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Players to Watch: Part 1 - Texas
by Ani Umana, Future150 (12:27 PM CT, Fri August 29, 2014)
2016 PG De'Aaron Fox is set for a big high school season.
2016 PG De'Aaron Fox is set for a big high school season.
Ani Umana
Ani Umana:

Future150 Southwest Recruiting Analyst. Covering high & middle school basketball in TX, LA, OK, NM, AZ.

Tyler, TX (Future150) -- It maybe August, but basketball season will come sooner than we know it. I will be naming the top 2016 and 2017 players out of the five states I will cover this year.

This week is Texas, and in the upcoming weeks I will cover the top players to watch for in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arizona as well.

Texas is filled with talent and had five players in the McDonald's All- American Game last spring. The talent coming up looks promising also

Lets get to it.

1.  De'Aaron Fox, 2016 PG, Cypress Lakes High School

The explosive guard out of Houston scores in bunches. Left handed, crafty and scores in a variety of ways. In transition is where he is most effective, but also effective in the half court setting when aggressively looking to attack the rim and when catching defenders off-guard with his quick pull-up. The number six player ranked for Future150 in 2016 is a must watch this year.

2. Jarred Vanderbilt, 2017 SF, Victory Prep Academy:

Another lefty on this list, Jarred is a 6'8" small forward that has solid ball-handling skills but is a very effective slasher. Ranked number five in 2017 for Future150, Vanderbilt posses a consistent 10-18 foot jumper and uses his length to be effective on the boards and as an interior defender. Vanderbilt's ceiling is very high and we are intrigued to see how he grows as a basketball player this year.

3. Victor Bailey, 2017 SG, McNeil High School:

The 6'4" guard plays methodical and smart. Scores well in transition but breaks down his defenders well and can attack the rim with either hand which makes him effective. Although he does attack the rim well, he does favor heavily with the left hand, but having three more years of high school should change that. Makes the right plays, has great length even for someone his size and solid athleticism. Ranked 17 in his class by Future150, I expect Bailey to have another great season and is a player that people should keep their eyes on.

4. Marques Bolden, 2016 C, Desoto High School:

The 6'9" big out of Desoto, Texas is as intimidating as it gets in the interior for opposing guards driving in the lane. A great shot- blocker due to his big wingspan and timing, Bolden also uses his length effectively on the offensive boards and is very good finishing in the paint. We would like to see more of a polished post-up game, but finishes well in the lane. Ranked 30 nationally by Future150 in 2016, Bolden's interior dominance is something to watch for the upcoming season.

5. Chris Giles, 2017 PG/SG, Plano West High School:

The 6'2" guard is fun to watch as he is unselfish with the ball and has great vision for someone his age. Knows when to look for his shot and when to get his teammates involed. Needs to build more upper body strength but that should come with time. Has the tools to be very effective off the pick and roll with his decision making and can be on the rise with another productive season at Plano West. Ranked 35 by Future150 nationally in 2017, Giles has the ability to be a pure point guard in time.

Sleeper pick- Gilbert Thomas, 2016 PF, C.E. King High School:

The article will conclude with an under-the-radar player for the season. This week is Gilbert Thomas. Ranked 117 in 2016 by Future150, the 6'6" wing is a freak athlete that dunks anytime he has the chance. Excels well in transition due to his athleticism and running the lanes well, but needs to work on polishing his ball handling and getting more of a consistent shot. He is exciting to watch and will be this season. Has room to grow, and if he can be more of a threat in the perimeter, he has a chance to be special.


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