Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

NPA Basketball Elite Camp Player Evaluations (111-154) The Final Countdown

The following are player evaluations for the NPA Sports Elite Camp concluded on August 5th and 6th. The camp features 85+ players ranging from 9th grade to 12th grade of all skill levels. Evaluations will be done numerically with each segment covering a 10 digit sequence. Player name, year and school were provided so if any changes need to be made please let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Joseph Howard (Siegel) 2019

Impressive athlete with decent size and a solid motor, he runs the floor well and isn't afraid to take his business to the bucket. "He tries to hard to be perfect", was one quote I listed when watching him compete, not only in the drills but in the games on Sunday. He will need to work on finishing better around the basket and developing a left hand. His shooting form needs plenty of attention and if he is to play on the perimeter we will need to see an uptick in his ball-handling and decision making with the ball. He plays like he loves it and he works at his craft, so these are the constructive criticisms he will take and fuel himself as he becomes a more potent weapon the next time we see him in action.   

 

 

  1. Mitchell Sorenson (Beech) 2018

Steady competitor who does a lot of things well but doesn't excel at any aspect of the game. He is the type of player who prefers the structure of an organized game as opposed to the often volatile aspects of summer basketball and camp competition. He knows how to finish at the rim, despite not being the best athlete on the floor. He understands tempo and despite a slow release, his shooting touch is solid. Position defender who doesn't shy away from contact, he goes after rebounds and he makes plays without the ball.  

 

 

  1. Gabriel Coleman (Lawrence County) 2021

Young player who competed but at this juncture of his development doesn't have the size or strength to make an impact. Again we speak of a kid who has yet to lace them up in a high school game so, did he compete? Yes he did. He just needs to get in the gym and start working on his skill level, his aggressiveness and his body. This camp was good for him in the sense that it shows him what its like to play against players who possesses superior size and skills to himself and he understands this is where I need to ascend. I look forward to seeing him in the future and checking on his progress, does he love it enough to work at it or will he be content being an average high school player, only time will tell.  

 

 

  1. Justin Headrick (Stone Memorial) 2019

Perimeter oriented rising junior who has a really nice stroke from every level, he knows how to step into his shot and he generally has his fundamentals set when shooting the ball. His issues occur when his defender is longer and more athletic and closes out better than he is accustomed. His release is a bit low and again, long defenders can reek havoc on his shot. "Be careful not to become one-dimensional" was something I wrote as I observed his large 6'8 frame spending majority of his time out at the drawn line. We would like to see a bit more back to the basket post action, understanding that this is not the setting for such action, but work your game from inside to outside, the shooting touch is a weapon but it could be more devastating if your defender doesn't know you have that in your offensive arsenal. He has grown considerably in the past couple of seasons and made himself into a prospect for the next level. He will need to get his body in better shape and work on his explosion and quickness as well.

 

 

  1. Anthony Pollard (Smyrna) 2018

Active rising senior point guard with a strong body and a bit of a wild demeanor. He played with effort and that is a major plus but his decision making with the ball will need some improvement. He has a penchant for dribbling excessively, he made lazy passes and seemed to only defend when he found the desire to do so. When he decided to be a defender he was a good one, with his thick size, he forced his opponent off his track and showed some solid aggression. His outside shot has a major hitch in its development and release, something he will need to work on if he is to contribute from the perimeter. His effort is compelling and he does some things that coaches will like but taking care of the ball will need to be priority one.

 

 

  1. Elijah Cobb (Riverdale) 2019

" So long, So thin, So weak but he has a certain upside that intrigues me" was my first impression of this gangly rising junior from the 'boro. I like his potential on the defensive end with that natural length. He likes to block shots and he is clearly adept at snatching things off the glass. His shooting touch is a low release that can certainly be corrected. He is at his best if the pace is accelerated, he runs the floor, he likes to go hard to the bucket and he is happy when the play finishes with a dunk of some sort. He projects as a perimeter player so working on his shooting and ball-handling skills will be paramount for his development.

 

 

  1. Jayden Lockett (East Nashville) 2018

On first glance his aggressive defensive tendencies made me take note, he likes to use his body and clearly takes it personal when his opponent scores. He has solid foot work which is rare in this day and age, he hustles and is the type of kid who you need to watch for extended periods of time to appreciate his worth. My initial notes on him, during the drill work phase were "he is going through the motions". Obviously the more I watched the more I liked. He is a decent shooter who really needs to understand game situations and avoid the bad shots. It was difficult to see if he could be the leader of a team and control tempo and push from the lead guard spot. He certainly can dictate tempo on the defensive side of the ball.  

