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Posted On: 02/14/18 1:20 PM
As we did yesterday, we are starting to take a mid-season look at the Mr. Basketball award and the All-Star teams. While a big chunk of the determination will come with their postseason play, now is a good time to take an evaluation of where we are at.
The process is pretty much the norm now, at least for the senior group. You have 13 players and no regional restrictions. It is the 13 best players from the state. Whether they were a Junior All-Star or not has no bearing on whether they make it this year. Some positional bias will take place as they do have to put this roster into practice and play actually games with them. It is more loose with guards, wings, and bigs being more of a category rather than point guards, and centers.
Lock Them In (6)
Incl. Romeo Langford (G), Damezi Anderson (W), Aaron Henry, Eric Hunter Jr. (G), Mekhi Lairy (G), Robert Phinisee (G)
I think there are a few guys you can pretty much write in at this point. Six of them in fact. The six players listed above have done enough this season to pretty much do nothing else this year and still be deserving of a spot on the team. Langford is nearly a lock for Mr. Basketball and the other five are contenders as well to some extent. We could go into this more but there isn’t much that hasn’t been said to this point.
Next Man Up (4)
Incl. Jarron Coleman (W), Chance Coyle (G), Gavin Bizeau (B), Jack Hansen (B)
Here is where things start getting really difficult for a few reasons. The biggest of which is the lack of size in the state. There isn’t much and not many are worthy of the team. There are two, though. Bizeau and Hansen aren’t necessarily locks in terms of their season, definitely worthy of high consideration but I think the fact that they are actual post players will give them the nod of making the team. You can play small ball a bit but if you can’t put together a roster of 13 without putting a true big man, then you really are going way out of your way. For me, Bizeau is a lock and Hansen is right there. With regards to Coleman and Coyle, both are having great seasons on great teams. I don’t think team play is really that big of a factor but with regards to looking at all of the players on the list, there isn’t much between them so it comes into play more. Coleman has really become a more mature and impactful player in his final season and Coyle has been as consistent as anyone with his play.
Fighting For Three (14)
Incl. Sean East (G), Kevin Easley (W), Robin Duncan (G), DeAndre Gholston (G), Jalen Moore (G), DeAvion Washington (G), Hayden Langkabel (G), Dylan Penn (G), Tyler Watson (G), Caleb Middlesworth (B), Myja White (G), Anthony Barnard (W), Christian Harvey (G), Luke Gohmann (W)
This is where it really gets interesting. The final three spots are more going to be based on what these players do in the final two months of the season. I think postseason play really matters here as there are a ton of guys who could be worthy making the roster and unlike last year when the senior roster was very easy to pick these last three spots are not. At this point, it is all personal preference but that is why a committee picks the players for the team and not one individual player. So before everyone gets made at my personal preference, remember I’m not a voting member so my opinion is just my opinion based on what I have seen this year. If I’m choosing three at this point, I would probably lean towards Kevin Easley, Jalen Moore, and Robin Duncan.
I lean more towards Easley because I want more size on the roster, Moore because he’s having a massive final year on offense, and Duncan because I think he is finally starting to take his game to the next level and putting Harrison on his back. For me, Sean East and Hayden Langkabel were right there.
Like I said, this isn’t an easy decision and I feel like after Sectionals are over, the last five or so spots on my team will be different because I’ll value postseason play quite a bit. I like to see how guys do when their backs are up against it. I think the actual voters will as well. I think you get more visibility during the month of March for voting than you would the entire regular season. It is on the mind of the voters and this is really the last time you will get a chance to impress and inherently that makes them value those performances more. Outside of the locks, anything can change and the season is still going strong at this point.