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G.R.I.N.D. Vol 2

January is here which means nothing but DISTRICT play. This is where the rubber meets the road, where the bench will be shortened, where all the coaches know your sets better than your players, and where coaching and player leadership matter. This is the time to start your fight to finish within the top 4 of your district, but before we get to all that, let's recap our honorees for December. We would like to thank every High School and all the tournaments that went on during the month for giving us access to cover the event. It was a lot of basketball that was played and we loved every minute of it. 


Coach of the Month: 

Van Price has some talent in the stable over in Sugar Land, Texas. He is our coach of the month. The Fort Bend Clements Rangers have been rolling all season long. Not only did they go 11-0 in December but they are 18-0 to start the season and only 1 of 2 remaining undefeated UIL teams in the state. They have a +15.6 point margin in December alone. The starting lineup is 6’3”, 6’3”, 6’5”, 6’8”, and 6’11”. Coach Van Price has had some success at Clements High School, just two seasons ago he took the Rangers to the Regional tournament and made the playoffs last season also, as they were met with an unexpected first-round exit. Not only is Coach Price our Coach of the Month but Fort Bend Clements is also our Team of the Month. I was able to get an interview with Coach Price. What is your coaching philosophy? "My philosophy is to make a game that’s hard easier by playing hard and making sacrifices." Coach what motivates you to coach? "Helping student-athletes be the best version of themselves has always been my motivation." You’re off to an amazing start. How do you keep the players composed and not get a big head but fired up for every game? "We’re constantly reminding the players to take ownership of their team. Teams that are player-driven and not coach-driven tend to be better."

Best Guard of the Month: 

This guard had a really big December and that is none other than Montana Wheeler | 5’8” Jr. [Houston Christian]. He has been putting up numbers on the floor. His play affects his team's success. His ability to run the show by getting his teammates involved in the game. Slow it down, speed it up. Take ownership when he makes mistakes. Pulling his teammates in for a huddle to settle them down or talk about the play is everything a coach could ask for. He also can score on all levels on the court at a high percentage. He helped to lead his team to a 10-3 record in December as he got the better of the matchup with future McDonald’s All-American Ian Jackson who is committed to the University of North Carolina as well won the game, and beat Desert Mountain ranked 2nd in the state of Arizona. He is averaging 22.0 points per game and 7.1 assists per game on the season. 

Best Wing of the Month: 

The wing of the month is Milton Rice | 6’5” Sr. [Fort Bend Hightower]. This utility player plays a huge role in the success of Hurricane Lane. Milton is a super active player on the floor with a really good motor. He plays on both sides of the ball and doesn’t mind diving on the floor for a loose ball tie-up. He helped to lead Hightower to a 7-2 record in December. He is currently leading his team in these statistical categories 17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. He also leads with 50% from the field. He is a leader on the court. One of the things that stands out is his attentiveness to his head coach. He’s not looking in the stands to see who is trying to coach him from the bleachers but always looking and listening to his coach's instruction.

Best Big of the Month: 

Our big of the month is Joshua Clark | 6’11” Sr. [Fort Bend Clements]. I recall back in the fall stating that this player would eventually play himself into an NCAA D1 Scholarship. He has done that by picking up an offer from the University of Texas at Arlington. His growth from this time last year, even in late spring/early summer, has been tremendous. Just his movement on the court. Has been displaying good hands and is a good passer also. He’s been playing above the rim more comfortably also. His interior presence on the defensive side of the ball as a rim protector and rebounder plays a big role as he draws a lot of attention. In the season he is averaging 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game. He is also shooting 67% from the field and has recorded 3 double-doubles.

Team of the Month: 

Fort Bend Clements High School. They are also featured in the Coach of the Month above. 

Freshman of the Month:

There have been a lot of fabulous freshmen so far, but our freshman for November is Isaiah Santos | 6’4” Fr. [Katy Seven Lakes]. Santos is one of the many freshmen who is playing like a tenured varsity player. Before coming in and being an impactful freshman, over the summer he also played on the Brazil U16 National Team. He played more of a guard role on that team, while at Seven Lakes he is playing a rim running four. He doesn’t complain about his role or what he is expected to do on the team. He just goes out and plays and is willing to do whatever it takes to come out on the winning side. He is averaging 16.5 points and 9 rebounds per game this season.



The plethora of sub-six-foot guards is a dime a dozen in the country, not just in the country, but also in the Greater Houston area. Here are 12 sub-six-foot guards that have been making a lot of noise this high school season within the area.

This list is not a ranking and isn't in any particular order. 

Koye Rondeno 5’10” Sr. [Klein Collins] BSH80

A speedy guard who utilizes his quickness to his advantage. He is a downhill-driving guard who can make plays for others. He has had a really good start on the season. He can shoot the long ball also. His ability to make defenses collapse around him allows him to find teammates with open looks.

Sir William McDuffie | 5’11” Sr. [Cypress Ridge] BSH80

Talk about an undersized strong lead guard who plays through contact look no further. Sir Willaim has been playing well this year and has been a true leader on the floor. He can create his own shot from anywhere on the floor and is a really good rebounder for his size. He just picked up an NAIA offer from Centenary College in Louisiana.

Jordan Buckner 6’0” Jr. [South Houston] BSH40

Everyone is high on his scoring capabilities but I first saw this young man as a freshman as a facilitating machine. He plays with poise and is a very controlled guard who handles pressure well. His ability to score is just a benefit to what he brings to the table.

Elijah Black | 5’11” Jr. [Katy Jordan] BSH40

Elijah came back from an injury and didn’t miss a step. He plays on both sides of the ball. He can run the offense as a playmaker. He can score the ball on all levels. He is willing to guard the best player every time. He brings a quiet toughness to the game. 

Zac Sells | 5’8” Jr. [Kountze] 

This player has already eclipsed 2,000 career points, 400 career steals, and 400 career assists. He is uber-quick with a good handle on the basketball. He is a very crafty finisher around the rim and can drain it from deep. A very pesky on-ball defender as well.

Isaac Saavedra | 5’10” Jr. [Cypress Ranch] BSH40

First saw this player in action last season on varsity. What you see is what you get. A really good decision-maker with the rock in his hands. He is also a big-time shot-maker in big-time situations in the game. He always shows up in the big moments and is very clutch. Want the ball in his hands in the closing seconds of any game.

Eian Lowe | 5’8” Jr. [Fort Bend Marshall] 

Lowe has been on a mission this season. He's not trying to be a big-time scorer. He plays his role as a floor general. He gets his teammates involved in the game and makes winning plays. He can be a pesky on-ball defender. He gets things done and shines throughout every game, always leaving a positive mark on the game.

Odis Carter Jr | 5’9” Sr. [Houston Washington] BSH80

Odis is the best on-ball defender that will be mentioned of these ten players. He currently just picked up two NJCAA (JuCo) Offers. Outside of his tough on-ball defense, he is a great second or third option as a scorer within an offense because of his ability to drain deep three-point shots.

Jace Jeffries | 5’10” Sr. [Concordia Lutheran] BSH80

Jace is another guard who has been out to leave a mark this season. The senior lead guard has an NCAA D2 offer and some NAIA offers on the table. He can score the ball on all levels of the floor. He is a leader on and off the court. He has had some really big games this season. He has been playing at a consistent rate.

Langston Adams Jr | 5’9” So. [Port Neches-Grove]

New school, but has the same results. Langston is a really good ball-handler. He can shoot the ball from deep and is a good leader on the court. He is a solid on-ball defender as well. He is a tough competitor who has a little fire to him. 

Jaden Scales | 5’10” So. [Orangefield]

Jaden a.k.a. Ghost is a deep ball threat every time he steps foot on the court. Not only a threat from deep but this guard has a really good handle on the ball. He has been breaking down defenses this year and is a huge reason for the Bobcats' success.

