No. 42 PLANO PRESTONWOOD (5-0) vs. No. 15 ARLINGTON GRACE PREP (7-1)
6 p.m. Thursday at Lewisville High School (ESPNU and ESPN3.com)
It was an easy transition for new Plano Prestonwood basketball coach Chris Mayberry.
Mayberry was given the helm of an ESPNHS FAB 50 No. 42 team that had ESPNU’s No. 1 recruit for the class of 2013, Julius Randle, and Kansas commit Zach Peters. And in just his sixth game of his career at Prestonwood, Mayberry's team will be featured on ESPNU.
Randle, obviously, has gathered the majority of media and recruiting attention, but Mayberry said Peters has come into this season playing some of his best basketball.
Peters credits taking the summer and fall off from the court and spending it with the Prestonwood football team as the team’s leading receiver, racking up 1,095 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“I think he needed a break from basketball mentally,” Mayberry said “I think it was a real blessing for him to get mentally away from basketball a little bit, and a lot of people are telling me he’s playing the best basketball he’s ever played.”
Arlington Grace Prep will be the first real challenge for Prestonwood this season after having several early-season tournament games canceled.
Mayberry said that in his few times of seeing Grace Prep play, his team can expect them to crash the boards hard and turn the game into a track meet in transition. He believes both teams will match up comparably.
“We’re going to try to keep them from the things they love doing,” Mayberry said. “We’re going to come close to matching their athleticism, but it’s going to come down to who executes better.”
Mayberry believes the TV cameras won’t have any effect on his players, especially Randle and Peters, who as high-profile players are used to the national spotlight.
NO. 11 FLOWER MOUND (13-1) vs. NO.4 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN, Md. (5-0)
8:30 p.m. Thursday at Lewisville High School (ESPN and ESPN3.com)
It’s been a quick start for defending 5A state champions Flower Mound Marcus.
The Mauraders worked their way deep into several early-season tournaments, allowing them to already have 14 games under their belt while most teams have only played five or six.
Marcus’ only loss came against No. 7 Finlay Prep (Nevada), 47-39.
Marcus boasts the No. 11 overall recruit in Marcus Smart, who will join point guard Phil Forte at Oklahoma State next year.
Marcus will be Montrose Christian’s first real test of the season after beating up on Virginia high schools in its first week of the season. NBA star Kevin Durant attended Montrose Christian before playing one year at the University of Texas.
You can click here to watch the games on ESPN3.com.