Houston Area High School Basketball Primer: Harrison Twins Lead Elite Hoops Scene

With the AAU summer season winding down, recruiting for the top high school basketball players in the Houston area has just begun. None are more coveted than Andrew and Aaron Harrison, twin guards who are considered two of the top players in the country.

Texas: it's not just a football state. At the high school level, there are elite hoopsters playing across the Lone Star State, particularly in the greater Houston area. Coaches from top schools all over the country have taken notice, and the best players in Houston are being recruited not only by local programs like Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M and Houston, but also by "blue blood" schools like Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, and Duke.

Elite Seniors:

ANDREW HARRISON
Point Guard | 2013

Fort Bend Travis | Houston Defenders
Interested Schools: Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, Baylor, SMU [UPDATE] Committed to Kentucky
Consensus Ranking: 5*, Top 4

AARON HARRISON
Combo Guard | 2013

Fort Bend Travis | Houston Defenders
Interested Schools: Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, Baylor, SMU [UPDATE] Committed to Kentucky
Consensus Ranking: 5*, Top 4

You can't have one without the other. The Harrison twins--point guard Andrew and shooting guard Aaron--have been called the most important recruits in the country. That's because where one goes, so goes the other. Andrew is the better ball-handler, Aaron the better shooter. But make no mistake, they are both elite. The Harrison twins are generally considered two of the top four players in their class, along with fellow Texan Julius Randle (Plano Prestonwood Christian) and Chicago phenom Jabari Parker. Last year, the Harrison twins led Travis to the UIL Class 5A State Championship, falling in the title game to Flower Mound Marcus and its star, Oklahoma St. signee Marcus Smart. Travis lost two key frontcourt players, Christian Crockett (Mount St. Mary's) and Kyle Coulter, to graduation, but stays on the shortlist of favorites to win State this year. The Harrisons plan to announce their college decision this fall prior to their senior seasons, with Kentucky and Maryland considered the two favorites.

Highly-Recruited Seniors:

DERRICK GRIFFIN
Combo Forward | 2013

Rosenberg Terry | Houston Defenders/Houston Hoops
Interested Schools: Committed to Texas A&M
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 50

In short, Derrick Griffin is a man-child. He is a 4*, top 100 recruit in basketball and football, and plans to play both sports in college. This past summer, he started the grassroots season with powerhouse AAU program Houston Hoops, but switched to the Houston Defenders to play with his running buddies, the Harrison twins. There were rumors that Griffin might transfer to Travis for his senior year, but that appears unlikely as he is currently participating in summer football practice with Terry. From a pure athletics standpoint, that's a shame, as a Griffin-Harrisons trio would have been awesome to watch. Terry made the UIL Class 4A playoffs last year but quickly fizzled out. Griffin is verbally committed to Texas A&M (75%, in his words) but is said to have a lot of work to do academically if he wants to qualify next year.

TONY TROCHA
Center/Power Forward | 2013

Mid-Year College Enrollee (Rumored) | N/A
Interested Schools: Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Arizona, Ohio St, Kentucky
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 50

Tony Trocha may be the most interesting high school basketball player alive. A native Colombian, Trocha came stateside last fall and enrolled at St. Thomas Episcopal in Houston. He may or may not have played basketball games for them--that appears to be the one thing the Internet does not know. Reportedly very intelligent, Trocha was trying to reclassify to 2012 but did not get a good enough qualifying standardized test score. His advisors now say Trocha is done with high school and will enroll in college mid-year in December. Maybe he still ends up at a Houston-area high school next year. Or not. Who knows? It's a mystery.

JOHNATHAN MOTLEY
Power Forward | 2013

Houston North Shore | Houston Defenders
Interested Schools: Baylor, Houston, Texas, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon [UPDATE] Committed to Baylor
Consensus Ranking: 3*, Top 150

A strong summer playing alongside the Harrison twins with the Houston Defenders has boosted Johnathan Motley's stock. Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports bumped him up to 80th in the 2013 class, while Future 150 has him ranked 66th. North Shore, which lost to Travis in the UIL 5A Region 3 playoff bracket last year, returns a good team starring Motley and rising junior point guard Brandon Etienne (see below). Motley currently lists Baylor and Houston as his favorite schools, but could see more high-major interest with a strong senior season.

