Finally we get started on the evaluations from the Carson Newman showcase. The evals will be done daily by team and posted on the website www.tnprephoops.com.
- Luke Smith (Knoxville Catholic)
5'11 PG 2017
"Best PG in the area" was one evaluators assessment of young Mr. Smith. A fundamentally sound lead guard who simply understands the game down to the roots. He is a vocal leader on the floor, he makes quality basketball decisions, he is unselfish and he can knock down the open jumper if left unattended. He obviously needs to get stronger on that willowy frame. He is not super athletic but his ability to change speeds allows him to get by defenders. He can finish with either hand and is not afraid to absorb some contact along the way. He is a capable defender but can struggle with strength at size at times. This kid is a winner and he makes winning plays what more do you need.
- Tyler Steinmetz (Oakdale)
5'11 SG 2016
Tough competitor who looks unorthodox but has a knack for finding ways to put the ball in the hole. He shoots a set shot and when he is feeling it can extend his shot well past the three-point line. He is stocky in build so he can make forays to the cup and despite being less than athletic he can lull you to sleep then push past you with some chances in pace. His lack of footwork hurts him on defense against quicker guards but it is not from a lack of effort. His shot selection is an area he really needs to make work better for himself, he tends to pull at inopportune times which is the same as a turnover and he has a tendency to over dribble as well. The kid plays with effort and should have a productive senior campaign.
- Austin Shrum (Upperman)
6'3 WF 2016
Solid player who did some good things at the showcase. He is a good defender using his size and toughness, he comes up with rebounds and is a decent shooter from outside as well. He can take the ball to the glass when he sees the opening and will finish in traffic despite some serious contact. He lacks overt athleticism which can be a hindrance against bigger and stronger players on the perimeter. His decision making on the transition from defense to offense is also an area he will need to work on. He made several lob passes to start the offensive transition that should have been harder, tougher passes and thus resulted in turnovers. He appears more comfortable in the half-court setting and is much more productive in a system that requires knowing your task and running the coaches offense.
- Garrett Anderson (Alcoa)
6'2 SG 2016
Rising senior showed some good offense traits including a good stroke and the ability to handle the ball and get space to go to the rim. He showed he could be a capable passer as well. "He needs to create better spacing for his team" was one evaluation for him dictating that he wasn't moving without the ball on offense. Offensively he is a capable player but the other side of the equation is where he really needs to make his most improvement. He is much to good an athlete to be a lazy defender, he gets beat consistently and doesn't have the same body language on this side of the game. At this point it seems to be a want to thing and was something that was prominently pointed out by all the evaluations for his game.
- Josh Endicott (Upperman)
6'9 PF/C 2017
Nothing but positives from all the evaluations in terms of the potential and skill level of this rising junior post. Josh is long and athletic, the two recruiting buzz words, he has a face up game, he's a lefty and uses his pivot foot very well. He has shown he can knock down the short jumper from anywhere on the floor and is a very capable rebounding project. He understands the pick and roll, he finishes at the rim and has good hands. He is adept in the half-court, passing well out of the double team, moving without the ball and using his skill set to make buckets. As he continues to progress Josh will need to get stronger, especially in his upper body. He has the mentality to rebound at a high level and this added bulk will only increase that ability. I love his attitude, his upside and his work ethic. Very intriguing prospect to say the least.
- Ryan Bledsoe (Cherokee)
5'10 PG 2019
Scrappy young guard who was not intimated by the older players in the least. He needs to let the game come to him a little more, that's tough as a player who will be the primary ball handler the moment he steps on the floor for his first high school practice. He has a tendency to force the issue which was probably never a problem in middle school but against bigger , stronger high school athletes that emotion will need to be tapered. He is slick and has some burgeoning skills for a kid who has never played a high school game. His shot selection was in question, but his ball handling was praised by every evaluation. "He passed the ball very well, when he did pass" was one evaluators statement. He is a very capable shooter and a smart basketball kid as well. I think a lot of his areas of improvement will happen with natural progression and this is a kid who will be one of the best the area has to offer in a very short time.
- Austyn McWilliams (Upperman)
5'11 PG 2017
Tough and scrappy young lead guard did a nice job at the showcase showing his overall skill set. He did a very capable job of finishing after the drive, he shot the ball effectively and used his skill set including ball fakes to make buckets. He showed an effective floater as well, a shot that every small guard must have in their basketball arsenal. He handled the ball well but was much to dependent on the home run play resulting in several unnecessary turnovers. He must learn to play better without the ball, he has a tendency to coast when he is not the primary ball handler and gets lost in the offensive flow. He will also need to do a better job of sprinting back on defense something that was pointed out prominently by one evaluation. Focus and concentration, increased basketball awareness and continued work on his skills makes the future for this kid a bright one.
- Trysten Palmer (Powell)
6'2 WF 2017
Solid position defender who made up for not being a great athlete with hustle and determination especially on the aforementioned defensive side of the ball. He was good at making the transition from offense to defense and proved to be a capable defender. On the offensive side of the ball, he struggled with making good decisions with the basketball. He made creative finishes at the rim in traffic. He will need to work on using his left hand giving more options to score. He played hard at all times and was really a capable shooter when he had time and his feet and fundamental shooting skills were correct.
- Justin Kettrl (Bearden)
6'6 PF 2018
Young player with good size. Justin is long and lanky at this stage of his career. He obviously needs to add strength and work on his footwork and coordination. He is not afraid to fight for position while posting up and could be a capable rebounder if he worked on his hand strength and again his footwork. He tends to dribble in he post for no apparent reason making him vulnerable to guard attacks. Young man has good sixe, seems to have an understanding of he game and looks to be the type of kid that listens to coaching and will work to get better.