Beech Head Coach Kip Brown is justifiably excited about his team.
“I have had some pretty good teams, but this has a chance to be the best one I have ever coached,” said Coach Brown mid-October via phone call. “They all like each other too, which is good.”
What is not to like?
Here are insights and evaluations from the leader of the Beech men, Head Coach Kip Brown.
“We have got a really good senior class,’ observed Coach Brown. “Our talent lies right in our senior class. We can get started with Kristian Shaw Kristian Shaw 6'6" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN . [Stands] 6’6 just about 6’7″ guard. Great shooter. Really has developed his game. Got better at taking his people off the dribble. All-around player. Fierce competitor.”
As Kristian is a shooter, rarely cold but certainly streaky, Coach Brown declared that “Mostly we let him be who he is. We let him have the green light. He has that competitive fire in his nature. That killer instinct. A lot of talented athletes don’t have that. The guys on the team… He is really good without the ball, as well. We live with some of his games where he didn’t shoot the ball so well.”
Wise. Shooting requires confidence and it is so tough to make deep shots when a coach does not believe in you. The team thrives off Shaw’s jumper and on the rare occasion he is not hitting from deep, he can and will still impact the game in positive ways. He is not a one-trick pony.
The real elevating factor for Beech High this season is Eli Rice Eli Rice 6'7" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN . Nobody saw this coming. The Top 30 prospect was very good at Station Camp and, by joining Beech, is only going to get better. Imagine how destructive Rice can be alongside an elite scorer like Shaw. ’Do not even worry about taking shots, Eli’ is an actual statement Coach Brown could make and still win a game. Unfathomable. Couple that embarrassment of scoring riches with the fact that Tyler Moore Tyler Moore 6'0" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN will also be a great passer and facilitator. In the end, Beech will be a team with unselfish players capable of scoring.
Unmatched Depth (Middle TN)
#0 Jojo Brown (2022)
#1 Tyler Moore Tyler Moore 6'0" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN * (2022)
#2 Braden Brinkley (2022)
#5 Andrew Paige Andrew Paige 6'5" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN * (2022)
#11 Eli Rice Eli Rice 6'7" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN * (2022)
#22 Kristian Shaw Kristian Shaw 6'6" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN * (2022)
#24 Jackson Long Jackson Long 6'5" | SF Beech (FB) | 2022 State TN (2022)
Jordan Lee (2024)
Caleb Cothron Caleb Cothron 6'3" | SF Beech | 2023 State TN (2023)
JP Courtney (2023)
Maddox Sorenson (2023)
Odell Bradley IV Odell Bradley IV 6'2" | SG Beech | 2024 State TN (2024)
“Eli could actually be the most skilled player I have ever coached,” said Coach Brown. “He is phenomenal offensively. He can do it all. His passing is really underappreciated. We are trying to bring that out of him. We have a lot of guys that can score it, so we are encouraging Rice to be a Magic Johnson-type player.”
The depth of the program is good, but the football players make it great.
“The intensity picks up right away when football ends.”
While Jackson Long Jackson Long 6'5" | SF Beech (FB) | 2022 State TN really does the necessary grunt work, Andrew Paige Andrew Paige 6'5" | SG Beech | 2022 State TN will put up legit scoring figures.
“Drew had 4-5 20+ games last year, and that is great, but he is so unselfish,” said Coach Brown.. Paige will be third in scoring most nights, if tradition holds. Four other football players will see limited burn in 2021-2022, but they are valuable dual-sport athletes for the program: Maddux Sorenson, Tyler Nix, JP Courtney, Jordan Lee.
Beyond the five starters (Shaw, Moore, Rice, Paige, Long), Beech will run out two guys also capable of starting. In fact, Caleb Cothron Caleb Cothron 6'3" | SF Beech | 2023 State TN and Braden Brinkley will be playing heavy minutes and occasionally starting.
“Cothron is a very good shooter. His dad is the middle school coach at Knox Doss. If he was on a different school, then he would probably be starting.”
Brinkley had a really good summer, according to Coach Brown. And Jojo Brown will be an energy guy as a pass-first point guard option.
“He will be coming in off the bench,” said Coach Brown of Tyler Nix. “Very good at baseball, basketball, and football.”
Expect JP Courtney to a defensively-focused rotation guy. “He is our best junior. He does it on the football field. Punter, receiver. Bradley Wheeler was 6th Man of the Year [last year]. Courtney is going to step into his shoes. You just him on the other team’s best player and let them have him.”
Finally, lefty gunslinger Odell Bradley IV Odell Bradley IV 6'2" | SG Beech | 2024 State TN is the next big thing at Beech High. “He only plays basketball. He is the best scorer in the sophomore class.”