Other Seniors To Know:

DYLAN JOHNS
Center | 2013

Sugar Land Trent Internationale | N/A
Interested Schools: [UPDATE] Committed to LSU (maybe?)
Consensus Ranking: NR

DYLAN JONES
Power Forward | 2013

Houston The Village | GCBC Cagers/Texas PRO
Interested Schools: Committed to Pepperdine
Consensus Ranking: 3*

The Village Vikings lost Maryland-bound big man Shaquille Cleare, but has two west coast transplants aiming for strong senior seasons. Dylan Jones, who is already committed to Pepperdine, is the post player, while the uncommitted Isaiah Taylor (see below) handles on the perimeter. A freelance team, The Village should be slated to play another challenging schedule filled with top non-UIL teams from across the state.

XAVIER DUPREE
Power Forward | 2013

Houston Alief Taylor | RYTES Warriors
Interested Schools: Committed to Arkansas St
Consensus Ranking: NR

JOSHUA FRIAR
Power Forward | 2013

Kingwood | Top Guns
Interested Schools: Auburn, Marquette, Cornell, South Florida [UPDATE] Committed to North Texas
Consensus Ranking: NR

TAVARIO MILLER
Combo Forward | 2013

Houston Wheatley | Franchize All-Stars
Interested Schools: Auburn, Drexel, UT-Arlington, UT-San Antonio, North Texas, Houston
Consensus Ranking: NR

Tavario Miller and 2014's Mavin Saunders (see below) are natives of The Bahamas. The Bahamas-to-Houston pipeline has grown in notoriety over the past couple of years. It's the brainchild Frank Rutherford and his Elite Development Program, which has sponsored Bahamian natives Mikhail McLean and Danrad "Chicken" Knowles (Houston), and Wannah Bail and Michael Carey (Texas Tech). Last year, Miller played with Josh Gray--also a future Red Raider--at Wheatley. The Wildcats lost to Yates in the first round of the UIL Class 4A playoffs.

JIMMIE GILBERT
Combo Forward | 2013

College Station A&M Consolidated | GCBC Angelo
Interested Schools: Colorado, New Mexico, Tulsa, Houston, Texas A&M, Oregon (Football)
Consensus Ranking: NR

WESLEY IWUNDU
Wing | 2013

Houston Westfield | Houston Defenders
Interested Schools: Houston, Kansas St, Texas Tech, Colorado, Richmond [UPDATE] Committed to Kansas St
Consensus Ranking: 3*

KAVIN GILDER-TILBURY
Wing | 2013

Houston Cypress Falls | Texas PRO
Interested Schools: Jacksonville, UNC-Greensboro, Houston, Richmond, Tulane, UT-San Antonio [UPDATE] Committed to Stephen F. Austin
Consensus Ranking: NR

CHRIS JOHNSON
Wing | 2013

Bryan | AN/A
Interested Schools: Committed to Baylor (football)
Consensus Ranking: NR

RICKY SEALS-JONES
Wing | 2013

Sealy | RYTES Warriors
Interested Schools: Texas A&M, LSU (football)
Consensus Ranking: NR

A few football players dot this list, including linebacker Jimmie Gilbert and Baylor quarterback commit Chris Johnson (see above). The most well-known name is Ricky Seals-Jones, a five-star wide receiver prospect from Sealy, the hometown of former football star Eric Dickerson. Previously committed to Texas for football, Seals-Jones opened up his recruitment this summer after expressing interest in playing both sports in college. Texas remains his leader, but Seals-Jones is now also looking elsewhere. Neither Sealy nor his AAU team, the RYTES Warriors, play top-level competition, meaning Seals-Jones has been off the radar in terms of national basketball recruiting. Don't sleep on him locally, though. Jim Hicks, the head of local recruiting service RCS Sports, considers Seals-Jones the third-best basketball prospect in the Houston area.

