High-SchoolTexas: Strake Jesuit

Matt Jones pledges to Duke

November, 29, 2011
Another guard from Texas is headed to play for Duke and the all-time winningest coach in college basketball.

DeSoto junior Matt Jones committed to the Blue Devils on Monday, making him the program's first pledge from the Class of 2013 and second Texas product to join Duke in the last year. Strake Jesuit senior Rasheed Sulaimon signed with Duke earlier this month. Jones is ranked No. 21 in the ESPNU 60.

For more on Jones' decision, click here.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
BushRidleySulaimonHarrisonsKelly Kline/ESPNHSHere are four reasons why Texas hoops is the cream of crop this year: (from left) Fort Bend Travis junior Andrew Harrison, Strake Jesuit senior Rasheed Sulaimon, Bush senior Cameron Ridley and Fort Bend Travis junior Aaron Harrison.
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Texas edition.

The Lone Star State has turned out plenty of basketball talent over the years, from a surefire Hall of Famer like Shaquille O’Neal to a modern superstar like Deron Williams. Texas has produced a few juggernaut teams as well, including Chris Bosh’s 40-0 Lincoln team from 2001-02 and Yates’ record-setting 34-0 squad in 2009-10 — both teams that finished as state and national champions.

But no matter how good the individuals or the teams, Texas has always been thought of as a football state. That’s never going to change. Nor should it. Texas is the home of high school football. But this winter, it’s also the home of high school basketball.

The 2011-12 season has the potential to go down as the best in state history. There are individual superstars aplenty and teams built to dominate. There are established seniors and upstart underclassmen. And ultimately, there’s sure to be plenty of drama along the way.

We couldn’t cover it all in these four pages, but we did our best. So read on for a sampling of the players and teams to watch in what is sure to be an unforgettable season of high school basketball.

Read More »

Arlington Martin drops out of Week 6 Texas rankings

October, 3, 2011
After games of Sunday, Oct. 2

At this point, we really shouldn't be surprised. But with each week, Johnathan Gray just keeps putting up insane numbers that seem to get more impressive with time. Last week, the Aledo senior tailback only needed 16 carries to pile up 347 yards and seven touchdowns. Never mind that the Bearcats are 3-2; with Gray on the field, they are always a threat to win.

Speaking of winning, Katy’s 55-3 rout of Strake Jesuit (Houston) Friday at Rice Stadium was victory No. 100 for Tigers head coach Gary Joseph.

The west-side power from Greater Houston remains No. 2 in this week’s POWERADE ESPNHS Texas High School rankings, breathing down the neck of No. 1 Allen.

Given that a regular season is only 10 games, it takes deep playoff runs to amass a record of 100-10 in less than eight full seasons, as Joseph has done. His teams have never failed to go at least four rounds in the playoffs. Joseph coached Katy to state titles in 2007 and 2008. The Tigers were state runner-up in 2005 and 2009.

Unfortunately, not everybody was winning this past weekend. Arlington Martin experienced its first loss of the season, falling 47-16 to rival Arlington while Klein Collins also lost 42-31 to a Trey Williams-led Dekaney squad. Both fell out of the top 25 as a result.

Nationally, Coppell dropped out of the POWERADE FAB 50 after being defeated, 31-7, by Denton Guyer last Thursday.

And without further ado, here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Allen 5-0 (1)
Missouri commit Jonathan Williams rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles came alive in the second half for a 45-13 dusting of 2-3 Lewisville. Allen on Friday makes a second trip to Plano to face 2-3 Plano East.

2. Katy 5-0 (2)
Quarterback Brooks Haack threw for 313 yards and six touchdowns in a 55-3 pummeling of 2-3 Strake Jesuit (Houston). The Tigers go for their 15th straight district win when they face 3-2 Morton Ranch (Houston) on Thursday.

3. Euless Trinity 6-0 (3)
For the second time this season, the Trojans didn’t complete a pass, but senior running back Joel Kimplea carried 25 times for 307 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-11 rout of 3-3 rival L.D. Bell (Hurst). Next is a Friday home game against 2-3 Haltom.

Click here for the full POWERADE Texas football weekly rankings.

Manvel debuts, Pearland drops out of Week 5 Texas rankings

September, 26, 2011
After games ending Saturday, Sept. 24

The top three teams in ESPNHS POWERADE Texas Football Team Rankings polished off unbeaten opponents last week. No. 1 Allen and No. 2 Katy breezed to convincing victories. But No. 3 Trinity (Euless) needed overtime to prevail over 4-1 Heritage (Colleyville), 38-35. The Trojans managed to increase their streak of consecutive regular-season victories to 22. Klein Collins (Spring) saw its regular-season winning streak end at 23 games after a 34-28 loss in three overtimes to Klein Oak (Spring). The defeat cost the Tigers 13 slots in the ranking. Defending Class 5A Division I state champion Pearland dropped out of the Top 25 after its a 31-24 loss to previously winless Clear Springs (League City).

Nationally, Allen moved back up to the No. 3 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50 after De La Salle (Calif.) lost its first game of the year.

And without further ado, here's this week's top 25 (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Allen 4-0 (1)
Alabama commit Alec Morris completed 22-of-32 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns in a dominating 44-7 victory in a District 8-5A opener at 3-1 Plano. On Friday, the Eagles host 2-2 Lewisville.

2. Katy 4-0 (2)
Brooks Haack, a Louisiana Lafayette commit, threw for three scores, rushed for one in a 46-7 rout of 3-1 Seven Lakes (Katy) in a District 19-5A opener. The Tigers face 2-2 Strake Jesuit (Houston) on Friday at Rice Stadium.

3. Euless Trinity 5-0 (3)
The Trojans needed an overtime field goal from Austin Lopez to extend their regular-season winning streak to 22 with a 38-35 squeaker over 4-1 Heritage (Colleyville). On Thursday, the Trojans face 3-2 rival L.D. Bell (Hurst).

Click here for the full ESPNHS POWERADE weekly Texas football rankings.

Randle, four other TX ballers take to court in Elite 24

August, 26, 2011
Of course, most of the focus this weekend will be on football, but for those who need a basketball fix, tune in to the Boost Mobile Elite 24 showcase.

Texas players abound in this year's class, as Prestonwood Christian's Julius Randle, Bush's Cameron Ridley, Strake Jesuit's Rasheed Sulaimon and Fort Bend Travis twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison are all in Venice Beach, ready to show their stuff. The festivities jump off Friday night with the dunk contest, which will air at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. The big game takes place the next day at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

The players have been busy all week, playing in the midnight run, undergoing drills and hanging out with each other. Check out this article with Randle and Sulaimon discussing how to divide up the touches in a game full of stars. And click here to see how Sulaimon extended his win streak in HORSE against former Duke star Jay Williams.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.