Don’t look now but the class of 2022 isn’t as far away as it once seemed. The rising 8th grade class has a few players in it who could have bright futures as their games keep progressing. At 6’1 almost 6’2 with an imposing physical stature, Bryce Dailey is a name that will likely see among those when talking about the best players in Memphis for the next few years. He has pretty good handle, a natural feel for making the right play and is above average rebounder at this stage. Dailey can score the basketball close and is developing into a jump shot maker off the dribble. It’s easy to see him long term as likely one of the best in this class and if he grasp an aggressive nature offensively, he could become the best player in this class in Memphis.
2018 has Alex Lomax, Tyler Harris and TJ Moss at the top who are all receiving a ton of attention from coaches around the country followed by 2019 who which is probably the best upcoming class to most locally which includes Chandler Lawson, DJ Jeffries and Malcolm Dandridge. There is another class though whose starting to show that their trio should be mentioned as well. 2020’s Cameron Matthews, Whitehaven High School Matthew Murrell and Briacrest 6’5 guard ,Marcellus Brigham. All different in how they play but one thing that they do have in common, they are all future division 1 basketball players and they make up what could make this area once again a prime location in 2020 for college coaches.
Murrell is probably the best scoring guard in the city in the freshman class and has star written all over him. Scores it in bunches from all 3 levels, unmatched athleticism at the 2 guard position and you can play him some on the ball as well. He showed off the leaping ability this weekend with an array of dunks and finishes and he looks a lot more comfortable taking hits and scoring plus fouls. That’s what a year in the best district in the state will do for you. Matthews is a 6’5 small forward who will remind some of Antavion Collum (East) in body structure , has definitely added new bounce to his game. Does most of his damage close now but is a player who can get it of the rim and go with it and finish strong and he looks at his best when attacking where he can use his athletic ability to finish. He can defend multiple positions and is a good rebounder and weak side shot blocker. He’s improving his jumper and handle every year and I expect that to continue to get better the more comfortable he gets shooting it. Brigham is maybe the most intriguing because of his shooting ability from the mid game to the 3 and has some post up in his game as well. Has a smoothness about him, loves the pull up from the elbow and short corner and utilizes the floater when necessary. A mismatch because he’s a true big guard, most times to big for smaller players and able to drive around bigger players, the more aggressive he gets, his ceiling gets that much higher! Some say he could end up being the best player in this class in Memphis.
While I’m not ready to say that this class is better than another right now, I will say this, this class is starting to evolve into a pretty good and it starts at the top with these 3. Be on the look for these 3 as all run with Team Penny in the spring and summer.
Note* As you can see, several players have been selected for both teams on the girls and boys side, however, only 30 will be selected. You must confirm that you plan to play by February 17th. The West teams will wear full white school uniforms while the East team will wear full away uniforms. I’m asking that players who play in the game arrive at least an hour before their game. The girls game will begin at 3:00 pm followed by the boys game at 4:30 pm. Confirm your attendance by email (Charles.901PrepScoop@yahoo.com) or through text or call at 901-287-0057.
