PrepHoopsTN / Above The Rim Gym Fall Combine: Part XIII

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Posted On: 10/7/18 12:07 AM

MURFREESBORO–

The Class of 2021 certainly dominated the Above the Rim Gym/PrepHoopsTN Fall Combine with their depth and high-end talent.  One of the most impressive participants was Class of 2021 wing Matthew Schneider (EAB 15u/Siegel High). 

Schneider proved he can and will make the difficult assimilation to wing guard from young forward.  Too often high school players in the 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-5 range get relegated to post play early and never slip out of the rut.  Why this matters is that no college is playing a 6-foot-4 player on the low blocks.  It is a death sentence for a basketball career beyond those glorious high school days.

Matthew is so nimble and ready to play anywhere on the floor save point guard. Sunday proved that question answerable.  Hub Swafford is a traditional four man with a background on the blocks.  He works that angle effectively and projects as a forward unlike Schneider who is trying to make a transition away from it.  Swafford’s defensive awareness stands out in a group setting.  In an environment where everybody is selfishly concerned about looking good, Swafford tends to be a helping hand to teammates beaten off the dribble.  

A guard who shouldn’t get beat off the dribble is quick, bouncy freshman Adarius Liggon.  From Dyer County Adarius traveled to the combine with an unfamiliar name and game to PrepHoopsTN.  His showing really helps spread his game to new eyes.  Liggon recorded a nice vertical and competed consistently against older, more advanced guards.

 

Adarius Liggon 2022 Dyer County Wing Guard

The youngest of the Dyer County @PrepHoopsTN Fall Combine attendees, Adarius Liggon brought some lovely bounce to the Blackman High gym. Liggon currently stands 5-foot-10 with a promising 28.5″ one-step vertical as he enters high school.  Right now Adarius Liggon weighs 150.8 pounds and reaches 93.5″ standing (7 1/2 feet).  

Of the Class of 2022 participants at the combine Liggon is the most physically advanced.  He has great body control on the floor and in the air.  With a couple more seasons under his proverbial belt Liggon will be ready to exploit zone defenses with his dribble.  

Liggon is certain to grow in the near future.  His hands are 8″ long with a 5.5″ handspan.  Those measurements were more reflective of 6-foot-3 upperclassmen than a 14-year old freshman.  

Distinguishing yourself as a guard takes something special as the world is filled with guards dreaming to play beyond high school. 

 

What does Adarius do better than most?  What can Adarius eventually do better than most high school guards?   Adarius Liggon is quick and explosive.  He is ok with the basketball in his orbit, but like all players can improve vastly in tight spaces.  He should be able to maneuver between tall, foreboding players with ease and also involve teammates with the pass better.  

Adarius older sister, Amanda Pugh, is a freshman basketball player in the Freed-Hardeman University program.

 

2021 Hub Swafford Berean Academy Wing Forward

Berean Academy forward Hub Swafford played AAU with Chattanooga Elite Grey 15u,  Their team underwent several significant roster changes during the AAU campaign.  Despite the turnover Hub and a couple other forwards remained productive and steady. 

During the Above The Rim Gym / PrepHoopsTN Fall Combine Hub worked diligently with big man coach extraordinaire Jaime Burkhard. 

 

Hub is 6-foot-3 with shoes on and weighs 179 pounds.  His base is strong but all teenage athletes can get stronger over time.  He doesn’t allow defenders to get into his hands and strip the ball loose.  

Hub Swafford is an ideal pick-and-pop guy.  He projects as a nice mid-range shooter.  Though his requires guards to trust him, which strangers rarely do trust bigs, he will prove his value to teammates in high school and AAU by knocking down those open shots.  

Defensively, Hub has wonderful court awareness.  The forward sees defensive breakdowns as they happen and typically helps in record time.  His presence on the weakside is temporary and always helpful for vulnerable guards.  This might be Hub’s greatest basketball mental strength…defensive vision and reaction time.

What Swafford currently lacks is vertical explosion.  To give him the best interior look at the basket this is an area for improvement.  

Hub’s frame suggests more muscle can rest comfortably under his shoulders.  The ideal style of play considering Hub’s talents and limitations would be a strong-shouldered power forward. 

It will take more work in the gym and weight room, but he is a technician apparently with good discipline.  Plus, Hub shows up for challenges and doesn’t shy away from bigger players.  

Hub Swafford entered October ranked #97 in PrepHoopsTN 2021 player rankings. As many more players are added and Hub’s skills and body change that spot is likely to change.

2021 Matthew Schneider Murfreesboro Siegel Wing Guard

Few attendees did more for their basketball reputation than Matthew Schneider.  

The Siegel wing left with a certain astronomical leap in the rankings to come.  His times in the 3/4 court sprint and lane agility resonated, landing among the best in the entire event.  That fact is remarkable considering Schneider stands nearly 6-foot-5 with shoes on and many of his sprinting competitors are 6-foot-0 or shorter.  

Schneider’s quicks and hops are extraordinary for a sophomore forward.  Previously considered a forward by me this singular event calcified my opinion that he will easily be able to withstand the defensive challenges of defending quick college wings.  Schneider’s ball-handling is incredible as his height and age.  He looks like he enjoys handling in the open floor, which is rare for taller young men.  

Schneider has already adapted to his height.  If there is more growing to be done, then Matthew Schneider certainly absorbed many of the guard skills needed to help him at any height.  The summer with EAB 15u seems to have been incredibly helpful with the sophomores speed of play.  Fast guards do not rattle him or pick his pocket. 

Matthew Schneider will be a featured player in Tennessee for the next couple years and though he was known before, now he is undeniably deserving of DI coach evaluations.