Posted On: 11/19/20 10:45 PM
The FHSAA boys basketball season is just around the corner. The regular season tips off on Nov. 23.
We will be looking at the top players to watch in all seven classes.
Here is a peek at the top prospects to keep an eye on in Class 4A (Districts 1-8).
Players To Watch By Class: 7A (Districts 1-8) Players To Watch By Class: 7A (Districts 9-16) Players To Watch By Class: 6A (Districts 1-8) Players To Watch By Class: 6A (Districts 9-16) Players To Watch By Class: 5A (Districts 1-8) Players To Watch By Class: 5A (Districts 9-16)
2019-20 state champion: Stranahan
Region 1 – District 1
Perhaps the top player in the Pensacola area, Gaines is a talented athlete. The 2021 6-8 forward earned a Grambling State offer in July. He averaged 12.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG and 2.5 BPG. He had two games with seven blocks a year ago and was a mainstay on the boards. An efficient inside slasher, Gaines is a very good aggressor and a true pain for opposing defenses. Other top pieces with this group are 2022 6-4 guard Isaiah Gaines Isaiah Gaines 6'6" | PF Pensacola | 2021 State FL (Pensacola) Perhaps the top player in the Pensacola area, Gaines is a talented athlete. The 2021 6-8 forward earned a Grambling State offer in July. He averaged 12.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG and 2.5 BPG. He had two games with seven blocks a year ago and was a mainstay on the boards. An efficient inside slasher, Gaines is a very good aggressor and a true pain for opposing defenses. Other top pieces with this group are 2022 6-4 guard Caleb Young Caleb Young 6'4" | SG Pensacola | 2022 State FL , who can score in bunches and play tough defense and 2021 5-11 guard Emanuel McDuffie, a sharpshooter and key ballhandler. Barrett Waldrop (South Walton) A rangy player at 6-7, Waldrop is someone who can post a double double nightly at South Walton. The 2021 forward is a versatile threat who simply gets it done on both ends of the floor. He has plenty of strength to hold his own. Christian Bibbs Christian Bibbs 6'0" | SG North Bay Haven | 2022 State FL (North Bay Haven) At North Bay Haven, this is a consistent scoring threat here. Bibbs, a 2022 6-0 guard averaged 22.2 PPG with four games over 30 points which included a 41-point outing against South Walton last season. He is always going hard on every possession whether or not he missed a shot on the previous one. Other names to know: 2021 G Tavarius Lilly (Bay), 2022 G Tyberias McCree (Bay), 2023 G Ryan Spearman (Rutherford), 2022 G Antonio Morgan Antonio Morgan 5'11" | PG Rutherford | 2022 State FL (Rutherford), 2021 G Tywann Thomas (Pensacola), 2022 G Demarquiae Goode (Walton), 2022 G Max Wiggins (South Walton), 2021 guard Jalen King (West Florida), 2021 G Keith Bradshaw (West Florida), 2022 G Reggie Stanley (North Bay Haven) and 2023 G Maurice Butler (North Bay Haven). Region 1 – District 2 Steve Laurent Steve Laurent 6'3" | PG Blanche Ely | 2021 State FL (Godby) Godby always has tough squads year in and year out. Laurent, a 2021 6-3 guard is fast, lengthy and a very special finisher. He can shoot it as well. Laurent averaged 15.0 PPG and 7.0 APG as a junior and will continue to flourish for this fast-paced team. Nykeem Gainer Nykeem Gainer 5'10" | PG Marianna | 2022 State FL & Hogan Spencer (Marianna) There are some nice pieces over at Marianna with Gainer and Spencer at the helm. Gainer, a 2022 5-10 guard averaged 12.9 PPG and brought a ton of patience and attacking ability to this backcourt. Spencer, a 2021 6-1 forward who also plays baseball and football has a reliable role as an inside scorer. James McBride James McBride 6'0" | CG Miami | 2021 State FL (Gadsden County) McBride is an intriguing prospect who shows up nightly. The 2021 6-2 guard averaged nearly 11.0 PPG a season ago at Gadsden County and should have a chance to expand on those per game scoring numbers. Other names to know: 2021 F Brian Fuery Brian Fuery 6'6" | SF Suwanee | 2021 State FL (Suwanee), 2021 G Wesley Jones (Suwanee), 2021 G Malik Stovall Malik Stovall 5'11" | PG Rutherford | 2021 State FL (Rutherford), 2021 F Jermaine Lawrence (Godby), 2021 F Joey Farmer (Baker County), 2022 G Ronnie Ellis (Baker County), 2021 G Ahmad Johnson Ahmad Johnson 6'0" | CG Marianna | 2021 State FL (Marianna) and 2023 F Isaiah Spencer (Marianna). Region 1 – District 3 Deebo Coleman Deebo Coleman 6'6" | SG West Nassau | 2021 State #49 Nation FL (West Nassau) Recently committed to Georgia Tech, Coleman has averaged 22.7 PPG in three seasons as the lead piece for West Nassau. The 2021 6-5 guard averaged 25.