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.
Marvin Castro (Sevier County)
Camp Number: 81
"You have to watch this kid in every setting to get a true feel for how good he actually can be. A leader, even during the camp setting, he plays the game at his own pace, a true point guard who controls every aspect of tempo. He can score if needed, he can shoot if called upon and he makes everyone around him better". Often times you find players who just don't excel in camp settings. We do our best to control the environment but often times the play gets erratic and things get out of hand with bad shots and even worse decisions. This kid adapts to every situation, he just gets it. He is not big, he is not quick nor particularly fast but he is most effective. He gets his shooters involved, he moves to the proper passing angles, he creates passing lanes and he understands who needs the ball and where they need it.
Blake Bowers (Pigeon Forge)
Camp Number: 82
Rising junior has decent size for a wing and shoots the ball effectively. He seems to understand the natural flow of things and doesn't mind sharing the ball, he sees the floor and finds open cutters and he gets to open spots to make shots. He has good size and will need to continue to work on getting his body into basketball shape for the upcoming high school season. His biggest area for improvement will be his foot speed and lateral quickness. He needs to work on his explosion, guarding quicker and more athletic players will be a required skill if he is to play on the perimeter. Adding more dribble and drive moves to his offensive package will be another area for his development. His shot isn't bad so adding some one and two dribble moves to his arsenal will only increase your value on the offensive side of the ball.
Jack Brown (Maryville)
Camp Number: 83
"Good athlete who plays hard and shows some emerging skills. His shooting is adequate, he has solid bounce vertically but needs to improve his movement laterally. He can explode to the bucket at any time, he will flush if you underestimate, he rebounds with passion and he appears coachable". Kid has excellent size, he needs to be on the attack at all times. He tends to relax on offense and goes stretches of games where he becomes just another player. He is too skilled to allow this. " I love his aggressiveness, his motor is good but his production will need to increase to match his skill level, he has outstanding basketball gifts and should be a double/double machine each and every outing". Consistency, attack mode at all times, work on your handles as you will need to transition to the perimeter for the next level. More confidence in that shot, get in the gym and make it second nature. Everything you seek is right there for you, grab it, snatch it, don't wait. Do it man.
Keenan O'Leary (Knoxville Christian)
Camp Number: 84
"Big kid who gives effort, his skill level is a work in progress but he plays hard. He runs the floor and his offensive game is coming along". Great size and effort for this rising senior. His biggest area for improvement will be his foot work, especially in the post. His size dictates back to the basket and working on some go to moves and counters will be his priority as his final prep campaign approaches. He has decent hands, seems to catch the ball cleanly and has a grasp of positioning and body placement. He must demand the ball with more vigor and finish when he gets clean looks. He needs to upgrade his board work and use his size to carve out space.
Jack Neizgoda (Hardin Valley)
Camp Number: 86
"Good body, proved he could score some off the dribble but insists on playing on the perimeter majority of each possession. Versatility is fine but with that size and the ability to score some off the bounce, decent handles when held in moderation to go along with a decent stroke, don't be easy to guard". This kid can rebound the ball, he can score in a variety of ways but like my colleague states he likes to patrol that perimeter like he is going to miss a shot opportunity. Be hard to guard, use that shooting ability to lure defenders and take that one or two dribble pull-up and score, get to the basket or find cutters for easy scoring chances. He understands how to play the game, he knows what is happening on the floor, execute and make easy plays.
Dawson Arnold (Sullivan Central)
Camp Number: 87
"You cant help but notice the obvious size differential between him and everyone else in his age group. He showed he could shoot when left open, he seems to get what is expected in a half court setting but he needs to work on his body and skill level". Large fellow who runs the floor, he wasn't intimated by the older and stronger kids, he stuck his nose right in there. He shot the ball adequately and he went hard for rebounds on both ends of the floor. He needs to get in better basketball shape and work on his foot work and agility. Getting stronger and more confident with this size will get him noticed often and quickly. Lest we forget he has yet to even play a varsity minute as of yet but he plays with effort and wasn't afraid to go hard. If he is willing he has a big future.
Bradin Minton (Volunteer)
Camp Number: 88
"Slick young guard who sees the floor, has an IQ and shows a nice shooting form". Lean competitor is a skilled young guy who isn't afraid to get out and run in transition, he can score or distribute and moves the ball ahead at all times. He is in attack mode and has some crafty finishes at the rim. He will obviously need to work on his body and gets some strength to finish plays but he has some swag to his game. He will need to engage more on the defensive end and I imagine this will take care of itself when his confidence level rises once he adds some size and strength to his form. I like this kid and look forward to watching him grow into a complete player.