NAIA Schools Hording Their Share of Tennessee Talent

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A boy, a ball and a dream.

I listened to Dick Vitale of ESPN give this inspired speech to a group of rising seniors a few years back at the Nike Camp and it always stayed with me, the message he put out there.

This group was chock full of potential NBA players but his message transcended the D1 scope. The dream is to play college basketball, period.

So many youngsters get hung up on the D1 dream they simply discount or ignore all the other options they have staring themselves in the face.

I preface this story with this information because the world of college basketball has numerous opportunities for players to get scholarships or grants or packages to schools other than D1.

Yes, sports fans DII, NAIA, Junior Colleges have money for scholarships, the DIII ranks don't have athletic scholarships per say, but have packages for solid students to continue their education and play some hoops in a very competitive environment.

Now on to the NAIA, the TransSouth Athletic Conference to be exact. Three new players have made their decisions to attend this burgeoining league and we'd like to say a bit about them.

Over in Nashville, Trevecca Nazarene is one of the winningest programs in the entire NAIA and Coach Sam Harris consistently produces top ranked squads who compete for championships year in and year out.

He didn't have to travel far to snag his newest recruit, Peyton Henry (Franklin). The 6'2 shooting guard will be a nice player in the Trojans system with his higher than average basketball IQ and quick trigger from deep. 

Henry joins Marquis Rudolph (Clarksville Northwest) who signed earlier in the process. 

Down state the Lions of Freed-Hardeman are embarking on a recruiting class for the ages on this level. DeAngelo Williams (Spring Hill), a talented swing man who can defend and score, joins Coach Jason Shelton and the Lions as the fifth member of a dynamic recruiting haul. 

James Haddix (Franklin), Jonathan Milewski (ECS), Kyle Teichmann (Brentwood) and Michael Young (Franklin) are already on board.

Jumping over to Kentucky, Tyler Huston (Pleasant View Christian) takes his game over to Mid-Continent University and Coach Winston Bennett, a former Kentucky Wildcat great. 

Huston was relatively a mystery this season playing in the Christian school division, which is not a part of TSSAA. He has good scoring ability and should be a fine player for Mid-Continent.

“The General” Heads to Morehouse… Avery Stays Closer to Home

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"The General" was not asleep during the making of this photo, I am simply not very talented with a camera.

Unlike me talent is one thing Tevin Crayton (Humboldt) has an abundance of.

After leading his Humboldt squad to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the state tournament, Crayton set off to find a worthy suitor for his hoops talents on the next level.

After testing the waters for a few weeks, the talented 6'6 athlete chose to become a Maroon Tiger and will make his home the next four years in Atlanta, attending Morehouse College.

Morehouse in a member of DII and plays in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and is coached by Grady Brewer. 

As a worthy district foe the past few seasons for Crayton, Russell Avery (Lake County) also was blessed with talent to continue his career at the next level.

Avery chose a different route and will play for Coach Deron Hines and Jackson State Community College.

Jackson State plays in the TJCAA.

The 6'5 Avery has a load of potential and his new coach is exstatic about his empending arrival to begin his quest for D1 hoops in the future.

I look for both guys to have outstanding careers on the next level.  

 

 

 

Senators Lure Fresh Haul to Morristown

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Right on que is the way I describe this.

Every year about this time the Junior colleges get reved up and start plucking players from the state.

Every year the Senators of Walter's State find a way to convince players to come across the state and compete for the TJCCAA crown and get the chance to play for venerable Walter's State coach Bill Carlyle.

So why should this year be any different...

We start down in Chattanooga where all-state forward and future D1 player Fred Sturdivant (Brainerd) resides. The talented 6'6 wing is strength away from being a very good player.

Sturdivant was instrumental in leading the Roadrunners to the Class AA state playoffs this past March.

On down the I-40 way, a quick stop in Shelbyville for a point guard, cause you know they grow them there, nets Deonta Twilley (Shelbyville).

When he's in his groove few are better at creating opportunities for others and findinga way to win. He should recieve immediate playing time with his ability to adjust to the speed of the next level.

Finally, what some including myself ,consider the diamond in the rough, Desmond Crisp (Bolivar Central).

Truly is getting it as they say and his best basketball is right around the corner, if his progress continues you have an athletic 6'4 wing who can score from anywhere and has unlimited potential.

Times are good in Morristown.

 

Mississippi JUCO’s Racking Up in Tennessee

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The Mississippi Junior Colleges have been on a seek and raid mission for many years in the high school ranks of the Volunteer state.

This trend continues with two of the top seniors in the Class of 2009 inking with the Magnolia state schools.

Deonte Alexander (Glencliff) will take his considerable talents to East Mississippi Community College in Scooba. 

Alexander has the ability to play both guard spots but will be looked at as a point from now on. He averaged near 20 per game and will be a welcome addition for Coach Mark White and the Lions.

