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The Houston Hoops basketball team will travel to North Augusta, S.C. to compete in the 2019 edition of Peach Jam this week. And first-year member L.J. Cryer is returning from injury to make the trip.

Houston Hoops coach Tim Schumacher is eager to see what the 6-foot-1, 160-pound senior-to-be point guard from Katy Morton Ranch High could do on the floor after hurting his ankle in March. The national showcase, which is hosted by the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, presents a huge opportunity for Cryer to show off the speed and scoring wizardry that will power the Baylor Bears men’s basketball program more than a year from now.

Simply put, Schumacher is happy to have Cryer back.

“L.J. is really special kid, and he is really a special talent,” Schumacher told Texas Scorecard. “He’s unique in his skill set and what he brings to the table for our team. We’re really excited to have him back as we get ready to go to Peach Jam. We’re looking forward to that.”

Cryer is fresh from a junior campaign at Morton Ranch in which he generated 27.5 points per game with 5.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals to lead the Mavericks to an inaugural regional quarterfinal berth. The 4-star floor general received scholarship offers from LSU, Purdue, Houston, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, along with several other schools, prior to committing to Baylor, according to the Our Daily Bears SBNation blog.

Schumacher said that Cryer came to Houston Hoops “because he wanted to play with Nike.”

“He liked what we have to offer,” said the coach.

Describing Peach Jam as “the biggest and best tournament in the country,” Schumacher mused at the likelihood of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and longtime Duke bench boss Mike Krzyzewski watching Cryer and the team play.

“For us, it’s a huge accomplishment to get there,” he said. “The town of North Augusta revolves around Peach Jam for a week … For us to go through that league and qualify for Peach Jam without L.J. is really great for our team. We’re just excited to get L.J. back and be at full strength as we head into the week.”

Like a parent handing a teenager the keys to their first car, Schumacher wholeheartedly trusts Cryer with the squad.

“He’s, no doubt, the leader of this team,” he said. “He earned that right by what he showed before the injury.”