Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

NPA Basketball Elite Camp Player Evaluations (51-70)

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. Caleb Grimes (East Nashville) 2019

Tough competitor who showed some grit in the game action on Sunday. He has a desire to be a complete player, you can see this with his unselfish play with the ball, the way he guards and the passion and pace he plays the game. His outside shooting is an area where he will need major mechanical help. He plays defense at a good pace and is a capable on ball defender, he is a good help defender as well, filling the passing lanes getting deflections and tips causing changing of possessions. His defensive game is well ahead of his offensive ability at this juncture of his development. He knows how to score the ball, does well in transition and is not afraid to crash to the basket. His lack of shooting ability limits his overall game.    

 

 

  1. Tehlor Buford (Hillsboro) 2021

Good looking youngster who showed some things with his hustle and grit. "I think I like him" was one of the quotes I jotted down after watching him during the drill work on Saturday. He played with effort and really never let up during the drill process which is something that I tend to observe heavily. especially with young players. Keep in mind this kid has never stepped on the floor for a high school minute yet and he held his own against players of every age in the camp. His skill level will obviously need improvement, as will his body but here is a kid who seemingly loves to play and gave effort at every turn, drill work and game work.  

 

 

  1. Aidan Smylie (Franklin) 2021

Long and lean are the first things you notice about this youngster, along with his toughness on the court. Once again this kid has not played a minute in a high school game so it seems a bit premature to project his skills. A lefty who had a decent stroke, he played fearless and used his length as an adequate defender on the perimeter. He will need to get in the weight room and increase his strength plus work on his handles and lateral quickness as well. I liked what I saw from many of these youngsters as they competed and showed no fear despite often being three to four years behind in age and weight room experience.  

 

 

  1. Blake Pruitt (Baylor) 2019

I told everyone, one of the first things I said when I addressed the players is "you are now officially being watched", that means from the drill work to the game action to everything in between. This young man showed he was a very capable shooter when he adhered to the fundamentals, feet set and follow through. He needs to get his body in a bit better shape for the rigors of the hardwood but he understands how to play, he makes good passes to the post and moves without the ball to get open shots. His body language is an area where he will need to watch himself, he is a bit demonstrative when dealing with opponents and showing his displeasure with the referees. This only takes you away from your task mentally and allows other to pinpoint weaknesses in your game. Your being scouted now, your in high school, so coaches will take notice of these types of things. Once he gets some of these reactions under his control and shows more maturity on the floor, he can be a very capable contributor to his squad on the prep level.

 

  1. Tyrus Baynham (FRA) 2019

"This kid is growing on me", was one of the quotes scribbled for this mega athlete from Nashville. A jumping jack with severe springs, he is explosive with a nice 1st step and plays hard going to the basket. He is limited in that I don't recall him attempting anything outside of five feet from the bucket, something to work on my friend. He missed several dunk attempts, those are called turnovers to coaches. He has no left hand as was evident on some drives to the bucket that he didn't finish. I love his competitive spirit and he seems like the type of kid who will work on his weaknesses.

 

 

  1. Dennis Stallings (White's Creek) 2018

Long lefty with a pure stroke from deep, this kid has some gifts that one cannot teach. He has a tendency to settle for the outside shot at times despite having some solid ball skills and using his length to make more plays at the basket. He plays with a smooth gate which causes some to question his motor, he tends to be more of a gambler on defense and should be a much better defender with his length. He is decent on the glass and can turn the ball and head the other direction, he sees the floor and will give it up in transition. He can get lost during games, so consistency will be an area he really needs to concentrate on for his senior season. He has all the tools to be a player on the next level.

 

 

  1. Gene Holmes (East Nashville) 2018

Veteran guard has seemingly been around for some time on the Nashville hoops scene. He is an active player who has leadership skills and does a little bit of everything for his team. He can score from the outside and he likes to facilitate the offense through his passing. He is a very active defender who relishes this role of leadership and has become one of the better on ball defenders in the area. His size will always be an issue and he needs to be a bit stronger with his handles, especially in traffic where he has a tendency to make some untimely turnovers. He is a winner who takes personal responsibility for everything and has embraced the role of leader on his team.

 

 

  1. K.J. Johnson (Marshall County) 2019

This kid puts a smile on my face when I watch him play. A thin lefty with an unorthodox but confident shooting motion that belies its appearance and goes in more often than not. He likes to push the tempo and goes hard to the bucket for tough finishes. Despite his thin frame, he likes the contact at the rim and is very creative in the air with his makes. He has good vision, he is unselfish and is the type of kid everybody wants as he is a winner from top to bottom. he likes to defend, understands the switch and uses his body, despite its lack of size, to his advantage cutting off angles and making his opponent work. His size will be his issue and he is not an overtly athletic kid but a kid who works and battles with what he has. He has exceptional basketball intelligence and really loves to play the game, he will make someone a happy coach one day.

 

 

  1. Junior Clay (McCallie) 2018

One of my favorite players for the past four years. He was only able to attend the camp on Sunday but made his presence felt with his unselfish game. This kid is a winner who runs the show, a leader and coach on the floor. He wins games against bigger and better athletes with his IQ and his desire to prove everyone wrong. He plays with a chip on his shoulder which makes up for his perceived shortcomings. His size and outside shooting ability have been in question, as they should be, but this is a kid who will make big shots, game winning shots and always seems to come out on top against those bigger and stronger guards they wish to compare him to. He is a pleasure to watch in a structured environment where he controls the tempo and has the ball in his hands from start to finish.

 

 

  1. Jalen Johnson (Hopkinsville) 2019

Slick lefty who was without doubt one of the most skilled players in the camp. He has a national reputation and rightfully so. He can knock down the outside shot with ease and has range to anywhere on the court he wishes to ascend. He uses his size and strength to get chances at the rim and generally wins most confrontations with his size with his ability to score at all three levels. He tended to show some selfish traits during camp action, often dribbling incessantly and showing his displeasure for some of the decisions of his teammates and the referees. He is supremely talented and has a major future just be careful with the demonstrative actions and body language that everyone is really watching at this juncture of your career.

 

 

  1. Dezmin McLain (White's Creek) 2018

Solid kid and player who really loves being on the floor. He has a decent stroke from the outside, especially adept from the corners. He is a solid defender who plays with effort. His ball-handling skills will need to be an area of focus as he ascends to be a point guard this season. He tends to settle for his outside shot when easier chances for himself and others are apparently available. He is cookie cutter size so he will need to work on doing something to help himself stand out among the others who also possess this trait. Becoming a leader at the point guard spot will be something that will help him stand out this coming season.

 

 

  1. Avi Lowery (PJPII) 2020

"Garbage Guy" is what a jotted down for this young player, before you get all bent, this to me is a complement as a guy who cleans the glass, keeps possessions alive and generally makes coaches unable to take him off the floor. He likes to force the issue, which can be good or bad and he uses some quick moves to finish at the rim with either hand. He has no outside game to speak of and will only benefit his overall skill level by adding this to his repertoire. As he defines what position he will play, he needs to work on his ball-handling and decision making with the ball, he needs to work on his vision and all that that entails. I like his upside and will enjoy watching his maturation as he moves his game to the next level.

 

 

  1. Mac James (Independence) 2018

Tough competitor who can really shoot the ball. He plays with confidence and loves to compete. His size will be an issue as he attempts to move to the next level. He is strong and likes to gamble on defense, playing the passing lanes. He likes to dribble the ball a bit too much and at his size he needs to have more of a point guard mentality. Again his size will dictate that lead guard will be his position if he is to ascend to the next level. He is not devoid of ability to play the position, he has a feel for the game but has a scoring mentality which could work in the right situation.