With the Fall Leagues behind me I can concentrate on getting to the evaluations from the Carson Newman Showcase from a weeks back. I had three other evaluators posted, all three were former college coaches and their input is very important to my final analysis. I will post a story for each team from the event.
#21 Diego Poore (Cumberland County)
6-1 PG 2015
Poore is a player who simply grasps and understands the role of leader and floor coach from the point guard position. Not expressively quick or athletic, Poore is solid, fundamental, makes good basketball decisions and is a player that any coach would love to have on his squad. His shooting is solid, he does need to work on quickening his release, and he is able to score when penetrating the paint. Defensively he understands positioning and using his mental acumen to guard quicker players on the perimeter. He is a natural leader and keeps the tempo of the game under his grasp which is a most valuable quality for a player who has the ball in his hands with such regularity.
#22 Kelvin Jackson (Carter)
6-4 SG 2015
The issues that have kept Jackson from being the player we all knew he could be have started to dissipate as he has truly made a conscious effort to get his emotions and maturity under control. On the floor, when motivated, this kid could be a handful, excellent ball skills, handles well, confident shooter when all the fundamental criteria is correct, will take off to the cup and is a willing defender if motivated. "If motivated" seems to be a constant theme with Jackson but those outbursts of detriment are much fewer and far between to his credit. " He can do everything" was stated by one of our evaluations and Kelvin has the ability to make this upcoming season one to remember. I'm very proud of his continued maturation and look for big things for Jackson this season and in his future.
#23 Alex Graham (Karns)
6-3 WF 2015
Graham is a solid contributor who has a good understanding of the workings of the game. He has good length and is a much better athlete than he is given credit for being. He has a decent outside stroke that could be improved with a small tweaking of his form. Shot selection and game tempo are areas where Alex can make the most improvement in his overall game. He has a tendency to make things harder than they appear, he needs to understand changing tempo and letting the game come to him at times. Frustration builds in players who feel they need more touches, a natural reaction, yet allowing the flow to become part of his game instead of rushing the action could serve him very well. I think Alex is poised for an outstanding season where he should be one of the top scoring options for his prep squad.
#26 Quinton Fields (Knoxville Central)
5-9 PG 2017
Young player was not afraid to mix it up with the bigger guys and showed some moxie especially on the defensive end of the floor. Fields was especially motivated in the up tempo portions of the game yet seemed to take it all in when things reverted back to half court action. He showed a solid shooting stroke and was not hesitant to pull the trigger which shows some confidence in his abilities. He ran the floor well but his size dictated his penchant for shooting the deep shot as opposed to taking the action to the basket. He will need to be cognizant of using his left hand when he does make a run to the bucket and at his size, floaters and the ability to score with the opposite hand are vital.
#27 Tyler Thompson (Kingston)
6-1 SG 2016
Young man plays like he loves the game. Again not a great athlete on the run and jump side but a player who can help you win games and brings an energy that can be contagious for younger players and veterans. Thompson seemed especially comfortable in the controlled half court setting where his basketball IQ could be used to make decisions and create scoring opportunities for himself and others. He showed he could shoot the ball, albeit will need to work on quickening his release when he plays against better athletes. Players like Thompson can be overlooked by those who concentrate on pure statistics but his contributions to a winning program are not lost on those who are seeking such a goal.
#28 Omar Lyons (Siegel)
5-10 PG 2017
Quintessential point guard who seems at peace making his teammates better and setting everyone up with scoring opportunities. Omar has a natural feel for the position and is always looking to make the proper basketball decision. He has worked on his shooting when left open and is not afraid to head toward the bucket if the lane presents itself. As he grows into his position knowing when and how to make the proper pass at the appropriate time comes with experience and work, Omar seemingly sees the play but sometimes has trouble completing the action especially against stronger guards. He will need to continue working on his explosion and quickness. Foot work and lateral speed will make him a much better defender. This kid loves to play so hard work will be nothing new for him as he matures into a solid player.
#29 Gavin Stewart (Rhea County)
6-3 WF 2018
Young competitor who was not afraid to put his body in there and play with the older players, Stewart has some length but as most kids his age hasn't yet grasped the physical nature of the high school game. He needs to make footwork and lateral drills an obsession as he grows into a real contributor at the prep level. Stewart has some offensive ability yet will benefit so much from adding some explosion to his repertoire. Increasing his awareness especially on the defensive end of the floor, reacting to situations more quickly and increasing his strength and quickness will all significantly contribute to his ascension as a functional player on this level. At this age group we look for aggressiveness and the will to compete and he has both of those qualities.
#30 Jacob Llumbert (Loudon)
6-5 PF 2018
I have always made the claim that young players, especially incoming freshman, are hard to evaluate skill wise but there willingness to compete and stick there noses into the fray are wonderful qualities that will put them ahead of their brethren at this juncture. Big Jake had some of those qualities, he was not afraid to fight for rebounds, he was physical, he played hurt and refused to back down. His skill level certainly needs to increase especially from a footwork standpoint. He has an idea of what he is doing yet doesn't have the skill level to accomplish his thoughts as of now. Gym time working on catching and scoring from the block, rebounding drills, lateral quickness and footwork drills are a must for Big Jake. The ability to use your skills and think the game can make up for a lack of athleticism especially in the post.