“The Mighty One” Chooses the Vols



It's about time!!!


I'm sure that's the feeling in Knoxville and inside the basketball offices as "Mighty" Chris Jones (Melrose) ended his recruitment choosing the Volunteers.


Jones marks the first significant Memphis area player to matriculate to Knoxville in the Bruce Pearl era.


Jones is the heart and soul of one of the most talented squads in Tennessee High School history. The mighty one is a point guard who depending on the flow of the game can score or distribute equally well.


One of the best rebounding small guards I have ever seen, the diminutive Jones is among the top rebounders in the city.


Jones chose the Vols over numerous offers from the SEC and other schools in the Southeast.


Jones, who is 19, is petitioning the TSSAA for a hardship year. If this fails he will attend Hargrave Military Academy next season.


Jones caught everyone's attention last season leading the prestigious Bob Gibbon's Tournament of Champions in scoring and continued his torrid pace throughout the summer.


It's been a joy watching Chris grow and transform into a complete player and now his focus will be on leading the Golden Hurricanes to a state championship.





Mr. Smith Chooses Lipscomb



Let's examine the facts, he's athletic, can play either guard spot offensively, can defend up to three and maybe four spots defensively and is a good kid. He works tirelessly and is a good teammate.


Sounds like a no-brainer to me and that is also the consensus for Coach Scott Sanderson and his staff with the Bison of Lipscomb.


Demarius "D.D." Smith (Kenwood) made it official today choosing the Atlantic Sun stalwarts over Austin Peay and several others for the services of the talented Mr. Smith.


A superb athlete with length and an aggressive demeanor, Smith is comfortable running the lead guard and has improved his outside scoring to be a threat. He is at his best in transition either leading the break or filling a lane and flushing the finish.


He will get immediate playing time for his ability to guard the ball on the perimeter as he did these past few summers as a member of the Mid-State Ballerz.


Smith told us, "I love the way they play and it was close enough to home, to be away but not to far away".


Now with his commitment Smith becomes the 17th member of the Class of 2010 to pledge. He joins Robert Boyd (Fulton) as Tennessee members of next year's incoming recruiting class.


Now Smith can concentrate on leading Kenwood as far as they can go in his senior campaign.


Smith is a great young man who has a chance to be a very good player on the next level. I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.



“The King” Rules Morehead State is the Place


14 strong and counting!!!!!!!!!!!


"King" Arthur
McMillan (Hillsboro)
became the 14th
player in the class of 2010 to pledge his game to a D1 university, when he
decided that Morehead
State University
would be his college destination.


The 6'5 McMillan will have the opportunity to play his
senior campaign worry free and concentrate on leading the Burros to a big


McMillan has the ability to become an outstanding scorer in
college if he keeps his conditioning under control and continues to improve his
outside shooting. A gifted talent, the "King" can score off the dribble, pounds
the glass for rebounds and has an adequate outside touch for a big man.


His best game is still in front of him and he will benefit
from the tough love he will receive from feisty Morehead State
mentor Donnie Tyndall.


McMillan becomes the second player from the Volunteer state
to make the trip to the Commonwealth. His fellow Nashville
native Robert Wade (Maplewood) committed last month, the both
signed with the OVC upstart this past Tuesday.


Good luck and I wish you nothing but the best my friend.

Black Makes Memphis Fans Stand up and Shout


Exciting things always seem to happen in sets of three.


Keeping your hometown talent at home, especially in threes,
is a blessing to say the least.


On the heels of commitments from hometown heroes Joe Jackson
(White Station) and Chris Crawford (Memphis),
Tarik Black (Ridgeway) became the
latest Beale Street
hooper to give his pledge to first year Coach Josh Pastner.


Black, who played his summer basketball with the Memphis
Magic, enjoyed a ground breaking summer and spring boarded himself into the
national consciousness with an outstanding effort at the NPBA Top 100 Camp.


With this decision Black can now concentrate on the mission
at hand helping lead the Roadrunners and Coach Henning back to the state


To describe his game is quite simple he's a model of
consistency. He rarely does anything to hurt you offensively and he blocks
shots, grabs rebounds and scores in the post.


He's a coach's dream and knows his role.


Eagles Nab Knoxville Big Man


Building for the future is the mission for all coaches who
wish to successful down the road and not just in the immediate future.


Not often a player comes along who is blessed with ability,
speed, and size but lacks simply court time and skill work to make himself into
a productive college student/athlete.


Julian McBee (Knoxville Central) fits
that mold. The 6'8 rising senior center is the second addition to Coach Dale
Clayton's Eagles after receiving a commitment from Siegel stud Levon Tate
earlier in the month.


McBee is what we would call a project with a massive upside.
He has natural athletic skills, can jump and run all day long, but needs to add
upper body and hand strength to give him the tools to make the leap to
productive everyday college player.


He has instinctive timing and can block shots and will throw
it down against anyone inside. He seems to play better when the competition
level is higher, which is a wonderful trait to possess.


The Eagles, who compete in the South Atlantic Conference of
DII, love his potential and feel he is a kid who will take the necessary steps
to becoming a competent college athlete.


We agree.


Hammonds Stays Home

kerry hammonds.jpg

Middle Tennessee
your native son is staying home.


Kerry Hammonds
ended a whirlwind of recruiting possibilities and decided to stay
home and will attend Middle
Tennessee State.


