One of our favorite events of the year took place again this year at picturesque Carson Newman University. The annual Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase tipped off a couple Saturdays ago and now its time to compute all the data and start releasing some evaluations on the attendees.
Luke Lentz (Bearden)
Camp Number: 20
Small, young guard who shows some really good basketball instincts. He has a very good shooting stroke and he plays hard on both ends of the floor. He is excellent at the catch and shoot aspect of the game and likes to push the ball in transition. His game is geared more for the shooting guard spot at this juncture for which he will need to work on getting more involved in the point guard features of the game. He has the IQ to make this happen. "He pushes the ball and uses the dribble but often only to get to the 3-point line or the other side of the floor, he didn't look to take it to the basket". He plays with passion and can often come across as displaying some facial antics or some bad body language motions when things aren't going well. This is more his competitive nature coming out than anything. His game is predicated on his shooting touch and when his shot isn't falling he tends to force the issue at times. As he become stronger and acclimates more lead guard into his repertoire those things will all take care of themselves.
Chris Creswell (Pigeon Forge)
Camp Number: 23
Very good showing for this rising senior guard. He showed he could move well with and without the ball, he finds the open man in the half court and plays with a good pace. He showed he could put the ball in the hole at all three levels and really pushed the ball in transition. He seems to prefer going to the rim as opposed to scoring from the perimeter which will be an area of the game where he really needs to make an upgrade. He is a decent athlete and plays hard but will also need to increase his explosion and lateral quickness especially on the defensive end against bigger and stronger athletes. He isn't afraid to put his nose in there and guard and always gave maximum effort every time he was on the floor. Hopefully the confidence he gains from a positive evaluation will translate into a really good senior campaign.
Masyn Winningham (White County)
Camp Number: 24
"Physical specimen who showed his toughness and strength in every aspect of the game. He showed toughness, played defense with aggression and was one of the best shooters in the camp", this was a glaring recommendation of the day enjoyed by the rising junior from Sparta. He is a knockdown shooter especially when all fundamentals are sound, he will attack off the dribble and he is strong enough to finish despite heavy contact. He prefers to go left when he attacks and has good enough handles to not over dribble and create turnovers. He is a team guy and is not afraid to work without the ball, he is at his best when the flow is moving and he can run and find open spots to create or shoot. He likes to push the ball in transition as well. He is a good enough athlete to hold his own on the perimeter defensively and his strength will be a blessing against longer opponents down the road.
Traven Jackson (Karns)
Camp Number: 25
Mobile big who uses his feet well to get position and doesn't mind the physical nature of the paint at all. He can play with his back to the basket using some quick spin moves towards the paint or a quick shot to score. He keeps the ball high and doesn't over dribble trying to get better scoring position. He understands to pass out of the double team and repost and he moves well enough to pull his defender from the basket. He has shown an improved outside shot and if his feet are set and he has time can make a shot from deep on occasion." He passes up scoring chances and creates over passing situations when a simple move could get him a bucket", unselfish is a good quality but you have to score when the situation allows", sums up some of his offensive worries. He will need to work at getting into better shape all around and be more active on the glass, especially on the defensive end of the floor. "Don't be afraid to use that big body to get yourself space and position, your foot work is not bad, your effort is adequate but both could use an upgrade and then you'd see your offensive production shoot in an upward manner".
Jayden Housewright (CAK)
Camp Number: 27
"Really good size, he moves well and has a flair for the dramatic, this can be good or bad but his youth and exuberance is a good thing at this juncture of his development". Rising sophomore has excellent hands and isn't afraid to mix it up inside. He goes hard to the glass on both ends and comes up with scoring chances because of his ability to corral the loose ball with those soft mitts. He is a solid positional defender and uses his body to lean on folks in the paint, he needs to work on keeping the ball high and stop negating his advantage when he snares a rebound. He has skill enough to knock down an open shot from the perimeter, his shot selection can come into question but his competitive mature cannot. "His size and youth are an asset, he can score over either shoulder and gets enough offensive put backs to be a every night double/double guy". He is an emotional sort and this can create some turmoil as his body language and facial expressions can be a concern; however, he likes to compete, he likes to win and this is just the makeup of this young guy. As his game matures, these things will take care of themselves. I love his competitive nature as did every one of the folks providing evaluations for me.
Austin Mayes (Hancock County)
Camp Number: 28
Small guard who ran the floor hard and showed he was willing to shoot on the perimeter when he found himself open. "Needs to be more active on offense", seemed to be the common theme among all the evaluations for this rising sophomore. Camp setting can be tough for players who are more comfortable in a half court system. His confidence level seemed to be lacking when it came to physicality and aggression. He found himself rushing his shot and trying to make plays that he physically could not finish. "Take your time, get your feet set and shoot the jump shot", was more constructive instruction for this youngster. His shot is good enough to be the focal point of his game, his lack of strength and confidence will only grow as he plays and gets in the weight room. He has an understanding of how to play and his is not lacking in basketball IQ but once again his lack of strength doesn't allow him to finish the plays he sees. Once this confidence comes around then his progression will be mighty.
Ryder Jones (William Blount)
Camp Number: 29
"Not afraid to start the break, take it out of bounds and push the pace to score or create", high praise for someone who has yet to hit the hardwood for a varsity minute. This rising freshman showed some offensive skills and every evaluations made mention of his penchant for going hard to the bucket and trying to score. "Always going downhill, that's a good trait but I don't think I ever saw him shoot the ball", makes our next point. He plays with effort and tempo and is still finding himself position wise, his size will dictate lead guard and thus creating off the dribble and pushing the tempo are positive features. He has some length and determination which will help him when he decides to incorporate defense into his game. As a young player he has so much room for growth and improvement. Work on making that shot a bigger part of your game, work on making defense a priority, don't lose that passion for getting to the rim, creating tempo and keep playing with effort. Good things will happen mark my word.