Jaden Holt | 5’8” Jr. [Katy Jordan] BSH40

Holt has explosive speed with the ball. He can stop on a dime to hit mid-range pull-up jumpers. He is a tough assignment for other small guards because of his strength. He is also a good defender who has quick lateral movements to get a lot of deflections as well as take charges.

Montana Wheeler was featured as our guard of the month, but he too would be on this list.



Strength of schedule refers to the difficulty of a team’s opponents throughout the season. It takes into account the quality and competitiveness of the teams they face, including their win-loss records as well as their district affiliations. A strong schedule means facing tough opponents, while a weak schedule consists of relatively easier matchups.

Why Does the Strength of Schedule Matter?: It demonstrates a team’s ability to compete against top-tier opponents. Beating highly ranked teams showcases their talent and potential for success. On the other hand, consistently playing weaker teams may raise doubts about the team’s capabilities.

Provides Credibility: For teams aspiring to secure playoff spots, having a strong strength of schedule is essential.

Influences Team Ranking Position: When determining the Top 25 rankings, voters consider not only a team’s record but also who they played and how well they performed against those opponents. A team with an impressive strength of schedule has more opportunities to prove themselves on a bigger stage and can earn higher rankings if they perform well.

Here is the list of Greater Houston High School Top 25 by Strength of Schedule regardless of affiliation. I use the same formula that the NCAA uses for S.O.S. 

  1. St. Francis Episcopal 

  2. Atascocita

  3. Legacy School of Sports Science

  4. Klein Cain

  5. Summer Creek

  6. C.E. King

  7. Episcopal

  8. Dawson

  9. Langham Creek

  10. Katy Paetow

  11. Shadow Creek

  12. Pasadena Memorial

  13. The Woodlands Christian Academy

  14. Manvel

  15. Fort Bend Clements

  16. Beaumont West Brook

  17. Cypress Ranch

  18. Fort Bend Bush

  19. Bellaire

  20. Fort Bend Elkins

  21. Beaumont United

  22. Clear Springs

  23. Nimitz

  24. Westfield

  25. South Houston

You can even go on MaxPreps and see their strength of schedule. It is in the team rankings as well as your team's rating within their computer system. 



The Ball So Hard Power Index is how we rate each district. District Rankings also play a part in the Team Rankings. Our formula for the power Index includes the district's record of non-district games, how many ranked players each district has, the strength of schedule average of the district, and last year's playoff run. The formula then ranks each district by classification showing us which district is the best overall outside of an eye test, but rather in what they have accomplished on the court and what type of players the district produces.    


  1. District 21

  2. District 20

  3. District 16

  4. District 19

  5. District 23

  6. District 22

  7. District 15

  8. District 18

  9. District 13

  10. District 24

  11. District 14

  12. District 17


  1. District 17

  2. District 21

  3. District 18

  4. District 20

  5. District 16

  6. District 19


  1. District 21

  2. District 20

  3. District 19

  4. District 26

  5. District 25


  1. 5A - District 5

  2. 6A - District 2

  3. 3A - District 5

  4. 4A - District 4

  5. 2A - District 6

  6. 1A - District 8

  7. 1A - District 7



It’s always interesting to me to see who is who as far as statistical leaders in each class and as a whole. I’ve received complaints in the past about this because everyone doesn’t publish their statistics within MaxPreps. This year I’ve reached out to coaches to ask for their statistical leaders, not just to see who averages the most but we also utilize the information in our college coaches section on player profiles. I even put out a tweet asking for updated stats. Some coaches don’t want other teams to scout them via stats from MaxPreps to key in on who their leading scorers may be, because it may not be the highly touted player on their team that is ranked or that everyone talks about. If you allow another to beat you by stopping you based on stats then maybe coaching is not for you. Coaching has to do with strategies and most coaches I know prepare their teams for others to be factors in the game to bring about wins not just the scorers. With that being said some players will step up when you least expect them to if you have a system in place. Below I have attached a link with the Greater Houston Leaders. Stats were provided by MaxPreps and High School Coaches. Thank you Coaches for sharing the information so we can work in a collaborative effort for the betterment of the student-player. Click below to see the leaderboard.



