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.
- Masen Wilson (MLK) 2019
Diminutive guard with an aggressive approach to the game. Never one to back down, especially on the defensive end he has some skill to his game but tends to try and make things happen attempting to over compensate for his lack of size. Just play man. He has careless handles while trying to make plays that just aren't there, but he has a good feel for the game, so you don't want to curb his aggressiveness just realize that the game needs to come more to him, don't force the issue. Your size has nothing to do with how aggressive and tough you play. Work on your outside shot, make this a weapon. When you are scouted by opposing coaches they will not guard you on the perimeter, get in the gym and make this a part of your game that forces them to rework their game plan.
- Braden Zapp (CPA) 2021
When scouting players who have yet to even set foot on the floor for their first high school game, you tend to look for things that they can use to build for the future. Zapp is small and weak, like majority of his class but strength will come, he plays for an extraordinary high school program and will be in the weight room, heck he probably already is. This kid has a feel for the game, you can see he sees things but doesn't have the physical maturity to complete the play. He's not super quick or explosive but he has a good first step and displayed a solid shooting touch from the perimeter. He played fearless which is one of the most telling factors for these incoming freshman, he is not scared, he appears to be gym rat, he loves the game and as he matures, he will be a very good high school basketball player.
- Connor Jordan (Morristown East) 2019
On of the quickest players at the event, this lefty plays with vigor and passion. A very good athlete, he shows quick feet, he likes to guard and despite his obvious lack of size, he doesn't fear anything or anyone. He is an excellent shooter from deep and has started developing a short game including a floater, which is a necessity for all small guards. His aggressiveness works against him at times, as he likes to force the issue and try to make something of nothing. His size dictates point guard and dedicating himself more to the role of distributor will be the next step in his maturation as a player with aspirations of playing at the next level. You cant coach motor and this kid has a good one.
- Bryce McBride (Jackson Southside) 2018
This kid is what we call a basketball savant, he just loves to play. No matter where he is, I bet you he is looking for some competition and ready to play some ball. He has worked his tail off making his outside shot more of a weapon as he readies himself for a trip to the next level after high school. Always a scorer, McBride is point guard size and has that gene in him, yet his high school situation calls for him to score so this will be a skill he will need to work on for himself. He defends like someone twice his size, he gambles on the press, he likes to snatch the rebound and start the break often taking it himself for the easy score with his explosion and quickness. He is a good kid which goes quite a long way these days. He is inquisitive always asking what he needs to work on, I told him shooting two years ago and he listened.
- Cahlib Edwards (CSAS) 2020
Started slow with some bad habits, dribbling a bit too much, not adhering to the role of point guard and just looking very average. As the day went on I saw something else, his aggressiveness started to come out, his outside shooting stroke became a weapon and the bounce in his step returned.......yes his confidence finally came back to him. The obvious is said over and over, yes he is small but coaches love kids who plays with a chip on their shoulder. Always being told he is small, always being underestimated, Edwards did something about it and was one of the highlights for me of the entire camp. His defensive effort was superb he was one of the few that actually felt it ok to pick up his defender on the other side of the half court line, what a novel concept. Loved it. Once his confidence was in full swing he was hard to deal with, he knocked down several deep shots, made plays with his feet and his aggressive nature caused turnovers and easy buckets for those who didn't play quite as hard.
- Jacob Kenner (Cherokee) 2021
Another youngster who has yet to step on a high school floor, Kenner was solid in the drill work. He has a knack for the game, he is heady, he is above average basketball IQ and he can knock down the open shot if left open and his feet and form are true. His lack of strength came into play more in the games where he struggled to make things happen. He seemed to play as if not to make a mistake and appeared nervous and tentative at times. He will obviously need to get stronger but his build is that he could hold more weight and seriously be a very good high school player down the road. You can see he understands how to play, he loves the work and is probably in the gym as I write this about him. I look forward to his maturation down the road, I think he will be a very good player when his strength and confidence come together simultaneously.
- Shemar Johnson (Bartlett) 2019
Another small guard who just tried to do too much as camp began, trying to make plays that weren't there, taking bad shots and not grasping his role as playmaker and leader of the offense, playing weak and tentative. As camp moved along I saw some better habits and some marked improvement in every area for this West Tennessee product. A flat-footed shooter, Johnson made his fair share of buckets from the outside and really picked things up on defense. His decision making from the lead guard position will be an area he will need to constantly work on, don't force passes or dictate the outcome by yourself let the defense guide you there. Let your defensive effort predicate the rest of your game, don't lay back on offense as much, as attack and be confident in the things you do well.
- Kolby Searcy (LaVergne) 2021
My initial notes on this youngster were all seemingly on the negative side. He cheated the drill work by not coming all the way to the end line, he obviously appeared a bit overwhelmed, as one would expect at his tender age. I kept an eye on him as things moved along and he really played with some effort he just didn't really understand where to be and was lost on defense several times. Now lets preface this with he was playing with guys several years older who have been through weight programs. He needs to work being more reactive to his surroundings, closing out harder when covering perimeter players and using some of his athletic skills to his advantage. He has a ways to go but he has still never stepped on the floor at a high school basketball game so the future is his oyster.
- Montree Boddie (West Creek) 2019
Another youngster who I noticed was cheating the drills and appeared to display some not so pleasant body language. Things changed as I kept my eye on him because I noticed he had some offensive skills to go along with a short but stout build. He showed big time aggression on defense which caught the eye, he ran the show from the point and was very chatty on defense, we like that. He relished the competition and seemed at his best in the game portion of the camp. His decision making will need to be tightened a bit as he loves to leave his feet to make passes and he will force the occasional dime instead of being patient and getting the proper angle. His competitive nature finally won me over and he was one of my favorite players at the entire camp. Work on your foul shooting, your a guard man.
- Kareem Aaron (Siegel) 2018
From the moment I saw him, I was intrigued but his tailback build. He was tough, he was physical and he loved the contact. He defended like coaches wish all their players would defend. He made the ball handler not wish to be involved in this portion of the offense, I saw it happen. He ran the floor, he loves transition and he is an exceptional athlete with some length and much, much strength. He will need to work on the skill portion of the game as his outside shot remains a work in progress and his ball-handling is another area that needs additional gym time. He does finish hard at the rim and absorbs the contact without the slightest of effect on his ability to score the ball. "You are who you can guard", said a very prominent college basketball coach, this kid can guard anyone and everyone.