Observations, News and Notes: Volume I

The crisp is in the air. The squeak of the sneakers can be heard in the background while the pep band plays the alma mater and high school basketball is upon us here in Tennessee. Lets take this opportunity to start a new segment here at Tennessee Prep Hoops, each quarter we will catch everyone up on what is happening around the state, teams to watch, players who are shining bright and things to come.





Memphis Whitehaven (West Tennessee)

Memphis Whitehaven was a state tournament team last season. The off season saw them lose their head coach who took an assistant job at Vanderbilt and then their top player, Matthew Murrell, opted to play at IMG Academy in Florida.

A drop off would have been understood.


No such thing sports fans.


The Tigers went and got Fred Horton, famed BTW coach out of retirement,  and he has this version of the Haven rolling to a 9-0 start. Crushing folks including wins over Arlington, Raleigh-Egypt, Cordova and BTW, twice.


A plethora of guards overwhelm you from start to finish led by Kavion McClain, Jessie Payne, Alvin Miles and Antwan Smith.


Cleveland (East Tennessee)

The Blue Raiders are fresh off a state tournament appearance as well and also replaced a head coach.


The results speak for themselves. led by Belmont signee Jacobi Wood, Cleveland is rolling at 9-0.


Grant Hurst, Kley McCowan and newcomer Morrell Schramm make this Blue Raider bunch one to watch this season.


Mt. Juliet (Middle Tennessee)

The Golden Bears are off to a gleaming start at 8-1 led by their dynamic lead guard and Lipscomb signee Will Pruitt.


The rising senior is a leader on the floor and a master at controlling tempo.


Gage Wells has been outstanding from the outside while Riggs Abner makes it happen inside and out.






Ryley McClaren (Eagleville)

The Freed-Hardeman signee is off to a fast start averaging around 36.0 point per game and facing every freak defense known to coaching. He has a 50 point game early and will be one to keep a large eye on as the season progresses. He achieved an exciting milestone this weekend as he passed the 2,000 point mark for his career.


Grant Slatten (White County)

The junior guard is making his presence felt all over the Mid-State. He dropped 39 against Coffee County added 34 against Monterey and another 27 against Siegel and finally a 24 spot in a tough loss to Walker Valley.


Hayden Llewellyn (Jellico)

Rising freshman if off to a masterful start in his inaugural high school season. The slick guard is averaging 27.4 points per game including a 32 spot against David Crockett.  


Jacobi Wood (Cleveland)

The Belmont signee is clearly establishing himself as the top guard in the senior class. His 53 point effort against Cookeville is the states top scoring mark this year and he has his Blue Raiders unblemished and ready to make some real noise. He added a 29 point effort in a win over McMinn County: as well as, a 37 spot against county rival Bradley Central.


Moussa Cisse (Lausanne)

Was there a bigger addition anywhere in the state than this 6'9 rebounding/shot blocking machine. His stats confirm the rest of the classifications fears, how about 23 points, 21 rebounds and 9 blocks against Surge Christian.


Peyton West (Monterey)

Congrats to West for pushing past the 1,000 point mark for his career with his 37 point game against Oneida. He also had another fine outing with 29 against White County.


Michael Houge (Chattanooga Christian)

Big man has been outstanding thus far averaging around 25 per game as his squad stands at 9-0 on the young season.


Collin Gore (Upperman)

Rising junior guard has forever etched his name in the Bees folklore passing the coveted 1,000 point mark for his career. His efforts have led to a rousing start for the Bees who currently stand at 9-0.




