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 GainesIsaiahGaines6'6" | PFPensacola | 2021StateFL (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 YoungCalebYoung6'4" | SGPensacola | 2022StateFL, 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 BibbsChristianBibbs6'0" | SGNorth Bay Haven | 2022StateFL (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 MorganAntonioMorgan5'11" | PGRutherford | 2022StateFL (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 LaurentSteveLaurent6'3" | PGBlanche Ely | 2021StateFL (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 GainerNykeemGainer5'10" | PGMarianna | 2022StateFL & 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 McBrideJamesMcBride6'0" | CGMiami | 2021StateFL (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 FueryBrianFuery6'6" | SFSuwanee | 2021StateFL (Suwanee), 2021 G Wesley Jones (Suwanee), 2021 G Malik StovallMalikStovall5'11" | PGRutherford | 2021StateFL (Rutherford), 2021 F Jermaine Lawrence (Godby), 2021 F Joey Farmer (Baker County), 2022 G Ronnie Ellis (Baker County), 2021 G Ahmad JohnsonAhmadJohnson6'0" | CGMarianna | 2021StateFL (Marianna) and 2023 F Isaiah Spencer (Marianna). Region 1 – District 3 Deebo ColemanDeeboColeman6'6" | SGWest Nassau | 2021State#40NationFL (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 JohnsonKeenanJohnson6'7" | SFWest Nassau | 2023StateFL who has a long body and athletic game, 2021 guard Simeon WomackSimeonWomack6'2" | PGStanton | 2021StateFL is a gifted ballhandler and transition piece and lastly 2023 5-11 guard Leon WhitleyLeonWhitley6'0" | SGWest Nassau | 2023StateFL, who puts his head down and attacks the rim when he gets opportunities. Quinnton JacksonQuinntonJackson5'9" | CGPaxon | 2021StateFL (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 WilliamsJa’KobeWilliams6'2" | CGPaxon | 2021StateFL who plays well on or off the ball. He is a playmaker. Kenneth YoungKennethYoung6'0" | CGEd White | 2022StateFL (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 WilliamsCalebWilliams5'8" | PGRibault | 2024FL (Ribault), 2023 G Kevin Stokes (Ribault), 2022 F Marquis Harris (Ribault), 2022 F Antonio Sheffield (Ribault), 2021 F Michael JacksonMichaelJackson6'3" | PFEd White | 2021StateFL (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 WatsonDanielWatson5'9" | PGPaxon | 2021StateFL (Paxon), 2023 G Tyrese SmithTyreseSmith6'0" | PGRaines | 2023StateFL (Raines), 2023 F Zack DrawdyZackDrawdy6'3" | SFYulee | 2023StateFL (Yulee), 2022 F Marcell White (Yulee) and 2023 F Trent JesionowskiTrentJesionowski6'5" | SFYulee | 2023StateFL (Yulee). Region 1 – District 4 Bobby CrouchBobbyCrouch6'0" | CGBolles | 2021StateFL (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 McGrawBenMcGraw6'3" | CGBolles | 2022StateFL perhaps the top shooter of this bunch and a rising talent (15.5 PPG in 2019-20). Ross CandelinoRossCandelino6'4" | SGBishop Kenny | 2022StateFL & Daniel BuckleyDanielBuckley6'0" | PGBishop Kenny | 2021StateFL (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 JohnsonVanariJohnson5'8" | PGPalatka | 2021StateFL (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 BriceJohnBrice6'2" | CGMenendez | 2021StateFL (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 WilliamsZionWilliams6'4" | SFWolfson | 2022StateFL (Wolfson), 2022 G Jordan SmithJordanSmith6'3" | CGWolfson | 2022StateFL (Wolfson), 2022 G Lyman Starmer (Wolfson), 2024 G Darian FrazierDarianFrazier6'1" | SGWolfson | 2024FL (Wolfson), 2021 F Kenny Patterson (Bishop Kenny), 2023 G Pierce ShirkPierceShirk6'2" | SGBolles | 2023StateFL (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 RossErnestRoss6'9" | PFSanta Fe | 2021State#43NationFL (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 GaineyJarveilGainey6'3" | CGEastside | 2021StateFL (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 MackJeriahmiahMack6'1" | SFNorth Marion | 2022StateFL & Sammie YeanaySammieYeanay6'6" | SFNorth Marion | 2024FL (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 YeanaySammieYeanay6'6" | SFNorth Marion | 2024FL 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 CaseyDevonCasey6'6" | PFDunnellon | 2021StateFL (Dunnellon), 2022 G LJ FitzpatrickLJFitzpatrick5'10" | PGDunnellon | 2022StateFL (Dunnellon), 2021 G Omar BrownOmarBrown6'0" | PGEastside | 2021StateFL (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 MannNasirMann6'4" | CGVillages Charter | 2021StateFL (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 RizzoAntonioRizzo6'6" | CGThe Villages | 2021StateFL who is a long and smooth athlete, 2022 6-4 forward Gian Ortega-RolonGianOrtega-Rolon6'4" | SGThe Villages | 2022StateFL, a gifted shooting threat and 2023 6-0 guard Derek McCrayDerekMcCray5'11" | SGThe Villages | 2023StateFL, a playmaker who is up next. Ian RoseIanRose6'0" | CGCrystal River | 2021StateFL (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 GunterDaunteGunter6'4" | SFCrystal River | 2021StateFL 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 KennardBrandonKennard5'10" | CGThe Villages | 2022StateFL (The Villages), 2021 guard Landon CarterLandonCarter6'4" | SFHernando | 2021StateFL (Hernando), 2021 G Talon BergantinoTalonBergantino6'1" | CGCentral | 2021StateFL (Brooksville Central), 2021 G Tre JoynerTreJoyner6'1" | CGCentral | 2022StateFL (Brooksville Central), 2021 G Contae Cason (Brooksville Central), 2022 F Hudson CopelandHudsonCopeland6'4" | PFCrystal River | 2022StateFL (Crystal River), 2021 G Drake GonzalezDrakeGonzalez6'4" | PFCitrus | 2021StateFL (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 SensabaughBriceSensabaugh6'6" | PFLake Highland Prep | 2022StateFL (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 BerryJaredBerry5'9" | CGLake Highland Prep | 2022StateFL, a quick ballhandler and scorer, 2022 6-3 guard Jah Quinones, a well built shooter and slasher and 2022 6-2 guard Machai CampbellMachaiCampbell6'2" | SFLake Highland Prep | 2022StateFL, a quick athlete who transferred in from Lake Brantley. TrayVon OsborneTrayVonOsborne6'1" | CGBishop Moore | 2022StateFL & Blake BurkeyBlakeBurkey5'11" | CGBishop Moore | 2021StateFL (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 BellMontrellBell5'8" | PGBishop Moore | 2023StateFL (Bishop Moore), 2023 G Isaiah DavisIsaiahDavis6'0" | PGBishop Moore | 2023StateFL (Bishop Moore, 2023 G Alex MadridAlexMadrid6'1" | PGBishop Moore | 2023StateFL (Bishop Moore), 2021 F Benny Turner (Eustis), 2021 F Kyle BelgraveKyleBelgrave6'5" | SFEustis | 2021StateFL (Eustis), 2021 G Karlton Walton (Eustis), 2024 G Kellan LewisKellanLewis5'10" | PGLake Highland Prep | 2024FL (Lake Highland Prep), 2021 F Parker LangeParkerLange6'5" | PFUmatilla | 2021StateFL (Umatilla), 2021 G Caleb Diggs (Umatilla) and 2023 G Alexander Croeze (Mount Dora). Region 2 – District 8 Sam LoweSamLowe6'2" | PFWesley Chapel | 2021StateFL (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 RavennaWillieRavenna5'11" | PGWesley Chapel Cypress Creek | 2021StateFL (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 DunlowJacobDunlow6'9" | PFHudson | 2021StateFL (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 VanTreceDeVonteVanTrece6'1" | SFTarpon Springs | 2021StateFL (Tarpon Springs).