Texas High School Basketball: State of the AAU Nation

I was scouring the Googlewebs for AAU affiliations of Texas high school basketball players, and quickly became frustrated with the lack of consolidated, up-to-date, and relevant information. Sure, AAU basketball is a murky underground cesspool, but then again, so is the Internet.

Since it took me a while to compile this information, I figured I might as well share it with the public at large. Feel free to list any corrections or additions in the comments; the following was the best I could find.

Player listings include position, year, high school, current star rating, and committed school (if applicable). I added some brief write-ups with a Texas slant.

HOUSTON HOOPS

Head Coach: Byron Gibson
Shoe: Nike
Recent Alumni: Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke), L.J. Rose (Baylor), J-Mychal Reese (Texas A&M), Damyean Dotson (Oregon), Julien Lewis (Texas), TaShawn Thomas (Houston)
Website: houstonhoops.com

Keith Frazier [SG | 2013 | Dallas Kimball | 5*]
Derrick Griffin [PF | 2013 | Richmond Terry | 4* | Texas A&M]
Brian Bridgewater [SF | 2013 | Baton Rouge Episcopal | 3*]
Ken Williams [PG | 2013 | Houston Episcopal | 3*]
Justise Winslow [SF | 2014 | Houston St. John’s | 5*]
Justin Jackson [SG | 2014 | Houston HCYA | 5*]
Melvin Swift [PF | 2014 | Houston Yates | 4*] - U16
Kelly Oubre [SF | 2014 | Fort Bend Bush | 4*]
Khadeem Lattin [C | 2014 | Canarias Basketball Academy | 4*] - U16
J.C. Washington [PF | 2014 | Houston Yates | 3*] - U16
Jeff Roberson [SF | 2014 | Houston Kinkaid | 3*] - U16
Brandon Etienne [PG | 2014 | Houston North Shore | 3*] - U16
Tony Upchurch [SF | 2014 | Pearland Dawson | 3*] - U16

Houston Hoops is arguably the most well-known AAU program in Texas, and has produced notable Texas alumni like T.J. Ford, Daniel Gibson, and Damion James. Also, kudos to their administrative staff for having the best website of any Texas program. As far as AAU programs go, Houston Hoops has an unreal amount of depth over the next two years; their 16-U program is basically a Triple-A farm system chock full of promising 2014 talent.

Texas is very high on Keith Frazier, who switched back to Houston Hoops this summer. Both Frazier and Plano’s Julius Randle are the Longhorns’ top two targets in the 2013 class, and landing either (or both!) is key to any Championship hopes next year. Texas has also offered Justise Winslow and Justin Jackson, both top 20 players in the 2014 class. In fact, Texas was the first school to offer Winslow. Big man Khadeem Lattin has a really interesting backstory that SB Nation covered last fall.

Along with Texas PRO and Texas Titans, Houston Hoops has been competing in the Nike EYBL sessions.

HOUSTON DEFENDERS

Head Coach: Aaron Harrison, Sr
Shoe: UnderArmour
Recent Alumni: Shaq Cleare (Maryland), Christian Sanders (Stanford), Fred Richardson (Oregon), Clyde Santee (UMass)
Website: houstondefendersselect.com

Andrew Harrison [PG | 2013 | Fort Bend Travis | 5*]
Aaron Harrison
[SG | 2013 | Fort Bend Travis | 5*]
Derrick Griffin
[PF | 2013 | Richmond Terry | 4* | Texas A&M]
Johnathan Motley [PF | 2013 | Houston North Shore | 3*]
Wesley Iwundu [SF | 2013 | Houston Westfield | 3*]

The Defenders revolve entirely around the Harrisons, two top 10 guards in the 2013 class. Their backstory is well-known to Texas fans, primarily because the twins have had little to no interest in the Longhorns. Maryland and Kentucky are currently the two favorites for the Harrisons. The Terrapins hold multiple tangential connections (hometown, shoe brand, assistant coaching relationships, and close friend Shaq Cleare), whereas the Wildcats can sell a winning reputation and NBA riches.

I haven’t been able to find any information about any Defenders players other than the Harrisons, but the Defenders recently participated in the Pittsburgh Jam Fest and the Real Deal in Little Rock.

[JULY UPDATE] Added Motley. Noted that Griffin has started playing with the Defenders this AAU season.

TEXAS PRO (Houston)

Head Coach: Marland Lowe
Shoe: Nike
Recent Alumni: Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Danuel House (Houston), Chicken Knowles (Houston), Josh Gray (Texas Tech), Joesph Young (Houston)
Website: texaspro.net

Dominic Woodson [C | 2013 | Vermont Acadamy via Round Rock | 4*]
Dylan Jones [PF | 2013 | Houston The Village | 3*]
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury [SF | 2013 | Houston Cypress Falls | 3*]
Isaiah Taylor [PG | 2013 | Houston The Village | 3*]
ShawnDre’ Jones
[PG | 2013 | Fort Bend Bush | 3*]
Emmanuel Mudiay
[PG | 2014 | Arlington Grace Prep | 5*]

Texas PRO is an AAU team that has made a lot of noise since being founded in 2010 by former Houston Hoops coach Marland Lowe. In the Houston area, Danuel House and Chicken Knowles are the two most well-known names; both spurned notable scholarship offers to play for James Dickey’s Houston Cougars. Baylor-bound Isaiah Austin split time with Texas PRO and Compton Magic (Austin is originally from Los Angeles).

