Year number 11 of the Tennessee Prep Hoops Rankings and Exposure Showcase is in the books and a special thanks to Carson Newman for the use of their outstanding facilities. We had 90+ players make it down for the showcase and as we begin the evaluations I wanted to inform everyone that I had three college coaches, as well as, myself combine for these player evaluations. They will be posted by Camp Team and will come sporadically over the next couple weeks or so. Let us begin.
Mason Wyatt (Cumberland County)
6-1 PG 2020
Camp Number: 71
Blue collar kid who played his role well throughout the entire camp. He didn't shine in any one area but he was steady and contributed in many facets that help you win games. He hit open shots when needed, he facilitated when he had the ball and he just made solid plays that kept possessions alive. He doesn't wow you with athleticism and his quickness and foot work need marked improvement but he is tough and hard nosed and understands the value of the ball. Kid will be a solid contributor to his high school team this season.
Javonte Thomas (Oak Ridge)
6-1 PG 2019
Camp Number: 73
"What position are you son, an undersized wing looking for his shot, a lead guard who has some skills on both ends, this needs to become more clear", says one evaluation for the rising senior from the Atomic City. Blessed with some solid defensive fundamentals, "On of the best on-ball defenders in the camp" said another evaluation. He has vision, he's tough and he can finish at the rim. He can score off the dribble, but can he shoot? The million dollar question that was brought up by every evaluation. You know what to work on, make it happen. Great kid who loves to play. Has the mentality to play the point but does like to score the ball.
Makai Olden (Morristown West)
6-5 WF 2019
Camp Number: 74
"If he ever learns to go full speed , he will be legit". Athletic rising senior always catches your eye but must learn to focus on the task at hand and become more consistent in his production. "He has the total package, he can run and jump, he has length, he can score, he can block shots and rebound, he has to find another gear and become more consistent, 75% effort will not get it done on the next level...period". The time to shine is now. The rehearsal is over and production and consistency are the only words we need to embrace. Do you love it? You say you do, now prove it. I promise the rewards will far outweigh the price it takes you to get to the level you need to be.
Tristan Warfield (Grainger)
6-3 WF/PF 2021
Camp Number: 75
Young player blessed with some size and some emerging skills. He understands how to use his body which allows him to get buckets inside. He is strong and likes to put himself in physical situations where he usually comes out on the right side of the basketball equation. He tends to try and do more than his skill level will allow at times, which puts him in situations that are not conducive to good basketball decisions. His handles need work and his foot work is an area where he could really make some strides. Increasing his speed and explosion will also aid in his quest to move his game to the perimeter or at least have some of those skills in his arsenal as he grows as a player. He loves to compete and will be a beast in his area.
Brady Luttrell (Kingston)
5-9 PG 2021
Camp Number: 76
Small aggressive guard who likes to score the ball. He is a confident shooter who isn't afraid to put it up. He is athletic for his size and his will makes him competitive by nature. He plays with confidence when he has the ball but must learn to work within the game when he doesnt. He defends and isn't afraid to push up on his guy. His size dictates he play the point while his skill set seems more tapered towards the off guard at this juncture of his growth. Keep working on your overall ball skills, he understands how to play so the transition will be smooth. Have confidence in those around you, create that atmosphere for them with your body language and vocal abilities. I see a bright future for this young guy.
Gabriel Coleman (Lawrence County)
6-1 WF 2021
Camp Number: 77
Hard nosed youngster who plays with effort and emotion. He will need to work on his body and get himself into better basketball shape. This leads right into working on his foot work and explosion, his lack of athleticism and quickness needs an upgrade. He has a decent stroke when left open but will need to quicken that release as he plays against better athletes. Improve the effort on the defensive end of the floor, adding strength and getting into better shape will coincide with an uptick in your effort on that end of the floor. Kid loves to compete, keep working on your skills and putting forth the effort to make yourself a better player.
Jacob Murrell (Goodpasture)
6-0 PG 2021
Camp Number: 78
Really has a solid understanding of what he wishes to get done while on the floor, his lack of size, strength and athleticism keeps him from making those plays, but his IQ is apparent. He has a decent stroke and knows how to get to open spots and make shots. His size of course dictates lead guard, not an issue as he works on his body and starts finishing plays despite contact. He sees plays, but he lacks the physical traits to complete them at this juncture. He was fearless and competed the entire day. I think once the strength starts to come the confidence will follow.
Braden Ilic (Morristown East)
6-7 PF 2022
Camp Number: 79
"Tweener with major upside, if he is serious about his body and getting stronger, we have something special on our hands", said one of the college coaches who contributed evaluations for me. Strong praise for a youngster who has yet to even lace them up for a high school competition. He has tremendous length and appears to still be in growth mode. He likes to block shots, he passes the ball well and has a competent shot from mid-range. I hate to keep harping on this but get in the gym and get stronger, once the defenders cannot push you around and you can dictate where you want to be, then this becomes a whole new ball game for everyone involved. Work on some go to post moves with a counter. Old school back to the basket skills coupled with some face up work will make you a dangerous commodity, and wouldn't that be fun.
Nicholas Liakonis (Hardin Valley)
6-0 WF 2022
Camp Number: 80
Young guard in desperate need of what every one in his age bracket covets. Size and strength. That being said, over and over again, I might add. I like his ability to shoot the ball, he doesn't back down and he is not afraid to compete. He sees the game and he makes plays. He isn't afraid to defend and should be a player who will compete for minutes down the road as his body catches up with his emerging skills. I hate to continue to harp on the size and strength but folks it is the most important factor in making the move up the charts for playing time, offensive and defensive success and being a better player. It is as simple as that. Confidence comes when you can see results from your improvements and how do we improve in this game, we work on our skills, on our temperament, on our IQ and on our body. Keep working young fellow good things are going to happen.