“Big Rob” Heading to the Sun Belt

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This is the time in the basketball calendar, just before school gets underway, where players weigh their options and decide if they wish to pursue some of the offers that came their way after a productive summer.

Some choose to play out the high school season and attempt to move up while others will take the best offer and play worry free for their final prep campaign.

Rob Marberry (FRA) chose to do the latter. The 6'8 forward ended his recruitment with a commitment to the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky this week.

Read more “Big Rob” Heading to the Sun Belt

Memphis Big Chooses the Rebels

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 With July fresh upon us a few players feel the need to get their college decision behind them so they can concentrate on making the most of the hot months in front of their future college coaches.

Marcanvis Hymon (Whiteheaven) falls into that scenario as the rising senior ended his recruitment pledging for the Ole Miss Rebels and coach Andy Kennedy.

Hymon becomes the third player from the Class of 2014 to cast his wares and the second member of the vaunted Team Thad crew to commit to D1.    

Hymon chose the SEC school over offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Hymon is a workhorse on the glass and has a motor that will allow him, albeit a bit undersized, to compete night in and night out on the glass in the SEC.

 

Roby Chooses the Billikens

Another one comes off the board and that makes two for the Spartans of White Station as versatile swing man Davell Roby (White Station) chose St. Louis as his college destination this past week.

The 6'4 Roby, who toils with Team Penny in the EYBL during the summer months, will be a welcome addition for Coach Jim Crews and the Billikens.

St. Louis, a member of the Atlantic 10, was ranked throughout the college basketball season last year finishing at 13-3 in conference and 28-7 overall and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Roby has the size and athleticism to be a steal for the Billikens and hopefully a magical senior season will help him on his way to collegiate success.

Gators Take Spartan Sparkplug

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With the first commitment of the Class of 2014 in the state of Tennessee, the Florida Gators select Chris Chiozza (White Station).

 The sensational little guard was a shining star in April and decided to end all speculation and chose to play for the SEC stalwart and national championship coach Billy Donovan and the Gators.

 Chiozza had a slew of offers but chose to go where the guards seem to be the main attraction down in sunny Gainesville.

 Chiozza, who plays his summer basketball with the vaunted Team Thad crew, will be visible in July and looking to help his teammates secure their futures as well.

 Unfinished business will be the mantra for the Spartans of White Station and Chiozza as they will look to venture down to Murfreesboro this season and show they are the best team in the BluffCity.

 

Catching up on Commitments

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Catching up with commitments has proven to be a full time job these days. Lets see what we have.

 On the east side of the state the Scots of Maryville College have secured a number of commitments from all over the area. Clark McCall (Maryville) will remain close to home and play for venerable mentor Randy Lambert and the Scots. McCall was instrumental in helping lead the Rebels to a spot in the Class AAA state tournament this past year. Joining him from East Tennessee will be Jack Rase (Powell). A vital cog in the Panther machine that made some noise this season, Rase is a shooter and lead guard who will enjoy the Maryville College system,

 Moving to the middle of the state the Scots have landed high scoring point guard Austin Gee (Ezell-Harding) and Austin Mullinax (Waverly Central). Gee was a 1,000 point scorer in high school and will be counted to provide some back-up for the Scots this season. Mullinax is a combo forward who can score in a multitude of ways, he will be eased into the rotation as he learns the college game.

 Staying on the DIII track, Tom Kasier (MBA) will attend the University of Dallas for his college choice. Dallas plays in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

 Over in DII, Lee's McRae announced the signing of Chase Arnold (Sullivan North). A prolific scorer and rebounder in high school, Arnold will hope to make an immediate impact for coach Steve Hardin and the Bobcats.

 Junior colleges move to the forefront this time of the year as they are scooping up players to fill their respective rosters.

 Staying in state, Cleveland State and coach Lee Cigliano went hard and heavy in the local area securing four commitments to play for the Chargers this up coming season. Marcellus Roberts (KnoxvilleCentral), Matt Whitmire (Bradley Central), Stetson Moore (Knoxville Halls) and Ethan Hayes (Anderson County) will all head down to Cleveland for their next level of basketball.

 Trey McPherson (Macon County) will stay relatively close to home as the shooting guard will attendVolunteer State Community College in Gallatin. Vol State is coached by Rusty Melvin.

 

Eric Darrett (Maplewood) has chosen to leave the state and he will attend Rend Lake Junior Collegein Illinois.

 Itawamba Junior College in Mississippi welcomes one of the top scorers in the Memphis prep ranks the past couple of seasons Tyrone Wooten (Trezevant).

 The top scorer in Memphis this past season, Zamarlus Griffin (BTW) will also head to Mississippi for his college career. Griffin has signed with Mississippi Delta Community   College.

State Champion Memphis Southwind will send another player into the college ranks as wing forwardDeckie Johnson (Southwind) is headed to Angelina Junior College in Texas.

 Remaining in Texas, Darrius Brown (Northeast) will also venture South and attend Odessa Junior College.

Adams, Butler and Calvin Sign D1 Scholarships

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The late signing of players has become common place for many schools. Good for the players who waited till late to make their college choices.

 Will Adams (Science Hill) takes his game over the mountain to Presbyterian College in South Carolina. The Blue Hose welcome the 5-10 guard who will compete for playing time at the point guard position. Presbyterian plays in the Big South Conference and is coached by Gregg Nibert. Adams, who played last summer for the Tennessee Chosen Few, is a defensive specialist who has improved his shooting stroke and will be a welcome addition in any locker room.

