Tag Archives: Regale Moore

901PrepScoop Pre-Season Middle School Top 5

 

Markese Washington (Lester Middle)
                                                 Markese Washington (Lester Middle)

 With tryouts which began on Monday officially, It’s almost that time of the year again, the 2017-2018 Middle School Basketball season is here in  what promises to be one of the more interesting years that I’ve seen in awhile. There are a lot of questions  this season   but  a lot of them  will be answered soon as play days are on the way as well with the first being next week at Lausanne on October 7th.

Who is the best player in Middle School this year? Is it Chandler Jackson who finishing up his final year at St.Louis? Markese Washington at Lester?  Are the Roadrunners of Ridgeway the best Middle School in Large Schools this year or the Germantown Red Devils who are equally talented in the starting 5? Speaking of Germantown, transfer Cartier Beverly, a two sport standout who won a state title at Bellevue last year hurt his leg and will be out for a substantial amount of time. If he’s able to get back during the season, Germantown could be become the favorite. Expect 6’1 Cameron to make a push as a top 3-5 player in this class this season.

Will Lester turn back the clock to a few years ago where they were the best team in the city or will Bellevue who lost a lot of production be right there with them with Jr Jacobs? Can John P Freeman put themselves in position to make a run this season? How much better will Lowrance be this year with Braxton Jumper and ever improving Javar Daniels, a 6’2 7th grader with tons of potential?  Can Snowden contend with their guards? There are a lot of questions but soon and very soon, we will begin to see our thoughts and questions become realities as we are within a few weeks of the season getting underway.

Below, my pre-season top 5 middle school teams in the city based on what I think they have right now. Will it be the same when the season starts? Maybe, maybe not, can a team jump into the top 5, yes they can. Will the number 1 team right now but the # 1 team when the season starts, I can’t say, but it will be fun to watch and see.

1. Lester Prep- On paper, they are so talented starting with Markese Washington, to me a top  5 player in this class in Memphis. Nearing 6’2 if not there already, Washington will be there best player most nights and have a chance to be the best player in Small Schools and perhaps, maybe the city. Lemarkus Wilkerson and Ahmed Abdulahi will be besides him to form maybe the best duo in Middle School. Wilkerson and Abdulahi are to 5’10 plus guards who can score for Coach Steve Terrell who’s excited about this year’s team. Abdulahi has kind of flown under the radar but I think a lot of people will be high on him by the end of the year.  6th grader Khylan Page will be leaned on a little because of is size alone  but with their experience, they will able to bring him along  slowly along with Jamarion Harvey. Watch for Chauncey Holmes as well.

2. Ridgeway Middle – Was very tempted to put them at #1 for several reasons. Chip Brunt, EJ Smith and Kristian Spencer all got better last year put into situations where they had to play and it should pay off this year.  Smith is getting better and better and should play the lead guard spot this year. Brunt had some big moments for them last year and Spencer gives them value as a defender and athleticism from the 3-4 spot. All of them should be big this year and take that next step up to be the early favorite in Large. They have enough talent to do so but they will also be counting on others to be help the trio. Adarion Miles must play big on the glass and Coach Stephen expect a nice group of 6th graders to play a lot including Kody Hickerson, Javion Stephen and Tyler Wilson.  Might be the deepest team in the top 5, top to bottom.

Kristian Spencer (Ridgeway)
                          Kristian Spencer (Ridgeway)

3. Germantown Middle– Cameron Miller, Daniel Egbuniwe and Chris Martin are all back this year and will have them vying for a state title this season.  Miller has a chance to put his name on everybody’s list as a top 5 player in 2022. He’s a scorer who you can put on the other team’s best player, go get you rebound and take over the game type and he will be all those things this year for this team. Chris Martin is one of the areas best shooters if not the best and Egbuniwe is quiet stat sheet stuffer. The key for them to make that run might be if Cartier Beverly can get back to basketball after a football injury. If he can and from sources, its possible, Beverly could put them above anyone locally in Large Schools. Rayquan Williams must contribute with Beverly being out but he’s a capable piece to their aspirations of becoming champions. Even if Beverly doesn’t return, the Red Devils will be in the thick of it at the end of the year.

Daniel Egbuniwe (Germantown)
                         Daniel Egbuniwe (Germantown)

4. Snowden Middle– Very guard laden team but a team never the less that will be tough to play against on any given night. Guard play reigns supreme in Middle School and if you have it, chances are, you can go a long way and Snowden as a lot of it. Kyler “KD” Dandridge, Madricus Pittman, another one of the area’s best shooters and Jamarius “Chunky’ Brooks give Snowden some firepower. Armani Mcfagdon will be asked to do a little bit of everything for this team but he’s more than capable of accepting that challenge.

5. Bellevue Middle- Beside White Station, not sure if one school lost more than them. Coming off back to back state tournament titles, the Bobcats will have a brand new look all the way around. Enter in former Kingsbury Middle coch, Mario Taylor who will be in his first year there but he will have a few players to help ease the transition. Terrance “JR” Jacobs, is diminutive in stature but big in game is ready to lead after playing some last year but will be in an entirely different role this year. Jacobs is very capable 15-20 point scorer and if he gets rolling, can put up big numbers.  AJ Dillworth and Amar Knox will both have to play well this year if they are to continue the tradition of Bellevue and deep playoff runs.

JR Jacobs (Bellevue)
                                       JR Jacobs (Bellevue)

 

Other teams to watch out for

FACS– Maybe the most talented private school in the city with Landon Jeffries, Kobe Wilks, Corey Savage and Tim Thomas Jr. Don’t be surprised if they appear in the top 5 next time around.

John P Freeman Middle- Bryce Dailey had a nice summer and he hopes to continue that into this season. He should lead this group along with Eric Steward and Harold Draper Jr.

Highland Oaks Middle– I’m really interested in watching Regale Moore and Josh Holloway this season. Their progression from last year to this year will determine how far Highland could go.

Lausanne Middle- A name you need to remember, Hayden Ledbetter is there and he’s one of the more talented 8th graders you may not know much about. Owen Babb and Peyton Piacetti will give them perimeter shooting.

Colonial Middle– Jacquez Brown and Cedric Franklin Jr will be trying to turn around a some what unmemorable season last year in Coach Franklin’s first year. He’s excited about Antonyus Moore as well.

 

“Cream Of The Crop” Camp Recap (2023 Class)

Rashad Williams (Arlington Middle 2023)
Rashad Williams (Arlington Middle 2023)

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.

2023

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.

Wes Street
Wes Street

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.

Braylen Ragland
Braylen Ragland (Briarcrest)

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.

Javar Daniels
Javar Daniels (Lowrance Middle)

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.

Regale Moore
Regale Moore (Highland Oaks Middle)

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!

EJ Smith
EJ Smith (Ridgeway Middle)

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.

Bryson "Jay" Nash
Bryson “Jay” Nash

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.