Mississippi AAU Preview Part 1
Eric Vaughn aka Coach EV
Starting today April 19, 2017 I will be giving you an overview on some of the AAU teams here in Mississippi. For those of you who don’t know I moved to the Jackson MS area back in August of last year. For those you who don’t know who I am you can read up on me on my website www.thegeekerreport.com. I will say this I am a guy who knows a little bit of everyone in the sports arena all across the country especially when it comes to basketball. My agenda is very SIMPLE I’m trying to help as many young athletes reach their God-given destiny as possible and in return I will reach my God-given destiny. Also don’t beat me up if you don’t AGREE with my evaluations. I have only coached in over 750 games in 22 years as well as coaching at every level from the pros to middle school. With that being said I don’t know everything. I also am very familiar with the AAU scene as I co-founded and coached a Reebok sponsored AAU team Blessed IJN from 1998-2008. We were very fortunate to coach some very talented players as well as help a lot of athletes go to college and be a positive influence in their lives.
Before I go into my evaluation geek. Let me give you an idea about how I go through this process. I will give my evaluations based on some things that I have seen from the players throughout the year. I will not give evaluations on every player on each team only the ones I think are some of the key contributors to their organizations. I might miss some players. For the record I didn’t ask the coaches to give me any specific names since it’s my blog I chose who I wanted to choose. Also I will be giving my opinion on what level they can play at in college. For example Low major D1 colleges include all the SWAC schools along with schools like Austin Peay, Louisiana Monroe etc.… Mid Major Colleges are like Southern Miss, Memphis, etc.… High Majors colleges are like Miss State, Ole Miss, etc.… For the record there are over 330 Division 1 schools. Again I want to say upfront to the athlete and to the parents these are my opinions if you don’t like them that’s ok we can agree to disagree and it’s nothing personal. I love to be proved wrong! I also have a motto EV AIN”T TRIPPING!!! Enough of this geek our first AAU organization that we talk about is the Mississippi Hawks.
The Hawks are based out of Jackson, MS where they are led by director Thedford Gregory Jr (aka Coach Greg) and Coach Allante Watson. I have had a chance to sit down and talk to these young men and I think they are good young men who genuinely want to help young athletes. I think they have a bright future in this business. Although their program has age groups going down to the 7th grade today we are going to highlight some players from their 17 & U team. Here we go.
2018 Cameron Woodall 6’6 215 Small Forward Raymond HS
Cameron Woodall is no question the most talented player on the Hawks roster. He has an incredible high ceiling. He is a flat out GOON on the court. He can rebound with the best of them. He is a phenomenal athlete who in my mind could be an NFL player if he wanted to be. He will project out at the next level as a face up 4 slash 3 man. He can guard 3-4 positions at the next level. He holds an offer from Chicago State right now but I would be surprised if he doesn’t have several more mid major offers before the summer ends. He could max out as a left handed version of Draymond Green with way more hops. He has to work on consistency on his jump shot and staying focused on the court at all times. When he learns to play like every play might be his last, there is no telling where this kid may end up. Right now I would put him as a low-mid major player who could be a steal at that level. High major athlete and could be a high major defender. Definitely someone to watch!!!
2018 Kenna Bryant 6’3 170 Shooting Guard Provine HS
Kenna Bryant has NBA shooting range. No question in my mind a Division 1 shooter. The question most people will have is will he be able to guard at that level. In my opinion I don’t get to excited about whether a kid can guard at the next level I believe that’s up to the college coach to get the kids to guard at that level. Right now I would consider him a catch and shoot type of guy who can put it on the floor a little bit. I do believe he may top out at around 6’5 6’6 (his mom is tall) if that happens he is a no brainer high major shooter. He is an ok athlete. He can dunk the ball but he definitely needs to become more explosive. He also needs to get quicker and continue to work on his handles. If Kenna doesn’t grow anymore I would project him out to be a low major D1 player. If he grows to about 6’6 now we are talking about a mid to high major player.
2018 Jekeivious Williams 6’5 205 Power Forward Raymond HS
Jekeivious Williams is an undersized power forward who just plays hard. Another goon on the court who can rebound the ball and will run the floor and find a way to get buckets around the basket. He is a sneaky athlete who dunks very easy and if you are not careful he will dunk on you. He has to work on his skill set from ball handling to shooting. He is another kid I would say has a high ceiling. If he grows 2 more inches he is a no brainer mid major player. Right now I would put him as a potential low major D1 player. He definitely would be a very good pickup for a D2 School like Mississippi College etc.…
Darius Newson 6’0 170 Point Guard Provine HS
Darius Newson is a young man who I expect to break out this summer. He is a major sleeper. He didn’t play much on his High School team but he is a major sleeper. He is hard-nosed with good speed and quicks can defend and has good handles. He is not a bad shooter at all. As a matter of fact he is one of the kids you would label a solid player. Those type of players can be very dangerous as they usually play with a chip on their shoulder. I can say this he is not afraid of anyone. His biggest weakness right now is being able to prove that he can be the leader of this team. If he can prove that he dominate and lead his team this summer he could be a low D 1 point guard.
JeQuondre Bethany 6’0 170 Combo Provine HS
Bethany is a pretty good combo guard who can shoot the ball and defend. The biggest question I believe he is facing is can he be a full time point guard? That question could be partially answered this summer. He is a fairly good athlete as he had one of the nastiest dunks of the spring so far. He exploded through the lane on a fast break and caught a bigger player trying to take a charge for an and one. It was filthy! Dre has to continue to improve his ball handling and his ability to get other players involved on a consistent basis. He has very good range. He is just has to continue improve every day. With added improvement he could be a low D1 guard.
There you have it some of your Mississippi Hawks. Go follow them on twitter @themshawks for more information. These Hawks will be flying high this summer.
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