One of our favorite events of the year took place again this year at picturesque Carson Newman University. The annual Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase tipped off a couple Saturdays ago and now its time to compute all the data and start releasing some evaluations on the attendees.
Justin Sharpe (Hardin Valley)
Camp Number: 92
"Active small guard with a quick first step and nice burst to the cup, he sees the floor and could really be a dynamite defender. He has a stout body and could use this to his advantage if he wants to be a big time on ball defender". Rising junior showed some nice skills at the event, he is athletic and has some swag to his game, he isn't afraid to bang and he gets a nice rise on his shot. His shooting touch is a work in progress as he tends to change his release point depending on where on the floor he lets it go. He has a tendency to play too fast at times as well, understanding tempo and when to use that explosion gets you buckets. As my top evaluator stated and which everyone who watched this young man concurs he has the potential to be a lock down defender, if he so chooses. As his game matures, let everything come to you, control tempo, explode when the opportunity arises and make better decisions with the ball.
Wes Maples (Sevier County)
Camp Number: 93
"Excellent size and demeanor for the next level, he can shoot over you and his stroke is his weapon, when he is on, he is deadly. He is a sneaky defender, he likes to bang and he has the size and length to rebound well from the guard or wing position. His biggest area for improvement will be his quickness and lateral explosion". Team oriented player understands the nuances of the game, he likes to be the leader but he makes the open pass and he plays with effort. His shot is his biggest asset and as already stated he has great size and length for this position on the right level. He is tough, he has an attitude which opponents don't like but his people love, he can finish with a flush and he is a winner. He has areas for improvement and he works hard, he will find a way, winners do that.
Walker Kyle (Bearden)
Camp Number: 96
"Young player with a scorers mentality, at this juncture of his development he is an undersized four who can step out and hit a shot. He is skilled in the low post, he has excellent mitts and catches everything, he can score over either shoulder and loves the compact, one dribble spin move. He needs to continue to work on his body, get in basketball shape and work on his perimeter skills if he wishes to move outside the lane". Its a simple equation, the ball needs to go in the hole and he does precisely this. He can get a bit out character with his shots, he tends to fade away and makes things tougher than they need to be at times, but his maturity level has seriously cut down on those episodes. He is excellent at feeling the defense and counteracting his scoring chance as such. He needs to keep working on his shooting and handles, his foot work and his athleticism and become a better defender.
Jaxon Williams (Grainger)
Camp Number: 97
"Tweener who does many things well but needs to refine some skills, what position is he? His shot is adequate, needs some minor mechanical tweaks but its workable. He runs the floor, he competes and he has decent size for his grade level". Rising sophomore has a solid grasp of the game, he plays hard but needs to consistently give more effort, he doesn't give up on plays and he can score depending on where his confidence level is at that moment. He just needs to keep working on all aspects of this game, he is right on the cusp of being a really solid contributor this season. His confidence seems to correlate with his production, keep fighting hard, your time with the ball will come, make it so they cant take you off the floor, your too valuable on the glass, your too valuable on defense and the points and production will come.
Eli Fritts (Maryville Christian)
Camp Number: 98
Very young player was not afraid to get after it, time and time again when evaluating incoming freshman we have made mention of watching how they react in every game situation. We understand the difference in size and strength but do they show effort, are they timid or do they attack? This kid never backed down. He has some length but really needs to work on his strength, he could process plays but couldn't execute due to his lack of strength. He will need to make better decisions, stop leaving your feet to make passes and stop forcing shots. That being said I love the aggressive nature he competed with. He was superb in transition, he really sees the floor and was at his best when the game was full court. He will need to work on his half court approach but time is an asset here my friend. His shot is of the wind up style and again due to his lack of physical strength. He has a great deal to work on, who don't in this age group, but he gives effort and will adapt his skill level accordingly.
Aubrey Kimbro (Nashville Christian)
Camp Number: 99
"Surprisingly skilled young guy, really a solid stroke and he sees the floor amazingly well for his age. He is physically challenged, as are all who are entering high school, but he has some skills to work with and an understanding of how the game works, I like his potential". I love how this kid adapted to his environment the longer he was at the event, my notes questioned his shooting at first but by the end I commented how his shooting stroke needs to be quickened but is quite accurate. He is a good defender, which is an anomaly for young players, he is quick, he likes to attack from the weak side and seems to have a grasp of the fundamentals. He will need to work on his body, of course, but he has some length, should get bigger and be one we have on our radar for many years to come.
Reese Dykes (Cumberland County)
Camp Number: 100
"Active guard, a bit small, but he attacks and understands how to play. He has a nice stroke, he goes hard to the basket and he likes to create and push tempo". Tough guard who has grown before our eyes, a leader who can play either guard spot with equal effectiveness. He truly understands how to play and is at his best when he is fully engaged, his shooting touch is fine and he likes to finish hard off the dribble. His game is often predicated on his shooting touch, when he is struggling with his shot he tends to let it affect him in other areas. He is too valuable all over the court to let this hinder his production. His final high school campaign should be an excellent run, he has the ability to play in college if he finds the correct level.