Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

Category: Recruiting News

Clarksville Star Stays in State


At Lipscomb they get it done.


No sense in waiting on the proverbial ice to be broken or holding their breath for the dominos to fall, the Bison know exactly what they are looking for and go ahead and get it done.


Zavion Williams (West Creek) had a fantastic July playing for the Nashville Celtics, everywhere he went be it Indianapolis, Kentucky or Las Vegas, a member of the Bison staff was sure to follow and the diligence paid off as Williams is the third member of the Class of 2011 to commit his college experience to Coach Scott Sanderson and the defending regular season Atlantic Sun champion Bison of Lipscomb University.


Williams joins the Smith twins, Malcolm and Martin, who pledged for the Bison earlier in the month.


Williams was outstanding as he helped lead the Celtics to a very successful summer. His improved offensive skills combined with a defensive mentality that is sure to earn him immediate playing time when he arrives on campus next season.


Williams is the fourth member of the Class of 2011 to pledge D1 with his Celtics teammate DeAndre Barnette having declared for Northern Illinois last week.

Catching Up on the Commitments


Tis the time of year as our seniors start to come off the board in a major way. Let's catch up on the commitments from the past couple of weeks.


Bryan College continues a monster recruiting haul with their point guard of the future, Dion Fair (Bearden). The diminutive Fair helped his Bulldogs advance to the finals of the Class AAA state tournament and will called upon to grab the starting reigns the moment he walks on campus. The Lions were not done adding Tee Steinmetz (Oakdale), a shooter from East Tennessee to their burgeoning roster.


Another set of Lions grabbed two more recruits this week as Freed-Hardeman hit their target audience and snatched up Mark Brown (Station Camp) and Orlando Bass (Fayette-Ware). Brown is a 6'4 wing who can knock down the outside shot, while Bass will play some point and is an outstanding and tough defender.


On the other side of the state, King College kept their target very close to home signing Class A state tourney hero Nathaneal Hughes (Hampton). A tough as nails competitor, venerable Coach George Pitts will love the toughness and skill level of the 6'2 combo guard.


Staying on I75, the Flames of Lee University went to the Nashville to snatch up Evan Forhetz (Ravenwood). The school's second all-time leading scorer, Coach Tommy Brown will look to Forhetz to play some point guard and add another outside scoring threat to the mix.


Activity is abuzz in the ranks of the junior colleges with several signees within the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association (TJCAA). Barry Griffin (Howard) strays a bit from home and will suit up for Coach Lee Cigliano and the Cougars of Cleveland State.


Second year mentor Jerry Nichols went into his hometown of Memphis and grabbed a couple of players including one of the city's best kept secrets in Raul Tutton (Houston). At 6'6, Tutton had a great senior campaign and will continue to improve his overall skills under Nichols. The Bucks also welcome the scoring touch of Sean Gardner (Collierville).

Kyle Carter (LaVergne) parlayed an outstanding senior season into a chance to play on the next level as the point man will attend Columbia State Community College. Carter will be asked to immediately give Coach Jay Joyner some minutes out front.


Roane State kept their efforts close to home signing big man Tres Palmer (Powell). Steadily improving in his conditioning and his skill level, a couple of years with Coach Randy Nesbit and the newest Raider could move on to bigger and better things.


Walter's State already has a small slew of new ballaz heading to Morristown but could not pass up the chance to sign 6'4 wing prospect Chase Buckner (Union County). Buckner has length, can handle and shoot the ball and is strength away from becoming a contributor for the Senators.


Commitments, Commitments……Let’s Catch Up on Who’s Going Where


As the NCAA Tournament gets into it's Final Four weekend this time of year we start to see the commitments to the DII, NAIA, Junior College and DIII schools start to fall like dominos.


Seemingly one group awaits the others choices and goes from there.


On the far end of East Tennessee, the Tornado of King College dipped into the area scene and pulled two of the top available players in the greater East Tennessee landscape. Venerable Coach George Pitts welcomes Aaron "Wet Buckets" Wheeler (Morristown East) and Drew Standifer (Bearden) to his DII program.


Wheeler is a combo guard who can really score the rock. He will be valuable in the pressing type style that has defined the teams of Coach Pitts for many years. Standifer is a rugged inside force who at 6'6 will be able to play on the block and become a potential Conference of the Carolinas all-conference selection down the road.


A bit further down the I81 interstate, the Senators of Walter's State got their feet wet in the recruiting of the newest class when they secured the services of Fred Yarbrough (Dyer County). The all-time leading scorer in his school's rich history, Yarbrough is a defensive demon who will be asked to run the show for venerable coach Bill Carlyle.


