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 5A (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)
2019-20 state champion: Rickards
Region 1 - District 1
Jamil BowlesJamilBowles6'5" | CGChoctaw | 2021StateFL
& Ezra McKennaEzraMcKenna6'6" | SFChoctaw | 2021StateFL
Choctaw is one of the deepest teams in the panhandle. The mix of size and athleticism is in place. Bowles, a 2021 6-5 guard is a talented and bursty finisher. He is filling out his long body and has the chance to have a major season campaign. Alongside him is McKenna, a 2021 6-7 forward who committed to Air Force earlier this month. He is a gifted shooter and a rangy versatile piece on both ends of the floor. Another player to watch is 2022 6-9 forward Brian GrantBrianGrant6'8" | PFChoctaw | 2022StateFL
who is a bonafide big and a guy who simply moves people around down low.
Kobe LovelaceKobeLovelace6'2" | PGEscambia | 2022StateFL
Lovelace is a quick twitch guard who commands an offense with his lead by example attitude. The 2022 6-2 guard is a top prospect out of Pensacola and he is going to continue to thrive this season at Escambia. His jumper is smooth and his high IQ game helps everyone around him.
Other names to know: 2022 G Marlon Jarvis (Pensacola Booker T. Washington), 2022 F Mason McManusMasonMcManus6'4" | SFPensacola Booker T. Washington | 2022StateFL
(Pensacola Booker T. Washington), 2021 F Eldrick Robinson (Pensacola Booker T. Washington), 2022 F Jaden NewellJadenNewell6'7" | PFChoctaw | 2022StateFL
(Choctaw), 2021 G Amarion PettisAmarionPettis6'3" | CGChoctaw | 2021StateFL
(Choctaw), 2021 F Javaris Young (Choctaw), 2021 F Marcus White (Escambia), 2022 F Kion HayesKionHayes6'1" | CGFort Walton Beach | 2022StateFL
(Fort Walton Beach), 2022 F Carson Hepworth (Gulf Breeze) and Omarayon TurnerOmarayonTurner6'4" | CGPine Forest | 2022StateFL
Region 1 - District 2
Khamari McGriffKhamariMcGriff6'7" | PFRickards | 2021StateFL
& Kent CarrollKentCarroll6'4" | CGRickards | 2022StateFL
Fresh off a state title, Rickards still has pieces in place. McGriff is a 2021 6-8 forward who committed to UNC Wilmington on Monday. He flashed his true potential a year ago as a shot blocker and mid-range finisher. McGriff is a lengthy athlete who should have every opportunity to produce at a high level this season. Carroll, a 2022 6-4 guard will be a nice compliment next to him with his shooting ability and handle.
Christian McCarter (Mosley)
An efficient attacker and lead guard, McCarter is going to be the key piece to the cause at Mosley. The 2021 guard had bright moments as a junior and will now look to take the next step at an always sound program near Panama City.
Other names to know: 2022 G Jordan White (Arnold), 2022 F Alex Steen (Arnold), 2023 F Randy Pittman (Mosley), 2021 F Jake Piorkowski (Mosley) and 2021 G Desmond GreeneDesmondGreene6'0" | CGWakulla | 2021StateFL
Region 1 - District 3
Alex FudgeAlexFudge6'8" | SFLee | 2021State#40NationFL
Lee fell short of a state final four bid, losing to eventual champion Rickards. The group is in place to make a deep run with 2021 6-8 forward Alex FudgeAlexFudge6'8" | SFLee | 2021State#40NationFL
(LSU commit), who averaged 16.0 PPG, 9.9 RPG and 3.0 BPG as a junior. He is a ballhandling wing who is a special talent on both ends of the floor. Joining him from Bayshore Christian is 2021 6-1 guard Tarence GuinyardTarenceGuinyard6'1" | CGLee | 2021StateFL
, a sharpshooter and a shifty ballhandler. 2021 5-8 guard Teron HaywoodTeronHaywood5'7" | PGLee | 2021StateFL
is a really good finisher and transition pusher who is back and going to be asked to do a lot. 2021 6-1 guard Jarrion SmithJarrionSmith6'1" | PGLee | 2021StateFL
is another consistent scorer who should have a prominent role again.
