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G.Day's Notebook | #MTI23

This year Pasadena ISD celebrates its 20th year of the McDonald’s Texas Invitational. This event dubbed the “Road to State Starts Here” is a big-time tournament that has attracted teams from all across the state of Texas and even some schools from outside of Texas in the previous years. This is a staple event that is circled on a lot of the team's early non-district events. I have had the privilege to cover this event since I got here in 2017. Before things got started on Day 1 of the event they honored head coach David Martinez of Atascocita High School.  Here is my notebook from the event.

Pasadena Memorial will be a fun group to watch this season. They shoot a lot of three-pointers and feature nationally touted Robert Miller 6’10” PF | Pasadena Memorial | Sr. who is signed with Louisiana State University. He had a slow start but finished strong with a double-double of 32 points and 10 rebounds. If he focused on dominating the paint on the high school level offensively, teams could be in for a long night when facing them. They also feature a sharp shooter in Chris Jones Jr. 6’2” SG | Pasadena Memorial | Jr. who had 20 points in the game and is averaging almost 30 points per game early on this season. These two make a good combination as a one-two punch.

Grand Oaks feature Trae Lewis 6’2” PG | Grand Oaks | Jr. who was trying to will his team to a victory in the game that I watched them play. His man couldn’t stay in front of him. He was beating his opponent off the dribble every time and getting where he wanted to go. He also knocked down a couple of NBA range trey balls. He will face a lot of 94-feet face guarding which we saw in the second half of the game.

John Clark 6’8” PF | Klein Cain | Jr. is a man-child on the high school level. He had opponents draped on his arm and he still was doing what he wanted and punishing the rim every chance he got. He should touch the ball every possession so he can open the floor for his teammates with the attention he receives. Also, Nick Delgado 6’6” F | Klein Cain | Sr. will make a NAIA/D3 program happy one day. He is a Swiss army knife and just plays with a high motor and good IQ and can score inside and out. 

Summer Creek’s Bryson Wheatfall 6’4” G | Summer Creek | Jr. looked good, especially in the first quarter of the game. He almost outscored the opposing team in that quarter by himself. Once the defense shifted their focus onto him the San Jose State University signee Cam Patterson 6’4” SG | Summer Creek | Sr. took it upon himself to dominate the game, also this was his first game of the season as he missed out on the season-opening game. He was hitting tough jumpers and getting to the rim finishing well through contact and around players. 

La Porte High School's new Head Coach Anthony Stephens had the Bulldogs looking like a well-oiled machine in the game that I saw them play. They were led by Phillip Ned 6’0” G | La Porte | Jr. who was knocking down some big shots for them and was also big defensively for them as he played the passing lanes and was always there for the help side. I also liked the energy Cody Miller 6’4” | La Porte | Jr. brought to the table along with his toughness as he manned the interior defensively. 

Aldine Nimitz was led by Eric Woods 6’1” G | Aldine Nimitz | Sr. who showed up big for the Cougars as they faced a lot of high-quality teams featuring for shore D1 prospects. Woods was able to beat his man off the dribble every time. He played off of two feet which was refreshing to see on the high school level, and also shot the ball well. This is the first time that I’ve seen him look like a solidified point guard. 

South Houston will be a team to be reckoned with all season. They displayed cohesiveness, morale, and toughness which is everything you want from your team around the midway point of the season and this is just the beginning of the season. The key players who stood out to me were Xavier Muhammad 6’4” F | South Houston | Fr. who has his way on the low block offensively and plays like he’s not a freshman. It’s easy to see why collegiate staff already know about him. Josh Larry 6’0” G | South Houston | Sr. has the build and strength to compete at the next level and is a tough on-ball defender and can shoot the ball as well. I’ve been hearing that a few JuCo’s like him. Jordan Buckner 6’0” PG | South Houston | Jr. displayed his ability to get others involved in the game and scored the ball when they needed it.  

Atascocita is a really good program. A few standouts were the undersized four-man Jordan Maddox 6’5” PF | Atascocita | Sr. who was rim running, cleaning up on the glass, and finished at a high percentage around the rim. Jachai Cantave 6’1” PG | Atascocita | So. who was able to get to his spots on the court and competed on the defensive side of the ball as well.  Adam Boyd Jr. 6’2” G | Atascocita | So. played a huge role off the bench for the Eagles and still put up good numbers overall from scoring, assists, steals, rebounds, and a good shooting percentage. 

Lake Creek came straight off the bus shooting the leather off the ball. They played well in the three games that were viewed by Gary “The Ballerplug” Carter. They featured Jett Sutton 6’2” G | Lake Creek | Jr. who shot the ball exceptionally well. Displayed toughness and was the anchor of the team. He ran the show as a lead guard played well off the ball and took on the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best player. Adean Lewis 6’3” G | Lake Creek | Sr. displayed his athleticism and defensive prowess as a shot-altering machine and cleaned house on the glass. 

Written by: Geoffrey Day

Ball So Hard Owner / National Scout

November 19, 2023

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