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For the third year in a row, Alamo City Hoops takes an in depth look at the top talent in and around the Greater San Antonio area. A few months back we told you it was going to be very tough to squeeze out a “Top 10” list because of all the talent and depth in this years class, so we have a couple of ties in our initial “Top 10” 2016 rankings.
Our rankings are NOT solely based on stats, but overall skills, in person evaluations, high school and college coaches feedback on how a recruit potentially projects at the next level. So, let’s get to it. here are the rankings:
Offers: UTEP, Tulsa, UTSA, Cal Poly, Rice
Interest: Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Minnesota, TCU, Texas State, UIW, Lamar, Weber State, Richmond, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, San Jose state, Colorado State, Northern Iowa, and Texas A&M- Corpus ChristiThe only true, low post big man to make our list and for good reason. Is long, athletic, and can impact a game from the defensive side. Has had numerous games with 8+ blocks, even some in double digits. Uses his length and height to also clean the glass on both ends. Will finish above the rim and is still developing his offensive game. Has drastically improved while playing with his back to the basket, uses a nice hook shot and face up jumper from 8-10 feet. Will also shoot that jump shot from the baseline. Will be a mid to high major signee.
2). Ellis Jefferson PG 6’0″ (Brandeis)
Offers: Central Arkansas
Interest: UTSA, UTEP, Texas Tech, Pepperdine, Oklahoma
A well rounded point guard that can excel in either the half court set or in transition. Plays so smooth and is usually seen in complete control while on the court. Has been running primarily the point this year for Brandeis and it suits him best. Has excellent court vision, is always willing to make the extra pass, and can hurt you with either hand. Can also be a scorer and is one of the best deep shooters in the area. Whether it’s mid-range or behind the arc, he cannot be left alone. Above average athlete who can also jump and be a factor on the boards for a guard.
3). Brandon Armstrong SG 6’4″ (Judson)
Interest: UTEP, Baylor, Boise State, Texas State, UTSA,North Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Houston, Tulsa, Kansas State and more
Is having a really good year for the Rockets. Has come onto a lot of recruiting boards as of late, but still seeking his first offer. Has ideal size for the two guard spot with the ability to light up the nets from deep, mid range, or use his size and length to get to the rack. Has a keen eye for shot selection and just doesn’t rely on the outside shot. Will go left or right and use his athleticism to finish strong, and is an above average free throw shooter who will sink’em.
4). Jhonathan Dunn SG 6’4″ (Alamo Heights)
Interest: South Carolina, UTSA, UIW, Weber State, Evansville, Lamar
Another athletic two guard, who can hurt you in many ways. He’s added 1-2 inches in height and it fits him even more into a natural two guard spot. His game can be electric. Shoots without a conscience and has range well beyond the arc. Like Armstrong, doesn’t settle for the long shot, he can use either hand, with a quick first step, stop and pop using the lost mid-range game. He is slender and can slither his way to the hoop and will finish strong as he can get up to rock the rim. Free throws are nearly an automatic for him as well.
5). Zach Saddler SG 6’5″ (New Braunfels)
Interest: Texas State, Army, Stephen F. Austin
A well built, under-rated athlete from the New Braunfels area. Plays hard, doesn’t have a low gear. Can dial it up with range, or put his head down and get to the hole. Uses his body and strength well in order to shed off any defenders and finish. Above average leaping ability that will let him throw it down. He can score in bunches and will hurt you in a set up offense or running the lanes. Could very well be the next D1 player out of New Braunfels following Kyle Hittle (UIW) and Austin Karrer (UTSA).
6). Karthik Reddy SF 6’7″ (St. Mary’s Hall)
Interest: TCU, Weber State, Richmond, Lehigh, Boise State, Richmond, Yale, Columbia, Brown
Has good handles. Solid low post moves when playing down low, but can also be effective from the wing. Plays with savvy and hi basketball IQ. Along with his handles, is a good passer and looks to get the ball out and going when hitting the glass. Can hit from three point land as well, more of a set shooter. Can play multiple spots on the floor, but primarily projects as a three or stretch four, based on level of competition.
7). LeSean Brown SG 6’1″ (TMI)
Interest: Army, Dartmouth, Brown, Cal Poly, Rice, Air Force, Bucknell
Can light it up on any given night, has hit the 40 point mark for the Panthers. Like most guards on our list, can hurt you in multiple ways, with his shot, or ability to drive. In transition, he can get to the hoop and most importantly finish or get to the line. Will fire away and connect from behind the arc, but does not need to improve his accuracy. Getting to the hole by using his athletic ability and quickness, is his primary skill. Is much more accurate in the mid-range game. A bit undersized for the two guard spot, can play some point if needed, shows good handles. Being able to play both spots is only a bonus in getting to the next level.
8). Jordan Burns PG 5’11” (Marshall)
Interest: Northwestern, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Lamar, Angelo State, Colgate, Cornell, Dallas Baptist, West Texas A&M
A quick first step point guard who will score or run your offense. Quick handles, with a good jump shot that will stretch beyond the 3-point line. A bit small, but his quickness and agility compensate for it. If a defender plays up tight, can use his speed to get by them. You sluff off and he’ll hit the jumper. Will run the offense efficiently and has another gear in the open court. Because of his quickness, can change direction in a hurry and capitalizes on defenders who get out of position.
9). Jalon Gates SG 6’0″ (Clemens)
Interest: Oklahoma State, Tulsa, TCU, Houston, Denver, Houston Baptist
Arguably the classes best shooter. Has a quick release, nice form, and no place on the floor is out of range. Can catch and shoot, hit it off the dribble, and has no problem in connecting with defenders draped all over him. Is always on the move coming off of picks, or cutting, looking for the slightest space to fire one up. Plays the two spot for the Buffs, but at the next level will have to add the point guard spot to his arsenal.
9B). Ethan White SG 6’3″ (East Central)
Interest: Texas, Sam Houston State
Nice sized athletic two guard who uses his skills well. Can shoot the ball, with 3-point range, but is at his best when he uses his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop. Has long arms that help him finish on the offensive end, and lock down on the defensive side. Is dangerous running the floor and will fly to finish with the ball or off of an assist.
10). Deandre Young SG 6’2″ (O’Connor)
Is a prospect who has come on strong this season for the Panthers. Plays the two spot and has shown a good shot from the outside, will hit the open three, but like White, excels in transition and using his athleticism in scoring when attacking the lane. Can put the ball on the floor and uses his quickness to leave defenders behind. Uses his ability to also be a pest on defense and stick you for 32 minutes.
10B). Curtis Allen PG/SG 6’2″ (South San)
Can play either the point or two guard spot. Can push the ball, or be a floor general when running the team. When playing as a shooting guard, is better as a set shooter than catch and shoot, but will still fire away. Plays smart, will take a dribble or two and use his jump shot instead of getting into a congested lane. Well rounded player who knows his strengths and uses them well.
Demarcus Hartfield SG 6’2″ (TMI)
Jimmy Brooks PG 6’0″ (Antonian)
Jake Valero PG/SG 5’11” (Brennan)Of our “Honorable Mention” group who right on the edge of making the “Top 10” for 2016, Lopez is one of the area’s best shooters. Is right there with Gates for the quickest release. Hartfield has only seen action in a few games after transferring to TMI from Highlands, and is now academically eligible. The same goes for Valero who sat after transferring in from MacArthur to Brennan, another deep threat in a class that has a lot of long range bombers. Brooks has shown good recovery from a knee injury and with more consistency as the season goes on, is a viable candidate to be in the hunt for a “Top 10” spot when the rankings are updated.