Another great turn-out for the Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase held annually at Carson Newman University. This year we featured over 100 players and 15+ college coaches in the house. An extra-special in speaker in Hollywood actor and basketball savant Cylk Cozart plus instruction from local college coaches.
Here I will sift through the evaluations turned by myself and several colleagues who helped me at the event. I will attempt to do a team a day until completion.
Silas Clark (Cumberland County) 2018
"Kid just gets it, keeps it simple. If he were 6'6 the level of coach in this building would be much higher paid" was the analysis from one evaluation about the rising Crossville junior. A leader on the floor, the most vocal kid at the camp with question. His skill level is high, he shoots the ball well, has a quick release, he has smooth handles, he finishes at the bucket with either hand and he is scrappy. He has the unique ability to make everyone around him better. He just wants to win. His frame does not carry much weight so despite his desire and ability to see every play his size limitation can hinder some of his finishes. He is a winner, a coach on the floor, a coaches dream and he will make someone very happy in a couple years.
Thomas Carroll (Wartburg Central) 2017
Real competitor who really understands how to play. He is a scoring machine, he has great vision, he plays with an exceptional basketball IQ, has a good motor and likes to defend. He was especially good in the passing lanes defensively. He needs to work on his explosion and quickness, a better first step will only enhance his ability to put the ball on the deck. His outside shot needs to find a quicker release point as well, as the athletes get better the shot needs to get off a lot faster. One evaluation claimed "a prolific scorer", I see college basketball on some level in his future.
Grant Ledford (Grace Christian) 2019
"His development athletically will be the sole indicator of where he falls at the next level", was one evaluation on the rising sophomore from Knoxville. Smooth and strong, Ledford has improved as much in one summer as any kid we have seen in the last 15 years. He doesn't have explosive quickness but he understands change of pace, he creates his own scoring chances and his outside and mid-range shooting touch has improved dramatically. He knows how to position himself for caroms on both ends of the floor and his defensive work is also showing marked improvement. I look forward to his continued growth as a player.
Justin Tene (Asheville Christian) 2018
A nice surprise with this talented rising junior from North Carolina. Tene showed some real skills with decent hands, understands how to use his big body, skilled post moves, guarded the pick and roll exceptionally well and owned the glass. His footwork will need to be an area he really needs to continue his growth if he is to move into the high D1 level. He used the head fake well to get better scoring position and blocked shots from the help side in the half court sets. Kid played with a motor and I really am intrigued by his continued growth, I think we may have ourselves a real player here.
Bedford Emberton (Clay County) 2019
Rising sophomore did some nice things at the showcase, he proved he could shoot the outside shot showing a nice stroke from deep. He ran the floor well in the games and got some easy buckets in transition. He played hard and tough on defense. It seems like a standard evaluation yet he really needs to get stronger, as does every kid in his class in the state. He will also benefit from working on his quickness, explosion and first step. Ball-handling is another area he will need to tighten as he gets minutes on the high school level.
Landen Woodcock (Smith County) 2019
Youngster showed some promise with his ability to shoot the ball. He sees the floor well and despite his lack of size and strength at this juncture played hard and was not afraid to get in there and mix it up. Yes, I said it get stronger and a world of confidence will open up you have never imagined. Every evaluation mentioned in some shape or form that they would like to see him do more on the court than simply shoot the ball. "Needs to show he can do other things" in its simplest form seemed to be the consensus. At his size his ability to grasp the game and become a functional lead guard is critical. Kid works hard, was not scared so he should have no problem addressing those issues.
DaVae Hughley (East Hamilton) 2018
Improving player with solid size and a good motor. He is a defensive stalwart using his body to gain the advantage and making it tough for the offensive player to advance on him. He has no fear, he runs the floor very well and can finish at times. He needs to work on his ball handling and hand strength. He rarely catches the entry pass cleanly. His outside shooting is also a work in progress but his willingness to work and the improvement he continues to make in all facets of the game should always work in his favor. Defensively is where this rising junior will make his mark, a stopper to guard any position on the floor. His strength allows him to guard in the post and his length on the perimeter.
Sean Oglesby (Knoxville Central) 2019
Something to said for a kid who works this hard. Rising sophomore appears more comfortable in the post at this juncture of his development. He has average hands, he has trouble finishing at times but he plays so dang hard and is relentless on the boards, he gets second and third chances and makes things happen. Skill work, foot work and constant drills to improve his basketball fundamentals are vital and will do wonders for this kid. He tends to get going a little to fast inside, slow your roll and make up your mind to score quicker, don't think, just score. He is a work in progress and the type of kid who makes a coaches job easy.