Josiah SabinoJosiahSabino6'3" | SGOrange Park | 2022StateFL
Sabino is a riser and a prospect to keep a close eye on in the Jacksonville area. He is a 2022 6-4 guard who simply gets it done with his jumper and ability to slash and finish. Sabino is active and full of energy. You always know he is on the floor. He holds an offer from Jacksonville as of now.
Donovan MorganDonovanMorgan6'3" | SGWestside | 2021StateFL
Westside has a steady piece in Morgan. The 2021 6-3 has some serious wheels. He is a gifted outside shooter (42 percent from deep in 2019-20). Morgan can get in the paint and score in bunches. Look for him to have a nice senior season.
Lokose NatanaLokoseNatana6'1" | SGParker | 2021StateFL
& Chris Victor (Parker)
There is a 2021 duo in place at Parker once again this season in Natana and Victor. Natana, a 6-1 guard averaged 13.5 PPG and can score in a variety of ways inside and out. Victor is a 6-3 athlete who is fresh off a football season and should be in tip-top shape.
Other names to know: 2021 G Cory Wyatt (Middleburg), 2023 F Na’jai Moody (Lee), 2021 G Dontae Beaufort (Lee), 2021 F D’marre Craddock (Orange Park), 2021 G Landon Hawkins (Ridgeview) and 2021 G Ro Vemuri (Ridgeview).
Region 1 - District 4
Jaylen CheeksJaylenCheeks6'1" | CGPine Ridge | 2021StateFL
& Joseph BrakeJosephBrake6'1" | SGPine Ridge | 2021StateFL
Pine Ridge has a reliable 2021 pairing in Cheeks and Brake. Cheeks, a 6-3 forward averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.4 RPG which featured a 25-point outing against New Smyrna Beach. As for Brake, the 6-2 guard is a talented jump shooter who averaged just shy of 10.0 PPG as a junior. There should be plenty of scoring from these two prospects.
Luke PirrisLukePirris6'3" | SFPonte Vedra | 2022StateFL
& Alex Madson (Ponte Vedra)
There always seem to be playmakers in place at Ponte Vedra. Pirris, a 2022 6-4 forward averaged 12.4 PPG a season ago and made his living inside the circle scoring in a variety of ways. Madson, a 2021 5-11 guard did more of the same as a finisher at the cup averaging close to 10.0 PPG.
Brakhel BurchBrakhelBurch6'0" | SGSt. Augustine | 2021StateFL
St. Augustine has a crafty playmaker in Burch. The 2021 5-10 guard averaged nearly 12.0 PPG last season and is in line for yet another solid campaign as the backcourt leader for this group.
Other names to know: 2022 F Tyler Smith (Flagler Palm Coast), 2022 G Jermaine RouseJermaineRouse6'1" | CGDeltona | 2022StateFL
(Deltona), 2021 G Elijah Jones (Deltona), 2022 G Elijah Zuniga (Pine Ridge), 2023 G Nathan BunkoskyNathanBunkosky6'0" | PGPonte Vedra | 2023StateFL
(Ponte Vedra), 2021 F Harold Mckay (Seabreeze), 2022 G Bradley PerssonBradleyPersson5'11" | SGSt. Augustine | 2022StateFL
(St. Augustine), 2021 G Dequon Stanley (St. Augustine) and 2022 G Trevon DirdenTrevonDirden6'1" | PGSt. Augustine | 2022StateFL
Region 2 - District 5
Camerin JamesCamerinJames6'5" | CGLeesburg | 2023StateFL
Leesburg earned a big transfer in the form of James. The 2023 6-5 guard/forward is a special talent who can flat out work it as a ballhandler and get to the rim with his pure athleticism and skillset. James will have the reigns at the always competitive program and he should flourish.
