A New King in Memphis

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7 and counting.

The Class of 2013 has long been considered one of the best classes to come through the state since the hearlded Class of 2006 that brough us Branden Wright, Thaddeus Young, Wanye Chism and Willie Kemp to name a few.

Nick King (Memphis East) added Memphis Tigers to his aspiring resume as the 6'7 wing pledged his wares to Coach Josh Pastner and the crew.

King, who helped Memphis East win a Class AAA state championship last season, makes the third Bluff City player to stay home joining Sam Craft and Markel Crawford who chose the Tigers last week.

King was a fixture on the EYBL scene playing for the Bluff City Legends in the competitive league.

 

Blue Raiders Strike Again with Chattanooga Star

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Here they come again.

Doesn't it always seem when someone breaks the ice with a commitment a group naturally just follows along.

Reggie Upshaw (Baylor) became the 6th member of the vaunted Class of 2013 as the dynamic combo made his decision to play for Coach Kermit Davis and the Blue Raiders of MTSU.

Upshaw, who split his summer season between the Nashville Celtics and the Chattanooga Ragin' Storm, was a hot commodity on the circuit after proving he could play with anyone in the country. A big time football propsect as well Upshaw will stick with the hardwood on the next level.

Upshaw is the second commitment for the defending Sun Belt Conference Champions from Tennessee. Josh Phillips from PJPII pledged for the Blue Raiders last week.

 

Blue Raiders Get Nashville Big

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Once the first one goes the flood gates always seem to open wide.

Josh Phillips (PJPII) became the fifth person of our outstanding Class of 2013 to end his recruitment choosing to sign with the Blue Raiders of MTSU.

Phillips, who ran this summer with Team Nashville, showed marked improvement every time he stepped on the hardwood.

His future is mighty bright as he continues to learn the nuiances of the game. His effort and desire to make himself a prospect could not be ignored and his recruitment soared as the nation viewed his meteoric rise to promenence on the AAU/Summer hoops scene.

Phillips becomes the second member of Team Nashville to end his recruitment joining Asa Duvall, who pledged for Stetson early last week.

Phillips will be a welcome asset next season for Coach Kermit Davis and his Blue Raiders fresh off a Sun Belt Conference championship and deep run in the NIT tournament.

Hatters Get an Ace

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An Ace in the hole.

How about an Asa?

Asa Duvall (Brentwood) ended his fantastic summer pledging his wares to Coach Casey Alexander and the Hatters of Stetson.

Duvall, who ran with powerful Team Nashville over the summer, chose Stetson over a plethora of offers after his performances caught the eye of several a college coach.

Duvall was a shooting sensation on the AAU/Summer circuit and proved he could play with the elite competition around the country.

His outside shooting was spectacular but his strides in the defensive department and ball-handling arena were the major pluses for everyone watching him during the hot months.

Duvall becomes the fourth member of the Class of 2013 to offer his commitment. Stetson is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference and is located in DeLand Florida.

Duvall is the first member of Team Nashville to make his decision.

Crawford Stays Home Will Become a Tiger

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Stay home young man.

Markel Crawford (Melrose) took those words in the literal sense and the 6'4 shooting guard will play his collegiate hoops for Josh Pastner and the Memphis Tigers.

Crawford joins fellow Memphian Sam Craft (Craigmont) in this vaunted Class of 2013 as Tiger commitments.

Crawford, who played this summer with the Atlanta Express, was a coveted recruit right on the cusp of the Top 100 nationally, depending on which service you choose to acknowledge.

He brings toughness and the length to be a solid contributor at both guard spots, as well as; the wing, especially defensively.

Crawford is the third member of the Class of 2013 to commit to a D1 program.

Flames Snag Lenoir City Sharp-Shooter

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One of the best decisions a young hoopster can make during the most difficult time in his young basketball life is where do I want to play my college basketball.

For those fortunate few who have the opportunity to make this dream a reality making your decision before your senior campaign in high school can be a wise choice.

You free up your mind, your time and you can concentrate on making your team better and advancing to places in the post season you could only have dreamed about as a freshman.

Jordan Hall (Lenoir City) realized his dream.

The sharp-shooting guard will play his college hoops at Lee University in Cleveland Tennessee.

Hall, who also excels on the gridiron, fits perfectly into the Flames style of basketball. Able to drain deep threes and athletic enough to play a few different positions, Hall will be a welcome addition to Coach Tommy Brown's athletic arsenal of talented hoopsters.

Lee University is a member of the NAIA and play in the Southern States Athletic Conference.

The vaunted Class of 2013 is just getting started and a big July is ahead of us.

Better Late Than Never…James Pledges to Morehead

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Better late than never I always say.

Cordell James (McCallie) believes this to be true as well.

The thriving senior guard patiently waited out the hysterics and will become the 19th member of the Class of 2012 to pledge D1.

James will attend Morehead State next fall.

