High School: Prestonwood Christian

Marcus stands firm at No. 5 in ESPNHS FAB 50

March, 13, 2012
Texas' basketball season is over, but parts of the country are still playing and ESPNHS is still updating the POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings.

The Flower Mound Marcus boys maintained their No. 5 position after winning their second consecutive state title. Only two teams ahead of Marcus, No. 2 Findlay Prep (Nev.) and No. 4 Chester (Pa.), haven't completed their seasons. Findlay Prep beat Marcus earlier in the year.

Prestonwood Christian remained at No. 12 and fellow TAPPS power Arlington Grace Prep moved up two spots to No. 22.

South Grand Prairie, which lost to Marcus in a regional final, bounced up three spots to No. 46.

In the girls FAB 50, Class 5A champion Duncanville moved up four spots to No. 7 two weeks after completing its season. Irving MacArthur held the No. 18 spot, Dallas Lincoln dropped two spots to No. 42 and Plano West slipped a spot to No. 44.

Duncanville girls just outside top 10 in FAB 50

March, 6, 2012
UIL Class 5A champion Duncanville edged up a spot to No. 11 in the latest ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 girls basketball rankings.

The other area girls teams in the FAB 50, none of which reached the state tournament, held their ground from last week: No. 18 Irving MacArthur, No. 40 Dallas Lincoln and No. 43 Plano West.

In the boys FAB 50, two area teams gained ground after winning TAPPS championships. Prestonwood Christian moved up a spot to No. 12 after winning the TAPPS 5A title. TAPPS 4A champion Arlington Grace Prep gained four spots to reach No. 24.

Flower Mound Marcus, which reached this weekend's UIL Class 5A state tournament, stood firm at No. 5. South Grand Prairie slipped from No. 41 to No. 49 after losing to Marcus by one point in a regional final.

Prestonwood, Arl. Grace Prep win TAPPS titles

March, 4, 2012
Houston Beren Acadamy wasn't the only TAPPS team of note playing for a basketball state championship over the weekend.

Plano Prestonwood Christian and Arlington Grace Prep, both nationally ranked, won their classifications Saturday.

Prestonwood, No. 13 in the latest ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50, beat Plano John Paul II 72-46 in the TAPPS 5A championship game.

In TAPPS 4A, Grace Prep, No. 28 in the FAB 50, took down No. 39 Houston Westbury Christian 77-57.

Fort Worth Calvary reached the TAPPS 3A final but lost 39-31 to Conroe The Woodlands Christian.

Dallas Ursuline was the only girls team from the area to win a title, edging Dallas Bishop Lynch 44-43 in the TAPPS 5A championship game.

Duncanville girls elevate to No. 12 in FAB 50

February, 28, 2012
Duncanville vaulted eight spots to No. 12 in the latest ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 girls basketball national rankings after Saturday's victory over previous No. 12 Irving MacArthur in the Class 5A Region 1 championship game.

MacArthur slipped six spots to No. 18 after being denied a chance to defend its state championship.

Boys brackets: 5A »   4A »
Girls brackets: 5A »   4A »
State tournament: Girls » Boys »
Defending 4A state champion Dallas Lincoln fell from No. 22 to No. 40 after losing to Rockwall in the 4A Region 2 quarterfinals. Plano West dropped from No. 28 to No. 43 after MacArthur ended the Wolves' season in the regional quarterfinals.

In the boys ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50, defending Class 5A state champion Flower Mound Marcus maintained its position at No. 5. No. 13 Prestonwood Christian also held its position.

Arlington Grace Prep, which has reached the TAPPS 4A state semifinals, moved up three spots to No. 28. South Grand Prairie also moved up three spots and sits at No. 41.

Richland, which had been No. 46, tumbled out of the rankings after its bi-district loss to Mansfield Timberview.

