Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 Top 20 Players in the City!!!

In my annual take on the top kids in the city, here are the Top 20 kids in San Antonio.

1. Recee' Caldwell 2014- Since I am obviously a little biased, I will let others speak for why she is best kid in the city. Here are her national rankings for 2014 Dan Olson Collegiate Report (3) , All Star Girls Report (4), ESPN HoopGurlz (7), Peach State Basketball (6), and Premier Basketball Report (5). She won a gold medal in the 2011 FIBA Americas for USA u16 as a 14 year old.

2. McKenzie Calvert 2014- After facing and watching the Baylor commit progress since the 5th grade, she has added facilitator to her game. I was very impressed with her at USA trials this past May. She has always had the ability to score in transition, but she has now learned to change speeds to set the table for her and her teammates. I also saw her encourage and verbally motivate her teammates more than in the past while Colorado, a skill that locals will surely see as well.

3. Kyra Lamber 2015- The TAMU bound PG has always been one of my favs. Her hesitation and first step is almost unfair in the open court. She is in the same class as Leslie Vorpahl when running the pick and roll. If the Aggies continue the Vic Schaefer defensive strategy, they got a kid that can guard from baseline to baseline in Lambert.

4. Tesha Smith 2013- Smith is the biggest leaper in the city rankings. Her solid HS school season earned her "New Comer of the Year". She followed that up with a monster summer. She showed that she can rebound with ANYBODY in the country. Her college ready frame and great instincts gives her the upside that made programs like TCU and Texas Tech offer her a full ride. In a year that has not been as top heavy when compared to previous classes, Smith may be the only kid in the 2013 class locally with BCS offers.

5. Leslie Vorpahl 2013-The Tulane commit is as respected as any kid in the city. Last high school year, she displayed the ability to hit the contested 3 off of the dribble. This put her at the top of the pack for 2013 guards. She has always been a facilitator extraordinaire. Her motor and defensive instincts when playing angles allow her to be effective on both ends of the floor.

6. Brooke Allemand 2013- The New Mexico commit has an argument for best in 2013. She has the most translatable skill for the next level in her ability to knock down the 22 footer off of the catch and the dribble. Her shooting ability has always been a known commodity but it was her leadership ability this summer that had schools hoping she changed her mind about being a Lobo. Her performance versus the NJ Sparks was nothing short of very impressive. The likes of Vivian Stringer came to watch others but went home knowing her name(game).

7. Tanaeya Boclair 2014- Boclair has increased her suitors immensely with a super HS season and a comparable summer. She is a Top 100 kid in the class of 2014 by ESPN Hoopgurlz. She has always had the athleticism to thrive but now her increased ability to handle the rock and hit the pull up jumper from 15-17 feet has made her a nightmare to guard. Boclair has picked up interest from BCS conference schools with her impressive play vs Top 100 kids across the nation.

8. Chamaya Turner 2013- The 2013 point forward is simply too tough to guard for most local high school players. The future Olympian in the discuss and the shot put can break defenders down off of the bounce and bully her way to buckets. She does a fantastic job of reading the floor and setting up her teammates for easy buckets. She has a great feel for making the right play.

9. Wendy Knight 2014- A local father of a player in this Top 20 started calling her Ms Big Shot after a summer of making crucial plays in the clutch. Knight has become one of the most reliable shooters in the city from deep. She always has been a great finisher in traffic and very effective in turning corners to touch paint. She is the idea curling wing at the next level. Her mid range pull up jumper is elevating her into a much sought after prospect.

10. Tiara Davenport 2014- The Texas Tech commit is new to the city but her game is well known throughout the state. She is very good athlete at 6'1. She boards extremely well out of area and finishes well in traffic. She plays with that Dallas, Duncanville area, chip on her shoulder.

11. Gabbie Bowie 2014- Bowie has catapulted up the city rankings with an ever increasing skill set. She came here a little over a year ago as a 5'8 power forward. She now possesses absolutely the prettiest pull up jumper in the city. She has added a legitimate handle to go with her freakish leaping ability, so much that she has offers from D1 institutions to play the point guard now!

12. Moriah Mack 2013- Long regarded as one of, if not the best, on ball defenders in the city. They way she picks up her lead leg to possess the next piece of basketball real estate should be taught in defensive videos. Mack has increased her ability to hit the wide open jumper from mid range by tuning up her handle. Probably too unselfish on the offensive end at times but it's that type of attribute that helped her squad reach Austin last year.

