For Wednesday we turn to the rising sophomores or Class of 2011. My staff and I chose 10 players who had outstanding camps and a few others who peaked our curiosity. The players will be listed in alphabetical order.
Cory Billingsley (Sweetwater)
Ever so smooth lefty goes to the bucket at every opportunity and seems to finish on command. His outside shot is adequate but could become a more formidible weapon with some extra gym work. He will need to work on his quickness and lateral speed for the defensive side of the ball.
Jaden Cook (Tennessee High)
Understands the game and knows how to play. Shot the ball ok but must work on shot selection. Decent handles and was unselfish with the ball.
Kendren Johnson (Marshall County)
One of the best in this class statewide. The kid has good size, special ball-handling skills and can score off the dribble and takes punishment going to the glass. His game is pass first and his strength allows him to finish the play. He will be a high major player when he solidifies his outside game to give him a weapon so people won't play off of him.
Brandon Lopez (Austin East)
Gritty tough guy who is getting better each time he gets on the floor. His leadership and unselfish game make him a precicious commodity for a coach. His offensive game is coming around with mechanical tweaks needed on his outside game. Love his intensity and effort.
Dominic Matthews (Marshall County)
It seemed I refered to my player list a dozen times and each time it was Matthews who made me look. A tough built kid who plays with heart and abandon. Can score inside with his body and will certainly need some work on his lefty stroke.
DeAndre Matthieu (Knoxville Central)
The littlest guy in the camp but don't tell him that. Dre is astounding at increasing the tempo and finding open guys or scoring on his own when neccessary. He needs to grasp the concept of good pass vs. bad pass but his vision and basketball IQ are already things he uses to make up for sheer size.
Thornton Miller (Greeneville)
Not anything like I expected. A 6'7 kid from Greeneville with a sweet lefty stroke. His game is decidedly outside and Coach Duncan will make sure he matriculates some of that inside as he gets stronger. A weapon is his shot which will need to be quicker, but is very nice to say the least.
Phillip Stanford (Knoxville West)
Active, athletic and seemingly always around the ball, this guy is constant motion and always looking to score. He is much to good an athlete not to be a better defender and has a tendency to only go right. These are things that will come as he matures but his style is fun to watch.
Jason Steele (Johnson County)
Burly, tough and hard nosed describe this guy. He was extremely active inside be it on the offensive glass or trying to keep his defender off of it. Spent alot of time on the floor and seemed to relish in the moment. He showed a nice little mid-range shot and if he gets to 6'7 could be a guy who really makes a splash on the recruiting trail.
Philip Stephens (Knoxville Catholic)
Great hands, good effort describe this hard working player. He gave maximum effort and never did his motor die down. His lateral quickness and athleticism will need constant work but he will make up for lots of that with sheer effort.
Others who played well:
Alex Kiser (Stone Memorial)
Skyler Brown (Seymour)
Bryan Everhardt (Greeneville)
Phillip Cox (Union County)
Brenden Downs (Tennessee High)
Zach Ballinger (Knoxville Carter)
Jon McCroskey (Gatlinburg-Pittman)
Jahmahl Thomas (Austin East)
Darius Gallaher (Harriman)
Chase Buckner (Union County)
Josiah Rechenbach (Fulton)