Another great turn-out for the Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase held annually at Carson Newman University. This year we featured over 100 players and 15+ college coaches in the house. An extra-special in speaker in Hollywood actor and basketball savant Cylk Cozart plus instruction from local college coaches.
Here I will sift through the evaluations turned by myself and several colleagues who helped me at the event. I will attempt to do a team a day until completion.
Joe Pace (Harriman) 2017
"He plays harder than anyone here", "plays harder than anyone in the gym", two outstanding almost identical evaluations from two different former D1 coaches. The consensus was Pace played harder than anyone in the gym. Small guard with exceptional bounce, quick, excellent handles, unselfish, he rebounds well for his size and start the transitional break. He dives for loose balls, finds the open man in transition and is an accomplished on-ball defender. His outside touch is not his largest asset but is adequate enough to have room for improvement. Known for his toughness on the gridiron as well, this young man will make some college coach a very happy man if they are smart enough to pursue him. "Understands spacing, he could be on my team anytime", another positive evaluation to close this paragraph out.
Shaquan Gibson (Oak Ridge) 2017
Energy guy who has an uncanny knack for simply doing the most fundamentally solid thing in basketball...putting the ball in the hole. Crafty scorer has range to the deep line, uses his screens to perfection and just lets the game come to him, he forces nothing and he is a strong finisher when he makes up his mind to take it to the rim. Defensively he is quick and very disruptive, one evaluation states, "he takes pride in his defense, if he would pursue just a little more he could be an exceptional stopper". What position is he? Can he handle the ball well enough to be a point or does he shoot and guard well enough to be a two? The answer to both queries is a big resounding YES.
Jacob Giles (Maryville) 2018
Tough kid who has a grasp and a very nice feel for the game. He can put the ball on the floor and as he progresses I believe he would like to take his game out on the perimeter. He is a competent shooter, preferring the spot up three and the face-up jumper for his shooting repertoire. He will need to quicken his delivery as his shot is still a bit slow developing. He needs to work on his footwork and his ability to finish in the paint. He still seems much more relaxed and comfortable inside as he transitions to the wing. Continuing working on his handles, his one to two dribble moves and working his game inside/out to maximize his confidence. Gym rat who loves to play, his best days are certainly ahead of him.
Ryan Rhodes (Chattanooga Christian) 2017
Rising senior with a good body, quick hands and a knack for scoring and completing the play in transition. He is a capable defender, not super athletic but understands angles and using his strength to knock his opponent off the path to the bucket. He works to get people open and find the open man for easy buckets. His outside shot is unorthodox but it goes in, and isn't that the object of this game. He needs to find a way to use his strength to his advantage on the offensive end when he makes his move to the bucket. More often than not he could not finish with contact despite his obvious size advantage over his defender. Improving his lateral quickness and foot work to go along with his physical strength makes him a much more attractive prospect down the road.
Cameron Gregg (Jefferson County) 2017
Young man playing with a great deal of confidence. He is always in attack mode, he loves to get to the middle of the lane and score. He has a decent shot out to 15' and can knock down the three, but his mechanics need to tweak just a bit with an awkward release on the deep shot. He loves going to his right, this will be an issue as he continues to get scouted this season. He will need to work on going left on occasion to keep the defense honest and continue to upgrade his offensive effectiveness. He loves to pound the glass, can finish inside and has the athleticism to be a very capable scorer in college. As he transitions to the wing, he will need to work on his ball-handling and decision making. He has made marked improvement the last three seasons and will no doubt continue that upward trend on the next level.
Heath Kimes (Clay County) 2019
Small young guard who seemed overmatched physically but was not afraid to stick his nose in there and compete. He loves drifting to the corner to launch his spot-up three and showed he could become a decent passer, as he gets what's going on he just doesn't have the physical strength at this juncture to execute the plays that he observes. We continue to harp on the adding of strength issue but as you observe these young players who are smaller in stature adding this strength is the difference between seeing the floor or playing JV. He seemingly has a love for the game and like we mentioned earlier he never backed down and competed which is a quality trait for the young player. Its overwhelming the first time you see some of these athletes and having the ability to not back down despite the obvious shortcomings says something about his character. keep fighting young fella.
Justin Dozier (East Hamilton) 2018
Skilled young guard who continues to showcase his ability on the court. He is an exceptional defender, mentioned by every single evaluation for his on-ball skills, his aggressiveness when guarding and his mindset to be a help defender. He has offensive skills as well, he can get into the paint anytime he wishes, his outside shot is solid it just needs to have his release a bit quicker and he loves to play in transition where he can finish hard at the cup or dish to his teammates whom he rewards for easy buckets. He has so much ability but he just doesn't exude any confidence in his skills, he makes plays then backs off, he hits jumpers, then stops shooting. You are skilled and capable, you just need to believe in your skill set, trust me when I tell you. You can be an exceptional talent if you just believe in yourself.
Josh Webb (Hancock County) 2019
Young guard who really has a good feel for what is happening out on the court. Once again strength is a major hurdle at this stage of his development. He showed some nice work without the ball, using his foot work to execute some nice curls to the goal and finishes when not confronted by a more stout defender. His handles need major work again having some size will help him not be knocked off his track when he has the ball against tough, more aggressive defenders. His size really relegates him to becoming a lead guard, despite his obvious penchant for playing on the perimeter. As he grows in stature and size maybe this move to the wing can be accommodated. He isn't afraid to compete and that bodes well for his future skill level.
Darius Allen (Jefferson County) 2019
"Looks the part, working on his ball skills would really increase his value as a young player with a bright future", says one particular evaluation of this rising sophomore. He is efficient, no wasted movement which is unusual for the very young. He needs to be more assertive, which will come with age and experience. He runs the floor hard, he is not afraid to post and will face-up and score if left unattended. He needs to continue being a force inside and finding ways to finish better on the block. Foot work and skill drills will benefit him greatly as he matures and playing for a solid high school program with a teaching coach is also a good thing for his development. A lefty who actually has a decent looking stroke, he simply needs more basketball IQ to showcase his burgeoning talent.