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Posted On: 02/23/18 9:22 AM
With the 2018 rankings update earlier this past week it’s a fun time to see who is at the top and which players made the list as top players in their respective class. Here, the focus is on the players that have entered the top 25 with strong play in their senior year as well as focusing on why they moved up. All five of these players made dramatic improvement and their rankings prove it.
Daijon Smith – Overland
Daijon has had a phenomenal senior year that just keeps getting better. His Overland squad started out the year 0-5 including a trip to Vegas but somehow there things seemed to click as they’ve completely turned it around and entered the state’s top-10 ranking as well as winning a Centennial league title which is arguably the toughest division in the state. Daijon’s play has catapulted the team to the top and is one of the dark horse team’s in this year’s state playoffs when the Trailblazers play against Mullen on Saturday. On the year he’s averaging 14.1 points and 3.2 rebounds a game while also hitting big shot after big shot for the team. He’s one of their best players and vocal leaders of the team and his play this year has him at No. 10 in the 2018 class.
Branden Bunn- Eaglecrest
Coming in at No. 13 in the Class of 2018 is Eaglecrest guard Branden Bunn who’s having a sensation year. He’s the leading scorer on the team at 13.1 points a game and his smooth East coast like game had him going from a stock-riser to now making it in our top 15 players this year. Bunn started off the year a bit rocky but hasn’t looked back since as he’s gone for double-digits in the last five league play games. He’s a player that can score at the basket, but also has the ability knock it down from beyond the arc. He’s a natural born leader that’s play is contagious and he has the defending champions back in the playoffs in a spot that they can make some noise.
Brendan Sullivan-Highlands Ranch
Brendan is a player that’s probably gone through the biggest change from last year’s rankings to this year and that’s due to the work that he’s put in in the off season and that play has translated to the success of the team this year. Highlands Ranch is 17-6 on the year and in the prime position to do something in the playoffs as they ride on the back of their best player whose averaging 21.3 points a game and also has 8.3 rebounds a game as well which is amongst the top in the state. Brendan is different in the sense that his 6-foot-4 frame doesn’t indicate the type of player he is or impact he has on the game. He’s scored 20 points or more in 16 of the teams 23 games and has been maybe the most impactful player in the state. Brendan is a special player that’s gone from the bottom of the list to now the 16th best player and I’d argue that he’s in the top 10.
Tre Pierre- Widefield
Tre is having himself a great year as he’s been on our radar as one of the most underrated players in the state. He’s a player that gets it done on offense with a ton of things in his arsenal such as scoring with his back to the basket, a deadly mid-range and runs the floor well as well as anyone his size while making his impact on the defensive end with his length and athleticism. He’s a well needed piece for the Widefield that’s been their X-factor on both ends of the floor and has a game that’ll translate to the next level. He does all of the little things right which culminates to a well-rounded all-around game and that’s why he’s went from a bottom dweller into No. 17 on our list.
Ryan Ongala – Rangeview
Ryan is a 6’6 big man that’s as powerful as they come and it’s seen with every power dunk, box out and rebound. His strength and toughness makes him a unicorn in today’s game with so many other bigs now attempting to extend the floor with their outside jump shot but if you need to go in the paint and bang, Ryan’s your guy. On the year, the Emporia State commit averaged 10 points and 6.9 rebounds a game while leading Rangeview to a 10-0 league play record on a very balanced unit. He was able to set the tone early and often against opposing teams and made his way into our top 25 players in the class.