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Posted On: 09/27/18 2:15 PM
Exceptional instruction met ambitious, polite yet hungry young men in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Sunday September 23rd to deliver a fantastic inaugural PrepHoopsTN/Above The Rim Gym Fall Combine. Guards heavily populated the Blackman High School gymnasium and the best three players were all guards. Still, former college starter Jaime Burkhard ground it out with the dozen bigs and found some raw minerals worth mining for talent.
Start with sophomore forward Royale Tillman.
Cane Ridge High School keeps churning out wonderful guards (Damion Baugh, Kyree Elder, Jaylen Whitaker, David Smith Jr., Chantz Hillsman). Royale will have to get touches in a perpetually feisty, penetrating guard-drive offense. By running the floor, with his fleet feet, Tillman will be ahead of the post defenders. Royale posted a sparkling fast time and currently stands 6-foot-2. At that size Tillman will have to capitalize in the open floor. There are not many big bigs in Cane Ridge’s schedule, but when CRHS finds them Royale will be outrebounded.
Physically impressive. Kareem and his brother walk off the bus to frightened glances of opposing fans. Though neither of them harbor any “bad weight” they are both extremely naturally strong. Explosive leaper. Athletically he is ahead of his peers. His skills are good, not great at this point. He needs to incorporate more elaborate slashing moves to fully profit from his bounce.
Sharif needs to expand his shooting range all the way to the arc. His form is not flawless and Kareem could benefit from a shooting coach. With Blackman he will get great instruction on team concepts and defensive principles, but truthfully high school coaches don’t have the time to invest in fixing each and every player’s shot frailties. Look for Kareem to climb a little from #134 in 2021 rankings.
Entering with the deserved reputation as scorer, Colin absolutely suffered from an over-abundance of guards. The deep, talented crop of guards in attendance was at once exhilarating and frustrating. With so many guards on hand quality scorers like Colin are going to get bypassed in the offensive “flow.” Standing 5-foot-9 Colin projects as a scoring point guard.
Don’t forget Colin was named District 8-AA Freshman of the Year over fellow campers Matthew Sells (Livingston Academy), Isaiah Allen (Upperman) and Alex Rush (Upperman). He showed flashes of that Sunday. Gore’s best combine station was the lane agility where he quickly traversed the rectangular lane and returned to the starting point much better than the day’s average.
Colin Gore keeps his base low and gets point to point with precision. His movement is purposeful and swift. Gore showed crisp handle and a nice transition from dribbling into his shot. The technique of both skill elements reveals plenty of pre-combine practices. He projects as a point guard capable of hitting open shots.
Look for Jacob to develop that upper body as his body matures. He is perfectly situated with a knowledgeable, driven father who consumes the latest athletic training trends frequently. Plus, Jacob is already accustomed to putting in the hours to improve his body. That takes a discipline many lack.
Shooting will be his do or die skill. If Jacob can’t shoot like an archer by 17 years of age, then college basketball will be nearly impossible. That is where his basketball hinges…on shooting with deadly accuracy.
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