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Boys high school basketball season preview


12:00 AM, Nov. 13, 2012 EST

CPA junior Jalen Lindsey (21) is considered a major-college prospect after helping the Lions to the Class AA state championship last season. / File / The Tennessean

MIDSTATE TOP 10

* 1. CPA: Powered by four college prospects, the Lions are going for their second straight Class AA title.

* 2. Ensworth: The two-time defending DII-AA champ is long on shooters and short on tall post players.

* 3. Blackman: Returns six of the top eight players from last season's 26-4 Class AAA tournament team.

* 4. Brentwood: Returns four starters, including Stetson commitment Asa Duvall, from last year's Class AAA sectional team.

* 5. Wilson Central: Guard Jacob Williams (12.8 ppg) will try to lead Wildcats back to Class AAA tournament.

* 6.Clarksville: Drake Young may lift the Wildcats to their third straight Class AAA tournament.

* 7. Dickson County: The uptempo Cougars boast a veteran lineup with seven seniors.

* 8. Hillsboro: Features a tall front line with 6-7 Jamontae Davis, 6-7 Antorian Moore and 6-5 Kyle Phillips.

* 9. McGavock: Mt. Juliet transfer C.J. McEwen should give Raiders a lift with his perimeter scoring.

* 10. Overton: Bobcats will go as far as Ivan Alsup (14.5 ppg) and Shaq Davis (12 ppg, 6.5 rpg) can take them.

TOP PLAYERS

* Jake Allsmiller, 6-5, Jr., CPA: He has made 221 3-pointers during the past two seasons and has an offer from Vanderbilt.

* Braxton Blackwell, 6-6, Fr., CPA: He already has six college offers, including three from the SEC, and likely will make a quick impact.

* Corn Elder, 5-10, Sr., Ensworth: The 2011 and 2012 state tournament MVP has led the Tigers to two straight DII-AA titles.

* Andrew Fleming, 6-4, So., Ensworth: He has an offer from Florida and averaged 9.3 points last season.

* Jamonte Graham, 6-1, Sr., Father Ryan: The TSU commitment averaged 17 points and five assists as a point guard.

* JeQuan Lewis, 6-0, Sr., Dickson Co.: The Virginia Commonwealth commitment averaged more than 20 points last season and 18 ppg as a sophomore.

* Jalen Lindsey, 6-6, Jr., CPA: The major college prospect helped lead the Lions to the Class AA title last year.

* Josh Phillips, 6-8, Sr., Pope John Paul II: The MTSU commitment averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds.

* Jason Stone, 6-3, Sr., Maplewood: Has an offer from Tennessee Temple after averaging 15 points and seven rebounds.

* Darius Thompson, 6-4, Sr., Blackman: The District 7-AAA MVP holds the school record for career blocked shots (77) and steals (101).

3-POINTERS

* CPA's Braxton Bonds and Braxton Blackwell have more in common than their first name. Both have uncles who were famous athletes. Bonds' uncle, Barry Bonds, is major league baseball's all-time home run king with 762. Blackwell's uncle, Ralph Sampson, was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NBA draft at Virginia before playing professionally from 1983-92.

* Brentwood coach Dennis King has written a book titled "Refuse to be Ordinary: 10 Championship Traits." It's basketball specific but can be applied to life in general. King illustrates each trait with inspirational stories from his former players. He used proceeds from the book sales to raise $3,000 for Brentwood to use for a trip to Monroeville, Pa., to play in a Christmas tournament Dec. 26-28 at his alma mater, Gateway.

* Some of the top teams in Middle Tennessee will be playing one another during the regular season. Ensworth will visit CPA in a matchup of defending state champions on Jan. 26. Blackman visits Oakland on Jan. 11 in a game that may put the winner in the District 7-AAA driver's seat. Dickson County will visit Brentwood in a matchup of Midstate powers tonight.

FINAL FOUR PREDICTIONS

* Class A: Collinwood, Cloudland, Trinity, Wartburg

* Class AA: CPA, Jackson South Side, Mitchell, Sullivan East

* Class AAA: Blackman, Maryville, Southwind, White Station

* Division II-A: FRA, Knoxville Webb, Lausanne, USJ

* Division II-AA: Briarcrest, Christian Brothers, Ensworth, McCallie

 

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