Posted On: 03/7/18 5:36 PM

Class AA state quarterfinals tip Thursday, March 15th at 1:15 PM central.  The eight teams bring plenty of talented players.  Today the emphasis belongs on the young men in the trenches.  These are the guys battling and devoting their physical well-being to the cause.  These are the Top AA Rebounders.

You can see the complete 2018 rankings here.

Gioppino Basketball clip artMike Wallace (Stratford)

There is a reason the Stratford Spartans are 15-3 since Christmas.  His name is Michael Wallace.  The toughest, most physically imposing Wallace since William Wallace (Braveheart), Mike instantly creates problems the moment he steps onto the court.  If Wallace avoids foul trouble, which is not guaranteed, then Stratford should make it to the final game.  He is that incredible in the paint, especially in search of the basketball.

Gioppino Basketball clip artJa’Hari Reed (Stratford)

Most of these players are frontcourt men.  The nephew of Stratford Head Coach Romie Reed, Ja’Hari surges to the backboard midway through every offensive possession.  The wing doesn’t really play a traditional shooting guard role as he rebounds like a power forward and also successfully scores with post moves.   Jahari (PrepHoopsTN #102) won District 10 AA Tournament MVP largely off his scoring prowess.  In gritty games he excels as a rebounder more than anything though.

Gioppino Basketball clip artDylan Wade (Whites Creek)

The Cobras need post play.  Hamilton rebounds like fleas.  They are always jumping and when you try to squash them, the guards and forwards bounce up again.  It feels like the whole Hamilton team challenges on the backboards.  Their team profile makes Dylan Wade irreplaceable.  Wade is severely undersized as a post player.  Look for him to compete for rebounds with bigger boys utilizing his wonderful vertical leaping ability.

Gioppino Basketball clip artSolomon Bridgemon (Tyner Academy)

Known as a post player for Tyner Academy’s Rams, Solomon Bridgemon boasts a 6-foot-6 wingspan.  The junior doesn’t explode as quickly or as high as Dylan Wade, Mike Wallace, or Martrell Brooks.  His power helps him and Bridgemon expertly positions himself.

Gioppino Basketball clip artMartrell Brooks (Hamilton)

Nobody in Class AA gets off the deck quicker than Martrell Brooks.  Even in the highly competitive state quarterfinals I expect Martrell Brooks (PrepHoopsTN 2018 #17) to record a double-double.  Ten rebounds is a day at the docks for blue collar Brooks.  The bounding wing forward made Team Penny AAU relentless on the offensive boards for years and Hamilton hopes to capture a AA State Championship on his back this month.

Gioppino Basketball clip artJulian Woods (Hamilton)

While Brooks is the bouncier of the two, at 6-foot-5 Woods possesses rare size for a AA big.  Add his 215-pound frame and dominating build and you have a shorter Horace Grant replica.

Gioppino Basketball clip artMekhi Carter (Alcoa)

Senior guard Mekhi Carter is always around the rim, whether it be scoring or attacking the glass.  Carter uses his 6-foot-4 frame and basketball brains to collect timely rebounds for the Tornadoes.

Gioppino Basketball clip artDeshaun Page (Fulton)

Fantastically rugged, Deshaun Page yanks down rebounds with ferocity.  Page is one of the stronger players in this draw.  His broad shoulders help him hold his ground as he rockets to the errant shots.

Gioppino Basketball clip artJanias Parram (Jackson South Side)

Like Ja’Hari Reed, Janias Parram belongs on the wing but finds himself helping the team under the basket.  The Class of 2020 combo forward does his rebounding damage with quick feet and quick reactions.  


You can watch two Class AA state participants play (February) here: