I got to spend the entire day on Saturday at the 17 and under AAU state in Memphis.
I had the opportunity to see each of the eight participating squads play two times each and I chose 20 players who's performances were noteworthy.
They will be listed alphabetically.
Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) Tennessee Future Stars
Playing with another team this weekend, Ant 2.0 remained the model of consistency. A leader and arguably the best ball-handler in the state, Ant showed a bit more of a scoring side than we have previously seen.
Michael Bradley (Tyner Academy) Tennessee Tigers
The improving big man has an outstanding soft touch and showed some range out to three point land. He moves well and really gives effort on both ends of the floor. I would like to see him more productive on the boards which will come with added strength.
Marquinton Brown (Lausanne) Memphis Trotters
Quick and aggressive, Brown was one of the scoring leaders for the weekend with his tough forays to the bucket and a decent mid-range game. His ability to finish towards the glass despite contact was impressive.
Teraes Clemmons (Mt. Juliet) Team Nashville
Knocking down jumpers from near and far early in the day, Clemmons was deft from verywhere with his smooth lefty stroke. He had a couple of nice drives to the bucket with clever finishes and an array of nice moves I would like to see more of.
Montez Fifer (Southwind) Memphis Stallions
Very important role player for the Stallions and their run to the title. Fifer gives you effort and depending on the matchup can score some points with his hustle and work on the glass. The kind of player who helps you win games and championships.
Andre Hollins (White Station) Memphis YOMCA
Great size and body on this youngster as he scored majority of his points off the dribble. Was the hero in the big win on Saturday knocking down the game winning foul shots. Can score from the perimeter. As the teams top scoring option he needs to understand how to get himself open when the opposing team is keying on him in crucial times of the game.
Nino Johnson (White Station) Memphis YOMCA
Big body and very smart. Skilled inside and love how he keeps his rebounds high and knows where he is on the court. His scoring will come as his experience grows and then the sky is the limit. Wonderful footwork.
Tarius Johnson (Liberty Tech) Mid-State Ballerz West
I cannot tell how pleased I am with the progress of T.J. Always one of the top effort guys in the state, he has added a nice jumpshot, with range easily out to three, and has made himself a legit two guard for the next level. His stock is on the certain rise.
"Mighty" Chris Jones (Melrose) Memphis YOMCA
Jones did'nt light up the scorebook like he did the previous weekend but he still managed to drop about 23 per game and led his team to the title. He never quits on defense and has a knack for making steals with his effort. He showed glimpses of point guard with some fancy passing to cutting teammates.
Fred Lee (Maplewood) Team Nashville
Stayed at the point the entire weekend and did a marvelous job for his squad. His scoring opportunities were still plentiful and he did a very nice job on the defensive side of the floor. His demeanor on the court has improved significantly.
Nick Mason (Southwind) Memphis Stallions
One of the best shooters in the state, Mason was knocking things down in the first game but seemed to not be involved in the offense as much in the second. I would love to see him become more aggressive offensively and use his special gift as a weapon to make his all around game better.
Jo Northington (Manassas) Mid-State Ballerz Central
Had his thing going in the second game with his sweet stroke. Showed some improvement off the dribble with some tough drives from the wing. I think we are about to see the very best of Jo as the summer rolls along.
Cottrell Peterson (Manassas) Mid-State Ballerz West
A rebounding machine,Peterson goes hard after every carom be it his area or the other side of the lane. He found some difficulty in scoring in the post which would be corrected by some better footwork. His effort is without question and he is a valuable member of any team with his speciality.
Carter Sanderson (Lipscomb) Tennessee Tigers
Even with everyone iin the gym knowing he is the shooting option, Sanderson still knocks down tough contested threes with ease. He has good strength and is a much better on ball defender than he is credited for. As he develops his game off the dribble his value continues to climb.
Cory Stanton (Springfield) Tennessee Tigers
Quick and explosive this lead guard proved to be one of the most electrifying players in the event. He was a terror on the defensive side of the floor and no one could remain in front of him as he made his way to the bucket. Tough and fearless, Cory proved he is a big time player who should be on the radar.
Antwuan Van Lier (Hunters Lane) Tennessee Future Stars
Not sure if the first name is correct but we loved the steady and smart play of this emerging guard. He had a nice outside touch and seemed in control of things despite the rapid nature of what was happening around him.
Robert Wade (Maplewood) Team Nashville
I cannot say enough good things about Robert. He was awesome in the opening game of the day scoring around 25 points on a dazzling array of short jumpers and tough put backs. He is blocking shots with ease and using his extreme athleticism to make himself a dependable scorer. His demeanor on the court is much improved and it shows in his consistent play.
Marvin Williams (White Station) Memphis YOMCA
Marvin has the best hands in the state his ability to carve out space and score is a tool very hard to teach. A supremely soft touch anywhere in the paint makes him a capable scorer at anytime in the game.
Kaneal Windom (JCM) Mid-State Ballerz West
The talented lefty showed he was not afraid to take the big shot and gave us some versatility shooting from three or stopping on a dime to drill a soft lefty mid-range stroke. Tough defender who is a valuable asset to any team with his toughness and hustle.
Brandon Wright (Hillcrest) Memphis Stallions
Plays much larger than his 6'5 frame on the interior. He has long arms and seems to always find the tough offesnive carom and lays it in softly. A decent lefty stroke accounts for a number of his points and an all out aggression on both ends of the floor make him a valable commodity for any team. As he improves his game from the wing to the bucket we will see Wright on our radar.