Posted On: 04/14/18 3:01 PM
NASHVILLE– Music City Invitational tipped Friday night, but Saturday allowed for more games and more evaluations. The field is almost exclusively Tennessee filled, and most of the programs are actually from middle Tennessee specifically.
LIVE periods commence the next two weekends. Every AAU team is ramping up for the college coaches’ evaluations in late April.
The following players stood out in the Nashville-based event.
Kamari Coffey of West Creek High School has impressive height for his eventual position of wing forward. He can handle the basketball in the open floor and showed a little touch from the perimeter. Still raw the size and athleticism suggests a successful future. Kamari also played some 17u minutes.
Because he is exceptionally quick, Michael McClary (MLK) has three college programs scouting and following his progress. Saturday, D1 prospect McClary moved the basketball swiftly and constantly changed the point of attack. His jumper still needs work. Running an offense and finishing in traffic are his strengths. Of course, the first step quickness sets him apart from most college recruits. After his Saturday afternoon win McClary talked about his early college options. Subscribers can enjoy the video interview.
As a wing, Harry Lackey is simply dynamic. The 6-foot-6 slasher loves playing with other gifted athletes. At his best Lackey is creating in the lane, involving shooters and bigs with innovative passes. Lackey’s occasionally reserved sophomore season hinted at greatness, but too often Harry deferred to older players when he could have attacked and dominated the opposition. When talented, driven underclassmen defer it is difficult to get the best read on their game and future. Saturday Harry’s potential was clear and impressive. Harry Lackey is currently ranked in the top 15 statewide.
Clarksville Select is woefully undermanned in both size and depth. They kept in games with tenacity, but when your 5-foot-10 point guard is hovering in the paint your team has structural problems probably (in this case definitely) rooted in a small roster. Forget all that as it relates to Crawford’s future. He is a D3/NAIA prospect with really impressive handles. He doesn’t need to score to feel good about himself. Crawford faced little resistance this weekend from defenders.
Cleveland High’s Jacobi loves the outside shot. Saturday he buried four triples in the opening half. Wood rimmed out to beat the halftime-buzzer. Jacobi is so smooth with the ball in his hands. He floats up the floor and keeps defenders unsettled. Wood sparkled is his first @PrepHoopsTN evaluation.
For Oakland High, DeArre tucks in to the corner and offers jumpers. With his AAU team, DeArre is much more versatile and confident. He gets more touches and defends the guards more often. Watching him rebound from the low blocks in high school does little to inspire recruiters. It is easier to envision DeArre’s future when the gifted athlete dominates guards on both ends. With WHBH he plays that more natural role and as he thrives his recruiting will soar. DeArre is currently ranked in the top 50 statewide.
Team WHBH boasts so many killer athletes that D.J. Stacy can be overlooked at first glance. Stacy will always combat that height prejudice standing 5-foot-6. His impact is generally felt from perimeter defense transitioning in to early offense. Stacy is an accomplished shooter, but did not need to take outside shots often Saturday. His penetration was smooth and unstoppable by the competition.
Antioch’s forward is a player an AAU coach tipped me off to in the winter. Desta can be a college basketball player, but it takes consistent, focused effort. Ashenefe Desta is a great teammates and a joy to play with. He will need to work on handles to truly evolve as a basketball player. His vertical play and strength already provide a wonderful foundation. The mobility offensively will improve with better dribbling skills.