Oak Hill (Va.) neutralizes Randle, Prestonwood

January, 14, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Plano Prestonwood's Julius Randle drew the first pop from the crowd in the marquee matchup of the third day of the Hoophall Classic, landing a violent windmill dunk in layup lines to the approval of the capacity crowd.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
J Anthony Roberts/ESPNHSNo. 3 recruit Julius Randle returned to action on Feb. 15 and is nearing a decision date.
A few momets later, in the first minute of action, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) big man A.J. Hammons got the next pop, dunking over the nation's top junior power forward with both hands. He added insult to injury with a big two-handed shove to Randle's chest.

From that point, it was on. Both Randle and the 7-foot Purdue commit had their moments, but in the end it was Oak Hill prevailing once again, 85-55, after some lights-out shooting by guards Jordan Adams (23 points), Tyler Lewis (15 points, nine assists) and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (16 points) opened up the floodgates. The three combined for 10 3's, including a 5-of-7 effort from Adams, to blow this open.

In total, Oak Hill, which moves to 27-0, was 13 of 25 from deep. Prestonwood fell to 15-4.

"I thought we could have competed a little better," Prestonwood coach Chris Mayberry said. "But the way they shot tonight, you know, 13 of 25, I think they're the best team in the country today for sure, the way they play. I thought we could've competed a little better, but they're also really good. You've got to give them credit."

In the fourth quarter, with the Lions down by more than 20, Randle impressed the crowd with three powerful one-handed slams in transition. But the first half was a whole other story.

The game featured plenty of length, with Kansas commit Zach Peters and 6-7 freshman Mickey Mitchell joining the 6-9 Randle in the frontcourt, paired off against Hammons and the Warriors' 6-6 Charlotte commit, Darion Clark. Those long arms played a big part of the opening minutes, with the Lions struggling to get good looks inside of 15 feet thanks to a stifling mix of 3-2 and 2-3 zone looks.

In one possession, Hammons swatted Peters going to his right, and when Randle missed a close-range floater on the follow-up, he found himself boxed out by Hammons' outstretched arms. On an ensuing possesson, Randle managed to cross up Hammons, only to be stuffed by Clark as he drove to his left.

There were promising rotations on Prestonwood's end, such as when Mitchell sent Georgetown-bound guard Smith-Rivera's layup attempt into the crowd under the baseline. But too often in the first half, it seemed, the Lions seemed to receive two uppercuts for each jab they dealt.

Earlier this week, Randle told ESPNHS in his periodical "Player Diary" that he was going to hand the undefeated Warriors their first loss. That seemed to motivate Hammons, who combined with Clark to hold the sought-after big man to a 4-of-13 effort from the field in the first half. Randle finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks -- but it felt as if he earned every single tally.

"I just tried to attack his body," Randle said of Hammons. "He's a big guy, so I wanted to try and attack his body. I wasn't frustrated, I knew the ball would go into the hole at some time, so I wasn't worried.

"They overloaded my side, so I just had to look and find my teammates better."

Acknowledging Randle is a step quicker, Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said he was hoping Randle would make a few jump shots early and settle there, "because he's hard to play inside". But the combination of Hammons (eight rebounds, three blocks) and Clark (10 points, six rebounds) was frustrating enough.

"He [Randle] likes to float sometimes," Smith said. "We just tried to mix it up ... we tried to keep him away from the basket, when he did catch it down low we'd try and send a guy to double-team. We had some size -- he's not used to getting his shot blocked, I don't think, and that messed with his head a little bit. I think we blocked his shot three or four times in the first half, and that seemed to fluster him a bit."

Oak Hill led 22-8 after one quarter, and 39-24 at the half. The Lions were held to 32.1 percent shooting from the floor in that first half, including just a 4-for-13 effort from the floor by Randle. The Lions finished 38.6 from the floor for the game, but were outrebounded 42-25.

FM Marcus boys return to top 10 of FAB 50

January, 10, 2012
After slipping to No. 14 last week, Flower Mound Marcus bounced up to No. 10 in the latest ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 boys basketball national rankings.

Marcus joins Arlington Grace Prep, which held steady at No. 3, in the top 10. Prestonwood Christian moved up four spots to No. 19.

