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.
Morgan Anderson (Nashville Christian)
Camp Number: 33
"Supreme confidence in his shot, especially when he gets going, lefty stroke, generally shoots under control and can score in bunches when everything is right", that's the way to start this evaluation process with some nice praise on your shooting stroke. Rising senior guard was lauded for his shooting touch and ability to put the ball in the basket. Shot selection can be suspect at times but he rarely forces the issues and truly understands the flow of the game and when and where to launch. A great deal of mention on the shooting, very little mention on the other aspects of the game. His size dictates he will need to work on some lead guard skills, he has the IQ to be a leader and understandably, with his shooting prowess, he can also play off the ball. His biggest area for improvement is on the defensive side of the floor, he's much to good an athlete and competitor to be an average defender, increase the defensive visibility and you will see your game flourish.
Cannon Anderson (Nashville Christian)
Camp Number: 34
Shifty young guard who has a flair to his approach, he plays low and has a decent shooting touch. His lefty gait and ability to change pace makes him dangerous in the paint. He can play unselfish and doesn't mind getting others involved, especially in transition. "I like this kid, he has a good stroke, he can finish with contact and isn't afraid to make some creative attempts to scorer at the bucket". He tends to play too fast at times and needs to value each possession more, he can dribble to excess, which drives coaches mad, stop that. His youth and exuberance are beneficial as he continues to work on his skills, you don't want to take away his toughness and determination just fine tune the rough edges and allow him to become a big time scoring point guard.
Sawyer Smith (Morristown West)
Camp Number: 35
Big body and blessed with good size, this rising senior showed some solid skills with his work in the paint. "Kid is big, really big, should he get in better shape, yes, he has great hands, catches errant tosses to the post, he mostly plays on balance and really needs to work on his offensive game, he needs to finish better and work on some development on the left side, everything he did was an attempt to go right". He ran the floor well in transition, went immediately to the post and gave a target for his guard. His shooting touch need major work but he has a solid base to work with and you simple cannot teach his size, if given a chance I think this kid could be a contributor on the right level.
Trey Hamilton (McCallie)
Camp Number: 36
"His build is slight but he has excellent length, his game is predicated towards offense and that stands to reason with his lack of bulk, his shooting touch is excellent, he faces up and catches, he can put it down for a couple bounces and he strokes with confidence". Long and a better athlete than he is perceived to be, this rising junior from Chattanooga has hops and can be an actual really good offensive weapon with his plethora of scoring skills. He isn't afraid to put it down and go but he tends to settle for the jumper majority of the time. His body is still a work in progress and although he is stronger his forte is not on the defensive end. "Increase your motor on defense" seemed to be mentioned in every evaluation in one way shape or form. The kid has skills, he feels the game, he strokes the ball and as his body gets stronger and his confidence grows this portion of his game will follow, he is too good of a competitor.
Will Biven (Knoxville West)
Camp Number: 37
The results are glaringly positive, this kid is special. "One of my favorite kids at the event, he just knows how to play, he can adjust to any situation, he can shoot, he can handle and he is especially good at going hard to the hoop, where he uses creative drives to make buckets". He is a much better athlete than people give him credit for being, he has excellent vertical hops and gets good height on his jumper. "He needs to quicken his release, as he plays against better athletes who can close out quicker, he was hesitant at times on his shot, stop that, shoot it when your open". He gets in a stance to defend, his lateral movement will be another area he can get better, but his offensive skills, for his age group are simply outstanding. He feels the game, he competes and he will be one to watch in the coming years.
Carson Conatser (Cumberland County)
Camp Number: 39
Rising sophomore was not afraid to mix it up with the older kids, tough using his body to go to the rack and overall showed out well. "He is very active on defense, everybody likes that, he moves his feet and he's well ahead of the curve for his age group on this end of the floor". Several mentions of his defensive efforts and toughness, less on the offensive side of the ball. "He simply needs to get stronger and give the same effort on both ends of the floor". He will need to work on his shot, he mostly went to the cup when he had the ball on offense and despite having good size for his age bracket, his likely destination will be in the backcourt or on the wing. Work on your shooting and ball handling, put the effort, just like you do on defense, into that area of the game and you will be very happy with your results. Bright future look forward to watching him progress.
Noah Belcher (Hancock County)
Camp Number: 40
I have always contended that when it comes to rising freshman at this showcase, all I want to see from them is that they are not afraid. That's a tough thing to do, yet to play a varsity minute, and be thrust into competition with players older, bigger and stronger than yourself. This kid has some basketball instincts, he is active on both ends and really wants to compete. He sees plays and is just not physically able to complete them. He has several areas to work on but his shooting touch is his best asset at this juncture of his development. He will need to work on his ball handling, his lateral quickness and explosion, he will need to continue to be aggressive and as his body catches up his confidence will as well. You are on the right track young fellow.