Thursday, April 5, 2012

Battle Of The South Recap Part 1 (Jackson, Mississippi) By Paul Miranda

Houston Defenders Share The Crown

When you go to this tournament, you never know what to truly expect. You will see great competition despite the many unfamiliar names on the jerseys. I always enjoy going to this tournament, great hospitality, great staff, great atmosphere, and like always, great entertaining games. I watched double overtime games, buzzer beaters, and games filled with drama throughout. In the 14u division, there was not a true winner, the Houston Defenders Select 2016 squad, which is AAU’s Division I #6 team in the nation, were scheduled to play for the championship against their second team, Houston Defenders, which is Division II’s #4 ranked team, but decided to head back to Texas sharing the crown.

J.R. Adams #13 Houston Defenders (TX)
This young man packed his lunchbox and hardhat for this tournament sacrificing everything he had on both ends of the court. He hit timely ‘big-time’ shots game after game for his team, whether it was with the jump-shot or getting to the rim. He showed us all why he is considered one of the most unselfish ‘scorers’ in the 2016 class.
Mr. Big Stuff
********************** *****************
Drake Davis #24 Red Storm (LA)
This 6’3’’ youngster was beastly throughout the tournament, dominating everyone in front of him. He was untouchable in the paint, scoring at will, rebounding everything that came on his side. He played his part to perfection in being considered the other guy in the ‘twin towers’ tandem. I loved this guy’s energy in the post.

J.J. Caldwell #23 Houston Defenders Select 2016 (TX)
This PG is smooth as there is, he makes things look so easy, like everything is going in slow motion to him. His passes seem like they go straight through opponents. His jump-shot was ‘wet’ from all over the floor, keeping his opponents honest. I will put him up against some of the best in the country on any given day.

Donovan White #23 Sports Academy (LA)
This kid has a big frame with extreme athleticism and agility that goes hard on every drive to the basket. He has cat-like reflexes to change directions easily. He displayed a deadly midrange jump shot that devastated his opponents that backed off of him.

Ashton Ray #3 Madison County Warriors (AL)
This young man was there one moment then gone the next,, he was so shifty with the ball that defenders just couldn’t stay in front of him. He could get to the cup and finish strong or pop a ‘pull up j’ that was astonishing. He ran his team’s offense with precision matched by so few in this tournament.

Man, Don’t Let the Looks Fool You
Trevor Begue #12 Lafayette Celtics (LA)
WOW! This young man could play! He scored on just about everyone that faced off against him. His jump-shot was as sweet as sugar. He could penetrate to the cup and score with ease, and I mean he went at whoever was in front of him. He had a chip on his shoulder that took everyone by surprised.

Troy Green #2 Louisiana Takers Elite
This guy was something right out of Greek mythology for sure, his chiseled frame intimidated all of his foes for sure. He displayed great body control in the air with authority. He finished many fastbreaks with polished moves and agility. When he was at in the air, it was over, another made bucket. The big fella’ also was a beast in the paint on both ends, dominating to perfection for his team.

Zaire Jones #1 Meridian Magic (MS)
This youngster went hard throughout the tournament on both ends. At about 5’8’’, Jones was a terror on defense and even on the boards. His physicality gave opponents fits, with that topped off with his speed, it just made him a difficult guy to contain. I loved his athleticism and enthusiasm to play every play like it was his last.