Friday, August 14, 2009

Top 25 Players in the City: Top 3 Players, #2's

Who is better, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade? How about choosing between Lisa Leslie (in her prime), Candace Parker or Diana Taurasi? You can not go wrong with any of these picks. They are all great players and the so called best is a matter of preference, need and timing. The Top 3 players in San Antonio share the same planet and a clear cut best is arguable. I have two players tied for #2, with no #3. Here is my argument:

2. LenNique Brown 2010

If I had to choose a point for guard my team, it would be LenNique by a wide margin. I simply love her game! The Wagner leader is the savviest player in the city. She is never gets rattled or intimidated. Her handle is the tightest as she faces extreme pressure during the club season and rarely gets ripped. She is a very good passer and is unselfish to a fault. I would love to see her score a bit more since she has all of the tools. Brown can get in the paint to finish with the runner or pull up on a dime and hit the elbow jumper with ease. She hits the three with regularity and she almost never takes a bad shot. LenNique is NASTY. She does not back down from anyone and welcomes competition.

I watched her go for 20 points in one half of a game against all High Major kids who were focused on stopping her. She hit threes in transition while smiling at the trash-talking bench. She darted through the press only to drop off hand wrapped gifts in the form of layups for her teammates. I saw her take on three of the most promising guards in the Nation almost single handedly and did all that she could to will her team to victory.

LenNique is as intelligent a guard as there is in the city. Both, her high school and club coaches run a highly structured system that relies heavily on few turnovers. Brown runs both systems to a T. The interesting thing is that Niques’ game is probably better suited for an open offense that spreads the floor and enables her to utilize her great handle, straight line game, polished finishes and skillful passing. All aspiring point guards in San Antonio should make it a priority to go and study Nique in action. Her small frame is probably one of the reasons that the Nation has slept on her. It is no way that she is not a Top 100 kid. When she adds range to her deep ball, she will make a lot of schools very sorry that they passed on her. She reportedly has plenty of D1 offers including BCS schools.

2. Charlicia Harper 2010
Lady Rohawks

If I had to choose one player with the game on the line to produce, it would be CeCe with no question. The Madison Maverick is the most “killer” kid in the city. Some players thrive in the clutch and ask for opportunities to show and prove. CeCe is one of those players. A summer of working on her jumper has made her offensive game more complete than any other player in the city. She has always lived in the paint with her ankle breaking handle and big strong body. She absolutely punishes smaller guards. Her spin move is almost unfair and her footwork includes crisp step-throughs and the European two-step. She is a great passer and is another kid that could be a little more selfish.

CeCe was injured this summer when her Lady Rohawk team faced TeamXpress the first time. The result was a 50 point thrashing. I wrote “How much of a difference would CeCe Harper have made? Regular readers know how much I love CeCe's game and the passion that she brings to the game surely would have made a difference. But, would she have made a 50 point difference? Probably not”.

CeCe took my proclamation that she could make up 50 points as a personal slight. She felt disrespected. So what does she do? She behaves as a “killer” would and goes out and scores 29 points and her team loses by 8 points the next time these teams met. I was right; she could not make up a 50 point difference by herself. She only had a 42 point impact on the games margin! The truly amazing thing is that she did this off of two fresh knee surgeries!!

CeCe is a probably a combo guard at the next level. While her passing and composure says point guard, her skill set and strong body screams scorer. The thing that I found most intriguing about CeCe is the way she makes others around her better. It does not matter how many times her father yells at her for passing to an unpolished teammate who constantly fumbles sure fire lay-ups out of bounds; CeCe will still make that pass. It is in her nature to make others better and she always feels that she can turn on a switch and pick up the slack at any moment. The only knock of her is that she can play down to competition. She will not have that problem in College since she is playing in the Big 12 at Kansas. Many thought that Kansas had the inside track all along but it got real interesting in July. CeCe went on a personal rampage in July and picked up offers from dozens of BCS schools including Texas. She is another kid that should be in the Top 100, easily!