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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It's been a season of surprises as the NASCAR Cup Series begins its West Coast swing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is one of NASCAR's many mile and a half tracks, but this one is different as it is much more bumpy and when this track gets in the sun, it gets slippery as well. The track is a lot more narrow than the other mile and a half tracks as well, so there will be a lot more close quarter racing.

Last week at Homestead, William Byron pulled away from the field and went on to claim his second career victory. The Charlotte native battled back from early tire issues and ran as low as 31st until he was able to claw his way back to the front around stage 2 when he drove around the two JGR teammates of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin to take the stage victory. There has been a lot of expectations and hype around this young phenom but in his first three years, it took him a while to grow into a race winner. It wasn't until last year when Byron claimed his first win at the Daytona fall race. This year he was paired with crew-chief Rudy Fugle. This pair amassed tons of success when they worked together in the Truck Series back in 2016 when they won seven races. It seems now that the pair could be back to their winning ways. This looks like this could be a good pairing down the line.

As we all know, this has been the season of surprises and those surprises continued last week as Michael McDowell went on to his third consecutive top ten finish as he finished eighth. McDowell has been sort of a journeyman driver. He has raced for teams such as LeaVine Family Racing and the now defunct Michael Waltrip Racing where he got his start. While it has only been three races, he's in the midst of a career year beginning with a victory in this year's Daytona 500. Many thought that victory was a fluke and that he was "wasting a playoff spot," but since then he has proved his haters wrong as he currently sits fourth in the points. Will this streak continue? I think it can. His string of good runs puts him in an advantageous position as he gets to start up front each week and knowing how important qualifying was, he has really been able to take advantage of this. Look for the #34 Loves Ford Mustang to build on this.

The favorite for this week's race has to be Joey Logano. In the fifteen races Logano has started in here, he has ten top fives and two victories including last season's spring Vegas race in February. He hasn't got off to the best start as it's been three up and down races for him. From finishing second at the Daytona road course to following that up with a twenty-fifth last week at Homestead. This week though I believe he can get everything back on track with a good run or a victory.

The driver that I am picking to win this week is Kevin Harvick. The future Hall of Famer has been stout this season with a 6th and 5th place finish. The speed for Harvick and his team have been there, but they just haven't been able to get the win. But this week he's going to a track he has excelled at big time. He will start from the pole this Sunday and that should really scare the whole field. He has two victories here and twelve top tens since his beginning back in 2001. I look for him to get his third victory here and begin another run for his second championship.

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