Friday Rewind: #KnoxVegasHeat2K18
April 6 2018
KNOXVILLE, TN — The KnoxVegas Heat Invitational opened its doors for the 10th time on Friday night as more than 100 teams have descended upon eastern Tennessee for a competitive weekend of basketball. This annual event continues to prove its worth as a testing ground for players and teams in search of competition to tune-up for the upcoming NCAA evaluation periods at the end of April. As one of the Southeast region’s best early-season tournaments, expect a number of new names to emerge, while more well-known prospects are aiming to continue building their recruiting profiles. Here’s a quick rundown on the opening night of action at #KnoxVegasHeat2k18…
FURY OPEN ON A HIGH NOTE
The Tennessee Fury was one of the best teams on Friday night to open #KnoxVegasHeat2K18. They opened the first half on a massive run and never looked back, continuing to apply pressure and score as much as possible. The Fury thrived in transition and scored many of their points on fast-break opportunities.
Through their first contest, Spencer Boshears, Walker Kyle (pictured), and Kell Slater led them. Kyle was their top overall player and was simply uncontainable by the opposition, getting whatever he wanted on offense from all three levels. Though Kyle was the top player, they wouldn’t have been in a winning position without the scrappy two-way play of Slater and Boshears. Their unselfish style of play resulted in a high-scoring victory.
EOTO PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF
The EOTO organization from Tennessee is one of the familiar faces from session three of the National Youth Basketball League here at #KnoxVegasHeat2K18. Despite the location and venue, nothing has changed with this group. They still play unselfish, hard-nosed basketball and have shown their ability to perform against a variety of different programs.
Reid Satterfield (pictured) is their unquestioned leader. The long, versatile scorer is a lethal offensive option from all three levels. He has a quick trigger and shows no hesitation from beyond the three-point arc. Lane Harrison knows how to monitor the paint, showing his ability to block shots and finish inside. Meanwhile, Javaree Roebuck was definitely their glue-guy; he played with a high motor and frequently looked to make plays all over the floor. Keep an eye on this EOTO team over the weekend, as they could very well end up in the title game.
UPWARD STARS ALREADY AT FULL STRENGTH?
The Adidas-sponsored Upward Stars organization runs deep with talent from the Southeast region. Their York County representative showed out on day one of #KnoxVegas2k18 by dominating their opponent on both ends of the floor. They made a concerted effort to out-hustle the opponent while making intelligent decisions on offense.
Jamar Williams (pictured) was certainly their most intriguing prospect, already versatile enough to play three positions comfortably. His length and athleticism make him a walking mismatch. Williams finished and rebounded nearly everything inside. Add in strong scoring contributions from Alex Archie, Jaiden Jeffery, Ashton Latta, and Upward Stars York County easily rolled their way to victory number one.
‘LOADED’ WITH TALENT
The first day of #KnoxVegasHeat2k18 was full of competitive games, but none more entertaining than the showdown between Team Loaded and ETB. The North Carolina squad led for the entire first half and mounted their lead throw unselfishness and strong transition play.
The four-headed monster of Jalen Booker (pictured), Bryce Cash, Tripple Rogers, and Kevin Williams formed Team Loaded’s core of long-term prospects. Cash and Rogers have great size for guards, both able to physically overwhelm opponents while Booker and Williams show relentlessness on the glass. If this group stays together and learns how to maintain a lead, they will be an extremely difficult team to beat.
ETB STUD BREAKING OUT OF HIS SHELL
The eighth-grade division has been littered with talent here at #KnoxVegasHeat2K18 but arguably no player has reached a higher level than José Rodriguez (pictured). The six-foot combo guard demanded constant attention on the floor, due to his ability to score the ball. That being said, Rodriguez was an incredibly willing passer and made a noticeable impact on defense.
Despite the team’s early struggles in the first half, Rodriguez did everything in his power to keep his ETB squad afloat. After the break, the strong-bodied point guard absolutely took over and began the comeback charge. Rodriguez knows how to run a team and it showed Friday evening, as he single-handedly pulled his team out of a double-digit deficit.