Welcome to our newest weekly feature. This segment will be called This Week at Tennessee Prep Hoops and will feature what's happening in the hoops world in our state information on upcoming tournaments, commitments, future showcases, unsigned senior events and more.
THIS WEEK AT TENNESSEE PREP HOOPS
This week saw me travel the backwoods to Wartburg to check out the Franchise Alex Fountain (Wartburg Central). The Houston Baptist signee was at his best scoring 23 points on 11 of 12 shooting from the field. On Saturday the Smokey Mountain Holiday Classic was my destination. Mason Ramsey (Livingston Academy) was not going to let "Hog-Eye" lose this one as they came back from a 10 point halftime deficit to defeat Pulaski County (KY) 61-58. Ramsey garnered MVP honors and tallied 28 in the title contest. Joining him on the All-Tournament squad were Brock McCoin (Livingston Academy) and Wade Eldridge (Livingston Academy).
Richland behind 19 points from Cody Jordan (Richland) and 18 more from Brett Boatright (Richland) pulled away from Whitwell in the small school division of the Smokey Mountain Holiday Classic to the tune of 78-51. Carson Edwards (Richland) took home MVP honors and was joined on the glitter squad by Jordan and Boatright.
Here is the list of players that were submitted to the McDonald's All-American nomination committee. The quantity is based on state population and thus Tennessee generally gets 24 to 25 nominations. Here are my submissions in alphabetical order:
Jamal Calvin (McCallie)
Markel Crawford (Melrose)
Jmaonte Davis (Hillsboro)
Asa Duvall (Brentwood)
Demetrius Dyson (Covington)
Corn Elder (Ensworth)
Alex Fountain (Wartburg Central)
Jamonte Graham (Father Ryan)
Robert Hubbs (Dyer County)
Jujuan Johnson (Southwind)
Josh Jones (Memphis Central)
Nick King (Memphis East)
Jaquan Lewis (Dickson County)
A.J. Merriweather (Jackson Southside)
Austin Nichols (Briarcrest Christian)
Cameron Payne (Lausanne)
Josh Phillips (PJPII)
Matt Pond (Centennial)
Mason Ramsey (Livingston Academy)
Brock Rowan (Stone Memorial)
Burton Sampson (Knoxville Webb)
Darius Thompson (Blackman)
Rhyan Townes (Arlington)
Reggie Upshaw (Baylor)
Johnathan Williams (Southwind)
GAME OF THE WEEK FEATURE
Starting in January I will have the Game of the Week feature back in the fold and hopefully let everyone know about the top upcoming games in all areas of the state each week.
HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT COVERAGE
Thanks to those of you who sent me additional information on some of the Holiday events we did not have listed last week. I also ask anyone who can help provide some additional info as I will be attending as many of the events as I am able. I hope to do stories on as many of the events as we can ascertain information for and will need some additional information to make sure we cover as many of the events as we are able. This is one of the best times of the year for basketball and I look forward to seeing everyone out and about at the various venues around the state.
KEEP AN EYE ON THESE GUYS
Levi Woods (Meigs County)
You may not know him but I assure you he has some serious game. The rising guard point/shooting guard is averaging around 25 per game this season for the Tigers and is drawing some attention from coaches around the state.
Jacob McLennan (Huntland)
This kid might be the best shooter that not many of you have heard or seen. The lanky rising senior is an athletic 6'3 and has a stroke that few can match. He played his freshman ball in Alabama and in three seasons is challenging 1,500 points for the Hornets of Huntland.
Jeremy Hemphill (Memphis Central)
A transfer from Memphis East, Hemphill has been sensational on the young season. The senior guard is scoring points and running the show for former Colorado and current Memphis Central mentor Ricardo Patten.
TEAMS TO WATCH
The Hilltoppers are off to a blazing start at 17-1 behind some serious guard play from seniors Will Adams (Science Hill) and C.J. Good (Science Hill). Coach Cutlip is deep playing about 10 to 12 players and as is typical Science Hill they are relentless and defend from baseline to baseline. They are arguably the best team in East Tennessee and will have a strong chance to repeat as a member of the class heading to the ‘Boro in March.
District 11AA will be one for all of us to keep an eye on as Cheatham County and Waverly Central appear headed for some collisions on the hardwood. New coach Les Trotter has the Tigers playing inspired basketball led by seniors Austin Mullinax (Waverly Central) and McKenzie Eldridge (Waverly Central). Mullinax leads the scoring brigade but rising junior guard J'Honathan Smith (Waverly Central) is one to keep an eye on as Waverly makes waves in Class AA.
Could this be the year that someone unseats the perennial favorite Ensworth at the DII state tournament? The Purple Wave are playing very well right now sporting a solid 13-1 mark led by junior sharpshooter Josh Bougher (CBHS) and interior force Charlie Oswalt (CBHS).