Aaron JamesAaronJames5'11" | PGOcala Vanguard | 2021StateFL
James is a jack of all trades for Ocala Vanguard. The 2021 5-9 guard is speedy, determined and can hurt you as a shooter and finisher. He has offers out from NAIA and Division III programs including Dean College, Southwest and Minnesota West College. Another prospect to keep an eye on here is 2022 6-6 forward Tristan Unold. He is a locked-in shooter and towering defensive presence.
Other names to know: 2023 G Cori JohnsonCoriJohnson5'10" | PGBelleview | 2023StateFL
(Belleview), 2021 G Malcolm Marbury (Belleview), 2021 G RJ Vanepps (Belleview), 2022 G Jaquan Harris (Jones), 2021 G Colson Lundy (Jones), 2021 F Shelton Taylor (Jones), 2021 F Julian CheeseJulianCheese6'5" | PFLake Minneola | 2021StateFL
(Lake Minneola), 2021 G Micah ThomasMicahThomas5'8" | PGLake Minneola | 2021StateFL
(Lake Minneola), 2023 G Dylan DiazDylanDiaz6'0" | CGLake Minneola | 2023StateFL
(Lake Minneola), 2023 G Jayvyn ThomasJayvynThomas6'3" | CGLake Minneola | 2023StateFL
(Lake Minneola), 2022 G Tyrone SmithTyroneSmith5'8" | SGBartow | 2021StateFL
(Lake Weir), 2021 F Kenneth Pea (Lake Weir), 2021 F DJ Smith (Lecanto), 2022 G Andre CarterAndreCarter6'2" | CGLeesburg | 2022StateFL
(Leesburg) and 2022 F Charles Hill (Leesburg).
Region 2 - District 6
Eric HowardEricHoward5'10" | CGFivay | 2021StateFL
& Deondre St. Clair (Fivay)
Fivay had a nice season a year ago and its top two players are back at the forefront in Howard and St. Clair. Howard is a 2021 6-0 guard who can distribute the rock, get inside and finish with lay-ins and high rising dunks. Alongside him as a true equal option is St. Clair, who had a 30-point outing against River Ridge last season. The 2022 6-0 guard is a very consistent bucket getter.
Unique TorainUniqueTorain6'4" | CGSpringstead | 2021StateFL
& Saquan CarswellSaquanCarswell6'1" | CGSpringstead | 2022StateFL
There is a chance for Springstead to make a deep run with one of the best players in the Tampa Bay/Spring Hill area. Torain, a 2021 6-4 forward averaged nearly 20.0 PPG a year ago and will continue to be tasked to do plenty on the offensive end for this group. He is fast, long and very athletic. He is hard to slow down. Carswell, a 2022 6-0 guard plays his role well as a hard-nosed rebounder and inside slasher.
Jeremiah CribbsJeremiahCribbs6'3" | SFLand O' Lakes | 2022StateFL
& Nate SantanaNateSantana5'10" | PGLand O' Lakes | 2021StateFL
(Land O’ Lakes)
Land O’ Lakes graduated its top two guards, but there are still good players in the fold here. Cribbs is a 2022 6-2 guard/forward who will be a grinder and inside scorer and rebounder. Santana, a 2021 5-10 guard is one of the shiftiest ballhandlers you’ll see at the high school level.
Other names to know: 2021 F Erik ScottErikScott6'3" | CGFivay | 2021StateFL
(Fivay), 2021 G Scavorriss MillnerScavorrissMillner5'11" | CGFivay | 2021StateFL
(Fivay), 2022 G Trent Pridemore (Gulf), 2021 F Kobe Dillon (Land O’ Lakes), 2021 G Jovanny Bates (Pasco), 2022 G Danny De Sierra’ (River Ridge), 2022 G Jaquan CarswellJaquanCarswell6'1" | CGSpringstead | 2022StateFL
(Springstead), 2023 G Divine TorainDivineTorain6'0" | PGSpringstead | 2023StateFL
(Springstead) and 2021 G Gavyn Dorsey (Zephyrhills).
