Finally getting to sit down and go over the events from last weekend at the 14 and Under State Tournament. Here are my reviews from the top players in the event. This list will be in alphabetical order. Please keep in mind the schools can and will change before these young men enroll in their respective high school but here is where they told me they were heading.
Kenny Benton (East Hamilton)
Long and athletic this young man has a tremendous upside once he realizes how to use his gifts. He needs strength and confidence in his offensive game. He settled for the jumper every time seemingly not wanting to make contact on his way to the rim.
Tyler Brewer (Southwind)
Memphis War Eagles
Thick, tough point guard is a bulldog on the floor and makes things happen with his physical nature, Brewer can score despite contact and is a leader when on the floor. His outside shooting will need work if he is to be at his best.
Noah Carter (Jefferson County)
Undersized guard with incredible quickness and a devastating first step to the cup, Carter has a stroke but must learn shot discipline as he molds himself into a point guard on the high school level. A scoring point without a doubt, his 28 and 26 topped the event.
Lucky Cheatham (Whitehaven)
Small guard with a big reputation, Lucky showed some moments of high level passing and some quickness going to the bucket. His size may not be an issue as he has enough strength to get to where he wants to be on the floor.
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood)
Wonderful basketball IQ, nice flow to his game, Cummings is wise beyond his years and has a stroke when set that rivals anyone in this class. He can put the ball on the deck and finish in traffic, make a sweet pass or control the tempo. Good size and a bright future.
Austin Douglas (Cheatham County)
Unorthodox release but a results oriented shooter who drained several from deep during the weekend, Douglas can put the ball on the floor but needs to quicken his trigger as the competition level increases. He has a nice pace and understands the game.
Jaylen Fisher (Bartlett)
Memphis War Eagles
Slick handles, sweet runner and a good outside stroke makes Fisher the top guard in Memphis at this point. He can run the lead with his passing skills and will get a tough basket for you in the crunch. Mark my words he is the next great guard from this city.
Emmitt Gooden (Haywood County)
Undersized inside player who really gets the job done against bigger opponents; Gooden is skilled around the rim and has a knack for getting tough offensive caroms. If he remains this size he will need to develop some perimeter skills but he is very effective inside.
Romero Hill (Whitehaven)
A scoring machine, be it from the bent line or off the dribble in the half court or in transition, Hill puts the ball in the bucket. Not blessed with incredible quickness, Hill knows how to change speeds and is effective with or without the ball. Loved him.
Nate Hoover (Bartlett)
Set shooter who has a nice stroke and plays very hard on the defensive end of the floor. Hoover needs to develop some moves off the dribble taking advantage of his outstanding trigger; he has decent handles so this should not be an issue as he gets stronger.
Lorenzo Hunt (Brighton)
Slick lefty who runs the floor very well and knows how to finish in transition, Hunt has handles, uses the head fake to his advantage and sees the hardwood. Usually finishes around the bucket, he will need to gain more confidence in his stroke. Bright future.
Demarco Jackson (LEAD Academy)
Solid inside scorer who proved he could knock down some jumpers as well, Jackson has length and handles decent enough to help on the press. He will need to add strength as will most of this age group.
Demarcus Johnson (White Station)
Good shooter that plays at a nice pace, Johnson is smooth has good handles and shows a nice mid-range shot when scoring becomes a priority. A good defender he has the athletic ability and length to be an outstanding defender if he wishes to be.
Joe Kimber (Fulton)
A solid player who found a way to contribute in every conceivable method while in the game, Kimber can score in transition and has a good outside shooting stroke in addition to good size and heart.
Dedric Lawson (Hamilton)
Vision is the first thing that sticks out with this kid after his size and length catch your eye. A capable shooter who lacks confidence in his stroke, Lawson can do it all. He passes like a young Penny and if he develops a killer instinct he could be devastating.
Cynterius Lyons (Riverdale)
Tough point guard who was at his best on the defensive side of the floor, Lyons has the potential to be a lock-down defender. He proved he could score off the dribble, has an adequate shot but must play the game at a slower tempo; he tends to go to fast at times.
Nick Marshall (Lexington)
Memphis War Eagles
Young big man with a major, major upside, Marshall can run the floor, plays with some passion and seems to have a thirst for improvement. If this holds true we could be watching a future SEC big man. Right now he is in the embryo stage of his hoops development.
Dillon Mitchell (White Station)
Memphis War Eagles
Smallish guard who possesses one of the finest strokes in the Memphis city skyline, Mitchell has a smooth stroke and will blow past you if you think he is simply a jump shooter. He can play the point and gets his mates involved easily. Solid guard.
Collins Nmandi (Arkansas)
Another big and active player who is just learning how to the play the game, Collins is long, plays very hard and goes after every rebound like it is his own. He can score around the bucket and will need to develop some ball skills if his growth spurt has stalled.
Maxwell Omili (Arkansas)
Young man with limited basketball experience showed a penchant for blocking shots, snatching tough rebounds and scoring contact-ridden buckets in the paint. At 6'6 he will need to develop some perimeter skills.
Ross Plunkett (Creek Wood)
Intense competitor who has a deep stroke and is fearless when flying to the hoop, Plunkett can finish in transition and is very good at drawing fouls inside. He is a streaky shooter who when hot is game changing. Good handles, need strength in a major way.
Isiah Stokes (Southwind)
Massive young man who is the brother of Jarnell Stokes now with the University of Tennessee, young Stokes is a big kid who has some post up skills, pushes for position on rebounds, has some back to the basket moves but must refine his game as he grows.
Micah Thomas (Mississippi)
Long and athletic make him a prospect to keep an eye on, Thomas needs to add strength to his frame immediately and work on his shooting stroke which remains flat footed. He plays hard and knows how to score in a variety of creative ways around the bucket.
Gage Upshaw (Baylor)
Great size and strength allow him to convert tough drives to the bucket despite massive contact from his defender. Upshaw must work on his shooting to make himself a more complete player; he defends well with his strength, is unselfish and plays tough.
Masceo Woodard (Whitehaven)
Memphis War Eagles
Good length and solid inside scoring skills make him a valuable commodity in this class, Woodard showed he could be a force on the offensive side of the ball and once he commits to defense he will be an outstanding contributor in that venue as well.
More Players Who Garnered Consideration:
Kentel Williams (Fulton)
Devin Harper (Karns)
Marquis Davis (Antioch)
Vince Gray (Arlington)
Javion Hamlett (Whitehaven)
Coleman Goodwin (Ensworth)
Gabe Cummings (Creek Wood)
T.J. Constant (Cleveland)
Cantrel Ware (Cleveland)
Darrell Brown (Germantown)
Bryson Stephens (Morristown East)
Raheem Young (Greeneville)
Anthony Ramsey (Pearl Cohn)
Tylin Oden (Spring Hill)
Gavin Schoenwald (Brentwood Academy)
Jiaeh Wilson (Georgia)