Posted On: 04/29/20 2:08 PM
With strong winters the following members of the Class of 2020 landed top 200 in Tennessee.
The lower-numbered rankings suggest highest college success.
#1 Keon JohnsonKeonJohnson6'5" | SGThe Webb School | 2020State#21NationTN (Webb Bell Buckle) Tennessee signed
Keon was the #1 prospect from the time we first ranked Class of 2020. Despite a season-ending meniscus injury 4 games into his senior season, Keon JohnsonKeonJohnson6'5" | SGThe Webb School | 2020State#21NationTN retains the #1 spot in our PrepHoopsTN rankings. He did not get to play in the playoffs as a senior. He did not earn his third consecutive Mr. Basketball honor.
Why did he keep his #1 ranking? PrepHoopsTN ranks upon the potential. ’How good will they be at their basketball peak?’
He instantly displayed a toughness and willingness to win at all costs. In the 2018 state playoffs, Keon essentially played center on defense because his Webb School-Bell Buckle Feet had no frontline to speak of. He was spectacular defensively and nearly impossible to contain on the offensive end. Johnson was merely a sophomore at the time, but his incredible ceiling was clearly higher than anyone in his class.
Keon’s genetics don’t hurt that potential. Mother to Keon, Conswella Johnson was a two-time Class AAA Miss Basketball at Shelbyville, winning the award in 1994 and 1995, and was the Class AAA state tournament MVP in 1994. Conswella continued her success into the SEC, where she earned All-SEC two times at Auburn.
Over the course of his career, Keon added elements to his already impressive game. Exiting his final AAU season, Keon proved he could knock down the outside shot with consistency. He can grow in this facet still, but his development proves a willingness to attack his weaknesses. Plenty of elite leapers like Johnson is never devoted themselves to rounding out their game. Dunking on people is pretty fun and it takes discipline to work on the less glamorous aspects of the game. Keon JohnsonKeonJohnson6'5" | SGThe Webb School | 2020State#21NationTN did. He has both the physical tools and the character/drive to be great…to be a professional basketball player.
#2 Samson RuzhentsevSamsonRuzhentsev6'7" | SGHamilton Heights | 2020State#55NationTN (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy) Florida signed
Samson surpassed Matthew Murrell in the PrepHoopsTN player rankings prior to Murrell’s transfer to I.M.G. Academy. The two elite prospects will meet, possibly guarding each other in fact, in the Southeastern Conference. High-flying sharpshooter Samson RuzhentsevSamsonRuzhentsev6'7" | SGHamilton Heights | 2020State#55NationTN is signed to the University of Florida and Murrell signed to Ole Miss.
Ruzhentsev’s development has been astronomical. Nearly every facet of his game is demonstrably stronger than it was two years prior when he arrived from Russia. His game is wonderfully accustomed to the modern NBA. Outside shooting plus. Size for position plus plus. Athleticism plus.
Beyond his impressive tool box, Ruzhentsev screams to the top two in our state with that scorer’s demeanor. ‘I will give you buckets. You will not stop me.’
#3 Dante HarrisDanteHarris6'1" | PGLakeway Christian Academy | 2020State#372NationTN (Lakeview Academy) Georgetown signed
The quickest first step in Tennessee. Harris was largely ignored all season because of the team he plays on. They simply don’t compete in and against the more highly-visible teams. Ran with BMaze Elite during his AAU career and really blossomed and matured with that program.
#4 JaCobi Wood (Cleveland) Belmont signed
Mr. Basketball. Pushed his team into the 2020 Class AAA State Tournament. Wood’s coach Reggie Tucker touted Wood as the best point guard in the state for the last 2 years. For the first time Wood is ranked in the top 5. It turns out Coach Tucker was right. TSSAA agreed. In his senior season Wood surpassed 50 points in a single game multiple times. He moved well over 1500 career points and 100 career wins. Wood and Cleveland High accomplished an incredible amount together.
Couldn’t ask for more.
Day of reflection…So Proud of our guys, to much to say in 140 but just know.
Everything WE Did…WE DID TOGETHER!! BeleeDat!!
#1 State Ranking
Program-best 29-0 start
Regular Season/Region/Sectional Champs
Back2Back State Tourney
— Reggie Tucker (@broadway34ever) April 16, 2020
#5 Marcellus BrighamMarcellusBrigham6'5" | SFBriarcrest Christian | 2020State#442NationTN Jr. (Briarcrest Christian) Jacksonville State signed
Wing star who improved his game year-to-year. Brigham Jr. is a wonderful teammate with skills and athleticism to spare. Brigham Jr. signed with Jacksonville State University in the Ohio Valley Conference. He lived most of his career in the mid-teens for PrepHoopsTN. A couple of players stagnated in their senior year and several left the state (Matthew Murrell/Bayron Matos), so Marcellus climbed into the top 5. His shooting range is probably the skill he developed the most in the last two years. Brigham Jr. doesn’t bring any drama to his programs. He wants to win and eagerly adapts to the coach’s mission without complaint. Brigham has plenty of room to grow too. Kennedy ChandlerKennedyChandler6'1" | PGBriarcrest Christian | 2021#17NationKS was, justifiably so, getting many, many touches for the Briarcrest Christian Saints. Brigham does not have a glaring weakness and his demeanor, body, level committed to all will converge to present him an exciting climb towards his fantastically high ceiling in the coming years.