West Girls Roster
1. Sequoia Allmond-Bellevue
2.Kyla Mason- White Station
3.Queniesha Sumerall- Havenview
4.Sharmen Taylor- Arlington
5.Anandi Farrell Rosseau- Schilling Farms
6.Deja Pryor- Cordova
7.Tiera Jones- Lowrance
8.Lyric Cole- Kate Bond
9.Maddy Prather- Hutchison
10.Monique Chew- Colonial
11.Chakhia Blockett- Bolivar
12.Makayla Dockery- Colonial
13.Arielle Everett- Union City
14.Micah Williams- Hickory Ridge
15.Kennedy Trice- Schilling Farms
16.Diana Early- Ridgeway
17.Ayanna Collins- Dexter
18.Jaslin Wood- Desoto Central
19.Rachel Hightower- Desoto Central
20.Lauren Robinson- Schilling Farms
21.CC Drew- PCA
East Girls Roster
1.KK Howard- Dyersburg
2.Amaya Mull- Colonial
3.Zavia Harris- Highland Oaks
4.Dionna Reed- Steam Academy
5.Carmen Taylor- Arlington
6.Diana Taylor- Ridgeway
7.Destiny Todd- Schilling Farms
8.Skylar Arnold- Bellevue’
9.Ciara Taylor- Three Oaks
10.Jamia Brooks- Bellevue
11.Demia Bess- Colonial
12.Carmen Harrison- Hutchison
13.Jada Williams- Union City
14.Kylie Mccadney- Union City
15.Hannah Powell- PCA
16.Kataya Grissom- Sherwood
17.Ialla Sharp- Ridgeway
18.Amya Black- Olive Branch
19.Raylen Smith- American Way
Boys West Roster
1. Johnathan Lawson- Bellevue
2. Tadarius Jacobs- Bellevue
3.Kaiden Laws- Center Hill (MS)
4.Tristan Jones- Kingsbury
5.Cameron Donegan- Kingsbury
6. Peyton Moore- Briarcrest
7.Daveonne Warfield- Hickory Ridge
8.David Dixon- Ridgeway
9.Eddie Buxton- Mt.Pisgah
10.Jace Lockhart- Arlington
11.Travis Dockery- Havenview
12.Dorian George- White Station
13.Jelani Willis- White Station
14.Bryson Potts- Houston
15.Brennan Jones- ECS
16.Alex Anderson- Highland Oaks
17.Jordan Jenkins- Schilling Farms
18.Desmond Bratcher- Havenview
19.Ariyon Paige- Bellevue
Boys East Roster
1. Jalen Brown- Kingsbury
2.Deebo Coleman- Lausanne
3.Kennedy Chandler- Briarcrest
4.Tyler Harrington- Briarcrest
5. Zander Yates- Briarcrest
6. Nathan Kyzar- Memphis Nighthawks
7.Eli Federman- St.George
8.Dillon Woods- Lausanne
9. Jordan Hibbler- Southaven (MS)
10.Ethan Roberts- Houston
11.Thomas Kizer- ECS
12.Travis Dockery- Havenview
13 Calvin Jennings- Snowden
14.Alden Applewhite- White Station
15.Willie Foreman- White Station
16.Kameron Jones- Cordova
17.Roderick Lewis- MUS
18.Eric Roberts- Bellevue-
19.Davon Barnes- White Station
In what maybe a preview to a few match-ups later on in the season, tonight the Highland Hawks take on the White Station Spartans. This game while early will is to determine right now who is the king of Large Schools. White Station is now 2-0 after beating Snowden last night by double digits in a game that got interesting in the 3rd after the Spartans built a 20 point lead in the first half. In the 2nd, Snowden made it a game cutting the lead to 7 but the Spartans settled down in the 4th and got it going again. For Highland Oaks, I believe this is there first game of the season but they are a team as I said that is capable of becoming the best team in Large School before the season is over. What better chance than now though for Highland right? They come into the game knowing the opportunity that is before them, a chance to make a statement and say we are for real or they may not have this chance until the MAM tournament if they are not in the MLK which will be later on in the month.
Some of the things to watch in this game will be Allen Anderson and Alden Applewhite going head to head. Anderson is the more aggressive of the 2 while Applewhite is the better shot maker. Both will have huge say so in who win this game. Cameron Donegan could also have the duty of Applewhite because he and Anderson both play on the ball. Donegan is a gamer from what I’ve seen in the past and this will be his type of atmosphere. I’m not sure if they will be able to keep him out of the lane if he’s driving with the intent to score but he’s a good passer and his teammates around him will have to step up and make shots. Wille Foreman is tough around the rim and on the offensive glass for White Station. For Highland to win, they have to make sure they find and seal him from crashing the boards. Highland must also limit turnovers but so must White Station who had a few in the 3rd quarter last night which made that game closer than they wanted to. White Station likes to shoot the 3 and have a few players that are capable from there but they must not fall in love with that because Highland has some players capable of making them pay off the long rebounds. Looking for a player to make a big shot that you may not normally think of? For Highland, I might be inclined to say 6th grader Josh Holloway. In a game like this, it will be someone you may not expect to make a shot to change the momentum or outcome of the game and he could be just that player. Regale Moore, another 6th grader will play some minutes and isn’t scared of the moment. Will White Station’s size and athleticism be to much for Highland? Does Jelani Willis break out this game and be the player that the Hawks have no answer for? Does Donegan have a monster game where he’s being aggressive looking for his shot?
