The 14 and under state came to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon with Select Basketball winning the championship over the Memphis YOMCA. We watched nearly every game on Saturday and Sunday and I have put together a list of the top 30 players from the event. They will be listed in alphabetical order.
Terrence Birdsong (???) Memphis YOMCA (High Game 18pts)
Big strong inside player who was relentless on the glass and showed a soft touch on the inside, he is a big time football prospect we understand.
Braxton Blackwell (???) Select Basketball (High Game 29pts)
Very consistent player with great size and the ability to finish strong at the rim in transition, Blackwell averaged 16 points per game and was the only player in the tournament to score in double digits in all five of his games.
Jordan Bowden (Carter) Tennessee Chosen Few (High Game 18pts)
Small guard showed great poise and leadership qualities controlling tempo and knocking down some shots along the way, he has solid handles but will obviously need to get stronger.
Jacques Bruce (Fulton) Tennessee Chosen Few (High Game 14pts)
Strong guard, who can score in transition and plays solid defense on occasion, will learn to become more consistent when Coach Wright gets him in the mix.
Julian Crutchfield (Lebanon) Nashville Celtics (High Game 16pts)
Big strong inside player who challenged people to match him physically and more often than not came out on top. Must develop a go to move and shoots a great many shots completely off balance, thus putting him out of rebounding position.
Calvin Davenport (Ooltewah) Chatt-Town Elite (High Game 13pts)
A small guard who uses his quickness to create scoring opportunities for himself and others, Davenport can become a pesky defender as he learns the game.
Alandius Delk (Haywood County) Memphis YOMCA (High Game 18pts)
Scrappy inside player who scored most of his points on put-backs and short jumpers, Delk was a tough defender but will need guard skills as his size catches up with him.
DeShaun Douthard (Cane Ridge) Nashville Celtics (High Game 15pts)
Active scorer will need to make the transition to lead guard if he remains at this size, found creative ways to score and used his quickness to get to the rim.
Ricky Dunnaway (Oakland) Nashville Celtics (High Game 12pts)
Consistent player scored in double digits in nearly every game and was very effective when the half-court game was utilized. Smooth operator has length and good size, as his skills rise he could be a good one.
Naba Echols (???) Memphis War Eagles (High Game 19pts)
Diminutive guard proved to be a pest on defense and with his lefty stroke was a weapon from deep on offense, Echols has point guard size but felt more comfortable creating his own shot, which will change as his game grows.
Wade Eldridge (Livingston Academy) Select Basketball (High Game 13pts)
Smart player with a very opportunistic approach to the game, he was effective on the wing and when he had scoring chances he converted at the rim.
Donte Fitzpatrick (???) Memphis YOMCA (High Game 10pts)
Excessively long athlete, showed major potential with his athleticism and ability to keep things alive on the offensive glass, strength is the only thing keeping him being very productive.
Rashard Harrington (Science Hill) East Tennessee Copperheads (High Game 27pts)
The only other player in the event to score in double digits in all his games, Harrington finished with the events highest scoring per game average of 21.0. He can score in a variety of methods but will need to incorporate some lead guard skills into the mix.
Chase Hawkins (Brentwood) Nashville Celtics (High Game 12pts)
Solid inside player who can score, mostly over his right shoulder, he has good hands and will learn to add some counter moves when he is forced to play against bigger opponents.
Parker Howell (CPA) Select Basketball (High Game 21pts)
Skilled post player with outstanding hands and footwork, Howell can score over either shoulder and has an up and under and will finish with either hand. He has a strong lower body and once he gets position, he remains intact.
Jerry Hurd (Memphis Overton) Memphis War Eagles (High Game 20pts)
Arguably the best shooter in the tourney, Hurd has a sweet follow-thru and can put the ball on the deck and finish at the rim. He plays with poise and rarely shows any emotion on the floor, he has point guard savvy; now let's add some point guard skills.
Kelvin Jackson (Gibbs) Tennessee Chosen Few (High Game 17pts)
Very emotional youngster who has some good size and length and can put the ball in the hole in a variety of methods. He needs to overcome his immaturity and simply play ball, he has nice skills and could be a very good player.
Justin Jenkins (Knoxville Webb) Select Basketball (High Game 13pts)
Very impressive athlete, who jumps quickly and plays hard on both ends of the floor, he needs to tweak his shooting motion and stop trying to make a spectacular play on every possession, the easy ones count as two points also.
Skal Labassiere (ECS) Memphis War Eagles (High Game 24pts)
A native of Haiti, Skal has very impressive height (6'8) and length but his physicality is a work in progress. The physical toll took hold as the event wore on and his production slipped as well. He has a nice shooting touch and is still learning how to play this game.
Keelon Lawson (???) Memphis YOMCA (High Game 38pts)
A very impressive young player who can score around the glass and hits the short runner with ease, his outside shooting needs major work and his foul shooting as well. He has unusual length and is not afraid to compete and take crucial shots. He needs to control his emotions before he moves up to the high school level.
J.T. Marable (Pearl Cohn) Nashville Celtics (High Game 14pts)
Strong personality at the lead guard spot, Marable showed he can score a crucial bucket or set up the chance for a hard working teammate. He plays good defense and is not afraid of contact.
Mark McGee (Science Hill) East Tennessee Copperheads (High Game 22pts)
Small scoring guard had a couple of 20 point games but took a lot of shots to get there, at his size he must learn to incorporate his teammates and become a weapon with or without the ball.
James McPherson (Brentwood) Select Basketball (High Game 15pts)
Lead guard plays at a very nice tempo and has a massive basketball IQ, he can score from outside or if guarded off the dribble, he is patient and really understands his role within the offense.
Kyle Phillips (Hillsboro) Select Basketball (High Game 14pts)
Big and strong, Phillips was at his physical best against the better inside players and showed he could run the floor and keep possessions alive with his hustle and determination.
Nick Smith (White Station) Memphis YOMCA (High Game 23pts)
Impressive ball-handler and scorer with the ball in his hands, when the game got bigger he rose to the challenge and lead his troops. He creates space with his handles and will finish tough at the rim with either hand. He needs to quit gambling on defense and use his quickness to create additional scoring chances.
T.J. Steward (Siegel) Nashville Celtics (High Game 12pts)
Nice lefty stroke and a good feel for the game are his major attributes on the court, needs to temper down the demonstrative actions when he perceives things aren't going his way. He is much too talented to let outside distractions take him out of his game.
Brenden Teeter (Alcoa) Tennessee Thunder (High Game 22pts)
Showed improvement with each game and scored big in the finale with 22 markers. Good shooter will need to quicken his release.
Marques Tipton (Brainerd) Chatt-Town Elite (High Game 15pts)
Proved to be a consistent scorer throughout the weekend, Tipton plays hard and always looks for opportunities to score the ball. He has decent size and if he develops his handles could be a solid off guard.
Isiah Upton (East Literature) Nashville Celtics (High Game 11pts)
Very consistent scorer and all around player was a major contributor for the Celtics the entire weekend, Upton can finish to the basket and has an adequate outside shot that will get better with gym work. Good size and ability make him a quality prospect in this class.
Taylor Vanderbilt (Smyrna) Select Basketball (High Game 18pts)
Sweet stroking lefty with a smooth finish, Vanderbilt was not shy about shooting big shots including a game winner in pool play. He has a strong body and will gravitate towards the lead guard spot by necessity as he grows.
Rodney Webb (Melrose) Memphis War Eagles (High Game 13pts)
Athletic and long can describe a lot of the Memphis players but Webb stood out early in the event and seemed to disappear towards the end. He can finish inside and with his length run the floor very well and takes it strong to the cup.