As we continue to provide content throughout the quarantine, we take a look at some of the top backcourt duos that should be returning for the 2020-2021 high school season next year. Here’s a look at seven backcourts in the RVA area to keep an eye on next season.
Jason NelsonJasonNelson5'8" | PGJohn Marshall | 2021StateVA
and Dana WoodleyDanaWoodley6'4" | SGJohn Marshall | 2021StateVA
| John Marshall
[player_tooltip player_id="798691" first="Jason" last="Nelson"]
Coming off of a Class 2 State Championship last year, John Marshall will come into next season as the favorites to repeat as they return all but two big contributors last year, and have a roster that includes Top 50 big man Roosevelt WheelerRooseveltWheeler6'9" | CJohn Marshall | 2021State#70NationVA
along with rising sophomore Dennis ParkerDennisParker6'6" | SFJohn Marshall | 2023#21NationVA
Jr, one of the top 2023 recruits in the state as well. However, it’s their backcourt duo of Richmond commit Jason NelsonJasonNelson5'8" | PGJohn Marshall | 2021StateVA
and rising senior Dana WoodleyDanaWoodley6'4" | SGJohn Marshall | 2021StateVA
that will make the team go. Nelson is one of the best pure point guards in the state, and was the Class 2 POY last year, and he has the ability to take over games both as a scorer and as a facilitator as well. Woodley is a guy who has improved immensely over the past few years, and at 6’4” he’s a 3 and d guy that can play way above the rim and make exciting plays on both ends of the court.
Brandon Jenkins and Davin CosbyDavinCosby6'3" | SGBenedictine | 2022StateVA
[player_tooltip player_id="962789" first="Davin" last="Cosby"]
This duo is one that really came onto the scene last year, and will be part of a group that has Benedictine fans and alumni excited about leading the way into their brand new facility. Jenkins is one of the most under the radar guards in the area, and is a floor general that makes everyone better, takes care of the ball and runs the offense like a hot knife through butter. Cosby emerged last year as one of the top shooters in the area, and will move into more of an integral part of the offense with the departure of Lorenz Boykin after being one of the best sixth men in the area last year. The two compliment each other very well and will be a lot of fun to watch next season.
Kenard RichardsonKenardRichardson6'3" | SGLife Christian | 2021StateVA
and Ikechi ChantilouIkechiChantilou6'3" | SFLife Christian | 2021StateVA
| Life Christian Academy
[player_tooltip player_id="793098" first="Ikechi" last="Chantilou"]
Not only are these two good friends and were one of the top backcourts in the state last year, they’re also both committed to Rick Pitino at Iona and will head there after next season together. Richardson showed a lot of growth last year as he became more athletic and moved to playing on the ball more, and his tenacity and production on both ends and the way he impacts the game was a big reason he was voted VISAA Class 3 Player of the Year. Chantilou, who joined Richardson on the First Team All State team, is another two way guy who is a natural athlete and has a natural feel for the game, and compliments Richardson well as another guy who thrives in transition and can create his own shot. These two are going to be tough for teams to match up with, and they bring a toughness and grit to the game that makes them a nightmare to play against.
Isaiah SimmonsIsaiahSimmons5'6" | PGChristchurch | 2021StateVA
and Zach RosenthalZachRosenthal6'0" | SGSteward School | 2021StateVA
| Steward School
Steward School has played through Top 20 big Efton ReidEftonReid7'0" | CThe Steward School | 2021#26NationFL
the past few seasons, but he recently announced that he will be heading to IMG to play on the Post Grad team. However, the rising senior duo in the backcourt, along with one of the top 2023 prospects in the state in Curtis Blair IIICurtisBlair III6'6" | PFSteward School | 2023#42NationVA
, will be ready to take over and compete next year. Simmons is a dynamic guard and despite his 5’8” frame, he’s a guy who can create shots off the bounce, sets the tone on both ends of the floor and is very slippery off the bounce as he’s able to get to spots and make tough shots. Rosenthal is a blue collar guy who isn’t the biggest or most athletic, but he competes on both ends, rebounds well for his position and is a lights out shooter from deep.
Erik ProsiseErikProsise6'1" | CGTrinity Episcopal | 2021StateVA
and AJ WilliamsAJWilliams6'1" | SGOak Hill Academy | 2021StateVA
| Trinity Episcopal
TES is another group that is losing a nationally ranked player in Henry ColemanHenryColeman6'8" | PFTrinity Episcopal | 2020State#35NationVA
to Duke and their center Burke SmithBurkeSmith6'10" | PFTrinity Episcopal | 2020State#240NationVA
to Boise State, but their returning backcourt will be a lot of fun to watch as Prosise and Williams are both talented shot makers that can create for themselves and others. Prosise is the guy who typically plays on the ball more and he can run the offense but is also a good defender and someone who can make shots both off the bounce and off the catch. Williams is one of the most decorated players in the state and has been one of the top scorers and shooters in the area over the past three years, and really showed more on the defensive end last year and is capable of filling it up with the best of them on any given night.
Amari GrayAmariGray6'0" | CGLC Bird | 2022StateVA
and Yuri MannsYuriManns6'2" | CGLC Bird | 2023VA
| LC Bird
Bird loses their starting point guard from the last three years in Tyler HendersonTylerHenderson5'8" | PGLC Bird | 2020StateVA
who is heading to Anderson in South Carolina, but they have a young core that is ready to step up and take the reigns. Two of the guys who will probably split ball handling duties are rising junior Amari GrayAmariGray6'0" | CGLC Bird | 2022StateVA
and rising sophomore Yuri MannsYuriManns6'2" | CGLC Bird | 2023VA
. Gray is a bully kind of guard who is very strong at his 6’0” size, and while he isn’t a true point guard he’s a guy who can get in the lane at will off the bounce, make plays for others and is a terrific rebounder at his position. Manns is a scoring guard is learning to play on the ball and can really shoot it from deep, but he’s shown improvement in his ability to handle it and make plays off the bounce for others. They’re part of a young group that should surprise some people in the next few years.
Keyshawn Pulley and Andre GreenAndreGreen6'1" | CGSt. Christopher's | 2022StateVA
| St. Christopher’s
Pulley and Green are two guys that were thrown into the fire as freshmen for STC but they showed a lot of growth last year and should be one of the top backcourts in the area moving forward. Pulley is a guy who has shown great growth as he’s morphed from being mainly a shooter into being a solid point guard who can both score it and make plays for others, and while he’s taken his lumps it seems to be paying off as he’s become a much more well rounded player. Green is a natural athlete who is a big time football recruit that is able to play above the rim, lock down the other teams top scorer and makes gritty plays on both ends of the floor.