Flying Through Fort Bend
SLAM checks out the finest Fort Bend has to offer.
After doing it up in H-Town for New Year’s eve, I hadn’t hit a high school game for a week and had to get back on my grind. While there were some pretty hot games going on in the city, a number of top-10 guys in SLAM’s rankings were doing their thing about 45 minutes south of Houston in Fort Bend.
Two games, three top-10 players, and a number of other DIs — it was a straight no-brainer for scouting services to go to, which is why reps from Rivals, Scout and Jim Hicks of RCS Sports were on hand. Throw in Danny Manning from Kansas, and you have quite the star studded cast on hand to check out some of the top young talent in Texas.
Andrew Harrison, 6-5, PG, Fort Bend Travis, 2013
Andrew, ranked No. 5 in SLAM’s Fresh 25 for 2013, lived up to the hype and showed why he’s such a highly touted playmaker. Equipped with outstanding size and a downright deadly crossover, he was able to get to the cup and get his shot up on just about anyone. Even though his team walked away with the W, it was a frustrating outing for the super soph, not only because his J wasn’t falling, but because he was constantly getting lit up by ball screens that his teammates didn’t call out for him. The package of size, court vision and handle that he showed was enough for us to seriously consider bumping Andrew up a few spots the next time the Class of 2013 rankings are released.
Cameron Ridley, 6-10, C, Fort Bend Bush, 2012
One of the hottest names of the summer, it was a difficult game to evaluate Ridley based on the trend of the game: killing the clock. There was a bit of a tug of war between coaches, resulting in the ball being held for nearly the entire second quarter. When there actually was some action, Ridley showed some flashes that reminded me of a smaller version of Andrew Bynum back when he was in high school. The recent Texas commit took up a ton of space inside, rebounded the ball well, and showed good timing as a shot blocker. Playing for the defending Texas 5A State Champions, he didn’t get as many touches as you would have hoped for on the offensive end but showed off nice paws and soft touch when he did get the rock. Once the big fella becomes more aggressive, the sky is the limit here.
Aaron Harrison, 6-5, SG, Fort Bend Travis, 2013
While his twin brother got off, Aaron couldn’t really seem to get his shot falling against Hightower. He was getting all of the looks that drop for him on the regular and just couldn’t seem to find the bottom of the net. On the bright side, Harrison gave you a glimpse of his high skill level with a pretty step-back three and rebounded the ball well. You can’t judge a kid off of just one game — and this is a prime example — because dude can really go.
Johnathan Jordan, 5-10, PG, Hightower, 2011
Jordan may not have the hype of the guys listed above him, but in terms of a high school player, he’s every bit as good. The diminutive lead guard almost led his squad to an upset victory over the Harrison twins with his ability to run the pick and roll and get into the paint. While his listed height of 5-10 may be a little generous, Jonathan has no problemo finishing amongst the trees and is a guy who should wind up playing on the DI level by the time it’s all said and done.
Ryan Manual, 6-5, PG/SG, Fort Bend Austin, 2011
It was a difficult game for Manual with the second quarter basically being negated after Bush sat in a 2-3 zone for the entire quarter that they refused to come out of. You can’t blame Manual’s coach for opting to hold the rock and kill the clock, but the game of cat and mouse about the zone left a number of college coaches shaking their heads in disbelief. When the game actually started to have a little action, the SMU recruit looked real nice running the pick and roll for a big point guard and set his teammates up with countless open coring opportunities. If Manual really wants to make an impact in C-USA, he’s definitely got to get his jumper right, though.