Over 100 teams traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee over the weekend for the Knoxvegas Heat Tournament. Here is a recap of players that stood out along with a few prospects and the schools they are interested in.
Newkirk was one of the top performers in Knoxville, T.N.
Five Standout Performers
2012 Terry Henderson – Garner Road – The 6’3 shooting guard showed off the ability to take the ball to the basket and finish with contact. On Friday night against the Atlanta Xpress, Henderson took over the game in the final minutes by knocking down a key three pointer and then finishing with his left hand on a nice drive from the top of the key.
Richmond, Gardner Webb and William and Mary have all stepped to the plate with offers but bigger schools such as Wake Forest, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, Alabama and Boston College are all beginning to show interest. If Henderson continues to play as he did this weekend it is likely he will pick up a few high major offers.
2012 Sam Dekker – Wisconsin Playground Warriors – The versatile Wisconsin commitment displayed the all around game that will make him a key cog in the Badger system. The 6’7 wing player was able to constantly take the ball to the basket and finish while also showing the ability to find the open man for easy baskets over the defense.
Dekker will need to add some muscle to his frame and continue to work on his ball handling but with his high basketball I.Q. he should be able to make a solid impact fairly soon for the Badgers.
2013 Josh Newkirk – North Carolina Raptors – Newkirk is starting to really make a name for himself over the past two months. Blessed with a smooth stroke and a fantastic first step he is a very good offensive player that can light the scoreboard up in a hurry. Two of the more impressive offensive performances of the weekend came from Newkirk as he posted 35 points on Friday night and then followed that up with 25 on Saturday.
Newkirk is receiving interest from Georgetown, North Carolina State, Clemson and Wake Forest early on but as scouts continue to see him you can expect his stock to rise and a few offers to come rolling in his way.
Devonte Thornton – Atlanta Xpress – Thornton was the surprise of the weekend displaying an extremely high motor, good ball handling skills and a good shot. The 6’7 Atlanta prospect rebounded the ball at a high level and kept the Xpress in the game on Friday night against Garner Road by constantly attacking the basketball and drawing the foul.
Thornton is the type of prospect that could shoot up charts as more teams see him in the summer. Playing with high majors Robert Carter and Chris Walker, BCS schools will be stopping by to check out the Atlanta Xpress and Thornton should reap the benefits of his high level teammates.
Terrell Rodgers – Team United – The undersized point guard singly handily carried Team United into the Final Four of the 17’s division with ability to score the basketball. Only 5’7 Rodgers does a fantastic job of getting into the lane and finishing over taller players with pull ups and floaters.
Charlotte Nets Claim 17 Under Division
The Charlotte Nets led by the trio of 2012 prospects Jarvis Haywood (Charlotte, NC/Waddell), Josh Smith (Charlotte, NC/Olympic), Shivaughn Wiggins (Charlotte, NC/North Mecklinburg) and 2013 Deandre Bembry (Charlotte, NC/Rocky River) captured the Championship with a 82-72 victory over Gardner Road late Sunday afternoon.
The road to the Championship could not have been more difficult for the Nets as they defeated the Atlanta Xpress featuring high major prospects Robert Carter and Chris Walker in the first round late Saturday night. Sunday morning they scored a one point win over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors before defeating Team United in the semi-finals.
Haywood is a 6’6 wing player that does a fantastic job of scoring the basketball in a variety of ways. One area that he has gotten much better at is knocking down the three point shot. Wiggins is a 5’8 point guard that does a great job of controlling the tempo and pushing the ball in transition. Smith is a wide bodied center that does a great job of getting in position for rebounds and finishing over top of taller players. All three players have a chance to earn a few mid major offers with a solid spring and summer period.
Bembry is an athletic wing that does a great job slashing to the rim for powerful finishes. The 2013 prospect has great bounce off the floor and is a player to keep an eye on the rest of the summer.
Mitchell wide open
Wheeler High School prospect Charles Mitchell is one of the top forwards in the southeast for the 2012 recruiting cycle. Over the weekend he talked about what schools he was looking at.
“I am have not really narrowed it down to much,” he said. “There are a bunch of schools that have contacted me or I am looking at. Pretty much all the teams in the SEC and ACC like Clemson, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech from the ACC and then schools like Tennessee, Mississippi and Auburn from the SEC. I have several Big East schools also, so I am pretty wide open.”
Mitchell did have two schools that he planned to visit in the next few months and a time frame for a decision.
"I know that I will probably visit Virginia Tech and Xavier,” he said. “I want to make a decision by mid August so I hope to make at least those two visits and then a few more to see what else is out there. Those aren’t the top two schools or anything, they are just two schools that I do want to visit.”
Hokies showing most interest in Rimmer
Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fl/Boone) showcased the hardnosed style of play over the weekend that is starting to draw him interest. The 6’9, 215 pound forward plays with the Florida Rams/Q6 over the weekend and displayed solid foot work around the basket and the ability to be a rebounding presence.
Virginia Tech and Central Florida have both offered Rimmer while Tennessee and Miami both offered with their previous coaching staffs. It is the Hokies however that have grabbed his attention.
“I really like their campus,” he said. “They have new facilities that are state of the art. The coaches are really personable. They remind me of the coaches I have with my AAU team so they are right up there at the top along with Central Florida and Florida.”
Butler just started recruiting Rimmer in the last few weeks and he did say that he wanted to get to know their coaches a little better.
2013 Elite point guard holding offers
Wisconsin native Bronson Koenig is one of the top players in the class of 2013 and has seen several schools step up and offer early on.
“Recruiting is going pretty good,” he said. “I have picked up offers from Wisconsin, North Carolina, Marquette, Minnesota, Washington State and Virginia as well as some mid major schools.”
Most speculate that the battle for the 6’2, 175 pound prospect will come down to the home state Badgers or the Tar Heels of North Carolina. In February Koenig visited Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels game against Boston College. He talked about what stood out.
“I like their style of play,” he said. “Their coaches are really cool as well. Coach Robinson and I speak every now and then and just talk about what is going on in basketball and in my life so I am developing a great relationship with him.”
Koenig possesses a fantastic basketball I.Q. and always seems to find the open man for an easy basket. Already blessed with good sized, Koenig has little trouble getting into the lane and being able to finish against bigger guards.