Posted On: 06/11/18 2:12 PM
June is the season of rebirth. High school basketball programs require an influx of talent to reload or rebuild. Competing at Lipscomb’s Team Camp last week a handful of young, unproven players glittered with skill and size.
These are the New Faces of Tennessee basketball.
2022 G Chandler Jackson (Christian Brothers)
I watched an entire game of Christian Brothers before knowing Chandler’s game. This always makes for the most pure evaluation. Chandler’s name carries great weight in Memphis and knowing his name could have tainted the evaluation. The first thing Chandler presents is strength. He is built like a fit 16 year old young man. Jackson owns the lane against bigs, despite playing guard exclusively. The penetration tends to end in Chandler finishing or getting his own miss. Secondly, Jackson is confident. He has years of domination under his belt and it shows with his attacking, fearless style of play. The handle also makes Jackson special. Most coaches agree that Chandler Jackson is the best 2022 in Memphis. I am an early believer too.
2022 PG Taylor Groves (East Robertson)
EAB 14u is Taylor’s home. With East Robertson High School he darts around the floor. Groves should dominate his District 9 opponents and ERHS needs the help. The Indians finished 11-17, 4-2 last season. Ten teams defeated East Robertson by double-digits.
2021 WG Keaton Allen (Clarksville Northeast)
Silky off-guard. Lithe figure. Good handle. Comfortable handling the ball out high. Gifted finished around the rim. He has all of the physical tools to be a special player at the high school level. With years of development ahead of him, Keaton Allen just might earn a college scholarship.
2020 WG Gary Smith Jr. (Columbia Academy)
Columbia Academy runs out two strong seniors in Eli Hyle and Carson Cary. They will be the team leaders in 2018-2019 and yet the new face of transfer Gary Smith Jr. glistens with hope. Smith Jr. stands 6-foot-5 with budding strength. Last week Gary was still acclimating himself to the Columbia Academy system. As he catches more details I expect his play to speed up. Smith Jr. is a naturally athletic, tall wing.