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG as a junior which featured a whopping 11 games with 30 plus points. He is a gamer, rock-solid shooter and a confident ballhandler. Coleman should close out his senior season with a bang. ...West Nassau has a quartet of weapons around Coleman with Clements, a 2021 6-1 guard who can drive and hit jumpers with ease, 2023 6-7 guard/forward Keenan Johnson Keenan Johnson 6'7" | SF West Nassau | 2023 State FL who has a long body and athletic game, 2021 guard Simeon Womack Simeon Womack 6'2" | PG Stanton | 2021 State FL is a gifted ballhandler and transition piece and lastly 2023 5-11 guard Leon Whitley Leon Whitley 6'0" | SG West Nassau | 2023 State FL , who puts his head down and attacks the rim when he gets opportunities. Quinnton Jackson Quinnton Jackson 5'9" | CG Paxon | 2021 State FL (Paxon) Paxon made a run to the final four this past season. Jackson, a 2021 5-10 guard is going to be the leader for this group. He has an improved mid-range jumper and his absolute tenacity and burst is a joy to watch on both ends of the floor. A nice senior to pair with him is 2021 5-11 guard Ja’Kobe Williams Ja’Kobe Williams 6'2" | CG Paxon | 2021 State FL who plays well on or off the ball. He is a playmaker. Kenneth Young Kenneth Young 6'0" | CG Ed White | 2022 State FL (Ed White) Young is the top piece for this Ed White unit. The 2022 6-1 guard is a two-way player who flourishes as a slasher and rebounder. Other names to know: 2024 G Caleb Williams Caleb Williams 5'8" | PG Ribault | 2024 State FL (Ribault), 2023 G Kevin Stokes (Ribault), 2022 F Marquis Harris (Ribault), 2022 F Antonio Sheffield (Ribault), 2021 F Michael Jackson Michael Jackson 6'3" | PF Ed White | 2021 State FL (Ed White), 2021 F Aaron Alexander (Ed White), 2022 F Cam Miller (Fernandina Beach), 2021 G Ryan Anderson (Fernandina Beach), 2021 F Nari Jordan (Paxon), 2021 G Daniel Watson Daniel Watson 5'9" | PG Paxon | 2021 State FL (Paxon), 2023 G Tyrese Smith Tyrese Smith 6'0" | PG Raines | 2023 State FL (Raines), 2023 F Zack Drawdy Zack Drawdy 6'3" | SF Yulee | 2023 State FL (Yulee), 2022 F Marcell White (Yulee) and 2023 F Trent Jesionowski Trent Jesionowski 6'5" | SF Yulee | 2023 State FL (Yulee). Region 1 – District 4 Bobby Crouch Bobby Crouch 6'0" | CG Bolles | 2021 State FL (Bolles) There are a ton of shooters on this Bolles team. Crouch is the heart and soul as he averaged 18.2 PPG as a junior. The 2021 6-0 guard committed to Division III Babson College earlier this summer and should be a high volume scorer as a senior. Alongside him are 2021 5-10 guard Richie Rosenblum, a steady ballhandler and attacker and 2022 6-3 guard Ben McGraw Ben McGraw 6'3" | CG Bolles | 2022 State FL perhaps the top shooter of this bunch and a rising talent (15.5 PPG in 2019-20). Ross Candelino Ross Candelino 6'4" | SG Bishop Kenny | 2022 State FL & Daniel Buckley Daniel Buckley 6'0" | PG Bishop Kenny | 2021 State FL (Bishop Kenny) Bishop Kenny has a 2021 duo in Candelino and Buckley who can reach double digits nearly every game. Candelino, a 6-4 forward averaged 14.1 PPG and was a major factor inside. Buckley, 5-11 guard proved his value as a shooter who knocked down 43 percent of his 3-pointers a year ago. Vanari Johnson Vanari Johnson 5'8" | PG Palatka | 2021 State FL (Palatka) Johnson is one of the most efficient shooters from a season ago. The 2021 5-9 guard shot 68 percent from the field