CARROLTON, Texas -- The state of Texas continues to produce elite players at a near unmatchable level. The Dallas Great American Shootout was a great opportunity to catch some of the nation's top players in the 2012 and 2013 classes. Mike Kunstadt does a great job of bringing together some of the best programs in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area for a first-class event. The Integrated Athletic Development (IAD) complex is an outstanding venue to hold an event of this magnitude and provided a great environment to evaluate some of the best the Lonestar State has to offer.
Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/ Prestonwood Christian)
2013, PF, 6-foot-9, 235 pounds
The top-rated player in the 2013 class possesses a unique combination of advanced skill level in a man's body. When watching this kid play it is hard to believe he is just 15 years old and beginning his sophomore year of high school. Randle is a matchup problem for most opponents and as a result he often draws double or triple teams because of his ability to play on the perimeter or in the post. He is hard worker with a great attitude who should only continue to get better, as scary as that sounds.
Marcus Smart (Flower Mound, Texas/ Marcus)
2012, SF, 6-4, 205 pounds
Smart knows how to fill up a box score, is a competitor who has a disposition to dominate and seems to be involved in every play. The No. 31-ranked player in the 2012 class has a big-time motor and is an explosive athlete who plays much bigger than his listed size. He is a bruiser who attacks the basket, draws fouls and gets to the charity stripe with regularity.
Prince Ibeh (Garland, Texas/ Naaman Forest)
2012, C, 6-9, 210 pounds
Ibeh is a long, bouncy post player who dominates the paint. He is a little raw offensively, but is coming along and has shown some good instincts around the basket. He runs the floor like a deer, showed some face-up skills and is a shot-blocking specialist. He plays too straight up and down at times and needs to get stronger in the lower body, however he has the tools to be a high-major post player.
Phil Forte (Flower Mound, Texas/ Marcus)
2012, PG, 5-11, 175 pounds
Forte is a tough-as-nails point guard who backs down from no one. He is an outstanding shooter (we saw him knock down six daggers against Prestonwood Christian), who forces his opponent to play close and as a result he gains an extra step on his defender with a shot fake. Forte handles the ball well versus pressure and understands how to run a team. Some question his quickness and athleticism to play at the elite level, but he is a winner who will help a successful high-major program.
Player to watch
Keith Frazier (Irving, Texas/ Irving)
2013, SG, 6-5, 190 pounds
The No. 6-ranked player in the 2013 class, showed why he is so highly thought of on a national level. He loves to compete and plays like a savvy veteran offensively. Frazier moves well without the ball, shoots consistently with range and can finish through contact. He is another of the many talented players in Texas' loaded 2013 class with a bright future ahead of him.
• Class of 2012 Kansas commit Zach Peters (Plano, Texas/ Prestonwood Christian) is a banger with surprisingly-good skills. He teams up with Randle to give the Lions one of the best frontlines in the country.
• Forward Antwan Space (DeSoto, Texas/ DeSoto) showed why he has turned heads on the recruiting trail this summer. He is a long, active athlete who excels in transition. Arkansas is in strong position for his services as he said he "loves the Hogs."
• Texas A&M bound SG Jordan Green (Flower Mound, Texas/ Flower Mound) is a smooth lefty scorer who has a great feel for how to play and should be a great fit in the Aggies' system.
• North Texas stole one when it got a commitment from Jordan Willams (Dallas, Texas/ Kimball). The 6-6 small forward is a skilled athlete who should be an impact player right away. He teams up with 6-8 Jarion Henry, who also has excellent perimeter skills, to give Kimball one of the more versatile duos in the Dallas area.
• There was a great point guard matchup between Creighton bound Austin Chatman (Lewisville, Texas/ The Colony) and Houston pledge J.J. Thompson (Irving, Texas/ Irving). Both players are fearless competitors and know how to run a team.
Michael LaPlante is a recruiting coordinator and has more than 20 years of coaching and recruiting experience.