The name to know for Texas fans is Emmanuel Mudiay, a top-flight point guard in the 2014 class. Myck Kabongo's cousin has a Texas offer, but is getting interest from all over the country, including point guard guru John Calipari. For believers in the "Rick Barnes needs a point guard to succeed" meme, Mudiay is a must-get, but it won’t be easy.

Along with Houston Hoops and Texas Titans, Texas PRO has been competing in the Nike EYBL sessions.

[AUGUST UPDATE] Added Dylan Jones and Taylor, who played with Texas PRO in the latter half of the summer..

[JUNE UPDATE] Added Woodson, who played some with Texas PRO this summer. Note that Mudiay is also playing with Texas Select AAU this summer.

TEXAS TITANS (Dallas)

Head Coach: Scott Pospichal
Shoe: Nike
Recent Alumni: Zach Peters (Kansas)
Website: texastitansbasketball.org

Julius Randle [PF | 2013 | Plano PCA | 5*]
Matt Jones
[SG | 2013 | DeSoto | 5* | Duke]
Damian Jones
[PF | 2013 | Baton Rouge Scotlandville Magnet | 3*]
Marquan Botley
[PG | 2013 | Plano PCA | 3*]
Greg Wesley
[SF | 2013 | Arlington Juan Seguin | 3*]
Preston Troutt
[SG | 2013 | Dallas Trinity Christian | 3*]
Jackson Forbes
[SF | 2014 | Plano West | 3*] - U16
Mickey Mitchell [SF | 2015 | Plano PCA | 5*] - U16
Samir Sehic [C | 2015 | Houston Cypress Woods | 4*] - U16
King McClure [SG | 2015 | Dallas Triple A Academy | 4*] - U16
Grant Troutt [SG | 2015 | Dallas Providence Christian | 4*] - U16

Texas Titans are ridiculously top-heavy, but man, is it one heck of a summit. Julius Randle and Matt Jones are two of the best players in the 2013 class, and they form a devastating inside-out combination. As previously mentioned, Texas desperately wants Randle (currently ranked #2 in the 2013 class), but so does everyone else. Jones was another player who had a Texas offer, but he will be attending Duke.

One name to keep an eye on is Mickey Mitchell, one of the top freshmen in the country (that’s the class of 2015 for the math-averse). Mitchell, who attends PCA along with Randle, plays for one of the Titans' younger teams. He also happens to be the younger brother of PCA linebacker Mike Mitchell, a player that Texas has (so far) chosen not to offer in the 2013 class.

Along with Houston Hoops and Texas PRO, Texas Titans have been competing in the Nike EYBL sessions.

[AUGUST UPDATE] Added Sehic.

[JUNE UPDATE] Added Troutt brothers, Mitchell, McClure.

URBAN DFW ELITE

Head Coach: Jazzy Hartwell
Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: Antwan Space (Texas A&M via Florida St)

Jordan Mickey [SF | 2013 | Arlington Grace Prep | 4*]
Karviar Shepherd
[C | 2013 | Arlington Grace Prep | 4*]
Kendal Harris
[PG | 2013 | Richardson Berkner | 3*]
Brandon Parrish
[SF | 2013 | Arlington Juan Seguin | 3*]

I can’t hardly find anything on the Internet about Urban DFW, which appears to be far better known as a powerhouse girl’s AAU program. But the U-17 boys team is very buzzy team right now, with two Top 100 big men from Arlington Grace Prep (Isaiah Austin’s alma mater) in Jordan Mickey and Karviar Shepherd.

Texas fans should probably be more concerned with guard Kendal Harris, who has received a lot of praise and new offers after a good start to AAU play. Harris has received preliminary interest from the Longhorns, and could be in line for a scholarship offer if the staff feels like Myck Kabongo will leave after his sophomore season. Watch out for Harris, as he could sneak into the Top 100 with a strong senior season, a la Texas signee Connor Lammert.

Urban DFW recently participated in the Las Vegas Adidas V.I.P. Exclusive Run and the Real Deal in Little Rock.

DALLAS MUSTANGS

Head Coach: Tony Johnson
Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: DeMarcus Holland (Texas), Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma St), Jordan Williams (North Texas)
Website: dallasmustangs.org

Soma Edo [PF | 2013 | Richardson Berkner | 3*]
Zach Coleman
[PF | 2013 | Dallas Woodrow Wilson | 3* | Missouri]
Marcus Foster [SG | 2013 | Wichita Falls Hirschi | 3*]
Shirmane Thomas
[PG | 2013 | Dallas Lincoln | 3*]
Leyton Hammonds [SF | 2013 | North Richland Hills | 3* | Oklahoma St]
Nathan Hawkins [SF | 2013 | Rowlett | 3*]

[JUNE UPDATE] Added Hammonds, Hawkins.

