USC-Upstate Snares Bearden Guard

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A whirlwind recruiting process is certainly an understatement when it comes to Ty Greene (Bearden).

He got the areas attention hitting three big time three's in a nationally syndicated game against powerful Oak Hill Academy and last year was named to the Class AAA all-tournament squad for his efforts in helping lead the Bulldogs into the second round before losing to eventual champion Melrose.

 

His first taste of the AAU circuit was this July when he suited up for Tennessee Team Hustle and their run through Indiana, as he previously filled his summer months on the baseball diamond.

 

The hard work paid dividends as Greene ended his unique recruitment by committing to play for the Spartans of USC-Upstate.

 

Formerly USC-Spartanburg before their move to D1, the Spartans are led by Eddie Payne and participate in the Atlantic Sun conference.

 

The chance for immediate playing time and a feeling of just being in the right place were the main reasons for Greene's jump to the coast.

 

Greene, who last week was nominated for the McDonald's All-American squad, turned down offers from a diverse group of schools including Tulane, Army and LMU.

 

With his big decision now out of the way the sharpshooting guard can help his Bulldog teammates as they get ready for another run at the Class AAA state title in Murfreesboro.

 

Greene is the 14th member of the Class of 2011 to pledge D1.  

 

Anderson County’s Holt Headed to Bryan

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Hard work, dedication and steady improvement over a four year period seems to be a pretty solid recipe for receiving a scholarship to play basketball on the next level.

 

That formula served him well as Alan Holt (Anderson County) embarked on his senior campaign with aspirations of playing at the collegiate level.

 

The hard work paid dividends and the dream is a reality as Holt will suit up next season for the Lions of Bryan College in Dayton.

 

Holt, who has improved his overall game immensely, had some other suitors but felt at home with Coach Don Rekoske and the players at the NAIA school.

 

Bryan College plays in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and finished with an 18-10 overall mark last season, including an 11-5 finish in conference action.

 

Holt goes into his senior campaign ready to lead the Mavericks deep into the playoffs.

Thornton Headed to the Patriot League

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Whit Thornton (MBA) had a very busy summer.

The 6'5 wing/power forward was in the process of changing high school moving from MUS in Memphis down I40 to MBA in Nashville.

Playing for the Nashville Celtics, Thornton was in the presence of college coaches' majority of the month of July.

The exposure paid off as Thornton pledged to continue his college career in the Patriot League.

The Black Knights of Army and new coach Zach Spiker welcome the lanky newcomer into the fold but not before he makes a mad push to get his new squad, MBA a shot at winning a state tournament in DII.

McAfee Heading to the SEC

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First year coach brings a philosophy to his new gig, what worked at my previous stop will certainly pay dividends at the new place.

 

Well Tony Barbee has recruited the Memphis area very well since he took the coaching job at UTEP and now that he has moved up the proverbial ladder and is the new mentor at Auburn, a little more of the same.

 

Cedric McAfee (Melrose) will take his considerable talent down the way and play for the Tigers and their new state of the art facility next season.

 

McAfee, who had committed to Florida International earlier in the month but pulled back, is certain he has found the right spot for him now.

 

He becomes the 12 player in the Class of 2011 to make the push to D1 and the second to pledge for an SEC school, Kedren Johnson to Vanderbilt the first.

 

McAfee can now concentrate on helping lead Melrose back to another Class AAA state title as he assumes the role of point guard for the departed Chris Jones.

 

Williams Chooses the Seahawks

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Down at the beach in Wilmington a welcome change has come to town.

A new coaching staff buzzed into town with a substantial work ethic and the will to make the once prodigious UNC-Wilmington program a Colonial Athletic Conference power once again.

Cedric Williams (Siegel) believes this staff can make his college experience a rich one.

The 6'8 Middle Tennessee product became the 11th player in the Class of 2011 to pledge his wares to a D1 institution.

Williams, who played for a variety of teams during the summer, is the fourth member of the inaugural UNC-Wilmington recruiting class for new mentor Buzz Peterson.

Williams chose the Seahawks over heavy interest from Murray State and Evansville.

Peterson will be pleased with the Siegel stars approach to the game. Williams plays with effort and is improving his game each time he steps on the floor.

He is a natural on the glass and grabs boards out of his comfort zone with ease. He has improved his shooting and will be a leader for the Stars this season as they take their annual pilgrimage to the Murphy Center for the state tournament.

