Before we start the second half of the 16 and under preview let me remind everyone that summer basketball in an entity all unto itself. I have recieved numerous rosters from teams ranging from Johnson City to Memphis and as is always the case you will find players on numerous rosters. This being the case I try to make the assesment of where they will play based on information from the coaches. So hopefully this clarification will allow everyone to understand if someone gets listed with the wrong teamor has since changed squads.
The second half of our 16 and under preview begins with the Nashville Celtics.
Depth at each position seems to be a Celtic staple and this squad shows more of the same. In the backcourt the Celtics feature Jeremy Purvis (Clarksville Northwest), Jay Murphy (Bolivar Central), Ish Sanders (Cleveland) and Mitchell Hill (Cookeville).
Murphy and Purvis can run the point and scoring is the strong suit of both Sanders and Hill, who can also run the lead guard if need be.
Running and slashing on the wing Meiko Lyles (NCA), Dijon Jackson (Alabama) and Levon Tate (Seigel) make for a formidible tandem.
Size will not be a factor for the Celtics with "King" Arthur McMillan (Hillsboro),Coty Clarke (Antioch), Dan Croft (Kentucky) and Cody Henegar (Marion County) all possessed with good size. Croft and Henegar are more traditional posts with McMillan able to play on the wing and inside if the situation calls for that. Clarke is a very talented inside player who has size and strength to burn, this will be a breakout summer for him.
A number of newcomers dot the Travelers 16 and under roster this season making them a very tough and talented group.
Guard play will be a stong suit as always with Brandon Herman (Grace Baptist), Kaymon Garrett (NCA), and DeAngelo Williams (Spring Hill) manning the backcourt slots for the Travs. Shooting will come from Devin Jackson (Knoxville West), who will be more than ready to show he's not rusty after sitting out most of this high school season after transferring.
On the wing active Linwood Holloway (Knoxville Central), and newcomers Tyler Hood (Lenoir City) and Dwight Tarwater (Knoxville Webb) bring a new dimension to the squad.
The Travs will not be short on size with big Richard Hutchens (Maryville) back to rough some folks up. Newcomer Eric Richardson (CBHS) is an intruiging new prospect at 6'7, Big Rich is talented and ready to make a name for himself. Also ready for a breakout summer is long and thin 6'6 post Fred Sturdivant (Brainerd).
Mid-State Ballerz Middle
The Ballerz will be fielding two squads in this age group this summer with this group going by the Ballerz Middle moniker.
A couple of tough guards lead of the story in Coty Crow (Creekwood) and Jevonte Hughes (Kentucky). Manning the other guard spots big time shooting prospect E.J. Perry (Westmoreland) is a dangerous weapoin behind the arc and Juwon Cain (Liberty Tech), Josh Herndon (Camden) and Riley Morgan (Madison Academy) make up the depth at those spots.
A solid addition to the squad appears to be Tyler Smith (Union County) who coming off a knee injury is more than ready to get back to where he was a year ago.
Inside and on the wing these Ballerz will look to Demetrius Robinson (Kenwood), Donterio Dansby (Cheatham County), Kenneth Davis (Kentucky), JuJuan Blaylock (Liberty Tech) and Ricky Parks (Liberty Tech).
Look for breakout summers from Parks and Blaylock.
Moving back to the East the Trailblazers made a nice showing in this past weekends Riverdale Classic winning a couple games and showing they are a team to deal with in this age group.
Zach Witherspoon (Oak Ridge) runs things from out front with big Dylan Powers (Lenoir City) ready to fire his deadly jumper at a moments notice.
The strength of this squad is their versatile wings namely Micah Ballard (William Blount) and Cameron Langley (Maryville).
Ballard is coming off an injury that ended his high school season prematurely but has managed to come back nicely and Langley is a solid player with a good basketball IQ and is strength away from being a major contributor.
Additional depth on the wing and in the backcourt will come from David Lee Haskins (Loudon) and Landon Hunley (Farragut).
Inside the Blazers get Reggie Garrett (Alcoa) to control the paint and grab some loose caroms along with Zach Sheriil (Stone Memorial), Tucker Haynes (Maryville0 and Tyler Thomas (Lenoir City).
Sherrill is posied for a big summer after having a very good sophomore campaign for his high school squad.