FRANCHIZE ALL-STARS (Houston)

Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: Wannah Bail (Texas Tech), Michael Carey (Texas Tech), D.J. Griggs (LIU), D’Angelo Harrison (St. John’s)

Tavario Miller [ SF | 2013 | Houston Wheatley | 3*]
Darin Minniefield [PG | 2013 | Houston Westbury Christian | 3*]
Joe Burton [SG | 2014 | Houston Lutheran North | 4*]
Mavin Saunders [SF | 2014 | Houston Kinkaid | 4*]

Dallas Mustangs and Franchize All-Stars are two traditional AAU powerhouses that typically have nothing to do with the Longhorns. Both appear to be in down cycles, though that could change in a hurry. Both programs recently participated in the Las Vegas Adidas V.I.P. Exclusive Run.

[AUGUST UPDATE] Added Miller.

[JUNE UPDATE] Added Minniefield, Burton, Saunders.

TEAM TEXAS ELITE (Dallas)

Recent Alumni: Phil Pressey (Missouri), Cameron Clark (Oklahoma), T.J. Taylor (Marquette / JUCO)

Elijah Thomas [PF | 2015 | Rockwall | 5*]
Austin Grandstaff [SG | 2015 | Rockwall | 4*]

[JUNE UPDATE] Added Thomas, Grandstaff.

RYTES WARRIORS (Houston)

Head Coach: Lamar Holt
Website: rytesbasketball.net

Xavier Dupree [PF | 2013 | Houston Alief Taylor | 3* | Arkansas St]
Ricky Seals-Jones [SF | 2013 | Sealy | 3*]

[August UPDATE] Added RYTES Warriors.

OTHER SCHOOLS TO KNOW

The following schools have had recent top 100 prospects but don’t appear to be relevant in this year’s AAU circuit.

HOUSTON HOOPSTARS

Head Coach: Keith White
Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: Cameron Ridley (Texas), Aaron Durley (TCU)
Website: houstonhoopstars.org

HOUSTON SWOOSH

Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: Sheldon McClellan (Texas), Jamal Branch (St. John's via Texas A&M)
Website: houstonswoosh.com

TEXAS ASSAULT (Dallas)

Shoe: Adidas
Recent Alumni: Marcus Smart (Oklahoma St), Phil Forte (Oklahoma St), Johnathan Gray (Texas football)

TOP ACHIEVERS PISTONS (Dallas)

Head Coach: Lawrence Mann
Recent Alumni: Prince Ibeh (Texas), DeMarcus Holland (Texas)
Website: topachieversplano.org

TEXAS D1 AMBASSADORS (Central Texas)

Recent Alumni: Connor Lammert (Texas), Daniel Alexander (Texas A&M)
Website: d1nation.com

OTHER PLAYERS TO KNOW

2013 SF Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy) is better known as a 5* Longhorns football commit, but he’s a pretty good basketball player too, for the RYTES Warriors…2013 C Dominic Woodson is a Top 100 prospect from Round Rock, but is playing high school ball at Vermont Academy and AAU ball for Ray Jackson All-Stars…2013 PF Jarrell Martin (Baton Rouge Madison Prep), a 4* who has gotten a lot of buzz this AAU season, is playing for Brandon Bass Elite…2013 PF Dylan Jones (Houston The Village), a high school teammate of Shaq Cleare and Pepperdine commit, plays for the Texas Cagers along with 2013 PG Isaiah Taylor…2013 SF Jimmie Gilbert (College Station A&M Consolidated) plays for GCBC Angelo...2013 PF Joshua Friar (Kingwood) plays for Top Guns...2013 SF Kyle Wilson (Fort Worth Dunbar) is an ex-Baylor commit and happens to play AAU ball for LBA Seawolves, former AAU program of Perry Jones III …LBA Seawolves also features 2014 PF Elbert Robinson (Garland Lakeview Centennial)...Mysterious 2013 PF Tony Trocha from Colombia appears to be sitting out AAU season and may try to reclassify to 2012 enroll midyear…2014 PG Alex Robinson (Kennedale) is playing for DJH5…2014 SF D’Angelo Allen (Dallas Kimball) is playing for Dallas Showtyme…2014 PG Kaelen Malone (McKinney Christian) is playing for Texas Bluechips ...some other prospects I couldn’t find AAU teams for include 2013 C Dylan Johns (Trent Internationale), 2013 PF Blake Danielak (Liberty Hill | Texas Tech), 2014 SG Avery Jordan (Houston Bellaire), 2014 PF Myles Turner (Euless Trinity), and 2014 SG Nylan Yancy (Richardson).

RELATED READING

A Look at Texas High School Basketball Recruiting
We're Going to State: Texas UIL Basketball Playoffs Notes
Thoughts on Fort Bend Travis vs. Hightower
Thoughts on Fort Bend Bush vs. Travis

Follow my Twitter feed (@JC_Hoops) for the latest updates.

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