Expanded to Top 10
1. Chris Moore 6’3 Forward (West Memphis) Physical specimen already, Moore is headache around the rim, who uses strength and motor for easy scoring opportunities. Moore is an improving ball handler but not where he do it full time however in transition, handles it well enough to attack a bigger or smaller defenders. Loves to seal, catch and deliver inside and is good defender where he uses good timing to block shots and keep them in play. He can face up some but is primarily effective as a back to he basket player and that’s where he will need to improve offensively, out on the perimeter. He’s a very aggressive rebounder, keeps it high off the board and isn’t a bad passer out of the post. He has a good feel for when attack his defender and when to pass it out for better shots to open teammates as he doesn’t force the issue a lot or does he try to do things he’s not necessarily comfortable doing yet. Moore is such a force around the rim, it’s hard not to pencil him in for a double double every time he hits the floor at this stage in his development.
2. Cameron Matthews 6’4 Forward (Olive Branch) Good looking prospect with big time promise at the big guard or wing position, Matthews has the look of a future d-1. Has a good first step where he can take bigger or smaller players off the dribble using his size and body to shed defenders. He’s very reliable inside where he plays for his summer team but is a ball handler who can get where he wants. Playing inside right now, will make him better long term but he projects as strong, big body 2-3 who will be able to knock score at all 3 levels and cause mismatches. He can finish with either hand, a good rebounder and shows some versatility as a defender. He’s a good and willing passer who can pass out the post and the high post and can post smaller players for lay ups. I think playing inside some has kind of taken some of confidence as ball handler away from him but he’s good enough to still be a big time wing in the future. Pretty athletic right now but by this time next year, I think lay ups will turn into dunks for him as I look for him to stretch some and grow into his strong frame and keep his spot atop the ranking for some time. I’m looking for him to have a huge year at Olive Branch this year.
3. Tayson Parker 5’11 (Home School) Has hit the scene in Fall leagues and exploded as one of the premier players in this class. As athletic right now as any in the class in Memphis if not the most athletic, Parker is already playing above the rim elevating for dunks off the break and exploding through traffic for finishes at the rim. Parker possesses excellent speed and quickness in open court and that’s where he maybe most effective but can score in the half court where he can hit the 3 and he gets high on his shot. A good defender, he sneaks in passing lanes for steals and can guard both guard spots. Parker is name that’s hot right now among those who have seen in fall leagues but can he keep this same spot throughout the year? Some guys are coming but but Parker belongs to be here in this spot right now.
4. Matthew Murrell 5’11 G/F (John P Freeman) Really a scorer, right now at 2 levels to the rim and in 15 feet in, the 3 will come as he matures, Murrell can put up points in bunches. His demeanor never changes and you never know whether his team is up or not as he goes along about business and operating at a efficient clip. Not flashy, doesn’t try to do things he can’t do, he has great fundamentals where he uses the ball fake and loves to get middle for scoring opportunities. He has good form on his shot and elevates enough to get it off and is a solid rebounder from the guard position. Just recently, Murrell has started to play over the rim and has added another each to his future big guard frame. The more confident he becomes, the better player he will become and that will elevate him even more.
5. Rodney Mason 6’3 Forward (St.George ) Skilled 3-4, Mason is coming into his own and growing on me the more I see him as a player. Has really worked on his perimeter game, improved athletically and while he’s more so a face up type right now, Mason can go over the top or around and while jumper has improved, to the 3 where he shows that ability, he’s still more or a mid range player where the jumper looks a little more fluid. Mason doesn’t mind being physical defensively or rebounding and won’t back down from a challenge by stronger players. He projects as a possible 3 but right now is probably more viable as a mismatch 4 type but it will be fun to watch Mason develop over time.
6. Alfred White Jr 5’9 SG (Cordova Middle) Talented shooter who can score it from all over and what I like most is the confidence he displays in himself. He has a good quick release and isn’t shy letting it go but also can make it happen to the rim where he can stop for the pull up and the floater. He can come off the screen but like his younger teammate (Jones) looks more comfortable off the spot up. Really smart player to, when the jumper may not be going, White can get to the line as well, willing to go to the rim but again, is a shooter mostly. As he gets older, scoring in a variety of ways will become a point of emphasis but right now, White is as good as any at what he does in middle school in the city.
7. Caleb London 6’1 (MUS) I really thought about putting him in the top 5 and I have my reasons why I didn’t but let’s just say, it won’t be long before he’s there. London along with Parker are the to most athletic players in the class but London’s ability as a slasher/scorer maybe the best in the class. I haven’t seen him among the players in this class yet but once I do, players above him beware, London is a legit name in this class.
8. Marcellus Brigham 6’0 SG/SF (Snowden Middle) Effective with the jumper, Brigham’s upside is as high as any in this class in Memphis. Doesn’t wow with athleticism just yet but has the looks of a player who knows how to play the game and get it done. The jumper off the dribble is I think his go to but can attack in the half court or transition. Can create space for the jumper and release it fluidly and is a player who you can go to late in games for a shot to win.
9. Isaiah Cathey (Bellevue Middle) Big lead guard, Cathey is pg, power guard who’s best attribute maybe his size and ability to penetrate but Cathey is a good enough shooter to keep you honest from the outside. A leader, Cathey is capable defender using his strength and makes good decision with it in his hands and possesses good handle that allows him to get where he wants to go. Cathey’s addition to Bellevue, makes them as if they already were not, an even bigger favorite to win their classification in Middle School this year.
10. Reggie Neely (Briarcrest Christian) Really solid guard, Neely is scorer to the rim with the jumper or with 3, he’s as versatile a scorer in the class. He can create his own off the bounce, and is unselfish where he can lead from the point but is a scorer by nature and a good one. I really like him and if he continues to grow in length, Neely could really be a good guard as his better days are definitely ahead of him.