Username or Email Address
Posted On: 06/25/18 10:50 PM
The team camp action was hot and heavy at two universities located off Interstate 20. East Texas Baptist and Grambling universities hosted prep stars from schools in east Texas and north Louisiana. As usual, Prep Hoops Louisiana was there to document some of the players who stood out from each location.
Marvin Young / Captain Shreve / 6’3″ / CG
Throughout the summer, this 2019 guard has had a boost in confidence since assuming the primary ball-handling duties for Gators this summer. While in Grambling, Marvin showed off this ability again during the course of the day. Young was able to get Shreve into their offensive sets while being defended by smaller players and players his height. For a person who has to get down lower than most to protect his dribble, he keeps the ball on a string pretty much. Marvin is crafty and finds teammates with creative passes to get them easy layups. His long arms also help him on the defensive end to gather steals from opposing guards. While Captain Shreve was not as successful as they would have liked to be as a team during their day at Grambling, Young was able to display what he can do as a point guard for his team.
Daniel Ortiz / Southwood / 6’0″ / CG
This 2021 guard has played with a lot of confidence this summer. While at ETBU, Ortiz displayed several reasons why he appeared on the 2021 Prep Hoops LA watch list for his class. Ortiz is a more than capable ball-handler in the half court. He gets down low and has an innate ability to get his shoulder underneath the defender to drive past them or create a fouling situation. In the open court he is a one man fast break. Ortiz, in games against Brother Martin and Nolan Catholic, applied pressure numerous times attacking defenders while they were on their heels. This resulted in him scoring or getting to the foul line. Daniel also showed the ability to drain the open three from ball reversals. Ortiz keeps players off balance with the numerous ways he can score. While he is a work in progress on defense, his offense will definitely have coaches and others talking as the remainder of the summer and the high school season approach.
Josh Martin / Covenant Christian (TX) / 6’6″ / F & P
While covering north Louisiana teams in east Texas, I often come up on a few surprises. This was the case with Josh Martin. This 6’6″, 2019 player showed the skill of a player who used to play guard. He was able to rebound the ball and bring it up the floor. Martin’s rebounding was fundamentally sound. He always found a player to block out even though he had superior athleticism. Josh did not shoot the ball from outside of mid range but had a nice form on the few he took. Mostly, Martin attacked the glass or the rim when he had the chance on offense an defense. Josh has the athletic ability to dunk the ball every time he goes up. Covenant Christian is a smaller school so he will log heavy minutes during the summer and the season. There were stretches that he appeared tired. One thing was clear. His athleticism gives him a good chance to play in college at one of the lower divisions.
David Lewis / Covenant Christian (TX) / 5’5″ / PG
As impressive as his teammate was on the glass and the post, David Lewis impressed as a point guard. This small 2021 point has a big game. If someone watching him thinks he is a prototypical point guard, that would be further from the truth. Lewis has big time handles for a player his size and knows how to use them. Whether a team played zone or man-to-man, Lewis seemed to find open teammates time and time again for open shots and layups. David keeps his head up all the time. Several times he found cutters on the backside of the defense and hit them with no-look passes, one-handed bounce passes from the top of the key, or just a fundamental chest pass to the wing. Players from other teams watch him drop dime after dime while they sat in the stands. Martin even carved up defenses who played him for the pass by draining threes from the college three point line. With two years to mature physically, Lewis will be a prospect to keep eyes on.
TJ Small / Brother Martin / 6’3″ / W
Brother Martin made the almost six hour trek from New Orleans to Marshall, Texas and played some competitive games. While the team played well, they got big time play from one of their 2020 wings. TJ Small showed a mature floor game against Southwood and others during the camp that opened eyes. Small is a wing who recognizes mismatches in the front court and exploits them to the best of his ability. If he has a small guard, he is backing them down. When a slower defender is on him, he takes them off the dribble. Small reads errant passes too and breaks well for steals. He also has a sufficient mid-range game that make him dangerous from all areas of the floor. For a player going into his junior year, he has a high basketball IQ. Small plays like the game comes easy to him. As the summer and high school season progresses, TJ Small will probably be one of the better players Louisiana has to offer.
Labree Williams / Calvary Baptist / 6’3″ / W
This 2022 player has begun his summer rather late playing this past week for the Cavaliers. However, Labree has shown glimpses of a player who is ready to contribute on a higher level. Williams, who is right handed, appears to be unstoppable when he drives that way. He makes it seem effortless when he is taking the ball to the cup. He has a sweet right handed layup that seems to go in every time no matter the angle. Williams also has long arms coupled with a soft touch. He has a jumper that is money from 15 feet out. His stroke is pure and his release is quick. With the flick of his wrist, the shot is up and down before most players contest. With some additional weight training, this player is going to be a real problem on the varsity level. Once he begins playing on that level, Calvary will have a definite stud on their hands.
With team camps winding up, players will head back to their travel teams to finish the summer. These players, along with others, have used these team camps to improve their all around basketball game. When the July live period comes, some of these players may catch the eye of coaches looking for that fresh, new face. If they do, look for Prep Hoops Louisiana to cover that if, and when, it happens.