Thanks to everyone who attended the Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase at Carson Newman last week. I have compiled the information from several former coaches in attendance and will prepare an evaluation for each player who attended. I will stress positive points and make suggestions on things that could help you improve your game as you move towards your dream of playing at the next level. I wish everyone luck and look forward to seeing you this year with your respective high schools.
1. Nico White (Alcoa) 2014 (5'10 PG)
One of the most improved players in the area this fall, Nico has embraced the concept of leadership and has fulfilled the duties of the lead guard position very well. He scores off the dribble using his strength to finish at the rim and has greatly improved his outside shooting. He is an asset defensively as he plays aggressive and is a disruptive force against opposing guards. Look for a very solid senior campaign for Mr. White.
2. Austin Arrington (Seymour) 2014 (6'2 SG)
Active and bouncy athlete who can finish plays in transition or step out to the three-point line and knock down shots. His shooting stroke is solid but he must become more consistent with his footwork which he tends to forget when he starts to play too fast. He has a tendency to dribble excessively at times when trying to make a play but these are hustle turnovers that can be corrected as he slows down the pace. He has the skills to no doubt play somewhere on the next level and his continued improvement during his final high school campaign will dictate just that.
3. Tyler Parker (Cumberland Gap) 2014 (6'2 SG/WF)
Off guard who has a very good understanding of the game which was evident when his team executed the half-court sets. He seems much more comfortable in a structured system when a defined role and assignments are to his benefit. He will need to improve his lateral speed and quickness to guard his position at the high school level. He has a decent outside stroke but can pound the ball a bit too much in the half-court setting. He was very confident with his passing into the post and movement subsequent to that play.
4. Kaden Wampler (Science Hill) 2015 (6'4 WF/PF)
Streaky shooter who can flat fill it up when he gets his mechanics correct and his confidence high. A volume scorer, Kaden has a good body and strength which adds range to his shot; as well as, for scoring on the interior on offensive rebounds and put backs. He must improve his defensive effort and use his size and strength to disrupt a bit more. He needs to improve his lateral foot work and quickness. With his outstanding shooting stroke a quick one dribble move off the hip of a closing out defender could be a merciless weapon.
5. Sam Gregory (Bradley Central) 2014 (6'6 PF/C)
Emerging big man has made massive strides in his game. Sam has a relentless motor and never gives up on a play. He is very good on the offensive glass which is tailor made for his effort skill set and has improved his scoring in the lane and on the block tremendously. He rebounds at a high level but with his aggressive style draws attention from the men in stripes. His foot work and lateral skill set will need to be an area he continues to work on; as well as, improving his short jumper to where it becomes a scoring option with confidence for him. His best basketball is certainly in front of him.
7. Hillary Huyler (Hamilton Heights) 2015 (6'3 PG/SG)
I have never been a fan of the term combo guard but Huyler proved to be equally adept at both spots on the floor. He has a good body and was able to score off the dribble and in transition or when he ran the lead guard spot he seemed to know where to go with the ball and when to look for his shot. His outside shot was adequate and could a major weapon as he understands the value of proper technique and foot placement in relation to his shot. He should be a much better defender with his skill set and will need to improve in that aspect as he looks to playing at the next level.
8. Garrett Turner (Gatlinburg-Pittman) 2016 (6'3 SG/WF)
The young man was only in action for a portion of the camp as he sustained an injury while diving for a ball. I really liked his size and for his age he was very confident and did not seemed rattled playing against the older players. He had a good shot and did a very good job in the pre-camp drills. He hustled and showed his willingness to play defense which should get him some court time as a sophomore this season on the varsity level.
9. Ezekial Balogun (Hamilton Heights) 2016 (6'6 PF/C)
The superlatives were many. This youngster was a fantastic athlete with big time size. He was quick and talented scoring on the block against much older players at will. He showed he could put the ball on the floor, create his space and score over hapless defenders as well. His lack of experience would be more prominent in a different setting but his effort and willingness to get better will serve him well. He used sheer athleticism to create some havoc on defense with his length and reach but will need to be schooled continuously on the fundamentals of rebounding and shot blocking. With his athletic skill set he should adapt to this right away. Very high level prospect.
10. Josh Jones (Walker Valley) 2016 (6'0 PG)
The first thing you notice about Jones is his basketball IQ. A true natural at the lead guard spot the youngster made up for sheer athleticism with heady play and anticipation. He will need to improve his outside shooting to keep defenses honest but his strength will remain in his leadership and intelligence on the court. He will need to improve his lateral quickness and speed which will make him a better and more competent defender at his position. He is a system player who will thrive with the ball in his hands while he makes all the players around him better. He plays like he loves the game and his work ethic will not be an issue as he gets stronger and tougher throughout his high school career.