Travelers 16’s Own July……Silver Bracket Champions

What a month July has been for the 16 and under Tennessee Travelers.

A slick run through the competition and the 'ship at the Hoosier Shootout. A deep advancement in West Virginia and then for their swansong a 59-53 victory over Team Loyalty to capture the silver bracket championship in the 16 and under Super Showcase in Orlando.

The title makes the Travs 17-3 in the month of July. Very impressive.

A balanced team effort and buying into the system created by former Tennessee Vol player Shane Williams has done wonders for the confidence and competitiveness of this group.

On a given night their are 5-7 players who could lead in scoring depending on the scheme or who's enfuego.

Fred Sturdivant (Brainerd) and Tyler Hood (Lenoir City) made the most of their summer in Mickey's house playing consistently well throughout the Showcase. Sturdivant, a Class of 2009 player, has drawn a great deal of interest from coaches with his length and ability to block every shot that dares enter his atmosphere. Hood has impressed with his array of moves around the bucket, his crafty ability to score in the post and from the wing. His lefty stroke gives him an advantage and his game is on the rise.

Brandon Herman (Grace Baptist) has been the catalyst most of the summer with his natural scoring ability but he showed some leadership skills at the showcase giving opportunities to the hot man. This will only benefit him in the long run. Devin Jackson (Knoxville West) simply has knocked the bottom out of the goal and Robert Boyd (Fulton), is a human dynamo be it for his state championship Fulton crew or with the Travs. Boyd joined the fray before the July period and seems to be the missing piece that brought all of this together.

Linwood Holloway (Knoxville Central), DeAngelo Williams (Spring Hill) and Dwight Tarwater (Knoxville Webb) all provided effort and had their moments during the showcase run.


Tigers Off To Very Hot Start……..2-0 at 17 Super Showcase

John "Silk" Jenkins (Station Camp) dropped 35 and the Tennessee YOMCA Tigers moved to 2-0 at the 17 and under Super Showcase in Orlando.

Silk roped 20 in the first pool play victory while Miles Asafo-Adjei (Ensworth) has been a force running the offense and is without question the best on ball defender in the state.

Blake Jenkins (Bearden), Zaccheus Mason (CPA) and Gabriel Campbell (Bearden) have played solid for the Tigers. Jenkins is back following a bout with illness, very glad to see him playing well.

Chris Jones (Melrose) has been the fireplug for the Memphis YOMCA and their 1-1 start in the Gold pool portion of the event. Jones dropped 21 in the tight loss yesterday evening. The Y welcomes back Leslie McDonald (Braircrest Christian) off his silver medal performance at the 18U national championships in Argentina for todays action.

Tough pools and tough match-ups have plagued the remainder of the Tennessee landscape with the Tennessee Travelers starting in the Gold pool at 0-2 against some very high level competition.

The Franklin Rage must be wondering what they did to the selection committee as they have been placed in the shark infested pool having lost to a Boo Williams team then Lou Will The Elite. Kevin Kegarise (Franklin) scored 17 in the latter loss while Peyton Henry (Franklin) has managed double digits in both contests.

Team Nashville also finds themselves 0-2 with two close losses in pool play.

Memphis YOMCA Falls in Title Game…Hollins Rendered Unstoppable

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Just a bit short.

The Memphis Stallions captured the crown at the 15 and under nationals last week so their city rival the Memphis YOMCA was on the track to bring home the 15 and under Super Showcase crown and prove the Memphis dominance once and for all.

The YOMCA came up just a smidge short falling in the title game 59-53 to the South Florida Elite despite the efforts of Andre Hollins (White Station).

The rising sophomore quickly established himself as a top 50 national recruit and made several high major D1 coaches consider him a top priority in the Class of 2011.

Hollins dropped 30 in the quarterfinal then announced his authority with a 30 spot again in the semi, including 19 in the fourth quarter.