 

 

  1. Matthew Schneider (Siegel) 2021

Promising young prospect who really showed an understanding for the game; as well as, the ability to score. He didn't appear lost at any phase of the camp, stations or game action. He has long arms, he is ahead of the game in his skill level at this juncture of his development. He has yet to play a high school game and I don't see why he wont be a valuable contributor for his squad as a freshman. Id like to see his body develop, as is the case with everyone at his grade level. Strength will be the next separation phase for his upward mobility. Work on a left hand, seriously he missed several scoring chances because he refused to use his opposite hand, I know maturity will aid in this aspect of his development.

 

 

  1. Kiyon Sowell (East Hickman) 2018

 Rising senior showed some promise with a better than average shooting stroke from the perimeter, when his fundamentals are sound. His release is slow but he knows how to get open and when everything is right he drains the ball. He needs to work on his foot work and explosion as he had trouble guarding the quicker and more athletic players. Another kid who seemed more comfortable when the action was more structured and less hectic. A team player he was not afraid to advance the ball in transition and looked for action in the post. A more natural tendency to slow the tempo and make himself more valuable to his team.

 

  1. Josiah Francis (MBA) 2019

Good size kid with a football player build. Solid around the basket with decent footwork skills. A back to the basket player who understands his role, he doesn't appear to wish to do anything on the perimeter, he prefers to stay in his lane and play to his strengths. He rebounds well but doesn't have the foot speed to keep up with tweener posts who like to play on the wing and draw their defender out. Undersized post player who does all he can to be productive.

 

 

  1. Isaiah Bowers (White's Creek) 2018

Volume shooter who seems to temper his game depending on his environment. He is an excellent defender who relishes his next offensive experience, he plays the ball well and is adept at getting in the passing lanes and switching possessions for his team. A really good shooter who can make several in a row, he plays more even keel with his high school but relishes the freedom of camp games to get more shots on his docket. Very likeable kid, very coachable and really wants nothing more than to win.

 

 

  1. Jonathan Gillard (Station Camp) 2018

" You are not a guard" a point made clearly and often in my notes while watching this rising senior from the mid-state. He has good size, length and toughness. A lefty who played out of position majority of the camp, I understand we all want to be guards, but his production was seriously affected by his inability to adapt to his surroundings. Decision making and ball-handling are areas of serious need within his development. Working on his outside shooting will also help if becoming more perimeter oriented is your intention.

 

 

  1. Nate Bloedorn (Nolensville) 2019

"Not a great deal of wasted movement with this kid", one of many assessments of this rising junior post/wing. Fundamentally sound player who can score at every level. He has excellent back to the basket skills, he scores over either shoulder, has an array of post moves and counters, is efficient, keeps the ball high and seemingly knows how to play. His outside shooting is a work in progress but its not bad. He rebounds above the rim, likes the contact and once his strength matches his skill level he will be one to deal with. He doesn't finish around the basket as well as you would like, added strength would help this avenue tremendously. He has good hands, catches the ball clean, can find the open guy and uses his body for position. One of the best players at the camp without any question.

 

 

  1. Donald Fitzgerald (Hillsboro) 2019

This kid has upside galore. So raw and so eager to be coached. He plays hard and has a genuine love for this game. Someone needs to plant this kid in a gym and force feed him entry passes and teach him post moves and counter moves till it becomes second nature to him. He thinks entirely too much instead of just reacting in the post. You can see the thought process instead of just making the move and finishing with his incredible size and strength. his hands need major work as he rarely catches anything clean which also gives his defender time to adjust after his initial move. I love this kid and I think under the right circumstances he will be a very capable player on the next level.

 

 

  1. Sterling Craig (Ravenwood) 2019

At this type of camp setting it is usually very hard to assess post players because they rarely get touches despite every effort made to do so. An aggressive kid who has good hands but needs to play more towards the basket. He is limited in the post with no left hand to speak of and not a good lift on his moves to the basket. He seems more comfortable as a defender who blocks shots and plays solid man defense against a variety of opponents. He does like to drift towards the perimeter and will launch the outside shot at times, not a bad stroke. When he is engaged in the game he can be very effective but he can get lost when the touches become scarce, a more structured setting with more half-court tendencies appeals to his game much more than the alternative.