The Eagles welcome a new coaching staff to campus with former Kentucky player Sean Woods grasping the helm for the Ohio Valley Conference stalwarts.

James garnered all-district and all-region accolades during his final high school campaign. He was named a McDonald's All-American nominee and was listed among the all-state performers in the private school division.

Walker Leads Next Round of Commitments

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Commitments and signing are upon us as the Class of 2012 tries to figure out where they will be spending the next four years of their athletic and academic lives. Here are more commitments listed as we get them.

Zach Howard (Science Hill) takes his deft jumper over the border to Pikeville University in Kentucky. The Bears play in the Mid-South Conference and are coached by Kelly Wells. Howard, who helped lead the Hilltoppers to the second round of the Class AAA state tournament last season, will be a welcome addition for this NAIA program.

Also heading out of state, Jake Wright (Oneida) will head over another border to Berry College in Georgia. The Vikings play in NCAA DIII and are coached by venerable mentor Jeff Haarlow. Wright will be a welcome addition with his size, attitude and desire to become a more productive player.

Cannon Rhodes (Perry County), who helped lead his squad to the Class A finals this season has decided to stay relatively close to home and will attend NAIA member Bethel University. The Wildcats are coached by Jeff Britt and are a charter member of the TransSouth Conference. Bethel is located in Mackenzie, Tennessee.

The Scots of Maryville College continue to add quality players including Brandon Crabtree (Scott). The athletic combo guard follows in the footsteps of his high school mentor Jared Lavierdiere, who was a standout guard for the Scots only a few short years ago. The Scots are coached by legendary mentor Randy Lambert and are the standard bearer in the Great South Athletic Conference.

Staying in East Tennessee, King College completed a very fine incoming freshman class adding Calvin Walker (Knoxville West). The district and region player of the year, Walker is a tough hard-nosed guard who will fit perfectly into the pressing and fast paced style of the Tornado and legendary coach George Pitts. King College is a member of the Conference of the Carolinas and plays NCAA DII.

Finally we head to Virginia where Daniel Cartwright (Sequatchie County) will attend Fork Union Military Academy. One of the most decorated post-grad schools in the country, Fork Union is coached by legendary mentor Fletcher Arritt and have sent numerous players into the DI ranks upon the completion of their program.

Bryan College Bringin’ Em In

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The Lions of Bryan College had what observers of the program could be considered a rebuilding year. Plenty of freshmen involved in a squad that finished with a 13-18 record but looked bright for the future.

Never one to be outdone on the recruiting circuit Coach Don Rekoske hit the pavement to find players and his hard work and dedication has paid off in a major way as the NAIA stalwart combed the high schools of the Volunteer state and assembled an eclectic class of scorers, achievers and workers.

In the early period, the Lions added Jeff Long from Hendersonville and Brandon Arnold from Chattanooga Christian to get the ball rolling for what would turn out to be according to Coach Rekoske his most successful recruiting effort to date.

All the way to West Tennessee, Coach Rekoske signed one of the most prolific scoring guards in that's areas history as Rafeal Tyler (Lake County) will spend his college years as a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Lions.

Tyler was a 2,000 point scorer in high school and will step into the lead guard spot vacated by academic attrition.

For good measure on his way back down I40, the Lions secured another solid point man in DII state tournament hero Josh Erickson (DCA). Another scoring guard who plays solid defense and will be an immediate contributor to the program.

Good things come in bunches and the hard work continues to pay dividends as the Lions secured two from perennial state tournament attendee Stone Memorial including Mr. Basketball finalist Brandon Cole (Stone Memorial).

Undersized but massively productive, the 6'2 Cole managed to finish his career with over 2,000 points and 1,000 boards. He is the type of player who can shine at this level with his above average basketball IQ and understanding of the nuances of the game.

Robert Troino (Stone Memorial) will join Cole as a Lion next season. Triono is a tough scoring guard who plays fearless on both ends of the floor and should immediate playing time once he steps foot on campus.

Staying closer to home, Hunter Chastain (Bradley Central) brings his energy to the Lions program after a fabulous career for the Bears of Bradley Central.

Chastain is a worker and has been extremely well coached at the high school level so his transition to the college game should be painless.

Joining this cavalcade of incoming freshman will be Bobbo Chesser (Seymour). Another inside player who will work hard and contribute as the seasons move along.

 

Memphis Riser Selects the Big South

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A good summer, followed by a solid senior year usually means good things to an aspiring athlete.

Adam Weary (Ridgeway) made sure this prophecy came true.

The 6'2 guard parlayed a solid senior campaign into a full ride as the Memphis native will play his college hoops at High Point University in North Carolina.

High Point  is coached by Scott Cherry and is a member of the Big South Conference.

Weary is a tough, strong combo guard who showed his best against the toughest competition this season. He became a more active participant in the offense and showed he could knock down the open shot; as well as, take it to the rack when crowded.

Weary becomes the 16th member of the Class of 2012 to pledge D1.