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.
- Ryan Lee (Seymour) 6'3 SG 2018
Solid player with some good length and a better than average stroke from the mid-range. He needs to be more aggressive from start to finish, he has moments but consistency will lead him to an outstanding senior season. He can score the ball, finish at the rim and knock down short jumpers when left open. He is more comfortable when his role if more defined and camp ball doesn't provide that luxury. His body also needs more attention as he needs to work on getting stronger to complete some drives to the bucket and be a more dependable defender. "This kid has some skills, good length but I just want to tell him to just get after it, be more aggressive" was the highlight quote of his evaluation process. A big final high school campaign will get him some looks on some level, bank on it. Its all up to him.
- Marcus Hixenbaugh (Knoxville Central) 6'1 SG 2018
"You simply have to be more aggressive, stop letting everything happen in front of you, take the initiative and make something happen for yourself" pretty much sums up the consensus for this rising senior combo guard. He shows good form on his shot and when left open and his fundamentals are right, he can drain them. He will need to really quicken his release as the athletes get better. He is an average athlete with ok size but just needs to really develop that killer instinct and stop being a spectator. He has the body and size to be a really good defender and this is an arena where he could really make himself valuable. He goes through the motions now defensively. The potential is there for a big upturn, is he willing to work to make it happen, only time will tell.
- Ross Johnson (MBA) 6'5 WF/PF 2019
A great deal of positive feedback for this rising junior. He run the floor, has a decent shooting stroke when he plays with the correct tempo, goes aggressive, likes to play on the glass and will defend. Good length and size could make him a devastating defender. He is physical and doesn't mind the pounding. A better athlete than he is given credit for he is between positions with a skill determination either way leading him to the path of the 4 or the undersized 5. He will need to work on shot selection and making better decisions with the ball. "I wanted to yell don't try that, stop forcing the issue, make the easy pass as he had several possessions during the game where he lost focus mentally". I like his effort and love for the game, this bodes well for his future endeavors.
- Davy Clark (Kingston) 6'2 SG 2018
"Not a WOW player but very functional. He has a real chance to play somewhere on the next level if he works on
certain aspects of his game", was high praise from one evaluation. Versatile player with good length, plays with effort and has a real good feel for the game. He can finish at the rim with either hand, when under control can be very effective in the open floor and plays with a high IQ. His outside shot needs some structural work with his high release and unorthodox follow through, all areas where he can make major improvement going into his final high school campaign. His size will dictate he play on the perimeter, which will emphasize he work on his ball-handling and decision making, areas where he needs to improve. He has a tendency to force passes and likes to play too fast which causes unnecessary turnovers and change of possessions. "This kid can be a vital cog on a team that relies on chemistry and intelligence to be good, I like watching him when he is truly under control".
- Jordan Crawley (Grace Christian) 6'2 SG 2019
"Good change of pace player who isn't super athletic but understands gears and changing speeds, he gets by you when he wishes and has a really good pull-up from the foul-line extended". Great observations on this rising junior from Knoxville. He has a real good feel for the game, understands the team concept and makes winning plays. He is an excellent passer from the wing or into the post, one of a few and I noted this to actually use the bounce pass into the post, I almost cried with joy. He will need to work on his body, become quicker and more explosive. He is crafty with the ball and is the type of kid who grows on you the more you watch him. Lateral speed will only jettison his next level chances but his ability to utilize his body, his ability to control tempo and knock down the open shot will be his ticket. He had a very good day at the showcase and everyone noticed.
- Desmond Billingsley (Powell) 6'1 PG 2019
"Super athlete, probably one of the best in the camp but his skill level leads me to believe he is either young or hasn't played the sport for as long as his peers", was how one evaluation described this rising junior guard. He has a good frame, incredible athletic prowess, a dynamic first step when used appropriately and next level quickness. He could be a lock down defender if and when he grasps more of the fundamentals of the game. "He needs to feel the game better" was another note and seemed to be the consensus for the group. Unsure if other sports are on his agenda but the more he plays the better his feel and basketball IQ will become. He doesn't lack ability just some instinctive aspects of the game seemed to elude him when the action got faster and more physical.
- Isaiah Prats (William Blount) 6'0 SG 2019
We didn't get a chance to get a real full on evaluation as he was hampered with a leg injury which limited his ability to play like he had intended. he showed a really nice shooting form when set and ready to launch. His release was a bit slow and he will need to quicken as the close-outs become tougher against more athletic foes. He has a nice feel for the game but lacks overt athleticism and strength.
- Joseph Bunton (Walker Valley) 5'4 PG 2019
"He is small, really small but he gets it", was one of the statements regarding this rising junior guard from the Cleveland area. Size is and always will be an issue, like it or not. This kid really loves to compete, he isn't afraid to stick his nose in there and mix it up. He fights on defense despite generally being outsized and outweighed. Offensively he knows his role, he distributes, especially in transition where he can negate the size and strength aspects better than in the half-court. He doesn't shoot the ball a great deal but the stroke is not unfortunate. He has the heart of a lion and the will to compete, what more could you ask for.