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.
- Joseph Harless (University) 6'2 SG 2018
Solid player with an adequate shooting form, showed some nice vision and is a better than perceived athlete. Was much more effective when the tempo of the game suited him, more of a half court and system type kid. Spend an inordinate amount of time perusing the perimeter looking for his shot, camp situation will dictate as such but we need to see more leadership from a senior guard. His size dictates he can play either guard spot and he will need to upgrade his overall skill set, ball-handling, passing, decision making and such. He is a capable shooter when he flows with the offense, he tends to force the issue, as kids do in camp situations, he has tremendous loft on his shot, a high arching stroke from deep. 'Your a pretty good athlete, don't hide that fact, smooth it up a little", was one direct quote wanting to see more from this rising senior. Defensively, lets just say, you are way to good of an athlete to be an average defender, take some pride in this.
- Jonathan Howard (Cane Ridge) 6'1 PG 2018
"I've been waiting three years to see you take over a game, you have skills, you can shoot the ball, your length is exceptional, you can run a team, what are we waiting for", was a quote from me actually as I have observed his skill level since his freshman season and I need to see the next step up. He is a good size guard, he has good vision, he is shifty, he's tough and he can finish inside the paint. He rebounds well for a guard and his shot is hit or miss depending on which evaluation you lean towards. "Can not hit anything outside of the paint" or "has a chance to be good if he can solidify this shot". If you don't adhere to anything we have written or said over the years, take the time to understand that its all right in front of you, take the chance, become a leader, become a vocal giant, lead this team, you have the skill set and the intelligence, now all you need is the confidence.
- Westin Reynolds (Powell) 6'4 WF 2018
Undersized post who plays with effort and emotion. Goes hard after 50/50 balls and offensive rebounds, keeps possessions alive, has a knack for the ball and will finish inside with or without contact. "Traditional back to the basket, undersized high school post with a good touch around the bucket", simply sums up what we think of this rising senior. He showed he could pass out of the post and has some nice go to moves including a short hook in the paint. His confidence is not in his outside shooting as he rarely attempted any but giving credit where credit is due as he didn't try to do things he is not capable of doing and hurting the offensive flow. His size dictates more of a wing for the next level but its obvious his comfort zone is the post. He will need to get stronger, work on his skills and develop more of a capable outside shooting touch as he preps for his final high school campaign.
- Kordell Kah (Bearden) 6'5 WF/PF 2019
"Killing everyone on the boards, knows how to use his body, tough and gritty" was one of several positive quotes about this rising junior from Knoxville. Understands how to plays and is a monster on the glass, he has a solid motor, toughness and has a nice outside touch, albeit a flat footed version, but it goes in. He has size and strength which allows him to be a maniac with his back to the bucket. He will need to work on his ball skills, handling, passing and decision making if he is to progress from the paint to the perimeter where he will need to project at the next level. He has a high basketball IQ, understands the flow of the game and has a winning mentality. He will need to work on his lateral quickness and explosion, being able to separate from a defender, moving without the ball and making everybody around you better. This kid is a worker so I have no doubt he understands what comes next and he will work to make himself into the prospect we challenge him to become.
- Dustin Bunton (Walker Valley) 6'3 SG 2019
You can certainly see the maturation of his body, he is getting length and starting to resemble a basketball player. He is playing with some confidence and has a smooth and emerging skill set. He understands the game and knows his role and place on the floor. "Needs to show much, much more aggression, was one evaluation who made it clear what he expects from the rising junior from the Cleveland area. He will obviously need to get stronger, something we continually harp on here, but it will be the difference in everything you do on the high school level. Take more of a positive approach towards defense as well, he understands the game so you know that defense is vital, so play harder. Again when that strength starts creeping into his physique then maybe some more defensive effort will be obliged.
- McLean Albritton (McCallie) 6'2 PG/SG 2019
Solid contributor with a better than average stroke from beyond the arc. "Nice looking stroke" commented one evaluation but followed that statement up with now lets guard someone son. The weight room will be your friend in the next couple of seasons as the wiry youngster competes for playing time on a deep and talented high school roster. He will need to work on his point guard skills as well. Making better decisions with the ball is priority number one, coaches hate turnover so slow down and play more deliberate when the ball is in your possession. His best weapon is his shot and added strength only increases your range and ability to complete your fundamentals late in tight and completive games.
- Cameron George (William Blount) 6'2 SG 2020
Good sized young guard still a bit tentative and unsure about his role and where and how he fits in. "Is he athletic, I think so, he has excellent size for his age and seems to play aggressive enough to show some improvement as the camp wore on" was among the many evaluations for this rising sophomore from Blount County. He will need to work on his aggression, his effort and his skills. He is still growing into his body which makes him a tad awkward when the game gets to a blistering tempo. He has some skills, his shot is not bad just needs some tweaking and mechanical work. He needs to work on his basketball IQ, becoming more of a scoring threat and using his given talents to play some defense. He needs to just stop trying to let everything come his way and take the initiative and make some things happen.
- Jace McWilliams (Upperman) 6'0 PG 2021
Young rising freshman passed the first rule of my newcomer initiation with his aggressive and relentless work during the drills, noted by more than one evaluation. "He makes lots of plays on defense simply because he hustles and plays hard", noted another evaluation. The consensus was his effort and attitude were top notch and he certainly was not shy about putting himself into the action. His skill level will obviously need to catch up with his effort. His shooting touch is not bad but needs consistency and repetition. He will need to get stronger and work on his lateral quickness as well. He is not the most overt athlete but he does understand the tempo of the game and as his confidence grows he will be able to incorporate change of speed into his offensive repertoire. Gym rat who will do nothing but improve as his body and mind catch up to his determination.
- Chris Hillsman (Cane Ridge) 5'2 PG 2020
"Smallest kid in the gym but unafraid of everyone here" was a nice compliment to the diminutive rising sophomore from Nashville. His attempt to overcome his size with effort and determination is compelling. He does his best to make plays, he plays unselfish and see the game but has trouble completing his thoughts because of his lack of strength and size. "Got to be much quicker and even more competitive to play at his size" tells the story for what he will need to work on the most. He goes hard on defense, especially while the tempo is high, he likes to come up from behind and knock balls away, he isn't afraid to stick his nose into the action. The praise for his effort is unquestioned, he is giving his all. Becoming smarter, more efficient, stronger and even more competitive will be his way onto the hardwood.