Johnson Sails On With the Commodores

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Without a doubt this is the toughest decision in every young player's life.

 

Those players who are fortunate enough to have several schools interested in their services find the going a bit tougher than some of the others.

 

Kedren Johnson (Marshall County) is one of those players several big time programs including Alabama, Memphis and Florida expressed interest in him but when the time came for the commitment, Johnson chose to stay home and will play for Coach Kevin Stallings and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

 

Johnson, who was a Class AA Mr. Basketball finalist last season, made the most of a fantastic summer which saw him mentioned among the best point guards in the country.

 

He toned his body and cultivated the look of a high major point guard. Johnson brings an above average basketball IQ and a pass first lead guard mentality to the SEC school and can score using his strength or much improved outside shot to score when the situation calls for it.

 

Johnson, who helped lead Marshall County into the Class AA state tournament semi-finals last season, will join former two-time Tennessee Mr. Basketball, John Jenkins, in the Commodore backcourt next season.

 

His commitment brings the tally for the Class of 2011 to a total of 10 players.

 

“The Action Figure” Poses for the Buccaneers

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They call him "The Action Figure".

 

It seems just yesterday, someone talked me into checking out this eighth grader in Knoxville, who some said would be a very good player one day.

 

That player was Lester Wilson (Carter) and now Wilson, as he begins his senior campaign, ended all speculation and has pledged to continue his academic and basketball career for legendary mentor Murray Bartow and the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State.

 

Wilson, who has led Carter to back to back Class AA state tournament appearances, brings hard work and athleticism to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Champions.

 

With his college decision out of the way, Wilson will attempt to lead his Hornet teammates back to the cozy confines of the Murphy Center.

 

Wilson, who played his summer hoops with the Tennessee Travelers, should secure immediate playing time for the Bucs, who represented their conference in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

 

 

Kaspar Heads to the Patriot League

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We have often stated that as far as we are concerned July is the most important month for a great number of high players in the country.

 

Having a successful July was exactly what Steven Kaspar (ECS) had in mind as he helped lead his Memphis YOMCA team to a playoff finish at the 17 and under Nationals in Orlando.

 

His efforts and leadership were not ignored as school from around the country decided the lanky point man was someone they would like to have on their future rosters.

 

Kaspar fielded offers from Tennessee Tech and Air Force before settling on his final destination the Bison from Bucknell.

 

Bucknell, who plays in the Patriot League, was a Sweet 16 participant a few years ago and is always right on the cusp of grabbing the conferences automatic NCAA berth.

 

Kaspar becomes the eighth member of the Class of 2011 to commit to a D1 school.

 

Future mentor Dave Paulson will love the combination of toughness and intelligence that makes Kaspar the player he has become. He can knock down the outside shot if left open and makes everyone around him better with his above average basketball IQ.

 

Bearcats Grab Memphis Big

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It seems when the commitments start to break the residual flow thereafter never seems to slow down.

 

Octavious Ellis (Whitehaven) becomes the seventh member of the Class of 2011 to give his commitment and the Big East Bearcats of Cincinnati secure the Memphis big man.  

 

Ellis, who played this summer with the Memphis Select, is a 6'8 wing/power forward who has shot blocking ability and can stroke the deep three. His length will be a welcome addition for Bearcats head man Mick Cronin.

 

Ellis becomes the second player from the Bluff City to pledge his commitment after Marvin Williams of White Station committed to Lipscomb last week.

 

Williams Give Bison a Fab Four Effect

 

A great man once said "The only thing better than a steak dinner is four steak dinners", and the Lipscomb Bison have poised themselves for the foursome in a big way.

 

They started the festivities securing the Smith twins Malcolm and Martin from Clarksville Academy, then snatched Zavion Williams from West Creek, also in Clarksville, now they float a bit Northeast and in the city of Memphis grab a Spartan with big time potential.

 

Marvin Williams (White Station) became the fourth member of the Bison 2011 pledge class. Big Marv is a 6'7 inside load who will thrive in the Atlantic Sun regular season half-court post emphasis offensive sets.

 

Williams is one of those players who are much more comfortable in the system rather than the typical up and down action of the summer scene. His play at White Station last season was outstanding helping lead the Spartans to the Class AAA state title game.

 

Coach Scott Sanderson will love the offensive rebounding ability of the stout Memphian and his ability to shoot the short jumper with accuracy.