Posted On: 09/29/19 8:11 PM

The natural curvature of the basketball Earth just began to rotate our impending playoffs into view.  It is that time when the upper limb of the playoff sun appears above the horizon as a result of the diurnal rotation of…it is a sunrise metaphor.  Deal with it. 

Time to revisit the Class of 2021 rankings and adjust to account for the player’s growth and stagnation. Read about #158-165.

If you want to look at the complete rankings, smash here.

The following players are now ranked in the Top 165 statewide (LEFT-new rank).

Gioppino Basketball clip art#144 Rashard Watkins

Rashard Watkins (Cordova) is loyal to his AAU program, the Hoop City Elite.  He played with them for the last 2+ years, dating back to a staggeringly deep squad featuring Mason Miller, Zander Yates, etc.  Pass-first with handles.  Watkins is undersized at the position.  Heady.  Sees passing angles well.  It took less than a month for Rashard Watkins to earn a starting spot for Cordova High after moving to CHS in January.  Facing Arlington, Watkins buried six three-pointers. 

Gioppino Basketball clip art#145 Caleb Carter

Caleb Carter is a big dude.  With hands measuring 9″ across, he boasts a wingspan of 6-foot-6.  Carter weighed in just under 200 pounds during the @PrepHoopsTN Spring Combine.  While competing with Team ARG, Carter provided steady post defense and could rebound inside his own area ok.  Carter looks like he will reach 6-foot-7.  His game will always be power forward or center.  

Gioppino Basketball clip art#146 Jamar Kynart

Wildly athletic combo forward nearly 6 1/2 feet tall from middle Tennessee. Rebounds very well against smaller opponents.  It will be nice to see him in settings against tougher, college-bound players to get a better evaluation. 

Gioppino Basketball clip art#147 Ryan Barber

Barber’s productivity is still lagging behind his potential entering high school.  Standing 5-foot-10, Barber starts for Lookout Valley outside Chattanooga’s downtown.  In his sophomore season, Barber averaged 5.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, and 1.2 apg.  Defense is a strength for the junior guard.  His offensive efficiency dings him from an evaluator’s perspective.  In 2019-2020, Barber shot just 34% from the 2-point area!  That needs to improve above his 41% freshman number.  

Gioppino Basketball clip art#148 Elijah Buckner

The 6-foot-5 forward will not start this year on an ambitious Siegel team featuring, at a minimum, three college-bound players.  This does not prevent Elijah from taking a run at a college offer himself.  Buckner is a capable athlete with strong shoulders, arms.  The shooting range is not good.  He can rebound and defend the rim.  Buckner can improve and will be forced to improve to claw minutes away from senior Brennon Marsh (PrepHoopsTN #64 in Class of 2020) and junior Matthew Schneider (PrepHoopsTN #31).  Schneider will graduate as a three-year starter, so the bar is high at SHS.

Gioppino Basketball clip art#149 Kareem Sharif

Though neither Kareem Sharif, nor his brother 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.  

For the best statewide coverage of high school basketball follow @PrepHoopsTN.