Posted On: 04/29/19 7:24 PM

Team Thad 17u did it again. They reached the top of the @PrepHoopsTN State Rankings, as our debut #1 team.  Head Coach Norton Hurd IV cobbled together a brand new team of star players.  It happens every spring.  Though Thad’s squad started slow in UA Chicago, they ended that mid-April weekend 2-2.  What set up Team Thad for the #1 ranking was this most recent 4-0 Kansas City weekend!

Only three teams in the entire UnderArmour Association have a current winning streak of 4 or more (WeR1, Team Thad, NE6).

BMaze Elite 17u (#2) really underperformed Saturday April 29th at UA Chicago, losing two tight games late.  They snuck out of the Chicago suburb of Aurora with a win over NY Gauchos, 54-41.  Perhaps the most impressive result for BMaze Elite so far is the 63-58 loss to powerhouse WeR1 (6-2).  Wins over West Coast Elite and Grassroots Sizzle helped BMaze Elite exit May with a 4-4 record.

This is the first time in the history (2017-2019) that two UnderArmour teams lead the 17u rankings.  Thad always contends, but this is BMaze’s best shot at a mythical ‘State Title.’  Coach and Founder Bobby Maze has been building toward this since he paired up Akeem Odusipe and Jaden Springer three years ago.

Bluff City Legends 17u finished 1-3 at EYBL Atlanta.   Bluff City Gold (#5) was remarkable at Hoopseen’s Atlanta Jam.  Which one is better?

“The Legends are losing to real good teams,” said Courtney Asher Smith.  “Some damn good teams.”

That is what makes it so tough.  Bluff City (#3) could have the most talented roster in the state, and yet they aren’t producing wins just yet.  Bluff City Gold is composed largely of holdovers from Head Coach Chris Adams’ Team Pharoah Elite 2018 16u squad.  The team possesses a nice understanding of their purpose and direction.  Are they better than the Legends?   Time will tell.

Hoop City Elite (#4) is smashed between the two Bluff City teams, as they played pretty well in Dallas this weekend.  Marcellus Brigham Jr., Bo Montgomery, and Christopher McKnight are the backbone.

EAB Tennessee (#6) is sputtering in their first shoe-deal season.  They suffered injuries, defections, and a prom prior to that debut Indy weekend (0-4).  Bolstered with a new outlook and two new players (Luke Howard, Tyrone Marshall) and the return of EAB legend Nate Bloedorn they finished adidas Dallas 2-2. Still work to be done, but Keon Johnson’s support system is stronger than it was.  Rebounding remains a concern.

Chip Smith’s Tennessee Tigers (#7) finished 5-0 in Atlanta’s northeast suburb of Suwanee.  In fact, they are the highest ranked “non-shoe deal” team.  Both the Tennessee Bobcats (#8) and WHBH (#9) are right there with the Tigers.  This tier is very competitive internally.  Don’t expect stability in the 5-10 range this season. 

Sevier County Select inhabits a hazy, ill-defined tier between the 6-9 teams and the bottom five ranked outfits.  Considered an upstart program, Sevier County Select (#10) features several Sevier County High stars (Wes Maples, Camden McElhaney, Marvin Castro, Cam Burden).  In a world filled with turmoil and turnover Sevier County Select and Memphis Showtime (#12) are consistently running out the same players.

“We’ve been playing with each other since 4th grade so we got the chemistry for sure,” said McElhaney Monday evening.

It surely was a pleasant weekend for the Upward Stars-Premier South.  They left Hoopseen’s Atlanta Jam unblemished.  Read about many of their prospects.

Gatorade Association favorite Chattanooga Elite ranks #13 ahead of Mid-State Elite (#14) and Hoop City’s Silver (#15) team.  All three are relatively unfamiliar, but their recent weekend successes earned them special mentions in the Top 15.

1Team ThadUnderArmourTook the weekend off. Murrell sparkled at UA Camp.1
2BMazeUnderArmourWon their event last weekend.2
3Hoop City Eliteadidas GoldFinished Final 4 in Chicago event, losing to Indiana Elite.4
4Bluff City LegendsEYBLTwo EYBL wins. All season.3
5EABadidas GoldMowed through Adidas Atlanta MDC.6
6Bluff City GOLD5
7WHBH GoldAdded two 6'7"+ players. It makes an enormous difference.9
8Tennessee TigersTitle Team at MDC in Atlanta.7
9Tennessee Bobcats-Ilic is a special young prospect. 8
10Memphis ShowtimeDefeated Sevier Select recently.12
11Sevier County SelectWesley Maples gets help from Cam Burden and track star Mcelhaney.10
12Upward Stars-Premiere South11
13Chattanooga Elite NavyGatoradeImpressed Gatorade Assocation execs.13
14Mid State EliteWith a core of Clarksville talent.14
15Tennessee Edge-Captured St. Louis Showdown crown.--


Peruse the new 17u rankings (16u and 15u not updated from 2018 yet).