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January 30, 2006With four of Tennessee's top high school basketball teams in action last Saturday night in the Old Spice Red Zone Showcase in Nashville, Tenn., up to 13 division one prospects were on the court. Here is a breakdown on their play:
Brandan Wright (Brentwood Academy- 22 points on 8 of 17 shooting and 6 of 10 from the line, 10 rebounds, 8 blocks, 3 assists, 4 turnovers in 31 minutes of play) The North Carolina signee has really elevated his game during his senior season. Getting a lot more touches with his high school team than he got with his AAU team, Wright has become a dominant presence on the offensive end to go along with his defensive dominance. Also, the lefty is now handling the ball with authority with his right hand, and in a game earlier this year, was even spotted shooting a right handed jump hook. Down the stretch he ran the point for Brentwood and had two big time assists and a no look pass that resulted in a fouled shooter. Wright also posted up harder and attacked the basket with more strength than I have ever seen him do. It is scary to think how well he will complement Tyler Hansbrough at North Carolina next year.
Thaddeus Young (Mitchell High School- 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting, 1 of 3 from the arc, 6 of 7 from the line, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 7 steals, 3 assists, 6 turnovers in 30 minutes of play) The Georgia Tech signee quietly put up very good numbers across the board. Foul trouble and Bolivar's zone in the first half kept him in check, and Willie Kemp did an admirable job defending him in the second half in Wayne Chism's absence. Young's shot looked good although he needs more wrist and less arm in his stroke. He does need to gain strength for the next level, and he was not as sure with his handle as he was in the summer. Nonetheless, very good numbers for a guy having less than his best night.
Wayne Chism (Bolivar Central- 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting, 1 of 2 from the arc, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 3 assists, 5 turnovers in 16 minutes of play) Chism has the size and strength and defensive and rebounding ability to help Tennessee immediately next year. The best thing about Chism is the better the competition, the better he plays. Chism moves well defensively on the perimeter for his size. Offensively, he can step out and shoot the three, and in the post he has very good spin moves to either shoulder.
Willie Kemp (Bolivar Central- 18 points on 8 of 18 shooting, 1 of 7 from the arc, 1 of 2 from the line, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 6 turnovers in 32 minutes of play) What this Memphis signee lacks in speed and strength and overall athleticism, he makes up with craftiness and competitiveness. Not a pure shooter, but he knows how to hit critical baskets. What Kemp does best on offense is create shots for his teammates, which will serve him extremely well when he is surrounded by talented players at Memphis. Had some turnovers against backcourt trapping, because he does not have the strength and speed to bully through the pressure, but he is poised with the ball and able to go either direction with the dribble.
Joshua Bone (Brentwood Academy- 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting, 5 of 8 from the arc, 1 of 2 from the line, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover in 31 minutes of play) The Southern Illinois signee is a very good spot up shooter. He has good strength, but lacks the quickness to consistently create off the dribble against top athletes. Has the ability to defend and rebound at the shooting guard position. Does need to improve his ball handling for the next level.
Brandon Powell (Mitchell High School- 11 points on 4 of 16 shooting, 2 of 11 from the arch, 1 of 3 from the line, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 3 turnovers in 21 minutes of play) Powell has nice strength and athletic ability as a shooting guard. He is a quick trigger, streaky shooter, who will need to improve his shot selection at Florida. Good defender and rebounder, but has a long way to go as a ball handler and passer.
Andre Thornton (Mitchell High School- 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting and 3 of 7 from the line, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 turnovers in 22 minutes of play) The Central Florida signee is the glue guy for the Mitchell squad. He has a knack for coming up with big rebounds and buckets down the stretch. Not athletic, but strong, crafty and competitive, Thornton will be a solid player for Central Florida.
Ernest Fields (Ridgeway High School- 6 points on 3 of 10 shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals, 1 turnover in 21 minutes of play) The Austin Peay signee is an undersized post player with exceptional jumping ability. He was completely neutralized by Brandan Wright. Fields needs to improve his ball handling and shooting for the next level.
Wesley Channels (Ridgeway High School- 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting, 0 of 4 from the arc, 2 of 3 from the line, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 assists, 2 turnovers in 30 minutes of play) The Austin Peay signee quietly put up solid numbers but did not have a significant impact on the game. Rarely handled the ball and was not effective from behind the arc.
Derrick Mason (Ridgeway High School- 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting, 3 of 5 from the arc, 0 of 1 from the line, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 2 turnovers in 23 minutes of play) This left handed sophomore is a good looking prospect as a well built 6-foot-3 shooting guard. Shoots the ball with tremendous confidence and has the physicality to rebound. Did not handle the ball much. Projects as at least a mid-major shooting guard prospect.
Brian Wright (Brentwood Academy-10 points on 3 of 4 shooting, 1 of 2 from the arc, 2 of 3 from the line, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover in 26 minutes of play) A junior and the younger brother of Brandan Wright, Brian projects as a low to mid-major combo forward . A long 6-foot-6, he shoots the spot up three fairly well right now and doesn't try to do too much with the ball on the perimeter. He does need to improve his skills with the ball to project as a small forward, but what he does best is rebound, defend and step out and hit the jumper.
Brandon Brown (Brentwood Academy- 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting, 2 of 5 from the arc, 1 of 2 from the line, 1 rebound, 1 assist in 18 minutes of play) A very young junior and with a game similar to Brian Wright's game, Brown can shoot it from the arc. Also, 6-foot-6, Brown is not quite the defender and rebounder that Brian Wright is. Like Brian Wright, he projects as a low to mid-major combo forward prospect.
Jarvis Jones (Mitchell High School- 9 points on 3 of 9 shooting, 2 of 7 from the arc, 1 of 2 from the line, 4 rebounds, 12 steal in 24 minutes of play) Avery young and thin sophomore guard at 6-feet, Jones has a smooth handle and shooting stroke. Appears to still be growing. He is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.