Posted On: 09/5/18 10:30 AM
When it comes to depth, Bartlett High School has one of the deepest and balanced teams in the state of Tennessee. When head coach Dion Real gets asked who stands out on the roster, he has to take a moment to name a player.
That’s a sign of how deep the Panthers, if healthy, will be this upcoming season.
Bartlett has a rotation of 10 players who will see action this upcoming season. One of the most important pieces to the Panthers’ success is senior wing Jalen Cincore, a versatile shooting guard with upper body strength. Cincore, 6-foot-5, has blossomed over the summer on the offensive end. He’s a difficult matchup for anyone because of his multiple scoring options on the court. Cincore is one of those guards who chooses where he wants to score the basketball.
Cincore made four 3s in the Jerry Peters Memphis Summer Classic back in June. He finished the tournament with 45 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Cincore also went 13 for 19 from the free throw line.
“He’s so versatile, and what I mean by versatile is that you’re not going to see him on the block posting up too much,” Real said. “But he can score at the rim, he can pull up on you, then he can stretch the defense out because he shoots the ball so well with range.
“So, he’s another threat out there that we did not have during the second half of the season last year, and I think we’re going to catch a lot of people off guard.”
Outside of Cincore, Bartlett has a plethora of wing players to implement into the rotation. Senior Tyler Carpenter and junior Rodney Mason Jr. not only can score, but are very active on the glass. Carpenter had a team-high 22 total rebounds at MUS. Mason added 15 boards. Both guards finished with double digits in scoring.
In the frontcourt, the Panthers have seniors Takori Rooks (6-6) and Earl Whitby (6-5) and junior Jaylin Lucas (6-5). Rooks hasn’t been talked about much, but Real likes to describe Rooks as a “big body that can get to the basket.” He gives Bartlett another weapon from 3-point range and on the glass. Rooks doesn’t have a problem scoring in the post.
Real describes Sylvester Thompson, a 5-9 junior point guard, as the team’s best defensive player. He wants to guard the person that’s supposed to score, even in practice. Senior point guard Jefferson Walker, 5-10, gives the Panthers a reliable presence on both ends of the court. Junior guard Wynne Brown, 5-8, is an under-the-radar point guard. If Bartlett is in need of a basket, he’s there to knock down the big shot.
Outside of Thompson, Walker, and Brown, the Panthers are big at other positions, which gives the team an advantage on the defensive end.
“Our length is something that we’re really excited about,” Real said. “Everything starts on the defensive end for us, so we can do so many different things with our defense now.”
Over the offseason, Bartlett was able to add 6-5 shooting guard/small forward Antavion Collum, who has over 70 Division 1 basketball offers. Collum has, since, cut his list down to seven schools (Florida State, Florida, UNLV, Missouri, Ole Miss, Louisville, and Georgetown.)