With the Fall Leagues behind me I can concentrate on getting to the evaluations from the Carson Newman Showcase from a weeks back. I had three other evaluators posted, all three were former college coaches and their input is very important to my final analysis. I will post a story for each team from the event.
#81 Danny Bates (Jefferson County)
5-9 PG 2016
"Toughest player in the camp" was stated by one evaluation for the rising junior point guard. Bates is a small guard who is very active, his size automatically dictates point guard but he sure does like to launch the long range shot. His decision making and shot selection can be called into question sometimes but his overall effort and desire to win cannot. A super aggressive defender with an above average motor, Bates does not shy away from contact and likes to step in and take the charge. Advancing his basketball IQ, be it with the shot selection or the grasping of point guard implementation will benefit him this prep season.
#82 Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central)
6-0 PG 2016
Truly has worked on his leadership skills and his ability to run the show from the lead guard position. Brad is a very good shooter who seems to get down on himself when he misses, from there it affects his confidence with future shots and decision making. Keep shooting young fella, he is an unselfish player who knows how to run the team in the half court set, he sees the floor well and likes to make the quality assist for the easy score. Defensively he needs to continue to get stronger, this will help him guard on the ball with much more effectiveness.
#83 Ezekial Balogun (Hamilton Heights)
6-5 SG 2015
One evaluation pegged him as "a consistent jumper away from being big time", Balogun is a freak on the court. His body is more than college ready and he has much improved his motor and consistency on the floor. His size allows him to be a good on ball defender, he rarely gets beat off the dribble and he is becoming more comfortable with blocking out and using his size to control the glass. As previously mentioned his shooting form needs to be tweaked, from release to finish. Big Zeke simply plays with a zeal for the game, he loves to compete and with his work ethic will become a really good player on the next level.
#84 Jordan Atkins (McCallie)
6-5 PF 2015
Very well thought of by every evaluation that I received, Atkins could become a very good inside/outside player when he polishes some additional aspects of his game. Inside he possesses decent footwork, has a good frame, plays with emotion and can finish strong when he has position. From the outside he needs to refine his form somewhat but he does not lack confidence and looks comfortable stepping out to the three-point line and knocking down some shots. " He is a slashing 3 that can translate on the next level" was one opinion on the rising senior. A kid with a motor and a desire combined with a skill level and a high basketball IQ is a true gem, this kid is one to keep an eye on for sure.
#86 Mohsen Asadaalla (Hamilton Heights)
5-6 PG 2015
Diminutive point guard is active and shows some real quickness. His speed allows him to be a good on ball defender and he plays with toughness and goes very hard. Offensively he needs to learn to control his tempo and not play so fast all the time. His aggressiveness leads to bad decisions with the ball and turnovers when unnecessary. As a shooter he lacks confidence yet can get on a rhythm when he is feeling it per say. His largest asset is his ability to change the pace of the game, sometimes to his detriment but never without trying to make a play and create a score.
#87 Strahinja Micakovic (Hamilton Heights)
6-3 SG 2015
Not overly athletic but sound, this young man will take the open shot or put the ball on the deck and take it to the hole. He doesn't have an explosive first step but a controlled one and this allows him to get people on his hip and make his way into the lane for the score or the easy dish. His shot has a hitch yet despite this he seems to knock down plenty of them. He possesses a solid hesitation dribble and knows how to change speeds, this allows a less athletic player to get past his over eager defender. Solid contributor who will see some time for his Hamilton Heights crew this season.
#89 Ryan Lee (Sevier County)
6-1 SG 2018
Youngster is a confident shooter when left open, he has good size but like every one else coming into high school basketball for their first time he desperately needs to add strength. Lee showed he was willing to compete and did not back down from the older and much stronger kids playing alongside him. His biggest asset at this point is the ability to knock down an open shot. He has some length and will learn to become more comfortable working off the ball and getting to his spots for open looks. Adding some off the dribble action to his arsenal is another area that will benefit him as he makes the climb up the prep ladder.
#90 Craig Burt (Knoxville Central)
6-3 WF 2018
The first thing you notice about this kid is a good body and really good length and size for an incoming freshman player. As with his brethren he will need to hit the weight room but he has a good frame to seriously pack some girth upon. On the offensive side of the ball Burt just needs to learn how and when to take and make shots. His action can be slow developing but he works towards the rim and is relentless on the glass using his length to get tough rebounds and attempted put backs. Decision making will come with experience and hours in the gym. The young man seems to love the game and was clearly not phased by the older players, this will bode well for him down the road.