Last week’s Cowtown tipoff was a star-studded day of basketball. It packed some of the biggest names in the sport into North Crowley High School for twelve hours. The event gave us nail-biting game after nail-biting game. Viewers were treated to dunks, four-point plays, and the beauty of competition. The event started at 11 AM and the crowds only grew as time went by. The Colony against Crowley game served as our appetizer for the Saturday’s 8 course game platter. The game ended in a Colony blowout that was lead by their quartet of seniors who truly deserve their own article. They‘ll get one as the season goes on but Garren Davis, Luis Rodriguez, Bryce Okpoh, Devin Bell all need their introduction before that happens.
Davis is the teams go-to scorer who finds his shot within the offense but has the handle to create for himself and teammates when the offense breaks down. He muscles in for rebounds and pushes the pace on the break. As a 6’3 shooting guard, he’s fearless around the rim.
The 5’9 floor general, Luis Rodriguez is a coach’s dream and nightmare rolled into one. Rodriguez has the heart to match up against bigger defenders. He shoots the lights out from three with a hand in his face and while spotting up. He uses his speed to make plays in the open court and has the control to lead during half court sets.
Okpoh serves as their 6’7 do it all combo forward who really gets after his match up while working as a rim protector. Gifted with long arms and effortless bounce he continues to be a lob threat when off the ball. He is a streaky shooter from three but he’s still a threat when left open. When defenders close out, he can use a pump fake out of the triple threat to get into the paint in just two dribbles.
At 6’2, Devin Bell has the potential to go unconscious from three at a moment’s notice. His form is picture perfect, and he knocks down his shots whether he’s wide open or pressured by a good closeout. His ball handling limits him so he’s best shooting off the catch. He’s an excellent defender, so he’s perfect as a 3 and D defender at either wing position.
The 5 and 4-star recruits in attendance will dominate headlines and they should, each of them had a strong introduction to their senior season. Yet the true stars were the guys who went toe to toe with them for 32 minutes. Guys like Desoto’s junior guard Dallas Craven held their own against Division one talent on the defensive in. The young guard limited Oklahoma State University commit Avery Anderson in the 15 minutes he was on the floor. At 5’10 Craven was a hound when guarding Anderson in the half court set allowing him only defended pull up jumpers when he could get a shot off. His lateral quickness and effort on the defensive end didn’t translate well to the offensive end where his clash ended in 4 points. Dallas still has another year to develop as a scorer but his defense and playmaking make him hard to keep off the court.
The night ended with Kentucky commit, Tyrese Maxey and Texas Tech commit, Jahmius Ramsey playing in front of a standing room only crowd. They glued people to their seats and posts as the highest touted shooting guards in the state went to war. Battles like these are a high school hoop heads fever dream, and it wasn’t only for the closing game. The number one ranked team in Texas led by Oklahoma University commit, De’Vion Harmon and Michigan commit, Jalen Wilson saw time on the floor during their own game.
This DFW area basketball kickoff is a foreshadowing for what we’ll see this season. With the talent in this area, it should be a ride to remember. Welcome to the race to San Antonio.