Finally we begin our evaluations from the annual Tennessee Prep Hoops Carson Newman Showcase. This is a lengthy process with evaluations from myself and five college coaches who's input I sought when putting these thoughts and suggestions together.
- Ques Glover (Bearden) 5'9 PG 2019
"My favorite player here", was the sentiment of several of the combined evaluations for this diminutive yet powerful rising junior guard from Knoxville. He is a scoring machine, from every level. He can knock down the long three, hit short floaters off the dribble, take it hard and creatively finish at the glass or just the head fake and simple mid-range shot that has all but disappeared from the game. His size could be an issue but he will not allow this. Defensively he bodies up, likes to take chances but has the ability to be a quality defender. "He appears to be an undersized two-guard who can and should become more of a scoring point in the right system", said another of the several positive evaluations on Glover. He will need to incorporate getting his teammates more involved while making everyone around him better. His body language can be a detriment when things aren't going his way, don't let the outside distractions take you away from the task at hand. This kid is a winner and great things are about to happen for him.
- Joe Kesterson (Oak Ridge) 5'10 SG 2019
Rhythm shooter who could be a designated sniper when he becomes more consistent with his shot. "Streaky shooter, who when set and all fundamentals are observed is deadly". He needs to work on his body and get in better shape as a guard who needs to move around and find his spots. His size also dictates having some point guard skills which could also only help his overall skill set. "Gets in trouble when his shot is not falling, tends to pout and checks himself out of the game" was another of the many observations for this Oak Ridge junior. He needs to get drastically more athletic work on his lateral movement and explosion skills if he is going to contribute on a consistent basis.
- Evan Gaffney (Tennessee Christian Prep) 6'4 WF 2018
Small private school product showed some production off the dribble with some drives and completions at the rim. His shot is not broken and he does have a motor to speak of. His shot is of the set variety and he will need to incorporate more athleticism into his overall game. His foot work is in need of a major overhaul and if he is to play on the perimeter, which seems to be his preferred area, he will need to increase his range and seriously work on his ball handling skills. He appears to be a player who enjoys the competition and like we said his motor is good but his skill level needs to improve if he is to work his way into a spot at the next level.
- Dawson Smith (Oakdale) 6' SG 2019
Effort kid who is seemingly involved with every loose ball situation. "Not sure what position he is on offense, he is effective only when he has the ball, but he does play hard and is not afraid to poke his nose into the action", clearly defines the consensus for this rising junior guard. He needs to understand how to play without the ball. "He plays hard, there is no question, but he often seems lost and is just running around aimlessly, but he's doing it hard", again defines what he needs to work on as his high school season approaches. He has good size from a body perspective and is strong, work on incorporating some lead guard skills, passing and getting everyone involved in the game, scoring can come later as you work on building a skill set.
- Bishop Richardson (McCallie) 5'10 PG 2019
"This kid really knows how to play, he is smart and appears to be a great teammate, making passes in traffic and getting everything set up in the half-court", was the first assessment for this rising junior from Chattanooga. He does have a good feel for the game, he is unselfish and likes to have the ball in his hands. He does have a tendency to launch a shot when he feels like his time has arrived, don't make all the nice words about your unselfishness and team play erode because you feel its your time to shoot. His offensive skills are decent and he does have the ability to shoot the ball and score off the bounce. He needs to work on getting tougher and stronger which will only help his overall game.
- Tommy Griffin (Jefferson County) 6'2 SG 2020
Really good athlete who needs to work on his body and his overall skill set. He likes to shoot from the perimeter and will need to continue bettering his fundamentals. He really is a solid athlete with some length, he can snatch rebounds and start the break. He plays the passing lanes on defense very well and gets his hands on loose balls. "This kid is a rising sophomore with good athletic skills and length, he plays hard and when his body catches up to his skills, he will be a recruit able athlete", says a former D1 coach on my evaluation panel. His size also dictates he work on some point guard skills, such as getting his teammates more involved and working on his ball handling and passing skills. "If he will get in the gym and take it seriously, this kid has the ability to make some noise down the road, only a sophomore his best basketball, if he works at it, is down the road for sure.
- Trey Johnson (Cosby) 5'10 PG 2021
Incoming freshman showed a really nice stroke from deep. He is a small kid who, like everyone else in his class, needs to get stronger and more athletic. We have heard this all before. He had moments of showing he could fit into the pace of the games and other times he seemed lost and unsure. That is normal for a kid who hasn't even suited up for a high school game at that juncture of his career. He needs to become more aggressive on offense without the ball, work on finding open spots for easy shots, make yourself hard to guard. He is not a quick athlete but constant motion is a pain for any defender. As his body and skill set catch up, I have no doubt his confidence level will as well. He really does have a nice stroke so that will serve as your calling card as you develop all the skills around your weapon.
- Brenon Hillsman (Cane Ridge) 5'9 PG 2020
Small but active athlete with an ok shot and a strong build despite the vertically challenged portion. He was very good challenging shots and being a pesky defender. "He needs a lot of work on his shot but he plays with fire and emotion, he passes the ball well", was one quick evaluation of his game. The rising sophomore from Nashville will need to incorporate more point guard skills into his overall basketball portfolio, "look to pass and drive more" says another evaluation and make better basketball decisions". He is young so a great deal is forgiven but with his skill set and motor, I think he has a chance to be a real solid player down the road. That shot needs tweaking but repetition is your friend, get in the gym work on your skills, the stage has been set for you.