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Posted On: 01/25/18 1:14 PM
We are continuing our countdown to name the winner of the 2018 Mr. Basketball award. In evaluating the top players from the top teams in the state, below are the top candidates from 5A at this junction of the season.
Fischer was last year’s state championship MVP. He has continued those efforts and improved his ability to shoot from behind the 3 point line. Fischer is the key to the majority of Sunnyslope’s success. He is the best passer on the team, and he brings toughness. He has led the team in rebounding since his sophomore year. In order for Sunnyslope to win the state title once again, Fischer will need to continue his strong play.
Davis has improved his footwork and ability to shoot it from deep. Unfortunately, he has had to sit as of recent due to an injury. Assuming he is able to return to the lineup and continue to have the impact he had prior to the injury, he is deserving of being on this Mr. Basketball list. He is playing a more physical style of the block and is extremely patient. Further, he has a soft touch and good footwork. Deer Valley will need a healthy Davis if they are hoping to upset Sunnyslope and take home the state title in a couple of weeks.
Mooney does it all. He is a physical point guard who plays like he is much bigger than 6’0. While he is only 3rd on the team in scoring, he leads the group in assists with nearly 6 per game and is averaging nearly 5 rebounds per game. His physical style of play enables him to bully opposing guards and get to wherever he wants to get to on the floor. While Buena has plenty of talent, Mooney sets the standard for the rest of the group, and he does a great job of facilitating their touches.
Brown has made noise all season while averaging nearly 19 points per game and 7 assists. He is one of the best players in the state at using on-ball screens as he can make the defense pay in an array of ways. Paradise Valley has had the type of season that many expected as they brought back the vast majority of their team from last year. With that said, Brown’s ability to score and create for others is largely why they are where they are at in the rankings.
Baker is the only non-2018 on the top five list at the moment. While McClintock has struggled a little since entering region play, Baker has still played out of his mind. This group is young and Baker is the catalyst. While averaging 21 points per game, he is also shooting the basketball nearly 40% from 3 while averaging almost three 3s per game. Further, he is also leading the team in rebounds, assists, and steals. Watch out for McClintock in the state tournament as Baker has some of the best change of direction moves out of any guard in the state.