Memphis Makes Noise In Vegas!!!

 

Memphis Wildcats Win Big Foot Classic (13U)
Memphis Wildcats Win Big Foot Classic (13U)- Photo Cred-Angela Potts

 

Each year, hundreds of teams from across the country converge on the city that never sleeps, where what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but two Memphis teams are bringing hardware to the city. The Memphis Wildcats 13U led by Coach Dedra Lawson won the Big Foot Classic defeating Vegas Elite 7 Premier 82-76 in the title game but it wasn’t easy. The young team that has been together awhile found themselves down big early, a total of 22 but clawed back into it by shortening the court and picking up the defense according to an observer who was present at the game. Down a player (Marquan Dean) and only having 6 at their disposal for the last two games of the tournament and  the night before going  into 8 overtimes in a game that was won by 1 point, I’m sure fatigue was a factor on Sunday but they got it together enough to win 1 game that morning and then the title game, in come back fashion The big 3 of Johnathan Lawson 24 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Brown, 25 points and 8 rebounds and Tadarius Jacobs  who had 20 and was a catalyst on defense, combined for 69 of the 82 points scored for the Wildcats. Next up for them, the Primetime Nationals which will be held in Dallas this week.

 

 

M32P22 Wins Las Vegas Fab 48 (16U)
M32P22 Wins Las Vegas Fab 48 (16U) – Photo Cred- Marcus Moody

 

Newly founded M32P22 coached by former University of Memphis players Marcus Moody and Paris London went to Las Vegas on one  mission and one mission only, to earn respect as one of the best upcoming  teams in the country. and that’s exactly what they did. In a  city  that features Team Penny, Team Thad and M33M, bigger programs through admission by most,  the 16U squad won the FAB 48 coming back from a deficit with  under 10 minutes left in the game. The Hoop 4 Life Foundation sponsored team features a few players who have  shined some this summer and at their high schools including Allen Hatchett, a 6’3 (White Station) progressing guard who works near the rim and with the mid range jumper who had a game high  30 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game, 6’6 Cameron Jones (Whitehaven) 20 points and 6 rebounds and 8 assists,  6’5 Reco Gibson (St.Benedict) 16 points and 8 rebounds and Jalin Clay (Houston) who ended the game with 16 points 6 rebounds. I got a chance to speak with Coach Moody earlier and he said, “It was a great tournament, my team stayed poised & focused throughout the title game, Sacramento had incredible guard play, but I think our depth & length was too much for them” . This is a team that could draw some looks of a shoe company by next year as they continue to establish themselves as a top 3-5 organization in the city.  With this  FAB 48  title under their belt, M32P22 is taking a step forward in doing just that.

 

Crutcher Looking To Add To Offers

 

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There was a discussion  the other day on social media about the top guards in the city of  Memphis and there was a lot of debate about who should be on the list. There were the same names mentioned by most,  the consensus players and a few surprises mentioned by some  on the post. One of the names though that I think should be on everybody’s list though, Jalen Crutcher.  The 6’3 combo guard has good length, range on the jumper, the ability to make others better and great touch around the basket where he uses an assortment of runners and floaters. He’s really crafty with the ball and one of those players that just knows how to score it from anywhere on the floor.   He boast offers from UC-Santa Barbara, UMASS who has for years been trying to get into the Memphis high school scene and have had success with a Ridgeway product before (Sampson Carter), UT-Chatt, Missouri State, SEMO and Missouri State and Murray State. Of course we all know the the success they had with now Oklahoma City player, Cameron Payne who played two years there before being a lottery pick last year.  He has interest from LSU, Wake Forrest, Alabama and Arkansas but with the live period starting this week in Spartanburg South Carolina for his travel team,  the interest could take a boost up in the right direction.

Crutcher also has value as a shooter off the spot up or creating the jumper off the dribble and could be a pretty good defender with his arms and instincts defensively. Memphis Magic Elite Coach Eric Robinson says, “he’s an all around point guard can score with the best but loves to get his teammates involved and people may not know he a great defender”. His  best days are clearly ahead of him and those days are of Jalen  being a D-1 guard at the school of his choice.