Patosha Jeffery’s Fall Exposure League


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Patosha Jeffery has been in girls basketball for over a decade and she continues to put out a great product through her passion for the game of basketball.  Her Fall Exposure League has plethora of talent in the Memphis and surrounding area and features such players as Gigi Lewis (MHEA) Endya Buford respected by many as the best 9th grader in the area (Olive Branch) Ashtyn Baker,  (Northpoint) who had fans raving on Saturday, Bionka Massie (Central), Sade Hudson (Trezevant) and several other names that people should know in the girls game.

I hate that I missed the first match up of the day which featured Buford and Baker against each other as I heard both played very well but I did see the last 2.  In the second game, Syracuse vs Washington, Jayla Hemmingway was incredible. The 5’11 scored on all 3 levels and with the improved jumper especially from 3, Hemmingway might contend as the area’s leading scorer.  She’s so physical on her way to the rim and can finish with fouls with either hand. Jayla’s  very good with the ball in her hands and she makes good decisions as a passer but she’s at her best with the intent to score and she’s down hill, not a lot of east to west in her game. She looks for mismatches and when she sees it, she exploits it to her advantage. Hemmingway  was the best player that I saw on Saturday, hands down but others stood out s well.

Johnna Jones, a 5’8 guard from Munford and  CBU commit was really good, polished shooter who can maybe able to play some combo next year when she begins college.  You simply can’t leave her because every time she shot the ball, it looked like it was going in. Really sound fundamentals, she moved well without the ball and got in positions to score via the jumper. Christian Brothers is getting a really good player in Jones, an absolute steal.

Tamia Aldridge was a surprise for me because when the game first started, it appeared she was more of a pure post but as the game progressed, so did she. She put it on the floor, handled full court and looked comfortable enough to play on the perimeter maybe more than she has in the past at her new school, Bolton High. She’s more athletic than one may think at first glance and plays every possession hard. She showed she can score it close and be a finisher and while she didn’t shoot the ball a lot from the perimeter, her mechanics were good when she did. She’s going to do some really positive things for Bolton this year and make a name for herself while doing so. Her teammate Heaven Thompson just keeps going and going, so active and she’s more than a ball hawk, I might call her a ball eagle.  You can’t loft passes around her and you better guard your basketball because she gets after whoever she’s guarding . She takes chances and will gamble a lot but it’s something you can live with because of how hard she plays.  She was the best on ball defender that I saw Saturday but Thompson isn’t just a defensive pest, she can score it as well. She did most of her damage off lay ups in transition  where she  thrives because of her speed and showed she can get where she wants in a half court setting. She’s just a ball of energy and she’s fun to watch because she looks like she loves to play.

Stay tuned to more coverage from Patosha Jeffery’s Fall Exposure League in the coming weeks.

 

 

MBL League Impressions (Week 2)

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Pictured Left To Right (Beverly, Willis, Donegan, Holloway)

After not getting a chance to get out on the first weekend of the Major Prep Basketball League, I thought Sunday was a good opportunity to see some the best young talent in the city and I came away impressed. Some players, I already had a feel for after seeing them last year and during the summer but a few players that I’d heard great things about but only had limited views on them as players like Joshua Holloway who some consider as the best player in the 6th grade class. Holloway is smallish in stature but big in game as a player right now who’s at his best scoring the ball. Has a little twitch to his game where he can change speeds, something you don’t see in kids so young and has creative ways to score whether off the dribble or through as assortment of floaters. He will team up with Cameron Donegan at Highland Oaks and make a formidable duo and make the Hawks a threat in Large Schools this year. Speaking of Donegan, the more I see him, the more I start to say that he might be the best pure point guard in this class in 8th grade. He’s the prototypical pass first who can knock down the shot, either the 3 or mid range and he’s always under control. He has a good feel for when to be aggressive offensively and he values the basketball.

Known as Turtle across the city by his peers and coaches, Cartier Beverly is a tough as they come as a guard in 2022. The stocky strong pg lives to get into the lane and is a fearless attacker off the pick or just straight line down hill. He gets to his spot off the dribble and plays with a lot of confidence and as his jumper gets better, he will be able to keep opponents more honest but his development as a finder is more important then just being a finisher because he has a solid future. 5’10 Jelani Willis is an athletic 2-3 with motor on top of motor and he plays a physical brand of basketball due to his football background. He’s at his best on the attack 10-15 feet out from the basket and is a really good rebounder from his position. Willis will be important to White Station this year and he could raise his stock in this class locally.

