Written by Corbett Smith
Madison, Triple A Academy boys basketball teams already eyeing repeat championships
After last year’s 5A final, it was easy to guess that Fort Bend Travis would have another shot at the UIL boys basketball tournament. After all, twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison — both top 10 prospects from the Class of 2013 — were just juniors. Barring injury, they would be tough to stop.
That came to fruition, with the Harrisons leading Travis to the 5A title late Saturday night.
This year, it’s easy to predict that a few of the Dallas/Fort Worth-area qualifiers will return to Austin in 2014.
Triple A Academy will be an overwhelming favorite for another Class A Division I title, and Madison looks like it could get a rematch with Houston Yates to defend its 3A crown. For South Grand Prairie, Richardson Berkner and Kimball, the road will be much tougher.
With a roster entirely made up of underclassmen, Triple A waltzed through Class A Division I to a state title in its first year in the UIL. It overwhelmed its opposition in the playoffs even without 6-3 guard King McClure, who dislocated his kneecap three weeks before the final. McClure — who led Triple A in scoring and rebounds before the injury — said he had no doubt his team would be back for a return performance.
“We can’t be satisfied,” McClure said. “You get satisfied, you don’t progress.”
Madison faces a taller task without its taller players, losing 6-8 J.D. Wallace and 6-9 Devonte Robinson, both seniors. Sophomore Admon Gilder — who scored 44 points and made 11 3-pointers in Austin over two wins — and speedy guards Cameron Bryant and Lebraun Armstrong will return. Houston Yates, which lost to Madison, 85-72, in the 3A final, will graduate only two players.
Yates’ returners include Melvin Swift, a 6-7 Xavier pledge, and guard Joseph Anderson.
For the 4A and 5A teams, getting back to Austin will require replacing some top prospects: Kimball’s Keith Frazier, Berkner’s Soma Edo and Kendal Yancy-Harris, and South Grand Prairie’s Ben Emelogu.
Kimball will have a nice nucleus back, including three-star recruit D’Angelo Allen. Berkner has three starters back: guards Keenan Evans and Josh Francis and forward Tory Everett. Nine underclassmen were on South Grand Prairie’s playoff roster.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN.