Da House loses UAA Finals opener

@brandonspeck

SUWANEE – Da House lost Thursday’s 15U Open Division opener, 55-47 to Indy Hoosiers at the Under Armour Association Finals.

At Suwanee Sports Academy, Columbus 2018 SG Robert Woodard had 16 points, 10 rebounds, eight blocks and four assists.

“In AAU Nationals, we played really well. We got hit in the face really hard by the best team in the nation, Team Penny and we really haven’t rebounded well since that game,” said Da House coach Gary Caveness. “This is the best group of guys we’ve ever had. They didn’t play like it tonight, but there’s always tomorrow.”

The team plays two games today, at 11:40 a.m. against an opponent to-be-determined and 5:50 p.m. Against DC Blue Devils.

I’ll have a lot more later on…

Posted in Basketball, Recruiting

Oxford’s Abraham, Hill talk playmaker plethora

@brandonspeck

TUPELO – No Metcalf, no problem.

Greaser, Wadlington, Cousar only start the list of Oxford weapons used to win Friday’s National Select 7-on-7 Mississippi Qualifier, a 26-10 title-game win over Florence, Ala.

D.K. Metcalf, the state’s top player, an Ole Miss commit and the nation’s No. 8-ranked 2016 wide receiver is in Oregon at The Opening, a Nike-sponsored gathering of top prospects.

“They underestimate the other receivers we have,” said Oxford senior quarterback and Tulane commit Jack Abraham, “Jimmy (Greaser), Hiram (Wadlington), (Zach) Cousar, Joe (Trott), (Joe) O’Keefe, other guys, Chris Walton, he stepped up big today.”

Plenty of other guns have led the charge in a successful offseason – four tournaments played, four tournaments won – the Chargers hope will carry over into a third-straight Class 5A state championship appearance. It has lost the title game the last two years.

“First two tournaments, we had two starting receivers, one tournament we had only one starting receiver,” said Oxford coach Johnny Hill, who’s set to retire following the season. “But these younger guys have really stepped up and played big-time on us and we’re getting so much better on defense.”

Greaser, Wadlington and Cousar caught three touchdowns from Abraham.

“We’re still really good without DK. I mean, don’t get me wrong,” Abraham said, “we’re going to be that much better when we have D.K.”

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Columbus’ Woodard beasting for Da House

@brandonspeck

Corinth’s Da House is 3-0 in the 15U Division I and II AAU Nationals in Memphis. USA Team member Robert Woodard, a 2018 SG out of Columbus, is averaging a monstrous 18 points and 13 rebounds per game, as well as two assists and two blocks.

And he’s doing it in 16 minutes per game for the loaded squad of Journal area players.

Da House will play in the open division of the Under Armour Association Finals next week in Atlanta.

Posted in Basketball, Recruiting

Oxford advances to Hoover … again

@brandonspeck

TUPELO – Oxford wins. A lot. Friday at Ballard Park, the Chargers won the National Select 7-on-7 Mississippi Qualifier, for the second time in Tupelo’s three years hosting.

Oxford advanced to next week’s championships in Hoover, Ala. with a 26-10 title game win against Florence, Ala.  The Chargers, back-to-back runners-up in Class 5A, have been to Hoover the last two summers and finished fourth two years ago.

With Ole Miss 2016 WR-commit DK Metcalf in Oregon at The Opening, the Chargers continue to win with a hearty stable of offensive weaponry and a defense that allowed one late score.

Six-foot-3 senior Jimmy Greaser, sophomore Hiram Wadlington and 6-foot-4 tight end Zach Cousar caught touchdowns from 2016 Tulane-commit Jack Abraham.

Oxford has been in four tournaments and won four tournaments.

“First two tournaments, we had two starting receivers, one tournament we had only one starting receiver,” said Oxford coach Johnny Hill, set to retire following the season.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Aberdeen WR Orr commits to Memphis

@brandonspeck

Jerrick Orr doesn’t get as much attention as some other 2016 Mississippi football recruits. Memphis gave him all the love he needed to see.

The 2016 Aberdeen WR, a three-star by 247, committed to the Tigers on Wednesday evening.

“I had always said I was going to commit before the season started,” said Orr (6-foot, 190). “I talked to my coaches and I felt like I could go there and make an immediate impact.”

Last season, Orr caught 52 passes for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns. At defensive back, he had four interceptions. Memphis offered on June 2, a day after he camped there.

 

Posted in Football, Recruiting

Ripley’s Chills joins Delta State

ICC release

Former Ripley and Itawamba CC guard Jayla Chills has signed with Delta State.

As a sophomore, Chills averaged 19.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assist per game to help the Lady Indians earn a trip to the National Tournament. She was named NJCAA All-American and NJCAA Region 23 Player of the Year,

Posted in Basketball

Tanner Poole could have punted, too

tpoole@brandonspeck

Former Amory and Itawamba CC outfielder Tanner Poole will play baseball at Mississippi State next season.

Last season at ICC, Poole was an MACJC all-state selection and Monday was named the Southern Collegiate Baseball League’s Player of the Week.

For the Piedmont Pride last week, Poole had 13 hits in 23 at-bats, a home run, double and two triples. He drove in eight runs and stole two bases.

But did you know before the college baseball accolades, Poole was a punter for Amory? A darn good one, too. I watched him pin ball after ball inside 10 and 5-yard lines his senior year for the Panthers and single-footedly won a couple of games.

