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
On Tuesday a huge battle in District 4AAA as Bearden behind 22 points from Brady Smith (Bearden) got revenge on Maryville for an earlier defeat and defeated the Rebels on their home floor.
On Friday it was over to Fulton High School as the 7th ranked Falcons welcomed district foe Gatlinburg-Pittman. The Falcons, playing without Micah "Oh My" Goss (Fulton), got 12 points from Blake Golden (Fulton) and 11 from Darius Filer (Fulton) and slid past the Highlanders 57-41. Steffan Schroeder (Gatlinburg-Pittman) led all scorers with 14 while Clay Leatherwood (Gatlinburg-Pittman) chipped in with 11.
A.P. STATE BASKETBALL POLL
Here is my ballot for the A.P. State Boy's Basketball Polls this past week which were released on Tuesday.
- Science Hill
- Dyer County
- Jackson Southside
- Giles County
- Waverly Central
- Cheatham County
- Wartburg Central
- Mt. Pleasant
- Union City
- Columbia Academy
DII/ Class A/AA
- Knoxville Webb
- St. George's
D1 PLAYERS FROM TENNESSEE
As we do each and every season I will look through the rosters of all the D1 teams from around the country and list the players from the state of Tennessee who appear on those respective rosters. Some players may be walk-ons or scholarship athletes. Look for that in the coming weeks.
KEEP AN EYE ON THESE GUYS
Clay Payne (Powell)
The surprise team in East Tennessee area continues to make believers of everyone with their solid defensive effort and ability to make clutch shots. Of course we speak of the Panthers of Powell. Clay Payne (Powell) is a vital cog in the Panther arsenal. The 6'3 senior can knock down the open three and has shown he can put it on the ground and finish at the rim as well. The panthers will be a tough out come tourney time next week.
Austin Howard (Giles County)
The leader of the pack for the Bobcats of Giles County who find themselves 20-2 with a high state ranking in Class AA. Howard has been the scoring star using his 6'3 frame and size to rank among the top scorers in the classification. Howard will be looked upon even more as the playoffs tip off next week.
Khalifa Ndiaye (St. Benedict)
Raw potential is a phrase thrown out way to often but will be apropos for the evaluation of 6'6 junior power forward Khalifa Ndiaye (St. Benedict). Still learning the game, Ndiaya is an athletic player who seemingly gets better each time he steps on the floor. He is certainly one to keep an eye on for the future.
TEAMS TO WATCH
The Bulldogs hold down the #2 spot in the Class A state rankings and are itching for another return to the ‘boro come March. Led by Alex "The Franchise" Fountain (Wartburg Central) the Bulldogs have a go to guy and a solid supporting cast once the competition gets rougher as they advance in the tournament. The Bulldogs stand at 21-3 with many more to come on the left side of that equation.
Don't look now but the Panthers from FRA are on a straight collision course for the Allen Arena at Lipscomb University, which of course is home to the DII state tournament. FRA is rolling along, ranked 4th in the state polls and patiently waiting for the playoffs to arrive. Led by junior stalwart Rob Marberry (FRA) and seniors Chance Bouldin (FRA) and Kessler Bell (FRA) this version of Panther pride will be a player in the outcome of who brings home the gold ball in March.
Last years state runner-up in Class AA, is at it again quietly winning games and staying under the radar so to speak as is evidence but their exclusion in the Class AA state rankings. Some of us have had them on our ballot for weeks now. The Tigers are led by sophomore scoring sensation Khalil Spencer (Mitchell), Antione Garrett (Mitchell) and rising senior Gavin Robinson (Mitchell). The Tigers have made their presence felt recently winning the coveted city championship over Trezevant.