On down in the Chattanooga area, the Flames of Lee University fresh off a defeat at the NAIA National Tournament didn't waste any time getting a local product to remain close to home as Jarod Rhodes (Cleveland) elected to play his college ball for Coach Tommy Brown. Rhodes is a much improved scorer and has a knack, with his length for snatching offensive caroms, to be a strong contributor to the athletic Flames. Lee finished 20-9 on the season this past year.


Over in West Tennessee, Freed Hardeman fresh off a solid 21-11 campaign snatch their first recruit of the summer as D.J. Wooten (Lausanne) will become a Lion. Wooten, who has ultra quickness and will fill the point guard role from a departing four year starter, is the type of guard that Coach Jason Shelton loves to have in his program. The Lions play in the TransSouth Conference and are a proud member of the NAIA.


Staying in the TransSouth, the Bethel Wildcats and head coach Jeff Britt made a major splash grabbing big time scoring guard Hunter Culp (Camden Central). Culp is a dynamic scorer who will be asked to play some point and has the athletic skills to make this a reality.


Finally heading out of state, John Hudson (Dyer County) takes his shooting prowess across the border to Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. The Bison are a DII school coached by Jeff Morgan and play in the Great American Conference.

Vols Snatch Blackman Star


An undefeated regular season, a trip to the state tournament, a Mr. Basketball nomination those are all big time accomplishments for Darius Thompson (Blackman).

Now lets go ahead and add future Tennessee Volunteer.

The 6'4 shooting guard rescinded his previous commitment and chose to stay in the SEC and play for Cuonzo Martin and the Volunteers.

Thompson, who made his mark this summer playing for Team Nashville, had late interest from Alabama and several others before making his final choice.

Thompson is the 25th member of the Class of 2013 to pledge for D1.

The Commitments Continue to Accumulate in Tennessee


The school year is fast coming to a close and commitments are flying off the shelves like bread and milk at the hint of snow.


Before we start if you know of someone we have omitted and overlooked please email me at andre@tnprephoops.com and let me know so we can get them into a commitment story.


Walter's State continues to pile up signees, so add to the mix a couple of dandies in Zach Garland (David Crockett) and Leland Robinson (Southside). Garland, a 6'11 post, who has some major upside, will have to learn to adjust to the speed of junior college basketball. Robinson is a scoring machine from out in West Tennessee and will love the quick tempo of the JUCO game. He can score from outside or off the dribble and if he works will move on when his time is done in Morristown.


Coach Randy Lambert has assembled a stable of standouts for his Scots program and his efforts are not concluded with three more signings. Jethro Griffin (Sequoyah), Will Amos (Silverdale Academy) and Oscar Butler (Siegel) join an all-star cast for the upcoming season of Scots basketball. Griffin is a scoring machine who will thrive under the tutelage of the venerable Lambert. Amos brings toughness and hustle to the mix and Butler is the type of athlete that the folks in DIII rarely get the chance to behold. He could leave Maryville as an all-time great if he works at his craft.


In Athens, Coach Mike Poe and the Bulldogs of Tennessee Wesleyan welcome the talents of 6'4 wing Wesley Richey (Ooltewah). Richey can shoot from the perimeter and is a strong athletic kid who can bang and score off the dribble or offensive board.

Over at Lee University, Tommie Brown always has things under control and it looks to stay that way with the addition of Chad Lee (McCallie). Lee has outstanding size and can really shoot the rock from deep.

Assembling players from Tennessee is priority one for Bryan College mentor Don Rekoske and he continues to brings good players into the fold adding sharp-shooting guard Tylor Skidmore (Meigs County).


Staying in the Cleveland area, the Cougars of Cleveland State snare two of the Chattanooga area's finest players in Nick Ross (Red Bank) and Travis Jones (Tyner Academy). Ross led all the area scorers with a gaudy 23 point per game scoring average and will be a major weapon for Coach Lee Cigliano next season. Jones is a tough defender with a strong build who can play the point and lead a team, he and Ross will make a formidable backcourt in the near future.


In the West, a trio of junior college signees make the grade with Jelan Taylor (West Creek) taking his talents to Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, Wesley Brown (Sycamore) heading to play for Coach Rusty Melvin at Volunteer State community College and finally Marty Wilkerson (Cordova), who will play his college basketball at Dyersburg State Community College.


Bethel University welcomes a couple of in-state players into their program with Woody Correll (Creek Wood) and Trevor Moore (Montgomery Central) ready to contribute. Correll had a nice senior season, scoring and controlling the glass, while Moore was one of the top scorers in his district and region this past season.