overall and 47 percent from 3-point land. He is a gifted shooter and someone to keep a close eye on in his senior campaign. John Brice John Brice 6'2" | CG Menendez | 2021 State FL (Menendez) Menendez has a top piece in Brice, a 2021 6-1 guard who simply gets the job done. He is a driver and a skilled playmaker. Other names to know: 2022 G Zion Williams Zion Williams 6'4" | SF Wolfson | 2022 State FL (Wolfson), 2022 G Jordan Smith Jordan Smith 6'3" | CG Wolfson | 2022 State FL (Wolfson), 2022 G Lyman Starmer (Wolfson), 2024 G Darian Frazier Darian Frazier 6'1" | SG Wolfson | 2024 State FL (Wolfson), 2021 F Kenny Patterson (Bishop Kenny), 2023 G Pierce Shirk Pierce Shirk 6'3" | SG Bolles | 2023 State FL (Bolles), 2022 G Isaac Jubran (Bolles), 2021 G Tre Griner (Clay), 2022 G D’maurion Frazier (Clay) and 2022 G Keshon Bell (Menendez). Region 2 – District 5 Ernest Ross Ernest Ross 6'9" | PF Santa Fe | 2021 State #57 Nation FL (Santa Fe) Committing to North Carolina State back in March, Ross is one of the most athletic bigs you’ll find out there. At 6-10, the 2021 forward is lengthy, quick and determined as a shot blocker and finisher. He is just hitting his true potential as he looks to add on more muscle and power to his upper body. Jarveil Gainey Jarveil Gainey 6'3" | CG Eastside | 2021 State FL (Eastside) Transferring in from Trinity Catholic last season, Gainey thrived as a junior averaging 16.8 PPG and 5.6 RPG at Eastside. A consistent scorer, the 2021 6-2 guard had just one game under 10 points as he produced in bunches for this team. He will be the focal point this season. Alongside him is his brother Aziel Gainey, a 2021 5-10 guard who is speedy and strong. Jeriahmiah Mack Jeriahmiah Mack 6'1" | SF North Marion | 2022 State FL & Sammie Yeanay Sammie Yeanay 6'6" | SF North Marion | 2024 State FL (North Marion) This is an interesting bunch that North Marion has in place. Mack is a 2022 6-2 guard/forward who had some breakout games a season ago which featured a 22-point performance. He will be tasked to do plenty more here as a junior. 2024 6-7 forward Sammie Yeanay Sammie Yeanay 6'6" | SF North Marion | 2024 State FL is going to make an instant impact with his combination of size and athleticism. Other names to know: 2021 G Adontae Balfour (Bradford), 2021 F Devon Casey Devon Casey 6'6" | PF Dunnellon | 2021 State FL (Dunnellon), 2022 G LJ Fitzpatrick LJ Fitzpatrick 5'10" | PG Dunnellon | 2022 State FL (Dunnellon), 2021 G Omar Brown Omar Brown 6'0" | PG Eastside | 2021 State FL (Eastside), 2022 F Tre’lyn Moore (Eastside), 2021 F Ian Schofield (Keystone Heights), 2021 G Bryson Channell (Keystone Heights), 2021 G Gage Stevens (Keystone Heights), 2023 G Dontrell Jenkins (Santa Fe) and 2021 F Willie Lewis (Santa Fe) Region 2 – District 6 Nasir Mann Nasir Mann 6'4" | CG Villages Charter | 2021 State FL (The Villages) The Villages are always competitive. Mann, a 2021 6-4 guard continues to further his abilities and he will have every opportunity to close out his high school career the right way. He holds an NAIA offer from Florida College. A trio of other pieces are going to add scoring with 2021 6-6 forward Antonio Rizzo Antonio Rizzo 6'6" | CG The Villages | 2021 State FL who is a long and smooth athlete, 2022 6-4 forward Gian Ortega-Rolon Gian Ortega-Rolon 6'4" | SG The Villages | 2022 State FL , a gifted shooting threat and 2023 6-0 guard Derek McCray Derek McCray 5'11" | SG The Villages | 2023 State FL , a playmaker who is up next. Ian Rose Ian Rose 6'0" | CG Crystal River | 2021 State FL (Crystal River) You can’t ignore the never give up style of play Rose employs for Crystal River. The 2021 6-0 guard has the green light to shoot and he puts together some big nights with his scoring approach. 