Two weeks in, with still some movement going on in the city in other classes, the freshman class is finally settling in to their new schools and new journeys as they try adjust to the high school life. Who will have the biggest effect? TJ Moss at East High or his teammate Alex Lomax? Mark Freeman at Southwind? With the new addition of Lucky Cheatham, he will definitely play minutes but maybe not the minutes that were expected with some what surprise of a point guard who has played in the toughest district in the city or what was that. What about some of the better point guards in that class, Carlos Sandifer, Quentin Williams, Jordan Johnson, will they have a say in their teams success? It really depends on what’s their at their position and if they can overcome or compete with that person for that spot. Some teams may not necessarily need a freshman to step in right away but more or less bring them along through out the season so that maybe they can have an impact late in the season. Below is a look at where some of 2018 went and the type of impact that they could have at their new school.
1. Terrence “TJ” Moss 6’4 Combo/ Wing (East High School) With a already pretty good young group, adding him to the team adds another piece that could make this team a serious threat to be a top 3 team. His ability to play 2 or 3 spots will add versatility to the line up and he could be a day 1 starter, uncommon to a lot of freshman in this class. He will be asked to score double digits and rebound at the 1 and the 2 position and will have to do that on a every game basis. He’s more than capable and if so, he could turn out to have the biggest impact of all the freshman in the city. Prediction: Starter
2. Ryan Boyce 6’5 Wing (Houston High School) Really like this young player upside as I think he’s just scratching the surface of how good he could be. Along with Moss, he’s another that could be a starter bringing athleticism but will be relied upon to contribute immediately defensively but maybe not as much on the offensive side with Marlon Hunter being their go to scorer but I could see him having to contribute some nights and being able to give them a few points. Prediction: Starter/ 20 plus minutes
3. Antwan Beans 5’10 PG (Kingsbury High School) Beans is a scoring point guard kind of in the mold of the point guard they already have (Demonte Person) but I can see them playing some together in backcourt with both having the ability to score the ball and being able to play off the ball some in their district. Don’t be surprised to see him score 17-20 points some games. Prediction:Rotation/Part time starter
4. Alex Lomax 5’10 PG (East High School) Had a strong end to his summer and will be looking to carry that over after he gets off the football field onto the basketball court. Defensively, he’s an impact player from the jump and a true point guard, will find his way into minutes but with 2-3 point guards already there, finding consistent minutes could be hard. Their new coach loves to play a lot of guys so I really don’t see that as a huge problem but ALO as he is called will find his way on the floor. Prediction: 10 Man Rotation (10-15 mins a game)
5. Mark Freeman 5’10 PG (Southwind High School) Like Lomax, Freeman is a point guard not a “points” guard so Coach Edwards will have a valuable piece to spell Lucky when he needs a break but with Leiland Kirkendoll and Tyler Brewer being there, they will have something to say as well about that as well but I see Freeman being a player who you will have to find time for. Prediction: Rotation (7-10 man rotation)
6.Tyler Harris 5’10 PG (Ridgeway High School) Tyler’s ability to shoot it would be valuable for anyone in high school but really may have found a great spot for himself with Coach Henning because he will be needed. He like Moss, I think starts and would be surprised if he didn’t along side Javion Hamlet. Prediction: Starter
7. Carlos Sandifer 5’11 PG (White Station High School) There with two of the better guards in the city so seeing a lot of minutes will be minimal but just being able to gain that valuable experience against both in practice will suit him well going forward into next year and when his name is called this season and it will be. Prediction: Rotation
8. Braxton Winford 6’2 SF (White Station High School) Interesting because I’m not sure what position he plays as of right now and that’s the adjustment to high school for him. With a new team, the time will be there to be had and that’s good for him and other freshman over in Spartan land. Prediction : Rotation
9. Allen Hatchett 6’2 SF (Ridgeway High School) Hatchett is in another good position because Ridgeway will need some young players to step in and make himself a valuable contributor. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Hatchett getting big minutes. Prediction: Rotation
10.Trey Davis 5’11 PG (St.Benedict) They have found their point guard for the next 3-4 years and will likely be heavy minute getter this year and next year, a probable starter. Prediction: Rotation
11. Roderick Brown 6’4 SF (Cordova High School) New name to remember in Memphis but definitely a high level prospect to keep an eye. At my first glance of him, he put me in the mind frame of Adonis Thomas as a 8th grader, really bouncy, long and motor on top of motor. Don’t be surprised to see him in the top 5, he’s that kinds of player.
Here are a few more of the 2018 players and where they are now
1.Brandon Mason 5’11 PG Central High School
2.John McBride 6’5 PF MUS
3.Zachary Street 6’0 PG MUS
4.Nick London 6’6 SF/PF Hamilton
5.Jordan Johnson 5’10 PG Overton
6.Calvin Temple 5’11 PG White Station
7.Garrett Golday 6’5 PF Arlington
8.John Anderson Jr 6’0 SG Arlington
9.Dequarius McCord 6’6 PF Kirby
10.Keshun White 6’1 SG Manassas
11.Rashad Williams 6’2 SG Lausanne
12.Quentin Williams 5’10 PG Bartlett
From Little Rock to Orlando Florida, Memphis teams are in action trying for the end all of most summers, an AAU National Championship. In 2017, Team Penny coached by Desmond Merriwether has chance to tomorrow to win the programs first national championship against the Arkansas Wings. They defeated another Wings teams today by, 70-60 to earn a spot in the title game but it almost seems fitting for this team. After a few summers of being on the cusp of something big, they won the Super 60 this summer and now this, a chance to call themselves national champions.
In 2018, tomorrow the teams come out of pool play in Orlando and Team Penny’s Black and White squads have both advanced into the championship bracket. Team Penny White led by Chris Adams won 2 games and lost 1 in pool play will play against a Team United team normally with good guard play but should they advance there, they will have maybe the toughest draw in the tournament, WACG and the best player in the country, 6’9 almost 6’10 Marvin Bagley Jr. Team Penny Black (Golden) will play a pretty good Florida Phenoms team with Emmit Williams, a 6’7 athletic forward who’s among the top 40-50 players in the country and a host of other 6’5 forwards on this team. Of both Team Penny squads, I think they may have the tougher draw but this time of the tournament, mostly everyone you play will be good so it’s just win and advance in championship bracket. Team Thad will play against the CB Spiders out of the Carolina area. I’m pretty sure, they have quick attacking guards as always the case with teams from that area. Coach Frank Harris I think is coaching that team for the nationals and he has a tremendous track record and also getting a chance to coach his son, Tyler Harris who’s among the best guards in the country in this class. The time is now for these teams, tomorrow, it’s gets real.