Thursday, March 29, 2012

The 2012 Play Hard Play Smart team

Former BYU Cougar Brian Hamilton is back with his 2012 Play Hard Play Smart (PHPS) squad. Last season, PHPS found itself at 30-1 at one point and the toast of Sacramento as well as northern California after nabbing championships at Gerry Freitas' SoCal Hoop review, the Pangos Sweet 16 and the Magic Memorial Day Festival.

This season it will be a deja vu image, more 40 minutes of hell as the PHPS roster is bereft of 7-footers but loaded with thoroughbred athletes ranging from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-6. That means transition talents, the ripping down of rebounds or the copping of steals and then a furiously turn in the other direction.

Hamilton concise style summary is "get up and down, play hard, be aggressive."

Two players have come over from the top E-Time Hoops Academy team as E-Time apparently will be fielding a younger team or teams this spring and summer.

PHPS will be taking its talent to the Fab 48 in Las Vegas come late July. Prior to that, it will be participation in both a Pangos and a Reebok Invite tournaments and Hamilton's squad will finish up in Los Angeles during August.

As for the makeup of the year's team, here's the roster in alphabetical order with Hamilton's descriptions in quotes:

* Dakarai Allen, 6-foot-4, wing, Sheldon High, 2013 (#7 in the NorCal Preps 2013 rankings, Colorado, Pepperdine, St. Mary's, San Diego State and USF have offered) - "can handle and shoot and is a real good defender"

* Gabe Bealer, 6-foot-6, wing, Antelope High, 2013 - "a tremendous athlete who plays real smooth"

* Matt Donlan, 6-foot-6, wing, Capital Christian High, 2012 (#35 in the Nor Cal Preps 2012 rankings) - "a good shooter and amazing jumper"

* Isiah Ellis, 6-foot-6, wing, Antelope High, 2013 - "a hardworker who does a little bit of everything"

* Theo Johnson, 6-foot-5, wing, Franklin High, 2012 (#12 in the NorCalPreps 2012 rankings) - "will probably be playing in April only"

* Ryan Manning, 6-foot-6, wing, Sheldon High, 2013 (son of Rich Manning who played collegiately at Syracuse and Washington and in the NBA for the Grizzlies and Clippers) - "he's shooting real well and we're looking for him to have a breakout summer"

* D'Erryl Williams, 6-foot-4, Sheldon High, 2013 (#9 in the NorCal Preps'2013 rankings, USF has offered) - "a winner and a workhorse who plays the game the right way"

There will also be a few other talents on the team but who has yet to be decided. 

Practice began for PHPS on March 29.

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