Running through several notes from myself and others, its now time to put the words out so we can break down some of what happened at the NPA Basketball Showcase. Keep in mind the schools and grades were provided so if there are discrepancies let me know and we will fix them. And away we go.
Willie Wilson (East Nashville)
Camp Number: 5
Diminutive guard who played with aggression and belied his lack of stature with effort and determination. He was simply fearless when it came to making something happen on the offensive side of the floor. he showed vision and attempted to make many places that his lack of size will not allow him to make right now but the IQ is there. He needs to slow his roll at times, playing much too fast and not always allowing the action to happen instead of creating at all costs. Excellent handles and a decent and confident shot make him one to watch in the years to come.
Jordan Hamilton (Hillsboro)
Camp Number: 12
We have to keep in mind some of these kids have never set foot on a high school basketball floor, such is the case for this rising freshman. A lefty he showed some good points and he showed some hesitancy at times as well. His shot is a very low release that will need to be lifted and his deliberate motions needs to get more athletic and smooth. He lacks confidence in many areas of the game and tends to let his body language dictate what mood he is on the court. Maturity and confidence will come as he did many things well despite his lack of initiative. Get more involved, defend and get after it all the time, that's a major step in the right direction.
Braxton Caruthers (Oakland)
Camp Number: 15
Might have been the smallest kid in the gym but that didnt stop him from impressing us. He was fearless, he picked up full court, he has a dynamic first step and he can knock down a shot with confidence. His size will always be an issue when it comes to guarding bigger and stronger players but his effort will make up for some of that deficiency. I loved his competitive nature, he was like a coach on the floor despite his age and size. He sees the floor, keeps his head up while looking for an open teammate and he attacks when he smells weakness.
Isaiah Poole (Centennial)
Camp Number: 18
Average sized guard who was really on a roller coaster ride the entire camp. He showed moments of real progress with his ability to score the ball despite having a mediocre outside shooting touch. He also had moments of little to no effort, not getting back on defense and such. Camp life can be hard on kids, we understand that dynamic, but always give effort. Only you can control how hard you play, especially on defense where he far to good an athlete to be such an average defender. Maturity and making the good stuff grade out higher than bad is what you need to strive for my friend.
Jaden Jenkins (Tyner Academy)
Camp Number: 24
Small guard who showed a passion for playing, was very vocal on defense and played with toughness and heart. He has really good handles but tends to over dribble, as most his age seem to love to do. He likes to play fast and he isn't afraid to stick his nose in there despite his lack of size and strength. He is the type of kid who loves to play and will always have a ball in his hands. He will need to work on his outside shooting and making this a weapon. His quickness will allow him to go past defenders and adding a workable jump shot will keep defenders at bay and make his drives even more effective.
Atif Williams (Ravenwood)
Camp Number: 32
Thick guard who used his size and girth to carve out position and make plays in the paint. Slow and deliberate he didn't try and do things out of his comfort arena, he played stationary and used his assets to make buckets. He lacks overt athleticism and lateral quickness and will need to improve his outside shooting. He was effective as a defender more so in the post than on the perimeter but his size does dictate he needs to be a guard. Very effective high school player who should have a monster year.
B.J. Davis (Brentwood Academy)
Camp Number: 33
Body language is one of the big things that we look for when watching and putting together evaluations. Some of you may discount the level of what it means but we do not. Rising senior lead guard has some skills on the offensive side of the ball but doesn't seem to enjoy himself on the floor. He never completed a drill, he rarely got back on defense and, yes we know this is a camp, but those are areas where its obvious something is amiss. He is much to good an athlete to be giving this level of effort. Does he love the game?
Tyrus Baynham (Athens Prep)
Camp Number: 50
Athletic marvel, this kid has springs and always give maximum effort on the floor. He likes to rebound and start the break, he improved his passing skills and plays unselfish as if he would like to make that move into either of the backcourt spots as his game evolves. His outside shot is a work in progress and he is at his best off the dribble or on the break where he simply attacks the basket and is an above average finisher at the rim. One of the best players at the camp without a doubt. His handles need some tightening if he is to incorporate some lead guard into his weapons arsenal and he must stay focused on the defensive side of the ball and not gamble as much for steals, its spectacular when he gets one though.
KyKy Tandy (Kentucky)
Camp Number: 52
Special player with a ridiculous set of skills. His smoothness can make it appear he is coasting then he just blows past you for easy chances. His outside shot is very good and he has maximum range to every spot on the floor. He looks as if sometimes he gets bored and can lose some focus but then the ball makes its way into his hands and all is well again. He can pass the ball as he sees the floor very well and has a natural burst getting defender on his hip and causing damage at the rim. He is a special talent.
Mark Greer (Notre Dame)
Camp Number: 55
Another young guard prospect with a very slight build and plenty to learn about how to play this game. He played with effort which is really what we look for in youngsters who haven't yet even played in a high school contest. Does he compete? Yes he does and he has a small skill package that will grow as his confidence and maturity does. His shooting motion is on the low release variety and he needs a great deal of work in that arena. He knows how to score and he doesn't mind defending which is a huge battle when youngsters get to the prep ranks.
Kalil Mustapha (Hillsboro)
Camp Number: 67
Another young guard prospect who, despite looking at times like he could make some things happen, didn't always put forth the effort to come to that conclusion. He was a deer in the headlights at times, he seemed afraid to be involved, he didn't defend and he hung out on the perimeter. Was he in basketball shape? It didn't appear so and maybe thus his reluctance to get involved in some things. He appeared to have a skill set at least during the drill work when he decided to give that effort, so something is there. Does he want it enough to correct some of these issues? We shall see.
Marcus Fitzgerald (Brentwood Academy)
Camp Number: 72
Just rounding back into shape after a pretty serious knee injury, this dynamic shooting/passing guard showed his range with a deep display that rivaled anyone in the gym. His lefty stroke has not left him and he wasn't afraid to pull on command. As his knee gets stronger and his confidence in his knee gets to a more comfortable level, the question of can he get by folks is looming. No need to test the structural capacity of the leg at this venue but we are so happy he is rounding into shape. He still has that knack for finding the open guy, he loves to facilitate the break and he is at his best when the game is fast and he has the rock in his mitts.
Trenton Findley (Kentucky)
Camp Number: 73
Excellent player who has a smooth gate and loves to compete. Great young man as well, who took the time to come over and introduce himself to everyone who was watching. He commands all eyeballs on him as he understands how to run the show, he is a leader who demands respect and loves to make those around him more effective. His shot is fundamentally sound and he just has a presence that you look for in a lead guard. His superlatives are many and as his body catches up with his basketball acumen, you will have a massive prospect on your hands.
Keven McCloud (East Nashville)
Camp Number: 74
Compact guard who showed signs of effort and really cared about how he played on the floor. He has a quick shot that will need to have some fundamental adjustments but he has confidence in his ability and that will aid in that resolution. His handles need some tightening as he likes to leave the ball to far from his body, stop doing that. He plays with effort on defense and likes to talk, which incidentally coaches love. If his demeanor is real, here's a kid who just loves to compete and you can count on him to give you everything he has at all times.