Tuesday, September 17, 2013

With '16 Banners' out, Hobbs hoops working toward No. 17

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Devante Brown drives to the basket Tuesday during
the Eagles' athletic period at Tasker Arena.
  I stopped by the Hobbs boys basketball team's athletic period this morning for a story I'm working on for Thursday's paper (wanted to do a story on the current team as Hobbs hoops documentary "16 Banners" was out in theaters still) and the Eagles were as usual working hard.
  Starting the day with a 2-mile run, the Eagles came back inside Tasker Arena and worked on the press in a scrimmage situation in 2-minute, 30-second and 4-minute bursts.
  Just from a look at today and from the summer, Hobbs is going to be a faster team. The first team today was comprised of guards Trey Nelson, Cayson Meridyth and Devante Brown (who since winning the Class 5A high jump has added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame) with a front line of Adrian Trevino and Jordan Chavarria – all guys that fly with the basketball in their hand. Also looking good for the Eagles was Gabriel Jurado. The 6-foot-3, tall-and-lanky senior quick running the court and his long reach makes it tough on opponents.
  There's also a new face within the program as 6-foot-10 junior Kelvin Jones has transferred into the program from North Dakota. From what I've heard, he's been on a monster growth spurt over the last 18 or so months – growing over eight inches. He's going to be a project as he's still learning how to use his height (after all, it wasn't long ago he was a 6-foot-2 guard) but he does have a good touch around the bucket and moves well for his size (especially considering the growth spurt he's had).
Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Jordan Chavarria, right, defends
new Hobbs player Kelvin Jones during 
the Eagles' athletic period Tuesday. 
  Patience is needed as Jones has only been in Hobbs a few weeks and he's learning how to play in Hobbs' full-court pressing system - and getting in shape to do it. He's a lean young man but told me he'd never run two miles straight until he came to Hobbs. It's going to take time for him to adjust, but I think working with Hobbs assistant coach Vince Taylor (probably the best defender to ever come out of Hobbs and arguably one of the top defenders ever at Texas Tech) will improve his game a ton. Hobbs coach Mike Smith told me Jones really enjoys basketball and has shown a very strong work ethic about improving (including in the weight room).
  Official practices for prep basketball in New Mexico start Nov. 3.