He was a game-changer from an under-appreciated position.

So if MSU needs a punter, Poole is proven at that spot, too.

Posted in Baseball, Football

Knight, Saltillo repping for tough slate

@brandonspeck

Saltillo isn’t going to line up in a four-wide spread. But the Tigers’ 7-on-7 work this summer has been good exercise for junior quarterback Clayton Knight and the receivers who will operate in a tight end, two-back system the Tigers will use when the season kicks off on Aug. 28 at Amory.

“As a defensive coach, especially, 7-on-7 will drive you crazy,” Saltillo coach Pat Byrd said. “It’s like an all-star game. It’s set up for them to score. But it’s good to do it against other folks and not against yourself every day.”

Knight is getting a good look at his receivers, including sophomores Julian Warren and Shannon-transfer SirMarcus Evans and junior Kane Wilbanks.

“It helps from an aspect of you spread the field out, you don’t have rushing and you’re actually getting to read the defense,” Knight said.

Saltillo’s schedule is loaded. Before facing two-time North champ Oxford to open division-play, the Tigers go to Amory, hosts Itawamba AHS and Ripley and go to Baldwyn.

Posted in Football

Gilbert to UCONN adds flavor to Lighthouse

@brandonspeck

It’s still some five months away, but never too early to start thinking about the 2015 Lighthouse Classic.

For the third straight year at Corinth High, the full lineup is yet to be announced, but I can tell you there are already two big-time Division I commits.

Miller Grove (Ga.) returns for a second time, as does its 2016 PG Alterique Gilbert. This morning, Gilbert (6-foot-1) committed to UCONN, picking the Huskies over Louisville, Illinois, Syracuse and Texas.

Gilbert is ESPN’s No. 5 point guard, a 5-star and No. 23 player on the ESPN 100. He is the No. 2 player in Georgia.

Also committed to play is Madison Academy (Ala.) and 5-star SG Josh Langford. Langford committed to Michigan State on June 22. He is No. 13 on the ESPN 100, the top player in Alabama

Posted in Basketball, Recruiting

Ole Miss commit Patterson relishing post-recruiting role

@brandonspeck

OXFORD – Talked with Shea Patterson, the No. 2 pro style QB in the country and an Ole Miss-commit, Wednesday morning about his post-recruiting role.

Click here for the story in today’s Daily Journal and here is some video.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Don’t assume Starkville OLB Gay automatically winds up at MSU

@brandonspeck

OXFORD – Beside Willie Gay’s name on his 247Sports profile, it gives a, “100%” prediction he is a future Mississippi State Bulldog.

It would be an easy transition for the 2017 Starkville outside linebacker. Like all Starkville players, the assumption is he’ll stay in town and go to Mississippi State. Not so fast.

“We hear that a lot,” Gay said from Wednesday’s Southern Elite Combine at Lafayette High School, “just like on my 247, but you know, I’m not sure where I want to go right now. I’m just letting it all ride out on its own.”

Gay is one of the state’s fastest rising players, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who also holds an Ole Miss offer.

Moving four miles to Mississippi State or a few more miles to Oxford got even more unpredictable last week when Alabama offered. The Crimson Tide won’t be the last. Gay is ranked a four-star prospect by 247, the No. 8 OLB in the country and No. 107 player overall. He ran 4.59 40 Wednesday, the seventh-fastest in the 184-man field.

Read the rest of the story here and watch a video interview with Gay below.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Starkville coach on Baldwyn’s McKay, Hayes

Baldwyn's Conner McKay dribbles around a Starkville defender during their game at ICC Thursday. (Lee Adams/ICC)

Baldwyn’s Conner McKay dribbles around a Starkville defender during their game at ICC Thursday. (Lee Adams/ICC)

Baldwyn's Felix Hayes drives between two Starkville defenders in their game at ICC on Thursday. (Lee Adams/ICC)

Baldwyn’s Felix Hayes drives between two Starkville defenders in their game at ICC on Thursday. (Lee Adams/ICC)

@brandonspeck

Baldwyn point guard Conner McKay is unarguably one of the state’s top players, but for whatever reason, is waiting on his first college offer.

The 6-foot senior can shoot it from all over the floor, including behind the arc. He’s a 90-plus percent free-throw shooter, draws contact in the lane and has maybe the best handles in the state.

McKay scored 14 points per game on a Bearcats team last season that had four average in double figures. He made 79 3s, seventh in Mississippi.

“He’s special. He’s special,” Starkville coach Greg Carter said. “He can really shoot it. He’s an extraordinary shooter. He’s a special shooter.”

Carter is as surprised as anyone McKay doesn’t have an offer.

“None?” Carter said. “That is surprising. The fact that he can shoot it as well as he can, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people start recruiting him.”

Every junior college in the country would be thrilled to get him, but four-years are sure to eventually wise up. Baldwyn is ramping up the schedule this season. The more exposure McKay gets, the happier some college is gonna be to get him.

He’ll have another star teammate this season, as junior forward Felix Hayes is starting to draw his own attention. In summer league against Starkville, Hayes did it all, drove, drew fouls, hit mid-range, rebounded on both ends and asserted his physical 6-foot-2, 194-pound frame. He is playing football this season, as well.

Hayes averaged 12.3 points per game and made 43 3s.

“Yeah, he’s good. He can shoot it now,” Carter said. “He can shoot it, plays off the dribble, nice, strong body. I like him.”

Posted in Basketball, Recruiting


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