Region 2 - District 7
Diego Platas-IvanDiegoPlatas-Ivan6'6" | PFAuburndale | 2021StateFL
A high IQ forward, Platas-Ivan can score at all levels on the floor. His seasoned ballhandling and ability to block shots defensively make him a bonafide two-way player. The 2021 6-7 forward transferred from George Jenkins to Auburndale and committed to Division II Lincoln Memorial earlier in the summer.
Kaden BryanKadenBryan5'11" | SGHardee | 2022StateFL
& Myron Refoure (Hardee)
Hardee has a lot of scoring threats in place and Bryan and Refoure are two of the best. Bryan, a 2022 5-10 guard averaged nearly 14.0 PPG and was a nightly threat to shoot at a high clip. Refoure, a 2021 6-0 guard was equally as steady averaging around 14.0 PPG and making his money in the paint as a lay-in artist.
Donald GatlinDonaldGatlin5'9" | PGLake Wales | 2022StateFL
One of the fastest pure point men is Gatlin. The 2022 5-7 guard is undersized but he doesn’t care because he will blast past you and he is a gifted shooter as well. For a Lake Wales team looking for a turnaround season, Gatlin will have plenty of chances to post big numbers.
Other names to know: 2021 G Milton Smith (Auburndale), 2023 G Jerrod JohnsoJerrodJohnso5'11" | PGAuburndale | 2023FL
n (Auburndale), 2023 F Kervin KnaggsKervinKnaggs6'1" | PGAuburndale | 2023StateFL
(Auburndale), 2021 F Parker SasserParkerSasser6'8" | PFHardee | 2021StateFL
(Hardee), 2022 G Ke’Varrius WhiteKe’VarriusWhite5'8" | PGHardee | 2022StateFL
(Hardee), 2022 G Isreal RickettsIsrealRicketts5'11" | PGLake Gibson | 2022StateFL
(Lake Gibson), 2021 G Don SkipperDonSkipper5'10" | CGLake Region | 2021StateFL
(Lake Region), 2021 F Auther Haugabrook (Lake Region), 2023 G Jaden Excell (Lake Wales), 2021 G Ryan BrownRyanBrown5'10" | PGSebring | 2021StateFL
(Sebring) and 2021 F Will Desources (Sebring).
Region 2 - District 8
Davion SistrunkDavionSistrunk6'3" | SFEau Gallie | 2021StateFL
Eau Gallie is a very athletic bunch over in Melbourne. Sistrunk, a 2021 6-3 guard is fresh off of a season where he averaged 18.0 PPG and had only three games below 10 points. Doubling as a football player, he is in impressive shape and his jumper is poised. Expect a really good year from Sistrunk.
Jamar FranklinJamarFranklin6'1" | CGRockledge | 2022StateFL
Franklin returns as the leading scorer of this young Rockledge squad. The 2022 6-1 guard averaged 17.7 PPG and had just two games under double digits. He also shot 40 percent from deep and was a playmaker when his team needed a bucket. Franklin is a very good athlete.
Menelik GarrickMenelikGarrick6'4" | PFBayside | 2021StateFL
Headed to Division III Utica College next fall, Garrick is building up his stock and has improved two-fold since the end of last season. The 2021 6-6 forward is a key cog for Bayside and will have every opportunity to succeed as a senior.
Other names to know: 2021 G Logan Brabham (Bayside), 2021 G Chase SmithChaseSmith6'3" | PFBayside | 2021StateFL
(Bayside), 2022 G Eias Taleb (Bayside), 2021 G Buay Toang (Eau Gallie), 2021 F Elby Tieku (Gateway), 2021 F Zak IrvinZakIrvin6'4" | SFHeritage | 2021StateFL
(Heritage), 2022 G Jaiden Pritchard (Heritage), 2021 F Hebreux AimeHebreuxAime6'5" | PFHeritage | 2021StateFL
(Heritage), 2022 G Elijah Naidas (Palm Bay), 2022 G Malic Osei-Tutu (Palm Bay)