Other players who stood out on Sunday

7th and 8th Grade Division

Eli Federman 5’8 (St George) Filed it up off the pull up, runners, however he wanted to score, he did it.  He will be among the best guards in Private School this year. He leads the league in scoring right now and shouldn’t drop below the top 5 of scoring unless he starts to get doubled.

Cedric Franklin 5’6 (Colonial) Shows a lot of promise, scored 5 of his teams last 7 points including an and 1 to put his team up. Good fundamentally, improving as an athlete will up him in this class.

High School

Ashton Smith 5’8 2019 (Lausanne) Probably a starter this year but at no worse, will see starter minutes. Smith might be the best guard in the league. Can shoot the 3 off the spot up but is becoming for adept penetrating and making it happen as a playmaker.

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Kennedy Chandler 5’7 (Briarcrest) Shifty and looks to have added more quickness, Chandler’s talent was on display even playing up high school. Scored with the hesitation dribble, made decisive moves to the rim and constantly put pressure on the defense. Chandler certainly didn’t look out of sorts with older competition

Brogan Brewer 6’3 (Arlington High) The worker 3-4 looks like he has put on some weight and it’s showing in his game. Always a worker around the rim, he does all of the work that coaches value, whether it’s grabbing an offensive rebound or hitting the floor for a loose ball, Brewer plays hard and doesn’t take possessions off.

Matthew Murrell 6’2 (Whitehaven High) Looks like he has stretched some and his frame might see another inch or two added in his future but Murrell is a driver/slasher and a top 5 player in 2020 easily. Continued progression as a jump shot maker from the perimeter will add versatility to his game but there is so much to like about his future. The team he is on will force him to be more assertive in this league and he should benefit from that.

Jalen Brown 6’0 (Kingsbury Middle) Like Murrell, Brown has added some inches to his slender frame and will be a terror this year in Middle School.  Like Kennedy Chandler, Brown is playing up and looks like he belongs.  I think it will help him kind of get used to some of the physicality of high school.

I think Coach Brown has the best team in the High School division (Team Oregon) talent wise and on paper however some coaches are gunning for him. Next week might be there toughest challenge when they face Ethan Jones (BTW) who is senior and should give them some problems if they don’t rebound. Coach Drapers team with Federman should be pretty good along  with the Knicks, Raptors and Spurs (Donegan) all which play in the 7th and 8th grade division of the MBL.

Middle School Top 5 (Early Edition)

 

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The 2015-2016 middle school basketball season was a good one, one of the most interesting that I’ve seen in awhile. American Way was crowned the Large School champion and Bellevue went back to back with the Small Schools crown.  Can this season match last year’s stories? I’m not sure,  one might say  the large school division is down some while small looks looks a little better competition wise. Can there be a team that comes out of no where and be a contender in middle school? Sure it could but where is that team  coming from? Maybe a municipal school like Houston or Bon Lin who had a great start last year I believe going undefeated until the MAM Classic. Maybe it’s a school like Germantown or a Hickory Hill, no one truly knows right now but isn’t it fun to try and guess?  Can a team like A Maceo have a another great year like last year? Is Cordova going to be in the mix like they have been the last 3-4 years? Will White Station run Large Schools this year? Well enough, read it, check it out, comment underneath the story, it’s really simple. Yeah or nah, don’t like it, it’s okay, it’s pre-season, it’s supposed to be speculative, enjoy.

1. Bellevue Middle School – No other school received a better gift than getting the best player in Middle School in Johnathan Lawson. The 6’5 G/F had a huge summer and will be looking to add another state title to his resume, this time on the Small Schools side. He is not alone though, the Jacobs brothers (Tadarius and JR) also came over and will be huge contributors this year. The older Jacobs ended the summer on a high note and while mostly known as a great on ball defender, his offense is starting to catch up. Terrance (JR) play sparingly last year but this year, fans will see why so many speak of him as the best guard in 2022.  Watch out for Cartier “Turtle” Beverly this year as well who got a chance to go against some of the best guards in middle school last year in practice..

2. White Station Middle School – Once again, the Spartans have that title contending look and look of one of if not the biggest teams in the city  this season. Starts up front with Willie Foreman, Aldon Applewhite, Dorian George and guard Jelani Willis. I’ve heard whispers of guard play being their weak spot but I have a feeling that it won’t be the case. 3 of the players I mentioned started all year long so they have plenty of experience. Is it state title or bust this year for them?

3. Cordova Middle School– This will be a much different looking Cordova than in years past because they lost so much last year and while the overwhelming talent may not be there, this should still be a good team. A lot will be contingent upon Cameron Jones who for the first time in his middle school career will be “the guy” He will be counted on as primary scorer and as he adapts to that role, so will the team around him. Marcellous Boyd must also be a factor this year!!

