Posted On: 11/8/17 8:00 AM
photo credit: KTVB.com
Everyone loves a pass first guard in a fast break, especially their teammates. Whether they’re searching for the perfect bounce pass in transition or placing the ball on a rope to a back door cutter, dime dishing guards are incredibly exciting at the prep level, and of the utmost importance for their teams’ success.
As part of our Prep Hoops Idaho season preview we take a look at some of the state’s top passing guards. Whether they are at the 5A level, or 1A II, there are plenty of options for fans of distributors on the hardwood. Below is a list of those prospects in which we think can bust loose any given game in the assist category. Make sure to take note on these heady prospects for the 2017-2018 prep season as they will be looking to find their mark in more ways than one.
Ryan Bagley (Burley, 4A) 21.0 points, 8.1 assists, 6.6 rebounds
The Times-News Great Basin Conference Player of the Year award winner last year, Bagley filled it up in the assist category often. With a 30-point personal game high under his belt last season, he could do it in the scoring category as well. Bagley looks to be a 1st team 4A All-Idaho honoree this upcoming season if he can improve upon his totals and help his team even further in the state tournament.
Paul Pennington (Boise, 5A) 19.4 points, 5.3 assists, 2.9 steals
Pennington, a recent interviewee in our Prep Hoops Idaho Interview series, is certainly a player who deserves a spot on this list. Seemingly, the do-it-all guard at Boise High will be one to watch while handling the ball this upcoming year and will be a heavy favorite to be the top ranked player in our 2018 class as the season progresses. Dangerous in any kind of offensive set, Pennington will be finding his teammates on the regular yet again in 17-18.
Jake Hall (Aberdeen, 2A), 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assist
Hall enters his senior season fresh off an impressive junior campaign for Aberdeen. It was noticeable enough that the Idaho Statesman gave him Honorable Mention honors in its 2A All-Idaho high school basketball awards. Hall not only hands out assists regularly, but he crashes the glass in impressive fashion too.
Brennon Costello (Logos, 1A II), 24.0 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 steals
The 5’11 point guard who set a school record dropping 44 points last season for Logos, is not afraid to share the ball when needed as well. At 4.3 assists a clip, Costello will enter the season as a team leader and a prospect to follow up in Moscow.
Derek Wadsworth (Preston, 4A) 14.3 points, 4.2 assists, 1.8 steals
Wadsworth is a crafty point guard for the returning 4A champion Preston squad, and he showed exactly why the team finds so much success by the way in which he limits turnovers in a game. In fact, in their 4A title game against Vallivue last season, Wadsworth chalked up 4 assists without any turnovers in their biggest game of the year. Wadsworth and Preston will be a force once again this upcoming season, and the point guard is a huge piece of their puzzle.
Ellis Magnuson (Borah, 5A), 13.7 pts, 3.6 rebs, 4.0 ast, 1.7 stls
As a sophomore, Magnuson (2019) was among the top scorers at the 5A level for Borah last season and will likely have a similar finish in 17-18. Yet, he is also a player who can find the open man when he isn’t launching threes or playing gritty defense, which he has been known for. A Second Team 5A SIC All-Conference team award winner, Magnuson’s junior season will be full of growth in the statistical categories such as dimes.
Jonny Hillman (Genesis Prep, 1A II), 16.7 points, 3.6 assists, 2.1 steals
Another sophomore last season, Hillman (2019) comes into 17-18 full of fanfare and recognition as the reigning Player of the Year according to the Idaho Statesman at the 1A II level. Leading his team to its first ever state title while putting up solid numbers easily labeled Hillman as such, and moving into the 17-18 season, Hillman will likely demonstrate how large of a tool box he has in terms of skills with the basketball translating into exciting passing plays.
Avery Carlsen (Bear Lake, 2A), 12.8 points, 2.9 assists
Carlsen is our second POY honoree to hit this list following Jonny Hillman at Genesis Prep. Carlsen’s numbers don’t jump off the page as much as some of the aforementioned hoopers, but his skill set has not gone unnoticed by fans in the Gem State. Known as a floor general, Carlsen will add to his already impressive prep numbers for Bear Lake this upcoming season, and defend his POY award in style.