The try outs, the hard work, the practices and now the season is here as the first week of games have arrived. Last year I started the “Prep” Poll as a way for fans to keep up with some of the better teams in the area and once again, I will do the same thing. There are some interesting games this week and a few that could affect this season’s very first week of basketball. Next week, we could see a whole new top 5 or will it remain the same? It’s time for young players to step up and for new players to emerge. For those that find it hard to find recognition, this is the time for you and your teams. Coaches who feel there teams deserve more attention, this is the start of a new season, the chance to be mentioned among the best teams in the city. How do you do that? In the immortal words of Al Davis, Just win! I give you the first regular season “Prep” Poll.
1. Bellevue Middle (1-0) Got off a to a good start last night with a win by a huge margin over Westside. Johnathan Lawson, Tadarius Jacobs and Eric Roberts and JR Jacobs were all in double figures as the team scored 80 points. Not bad for a team that Coach Byron Harris says has only practiced 3 times as a full team. They are without point guard Cartier Beverly right now due to injury but expect him to be back in mid November. This team has 3-4 players only any given night that can get 15-20 points but Lawson will probably will lead them in scoring in most of their games. He’s more than capable of carrying a team but on this team, there is a lot of talent around him so he can play passer as well. Also watch for Carlito Tuggle, a stand out running back who will play some back up pg and be a defensive nightmare on teams best guards. Tadarius Jacobs is coming into his own, more confident in his scoring ability, he has underrated athleticism and the best defensive instincts of any guard in the city and can make the open 3 at a high rate and an effective slasher. His brother Jr. Jacobs is instant offense and will be that all season for the Bobcats but you can play him on the ball as well. Right now as constructed, the Bobcats will be extremely hard to beat in Small Schools or Large.
2. White Station Middle (1-0) Once again, probably overall, the biggest team in the city hands down with size at every position accept the pg position and they can go big there depending on who starts. They will be led by Willie Foreman, Aldon Applewhite who have been heavily counted out since the 6th grade. This year, if they want to finish the season as champions, both most be huge along with Jelani Willis, an athletic who can swing at the 2,3, and 4 positions and guard them. Willis will lead them in scoring some nights because of his motor alone. Dorian George could end up being vital to their success playing inside along with Foreman but like Willis, he can go to other spots and be valuable as a utility player. They have 2 pretty tough games this week back to back, Wednesday against Snowden at their place and Highland Oaks on the road on Thursday. Snowden ended there season last year and will be a thorn in their side this year once again. They are probably favorites by most in both games but must be careful or they could drop both games.
3. Highland Oaks Middle(0-0) I missed them in my pre-season rankings but I won’t make that mistake again because the Hawks are state contenders. Why? Well it starts with Cameron Donegan and Allen Anderson who form maybe the best guard duo in the city. 6th graders Josh Holloway and Regale Moore will be in the rotation as well and will be asked to play minutes even though both are capable but still very young. Donegan and Anderson had Highland in at the end of the last season before losing to American Way, the eventual state champs but this year they are looking for more. Highland is very capable of being the best team in the city this year and they have a chance to prove it starting on Thursday if they can upset White Station. Going to be tough but playing at their gym will have a hand in the game.
4. Ridgeway Middle (0-0) Youngest team out of their group with 4 starters in 6th or 7th graders including their 2 guards who are in 6th grade. This is the most talent that Coach Stephen has had since the state run at Hamilton Middle a few years back and while he may not admit it, I will say it for him, this team could do the same thing. Yes, the inexperience of at the middle school level will be something to overcome for them early on but by the middle of the season, they should be fine. David Dixon is their x factor this year and rightfully so. The 6’5 rim protector is one of of the longest players in middle school this year, his presence alone should play dividends for a team looking for someone to be their leader. Again early on, they may lose a game or 2 that they shouldn’t lose but by December this will be a dangerous team. Their first game is tonight against Hickory Ridge Middle.