DARIN MINNIEFIELD
Combo Guard | 2013

Houston Westbury Christian | Franchize All-Stars
Interested Schools: Florida St, San Francisco
Consensus Ranking: 3*

Darin Minniefield, son of Kentucky legend Dirk Minniefield, has some big shoes to fill. And we're not talking about his dad's. This fall, Minniefield replaces L.J. Rose (Baylor) as Westbury Christian's primary lead guard. Last spring, Rose, Minniefield, and the rest of the Wildcats had a great season. Westbury Christian reached the TAPPS Class 4A State finals, losing to an absolutely sick Arlington Grace Prep team featuring five future high major collegians: Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Jelon Hornbeak (Oklahoma), 2013's Jordan Mickey and Karviar Shepherd, and 2014's Emmanuel Mudiay. Minniefield's task of leading Westbury Christian back to State will be a lot easier if, as expected, big man Khadeem Lattin (see below) rejoins the team.

ISAIAH TAYLOR
Point Guard | 2013

Houston The Village | GCBC Cagers/Texas PRO
Interested Schools: California, Kansas St, Pepperdine, Northwestern, San Jose St
Consensus Ranking: 3*

SHAWNDRE' JONES
Point Guard | 2013

Fort Bend Bush | Texas PRO
Interested Schools: [UPDATE] Committed to Richmond
Consensus Ranking: NR

There are a lot of good players across the board in the greater Houston area. Expect to see a few of these guys on Big 12, Big East, or other area teams next year. Obviously, strong senior seasons are key for a lot of these guys as they try to land a scholarship for next season.

Underclassmen To Know:

JUSTISE WINSLOW
Wing | 2014

Houston St. John’s | Houston Hoops
Interested Schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Houston, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, UCLA
Consensus Ranking: 5*, Top 15

Rising junior Justise Winslow has drawn raves this summer. Last spring, he led St. John's to the SPC Sports title over area private school Kinkaid (also represented on this list below). His summer has gone even better. Winslow starred on Houston Hoops AAU, won a gold medal playing for the USA U-17 team, and was one of just four underclassmen chosen to play in the Under Armour Elite 24 game. Winslow has a lot of interest in the Texas programs--his father, Ricky Winslow, played on Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma teams--but has also received heavy interest from the likes of Kentucky and UNC. His recruitment should be an exciting one.

JUSTIN JACKSON
Wing | 2014

Houston HYCA | Houston Hoops
Interested Schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Georgetown, North Carolina, Ohio St
Consensus Ranking: 5*, Top 25

Justin Jackson doesn't rank too far behind Winslow, Jackson's Houston Hoops running mate. Home-schooled, Jackson plays for the unaffiliated HYCA, which stands for Home-Schooled Christian Youth Association. Last year, Jackson teamed with Danrad "Chicken" Knowles, now a freshman at Houston, to take on quality competition across the city. A rising junior, Jackson now takes over as the star of the program. Like Winslow, he has interest in local programs but is also hearing from some of the best colleges across the nation.

MELVIN SWIFT
Power Forward | 2014

Houston Yates | Houston Hoops
Interested Schools: Texas, Kentucky, Arizona, Memphis, Houston [UPDATE] Committed to Xavier
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 50

Even if you don't follow high school sports, you may have heard of Yates. Rick Reilly has, anyway. Whatever you think of Yates' philosophy, there is no denying that school churns out talent. Last year, the Lions were led by Damyean Dotson (Oregon) and Clyde Santee (Massachusetts), reaching State but falling in the UIL Class 4A State semi-finals to eventual champion Dallas Kimball. With key returnees like Melvin Swift and J.C. Washington (see below), Yates is on track to have great season. Excuse me: another great season.

