Top Shot

Ranking the top shooting guards in Houston

Morton Ranch’s LJ Cryer is one of the most talented sophomores in Houston. Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com

Shooting guard are often known for being able to knock down shots but little does the average spectator know that the role and pressures of a shooting guard, as known as a “two-guard,” is much larger than simply making shots. A good shooter with deep range will always be respected and sought after because if they are making shots then the defense cannot help on the shooters side, sag off, go under screens, call for the shooters defender to sag or trap in the post. In layman’s terms, if a shooter is making shots it can alter a team’s entire defensive strategy and create easy scoring opportunity for their teammates.

2018

QUENTIN GRIMES – THE WOODLANDS COLLEGE PARK – KANSAS UNIVERSITY (SIGNED)

6’5 – Right Handed

Quentin has launched onto the national scene after a breakout April live period going into his junior year. Being that Grimes can score on all three levels, has great size and solid handle on the ball leaves very little to dislike about his game.

Key Strengths

- His size makes passing, driving, and shooting over smaller defenders easy

- Elite scoring ability has landed Grimes as top 20 prospect in the nation

- His versatility comes with his size and skill. Having the ability to score, create for others, and defend multiple positions is always a plus

- He’s very composed. Never rattled, sped up, or noticeably frustrated by pressure and taunts. This will go a long way while playing at the next level.

2019

PIERCE HELLUMS – CONCORDIA LUTHERAN – UNCOMMITTED

6’1 – Right Handed

Hellums has been enjoyable to watch grow and develop year after year. Each season he has returned with some added a new element to his game transforming himself from a catch and shoot, spot up shooter to a multi-dimensional threat.

Key Strengths

- His quick release allows for him to get his shot off when he wants with very little resistance

- Hellums has great range which stretches out the defenses creating other play making opportunities for his team.

- Versatility in his shot making ability. He’s able to pull up on of the dribble, catch and shoot on curl or set his feet on a fade to punish a cheating defender.

- Very unselfish and always want to make the right play. Having the ability to score does not deter him from passing the ball.

2020

LJ CRYER – MORTON RANCH – UNCOMMITTED

6’1 – Right Handed

Cryer a young, strong guard that will make you pay for every defensive breakdown. Cryer has caught the eye of several high major programs and has placed himself in the conversation as Houston’s class of 2020’s top player.

Key Strengths

- Cryer can score the ball at all three levels as just a sophomore. Most young guys settle for jump shots but he’s good about mixing it up.

- LJ as a shooting guard must have a short memory and that he does. Another intangible as a shooter/scorer.

- Skilled to be lead guard and run the show.

- His potential is his biggest strength. If he continues to develop and perfect his craft, Cryer can become scary good.

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RAVENS 33, TEXANS 16

5 observations from the Ravens win over the Texans

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Let's be honest; the Texans were not going to beat the Ravens. Baltimore has better players, a better quarterback and a better coaching staff. (And oh, a better kicker). All of that was on display in the Ravens' 33-16 win.

The Ravens move to 2-0, while the Texans dropped to 0-2 after facing the AFC's two best teams.

The Texans will still likely contend for a playoff spot, but nothing the last two weeks indicates they are anywhere near contending in the AFC. A look at five things from the Ravens win:

1) Oh, Brien...It did not take long for Bill O'Brien's goofy coaching to rear its ugly head. Down 3-0 at their own 34 as the first quarter was running out, O'Brien chose to go for it on fourth and one. The play was predictably blown up, the Ravens quickly scored to make it 10-0, and the Texans were instantly in a hole against a superior opponent. You can't give points away against the Ravens. They might have scored anyway with a punt, but there was no stopping them with a short field.

2) Some positives on defense. Despite the score, The Texans looked much better on that side of the ball against an explosive offense. J.J. Watt had two sacks, the team had four total, and they kept Lamar Jackson from destroying them. Seven of the points were scored by the Ravens defense, and O'Brien's gaffe led to seven more. The Ravens wore them down in the fourth quarter, but they played well enough until then to keep the team in the game had the offense been better. They did not force any turnovers, however, and that was one of the differences in the game. They were also blown off the ball on a fourth and one in the fourth quarter that led to the Ravens' 30th points and could not stop the run at all in the fourth quarter. But that's what the Ravens do with a lead, and the Texans offense gave them no breaks by being unable to stay on the field.

3) The difference between real contenders...The Ravens were just so much more skilled on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they focused on taking away the run. David Johnson averaged 3.1 yards per carry. Will Fuller had as many catches as you did. The Ravens forced two turnovers on just really good football plays. The Texans don't make plays like that. They might against lesser teams, but if your goal is to compete with the best, it's just not good enough.

4) Deshaun Watson needs to be better. His numbers looked so so on the surface (25 of 36, 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 interception). He was sacked four times and added 17 rushing yards on five carries. He did not make plays late when they needed one here or there to maybe get back in the game. With his big contract, it's time for Watson to stop being close to elite and take the next step. His interception was more of being fooled by Marcus Peters than throwing a bad ball, but the Texans were just 3 of 9 on third downs. Throw in the ill-advised fourth down play, and they were just 3 of 10 extending drives. Give the Ravens a lot of credit, but again, to compete with the best, you have to be better than that.

5) Now what? The Texans travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, who have not been impressive in their two wins. Still, it's hard to see Houston as anything but serious underdogs. They are last in the AFC South, and have a lot of work to do. The defense showed some promise at times, but will have to continue to improve. The offense has a long way to go. They match up better with the Steelers than they do the Ravens and Chiefs, but that does not mean they can win. If you were hoping they would give you some indication they can be more than just also-rans, they failed to do that on any level against either the Chiefs or Ravens.

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