Thursday, August 13, 2009

Top 25 Asterisks and Additions

I am adding some side notes to my Top 25 list:

1. Top 25 snubs- These players probably should be somewhere in the Top 25:

Kaela Lipo ( Incarnate Word)- 2010 6'1 small forward. Lipo can hit the 17 footer with ease. While not the most athletic, she is a skilled scorer and possesses a wide array of post moves. Definitely a Division 1 talent and is probably a Top 10 player in the city when she wants to be. I have personally witnessed her have a 20/20 game last summer in a Club game against a roster full of Division 1 caliber kids. Lipo has reportedly chosen to leave many schools standing at the alter and not play beyond high school. The academically driven Lipo is said to be focusing on her studies.

Chatavia Boone-Fudge ( Southwest)- At 6'0 and strong as a bull, Boone-Fudge can be placed among the city's best. The superb rebounder has yet to scratch the surface of how good she can really be.

Chelsea Solis (Wagner)- the scoring guard from Wagner has a lot of spice in her game. While not an outstanding shooter, she can hit shots. She also has a creative way of putting the ball in the basket.

2. Breakout Players: These players will have big years in HS

Elena Gumbs ( Steele)- The rich just got richer. Steele will go back to State with the help of the little scoring machine from Randolf. The rising sophomore will join a line up that includes three Top 25 players in Meighan Simmons, Tayler Calvert and Olivia Patterson. Gumbs has a battery that does not run out and lives in the paint. She is a volume shooter. It is interesting to see how she will blend her talents with the most volumed shooter in the city, Simmons. Add the fact that Taylor Calvert has become a legitimate scoring threat and Olivia Patterson most likely, will enter the season unsigned and with a lot of reason to get hers. Four offensive minded kids and one ball! Interesting but exciting. One thing is for sure, Gumbs will get hers!!!

Ashlin Catlin( Wagner)- Ashlin has not played varsity ball yet, except for a few playoff games her sophomore year. Catlin is a street ball styled kid that has swagger to spare. If she can come back to full speed from a major knee injury, the Thunder birds just got that much better. I can not see a high scoring street savy baller like Catlin letting her senior season slip away. While defenses concentrate on LenNique Brown, Arielle Roberson, and Chelsea Solis, DO NOT SLEEP ON CATLIN!

Rose Maldonado ( Brandies)- I like my point guards with a tight handle, savvy mind, and fearless. Rose has at least two of those things. I first saw her at the UTSA camp and came away intrigued by her upside. The rising sophomore has decent size and can knock down the three. I love her cool demeanor and seasoned skill set. I will not compare her to one of my favorite San Antonio Point Guards, Liz Boyd, but I will say that she looks like she is cut from the same cloth. I have yet to see her against elite competition and against nasty defensive pressure so I can not say that she is fearless, yet. However, I expect a big season from her.

3. New Comers of the Years:

Destiny Ameziquita (Jay)- The incoming freshmen will outscore a good portion of the girls on the Top 25 list if given the chance. She is super strong and scores from the inside and outside. She can knock down the three and her handle is effective. To top it off, she is a skilled passer. When she works on her speed and agility, she will be unstoppable in San Antonio.

Elena Gumbs( Steele)- The previous mentioned guard will be new comer of the year for her district.

Leslie Vorphal (Churchill)- She is the only player that I have not seen. I have seen everyone else on this these lists at least a dozen times but this pick is because of reputation. Too many basketball minds that I trust have cosigned this kid so she must be the goods.

Final Shots:

As one emailer said, "Watch out for the arrows flying your way from all directions."
This was sent regarding the releasing of this list. The feedback has been very spirited.

Let me address one issue that was raised:

"It might as well be a TeamXpress List!!!"

Here we go again. A history lesson follows:

-50% of SA Express Super Team for 2009 were TeamXpress players:
(Brown, Simmons,Edwards, Donovan, Cloman)

- 4 out of 7 ( 57%) of the returning Super Team players are TeamXpress players:
(Brown, Simmons,Edwards, Donovan)

- 4 out of 6(67%) Class MVP's are TeamXpress players:
(5A/Donavan, 4A/Simmons, 3A/Berry, Private School/Edwards)

- All that accumulated talent has helped TeamXpress go undefeated against local club teams over the past two years. Please reference the #13 ranking of TeamXpress Nationally last season and the recent #3 ranking for Texas teams this season by PBR.

- TeamXpress will have more kids sign to Division 1 schools than any other club this year. That is a fact and not biased. Please show me otherwise.

I guess that the SA Express, PBR(Joey Simmons), Area Coaches(who voted for Class MVPs), and College Coaches are biased too!!!!

Here is the flip side of having so much talent. I feel that although TeamXpress is a great organization that has helped many kids, some kids get lost among so much talent. A few of the current TeamXpress kids would star on different clubs in the city and showcase their talents more in those environments. To illustrate my point, I like Victoria Willems' game a lot. I believe she has a bright future and is committed to play for a Divison 1 school. The question is, would Willems have been allowed to shine on TeamXpress top team, like she did for the SA Comets? She would have had to fight for minutes with Erica Donovan, Arielle Roberson and KiKi Ageous. Not to mention Brandi Huff, who could play at the Division 1 level and is one of the kids who would have gotten a lot more shine in a different club, in my opinion. I am not glorifying nor vilifying TeamXpress in my rankings or comments. They are the most talented club today in this city. The best players are rated high, regardless of who does the rankings!

I am reminded of a saying of a coaching buddy of mine. When he speaks of the problems with the parents of his club thinking that their child is better than they are, he simply states, " Even a buzzard thinks its' baby is beautiful"! I know that I do!