Down the state a bit the Holmes Bulldogs went into Memphis and snared a gem. Anthony Jones (Raleigh-Egypt) will scurry across the state line and become a stud for Coach Jason Flanigan. 

Jones helped led the Pharoahs to the finals of the Class AAA state tourney. Holmes is located in Goodman.  

Lions Lasso Mid-State Big Man

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Is four the charm or do we still have more in our tank.

The coaching staff at Freed-Hardemann has been beating the bricks this season and as a result has pulled together a recruiting effort worth mentioning.

After a solid 24-10 campaign which resulted in a trip to the National Tournament, the Lions sealed the deal on another potential standout.

Kyle Teichmann (Brentwood) ended months of recruiting speculation and will sign on the dotted line with Jason Shelton and the TransSouth power. 

Teichmann finished a superb senior campaign leading his squad in scoring and boards, his skill level and ability with his back to the basket will earn him floor time immediately.

His knack for knocking down the mid-range shot will keep him on the floor.

Teichmann chose the Lions over Lincoln Memorial and Carson Newman College.

Big Teich joins fellow Middle Tennesseans James Haddix and Michael Young from Franklin and ECS shooting guard Jonathan Milewski. 

 

Knoxville Big Headed to the Sun Belt

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The Owls make wise move. 

Florida Atlantic in the throws of becoming a D1 contender have made the pledge to upgrade their recruiting efforts in a substantial manner.

The wisdom of venerable coach Mike Jarvis brought him and his hard working staff to the Volunteer state for one of our own.

Demonte Simpson (Bearden) has ended all speculation and will sign with the Owls next week. 

The 6'9 Simpson showed considerable promise in his senior campaign including a huge 25 point effort against national power Oak HIll Academy. In that contest Simpson dropped a cool 10-12 from foul line range and showed his versatilty as a player.

Big Simp has the ability to score on the block and with improved footwork will be a force in the Sun Belt. His best basketball is truly ahead of him.

With this commitment Simpson becomes the third Bearden Bulldog to pledge D1, joining Dustin Craig (Bearden), who opted for the Air Force Academy and Blake Jenkins (Bearden) who chose Belmont. 

Simpson is the 21st player in the Class of 2009 to commit D1.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pridemore Chooses SSAC Power

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Cameron Pridemore (Grace Christian) knew he wanted to play college basketball.

After weeks of deliberation the Grace Christian point guard decided to end his recruitment and will sign with Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Lee is a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) which is a member of the NAIA.

The Flames coached by Tommy Brown finished 26-8 last season.

Pridemore led the Rams to two consecutive trips to the Class A state tourney  and was selcted to numerous all-district and allp-region squads.

Coach Brown will love the high basketball IQ that Cameron possess and his work ethic on and off the court will get him playing time almost immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Champion Guard Headed for the Ivy League

Miles makes 20.

This season turned out to be a complete success for Ensworth guard Miles Asafo-Adjei. 

Ensworth took home the DII state championship crown and for his accomplishments Miles is headed to the Ivy League to continue his hoops career.

Cornell, who finished 21-10 this past season and made another trip to the big dance, welcomes the gangly Nashvillian and his penchant for sticky defense.

Miles is in my opinion the best on ball defender in the state and his ability to do one thing extremely well helped him get noticed in a crowd of similiar sized players.

His intensity on this side of the ball will guarantee him immediate playing time and he will become a favorite for all the Big Red fans in the very near future.

Miles becomes the 20th member of the Class of 2009 to sign D1 and he is the second to bring his talents to the Ivy League, Brendan Connolly (Father Ryan), chose Princeton earlier in the process.

Please do not think because the Ivy is known for their academic prowess that good hoops do not happen there, those are the people who find themselves on the wrong end of an Ivy League victory.  

Congrats to Miles.... 

Chattanooga Hoopster Going to Big South

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The Buccaneers of Charleston Southern have found great success in the Chattanooga area of Tennessee.

Coach Barclay Radebaugh signed Patrick Shaughnessy (Grace Baptist) earlier this season and now can count two from the Choo-Choo for next year roster. 

Jeremy Sexton (Temple) took a hard look at some others school but chose the Big South squad. 

Sexton, who led Temple to the state finals of Class A this season, is a solid scorer who will have no trouble adapting to the college game.

The commitment of Sexton gives the Class of 2009 a total of 19 D1 signees with a few more still on the radar.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dixon Remains a Tiger

Once a Tiger always a Tiger.

Cody Dixon (Pigeon Forge) took the next step in his basketball career signing to playat Hiwassee College in Madisonville. 

The Tigers have made some major changes in their program the last year moving from the TJCAA Junior College ranks to the Transnational Assosciation of Christian Colleges (TRACS).

Coach Darrian Jones welcomes Dixon and Artez Kimspon (McMinn County), a 6'4 forward, to the Tigers roster.