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Posted On: 05/29/18 6:52 PM
Entering Memorial Day Weekend, Team Thad 17u owned the #1 ranking and a couple of championships.
Four straight wins provided deeper evidence of their dominance. Monday morning, Atl Xpress 17u played Team Thad evenly throughout. While both teams cultivated scoring runs three monumental final minute plays delivered Xpress a winning result, 76-71.
“They had a good weekend,” said Team Thad 17u Head Coach Norton Hurd IV. “Beat everyone by 20 or 30. One of our better players didn’t play that game. Energy wasn’t as high. It was only our third loss all year. We are 22-3. We will have a better July.”
“Our four high major players are Damion Baugh, KyKy Tandy, Jaykwon Walton, and Daniel Ramsey,” said Coach Hurd IV. “We have good supporting players that are potential high major players in Antonio Thomas, Christian Jones, Kameron Jones. We are just constantly getting better.”
Atlanta XPress won the Monday morning quarterfinal and then won two more games. They exited the southeastern-flavored event as Gold Bracket Champions. Considering Team Thad’s squad lead multiple times Monday they easily could have advanced to the final four.
Just one more win would have set up an exhilarating uptempo battle with the Arkansas Hawks (Joe Johnson). Instead Team Thad 17u watched a game or two and splintered back to their hometowns until July.
Team Thad 17u did defeat four teams: Chattanooga Elite Grey, SC Ballers, VA Havoc, Jacksonville Magic.
Ky Ky Tandy was considered a top prospect his freshman year at University Heights Academy. His shot selection proved spotty. With Team Thad 17u he consistently blitzes into the lane. The coaching staff and Tandy obviously share an understanding.
What does Coach Hurd IV instruct Ky Ky to do?
“Just stay on attack mode,” shared Coach Hurd IV. “Just make an aggressive play. I don’t hold them back. Just make the right basketball play. Definitely one of the most explosive guards in the country going downhill.”
Tandy shares the backcourt with former Cane Ridge Raven Damion Baugh. The reclassed 2018 currently resides at #10 in our 2019 rankings. Also, just last week PrepHoopsTN featured Baugh in a recruiting update.
Damion Baugh defended an elite scorer Monday. Though Baugh disrupted several attacks, the quick-handed Baugh yielded 20 first-half points to Anthony Edwards (GA).
Taken in the entirety of his spring showcases, the game merely affixes a minor mole on the Mona Lisa. Regardless of the blip Damion’s game is a work of art worth admiring.
“Lives in Memphis now,” said Coach Hurd IV. “He is in our gym everyday. Most improved player in the country. He went from having no D1 offers three months to having almost 15 D1 offers. He picked up three SEC offers last week.”
Jaekwon Walton is a mere 16 year old. “Younger than his grade,” said Coach Hurd IV.
In the eyes of exceptional talent evaluator Coach Hurd IV, Walton can make it to the top.
“If he taps in to his potential he has some pro ability,” said Coach Hurd IV. “Really good shooter to be his height.”
Ridgeway senior-to-be Antonio Thomas embodies the Team Thad spirit of intense defense and a fearless attacking mindset.
“Leader, leader. True point guard. Does everything the right way. He gives us what we need.”
Both Antonio Thomas and Kameron Jones teeter on the edge of high major prospect. They both live in our top 15 players of the 2019 class. For different reasons they lack high major offers. July is a wonderful opportunity for both to make their case.
“Very athletic,” said Coach Hurd IV of Kameron Jones. “Once he reaches his potential he is going to be big-time.”
With Southwind High School Kameron Jones (PrepHoopsTN #12) thrives under thin cylinder. Team Thad gives him a few opportunities to face-up and create. Jones moves his feet well. Wing or small forward just might be his eventual position.
Another skilled forward Team Thad runs out is Luke Howard of Harding Academy.
“Getting more aggressive,” said Coach Hurd IV. “His thing is just getting more aggressive. Actually very good three point shooter when he is set.”
Monday morning neither Luke nor Donald Fitzgerald played much. Coach Hurd IV decided the opponent lacked a true big, so he elected to play Daniel Ramsey with Team Thad’s best wings and guards.
“Any time there are legit bigs in there (Fitzgerald) is one of our guys,” said Coach Hurd IV. “He is getting like ETSU. Some good low to mid-majors.”
Look for the Team Thad brand to perpetuate their excellence in July at UnderArmour’s premiere event.
For the best Tennessee AAU basketball coverage statewide follow @PrepHoopsTN.