5. Kingsbury (0-0) Jalen Brown, Jalen Brown and more Jalen Brown, Mario Taylor will lean on his nationally ranked guard and locally #3 in the 2021 class . The Falcons have had good guards over the years but Brown might be the best of them, he will have to score 20 plus, rebound, play defense and be asked to find offense for his teammates. Someone else will have to step up and they have a few candidates in Caleb Jackson and Tristan Jones. Jackson is a 7th grade guard who will start along side Brown and Jones who will be asked to provide rebounding also to go along with the shooting that he can give them. Chris Nelson, an 8th grade guard is another who has experience of playing the last few years will be someone that Coach Taylor can rely on in key games this year.
The middle school season is upon us and one of the best events in the city is back for it’s fourth year, the Middle School Elite Basketball Classic. This event will highlight some of the city’s best teams and players all in one location and give an early indication for some fans of who the best teams may be in middle school. The event will start at 9:00 am with 2 more girls basketball games to follow ending at 11:30 am and the boys games will begin at 12:45 pm and end with the 7:00 pm showcase game for a total of 9 games for the event.
Sequoia Allmond, regarded by some as the best 8th grader in the city highlights the talent on the girls side. An attacking guard off the dribble, Allmond gets it done offensively and will be hard to guard for anyone in the city and she will be problem for a good Kate Bond team but that’s if she will be able to give it a go after suffering a hand injury. Bellevue also has some length and talent in Skylar Arnold who should be among the best players in the city, Serena Lee and Jamia Brooks. Lyric Cole, Kayla Howard and Carlia Northcross will be ones to watch for Kate Bond in what should be a pretty competitive game. Colonial lost the best girls player in the city last year, Endya Buford but, they still be very competitive. PCA versus Germantown tips the opener at 9:00 am with the Squires looking to continue to build up their new program with the addition of Sirrea “CC” Drew who is one of the better defensive guards in the city.
In the boys first game, PCA coached Robert Scales will take on Metro Home School at 12:45 pm. Like the the girls, PCA is looking to make a name for itself and while it could be a challenge early on, I look for them to get better and better through out the year.
In the 2:00 tip, Bolivar takes on Colonial who also has a new coach in Cedric Franklin who led American Way to a state sectional title last year. He has a new team but some talent in 7th grader, James Cox, Emanuel Walters who will take up some of the scoring and 6’2 Landon Rhodes, who will be their leading scorer in some games this year.
Kate Bond and Havenview could be interesting at 3:15 with 2 more coaches who are new to their programs, try to get key wins. For Kate Bond, Kerwin Whitfield, who’s been playing minutes since 6th grade, Devin Haliburton, Kennon Thompson and Garret Crume will all be contributors this year on a Kate Bond team that plays in one of the toughest leagues in the city. Whitfield will have to be their leader for them as well as a scorer and set up guy for them. The 2 years prior experience should be helpful this season for the point guard. For Havenview, former Whitehaven head coach Lawrence Myers, youth is the movement. Travis Dockery and Desmond Bratcher will be the guards but a 6th and 7th grader will be have to play and be integral parts, Emerson Tenner, the backup pg as a 6th grader and son of Fairley legend, Deuce Ford’s son, Sylvester Ford. The 6’1 6’2 ish plays inside right now and can finish around the rim.
Southaven vs Germantown start what should be the start of 3 pretty good games. In this 4:30 game, the young Red Devils could be led by Cameron Miller, a 6’1 forward who has really grown since the summer, not just in height but in confidence as a scorer. Chris Martin, could be starter by the middle of the season will also proving some shooting and scoring as well as the ability to play on the ball if needed. Southaven has a pretty good guard trio in Jordan Hibbler who can score it and BJ Morgan who will have the ball in his hands a lot as the pg. Both can hurt you and Desimen Rogers will be another contributor. Hibbler is an athletic 2-3 who can score in bunches so for those who may not know a lot about him, Hibbler is one of the best 20 8th graders in the area. Morgan is a cat quick guard who plays big regardless of this, makes the open 3 and is a driver to the rim but more as a passer. This has a chance to be maybe the best game of the classic.
