August 18, 2018
Blake Franks and his Grind2Shine crew had another very successful camp. As always, Blake seems to bring in the top talent to go along with unnoticed guys making names for themselves. Here are some notes that I took away from the Ripley camp. One common note to keep an eye on was the defensive effort and hustle displayed at the camp.
Kareem Thompson 6-5 G Florence (AL): This guy can flat out play. He shot the ball extremely well and has handles to go with his touch. He’s not afraid to put you on a poster if you get in his way.
Bentavious “Ben” Galmore 5-10 PG Coahoma County: Clamps. He displayed his high defensive skills by locking his opponents down.
Kourtland Armstrong 5-8 PG Pontotoc: He didn’t have a bad outing at all. He made several plays to where I had to look down on my sheet and see who it was.
Kavan Wooten 6-6 F Senatobia: I watched him play last season and he has improved big time since then. He is another high level defender with serious reach and length.
Tommy Murr 6-1 PG Lindsay Lane (AL): He had a horrible shooting performance but I’ve seen him enough time to know what he can do. He still displayed his amazing passing ability and his flashy style getting up and down the court. We really need to see Lindsay Lane play in Mississippi this season, he is well worth the price of admission.
Dashun Berry 6-0 G Houlka: Did Murr have an off night or was it because of the defense of Berry. Every time I looked up, Dashun was in his grill and not letting him breathe at all.
Cooper McCleskey 6-5 G Caledonia: Boy have I really missed out on him. He is a top 10-20 ranked player in his class and this was my first time seeing him. He has size, strength, mental toughness and heart to his game. He can run the 1 or 2 offensively. He is very efficient off the dribble. He can score on several levels and seems to have a knack for passing. With his 23 and 3.9 he is well on his way to being qualified and being able to play on the D1 level.
Josh Mitchell 6-7 F/C Tupelo: He has a nice long frame that will be very beneficial for Tupelo this season.
Walter Hamilton 6-7 F/C Potts Camp: I was thinking he moved in and was new to Potts Camp but I was wrong. He just hit a big growth spurt. His long frame will be a nice addition to go along with the size Coach Dillard had already manning the court for the Cardinals. PC will be a team to watch for in 1A this year.
Holt Bashinsky 6-5 G Mountain Brook (AL): Another very nice surprise with this athlete. He can shoot the ball well and has a good bit of grit to his game. Keep an eye him when Mountain Brook comes to Mississippi several times this season.
Jesus Ruedas 5-9 PG Ripley: He is lightning quick but it looks so slow. It looks like I could rip the ball from him but he is so effective putting defenders on skates. He also gained a good bit of confidence from last year to this year.
Isaiah Thompson 6-3 F Amory: He looks like a mean bull when he’s playing and you better get out of his way or he will trample you. He plays so strong and physical around the basket.
Cori Bell 6-0 PG Holly Springs: He always seems to find the open spots on the court. His basketball IQ is pretty high and he played with so much heart.
Tony McCray Jr 5-11 G Coahoma County: Coach Moore keeps stacking guys up in his run for the three-peat.
Tony Farrar 6-0 PG Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (TN): Very smooth guard that seems to get it done effortlessly.
Omarion Luss 6-0 PG Clinton: One of my favorite players in the state is starting to add some inches to his super solid game.
Kaeden Laws 6-4 G/F Center Hill: Mr. Laws has added the ability to get to the basket in his game. The lights out shooter is now making defenders respect his slashing ability. He is one of the reason Center Hill will be a heavy weight team this season.
JD Harrell 5-9 PG Jasper (AL): A very smart player that moves with intentions. He has no wasted or negative movement to his game.
Cameron Smith 6-5 F Falkner: He played well beyond his years and looked like an experienced veteran. He is going to be a talented player if he continues to develop like he has so far. He was also diving on the floor for loose balls at a camp. Enough said.
Jackson Higler 6-4 G/F Chattanooga Christian (TN): Shooter, shooter, shooter. He can shoot and has some size to go along with his shot.
Dajerious Scott 5-9 PG Pontotoc: He made we go o-my several times with his ball handling. He is very quick and smooth.
Devin Carter 5-11 G Florence: He played with a chip on his shoulder and he looked very good at the camp. He scored at will and played some hard nosed d. He might be the piece that gets Florence over the hump this season in the hunt for the gold ball.
Martavious Russell 6-3 F Sipsey Valley (AL): He’s got major hops. Possibly the most bouncy person at the camp.
Garrett Wilson 5-6 PG Holy Spirit (AL): He loves the game. I watched him play with TNA Heat several times this summer and he has the true love and passion for the game. This love and desire will take him a long way in this sport.
Braxton Bishop 5-8 G Tupelo: No secret here. He’s one of the next biggest players in Mississippi. He’s just so dang smooth.
Carson Rowland 5-10 PG Pine Grove: It took Carson most of the day to realize he was good enough to play with the best of them but when he did, he took over. He rounded out the camp scoring at ease and was able to show his impressive passing ability. Folks don’t look now but Tippah County has some young studs coming up. I’ll probably get in trouble saying this but the Tippah County Tournament is about to actually be fun to go see in the next few years.
David Harbour 6-5 F Tupelo: Massive potential here. His upside is amazing and Coach Norwood could have him a couple HM kids on the way up.
Latrell Vance 6-1 SG Ripley: He used his home court presence to knock the long ball down. He shot the ball very well and played at a high pace.
Zane Tipler 5-0 PG Ripley: He hit em with them moves and kill em with the step back. Another Tippah stud on the way unless his father starts to hit the recruiting trail and get him down to Pontotoc to play for him.
Aiden Johnson 5-6 SG Ingomar: He doesn’t do much on the court yet but what he does, he does it well. He can shoot, really good.