Finally we begin our evaluations from the annual Tennessee Prep Hoops Carson Newman Showcase. This is a lengthy process with evaluations from myself and five college coaches who's input I sought when putting these thoughts and suggestions together.
- Kolbi Billingsley (Sweetwater) 6'1 PG/SG 2019
Tons of good, positive feedback for this lengthy rising junior. A solid defender when his heart is in it, his length is his strength as he can clog up the passing lanes and will take a gamble when his motor is on high. He can score the ball off the dribble and has decent footwork. His outside shot is of the push variety and will be a vital part of what he needs to work on as he ascends up the recruiting ladder. His decision making and ability to explode past a defender are areas of concern as well. He can become singularly focused instead of assessing the situation and making the correct read. His ball-handling will need to become a priority as he keeps the ball too far from his body and simply lacks the confidence at this juncture. He is a good kid with a bright future and some work in the skill area will increase his overall effectiveness 10 fold.
- Josh Dykes (Cumberland County) 6'3 SG 2018
"Intelligent, has good vision, competes and defends he has a chance to play somewhere on the next level" was one coaches take on this lanky rising senior from Crossville. Dykes has a high motor, some length and bounce to his game. He is a decent, yet inconsistent shooter from outside. This remains an area where he can certainly make improvement, big improvement. He will need to work on his body for the rigors of the college game. He has an outstanding first step and loves to score on the baseline. The positives are many but the ability to guard his position on the next level will be the ultimate decision for those who closely scrutinize his progress from this point forward.
- Robjhay Bush (LaVergne) 6'0 PG 2018
"This kid can flat out score the ball" was one assessment for the bulky guard from the Mid-State. A tough kid, who is an excellent finisher at the rim, he is aggressive and despite being primarily right hand oriented he understands how to use his body for buckets. He likes to defend and his size helps him with his on the ball effectiveness, he can create some havoc with his strength and pushing guys off their mark. A good rebounding guard as well. He can run the show and shows many leadership qualities with his effort and determination. His outside shooting is an area where he will need to make massive improvements and adjustments. His form needs tweaking and his release is suspect. He is the type of kid who will work to make himself better so I trust he will work on making this a weapon for his overall basketball arsenal. An improved outside game will go a long way into projecting what level he can attain as he moves forward.
- Kenden Reaves (Knoxville Christian) 6'7 PF 2018
One of the most highly skilled guys at the entire showcase without a doubt. He was solid in every facet of the game. Arguably the best rebounder in the event. He loves to play with his back to the basket and can also step out and knock down the smooth three. Very skilled player, aggressive and has good size. He has a high IQ and feels his way into the flow of the game. He is multi-faceted and thus has the ability to be effective in almost every area of the game. He passes the ball well, he is unselfish, simply a really skilled player with a high potential to play at the next level. He will need to work on his lateral quickness which is really the only area of his game where he could make some immediate improvement. He fits into any system with his versatility.
6. Andrew Williams (East Hamilton) 6'6 WF 2020
"Passes the eye test" was literally the quote from just about every evaluation for this young man from the Chattanooga area. Then when they realized he is a rising sophomore the praise seemed to be unlimited. He is long, lean and overtly athletic. He had to depart the camp with an injury early so we didn't get to see a full slate of his effectiveness. He showed a mid-range game with an improved stroke as he is still learning his way around the perimeter. He scored around the bucket, his effort remains inconsistent as was noted with half the evaluations praising his effort and others wanting more consistency. Youth plays a factor in this facet of his game but he is fast becoming a player who will be on the radar of college coaches for certain. He showed skills on the block, scoring with his back to the basket and had some really nice transition buckets where he went length of the floor, controlled his dribble and finished with the off hand. His future is massive and bright. He is a worker, I know this and once his confidence continues to grow his effort will become more compatible with his skills.
- Tanner Shulman (McCallie) 6'3 WF 2019
Determined youngster with some really high leadership qualities and extensive basketball IQ. "He directed players in the drills and during the games" was a high praise comment from one evaluation. His best asset is his ability to bury the outside shot, a very nice and fundamentally sound stroke. He might need to quicken his release a bit once better athletes start to close-out on him. He is a winner and likes to assume the role of coach on the floor, his pedigree is that of a coaching family. He lacks the overt athleticism and lateral quickness but finds a way to be effective with change of speeds and knowing how and where to find the open spaces in the defense. Not a point guard but still commands the ball in a leadership role, making sure everyone knows where to go. This is rare in a camp format, trust me.
- Trey West (Austin East) 6'4 SG 2019
Big guard who can really knock down the outside shot when he has his fundamentals under control. He has supreme confidence when his shot is falling, he can finish at the rim with his size and really favors the offensive side of the floor. He has a tendency to dribble to excess and tends to make some bad decisions with the ball. His effort on the defensive side of the floor is where he will seriously need to make a concerted effort to be more effective. Effort and more effort were discussed in each and every evaluation for this young man. They all love his size, his offensive package but really questioned his will to defend. Take this to heart, "you are who you can guard", my favorite basketball quote. Your much too good of an athlete and a player to let this be an area where people will question your effort.