The Y got to the title game with a tough 78-76 victory over an always talented SYF Players. Inside the Y rode the broad shoulders of their twin beasts Wayne Martin (Florida) and Nino Johnson (Melrose), who promises to be one of the best if not the best big in his class in the state.

Kerell Davis (Hillcrest) also established his worth from a leadership and toughness standpoint. He can score when called upon and does everything to make his team successful. This is why high major coaches are making sure his name is prominently featured on dry erase boards in coaching offices all over the Southeast.

After a tough run through pool play the Tennessee Travelers 15's hit their stride and rode this wave to the title game of the bronze bracket before falling to the Runnin Rebels 76-64.

Tough close wins against Kentucky Hoop Stars (87-85), Georgia Lightning (70-69) and Rising Stars Gold (77-74) were enough to galvanize the squad and their push for a bronze medallion.

The usual suspects continued to carry the Travs with Galen Campbell (Bearden), Lester Wilson (Knoxville Carter) and Brandon Lopez (Austin East) leading the scoring and great balance from Tres Palmer (Powell), Jordan Cross (Sullivan East) and Rico White (Bearden). Preston Vaught (Science Hill) came on strong in the latter stages of the event giving the Travs another inside/outside option.

This event concludes the season for both the YOMCA and the Travelers 15 and under squads.

Team Memphis SBDR………Final Four at Battle of the Bluff

I always try to get information out on whomever is playing in the various events around the country. I try to attend what I can but many events overlap and thus I must depend on coaches, fans, parents or college coaches for info from a particular venue. Sometimes I have little to no info on a particular team and find out later the appropriate information.

It came to my attention that we missed on a pretty significant event at this past weeks Battle at the Bluff in Memphis.

Team Memphis SBDR advanced to the final four of the 16 and under division at the Battle falling in a tough double overtime contest for a chance to play in the title game.

This squad is full of talented players including from the guard spot Eric Watson (Mississippi), who also excels on the gridiron, Johnny Dunavent (Bolton), lefty stroker, Clay Hillyard (Bartlett) and Terry Ayers (Cordova).

Inside and on the wing another unsung talent who will raise some eyebrows this high school season is Walter Davis (Southwind). At 6-4 he's an incredible leaper, who once his strength comes along will be a viable player for the next level.

Quinton Alton (Fairley), Tevin Moore (Mississippi) and Cartrell Peterson (Treadwell) provide most of the inside spark. Peterson is another player who is lacking in the publicity department. He is one of the best rebounders in the city and has a solid back to the basket game. His stock is certainly on the rise as well.

Anderson Cunningham (Cordova) is a talented player with size and skill who is consistency away from being mentiioned with some of the best in his class.

Great job by the boys from the Bluff city and hopefully we will hear more about them in the coming weeks.


The Drews Heatin Up the Desert For Nashville Celtics


A fine start for the Nashville Celtics in the desert with big wins against the Arizona Premier Blue (83-42), Kansas City Cowboys (81-48) and a thrashing in their last pool game 96-66.

Leading the way a pair of Drew's have come to the forefront Drew Kelly (Centennial) and Drew Barham (CBHS). Kelly, after missing the Battle at the Bluff, has come to Vegas with a vengeance. Scoring inside and dropping his soft mid-range shot, which has extended to the three-point line. Barham ,who dropped 20 in the second pool play win, continues to be steady and possesses one of the slickest strokes in the entire event.

The Celtics can always count on the consistent exploits of their wing duo Jon Hood (Kentucky) and Casey Prather (Jackson Northside). Both have been consistent in a very team oriented atmosphere here in Vegas. Also playing well on the wing showing his deft touch and scoring ability is Chris Reaves (Bolivar Central).

Also playing with some energy and doing their thing, Ricky Williams (Liberty Tech), Gregg Wooten (Briarcrest Christian) and Patrick Shaughnessy (Grace Baptist).

