The gym was packed full of big time players at the inaugural Team Thad Fall Combine in Memphis this past weekend. Here are some of the top players I observed during the event not from the state of Tennessee. I will have a Tennessee round-up from the event following this story.
The superlatives for this standout young post player were plentiful. His size immediately grabs your attention and his skill level impresses as you observe his game. He controlled the glass on both ends of the floor, he blocked shots at a high clip and he score at will on the block. He understands post position and used his size to carve out space. His scoring in the paint was with ease, he went over either shoulder and used the baby hook to perfection. His patience in the post was impressive for his age. He waited on cutters, didn't force the issue and understood match-ups and how and when to attack. His footwork was next level and he defended the position with vigor all weekend. Impressive young player who will only climb up the national charts.
In a gym chock full of some of the best athletes in the Southeast, Washington stood head and shoulders above the rest. Relentless competitor was the best on ball defender in the combine, using his explosive quickness and next level body to create havoc for opposing ball handlers. Offensively he will need to work on his shooting but his forays to the bucket were among the most talked about of the weekend. His quickness and lift were on another stratosphere and his explosion resulted in several highlight reel moments for the eager spectators. His effort and determination make him an ultra coveted prospect nationwide in this class nationally.
Dynamic young guard was a head turner from the moment he ventured onto the hardwood. Quickness that knows no bounds was his calling card and his relentless effort and motor made him the most talked about back court player in the combine. A deft shooting stroke and a confidence that belies his age, Holloway made short work of any and all who dared to guard him on the perimeter. He finished at the rim with either hand despite contact and showed some creativity with his finishes. He understands pace, uses his dribble to create opportunity and plays with a calm demeanor when the ball is in his hands. His decision making and shot selection are areas of his game he needs to temper but in a showcase environment he was a show stopper without parallel.
Impressive athlete who used his size and length to showcase his burgeoning skill set. Hamilton put his offensive skill package to the forefront showing a solid shooting touch; as well as, amazing length and big time finishes at the rim. He was a glorious defender on every level, showing he could maintain with smaller, quicker guards on the perimeter and hold his own athletically and strength wise in the post with giant post behemoths. He was among the top players at the combine with his contributions on both ends of the floor. No doubt he will be a coveted prospect, among the top rising juniors in the Southeast.
Multi-skilled lead guard was in constant attack mode during the combine, showing an array of skills on both ends of the floor. He understands controlling tempo and uses a change of pace dribble to get anywhere on the floor he wishes to go. His drives to the bucket were quick and precise, showing good vision for thankful teammates yet paralyzing unwilling defenders as he jetted past them for buckets. He has a feel for the game that all young lead guards must possess and his ability to score the ball makes him among the best at the combine at the point guard spot. He is blessed with a college ready body already at this juncture as he continues to ascend up the charts in his class.