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The Opening gets Texas off to a strong start

By Bob Corwin, 11/07/23, 6:45AM PST


Left to Right: Amari Byles of Desoto, Samari Holman and Kaylinn Kemp of Duncanville. PC Credit Desoto HS and GirlzPrepReport.

The Opening (the DeSoto High School pre-season scrimmage) got the Texas girls basketball season off to a strong start. Although only nine varsity high schools teams participated in the day long set of scrimmages at host/presenter DeSoto (Texas) High School on Saturday, October 28, 2023, 37 college coaches from the Power 5 level down attended.  The reason was simple: lots of talent with something in the order of 25 future Division 1 (numerous Power 5) prospects plus some of the Division 2 variety as well.

Best teams (these four below could receive attention as to possible national top 25 at some point in the upcoming season).

Host DeSoto came into the event with the most rep having at least four Power 5 prospects returning from the prior year.  The team is clearly better having added some post presence and a lot of physical maturity.  Still there is plenty of room for improvement (less unforced errors for one) and the core of the team is not senior oriented.

Duncanville has a fleet of D1 prospects be most likely ending up below the Power 5 level. They are physical in style and can wear an opponent down.

South Grand Prairie was not at full strength but has impressive size up front.

Punam City West was both very athletic and linked up well, playing DeSoto about even for two quarters where starters met.  They are considered one of the top teams in Oklahoma having multiple Power 5 prospects.

Cy Springs showed primetime talent. Do remember going forward they have two underclass Power 5 prospects to build around. Although competitive, they lost their scrimmages with South Grand Prairie and Duncanville.

Players below are listed alphabetically within class with listed height, position, and school (location in parenthesis). All below have division 1 upside with most either having Power 5 offers or interest.


Caya Smith, 6-0, forward, Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Highly athletic with Power 5 offers, Smith can guard multiple positions and looks to attack the basket as primary scoring option.  

Adhel Tac, 6-5, center, South Grand Prairie High School (Grand Prairie, Texas)

Recently committed to South Carolina but playing limited minutes coming off injury as of this event, Tac is an above average shot blocker and major scoring threat close to the rim.


Kaylinn Kemp, 5-9, wing, Duncanville (Texas) High School

Kemp typifies this crop of Duncanville players. She plays hard and showed the ability to score by attacking the rim and shooting from the perimeter with consistency of production probably determining what college level she settles at.

Ayla McDowell, 6-3, wing, Cypress Springs High School (Cypress, Texas) 

An obvious Power 5 recruit, McDowell can defend multiple positions due to size and athleticism. She showed an ability to score near the rim and at mid-range.

LA Sneed, 5-6, point guard, Karen Wagner High School (San Antonio, Texas)

In spite of being of average guard height, Sneed has an above average level of power in her body able to withstand physical play by opponents.  She can attack the rim but also showed perimeter stroke and should be monitored by Power 5 programs for continued maturation.   


Amari Byles, 6-2, forward, DeSoto (Texas) High School

An obvious Power 5 recruit, Byles showed growth in her game from last season with greater physical maturity, better decision making and displayed a nice perimeter stroke inside and behind the arc.

Jayla Constant, 5-8, guard, Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Constant typified her name as a steady presence on her team’s perimeter.  With the ability to score at all three levels, Power 5 programs should be monitoring her progress.

Amayah Garcia, 5-11, shooting guard, DeSoto (Texas) High School

Like her teammate above, Garcia appears more physically mature than last season.  When combined with her size, her ability to shoot the three puts her squarely on Power 5 radar.

Asia Patin, 5-6, point guard, Southern University Laboratory School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

While her team struggled vs Texas powers San Antonio Wagner and DeSoto, Patin competed well handling the ball, running offense, and attacking the rim.  Her name should be on the radar of Division 1 schools.  

2027 – those below all have at the minimum Division 1 upside  

Jazman Bailey, 5-7, guard. Lake Ridge High School (Mansfield, Texas)

Bailey showed nice agility, productive movement without the ball (good basketball IQ) and nice stroke at mid-range.

Samari Holeman, 5-8, wing, Duncanville (Texas) High School

Getting court time on a deep Duncanville squad is impressive in and of itself. Holeman runs well and showed the ability to finish on the fastbreak.

Nia McBride, 5-7, guard, Karen Wagner High School (San Antonio, Texas)

McBride showed good speed in attacking the rim finishing with either hand.

Jemini Mitchell, 6-2, wing, Cypress Springs High School (Cypress, Texas)

Word in the gym is that Mitchell is one of the top 2027 prospects in Texas. As a tall perimeter player, she is still putting her game together as to shooting range, but movement, passing and basketball IQ are already impressive.