Monday, March 29, 2010

Battle of the South Results

Congratulations go out to all of the division winners of the 2010 Battle of the South:

10U - New Orleans Revolution
11U and 12U - LA Primetime Select
13U - Georgia Press
14U - MBA Hoops
15U - Southern Kings
16U - MBA Hoops
17U - New Orleans Elite (D1 Ambassadors)

This tournament had close to 100 teams participating in a 3 day event!! I would like to compliment Coach Lemond Roy (and family) for doing a fantastic job this weekend and I recommend this tournament to any and all AAU and Travel Teams looking for good competition in the month of March.

As far as the MS D1 Ambassadors, it was a great start to kick off the AAU season! We finished 3-1, winning our pool (defeating Texas Heat and Team Shockaz (LA)) and beating Team Impact in the second round of tournament play. Unfortunately, we ran into a great team called the Xpress Sports Inc from LA, with guard Kyle Preston scoring 34 points in a 60-50 defeat! Kyle was truly unstoppable this weekend, and his team only lost to eventual champs, New Orleans Elite by one in the semi-finals.

Our team is as balanced as they come. LeAntwan Luckett, Rivals 60th ranked player in the nation, led the team in scoring with a 14 pt avg, scoring 19 twice. Donovan Ross, 6'5 junior from Ridgeland High, led the team in boards with 11 per game, and scoring at a 10 ppg clip. Injuries and absences from key players prevented the Ambassadors from being fully loaded, as 6'1 Jarron Mallory, Provine High, 6'5 Marcus Henry, Thomastown High, 6'4 Justin Kinsey, Yazoo City, and 6'3 A J Wade, NE Lauderdale, missed one or more games due to injuries and/or work.

We should be fully loaded this weekend in Birmingham AL for the Rivals 150 tournament. The Murrah High potent trio of 6'3 Daniel Francis,6'1 Jerrial Dawson and 5'10 Tony Hooten will be counted on to provide 3 pt shooting, while new additions Matthew and Marcus Hurn, and D'Courtland Christian from 6A runnerup powerhouse Meridian High will be counted for much needed depth. 5'7 Ridgeland guard Sean Hutchins also gave good minutes, starting the last two games and playing solid defense and surprising rebounding skills for his size.

A special shout out goes to 6'3 guard, Dexter Williams, who came all the way from Hawaii to play for the Ambassadors for two weeks!!! This young man has the talent to play college ball, and showed remarkable skill sets in his performance. He will return sometime in June to finish the AAU season. Coaches, be on the lookout for this young man as he will make noise this summer!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AAU Season around the Corner!

It's almost that time! The first major AAU tournament will begin this weekend as the Battle of the South kick off with over 110 teams!!
The D1 Ambassadors will begin play at 10 pm at the MBA Facility against the LA Team Shockaz. There are 25 teams in the 17U division, clearly making it the most competitive division of all. Some of the other teams representing MS is:

Jackson Celtics, with high level guards such as Greg Riley and Greg Lee.

MBA Select, with Dandy Dozen guard and possible player of the year, Deville Smith along with his brother Davion "BugEye" Smith. Explosive Backcourt!!

Jackson Panthers, with sharpshooter guard Xaiver Rimmer.

Southern Phenoms, with Top sophomore DeVonta Pollard.

Also look out for the Gulf Coast All Stars, Vicksburg Magic and the Byram Ballers.

This will truly be a great weekend of hoops! You can check out the complete schedule on

Our 16U brothers, the MS Ballers, will also participate and begin play at 6:00 p.m. against the San Antonio Bearcats at the JSU campus (TB Ellis gym). Keep an eye out for super sophomores Quinterious Porter of Forest Hill, Corey Cox of Yazoo City, and McDarion Abron from Canton High. This team is solid from top to bottom.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MS Girls and Boys both victorious in All-Star Game!

Great games last night (for MS) at the Pelham Civic Center! The girls and boys from Mississippi were victorious over the best Alabama had to offer. A full report will be posted on the website later today but wanted to share tidbits about the event.

I want to give props to this class of 2010. The young men came out and warmed up during the girls halftime, and afterwards mingled with family and friends in the crowd. I mention this because there wasn't an air of arrogance on ANY player! I saw complete strangers come up to kids like Stringer, Nelson, Cox and the rest and they treated them courteously and respectfully. That's worth more than any basket you make.

The class of 2010 was a LOT better than originally evaluated!!! The class of 2011 is so loaded that they overshadowed this class just a tad. However, an arguement can be made that the guards (Stringer, Nelson, Jackson, Townsel, Evans) are stronger than 2011's. BUT the wings and bigs (O'Bryant, Luckett, who both attended the game, Adams, Ammons, Hood) are stronger. Good discussion either way.

The best shooting group of guards in years. Mississippi's tandem of Stringer, Nelson and Jackson combined for 10 threes, with Dundrecous Nelson, the game's MVP, leading with 5 made. 'Drec really showed why he was selected as a dandy dozen the last two months of basketball play.