 Jamaal Calvin (McCallie) concluded a superb senior season with a commitment to Southeast Missouri University (SEMO). The Redhawks are a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and are coached by venerable mentor Dickey Nutt. Calvin brings a point guard skill level with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor with his deft shooting touch and quick first step. Calvin is the 24th member of the Class of 2013 to sign with a D1 school.

 Matthew Butler (Memphis East) held on to the end and for his waiting he will sign with the Rams of Rhode Island. Rhode   Island plays in the Atlantic 10 Conference and is coached by Danny Hurley.Butler was very good in helping lead East to the state title last season.

 In another quick note two former Tennessee prep stars made their way to the junior college ranks and have signed with D1 schools for the upcoming season. Jaleel Querry, former Maplewood star, took his skills to Lawson State Junior College and will sign with Tennessee State for this upcoming season.

 Dre Matthieu, former Knoxville Central star, went out West to do his damage at an Arizona Junior College and had a remarkable season landing himself on the 1st team all-junior college list and a recipient of a D1 scholarship from  new Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino.

Recent Commitments…..

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Recruiting and player signings often work in a trickle down
effect. Once the D1 schools have moved on to the next class then the next phase
of commitments and signings begins to heat up.


 


Here are some of the new ones we have been privy to, please
feel free to email me if you have more commitments/signings to report for the
Class of 2013.


 


King
College
stays close to
home to grab 6'9 post man Jonathan King
(Sullivan East).
The Tornadoes are coached by venerable mentor George Pitts
and play in NCAA DII.


 


Just down the road, Milligan head man Bill Robinson welcomes
Will Robinson (Elizabethton) into
the Buffalo
family. Robinson was instrumental in helping the Fighting Cyclones advance
within one game of a state tournament appearance.


 


Moving down the interstate, Maryville
College snatches up a trio of
newcomers including Wes Murray (Hampton), Antonio Jackson (Ooltewah) and Tyler Spicer (Dickson County). The Scots are coached by
legendary head man Randy Lambert and are a charter member of NCAA DIII. The
Scots play in the South Atlantic Conference.


 


Down in the Chattanooga area,
the great folks at Lee University bring in a pair of gems in Jamal Worthington
(Bledsoe County) and Stedman Ford (Notre Dame).
Could
these two be the backcourt of the future for Coach Tommy Brown and the Flames
as they begin their ascent into DII.


 


Jahmahl Johnson (Cleveland) takes his
enormous potential out of state. The 6'5 athlete will suit up for Dan Sparks
and one of the top junior college programs in the country in Wabash Valley CC
located in Mt. Carmel, Illinois.


 


Staying in the region, D'Monta
Smith (Hixson)
will stay close to home and play for Coach Mike Poe and the
Bulldogs of Tennessee Wesleyan. Wesleyan is a member of the Appalachian Athletic
Conference and plays in the NAIA.


 


Moving to the mid-state, Chance Bouldin (FRA) ventures to the Great White North and will
attend Dominican College
in New York.
The Chargers are coached by Joe Clinton and are a member of the NCAA DII.  


 


Further West, Marvin
Smith (Ridgeway)
makes the longest journey from home as the 6'5 inside
player will play his college basketball for the T-Birds of Cloud County
Community College in Concordia Kansas.


Schmidt Makes Delta State his Future Home

 

Sometimes coaches see players who they like, sometimes coaches see players who they love but rarely do coaches find guys who are perfect for their system.

Players can be taught the nuisances of a particular offensive or defensive scheme but to find a player who fits exactly what you do is a blessing to say the least.

Coach Jim Boone has been in the business for many years. The current Delta State mentor has been at several D1 programs and most recently coached at Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Devin Schmidt (Sevier County) is Coach Boone's kind of player. Tough, active, strong, skilled are just a few of his many attributes but best of all he is the perfect player for the system employed by the Statesmen of Delta State.

Delta State, who plays in the Gulf South Conference of NCAA DII, was certainly overjoyed as the 6'3 Schmidt declared he would spend his college experience in Cleveland, Mississippi and be one of Coach Boone's guys.

Schmidt, who ran this summer with the Tennessee Chosen Few, made big waves this summer with his versatility and overall understanding of the game. An injury kept him under the radar for the early portion of his high school experience so expect big numbers during his final campaign.

Schmidt, who was selected as the MVP of the Rocky Top High School Fall League this past fall, had interest from several schools before choosing to make Delta State his future home.

Golden Eagles Make Johnson Their Man

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Known for their guard play, the Golden Eagles of Marquette were in search of another back-court staple to continue the long line of outstanding players who have graced the court for the Big East stalwart.

Coach Buzz Williams would look no further than Memphis and secure the services of JuJuan Johnson (Southwind).

Johnson, who ran this summer with the Bluff City Legends, is a long and athletic stroker who will fit in nicely with the up-tempo guard oriented style of the Golden Eagles.

Johnson becomes the 20th member of the Class of 2013 to pledge his commitment.

Johnson will now try to help his Southwind mates make a run to the state playoffs and secure his spot in the Mr. Basketball voting with a record setting senior campaign.

Owens Charges to the Gulf South

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Kip Owens (ECS) made the most of his summer experience playing with the talented Team Nashville.

The 6'8 wing/power forward was a mainstay for the successful Mid-State bunch playing tough on the defenisve end of the floor and knocking down shots when his opportunity came along.

For his exploits the ECS star will take his game to Alabama-Hunstville next season and play for the Chargers.

Alabama-Huntsville finished in the Elite Eight last season after winning the Gulf South Conference and finishing the season with a gaudy 29-4 mark.

The Chargers are coached by Lennie Acuff and participate in NCAA DII.