KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The opening night of the Knoxvegas Heat Tournament at several area high schools. With many teams traveling all day on buses to reach the destination it was not the crispest opening night of basketball. There were a few standout performances to go along with solid play from a few other individuals worth noting.
Kennedy Meeks showed the ability to be a sound passer on Friday night at the Knoxvegas Heat Tournament.
2014 B.J. Gladden (CP3 16s)
Gladden re-classified to the 2014 class this past season after transferring over to Kennedy Charter from Olympic High School. On Friday night, the 6-foot-6 forward did a very good job of getting the ball at the foul line and making a move to finish around the rim. Gladden is a well- built 2014 prospect that also displayed to knock down the open three point shot as he finished with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
2014 Sharwyn McGee (CP3 16s)
McGee joined in with Gladden to give CP3 an excellent tandem around the rim. Early on the 6-foot-5 undersized as a forward was unstoppable making his first six shots of the night and finishing with double digit points. McGee was also fantastic in transition being able to attack the rim from the wing or leading the break. Jacksonville and Campbell have both offered the 6-foot-5 prospect while Marquette is showing interest.
2016 Braxton Blackwell (Atl Celtics 16s)
The surprise of the night was the 6-foot-7 wing prospect from Tennessee, who is high school teammates with 2014 standout Jalen Lindsey. Blackwell has great length and is extremely active around the basket coming from out of nowhere on several occasions for big blocks. Blackwell also showed the ability to knock down the perimeter jump with a smooth looking stroke or make the no look pass to set up a teammate for an easy basket.
2013 Kennedy Meeks (Team United)
Meeks was on his way to a solid night before a power outage cut his game short against the Birmingham Metro Express. In limited minutes, Meeks posted eight points and three rebounds showcasing his ability to finish inside as well as step out and knock down the open jumper. The 6-foot-8 forward is fundamentally sound and has solid court vision constantly being able to find teammates cutting to the basket for easy baskets.
2013 Artis Cleveland (Birmingham Metro Express)
The intriguing 6-foot-10, 205 pound prospect from Wenonah High School in Birmingham, Ala. showed the ability to run the floor well and soft hands around the basket. Cleveland is extremely thin but played with a physical streak down low that helped him establish position and grab rebounds for easy put backs.
2013 Brandon Walters (Tennessee Chosen Few)
The 6-foot-8, 280 pound Walters is also considered a football prospect but showed on Friday night that ability to make things happen on the basketball court. Walters does a great job of using his big frame to establish position in the low post and is a more than capable of stepping out on the perimeter to set a screen to free up guards for open shots.
2014 Shelton Mitchell (CP3 All Stars 16s)
Mitchell is a smooth point guard that does a fantastic job of controlling tempo and finding his teammates for open baskets. On Friday night, Mitchell finished with five assists in limited minutes of the blowout win for CP3. The 6-foot-2 guard does a great job changing pace to keep defenders off balance in transition and his long arms make him a tough on ball defender.
2014 Jaylan Robertson (Team United)
Robertson looked much quicker on Friday night driving to the hoop several times for easy lay ups in Team United’s shortened game. The 6-foot-1 point guard did a great job beating defenders off the dribble and handled pressure in the back court with ease as he used his speed to get by defenders and create transition baskets for himself or teammates.
Kennedy Meeks rattled off a list of schools that included North Carolina, North Carolina State, Georgetown and Florida. Meeks plans to make a visit or two during the next few months and then hopes to have a decision during the fall. ...B.J. Gladden listed offers from Charlotte, Xavier, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech to go along with interest from Tennessee, Clemson and South Carolina.. ...Artis Cleveland is receiving early interest from Murray State, East Tennessee State, Gonzaga, California and South Alabama. ...2013 wing Matt Howard of Team United held a work out in front of assistants from Stanford earlier this afternoon before traveling up for the tournament.