Action commences again tonight with another tough opponent in the hot scorching desert blaze that is Vegas.

Team Nashville (Copper), Travelers (Silver) Still Alive…Y Falls in Gold Bracket

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The 16 and under Super Showcase has proven to be a great event for the three Tennessee squads that made the trip to Mickey's house.

The YOMCA Memphis Bulldogs cruised through pool play at 3-0 but met one of the nations best in the Albany City Rocks in bracket play. Travai Pryor (Austin East)and Ronald Brown (Raleigh-Egypt) played inspired hoops in Orlando, especially Brown who is becoming much more comfortable off the dribble and realizing his game is a state of change. The kid is hard working and knows what he needs to work on for the transition to the next level.

Darrian Gary (Southwind) continues to impress with his shooting stroke and ability to score against bigger, quicker opponents. Gray is poised for a meteoric rise up the rankings after a great summer of hoops.

The Bulldogs will remain in Orlando for the 16 and under nationals.

Team Nashville remains alive after stubbing their proverbial toes in pool play and finishing 1-2. A trip to the copper bracket has produced two victories and a date with the Jersey Elite Blue later today. Tereas Clemmons (Mt. Juliet) has been the scoring machine we all have seen i the past consistently averaging around 23 per for the Music City crew. The Midstate duo of Fred Lee (McGavock) and Hollis Edwards (McGavock) have played well against some of the better guards in their age group. Edwards has shown poise and the ability to run the team despite the tough opposition. Daniel McFadden (Ensworth) continues to do his thang inside against bigger, stronger, more athletic players. The Ensworth product has a knack for scoring and grabing tough offensive boards.

Over in the silver bracket the Tennessee Travelers corrected what ailed them in pool play and are now like butter....on a roll. Advancing to the final eight of the silver bracket after a tough 2-1 pool play run the Travs have rallied behind the play of Fred Sturdivant (Brainerd), Tyler Hood (Lenoir City) and Robert Boyd (Fulton). The Travs have a date with the always tough South Carolina Ravens today to play for advancement into the silver final four.

The Main Event……..Hoopers Start 2-0

Tyler Stone (Memphis Central) dropped 26 and the Memphis Hoopers, riding their success wave at the Battle at the Bluff, took care of YBP 87-70 to advance to 2-0 in pool play here at the Main Event in hot, muggy Las Vegas.

Stone was spectacluar scoring in a multitude of ways. Tonye Smith (Progressive Christian), formerly of Treadwell and headed to prep school, scored 19 after a 21 point outburst in the opening round victory against the Oklahoma Elite.

The Hoopers are making things happen without the services of Ole Miss commitment and mr. Basketball finalist Reginald Buckner (Manassas).

Balance is the key for the Hoopers with Stone's big outburst and Smith's steady points, Reggie Fondren (Raleigh-Egypt), Jeremy Holmes (Raleigh-Egypt), Tevin Cox (Melrose) and Ben Norfleet (Wooddale) make up the rest of the Hoopers lineup.


15 Super Showcase Final Four……YOMCA (Gold) and Travelers (Bronze)

Playing in front of around 50+ top level coaches should make a youngster a bit nervous, but this is no ordinary youngster.

Andre Hollins (White Station) poured in 30 points and the Memphis YOMCA blasted their way into the Gold Bracket final four at the 15 and under Super Showcase in Orlando.

The win give the Y a 5-0 record with the semis on the near horizon.

Inside the deadly duo of Wayne Martin (Florida) and Nino Johnson (Melrose) continue to draw high level D1 looks. Johnson is really becoming a player whose stock is on the extreme incline.

Karell Davis (Hillcrest) has also drawn very much favorable pub with his ability to run the show and his leadership on the defensive side of the floor.

Finally putting together their team effort the Tennessee Travelers 15's have raced to the final four after running into a bit of a buzzsaw in pool play.

