Good morning to all from Phoenix, AZ. Coach has decided to take a little golf trip, and to drop by campuses and continue to build relationships with Arizona and Arizona State to nake a couple of staffs. I also meet with Channing Frye’s Family later in the trip to discuss the former Arizona Wildcats & NBA player’s groups becoming part of the D-1 Nation.
In years past when assembling teams to compete at the National Level, I’d put together a roster and “appointed” a top team in the D-1 Ambassadors organization. This year I informed the kids and parents that I didn’t have any preconceived notions and the kids could decide by their performance which group should hold that title. Well, it’s not to say that the other groups can’t change my mind from week to week but based on this last week’s performance the nod has to go to Coach Mike Hardge’s group. The challenge to our other groups; work harder, play smarter and achieve….Coach Max
This past weekend, Texas D-1 Ambassadors-Team Hardge went 2-2 in the Pearland Classic. Not overly impressive at first glance. As was noted a couple of days ago their first win was against the Houston Hurricane 75-70. Reputations are made (on both sides of the coin) by how kids play against other name teams and name players.
Game #2 was one of those games. Going against one of the spring’s most talented teams in the country in the Houston Franchize All Stars it was nip and tuck down the stretch with Franchize claiming the win by the slimmest of margins 70-68. D-1 was led by 2011 PG Deon Mitchell (below) of Pflugerville who in my opinion is the the SMOOTHEST player to come out of Austin-San Antonio in the last 10 years. Franchize boasts at lot of star power; most notably DeAngelo Harrison and 2012′s top national prospect, 6’9″ Wannah Bail of the Bahamas. Mitchell rolled up his sleeves and went to work dropping 20 points in the process.
Texas D-1 Ambassadors 62 MBA Hoops (MS) 61
Against a team loaded with athletic prospects of their own Mitchell, Josiah Monroe & 2012 G Michael Hardge of Georgetown more than held their own against Top 5 National PG Marquavious “DeVille” Smith of Jackson Callaway. Big Dave Hahn had 10 points and 9 rebounds against MBA’s relentless string of bigs, & 2011 PG Josiah Monroe of Bastrop had 12 points and got in people’s jerseys defensively.
2011 6’4″ WG Jalen Washington (Below) of Pflugerville Hendrickson is quickly establishing himself on the circuit as one of it’s break out stars of the spring. He’s super long and I love his explosiveness. Don’t let him get a step in the lane because he’s going to try and flush it on someone’s head. Finishing strong around the goal is a forte’. Washington also sees the floor well, has a nice first step and rebounds well. Early interest from schools like Wichita State will soon be kept comany from high majors as he continues to prove himself against quality competition.
The “He Came Out of Nowhere” Award may well belong to 2010 P David Hahn (below) of Austin, TX who finished his high school career in the State of Mississippi. David called me up about a month ago and asked if I’d help him. By his own admission he’d been lacking in focus and gotten out of shape since originally signing with Texas State last November. He obtained his release from Texas State (by mutual agreement) last month and was back in the mix with no D-1 college interest. I asked David if he’d give me 100 days of hard work. If he dedicated himself to cardio, worked hard on his game and refocused his attitude I felt he could be a very good college player and perhaps one day make some money overseas.
Hahn started coming to practice and more than held his own running the floor, even diving for loose balls at 7’0″ and 250 lbs. Wow! He played with D-1 out in Denver 10 days ago in the Pump Brothers Spring Classic. The Mile High City is not an easy place for anyone to catch their wind but once again David surprised me with his work ethic and led us in our final game with 14 points & 7 rebounds. Word spread like wildfire after being posted on Coach Max’s Prep Report about a fully qualified 7 footer being on the loose & the interest quickly picked up. Louisiana Tech, amongst others wanted to get him in on an official visit.
Fast forward a week later to this past weekend at Pearland where Hahn once again gave a great effort playing against talented bigs on Franchize and MBA Hoops from Mississippi. In a big win against MBA Hoops he more than held his own against more athletic bigs. Looks like the cat is now completely out of the bag as interest is now coming from schools like Arkansas in the SEC. As many of you know, I love to get in my car and drive. I loaded up my SUV and left San Antonio Sunday afternoon at 5PM driving through the night when my phone rang at about 6AM. My old buddy Buzz Williams was chewing me out for not having given him a direct call about Hahn. He asked a multitude of questions and then said, “Hey, we’d like to bring him in on an offcial visit”. Several hours later, Texas Longhorns Assistant Chris Ogden called asking if we could get Hahn on campus at the “40 Acres” to run in open gym with the Texas players! Looks like I might have been off on the 100 day plan as 30 days into it Hahn’s gone from being a Southland level guy to a viable SEC, Big East & Big XII prospect.
All three of the above players are superbly talented. The sky’s the limit, and once these young athletes “get it” that intensity and focus is what separates the men from the boys then look out world. I am proud to say that all are extremely receptive to my input and to Coach Mike Hardge who is doing an excellent job with all the kids.
OK, it’s off to the golf course.