2021 6-4 forward Daunte Gunter Daunte Gunter 6'4" | SF Crystal River | 2021 State FL is a nifty sidekick for Rose as he’s able to do the dirty work and a lot of transition attacking. Other names to know: 2021 G Corey Goldwire (The Villages), 2022 G Brandon Kennard Brandon Kennard 5'10" | CG The Villages | 2022 State FL (The Villages), 2021 guard Landon Carter Landon Carter 6'4" | SF Hernando | 2021 State FL (Hernando), 2021 G Talon Bergantino Talon Bergantino 6'1" | CG Central | 2021 State FL (Brooksville Central), 2021 G Tre Joyner Tre Joyner 6'1" | CG Central | 2022 State FL (Brooksville Central), 2021 G Contae Cason (Brooksville Central), 2022 F Hudson Copeland Hudson Copeland 6'4" | PF Crystal River | 2022 State FL (Crystal River), 2021 G Drake Gonzalez Drake Gonzalez 6'4" | PF Citrus | 2021 State FL (Citrus), 2021 G Trey Kovach (Citrus), 2021 G Alex Mendigutia (Citrus), 2022 G Terrion Thompson (Hernando), 2023 F Rueben Barron (South Sumter) and 2021 F Toby Van Hooijdonk (South Sumter). Region 2 – District 7 Brice Sensabaugh Brice Sensabaugh 6'6" | PF Lake Highland Prep | 2022 State FL (Lake Highland Prep) The top piece back for Lake Highland Prep, Sensabaugh is a big body who can flat out shoot it. The 2021 6-6 guard worked on his body and added a ton of muscle to his frame allowing him to power inside and score more often. Sensabaugh holds offers from USF, FGCU, SMU and Stetson with more to come shortly. He averaged 17.3 PPG last season while shooting 41 percent from deep. ...2021 6-7 forward Miles Stewart (a Howard commit) is going to be tasked to stretch the floor plenty. Other notables are 2022 5-10 guard Jared Berry Jared Berry 5'9" | CG Lake Highland Prep | 2022 State FL , a quick ballhandler and scorer, 2022 6-3 guard Jah Quinones, a well built shooter and slasher and 2022 6-2 guard Machai Campbell Machai Campbell 6'2" | SF Lake Highland Prep | 2022 State FL , a quick athlete who transferred in from Lake Brantley. TrayVon Osborne TrayVon Osborne 6'1" | CG Bishop Moore | 2022 State FL & Blake Burkey Blake Burkey 5'11" | CG Bishop Moore | 2021 State FL (Bishop Moore) Bishop Moore has a chance to surprise some people this season. Osborne, a 2022 6-1 guard is on the rise and is someone who flourishes with the ball in his hands. Burkey, a 2021 6-1 guard is a skilled shooter who will continue to get opportunities from outside. Other names to know: 2023 Montrell Bell Montrell Bell 5'8" | PG Bishop Moore | 2023 State FL (Bishop Moore), 2023 G Isaiah Davis Isaiah Davis 6'0" | PG Bishop Moore | 2023 State FL (Bishop Moore, 2023 G Alex Madrid Alex Madrid 6'2" | PG Bishop Moore | 2023 State FL (Bishop Moore), 2021 F Benny Turner (Eustis), 2021 F Kyle Belgrave Kyle Belgrave 6'5" | SF Eustis | 2021 State FL (Eustis), 2021 G Karlton Walton (Eustis), 2024 G Kellan Lewis Kellan Lewis 5'10" | PG Lake Highland Prep | 2024 State FL (Lake Highland Prep), 2021 F Parker Lange Parker Lange 6'5" | PF Umatilla | 2021 State FL (Umatilla), 2021 G Caleb Diggs (Umatilla) and 2023 G Alexander Croeze (Mount Dora). Region 2 – District 8 Sam Lowe Sam Lowe 6'2" | PF Wesley Chapel | 2021 State FL (Wesley Chapel) Lowe is the No. 1 option for Wesley Chapel, averaging nearly 10.0 PPG as a junior. The 2021 6-2 guard is in line for heavy minutes and a lot of scoring chances. Willie Ravenna Willie Ravenna 5'11" | PG Wesley Chapel Cypress Creek | 2021 State FL (Wesley Chapel Cypress Creek) Part of a brand new school for the last three seasons, Ravenna shot 40 percent as a junior as he averaged 11.4 PPG as the hands down top scorer here. Look for him to duplicate that success yet again. Jacob Dunlow Jacob Dunlow 6'9" | PF Hudson | 2021 State FL (Hudson) Dunlow is a big body at 6-9. The 2021 forward averaged 9.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG last season at Hudson. He is an efficient shooter (62 percent from the field) and I expect him to be fed the ball as an attacker and shooter inside. Other names to know: 2021 F Westly Miller (Anclote), 2021 G Peyton Williams (Wesley Chapel Cypress Creek), 2022 G La damien Starks (Hudson), 2021 G Dedric Hall (Nature Coast), 2021 F Kaden Long (Nature Coast), 2021 G Ari Echner (Tarpon Springs) and 2021 F DeVonte VanTrece DeVonte VanTrece 6'1" | SF Tarpon Springs | 2021 State FL (Tarpon Springs).