We have closed out the first two months of High School basketball. Here is a list of 10 unsigned seniors still on the board. Not every player listed is a NCAA D1 prospect but these 10 seniors have been hooping. Coaches get the full game film on these players. I can guarantee that one will make your recruiting board.

Divine Ugochukwu | 6’4” Sr. [Fort Bend Clements] BSH80

Divine has been a machine thus far in the high school season. He is a tough lead guard who facilitates, scores on all levels plus above the rim, and is super tough on the defensive end of the ball. He is playing with a point to prove this season. He is averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. Shooting 55% from the field and 36% from three-point land.

Chris McDermott | 6’7” Sr. [Houston Washington] BSH80

I still don’t know too many unsigned seniors who are doing what McDermott is doing. Super high motor, a rim runner, and cleans house on the glass like Dennis Rodman, swatting shots, and scoring the ball. He is a no-brainer for any college regardless of the level he can fit with his intangibles. He is averaging 22.2 points, 19.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game on the season. 

Jakeel Registe | 6’5” Sr. [Episcopal] BSH80

Jakeel plays as a duo forward. Sometimes he looks like a dominant undersized power forward. Then at other times, he looks like a slashing small forward who can take his man off the dribble as a wing driver. He is active on the glass and is a shot-altering machine on the defensive side of the ball.

Logan Alexander | 6’8” Sr. [C.E. King] BSH80

Logan is long and athletic. I wish I knew his wingspan. He probably has the biggest wingspan in the area. He is a big-time rim protector. He snatches rebounds with that give me this ball attitude. He plays the dunk spot and short corner well. He is averaging 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game on the season. 

Ta’Koreyn “TK” Lawson | 6’6” Sr. [PSAT Academy] BSH80

TK has a smoothness to his game. It gives you that laid-back Paul Pierce feel. It may not look like he is going to punish you until he displays his explosiveness off the bounce and puts someone on the rim. He is a play initiator as well and can guard multiple positions on the floor from small guards to bigs. He is averaging 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on the season.

LeAno Rolle | 6’6” Sr. [Legacy School of Sports Science] BSH80

Lee is uber-athletic and is an alley-oop machine. His long wingspan and athletic abilities make him a good defender. He has a really good motor. He can knock down some trey balls also. He has a really good motor. He is averaging 10.6 points, 4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 53% from the field and 30% from three.

Chris Tippins | 6’5” Sr. [Cypress Ranch] BSH80

Tippins has been looking really good this season for the Mustangs. It’s as if he got his swagger back from his sophomore season. He has been displaying his athleticism by dunking and playing above his opponents. He is a really good rebounder for his size as well. He is averaging 15.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on the season.

Alantheon Winn | 6’5” Sr. [Little Cypress Mauriceville] BSH80

Alantheon has been having a productive season for the Bears. He is athletic and can play either the two or the three. He has improved on his perimeter shooting. Has a really good motor also. He is averaging 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game on the season.

Already mentioned above as players of the month were Milton Rice and Joshua Clark. Both are deserving to be on this list as must-see unsigned seniors, but let’s shed light on two other prospects that are deserving also. 

Dyllan Thompson | 6’6” Sr. [Second Baptist] BSH80

Dyllan is a very respectful person both on and off the court. He can be utilized in many ways on the court as he is a dual forward. He could be a 3:D wing. Has the strength to bang down low or be used as a pick-n-pop stretch four in small-ball situations. He is very vocal on the floor and is a great leader. He is averaging 17.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He is shooting 44% from the field and 34% from three-point. 

Chidiebube Chiakwelu | 6’7” Sr. [George Ranch] BSH80

Chidi is a tough competitor. He holds down the interior defensively as he causes havoc by swatting shots and making opponents think twice about coming in the paint. He runs the floor well and can guard the 3-5 on the floor. He is a defensive anchor with good hands on the offensive side of the ball. He is averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2.5 assists per game on the season.

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