Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

Category: Recruiting

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.