At 5:45, Briarcrest takes on Ridgeway in a game that could have headlined the entire classic. Briarcrest will be led by Zander Yates, a 6’5 touching 6’6 post and if healthy, Hunter Higdon who’s coming off injury. Yates will be imposing for the Saints but to counter him, Ridgeway has a 6’5 of their own, David Dixon. Dixon is a developing 4-5, who runs the floor, blocks shots and shows some scoring ability around the rim. Two of the best bigs in the city going at each other, should make for a fun game but Ridgeway will feature the most talent on their side. Young but ready, the Roadrunners have Bryson Nash and EJ Smith, both 6th graders playing guard. Let me say this again, 2 6th graders running the show but these are not your average 6th graders. Nash is one of the best point guards in the country, according to several services and Smith is a really good guard in his own right, my second best player in the class of 2023 in the city. Chris Brunt can play on the ball and at the 1,2 or 3 for them and is easily one of the more versatile players in 2022 in the city. Kristian Spencer is 3-4 who can rebound and defend and is developing as a scorer. This might be the most talent that Briarcrest sees all year on one team and it will be tough game for them but I expect them to be in the game as well.
The headliner game at 7:00 is a good one, host school Lausanne takes on Highland Oaks led by Mark Freeman. Freeman is excited about this team and for several reasons, one of which is Alex Anderson. Anderson is a long 6’2 guard who can play both guard positions and will likely be there leading scorer on the season. His match-up with Lausanne’s Deebo Coleman is one I’m looking forward to the most of all the games on Saturday. Cameron Donegan of Highland is another player who will be big in this game. His ability to find you and score timely points will be crucial for them not only in this game but all year. Owen Babb and Landon Jeffries will play quality minutes for them as 7th graders and Dillon Woods who has some raving about his athletic abilit . I think Lausanne’s youth outside of Coleman could prove to be costly against the 8th grade combo of Donegan and Anderson but Lausanne will be looking for upset and the Hawks better be mindful of that.
Some of the best players in the city, skilled and drilled, matched up to compete in groups against the best in their class in one gym on this past Saturday, let’s just say the “Cream Of The Crop” was absolutely loaded with future of Memphis basketball. This was the first inaugural camp and it was an opportunity for the city’s best to put it on display against the “elite” of Memphis middle school basketball. To be the best, you have to want to play against the best and the campers rose to the occasion and made names for themselves including some who many may not have known much about. Kennedy Chandler, Johnathan Lawson, Jaylen Brown, Terrance “JR” Jacobs, Cartier Beverly, Bryson “Jay” Nash, Earnest “EJ” Smith, I could keep going but the point, it was crazy talented. Some newcomers hit the scene as well as several players really surprised with their play and put themselves into the conversation as some of the city’s best young talent. I know what everyone is waiting for, the rankings from the camp, so with that, I give you the rankings starting with the 6th grade class (2023) followed by the 7th grade (2022) on tomorrow and 8th grade (2021) to follow.
The young ones of the camp, I was extremely impressed with the skill levels of this group. A few players, I hadn’t seen much of but I can see why many are excited about this 2023 group across Memphis. At number 10 in the group, Emerson Tenner (Havenview) is a new name that some will want to keep an eye on, the diminutive guard didn’t shy away from competition during camp against the names. Jailon Hardaway (Ridgeway) is an in between position type of player right now that can do some positive things for you as a player. Not a scorer right now but can rebound and guard most teams forwards in his class right now. Fred Deere Jr (Bon Lin) of the Dream Chasers is an offensive minded guard who’s best days are clearly ahead of him. Rashad Williams (Arlington Middle) is very intriguing because of his length and size right now and he can hit the perimeter jumper due to his touch. Offensively he’s raw but where makes the most impact is defensively with his ability to alter and block shots. Williams will be one of the bigger names to watch in this class and as as he continues to develop, expect to see him near the top of this list.
