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.
Charlie Rice (Maryville)
Camp Number: 4
Intelligent with superb leadership qualities, Rice can play comfortably at either guard spot and has the skill level to excel. He has brought back the mid-range shot and has an array of floaters and clever finishes around the bucket. He understands the tempo of the game, he remains in constant motion and he plays with effort. "When he allows the plays to develop and utilizes the one or two dribble attack the result was always a score for somebody", was one scouts assessment. He is a tremendous teammate, he leads by example and isn't afraid to let somebody know when they are out of sorts. "He is active on both ends of the floor, his IQ is above average and if he had better size and quickness his level could be very high. I loved him from the moment I laid eyes on him, this kid is a winner."
Kegan Dodson (White County)
Camp Number: 7
Slick shooter who truly has a natural feel for the game, he uses the dribble well, he has a plethora of scoring moves, he can finish despite his size and he can really knock down the open shot. "Probably the best rhythm, pull-up shooter in the camp" says one scouts evaluation. He uses a dynamic first step to get past defenders and he loves to penetrate and dish to open shooters. He has really good handles and doesn't over dribble which is a trend for so many of these kids. "His only glaring weakness is his perceived lack of size, he does everything well and if he finds the correct level he will be an outstanding player on the next level" was another scouts breakdown of his skills. Defensively he is active, doesn't seem to be phased by his lack of size, he battles and doesn't get pushed around. Can he guard on the next level? I suspect we are going to find out soon enough.
Nico Ashley (Elizabethton)
Camp Number: 9
"He is the most explosive athlete in the building, he ATTACKS the rim" says one evaluation of the Elizabethton rising senior. Thin in stature, Ashley is an incredible athlete who does explode to the bucket and will finish with a flush on the break. His outside shot is not aesthetically pleasing and he will need to work on this if he is to play on the perimeter at the next level. "He needs to shorten his release, he uses entirely too much arm and arc" was one noticeable breakdown of his shooting form. He will need to continue working on his handles and finishing stronger at the rim through contact. He will need to get stronger, especially on the glass where he relies on his jumping ability only. He has the length and lateral quickness to become a big time defender if he so chooses, the kid is a worker, he is a good teammate and a great young man. His best basketball has not even entered his consciousness yet and when it does catch up to his natural abilities..................look out.
Robert Anderson (Brentwood)
Camp Number: 10
Really heady young player belies his age with his basketball intelligence. He has a natural feel for what is going on and he sees the floor very well. He has an outstanding shooting touch and has the IQ to use this gift to create scoring chances not only for himself but for others. "Not afraid to mix it up on the glass despite his size", speaks to his toughness and hard edged approach to the game. He is small in stature but he is not weak, he is tough he will guard you and get in someone's face if necessary. He loves to share the ball, is an especially good interior passer and knows how to use the dribble to get to his spot and finish at the rim. His size again could be perceived as a weakness defensively but this kid doesn't understand that logic and will battle regardless of the size of his opponent, you have to love that.
Tristan Warfield (Grainger)
Camp Number: 13
Worker who has shown marked improvement since last season in all phases of the game. His shot is adequate but his release needs to be much quicker especially when the competition increases. "He sets screens, faces up with a good shot but needs to finish better around the rim, great body would love to see him attack more", this evaluation says it all about the progress of the rising junior. He has a good motor but will need to work on his explosion and lateral quickness if he wishes to play on the perimeter. His shot is decent just needs some tweaking mechanically and as already mentioned his release needs to happen much quicker. He needs to work on his ball handling as well, not excessive bouncing of the ball but a good one to two bounce move that leads to a score and then some counter moves off this action. I like his demeanor and his attitude as his game will only continue to grow.
Xavier Shegog (Goodpasture)
Camp Number: 14
"Really good athlete with length, rebounds in traffic well and the motor is there....start it up", said one scouts evaluation of this rising freshman. Yes this kid has yet to even play in a varsity basketball game. He has a long athletic body which stands out among first glance. His skill level is a work in progress but this kid has the heart and determination to become a good player. His outside shot really needs mechanical work and his decision making will get better as he matures as a player. His ball handling is not good and he plays at times afraid to make a mistake, understandable at this age and playing against older players. Maturation will take care of this. "Be more aggressive at both ends of the floor and work on that shot" was straight and to the point on another evaluation for this youngster. He is lanky and all over the place at this age but when the light comes on all the way, a player rests within young man.