Anytime a 6-foot-10 sophomore connects for seven three pointers in a half at a major AAU event, you can expect the buzz to start in a hurry. That is what happened with Angel Garcia.
Coming into the Real Deal on the Hill, Garcia didn't have a big reputation outside of Illinois, where plays at Lake Forest Academy, and Indiana, where he played last year. Funny how reputations can change in a matter of minutes. Garcia was the top prospect for the Indiana-based CAPS All-Stars last weekend.
"People probably know a little more about him now," CAPS head coach Eric Cole said. "He's 6-10, cheating on 6-11, and doing things you don't see 6-10 kids do."
At the Real Deal on the Hill, Garcia went to work in the second half against the Southeast Elite. In 16 minutes of work, Garcia buried seven three-pointers against three different defenders.
"They moved their 6-10 guy out on the wing to guard him and Angel just pulled him out and stretched their defense. They put a 6-8 guy on him and he couldn't check him either," Cole said. "Then when they put a 6-4 guy on him, I thought Angel was going to get ripped but he didn't. He held his own.
"He wasn't just catching and shooting, he was creating shots for himself. These were very tough shots he was hitting."
Still improving, Garcia, a native of Puerto Rico, is just starting to tap into his potential, Cole says.
"Angel is a very, very tough match-up for people. He is a great passer on top of being a good shooter. He can put it on the floor and do some things with the ball," he said. "Once he gets his back to the basket skills down, I really think he'll be virtually unstoppable."
Cole said DePaul, St. John's, Iowa, Miami and Indiana (before Mike Davis left) all showed interest prior to the Real Deal. Since the weekend, Cole said he's fielded a little bit of interest from West Virginia, Illinois and Arkansas.
"I definitely think he opened a lot of eyes. Alabama was there to see their guy (Rico Pickett, a 2007 Tide commitment) but I know after watching Angel play, they have to be interested. I wonder what it might be like if we weren't playing in one of the off sites."
That will be the case once again this weekend at the Kingwood. The CAPS All-Stars will be playing away from the main gym, with a 10 p.m. game on Friday against Pharaohs Gold at Claughton Middle School. Saturday's game is at 10:20 a.m. at the Claughton gym against Jr. Tycoons Blue.
"He definitely has NBA potential. If he keeps working at the rate he is working, I think he'll have a chance to do some big things," Cole said.