Way Too Early Rankings: 5A

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Arizona

Posted On: 08/8/18 2:16 PM

Many teams in 5A are chomping at the bit to get going. To many, it feels as though there will be a new king crowned in March due to Sunnyslope’s prospects graduating. However, Sunnyslope as well as the teams below will be in the mix for the 2018-2019 state championship.

1. Apollo

There might not be a more talented prospect in all of 5A than Emmanuel Taban. Taban provides good length and shooting while having a willingness to do all the little things needed to win. In addition to Taban, the team will feature Paris Woods, who was one of the top freshmen in the state last season. Moreover, they will expect Zeke Thompkins to play a bigger role while Tramane Lee will have the opportunity to play a full season. Due to transferring, he had to sit out half of last year. He made a huge impact for the team during region play.

2. Millennium

This group could win the state championship. They have a well-balanced team that has the potential to play and beat anyone despite their youth. DaRon Holmes is without a doubt the top prospect on the team. The lengthy wing can play an array of positions due to his versatility and athleticism. He is the real deal.

In addition to Holmes, Millennium will feature Justus Jackson, Michael Batchelor, and Coleman Fields. While all three did damage last season, Jackson did the most. The sharp shooting guard is one of the top playmakers in the class of 2021. He will need to continue to play at a high level for Millennium to reach their peak.

This team has the potential to be the next powerhouse in the 5A world.

3. Gilbert

Gilbert is well-coached and plays extremely hard. This is a team that would have competed in the 6A world but now moves into the 5A world where they are able to do plenty of damage as well.

Doc Self is without a doubt the top prospect on this team. He is their top playmaker and on-ball defender. His ability to dictate tempo on both sides of the basketball and create for himself as well as his teammates will be essential to the teams success.

In addition to Self, Carson Towt, Griffin Lamb, and Brycen Long will need to play huge roles for this team in order for them to reach their maximum capacity. This group has the potential to win a state championship.

4. McClintock

McClintock arguably returns the most talent out of any of the teams in this classification. Josh Baker might be the most efficient scorer in 5A. He can shoot the basketball as well as anyone. Further, he can do it off of the dribble and in catch and shoot situations. Baker will be the key to the team’s success as he will be the primary scorer and playmaker for the team.

The supporting cast will be essential to McClintock’s success. Baker will expect solid contributions from Armani Williams and Mekhi Rodgers. Williams gets into the paint at will and has improved his ability to shoot the basketball from deep. Further, Rodgers is a tough on-ball defender who will be responsible for putting his teammates in spots where they can be successful.

5. Sunnyslope

Sunnyslope lost a number of accomplished seniors who played in three state championships and won two of them. The scary thing? This team has the potential to be even better. They will have length, athleticism, and solid guard play.

Zach Paloma is one of the most underrated guards in the state. He is tough and makes great decisions with the basketball. Further, he is a knockdown shooter. Paloma will most likely rely on Paul Hayden and Ivan Palomar for contributions on the wings. Hayden is tough and can score the basketball well.

In addition to these 3, Chance Garland has the potential to play a significant role while Carson Basham, Alex Gaylor, and Grady Lewis will provide this team with plenty of length and versatility. This team is extremely dangerous and has plenty of potential to continue the state championship streak.

Honorable Mentions: Buena, Cholla, South Mountain, Desert Mountain, Cactus Shadows, and Higley