Friday evening the 17 and under AAU state tourney gets underway at Bishop Byrne High School in Memphis.
A good field will look to capture the coveted championship and an automatic spot in the nationals come late July.
In Pool A, Teraes Clemmons (Mt. Juliet) and Robert Wade (Maplewood) lead Team Nashville. They will need a solid effort from their guards Fred Lee (Maplewood), Hollis Edwards (McGavock), and Holden Mobley (MBA).
The Memphis YOMCA fresh off a good showing at Nike Memorial Day continue to play up an age group. Andre Hollins (White Station) is playing well and leading the Y in scoring while their inside tandem of Marvin Williams (White Station) and Nino Johnson (White Station) will be big. Guard play is always the key in these tourneys and the Y will need some sterling point play from Kerell Davis (Melrose).
Also in Pool A, the Mid-State Ballerz West hope to contain their momentum after a final four finish in Birmingham this past weekend. Tarius Johnson (Liberty Tech) has found his scoring touch and continues to improve his game off the dribble. Big games will be expected from the likes of Demarius Smith (Kenwood), Thomas Greer (West Carroll), Kaneal Windom (JCM) and Cordero Williams (Liberty Tech). The addition of Anthony Green (Manassas) and Cottrell Peterson (Manassas) gives the Ballerz some much needed inside presence and athleticism.
Rounding out Pool A will be the Memphis Trotters.
Over in Pool B the Memphis Stallions will unearth version 2.0 of the Chris Jones (Melrose) show. The talented mighty one was sterling and golden at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champioins finishing as the events top scorer and hopes for more of the same. His supporting cast got a good deal of confidence this past weekend as well and Nick Mason (Southwind), Darious Paige (Southwind) and Brandon Wright (Hillcrest) all will pick up the scoring slack should it be required.
Guard play is the strength of the Tennessee Tigers and Carter Sanderson (Lipscomb), Cory Stanton (Srpringfield) and Blake Bell (Lipscomb) give the Tigers a good combination of scoring and leadership. Inside they turn to 6'9 Michael Bradley (Tyner Academy) who continues to improve.
The Mid-State Ballerz Central have the look of a team that is ready for action. Balance is their forte with Micah Ballard (William Blount), E.J. Perry (Westmoreland) and Tyler Smith (Union County) manning the backcourt. The addiiton of John Taylor (Beech) helps the inside game and improves the depth giving Zach Sherrill (Stone Memorial) and Caleb Barrett (Knoxville West) a quality player to help them battle on the interior.
Closing out Pool B will be the Tennessee Future Stars.
I will be making the trip up to the state on Saturday. Good luck to everyone.