The four area girls teams in the FAB 50 either held their ground or moved up in the latest rankings. Irving MacArthur leads the way, remaining at No. 18. Duncanville moved up four spots to No. 33. Dallas Lincoln also jumped four spots to No. 35, and Plano West held steady at No. 46.

Prestonwood's Randle visits Duke, UNC, NC St.

January, 9, 2012
Prestonwood Christian forward Julius Randle has been keeping a diary for ESPNHS.com, and today's entry is a doozy.

After Prestonwood's recent trip to South Carolina for the Beach Ball Classic, Randle dropped in on a couple of his biggest fans, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. He also sat down with North Carolina State and coach Mark Gottfried.

Randle, No. 3 in the ESPNU 60 national rankings for Class of 2013 recruits, took in a North Carolina game and a Duke game on the same day. He was wooed by fans at both schools, but seemed especially impressed with Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium.
That place wasn’t just packed, it was sold out. Of course their place is smaller, but that place is just crazy.

If I had to compare the environments, I’d have to say that Cameron is the most live. It’s so true what people say about that place and this is with the students not even being there. It was just insane. It’s another level. They chanted my name so loud and their fans knew all about me. I was just like wow.

After the game I got the chance to sit down with Coach K again and we had a long talk. He gave me so many things to think about like getting lower and wider in my stance and being in great -- not good -- shape and how much that could help me.

He showed me clips of LeBron James when he was with Team USA and how they worked with him on getting lower and how much that helped him. I have started using that these past couple games, and I can already tell the difference in how I’m playing.

Randle didn't tip his hand on which way he's leaning, however, and says he's looking forward to visiting Ohio State and Kentucky.

Randle and Prestonwood are traveling again this weekend, heading to Springfield, Mass., for the Hoophall Classic. Prestonwood will have a tough task against Virgina powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, which is unbeaten and ranked No. 2 nationally in the most recent ESPNHS POWERADE Top 50.

Prestonwood avenges loss against Grace Prep

December, 22, 2011
Round 2 goes to Prestonwood Christian.

Freshman forward Mickey Mitchell scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Prestonwood over Arlington Grace Prep 62-42 in Wednesday's championship game of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.

The win came six days after Grace Prep handled Prestonwood 79-64 in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

Click here to read more about Prestonwood's payback win on the ESPNHS boys basketball blog.

Austin leads Arl. Grace Prep past Prestonwood

December, 16, 2011

LEWISVILLE, Texas -- Want a formula for ending a game against the No. 42 team in the nation?

Ask Arlington Grace Prep forward Isaiah Austin to whip one up.

[+] EnlargeIsaiah Austin
Travis L. Brown for ESPNDallas.com Isaiah Austin scored a game-high 18 points for Alrington Grace Prep against Prestonwood Christian.
The future Baylor Bear threw down two monstrous dunks on national TV to take back any momentum Julius Randle and Plano Prestonwood had gathered in a 79-64 Grace Prep win Friday night on ESPNU.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Austin took an alley-oop dish from point guard Emmanuel Mudiay on a two-on-one and slammed it home to electrify a sold-out crowd at Lewisville High School.

“It gets you hype, especially when you make a big play and your fans go crazy," said Austin, who tied Mudiay with a game-high 18 points. "It’s a fun environment.”

Grace Prep started the game hot from outside, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half and numerous jumpers from distance.

Prestonwood’s man defense had to respect Grace Prep’s hot shooting, which opened up the lane for a constant flow of drives to the hole.

“They had to respect our jump shots,” Austin said. “We were just screening. All of our ball-handlers can drive and dish, so that’s what we did.”

It was a tough task against Randle, the No. 3 recruit for the class of 2013, and Kansas commit Zach Peters. Randle lead Prestonwood with 15 points.

Grace Prep finished the game with six 3-pointers, and Austin said his team didn't have any trouble ignoring the hype surrounding a nationally-televised game.

“We didn’t pay attention to it," Austin said. "We took every practice like a regular game. We just played our game.”
Prestonwood Christian, Arlington Grace Prep and Flower Mound Marcus are among the elite national programs who will take part in the upcoming 2011-12 Geico ESPNHS Basketball Showcase.

