Spending the better part of three weeks in Houston, I took in no shortage of basketball. Ranging from high school to college to NBA, I was able to see the immense talent that H-Town had to offer. There weren’t a ton of events like the John Lucas HOF Classic that offered all day games, so that meant a lot of running around the city for single games and workouts. Fortunately for me, there was some sort of hoops being played every single day, including Sunday.
High school games aside, two AAU programs had some outstanding Sunday workouts that kept their kids in the lab. Texas Boys Athletic Club, God First AAU, and Basketball University all had Sunday workouts for their guys. Texas Boys Athletic Club (ran by former Texas Tech head coach Chris Walker) and God First (ran by former UCONN forward Michael LeBlanc) hit the gym late on Sundays at Lutheran North, utilizing a lot of footwork for perimeter players while also allowing the guys to get a ton of shots up on the gun. Basketball University had their workouts led by Teddy Wheeler, who had a myriad of stations set up for his guys. The adidas sponsored program went through a detail oriented workout with great intensity. It’s just not the type of stuff that you see on most Sundays during the high school season.
“I think that the kids make the most improvement during the fall and winter. Especially the early winter,” Basketball University director Rhossi Carron explained. “Once they start playing the high school games, it’s really about the team concept and not necessarily individual development.”
Throughout the games and workouts, there were too many potential D-1 prospects to write about, but here are a select few who caught our eye:
Carsen Edwards, 5’10, PG/SG, Atascocita HS, 2016
Running the show for the #1 team in the city, Edwards lived up to the hype from the second we laid eyes on him. While he’s not going to blow you away with his physical attributes, the junior made his impact felt from the second the ball tipped. The aggressive scorer hit countless deep three pointers, pulled up at the drop of a dime, and made pinpoint passes in transition. Primarily a guy who just gets buckets at this point, Carsen is giong to have to continue developing as a lead guard, but brought enough to the table as a shot-maker to get Texas Tech out to see him for the second time in as many weeks.
Kerwin Roach, 6’4, PG/SG, North Shore HS, 2015
H-Town’s top senior is spending more time running the show for the defending state champs and is looking awfuly nice in the process. He used his blazing speed to attack the rim, used his sick hops to finish over the top of the D, and made some solid passes to find the open man. The state champion high jumper is still learning how to run the show as a lead guard and is improving as a shooter, but certainly has the potential to make an impact from the second that he steps foot on campus in Austin.
DeShang “DJ” Weaver, 6’7, PF, Cypress Falls HS, 2018
Perhaps the top freshman in the state, Weaver was the undoubted MVP in his team’s W over Langham Creek. Blessed with the physical attributes of many college players, he’s not your average freshman. DJ is the prototypical modern day power forward, blending a serious motor on the glass with emerging perimeter skill. He has a smooth looking jumper from the outside, beats most opposing bigs down the floor, and could potentially even develop into a swingman by the time it’s all said and done. Additionally, Weaver looks nowhere near developed physically, leading one to believe that he still may have another growth spurt left in him.
Gilbert Thomas, 6’7, SF/PF, C.E. King HS , 2016
A straight freak athlete, Gilbert is forced to man the middle for his high school squad, but we were able to see the potential that he has on the perimeter. He’s got an explosive first step, can lock down on the wing, and will finish everything at the rack with a dunk. Though he’s got a ways to go in the skill level department, he’s the type of athlete and defender that high major schools dream of working with.
Ty’Darius Harris, 6’6, SF, Pro Vison, 2016
Along the lines of Gilbert Thomas, Ty’Darius Harris is a monster athlete who looks to rip the rim off every time that he’s within five feet of the cup. He’s another one of those elite level athletes who can defend multiple positions and is still developing a consistent skill set from the outside. Ty’Darius just made the move over to Pro Vision and will receive considerably more exposure than he did at Waller High School.
Jacobi Gordon, 6’6, SF, Pro Vision, 2018
One of the freshman in the Lone Star State that has everyone talking, it was easy to see what there was to like about Gordon during the workout that we saw. He already has great size for a wing, is a sturdy ball-handler, and has the ability to physically overpower most wings his age. Considered the 2nd best freshman in the city by respected scout Jim Hicks, Jacobi has the potential to develop into a deadly wing prospect.
Miller Kopp, 6’4, SG, Stratford HS, 2018
A lights out shooter with deceptive bounce, Miller Kopp was one of the pleasant surprises that we saw at the Basketball University workout. He plays a real efficient game, knows his limitations, and has a deadly two dribble pull-up. While it was a small sample of Kopp that we were served, it’s certainly enough for us to want to give him another look or two due to his size and stroke.