12. Erica Sanders- 2015 Sanders joined Davenport in pledging to Texas Tech after a very good summer. She showed an increased ability to hit the mid range pull up jumper. Her trademark Euro Step is effective in transition and in tight spaces. Her first step puts defenders on notice that they better give her a cushion on the wing.

13. Ashley Ross 2014- Ross has been a fav on mine for awhile. In my 1st writeup of her in 2008, I called her an 11 year old Dennis Rodman type player. Now the rising junior  can take defenders off of the bounce, shoot the open three and make plays for others. I will not be surprised at all if she continues to add to her skill set to the tune of a few BCS offers and a Top 5 ranking citywide next season.

14. Destiny Amezquita 2013- Amezquita has battled injuries for a good portion of her high school career which has left her unfortunately unable to do her. Amezquita can get buckets with ANYBODY in this city. I once predicted that she would give a few teams 40 before her career was done. If healthy this season, she still may prove me right. Her strength, range and handle makes a headache to contain.

15. Carlie Heineman 2014- The UTSA commit is one of the purest shooters in the city with one of the quickest triggers. Her release point is high and fast enough to allow her to be one of the few kids in the city who can take and make contested jumpers. Her strong handle has permitted her to create jumpers off of the bounce and touch paint for her runners, using either hand.

16. Briana Jones 2013- Wichita State was so impressed with her great motor, ability to guard and play on the wing and forward that they quickly snatched her up. Jones can stretch the D with an ever improving 3 ball. She has long been one of the best rebounders, especially offensively, in the city. Look for a season that flirts with a double double for the Mavs.

17. LaQeisha "LB" Brown 2013- Easily one of the most improved players offensively in the city. Known for years as a defensive stopper and great rebounder for her size, Brown has added a consistent mid range jumper. Her handle is a lot better than she gets credit for. She is able to create shots off of the bounce and score in traffic. Explosive second leaper. 

18. Aleeya Harris 2013- The best running Big in the city from rim to rim. She, along with Boclair, are the best perimeter defending Bigs in SA. She too is a great second leaper. Her years of volleyball ingrained a distinct timing for the prolific block shot. The way she palms the opposition shots is not seen on the girls side of the game often. I have called her an upside kid for years do to VB. If she chooses to focus on Bball in college, some small D1 is going to get a steal!

19. Kayla White 2013- The smooth guard has pledged to Wichita State. She is a kid that makes everything look easy, which has been a reason for some to criticize, or sleep on her! She looks like she is coasting when she is blowing by defenders for easy finishes. Her game can be described with the nickname "2 Easy". She can hit the open 3 ball and her pull up jumper is simply beautiful. She is a underrated on ball defender, one of the best in the city.

20. Avery Queen 2014- The most skilled Big in the city. She can hit the occasional 3ball now and her 15-17 foot baseline jumper is why the offers from D1's are starting to come in. She has added an effective running hook in the key which adds to her arsenal of jump hooks, step throughs, Sophia Youngs, step backs,and turn around jumpers.

Side notes:

- I have yet to rank a rising freshman in the city's rankings. However, I have always let the city know that players like Cee' Caldwell, Kyra Lambert, McKenzie Calvert,  and Leslie Vorpahl were top kids before stepping on campus. This year, Amber Ramirez is easily a Top 10 kid in the city. Ramirez has more offers (Big 12, Pac 12, Conference USA) than most kids on the list. She surely has more BCS offers than any other players in the Top 20 except Caldwell and the recently pledged Lambert.
(Calvert would obviously have more if she was still available).

- Many local coaches claim to have the best player in the city on their team. Many parents claim the same. This summer, I coached against whom many college coaches and national scouts call the best player in 2014, Kelsey Mitchell. She was fresh off of a 31 point performance when we matched up. She led her team to a close victory over mine but finished with only 12 points on a tough shooting night. Unlike some local coaches and parents, I am not naive enough to claim she is not the best player by basing this on her performance against me. I schemed to get the ball out of her hands and sent help on her at all times. Her sub par performance against me does not lead me to question her as being arguably the best in the country. She is easily one of the best but I fully comprehend that coaching schemes can negate brilliance. Chuck Daly(RIP) and his "Jordan Rules" made Micheal Jordan look mediocre at times. College coaches will tell you who is best by offering kids scholarships. Their livelihood depends on making correct talent assessments. Those that do not, will not last long. Kids like Mitchell can go anywhere they want. We have a couple of kids locally that go can anywhere they want and the have the college offers to prove it! Many people will disagree with the list. That's fine but many will coach kids and/or are parents to kids that do not have the same college opportunities as those on the list. Let's Be Real(istic)!!!!

- Top 20-30 to follow