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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Keep an eye on Alex Bowman this weekend. Image via: Wiki Commons.

For the first time since July 1984, NASCAR returns to one of its most popular cities in Nashville, Tennessee for the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Super Speedway. This track is a 1 1/3rd mile concrete oval that was dormant for nearly ten years and was only used as a testing facility. So it came as a bit of a surprise last season when it was announced that this track would be getting a date. For a lot of drivers, this will be a brand new racetrack, but we will see practice and qualifying, so that will be a huge help for the newcomers that haven't raced here before. Back when the Xfinity and Trucks ran here, this track featured a lot of first time winners. Back in 2008, future NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski shocked the world by jumping in Dale Jr's car and capturing his first win here. There will be a lot of veterans like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who have plenty of experience at this track, but it will be tough to compare. It should be fun with everyone coming into this race with minimal knowledge.

Last week, Kyle Larson continued his hot streak by winning the All-Star Race. Overall, while Larson and his Hendrick teammates probably enjoyed the race, the feedback from crews and fans was less than positive. As I was walking through the garage area and talking to a few crew members, a lot of them were very critical of the 450 horsepower motor and the tall spoiler to try and keep the cars bunched up. When I asked one of the crew-members what he thought about the package he told me, "Oh it's awful. The track is terrible, the package makes it impossible to pass and it's super hot out here." On green flag runs, it was the same as it ever was as the lead car would pretty much take off and the only time there was really any "pack racing" it came after there were restarts. The whole race was well-intentioned and the fans showed up as it was nearly a capacity crowd, but the whole thing just didn't make any sense. From the start time being in the nearly 100 degree heat to the wacky full-field invert at the end of each stage. Let's hope that next season's All-Star Race is a lot more concise.

In Silly Season news this week, Truck Series regulars GMS racing announced that they would be fielding a full-time cup series team. The team is currently owned by Allegiant Airlines CEO Maurice Gallagher and his son, Spencer, who used to drive for them in the Xfinity Series. This move seemed to come from out of nowhere as there was never any indication that this was a move they were exploring anytime soon after they turned down the opportunity to purchase Furniture Row Racing in 2019. This is certainly a great sight for the sport as there will be more new teams on the track and with their close relationship with Chevy, it wouldn't be a surprise if they step in and help this team become competitive. The favorite to drive their car has to be 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed. He has easily been their best driver in trucks, and it would make the most sense for him to get the promotion.

This week at Nashville, the driver that I have winning is Alex Bowman. Now while this is a brand new racetrack and he has a grand total of zero starts here, this track suits his driving style perfectly. With the inclusion of this track, there are now four tracks with a concrete surface. Nashville, Bristol, Dover and Martinsville. At the three of the tracks they have run at, he has shown a lot of speed, including a victory at Dover this season and a top ten finish at Bristol. This is also a track where crew-chief Greg Ives said Bowman has gravitated towards during testing. In an interview with Sirius XM Ives was quoted as saying "we used to have a lot of fun testing there," so this is clearly a track that they both enjoy going to. Another big factor going into Sunday will be just how fast these Hendrick Motorsports cars are, they have finished 1-2 over the last four points races. He has watched his teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott have immense success, and now this week I think he is due for a third win of the season. Look for the bright purple #48 Chevy to go to victory lane this week at Nashville.

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