Prestonwood will face Grace Prep in a game featuring two of the nation's top college prospects at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in Lewisville. Prestonwood's Julius Randle is No. 3 in the ESPNU 60 rankings for the class of 2013. Grace Prep's Isaiah Austin, a Baylor signee, is No. 3 in the ESPNU 100 rankings for the class of 2012. The matchup will be televised on ESPNU.

Marcus, the No. 5 team in the ESPNHS Fab 50 national rankings, will be in action at 9:30 the same night against No. 4 Montrose Christian (Md.). That game, also in Lewisville, will be televised by ESPN.

Click here for more details and schedule information.

Dallas' Titans take aim at AAA Super Showcase

July, 22, 2011
A slew of high school basketball players from the Metroplex will be taking part in the AAU Super Showcase -- an invitation-only event being held next week at ESPN's Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Texas Titans, from Dallas, include center Prince Ibeh (Garland Naaman Forest), power forward Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian), SG Matt Jones (DeSoto) and PG Marquan Botley (Prestonwood Chr.). ESPN Recruiting's Paul Biancardi believes the squad are among the teams to watch at the event.

Two Arlington Grace Prep players -- Baylor commit C Isaiah Austin and PG Emmanuel Mudiay -- will be competing with the Texas Pro team, which is based in Houston.

The Super Showcase, one of the marquee events of the summer, will feature two games broadcast on ESPNU -- Texas Pro (Houston) vs. Georgia Stars (Atlanta) on July 26 at 6 p.m.; and the Super Showcase championship on July 27 at 6 p.m.

For more on the event, click here.

Randle, Ibeh stand out at Nike Skills Academy

June, 27, 2011
Prestonwood Christian junior-to-be Julius Randle and Garland Naaman Forest senior Prince Ibeh both made quite an impression over the weekend at the Amare Stoudemire Nike Skills Academy in Chicago, according to ESPN Recruiting's Reggie Rankin and Paul Biancardi.

Randle was among the camp's top three scorers, prompting this analysis:
The athletic lefty plays in full attack mode in the post, from midrange and along the baseline. Randle has a great first step for a player his size and can initiate and score through contact with touch, body control or with a powerful above-the-rim finish. He plays with confidence, energy, urgency and he exposes defenders not ready to compete immediately.

Meanwhile, Ibeh, a 6-11 center, was among the top three defenders / shot blockers:
Ibeh grabs your attention right away with his 7-4 wingspan. He runs the floor pretty well and patrols the lane. He blocks shots in and out of his area and what he doesn't block, he changes. He has pretty good timing and puts forth good effort to get to the ball, whether its being shot from the lane or the perimeter. His tremendous length also allows him to recover beautifully from mistakes. His defense is far ahead of his offense and his upside is tremendous with added strength and improved production on the offensive end.

For more on the camp's standouts, click here.

Prestonwood Christian's Randle No. 1 in 2013

May, 24, 2011
ESPN Recruiting debuted its latest boys basketball recruiting rankings for the 2012-2014 classes, and a pair of area private school players are rated among the best of the best.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
Courtesy Prestonwood Christian AcademyTexas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Missouri are among the schools Prestonwood Christian's Julius Randle is considering. North Carolina, Kentucky, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Duke are also reportedly showing interest.
Prestonwood Christian power forward Julius Randle, who is uncommitted, is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013. Arlington Grace Prep center Isaiah Austin is No. 2 for 2012.

Small forward Marcus Smart, who led Flower Mound Marcus to the Class 5A state championship in March, is No. 40 in the Class 2012 rankings and remains uncommitted.

Joining Randle on the 2013 list are Irving guard Keith Frazier at No. 7 and DeSoto guard Matt Jones.

Austin, who has committed to Baylor, is among the players spotlighted in Mitch Sherman's look at how big men are dominating the 2012 rankings.

