Standouts & Breakouts From June : Part 1

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  1. I watched quite a few games during June to get a good gauge of what high school basketball will look like next season. Some athletes look ready to make a jump and breakout next year. Some stood out a little bit but are definitely worth introducing. Up first, my standouts from the month of June.

*The list is not in any particular order

Standouts

Jacob Walker 6’0 PG Houston HS 2025- Outside of a few players, Walker is the biggest riser of anyone in the city. His recruitment has picked up, I think he’s up to 4-5 Division 1 offers now and I think more are on the way. His herky-jerky, hesi handle, the stepback J, the ability to get by and really attack the rim make him one of the toughest assignments in Memphis to guard. I think he’s due a monster season! Question is, will it be at Houston or another school possibly.

Taquez Butler 6’3 Combo Guard Whitehaven HS 2025– Already established as one of the premier scorers in the state, Butler has a new address for the upcoming season. I don’t think the production will change and I think he’s in for a big-time year as a Tiger. He shows shotmaking ability from all over the floor. I predict him to be a really good defender with his wingspan and his game is well-rounded. He’s one of the more consistent scorers in all of Tennessee high school basketball, most people in the city know that. Now it’s all about getting that state title for him. He’s been to the glass house 2 years in a row. Could this year be lucky number 3 for him? Is this the year that Whitehaven gets it done? I can’t say with certainty but with him being one of the best 3-4 players in the city, I can’t see why the squad couldn’t make it.

Fred Smith Jr 6’8 PF Briarcrest Christian 2026– Now in his junior season, Smith has become the focal point for the Saints coming off his performance last year in the state title game. I think his confidence combined with emerging skill set has him in the convo as the #1 player in 2026 in Memphis. Which also means he’ll be in line for a Mr. Basketball for the State. I think this year he will play a lot more inside-out as opposed to last season. He can bring it up and get his team into their offense.  After the initial pass he can play well from the high post, elbow extended or flash to either block and be effective. For BCS to go back-to-back, he has to really play well which I think he can do. They will lean on him a lot in games to do a bit of everything which he can do as a tone setter on both ends. Being the leader is a new role for him but one that he should relish the opportunity to have.

Carson Chandler 6’2 SG Christian Brothers 2025– Player comparison: Keisei Tominaga from the University of Nebraska recently signed to Curry Brand. Contested 3 pointers off screens, spotting up, off the catch, Chandler makes a case as the best shooter in Memphis. He’s also improved as I said off the bounce in previous writing about him. If the scoring output during June is any indication of what’s to come, Chandler could be a top 5-10 scorer in Memphis this season and be one of the 3-5 best players in private school in Memphis. I think he’s really underrated among 2025 but that will not last long when the season starts.

Kris Carroll 6’5 WF Southwind HS 2025- I can’t see into the future, but I do know this, Southwind could really be a problem this upcoming year. They have some good pieces but if Carroll is a part of this group, you have to place them into the top 5 4A teams. Carroll is one of the best catch and shoot players in the city with the ability to score at the rim at his pace. He does a great job of getting set and bringing his feet square for knock down jumpers. He has the handle to get by and finish or shoot the short pull up over the top of a defender. I think he is definitely a division 1 caliber wing with shooting ability to boot which makes him an attractive prospect for those colleges who covet perimeter shot making.

 

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