Galen Campbell (Bearden) continues to be the main attraction with his above average basketball IQ and favorable shot selection. This young man is becoming a must see on this summers circuit.

Tres Palmer (Powell), Jordan Cross (Sullivan East) and Rico White (Bearden) all stepped up in the bracket action after struggling with their consistency early in the event.



Hold Up….YOMCA Memphis Bulldogs At Super Showcase

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Yesterdays writeup for the 16 and under Super Showcase was with an oversight. The YOMCA Memphis Bulldogs sitting there in Pool N were simply missed but for that oversight they recieve their own story.

My man Spencer Johnson and the Bulldogs head to Orlando after a good showing at the Paech Jam with much to prove.

This squad is deep and talented devoid of any superstars but chalk full of talented ballers who play hard and are dedicated to the team and to winning.

Inside the Bulldogs feature emerging Antwon Cathey (Trezevant), and Travai Pryor (Austin East).

Scoring comes from the defensive pressure led by the deep guard pool including Julian Burton (White Station), Robert Schaeffer (Sheffield), and Darrian Gray (Southwind).

On the wing the strength of the Bulldogs lies in the talented hands of Ronald Brown (Raleigh-Egypt), Montez Pfeiffer (Southwind), Nick Mason (Fairley) and Marterrence Brock (Ridgeway).

Brock was especially effective in his time at Peach Jam using his length to create turnovers on the defensive end which he converted into scores with a short jumper or dash to the bucket.


Double Up In Sin City…….Two Major Events For Vegas

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Part two of the summer scene begins in earnest today with the start of the adidas Super 64 spectacular and across town the Main Event making Las Vegas a showcase for hoops as well as whats its known for already.

The Nashville Celtics bring 17's and 16's into the Super 64 while the Memphis Select will represent with 16's and 15's.

The Celtics will be at full strength for the first time this year and are looking to close with a flurry. We all know the exploits of Jon Hood (Kentucky), Casey Prather (Jackson Northside) and Drew Barham (CBHS), who have been consistently great all summer, but the return of Drew Kelly (Centennial) should certainly bolster the inside prowess for the Celts.

In the 16's the return of Arthur McMillan (Hillsboro) combined with Cody Henegar (Marion County) make this Celtics 16 and under squad dangerous. The strength of the team is guard play and they have a fearsome foursome in Ish Sanders (Cleveland), Mitchell Hill (Cookeville), Meiko Lyles (NCA) and Jay Murphy (Bolivar Central).

Memphis Select brings a group of rising players who are more than ready to make themselves a name on the national level. Names you will be familiar with in the coming months include Brandon Wright (Hillcrest), McCoy Pope (Craigmont), Octavious Ellis (Whitehaven), Cedric McAfee (Craigmont) and Nathaniel Rucker (Melrose).

In the 15's the Select have Class of 2012 rising star Myron Johnson (?) and will welcome some players from the 15 and under national championship Memphis Stallions, who have completed their season, including Ray Parks (St. George's), Tony Seal (Craigmont), Marcus Crawford (Sheffield) and Telvin Wilkerson (Melrose).

Moving over to the Main Event, Tennessee representation in the 17 and under is quite strong with the Memphis Magic, Memphis Hoopers and Nashville Celtics Green all prepared for action.

The Magic led by Joe "The Real Thing" Jackson (White Station) feature some of the best players in the class of 2010 alongside prep school bound Sampson Carter (Ridgeway). Mardracus Wade (Mitchell), Tarik Black (Ridgeway), and Tim Peete (Memphis Central) boast a seriously talented and relatively young lineup.

The Hoopers may be without the services of Ole Miss commitment Reginald Buckner (Manassas), but that did'nt slow them down at Battle of the Bluff so why should it in Vegas. Tyler Stone (Memphis Central) is more than ready to exert some shine and become the player he is destined to be. Jonathan Milewski (ECS) and Louis Jones (Carver) are moving up the charts with their efforts and hard play.