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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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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