The 6'5 Hammonds missed a great
deal of the July period nursing some injuries but is rounding into shape in
time for the Stars of Siegel to make another run into his future home, the Murphy Center.


Becoming a Blue Raider is also a Hammond's family tradition. His father, Kerry
Hammonds Sr. is regarded as one of the best players in the schools history. His
jersey hangs proudly in the rafters.


Coach Kermit Davis welcomes the hot shooting wing in his burgeoning
program. Hammonds
is at his best when he squares and strokes, he has the size to get his hot off
at any time and the range to drop ‘em from very deep.


He will become an immediate asset in the rugged Sun Belt
Conference for the Blue Raiders.


With his signing, Hammonds
is the 14th player in the Class of 2010 to pledge D1.  


Stanton Gets it Wright!!!!!


An old coach once told me, "If you do one thing in life, I
suggest you be in demand."


Truer words were never spoken and in the case of Cory Stanton (Springfield) being in demand had its


A couple of official visits, being lauded as the next
freshman of the year and such showed that the 5'11 speedster was certainly in


In the end all the fawning was exciting but a decision on
where to spend the next four years loomed and took precedence.


ended all speculation on Sunday night and gave his pledge to the Raiders of
Wright State.


What led up to Stanton
being on the most wanted list was simple, he earned it.


Playing in basically his first summer on the circuit, the Springfield rocket gave everyone from Cincinnati
to Orlando
cause for enrichment with his aggressive style of defense and his ability to
lead a team without scoring a point.


Running with the Tennessee Tigers, Stanton made believers out of a great deal of
coaches who took the time to observe his play at the various venues he graced
in July.


After the conclusion, his phone and mailbox began an
onslaught that most assuredly caused his mail carrier to file for some sort of workman's
compensation claim for his strained back after having to lug all that


Cory took a few official visits but was enamored with the
rich basketball tradition and the rising expectations of the Horizon League


The Horizon League was voted as one of the top 12 conference
in the nation and the Raiders program under coach Brad Brownell, has finished with
three straight 20 win seasons, including last years 20-13 mark.  


Brownell, who is always mentioned as one of the top up and
coming coaches in the nation, will love the intensity and leadership skills of
his newest commitment. Stanton
has a knack for making those around him better and is one of the best kids I
have met in all my years of covering this state.

With his commitment, Stanton becomes the 13th member of the Class of 2010 to pledge for a D1 school. 

Tate Makes the Eagles Soar Higher

levon tate.jpg

Things are looking up over in East Tennessee, especially in
the town of Jefferson City.


For those who don't know, this is the home of Eagles of
Carson Newman College.


Their season begins in earnest in a few days and with their
entire incoming freshman class in place and a healthy batch of returnees things
are looking bright at the Holt Gymnasium.


Levon Tate (Siegel) noticed
the illumination from the small East Tennessee
borough and decided to put an even larger shine on their collective faces,
pledging his commitment to become an Eagle next season.


Tate, who played his summer basketball with the Nashville
Celtics, is a tough minded inside player who has a knack for grabbing boards
and scoring on the block. He can step out and showed in July a deadly deep
three from the wings making him an even more tough to guard player.


Tate brings athleticism to the Eagles and will provide an
instant infusion of hustle and leadership to the South Atlantic Conference


Venerable Carson Newman mentor Dale Clayton will be
instantly pleased with the talent and skill level of this Murfreesboro star.


Now Tate can concentrate on the task of leading the Stars of
Siegel back to shiny floors of the Murphy
Center and a chance for
the Class AAA state crown.


Good luck Levon and congrats on your commitment.












Chattanooga Big Man Headed to the Big East


My oh my, what a difference a summer makes.


It was a very good summer for 6'9 Chattanooga
rising senior Michael Bradley (Tyner Academy).


Running with the Tennessee Tigers, the improving big man was
exposed to the big time summer basketball scene and responded well with some
good to great efforts throughout July.


Rewarded for his effort the big man had his choice of
schools and in the end the big boys got the prize.


Bradley will attend Big East power Connecticut and get the opportunity to play
for legendary mentor Jim Calhoun.


Bradley showed a nice mid-range game this summer, blocked
some shots and played with emotion when the games got more meaningful. He will
obviously need to get stronger to handle the rigors of the most physical
conference in the country.


Bradley becomes the 12th commitment from Tennessee for the Class
of 2010.


Now he can concentrate on helping lead Tyner
Academy towards a goal of
participating in the Murphy
Center come the ides of


A personable young man, we wish Michael nothing but luck in
his venture next season.





Cookeville’s Finest Stays Home


They always say you can stay home.


Rising senior Mitchell
"White Shark" Hill (Cookeville)
has decided he also would like to stay close to home and for his trouble he'll
become a Golden Eagle.


The 5'11 Hill will remain in CookVegas and attend Tennessee


Hill, who played his summer basketball with the Nashville
Celtics, will be a welcome addition for Coach Mike Sutton and the OVC stalwart.


With his senior campaign approaching the senior leader
wanted to get his decision out of the way and concentrate on leading Cookeville deep into the


Intelligent on and off the court, the Shark is a lefty
deadeye who has the ability to run the show and is a tenacious defender despite
his limited bulk.


Big time congrats to the one I call the white shark.