6. Wesley Street is a new name that I got an opportunity to see and he was impressive on first sight. He was always in the right opportunity to score using the floater over taller defenders and showing big time confidence as a player. He hit the jumper from 3 and mid range and showed off the handle to get to his spots and make it happen. Really crafty with the ball in hands,Street finds ways to score and can play some point guard as well. Don’t forget about this name in this class.
5. Braylen Ragland– Briarcrest Christian – Size, ability and potential put him in this spot and he’s a player who has tools to be really good down the line. He has good range on his shot, shoots the 3 and is a willing to the rim but operates much more off the jumper. Expanding to one, two dribble pull up game and using his strength will add to repertoire as a player who could become the best scorer in this class.
4. Javar Daniels -Super long forward, Daniels is probably the tallest player in this class right now in Memphis. Like a lot of young bigs, Daniels is still a work in progress with his back to the basket, to be expected but he’s really active inside getting his hands on the ball, as showed some ability as offensive rebounder and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the bigger 7th graders during camp play. He showed some versatility to and put it on the floor a few times showing some future as maybe face up type. He has good hands, sprints the floor and is a shot changer right now more so than a shot blocker. Daniels has huge upside, maybe the best upside of anyone in his class, lots to like about him.
3. Regale Moore – -Highland Oaks Middle – Long guard who’s future projects as a athletic slasher, finisher. Drives with the intent to score and has a nice first step, Moore is oozes potential as a go to scorer later on down the road. He has good size his position right now, attacks in transition and has active hands as a defender. Going to be really good in the future!
2. Ernest “EJ” Smith – Ridgeway Middle – The son of former Memphis Tiger Ernest Smith, EJ is going to make a name for himself locally. Fundamentally sound guard, not flashy but gets it done and displays a really good IQ at such a young age. Has a good feel for when to pass it to teammate for a better chance to score or get it himself, He’s much of a point guard than a combo guard right now but he can score through the jumper on the catch and shoot or spot up. He never seems to up or down but is a gamer and one that can silently put together great games without doing a lot of scoring.
1. Bryson “Jay” Nash – Ridgeway Middle – Maturity beyond years and sky high confidence, Nash is a point guard, not a “points” guard. Passing ability, get into the middle for kick outs, thinks the game, very cerebral, what he lacks in size, he makes up in smarts on the floor. He can get his shot through the step back and runners, Nash picks up his game when needed to score. He keeps his dribble low, head up and looks to make the pass and is more than capable with the 3 ball and short jumper to keep you honest. He’s a winner and someone you want with the ball because you know he he’s going to make the right play at the end of the game.
There is always talk about about who’s the best player every year in Memphis, whether it’s 5th, 6th graders or high school juniors and seniors, the conversations don’t change, who’s the best player in their respective class? Many times, we don’t get to see the match-ups that may put an end to debates but now, I’m giving an opportunity for those who say they are the best, to come and show you are the best.
901PrepScoop presents, the first ever “Cream Of The Crop” Camp, September 17th at Lausanne Collegiate School (1381 W.Massey Rd) The camp will take place from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and the cost per player will be 30.00 dollars which will go towards jerseys and registration fee. Each player will receive profiles on 901PrepScoop and video highlights will be provided. This camp is INVITE only and all players have been selected by myself and staff and thus, the invites below. Please note that on the list provided, you will see 60 invites however, only 50 players will make up the camp. 20-8th graders, 20- 7th graders and 10- 6th graders. It is first come, first serve, so the first 20, 20 and 10 players of each class will make up the 50 players in the camp. Each players who plans to attend needs to confirm with me at Charles.901PrepScoop@yahoo.com or send text to 901-287-0057 by September 14th of next week.
901PrepScoop’s rankings of the 2021, 2022 and 2023 classes will come from this camp. The camp will consist of skills and drills and each player will play in at least 3 games in the afternoon session of the camp. I’m looking at who really wants to compete against the best in their class to determine who will go in what spot. I will only rank who attends the camp and again, I’m looking for who wants to compete! I hear this all the time, come check out my son, my son is the best, he’s top 5, you have that kid ranked over mine, if you think this, this is your opportunity!! If you say your the best, come and prove it!! Only the Cream Shall Rise!
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.
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.
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.