It’s been far too long since you’ve heard from me. I was beginning to miss you guys.
It’s my favorite time of year, the hoops playoff push, and I’m here to write about 10 things you should know for basketball season.
The most important item on this list is easy: the all-name teams. Remember, these may or may not be the top players in the box score. But they should always be circled in your programs.
Boys All-Name Team
Emeka Okafor, Word of Life
Thomas Hooper, Desert Pines
Tailer Bowen, Desert Oasis
Taeler Bowen, Desert Oasis
Kingsley Okoroh, Findlay Prep
Girls All-Name Team
Yassemeen Sadullah, Bishop Gorman
Taylor Badua-Kono, Lake Mead
Amy MBoup, Durango
Unique Wilson, Chaparral
Celeste Manumaleuna, Mojave
Boys Midseason Player of the Year
Shabazz Muhammad, Gorman
The guy dropped 41 points and 18 rebounds in a huge win against Clark, scored 37 on ESPNU the other day and has more YouTube highlights than a lot of NBA players.
Plus, have you seen his list of Twitter followers? That makes the award deserving all by itself.
Girls Midseason Player of the Year
Jada Brown, Centennial
It’s hard to argue with the best player on the best team.
What makes Centennial the best team? The 49-point average margin of victory.
Clark’s boys are legit
How good is the top of the Southwest? Really good.
Gorman gets lots of national attention, and rightly so. But Clark had a lead on those guys going into the second quarter, and wound up losing by only 12 points.
The Chargers are 15-3 overall, with the only league loss coming to Gorman.
Kentrell Washington and Diontae Jones are hitting their stride for Clark. And when Sir Washington is hitting his shots, this team could beat anybody.
Watch out for them in the playoffs.
Give credit to Foothill’s girls
It’s no shock that the Sunset Region will come down to Centennial and Gorman; it has every year for most of my life, I think. But Foothill is quickly making a run on the other side of town.
Sure, the Falcons have won more than their fair share of close games in the Southeast. But 6-0 is 6-0.
Boulder City boys, girls the favorites in 3A
Boulder City’s boys and girls teams have both emerged as clear favorites in the Class 3A Southern League.
The boys have more size and depth than either of the other two teams, and should benefit from the other two struggling in the early going.
Ditto for the girls.
I’m not sure if Veterans Memorial Highway goes from Boulder City to Reno. So the town might want to reserve flights in February right now.
Agassi Prep’s boys are the class of 2A … and then some
Class 2A competition might not have the depth as it did last year, but Agassi Prep is showing that a small school can still compete with the big schools.
With an unheard-of 14 seniors, Agassi Prep is 13-3, running away from 2A foes and going 4-2 against the 4A.
Epic Friday night
Centennial’s boys visit Palo Verde on Friday night in a battle of 7-0 Northwest teams, each with one loss overall on the season.
Both teams are well coached, don’t take many bad shots, have talented backcourts and are tough defensively.
I’ll be at this game, pumping myself up for state. I suggest you do the same.
It will be hard to live up to last year’s epic Gorman-Findlay Prep showdown at Cox Pavillion.
But this one might come close.
Gorman has the best player in the country in Muhammad. But the Pilots might have the next three best in the game.
Can Gorman’s supporting cast step up and get the win?
It’s hard to pick against the Gaels. But I’ll play this one safe. For now … Findlay by 8.