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.
Jonathan Howard (Cane Ridge) 2018
Young rising junior has a nice upside with solid size for a combo guard. He can knock down the open shot and is at his best in transition. He gets the ball out and will finish hard to the bucket. He is an aggressive defender with some length, he rebounds well for a guard and is just a more consistent motor away from being a go to defensive stopper. He has excellent vision when running from the lead guard spot but does have a tendency to force the issue, better decision making will help him in the long run. He is fast, has an excellent floater in the lane. He needs to get stronger and keep his concentration the entire time he is on the floor.
James Coe (Jackson County) 2017
"Plays exceptionally hard but too fast" was one of the quotes for the rising senior from Jackson County. Big bodied youngster has an unorthodox release on his shot but he makes his fair share of buckets. His shot selection and decision making are areas that he certainly needs to clean up as he enters his final high school campaign. As aforementioned he plays hard, he gives effort and uses his size well inside for easy chances. He tends to dribble a bit much in the post and will need to shore up his footwork in all areas. He has a nice pull-up that he honestly doesn't shoot often enough.
Mason Bare (Morristown West) 2017
Decent size shooting guard embarking on his senior season this fall. He is a much better athlete than he seems to be given credit for, he likes to crash the glass and he really moves well without the ball, making himself an easy target for simple buckets in the lane. he cuts hard and crisp and has a solid understanding of what is happening on the court in relation to the flow of each particular game. He can be a decent defender, he closes out with high hands and he will, as we already mentioned, get on the glass. His outside shooting is an area he will really need to make some strides with, his confidence level with his shot needs an upgrade. He has a tendency to force a pass when unnecessary so working on his decision making with the ball is another area he will need to improve.
Maverick Smith (Oakdale) 2017
"Not a bad shooter but he truly needs to speed up that release and he needs to work on doing a better job spacing on offense", was how one evaluator described the rising senior from Oakdale. Maverick has really good size and strength, he should be a much better rebounder than he is and some of that may stem from wanting to avoid foul trouble that tends to plague bigger players inside in high school. He has shown the ability to score on every level of the floor, he has a good spot-up mid-range shot but tends to slow the release as he gets out to the deeper line. His size is his asset and he will need to work on explosion and foot work if he makes the transition to the next level of basketball. Making better basketball decisions with the ball and improving his ball-handling skills are paramount as his size dictates a wing position on the collegiate level.
Myron Lesley (Jefferson County) 2018
Small rising junior guard did some good things with his motor and willingness to make plays and contribute. He was very active on both ends of the floor, contesting shots and showing he wasn't afraid to step back and shoot himself, nice high rotation will become more confident as he spends hours shooting in the gym. He will need to tighten his handles as his size makes him a lead guard by default, his decision making needs to improve as he controls the ball from the perimeter. He will become more confident and improve his skills the more time he sees on he floor. He appears to be a kid just coming into his own, skill wise, confidence wise and basketball wise.
Denys Konstantinovich (Knoxville Christian) 2019
Young European player just came over to the states. Typical European game, he has a nice ability to shoot the basketball, he really, desperately needs to add strength to his gangly frame but he has a solid skill level just needs the strength to make plays in our game. He looks like he could reach the 6'9 to 6'10 range as his length and body type appear to be a future asset. His game needs to expand to include some interior work, using his length to become any kind of rebounding threat and having the ability to guard an interior post worker. We usually mention this with any of the players in the rising sophomore or freshman classes and this is no exception, his confidence level will magically rise as he adds strength to his overall game.
Nikita Konstantinovich (Knoxville Christian) 2019
Similar skill set of his brother but a bit more talented overall. European feel for the game, great length and size, has a very nice outside shot, keeps the ball high and he has a better motor. He has a decent handle and will get in there and battle for rebounds. He likes to shoot the outside shot but he will make his way into the paint and use his length to grab some easy scoring chances. He will need to work on his footwork and his lateral quickness, especially on the defensive side of the floor. He has some trouble finishing inside, has a tendency to volleyball at the rim but much of that can be easily solved when he adds strength to his frame. He also appears to have the body type that will top out at the 6'9 range which makes him coveted on a whole different stratosphere.
Luke Moeller (Farragut) 2018
Competitive rising junior has a very good skill level and could be a really nice addition for any program once he gets some physical strength. A very good interior passer, unselfish, goes straight up for blocks and uses his length to grab rebounds and start transition. Lefty shooter needs to quicken up his trigger and become more confident in his ability to shoot the ball. His body type screams wing but he will need that strength to be able to guard that position at the next level and work on his ball-handling and scoring touch in and around the basket. He is an excellent position defender, understands the concept of boxing out but often losses the ball when stripped by pesky guards and much stronger interior players. He seems to have a love for the game and will spend time and effort making himself into a prospect as he works on his body.