Former Central High standout and Team Penny 2018 guard Jordan Johnson is on the move. The 5’10 known for his scoring and 3 making ability is headed to South Memphis to play for Hamilton High School. This is a huge addition for Hamilton who will be in Double A this year and could have a huge say in who comes out of a much improved classification.
Johnson will give Hamilton maybe the best trio of guards AA this upcoming year pairing him with Kevon Williams, Martrell Brooks and you can’t forget about Delvin Lane, a 6’2 guard who can score. Hamilton who last won a state title in 2015 could find themselves back in the picture this year as a team you definitely have to pay attention to this season.
Back over a decade ago, Hamilton High School was a fixture in the basketball circle as a powerhouse in girls basketball. I remember the names of Patosha Jeffery, April Allen, Tiffany Beasley, Alshaa Hodges, Catriece Webster, Ashley Shields before she left for Melrose and so many more. There maybe another player that people will remember like the greats of girls basketball at Hamilton, Tesia Thompson because she could have a special year in her final season of high school basketball.
The 5’10 guard can do it all, versatility is her strength, she can guard multiple positions, play the 1,2,3 and some fours in some instances and defend all of those spots. She can facilitate and run a team, rebound, score at all 3 levels, you can put her anywhere and she will produce for you at a high level. She can stretch the floor with the 3, shoot the short jumper off the pull up but she’s more effective as a slasher and finisher when she gets there. When you think of “big” guard, that’s what she is and I think she could be a 20 point a night scorer if that’s what she wanted to do but because of her ability to do a little of everything well, you will regularly see 17, 7 and 6 in most games. There has been some debate as to who is the best player in the city on the girls side. I know many make strong cases, Elizabeth Dixon, Jayla Hemmingway, Myah Taylor (Olive Branch) and a few more however, Thompson can be utilized so much, which is why she is a special player in my opinion. While some are close, Thompson to me is the best girls player in the city, irregardless of class.
2018 and 2019 are both classes that many people locally and across the country are looking forward to and they should. In 2018, Alex Lomax , TJ Moss, Tyler Harris and Ryan Boyce are the names you hear the most. Mark Freeman is another player that is discussed a lot as well but there is another guard that everyone should know about in Memphis and his name is Trey Davis. Davis is a 6’0 guard with a great feel for the attack in transition or in the half court setting and one not afraid to embrace big situations. He has strong handle with ball in his hands, picks and chooses his spots and can get to where he wants on the floor for the floater for pull up jumpers and is very aggressive to the basket where he’s a finisher or finder for teammates. He plays with a lot of confidence and poise and it shows as he never gets to up or down during the course of games.
The St Benedict/Team Penny product has an offer from Rice University but has interest from Kent State, Wofford, Virginia, Belmont and Florida State. Next week is Peach Jam for his 16U group so I expect his interest and maybe some offers to come his way after the tournament but for now when you thinking of players in the city in this class, make sure you remember to add Davis to it as he is one of the city’s best 10 players in that class.
A big time move was made by a very talented 8th grade team featuring some of the best players in the city earlier in the week. They were Team Thad but now they are Team Penny according to team sources and bringing over a nice early spring resume. They won the Coach T Classic in St.Louis and the Southern Spring Invitational most recently but now are on to new beginnings with a different organization. They have pretty good size and their guard play is outstanding with Tayson Parker, Kennedy Chandler and Reggie Neely and good length with Marcellus Brigham Jr, Issac Smith and Rodney Mason Jr, all 6’3-6’4. Inside they are strong as well with Rodney Newsome Jr and Omari “Big O” Thomas and 6’5 Markeston Douglas (Haywood County0 forming a strong tandem which can compete with anyone in the country. The are headed up by Head Coach Zach Davis who said, “I’m glad to be apart of the program, we felt this was the best opportunity and position for everyone” He will be assisted by Coach Rod Davis (Arlington Middle) and Coach Joe Washington (Bellevue)
This move also gives some flexibility with Kennedy Chandler being a 7th grader possibly teaming up Memphis Wildcats duo and top 5 players in 2021 in the city , Johnathan Lawson (#1) and Jaylen Brown (#3). Or the possibility of Lawson and Brown playing some with the older group along with a few other possibilities at some point in time during the summer which could affect at least 1 age group . All in all, it’s a nice move as Team Penny loads up for the future as you could see some of these players on the Nike EYBL circuit in a few years.
Lamarcus Golden and Team Penny captured a national title, 86 66 over the Michigan Gators at Southwind High School. That’s 2 in a row for this organization with last year Desmond Merriweather coached team winning last AAU season. I think this 2018 group has a chance to be a really good EYBL team next season!! Congratulations to Coach Golden, Coach Freeman and Team Penny!!!
5 Memphis High School products got a chance to visit one of the historic basketball institutions in the country today, Indiana University. 5’11 2018 Carlos Sandifer, a speedy guard who prepped at White Station last season and now will attend Olive Branch High School and likely be the starter along with 6’6 Rod Brown of Cordova who’s starting to receive a lot of D1 attention, 6’6 Bruce Guy, a late blooming talented forward in 2019, 2018 Ryan Boyce (Houston) who has a Ole Miss and Memphis offer already and freshman Joe Cooper, touted as the best freshman point guard in the city by many. 3 of the 4 run with Team Thad while Carlos plays with the Arkansas Wings and Boyce with Team Penny. All figure to be mid to high major players over the next 3-4 years.