Play Days signal the start of the basketball season and the past two weekends have given us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to this season. Two weeks ago the action came to Siegel High School and this past weekend saw teams converge on Harpeth.
Here are some observations from the two events, some players who stood out and some teams who will be making some noise.
Players That Made Some Noise (Alphabetical Order)
Braxton Bonds (CPA)
Took over when Blackwell went down with his ankle, scored in the lane, snatched offensive boards and made several pin point dimes to hustling teammates.
Jemicah Bowman (Tyner Academy)
Bowman showed extended range on his outside stroke and hit several in a row at several points during the Siegel scrimmages. Confidence is high and once he improves his game off the dribble he could have a monster season.
Charles Clark (Siegel)
Lefty stroke has range, length and finishes very well on the break; "Bird" can get scorching hot and hit several deep threes in succession. Once he learns to differentiate a good from a bad shot he will be devastating.
Jack Graham (Bearden)
One of the better shooter in any part of the state, Graham was outstanding from deep at both play days. He has added some dribble moves to his game and has a good first step.
Jalin Henderson (Oak Ridge)
Young man was outstanding against CPA at Siegel, scored in transition, off the dribble in the paint and is a consistent jump shot away from being a really good prospect.
Austin Howard (Giles County)
This is his team this season and he played like a leader at Siegel. Howard showed he could score the ball and has improved his handles. Look for a solid campaign this season.
Ethan Hurt (Harpeth)
What could this kid be if basketball was his primary focus? Superbly athletic, runs the floor, will smash one on you if your not careful.
JaQuan Lewis (Dickson County)
VCU commitment was outstanding at the Harpeth play day. He scored with his silky smooth jumper and got several of his teammates easy looks with some solid play-making ability.
Jalen Lindsey (CPA)
Much improved outside game has him scoring from the elbow extended with range. He still runs the floor and finishes great in transition. He showed much more aggression on the boards as well.
DeJon McGill (Austin East)
Senior guard continues to step up and will be called upon to help lead the Roadrunners back to the promise land. He has improved his outside game and played hard on defense the entire scrimmage at Siegel.
Daniel Norl (Kenwood)
This young man is so smooth, he never seems to get rattled, and he plays at a comfortable tempo and makes a lot of good things happen. He stroked the outside shot, gave up several scoring opportunities to his teammates and played very good on the ball defense.
James McPherson (Brentwood)
A coach on the floor, plays at a steady pace, never gets rattled and can provide some scoring if left unattended, McPherson played very well for the Bruins at Harpeth. He makes everyone on the floor better. Look for a big year from this rising sophomore.
Yalen Reed (Lebanon)
First impressions are generally not something to make any snap judgments upon but this kid is for real. Young, long and athletic, Reed, only a freshman, showed some scoring ability, used the glass effectively on offense and blocked some shots with sheer length on defense. Keep him on the radar he will be something to watch very soon.
Jacob Saunders (Cheatham County)
Active scorer and player who continues to impress in several aspects of the game, Jake had a tough shooting game in the opener at Harpeth but made up for it with several driving forays to the hoop and some nice floaters in the lane. He defended well and has a chance to have a big junior season.
Andre Wilson (Austin East)
Dangerous lefty stroke was mighty good at the Siegel play day, scoring from all over the court. He will be a marked man this season as teams configure defenses to control him, can he handle the pressure? We shall see.
Still More Who Caught Our Eye:
Ivan Alsup (Nashville Overton)
Robert Brandon (Siegel)
Jordan Darden (Cheatham County)
Shaquille Davis (Nashville Overton)
Austin Dole (Harpeth)
Asa Duvall (Brentwood)
Cory Fagan (Oak Ridge)
Jamonte Graham (Father Ryan)
Sam Greene (Bearden)
Malik Hall (Kenwood)
Will Jones (Brentwood)
J.T. Marable (Pearl Cohn)
Omari Moore (Pearl Cohn)
Austin Mullinax (Waverly Central)
Tanner Newton (Harpeth)
Daniel Schroeder (Mt. Juliet)
Cody Shelton (Brentwood)
J'Honathan Smith (Waverly Central)
Tyler Spicer (Dickson County)
Guy Stanford (Kenwood)
Alex Watkins (Tyner Academy)
DeAnthony Wilson (Nashville Overton)
Some Quick Team Observations:
Kenwood made some noise with their stingy defense and solid guard play led by Daniel Norl, Guy Stanford and Malik Hall.
Brentwood, playing without some key contributors still on the gridiron, showed some real signs of having a solid year with the inside antics of Will Jones and Cody Shelton. On the perimeter Stetson signee Asa Duvall and sophomore lead guard James McPherson have the makings of a fine group of Bruins this campaign.
CPA, playing without some key depth in football and some injuries to a couple of key guys in Jake Allsmiller and Braxton Blackwell, still managed to look sharp behind the steady hand of Braxton Bonds, the explosiveness of Jalen Lindsey and some solid relief help from Micah Davis.
Cheatham County looks like a team that will compete for their district crown and make some noise this season in Class AA. Led by explosive scoring guard Jacob Saunders and a couple of solid inside bangers in Jordan Darden and Billy Miller the Cubs may something to say come March.