KELLY OUBRE
Wing | 2014

Fort Bend Bush | Houston Hoops/New Orleans Elite
Interested Schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, UCLA
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 50

Last spring, Fort Bend Bush featured Texas-bound Cameron Ridley as a larger-than-life paint clogger. The built center has taken his talents to Austin, but Bush should remain competitive this year. Instead of a post-heavy offense, Bush will instead rely on silky wing Kelly Oubre and lightning-fast guard ShawnDre' Jones (see above) to lead the way. Hopefully this gets them farther than last year, when Bush lost to fellow District 23-5A foe Hightower in the UIL 5A Region 3 quarterfinals. It was a respectable loss to a Hightower team starring five-star wing Danuel House (Houston) and rugged guard Bralon Addison (Oregon for football). Back to Oubre: Texas is considered the early leader, with his former teammate Ridley serving as the Longhorns' biggest recruiter.

JOE BURTON
Combo Forward | 2014

Houston Lutheran North | Franchize All-Stars
Interested Schools: Auburn, St. John’s, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Marquette, Kansas
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 100

Yes, it's another Houston forward making 2014 top 100 lists. This one is Joe Burton, who has Auburn as his early leader. Lutheran North, a TAPPS Class 4A program, isn't highly ranked but should make the playoffs again this year with Burton leading the way.

KHADEEM LATTIN
Center/Power Forward | 2014

Houston Westbury Christian | Houston Hoops
Interested Schools: Arizona, Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Georgetown, USC, Marquette
Consensus Ranking: 4*, Top 100

All that jazz about Tony Trocha being the most interesting high school basketball player alive? Scratch that. The honor belongs to Khadeem Lattin. The grandson of Texas Western's David Lattin (of Glory Road fame) and son of WNBA star Monica Lamb, Lattin chose to take the road less traveled, playing overseas last season at Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain. His life decision has drawn much criticism, as scouts and college alike questioned why he would take himself "off the radar." If anything, his story, if not his play, has gotten him more attention. For example, Luke Winn did a nice feature on Lattin for Sports Illustrated's website. The latest is Lattin will return to the states for his junior season, and he is currently trying to re-enroll at his old high school, Westbury Christian. Did the year abroad do him good? People are about to find out.

JEFF ROBERSON
Combo Forward | 2014

Houston Kinkaid | Houston Hoops
Consensus Ranking: 3*

J.C. WASHINGTON
Wing | 2014

Houston Yates | Houston Hoops
Consensus Ranking: 3*

MAVIN SAUNDERS
Combo Forward | 2014

Houston Kinkaid | Franchize All-Stars
Consensus Ranking: 3*

CHRISTIAN SANDERS
Shooting Guard | 2014

Bellaire | Houston Hoops
Consensus Ranking: 3*

TONY UPCHURCH
Combo Guard | 2014

Pearland Dawson | Houston Hoops
Consensus Ranking: 3*

BRANDON ETIENNE
Point Guard | 2014

Houston North Shore | Houston Hoops
Consensus Ranking: 3*

SAMIR SEHIC
Center/Power Forward | 2015

Houston Cypress Woods | Texas Titans
Consensus Ranking: NR

Now we're truly projecting. Samir Sehic is the highest-rated rising sophomore in Houston. The native Bosnian looks the part of a future paint dominator, already measuring 6' 7" with a frame that shows room to grow. He currently plays AAU ball with the Texas Titans U-15 team, teaming with fellow well-known 2015ers Mickey Mitchell (Plano Prestonwood Christian) and King McClure (Dallas Triple A Academy). Cy Woods isn't a good basketball team, going just 10-20 last year, but Sehic is about to put it on the map.

For more on Texas Longhorns hoops, check out SB Nation blogs Barking Carnival and Burnt Orange Nation. We've got every Texas area schools covered as well at Our Daily Bears (Baylor), Double T Nation (Texas Tech) and Frogs O' War (TCU).

Related Articles:

Dallas Area High School Basketball Primer

Texas High School Basketball: State of the AAU Nation

A Look at Texas High School Basketball Recruiting

Texas Longhorns Basketball 2013 Recruiting Big Board

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Houston

You must be a member of SB Nation Houston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Houston. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Houston

You must be a member of SB Nation Houston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Houston. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.