Posted On: 03/1/18 8:06 AM
In our final preview of trending up players to watch at the state tournament, our focus moves to the 2020 class. This class is still taking shape in terms of our rankings and their overall impact on their teams throughout the state, but there have been some real standouts this season which need to be highlighted entering the tournament.
Obviously, the 2020 class does not have the depth of the 2018 nor 2019 class yet, but it certainly features some bright stars who’s ceilings seem very high. In our top five rundown, there are a few names which onlookers will have to make note of for the state tournament as they have really impacted their team this season and seem primed to do so starting today at the tournament. After that, we feature a few sleeper type players who can contribute and have posted some nice stat lines as of late.
We’re hopeful some of these names will continue their excellent play on the state’s biggest today beginning today, and for seasons to come at the prep and grass roots levels in Idaho.
Top Five Trending Up
Austin Bolt, Borah
Austin Bolt has simply been a machine this season for the Borah Lions as he has been one of the most consistent producing bigs in the entire state and especially in 5A SIC. He is a main focal point for this team as his impact is mostly felt on the glass, where he has posted double-digit rebounding totals seemingly throughout the entire season. Just recently, Bolt put up 19 points and 16 rebounds over Boise, a very typical Bolt stat line.
On the season, Bolt has averaged 12.1 point and 12.8 rebounds per game. He has also averaged 1.2 blocks a contest. His game is still taking shape but we really like the upside with him, a hard nosed player who is willing to do all the little things help his team get wins. He should have an excellent showing in the state tournament and is on a team who can make some real noise.
Briggs Ranstorm, Rocky Mountain
A member of the Ranstorm brothers for Rocky Mountain, Briggs Ranstorm has been an excellent piece for this highly impressive and reigning 5A state champion team. Fresh off a district title, Rocky Mountain looks geared up for another deep run in the state tournament and without question Briggs will be a factor. Briggs has excellent size and a great basketball IQ. His game is very well-rounded and he should be a top player in the state for seasons to come.
Entering the state tournament, Briggs is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game through 19 games. He is an efficient shooter as well posting averages of 51.5% from the field and 40.5% from three point range. The state tournament stage should only bring out the very best in Briggs which could be trouble for opposing teams.
Jace Whiting, Burley
A pleasant surprise for this Burley team as the son of head coach Trent Whiting has really made his mark. Jace Whiting took home one of our PHID POTW awards earlier this season and for good reason. As a 2020 prospect, he has shown that his game has a very high ceiling and could be just getting started as being one of the top guard prospects in the entire state.
In 22 games, Whiting has averaged 13.1 points, 2.7 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. On a loaded Burley roster, Whiting has emerged as an excellent contributor and will likely be an anchor for this team moving forward. Up first for Whiting and his Burley teammates will be a matchup with Vallivue, whom, defeated them at the state tournament a season ago. This game should be fierce.
Paul Yenor, Ambrose
A 6 foot 2 guard with plenty of sizzle, Paul Yenor has been a tremendous player for Ambrose this season. At the 1A DI level, Yenor has proven to be an impact player as he has averaged 15.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. The guard can do it all and has been at it all season for this team through 24 games.
Yenor and his Ambrose squad will open up their state tournament with a matchup against Prairie in what could be a barn burner. We like Yenor’s upside and is without a question a prospect to watch for seasons to come.
Cooper Frith, Rocky Mountain
A sneaky guard for a loaded Rocky Mountain team, Cooper Frith has remained a player in our 2020 rankings with intrigue this season. In 21 games, Frith posted averages of 4.3 points and 1.7 rebounds. Not eye popping totals, but he remains very skilled and on a team that can really develop talent. He could be a player who hits a big shot or two during Rocky Mountain’s upcoming state tournament run and is worth getting some attention at this stage in his prep career.
Other trending players
Vallivue’s Mike Fitts has been in our 2020 rankings all season and in a recent game against Emmett popped for 11 points going 3 for 6 from three point range. Vallivue is not afraid to roll him out in big moments and looks to be a guard with promise. Kimberly’s Dawson Cummins went for a game high 19 points in a recent game against Filer, and could be a guard who makes some noise at the state tournament level, while Timberlake’s Jacob James is another who hit our radar recently going for 19 points in a win over Bonners Ferry.
We hope to find some more gems in the 2020 class as we move through the state tournament and onto the grass roots season, but for now this aforementioned group of players have the skills to shine this week.