Trency Jackson is a flat out scorer who can also defend. I have known this young man for 3 years and I have never seen him take a play off in a game. He's gonna be big time for USM.

DeMarco Cox is a beast! The best thing about Marco is he doesn't pout if he isn't fed the rock, he just go get it. At his weight (270 minimum) he is quick on his feet AND great hands, proven by getting 2 steals in this game.

I think the coaches, Jay Ladner from St. Stanislaus, Danny Grieves, St. Patricks and Luther Riley of Provine did an excellent job! I admit that I was skeptical at first because Coach Jay plays a more deliberate offense and Grieves is known as a take no prisoner coach. But they ran at an uptempo pace and the players actually seemed to like the discipline. Kudos to Coaches who change their system to fit the players, but don't change who they are. Great job guys.

I gotta get ready for scrimmage games now, so I will talk to you later.

God Bless,

Coach Ted

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MS/AL All-Star Game

What's up Hoopers,

Getting ready to go to the MS/AL All-Star game in Birmingham, AL! One of our Baller Alumni, DeMarcus "8-ball" Lewis was selected to play and we are proud as he is the first Baller to achieve such an honor. I will be out of pocket the next few days as I spend time with my brother, DeWayne before he departs to serve our country in Afghanistan. It makes you think twice about the men and women risking their lives for our freedom when it's one of your own! God Bless DeWayne and the rest of the troops!

God Bless,

Coach Ted

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Welcome Dexter Williams!!

I would like to welcome Dexter Williams, 6'3 wing player from Hawaii!! Dexter is using his spring break to hone his basketball skills with the best Mississippi has to offer. This young man is serious about becoming a better player, so much so that his mother, Sharonda, sent him here to workout with the MS D1 Ambassadors. Dexter recently visited the MBA gym to test his skills against some of Mississippi's finest high school players and he held his own. He's a wiry player who has a knack for getting the loose balls and knocking down the midrange shot.

When the Ambassadors are not playing/practicing, he will workout at the Yazoo City public gyms and MBA. Dexter will be in Mississippi until March 30th, and he will play with the Ambassadors in the Battle of the South Tournament in Jackson MS on March 26-28. Watch for this young man as he truly is a sleeper!

Coach Ted

Players working on their game

I just left the MBA gym in Jackson, MS and I was pleased to see the number of high caliber players working on their game! In the past couple of days, I ran into Xavier Rimmer, 2011 Guard for Piney Woods, working on a deadly three point shot to add to his arsenal. In a pickup game, I witnessed him shooting at least 80% from the three line. Among the guards showing shooting marksmanship were Jerrial Dawson, 2011 guard from Murrah High, Jarron Mallory, 2011 guard from Provine High and Marshun Magee, 2010 guard from Bailey High. I liked the fact that these players and others were working on their skills instead of sitting at home!

Players need to understand that you have to put the work in to get the glory. Athletes such as LeAntwan Luckett and Donovan Ross are putting in up to 4 hours daily in conditioning, weight-lifting and basketball drills. I witnessed Jalen Courtney, LSU signee, working out with the current Jackson Tigers AAU team Sunday. This young man has a D1 scholarship and could easily take a "break" during spring break, but he is constantly working on his game. These kind of kids will make it.

If you are sitting on your butt, surfing the net, or updating your facebook, or worse, texting, more than you are working out, don't be surprised if after your last game senior year you have no offers. Will you blame your Coach, Parents, or yourself?

Real Talk.

Coach Ted


Hey Hoopers and Hoopfans,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ted Hutchins, Coach Ted for short. I'm the Head Coach of the Mississippi D1 Ambassadors Elite Travel Team. I have 11 years experience coaching AAU, beginning with my oldest son's 6th grade friends! I'm looking forward to this season as we have possible one of the most talented teams in the southern region. You can find out who made this year's 17U team under ROSTER link.

I'm not going to bore you with a blah blah background history on me, but I will say that we fit the word "TEAM" in every sense. We are a family, not just teammates/coaches. For the past five years, we were known as the Mississippi Ballers, who played in FOUR National tournaments, placing 3rd in the D2 Nationals in 2005, and 12th in the D1 Nationals in Orlando FL in 2008! None of this could be possible without the help of "General Manager" Camille Hutchins, who's also my wife. Also thanks go out to my assissant for the past 5 years, Calvin Johnson Jr, my brother-in-law. Like I said, we are a family, and we expound that to the players as well. After practice, it's not unusual to see our team together at a mall, movie, or just hanging out.

I'm very excited about the upcoming season, and having the ability to give you an inside look from the locker room, practices, games and beyond! I will also give you evaluations and updates of players from the Jackson and surrounding areas. Don't be surprised at what you will read on my blog!

A special shout out and big THANKS go to Bobby Sibley for making this all possible!!!! Bobby has put a lot of effort into making this organization a class unit, and he's doing a great job.

I will talk to you soon.

God Bless,

Coach Ted