East Tennessee

Blake Campbell (Walker Valley) 48pts vs. Maryville

Ty Hurst (Carter) 35pts vs. Grace Christian

Abiah Releford (Dobyns-Bennett) 35pts vs. Jefferson County

Braden Ilic (Morristown East) 34pts vs. Jefferson County

Jeremy Miller (Oak Ridge) 34pts vs. Knoxville Halls

B.J. Edwards (Knoxville Catholic) 33pts vs. Gary Collegiate

Harper Neal (Kingston) 33pts vs. Sweetwater

Kaleb Meredith (University) 32pts vs. North Greene

Akeem Odusipe (Knoxville Catholic) 32pts vs. Gray Collegiate

Caden Cupp (Gibbs) 30pts vs. Knoxville Halls

Cole Layne (Sullivan South) 30pts vs. Unicoi County

Trent Lovelace (Morristown West) 30pts vs. Daniel Boone

Tai Cates (Alcoa) 29pts vs. Northview Academy

Noah Stevens (Happy Valley) 27pts vs. Unaka

Wes Maples (Sevier County) 26pts vs. Morristown West

Tray Curry (Bradley Central) 25pts vs. Cleveland

Trey Morrow (Scott) 25pts vs. Wartburg Central


Middle Tennessee

Mason McKnatt (Grace Christian) 40pts vs. Zion Christian

Braden Zapp (CPA) 34pts vs. Fairview

Chaz Lanier (Ensworth) 33pts vs. Centennial

Dalton Marsh (Red Boiling Springs) 33pts vs. Smith County

Dorian Shannon (East Robertson) 32pts vs. White House

Gary Smith (Columbia Academy) 32pts vs. CPA

P.J. Smith (Goodpasture) 32pts vs. Baylor

Will Pruitt (Mt. Juliet) 31pts vs. East Nashville

Ricky Guthrie (Rhea County) 30pts vs. Hixson

Mason McKnatt (Grace Christian) 30 pts vs. BGA

Braeden Moore (CPA) 30pts vs. McCallie

Montre Street (McGavock) 29pts vs. Glencliff

Robbie Rusciano (McEwen) 28pts vs. Creek Wood

Grant Strong (Clay County) 28pts vs. Trousdale County

Braydee Brooks (Macon County) 27pts vs. Cannon County

Michael Payton (Montgomery Central) 27pts vs. Kenwood

Antwon Williams (LaVergne) 27pts vs. PJPII

Zach Amonette (Pickett County) 26pts vs. Clarkrange

Isaiah Jones (East Nashville) 26pts vs. Mt. Juliet

Derek Murphy (Nashville Overton) 26pts vs. Cane Ridge

Kristian Shaw (Beech) 26pts vs. Father Ryan

Jyquale Matthews (Beech) 25pts vs. Station Camp

Matthew Sells (Livingston Academy) 25pts vs. Franklin County

Eli Thurston (Station Camp) 25pts vs. Portland

Cornelius Turner (Marshall County) 25pts vs. Fairview


West Tennessee

Kennedy Chandler (Briarcrest Christian) 35pts vs. Jackson Calloway

Mikhail Garrett (BTW) 34pts vs. MAHS

Justin Borders (Cordova) 33pts vs. Memphis Overton

Jaylon Sanders (Collierville) 32pts vs. Memphis Overton

Amarion Jones (Westwood) 30pts vs. MSE

Amarr Knox (Memphis Central) 30pts vs. Bolton

Phil Horton (Fayette-Ware) 28pts vs. South Gibson

Jamari Jackson (PCA) 28pts vs. Fairley

Bakari Johnson (Freedom Prep) 28pts vs. White's Creek

Bobby Westbrook (St. Benedict) 28pts vs. Kingsbury

Ronald Berkley (MAHS) 27pts vs. BTW

Alex Holmes (Fairley) 27pts vs. Oakhaven

Joshua Wilson (Fairley) 27pts vs. Oakhaven






I love the start of the basketball season as everyone gears up for the upcoming season. Play days are the norm and getting to see multiple games at one site is a blessing. I attended play days at Riverdale, Beech and Lebanon. Here are seven guys who truly caught my eye.


John Windley (Brentwood)

Rising junior guard has size and an exceptional basketball IQ. He makes easy shots and controls tempo. Love his demeanor and how he approaches the game. His game is only getting better.


Alex Rush (Upperman)

Another rising junior showed a much more athletic feel to his game. He drove the baseline for dunks and rebounded at a high level. His scoring touch is coming around and he will be one to keep an eye on this year.


Kristian Shaw (Beech)

Just a rising sophomore but he has excellent size for his position, he attacks the basket and has enough confidence in his stroke to be dangerous. As his body grows so will his game.


David Craig (McCallie)

Enormous rising sophomore has a long way to go but he is a presence when he is engaged. His 7'0 frame is legit. He can score around the basket and once he grasps some more fundamentals he will be one for all too see.


Jaylen Wetzel (Siegel)

Much improved member of the Siegel three, this rising junior guard is shooting the ball with supreme confidence and making his presence felt all over the court. Could be a great season for the Siegel Nation.


Malcolm Logue (Lebanon)

Diminutive guard showed his leadership with several big plays down the stretch against defending Class AAA state champion Bearden. His ability to attack, defend and score will be big this season.


Braeden Moore (CPA)

When he is dialed in this rising sophomore has one of the sweetest strokes in the state. His 30 point effort against a good McCallie squad was big shot after big shot. Improving his body and his foot speed means a huge upward tick.






The holiday season has me traveling all over the area. Here is where you can find me during December.


12/17 Knoxville West at Maryville

(Joe Anderson (Maryville) has a huge game as the Rebels dominate)


12/19 Sevier County at Carter

(On the night they retire former Hornet and current Tennessee guard Jordan Bowden's jersey, the Smoky Bears hold on to defeat a hard nosed Carter bunch.)


12/20 5 Star Preps Doubleheader Knoxville Webb vs. Oak Ridge/Siegel vs. Campbell (GA)

(Webb wins by 20 behind David Sander, Uriah Powers, Luke Burnett and Tariq Daughton)

(Campbell gets the late win, Stars cant hold onto the ball in the later stages of the game)


12/21 Beech Christmas Event (Beech High School/Hendersonville)

(White House, Station Camp, Riverdale, Beech, Vestavia Hills, Muhlenberg County  , Cane Ridge and Goodpasture)


12/26 Father Ryan Christmas Tournament (Father Ryan High School/Nashville)

(Father Ryan, Clarksville, Hillsboro, LaVergne, Mt. Juliet, Red Bank, Brentwood and MLK)


12/27 NXLLVL (CPA/Nashville)

(Dunham School, Mt. Bethel, Briarcrest Christian, Pace Academy, Brentwood Academy, Center Hill, CPA and Oak Ridge)


12/28 Xaxby's Christmas Classic (Kenwood High School/Clarksville)

(Upperman, Blackman, MBA, Summit, Kenwood and Portland)