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Posted On: 11/23/18 10:51 AM
You could have made a case for about a dozen Mr. Basketball preseason candidates last year. After that, we would have realistically narrowed it down by cutting half of that list. This year, however, the award is up for grabs.
As we know from our research last year, there’s three components of a résumé that voters gravitate towards: talent, productivity, and, ultimately, team success. The bench marks that have normally been hit is Division I talent, 20 points per game, and a team who threatens to make a playoff run. The more one exceeds those unofficial qualifiers (e.g. high-major Division I prospect, 25-plus points or 20 and 10 rebounds, no. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll) is where the separation occurs.
Considering those standards, along with common sense, we’ve identified candidates from each region of the state. For Southeast Ohio, we have their three candidates ranked in order.
Most of the noise about Loveday comes during the summer recruiting season, but the 4-star recruit did average 17.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks for Gallia as a sophomore. As he continues to gain seniority among his team and becomes more comfortable in his body, Loveday’s numbers will continue to impress. Finally, finishing 20-4 last season, Gallia Academy showed signs of becoming a Division II contender with Loveday in the fold.
Holden is the big-name senior in southern Ohio this season, so he should naturally generate buzz. Recently signing to play at Wright State, the two-sport star (football) clearly has the requisite talent. Holden also averaged a double-double on 17.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game a year ago. Given his size and talent advantage every night, something tells us he could get over that 20 PPG threshold this season. The only question mark is team success, even if Wheelersburg did reach the Regional Tournament in Division III last season.
Myers was one of just four juniors to receive Second Team All State honors in Division I last season. The Malone commit averaged 22.0 points on a Logan team who entered the postseason 19-2, good enough for no. 9 in the final AP Poll. After losing his key running mate in the 2018 class, production and winning will become more difficult for Myers in his senior year. However, if he can somehow top his junior résumé, Myers has a chance.