Paul Biancardi provides a scouting report for some of the top 2012 big men and had this to say about Austin:
Austin possesses a unique skill set, as he is a legitimate 7-footer with the skills of a wing player. He looks like a young Sam Bowie and has the skill package of a young Ralph Sampson. His enormous wing span makes him a rim protector, and his ball skills make him so versatile offensively. Once his body matures and accepts weight, he will be an even tougher matchup in the low post.

Here are links to the full ESPNU lists: 2012 Top 100, 2013 Top 60, 2014 Top 25.

PLANO, Texas - - To combat Prestonwood Christian Academy’s star 6-foot-8 power forward Zach Peters, opponents often send out a double or even triple team in hopes of controlling the Kansas recruit.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
Courtesy Prestonwood Christian AcademyJulius Randle has shown a knack for attacking the rim at JBC practices.
How does Prestonwood counter that defense? By working the ball over to the Lions' other star 6-foot-8 forward, sophomore Julius Randle.

Both big men are among the best in their recruiting classes, according to ESPNU. Peters is ranked No. 45 in the Super 60 of the Class of 2012 and Randle holds the top spot in the Terrific 25 for the class of 2013. The tandem has not only brought the national spotlight on themselves and their school, but on private school basketball in Texas.

“It’s very rare for a coach to be able to coach one player with the talent that those two guys have, and to be able to coach both of them is just a blessing for me,” Prestonwood head coach Brad Freeman said. “They do a great job when they work together. It’s very difficult for other teams to stop.”

Freeman said the Lions' game plan changed completely last year when Randle joined the varsity squad, taking the pressure off Peters. Randle found success cutting down the lane opposite the ball, creating a two-headed monster in the post that opponents could not defend.

This season, with Prestonwood’s two-man post game fully developed, Randle has gone from a freshman surprise to a court dominator, averaging a team-leading 24.6 points. Peters is next on the team, averaging 13. 7 points.

“We’re both great athletes.” Randle said. “We have good skill sets and we play off each other. When we’re both playing well, it’s pretty hard to beat our team. When we play off each other and we’re both encouraging each other, we do a pretty good job.”

[+] EnlargeZach Peters
Courtesy Prestonwood Christian AcademyJunior forward Zach Peters is committed to Kansas.
With his mind already set on Kansas, Peters said he is excited to be able to focus solely on developing his skill at the high school level and helping his team become a power in the area and nationally.

The Lions don't back down from any competition. They couldn't get past area public school powerhouses Dallas Lincoln and South Grand Prairie, but they made splashes in national tournaments, finishing fourth at the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria, Calif., and third at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

On Tuesday night, Prestonwood has a chance to avenge its only TAPPS District 1-5A loss of the season against Plano John Paul II.

Randle still has options to weight about where he will play after his time at Prestonwood is finished. He said he has not thought about what schools he would like to attend but he knows he wants to be surrounded by good character.

“I know I have to be able to trust the coach and trust that I know he’ll develop my talent and develop me as a person also,” Randle said.

Before moving on to the next level, the duo has plenty of games left to play together, a TAPPS Division I state title to defend and two top national tournaments next season -- the City of the Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., and the Beach Ball Classic -- to look forward to.

“You can’t get a better partner to play basketball with,” Peters said of Randle. “He’s just been awesome and we’re going to continue to get better and we’re going to have a lot of fun this year.”
[+] EnlargeStanridge
Courtesy of Mike BeesonPrestonwood Christian Academy receiver Riley Standridge will become the first member of his family to play at the stadium named after his grandfather.
Prestonwood Christian Academy senior receiver Thomas "Riley" Standridge is named after his grandfather. Also named after former Carrollton Mayor Thomas Standridge is the Carrollton ISD home stadium, which will host the TAPPS Division I semifinal matchup between PCA and Dallas Bishop Lynch on Saturday.

The game marks the first time any of the Standridge clan will play on the field at Standridge Stadium.

Riley Standridge has tallied 887 receiving yards and 132 rushing yards for the Lions this year, with a combined 20 touchdowns.

Prestonwood defeated Bishop Lynch earlier in the season, 42-21. The winner advances to play the winner of Fort Worth Nolan and Austin St. Michaels in the Division I state championship game.