Year number 11 of the Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase is in the books and a special thanks to Carson Newman for the use of their outstanding facilities. We had 90+ players make it down for the showcase and as we begin the evaluations I wanted to inform everyone that I had three college coaches, as well as, myself combine for these player evaluations. They will be posted by Camp Team and will come sporadically over the next couple weeks or so. Let us begin.
Jalen Andrews (Knoxville Central)
6-0 PG 2019
Camp Number: 61
Athletic guard who showed some skills in numerous areas of the game. He showed some solid post skills for a guard, finishing inside with contact after the post up, he did a great job cutting and using his angles towards the basket. He is thin and will need to work on getting stronger but he has some length. His biggest area for improvement will be in his ball skill development. Lead guard is the position and decision making and handling the ball are vital components for that job. His shot was adequate and could be better with more gym work. Increasing your basketball IQ and watching your body language are further areas of the game where he can continue to grow as a player.
Destin Deering (William Blount)
6-3 WF 2019
Camp Number: 62
Good size kid showed some workable skills, shot the ball decent, rebounded alight and had ok footwork. He was not afraid to attack from the wing, Lefty was able to get inside and create some scoring chances. His biggest area for improvement will be with his quickness and explosion. His size leads him away from the perimeter and guarding that positing will be a chore unless he becomes a more functional athlete. Increasing his basketball IQ and becoming more aware to his surroundings is another area of immediate improvement. He is capable in several areas and can give you minutes with his size and hustle.
Wes Maples (Sevier County)
6-4 SG 2020
Camp Number: 64
A very famous coach once told me you need to be able to one thing very well if you want people to notice you and recruit you. This rising junior is a special shooter. He has really good size, seems to love the game and can knock the bottom out of the rim. He has enough basketball sense and skill to have a decent handle and his ability to use a short dribble to get space for some mid-range shots is very nice. He has decent size but will seriously need to work on his quickness and foot speed. He will never be a burner and guarding the two on any level will always be a challenge but this kid will work to get better. He loves to play and his dedication to his craft will be what carries him into his impending future.
Scott Patterson (J. Frank White)
6-5 WF/PF 2019
Camp Number: 65
At first glance he has good size, shoots the ball adequately, plays physical, passes the ball with some skill and isn't afraid to attack the rim. He will really need to get into better shape for the upcoming season, which will be his final one in high school. His foot work and athleticism really need improvement and where this will show the most is on the defensive end of the floor. He seems capable in the post using his size and physicality to hold his own but any venture to the wing and things begin to change. His shot is one of his best weapons and using this to draw the defense will allow him to use some one to two dribble moves to score on the block or in the paint. I look for a very productive senior season for this young man.
Kegan Dodson (White County)
5-8 PG 2020
Camp Number: 66
Small guard really trying to show he belongs in a big guys world. He is quick with the ball and he sees the floor. Can he get to the basket and the real question can he shoot, we didn't see a great deal of this as he seemed content to distribute and be a team player and that is an admirable quality. Play within your skill level, don't try to do to much and don't force the issue. It seems boring I know but turnovers are the quickest way to the bench, make solid plays, defend and make good decisions with the ball, this will keep you on he floor, I promise you. Work on ball skills, handles with pressure and defensive foot work and positioning. Your size will always be an issue but with your quickness and competitive nature you can overcome some of those obstacles.
Gio Gonzalez (Bearden)
5-8 PG 2022
Camp Number: 67
Overmatched young guard played hard and was not shy on effort but his skill level is lacking and will need major improvement in most areas of the game. Mechanically you will need to work on your shooting. The release and the hand positioning, as well as, adding some confidence to the stroke. That comes with time and you have time my friend, keep working, your a kid who loves to play and once your body gets some strength and some confidence gets into your system you will see marked improvement. Get in the weight room, get someone to help you with foot work and explosion, all the things we consistently harp upon.
Harper Neal (Kingston)
6-0 SG 2021
Camp Number: 68
"I love this kid, he's a flat out 100% competitor, he plays low to the ground which is vital, he fights for loose balls, he can shoot, he sees the floor and he defends", great eval from a college coach who was in attendance and helpful with his knowledge about the players. Hard nosed kid who has a scoring mentality, he plays at a comfortable pace, has an excellent mid-range arsenal and understands tempo. He is not quick by any means but he understands change of speed, when to explode and he can finish creatively around the bucket with either hand. As he moves up the food chain, his lack of foot speed will need some attention and his range will need to continue to expand. He's a team guy who wants to win, love him.
Brandon Cuevas (Farragut)
5-11 P/SG 2021
Camp Number: 70
Young player who elicited some rather unusual reactions from the evaluation staff. The consensus was he could shoot when engaged in the game but often, generally when he wasn't in some contact with the ball his production and interest seemed to wane. His youth can be attributed to some of that but his body language often made me wonder if his lack of physical aggression kept him from making the contributions he wanted to at both ends of the floor. He showed he could shoot the ball when left open, he cut well and his handles were not that bad. Keeping himself engaged to what is happening on the floor will be his biggest area for improvement. Do you love it my friend? The show us?