4. Ridgeway Middle School– Looked at as being a team of the future for next year with their young  guard play but Coach Jarvis Stephen wants to win now! He got  2 top 5 guards in 2023 in Ernest Smith Jr and Jay Nash to come to him along with a 6’4 raw but developing big in David Dixon. Dixon is the brother of Ridgeway stand out, Elizabeth Dixon and looks every bit of 6’7 6’8 in his future. Although again, a long way off from what he could be, length and size are something that he gives Ridgeway that a lot of schools lack.  Kristian Spencer is a 2022 forward who’s brother also prepped Ridgeway (Khalil Spencer- TSU)  and Chris Brunt was one of the only 6th graders to play much last year for Ridgeway. They are young but very talented, question is, will they be up for the challenge with a precocious roster.

5. Kingsbury Middle School – Top 5 2021 standout Jalen Brown comes in and will immediately be a top 2 player in this division. The wiry guard is a scorer at heart and he does it well and he will have plenty of opportunities to do so. Caleb Jackson comes over from Kipp Academy and will be likely be a starter along with Tristen  Jones who has some tools and Chris Nelson who will also be leaned on heavily this year.

PrepScoop Pre-Season Top 5 (Early Edition)

 

Could The Spartans End Up Being In The Top 10 This Season? (Allen Hatchett -pictured)
Could The Spartans End Up Being In The Top 10 This Season? (Allen Hatchett -pictured)

 

With the school year starting last week, you know what that means right? Only 78 days, 22 hours, 9 minutes and 59 seconds until basketball season!! Well okay, it’s a little off, well a lot off but you get the point, the season is approaching soon and very soon and people are asking, what do you think about the season upcoming? It’s early, yes I know but people love to talk basketball all year long in Memphis, Tigers, Grizzlies and high school basketball isn’t immune either. People just love basketball here and why shouldn’t we when this city constantly produces rich talent. So with that said, I give you, a way to early look at the top 5 teams in the city and 5 teams to watch.

1. East High School– State champions last season, go into the season as the favorite in Triple A. Should be number 1 on everybody’s list, across the board. Transfers Antavion “Dude” Collum and Jay Hardaway bolster an already strong roster that features Mr.Basketball Alex Lomax, TJ Moss and Chandler Lawson. With rumored additions to come, this group might get stronger.

2. Christian Brothers High School – Best private school team in the city with who many think is the best player in the city, William Douglas who blew up this summer and has more offers than anyone in the city including one from Tubby Smith and the Memphis Tigers.  As always though, comes the praise, you become the hunted, how will they handle it early on?

3. Cordova High School– Bolster one of the best guard duos in the state in Tyler Harris and Blake Williams and the most athletic player in the city, Rod Brown. I don’t think many knew just how important Jalen Dupree was to their success but he will be missed heavily especially early on.

4.Mitchell High School – The back to back state champions were crowned once again in Coach Turner’s first year there with a nice roster of players but they also lost a lot last season. The state MVP is gone in Tevin Ollison who came on strong late but they have 3 returners including guard Tyran Davis, a senior, Tominque Marion, senior forward and Jordon Johnson, a senior guard which will make up a nice nucleus of experience.

5.Houston High School – Look out for Ryan Boyce to have a huge season this year coming off a nice summer. The 6’5 with bounce might be making the transition more to the wing but he could do that with Bruce Guy, another 6’5 who can swing in between positions and be a double digit point scorer every game and sophomore Takori Rooks who will play some 4-5 as well. Transfer Carlos Sandifer gives them value at the pg position with his arrival in a guard heavy league (15AAA) His play will be counted on in a big way.

Others teams to watch

Southwind High School – Really close to putting them in the top 5 and I still might later on. Mark Freeman, CJ Marshall and Robert Boyd give them a chance against anyone.

Whitehaven High School – Cameron Jones and Rashad Williams will leaned heavily for offense this year but others who were in support roles will have to big including Aaron Whitmore and Marquavious Lobbins.

White Station High School – Played well in the summer and Allen Hatchett was one of the main reasons. Aaron Strother, Adam Price and Braxton Winford are back and hoping to make people pay attention to the Spartans again.

Lausanne Collegiate – Took a huge blow when it was learned that Isaiah Stokes (IMG Academy) was not returning for his senior season but this is still a good team, a young one but a good one. Ashton Smith, Kobe Jeffries and Sky Forrest will have increased roles this year and all will have to play older than their grades indicate but all are capable.