Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

Carson Newman Evaluations (Villanova 71-80)

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.


I apologize for the lateness of the evaluations. The Fall League finals in Knoxville and Nashville kept me from working on them till after that season was complete. Then a major blow when one of my best friends lost his son in a car accident kept me from working on them as well. Thanks for your patience I hope to have them completed by Friday.




Villanova (71-80)


71. Laurynus Vatikus (Hamilton Heights) 2014 (6'0 PG)

Skilled lead guard plays tough and has a good feel for the game. He is an excellent passer and gets the ball to scorers in a position where they can convert buckets. His outside shot needs a bit of tweaking but is not broken. He can penetrate and dish and does an adequate job on the defensive side of the floor. Very solid player who proved he can play somewhere on the next level with the proper fit.


72. Steffan Schroeder (Gatlinburg-Pittman) 2014 (6'1 SG)

Active two guard goes hard at all times on the floor and has shown he is a very capable offensive threat. His outside shot is a work in progress but coming along and he runs the floor with abandon and can finish at the rim in transition. He attacks the basket off the dribble but must work on his decision making and learn to pace himself on offensive where a change of speeds can be very useful to his effectiveness. He is a good defender with his effort and has the heart to be a good leader for his high school team.  


73. Matthew Hailey (Ravenwood) 2014 (6'4 SG)

Bouncy wing/scoring guard has made major strides in his game over the past season. His outside shooting has become a weapon and he has improved his effectiveness off the bounce to where he is a hard to guard player. He goes aggressively to the basket and will finish in traffic despite contact. He knocks down shots despite heavy defense and will make the good interior pass. He has an above average basketball IQ and makes very good decisions with the rock. He has learned to play hard on every possession and his productivity is up because of it. Certain to be on someone's roster come next fall, better check him out.


74. Trevor Randolph (Goodpasture) 2014 (6'4 WF/PF)

Rising senior has good size and can score in a multitude of ways using his outside shooting ability or hard drives to the bucket. He catches the ball well and is not afraid to mix it up inside. He has added strength over the years but will need to continue on this journey as he projects to play on the interior; as well as, possibly some on the wing. Improving his rebounding and commitment to playing hard on every possession will increase his productivity and value for the next level.   


75. Jacob Cawood (Midway) 2015 (6'6 PF)

Rising young post player seems very comfortable in his own skin. He has vastly improved his overall skill set with hard work and dedication. He is fundamentally sound, keeping the ball high on the catch and core, has good foot work and uses his frame very well inside for easy conversions. His outside shooting has improved but is not a weapon for him just yet. He has added strength and will continue to do so as he is a gym rat who loves to play. He will defend and uses his size to wall you up. I like the direction he is headed and encourage everyone to keep him on your radar.


76. Matt Halvorsen (Dobyns-Bennett) 2016 (5'10 PG/SG)

Aggressive and hard nosed youngster does not shy away from contact and plays with a motor that gets results. He has lead guard size but seems more at home with taking the ball to the rack for buckets. He has a good use of the dribble, creating space for a race to the glass and will finish despite contact. He is not weak despite his stature and seems to play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder which coaches tend to love. He will need to incorporate more lead guard skills into his overall game, making him a more versatile threat on both ends of the floor. His passion to play will take care of the rest.


77. Dave Barr (Hamilton Heights) 2015 (6'0 PG)

Decent size and a good looking outside stroke, Barr is listed as a point guard but tends to defer and seems much more comfortable on the wing. He understands spacing and made himself available in transition for easy outside buckets but tended to hang out on the perimeter during the running of the offense. He needs to finish better when he does take the ball to the rack and must give more effort on the defensive side of the ball.


78. Braden Strickland (Sequoyah) 2016 (6-0 SG)

Young player certainly needs to add weight and get stronger. He has a good outside shot with range that will only improve as he gets stronger as well. All roads seem to return to getting his body more ready for the rigors of physical basketball. He has good instincts and passes well, spotting cutters and making good passes for buckets. Defensively again he understands his role just has trouble executing due to a lack of strength. Kid seems to enjoy playing and will put his work in the weight room as he matures.


79. Joan Duren (Hamilton Heights) 2015 (6'6 WF)

Certainly looks the part with his length and athletic ability but his lack of aggression really hurt his production at the camp. He seemed to go through the motions and hung out on the three point line. He had obvious shooting and guard skills that were on display during the drill work but didn't translate into the game situations. A new situation combined with playing with unfamiliar teammates could have contributed to this as well. He certainly needs to get more aggressive and use those obvious skills to make himself a productive player.