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.
#101 Tristan Upchurch (Maryville)
6-1 PG 2016
Rising junior lead guard is a shoot first guard who has good range and accuracy on his stroke. He knows how to get to the open spots on the floor and create space for his look, he has an excellent pull-up but has a tendency to fade away on his shot. He has the basketball IQ to run the point guard spot but will need to incorporate more of a leadership role and value the possession of the basketball equally as well. Upchurch plays with confidence and is a very good and active defender, he plays up the lines and guards on the ball; as well as, off the ball. Good help defender, he sets the tone in the press and his relentless effort make him a candidate for steals and loose balls at a higher volume.
#102 Isaiah Eguabar (Providence Christian)
5-10 PG 2016
One of the true surprises at the event, Isaiah is a quick and tough young lead guard, he plays with effort and is a solid communicator on the floor. A huge plus for any and every point guard. He is competitive and strong yet he will need to understand tempo and slowing down at times. His decision making is good but when rushed he can make silly turnovers, mistakes that are easily corrected. He is a solid outside shooter from his lefty release and easily one of the strongest finishers in transition in the camp. He guards relentless on the ball, makes his man work and challenges every pass and shot. He advances the ball in transition with the pass not the dribble and runs the floor to clean up the mess. One of the 12 best players in the camp according to the evaluations.
#104 Alex Clark (McCallie)
6-4 SG 2015
Very intriguing player who possesses a unique set of skills, he has wing size, defends like a guard, likes to post up and score. Defining his position is a mystery at this point but why regulate yourself to those labels and simply say this kid is a basketball player and he can fit in most any situation. Clark has good size and length, he loves to run the floor and finish in transition. His shooting needs work but he goes hard to the bucket off the dribble and uses good angles to score in traffic. His biggest asset is his defense where he uses his length to his advantage, making smaller guard disappear and simply runs past larger ones. Once he puts the work in to make his shot a priority there will certainly be a place on the next level for him.
#106 Austin Kirby (Hendersonville)
6-4 SG/WF 2016
Rising junior who loves to play, Austin has really good size and length, gives maximum effort on both ends of the floor and is a good teammate. He gives good effort on the glass using his length to keep possessions alive, he uses his size to get on the block and score easy buckets or reversing the ball to open shooters. His shooting needs some tweaking from a funny release to letting the ball go without having his mechanics in order. He will need to work on his ball-handling and when finishing at the basket he really needs to obtain the use of his left hand. This kid is a hustler and knows what it takes to get better, I see him in the gym shooting, working on his handles and making himself a better player already.
#107 Easton Upchurch (Maryville)
6-0 SG 2017
Dynamite outside shooter who has unlimited range and confidence. He is more of a catch and shoot player than a create his own shot type of guard yet he understands how to get to the open spaces on the floor and communicates with his teammates upon his arrival. Shot selection and decision making are areas where he will certainly need to improve. Defensively he is tough and likes the contact, he can guard off the ball and is an excellent help defender as well. At his size he will need to work on incorporating some point guard skills into his arsenal, for versatility if nothing else.
#109 Caleb Tripp (Powell)
5-10 SG 2018
Young player who showed good effort and played hard while on the floor. The speed of the game is something he will need to get used to as he steps up into high school basketball but the youngster showed he could make some shots when his feet were set and he had some time. He will need to get much better on defense, understanding positioning and everything that comes with playing defense at this level. Offensively he needs to understand how to move without the ball, get to open spaces and create shots. Young man showed promise with his hustle ad seems like the type of kid who will work on his weaknesses and make them strengths.
#110 Junior Clay (McCallie)
5-11 PG 2018
Junior could be the best rising freshman in East Tennessee, he has the total package and is real size and strength away from being devastating. Every evaluation was sterling calling him without a doubt one of the best freshman not only in the camp but the entire state of Tennessee. Junior is slick, handles very well, has a natural feel for the game and does just about everything well. He has super quick hands on defense and stays after his man, he plays with passion and has a real will to win. His outside shooting is solid and with increased strength will come increased range.