The South Garland Colonels went 36-4 in 2017-18, depending on super-juniors Tyrese Maxey and Chris Harris Jr. for the majority of their scoring production. They lost in the semifinals, ending a memorable season, but leaving them with a bitter taste in their mouths. The duo are now seniors, and they’ll lead a highly-experienced rotation in search of a Texas 6A State Championship. Head coach Dominique Parker has a roster full of athletes, but they will have a noticeable lack of size. Quite simply, in high school basketball, if your guards are as good as Maxey and Harris, you are capable of beating anyone in the country.
Tyrese Maxey is an absolute superstar, and the 6-foot-3 combo guard is the heart and soul of the Colonels squad. Maxey averaged 22.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.3 steals in 40 games last season, parlaying his high school success into a First Team All-EYBL selection this summer for Houston Hoops on the NIKE circuit. Anything short of a McDonald’s All-American game selection would be a disappointment for the Kentucky verbal commit Maxey, who plays basketball with a passion and love for the game that is hard to match. Harris, teammates with Maxey on both South Garland and the Houston Hoops, is Robin to Maxey’s Batman. Harris, committed to Texas A&M, will have some offensive outbursts this season. The 6-foot-4 Harris is a dynamic scorer, evidenced by his 2017-18 averages of 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 40 games played. Harris and Maxey attack with non-stop effort, and their output is usually more than most teams can handle.
Maxey and Harris accounted for roughly 60 percent of the scoring from a year ago, so it is imperative that others step up in their rotation. Third-leading scorer Dearon Tucker, the biggest member of their roster, moved to South Carolina, leaving a hole in the frontcourt for the Colonels. 6-foot-5 forward Iyanous Moffett-Bennett will assume the role of big man, and the undersized senior will need to play solid defense while rebounding at a high rate. Senior Keyon Craddock will play big minutes in the backcourt alongside Maxey and Harris, and the 6-foot point guard impressed in 40 games as a junior, averaging 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Role players Khalil Davis (3.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG) and Jayden McGrew (4.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG) return in expanded roles, and the seniors should provide improved production. Davis, a 6-foot-4 swingman, will be relied on to defend bigger frontcourt players.
Their schedule holds no punches, as the Colonels face off against local foes Duncanville and Cedar Hill before heading to the Thanksgiving Hoopfest. That event will provide the Colonels a chance to compete on the national level as they match up against Missouri power Vashon. They will also rematch Kansas powerhouse prep school Sunrise Christian, one year removed from handing the Buffalos a big upset loss. If you’re a basketball fan and you’re in the DFW area this winter, Maxey and Harris are worth the price of admission. They will be difficult to beat and provided they stay healthy, a state championship is a realistic expectation for the Colonels.