (Garland Naaman Forest)
Notable: There's height and length on this ball club, which makes for a difficult task in creating offensive shots without a hand in the face. Smith and Ibeh give the Pistons inside scoring presences who love to block shots.
URBAN DFW ELITE 17
Coach: Jazzy Hartwell
Players to watch: Trey Davis (Dallas Woodrow Wilson), Antwan Space (DeSoto), Christopher Hyder (Dallas South Oak Cliff)
Notable: If this team isn't playing both sides of the ball with a certain level of intensity, it's not Urban DFW Elite basketball. Davis has had a monster AAU season thus far, and Space could be one of the sleeper Division I prizes before the summer ends.