With the boys basketball tournaments going on this week, this is a good time to look at the leading candidates for Big Schools (6A-4A) and Small Schools (3A-1A) Player of the Year.
Somebody not on this list who delivers big in the playoffs could crack through and be among the top three candidates when it’s all over.
Big Schools (alphabetical order)
Alex Barcello, Tempe Corona del Sol, G, 6-2, Sr.
All-Arizona each of the past two seasons, Barcello is having his greatest season, averaging 24 points, four assists and six rebounds for the top seed in 6A. He is making 90.2 percent of his free throws.
Majok Deng, Tucson Salpointe, G/F, 6-6, So.
Has been racking up D.I offers, including one from Arizona, during a stellar season with his strong moves and ability to dominate on the glass.
Gabe McGlothan, Chandler Basha, 6-7, F, Sr.
He is the enforcer for a 6A team that won 26 games in a row and lost only one game this season. He is averaging a double-double for points and rebounds.
Jaelen House, Phoenix Shadow Mountain, G, So.
Arguably the best defensive guard in the state, House is averaging 22.3 points, 4.9 assists and 5.7 steals on the best team in the state.
Nikc Jackson, Tucson Sunnyside, F, 6-7, Jr.
After moving from Detroit last summer, in his first season playing high school basketball in Arizona, he compiled 518 points, 306 rebounds and four Division I college offers.
Saben Lee, Corona del Sol, 6-3, G, Sr.
The other half of the incredible one-two backcourt punch, Lee, a Vanderbilt signee, is averaging 21 points, five assists and seven rebounds. He is making 57 percent of his shots.
Nico Mannion, Phoenix Pinnacle, G, 6-1, Fr.
Great feel for the game, great burst, very confident, great scorer. But he also is great at setting up teammates for open jump shots.
Max Moses, Phoenix Arcadia, G, Sr.
He is averaging 19 points for a strong, well-balanced, good-shooting 5A team.
Marcus Shaver, Phoenix Shadow Mountain, G, Sr.
Electric players who missed the first nine games because of the transfer rule. He has been over 20 points in almost every game he has played since becoming eligible.
Holland Woods, Glendale Apollo, G, 6-0, Sr.
Prolific scorer, part of a great one-two backcourt scoring punch on one of the best 5A teams that beat Corona del Sol this season.
Bryce Andrashie, Fountain Hills, F, 6-5, Sr.
An all-around player, he is aeraging 16.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, two steals and 1.8 blocks for a team that has a chance to make a deep run in the 3A tournament.
Shekeedren “B.J.” Bryant, Phoenix NFL Yet, F, 6-5, So.
Averaging 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds on the No. 1-ranked (azcentral sports) team in 1A. Long and athletic, he can change a game quickly with his plays.
Robert “B.J.” Burries, Globe, G, 5-9, So.
Leads 3A in scoring at 25.9 points game. Had games of 51, 41, 30 and 48 points in four of his final five games.
Jamaal Coleman, Ganado, F, 6-8, Sr.
Helped transform Ganado’s basketball team, becoming a dominant force on the Navajo reservation with his dunks, blocks and rebounds. Led team on a 21-game winning streak.
Donovan Hanna, Queen Creek American Leadership, F, 6-6, Sr.
An All-Arizona football player, Hanna is averaging 20.4 points and 12.3 rebounds on
Jarrett Kartchner, Pima, F, 6-6, Sr.
Dominant player in 2A in the paint, setting up teammates for points. Rebounds everything in sight for 25-2 team that lost its only two games to teams in bigger conferences.
Reed Myers, Scottsdale Christian, G, 6-1, So.
The defending Small Schools POY is averaging 15 points on an injury-plagued team that didn’t get 6-8 sophomore Ethan Spry back until midway through the season.
Jared Perry, Surprise Paradise Honors, F, 6-7, Jr.
Averaging a double-double on the best team in school history, after not playing high school basketball his first three years.
Nick Rosquist, The Gregory School (Tucson), G, 6-0. Sr.
Leads 1A in scoring at 29.9 points a game. He has made 98 of 260 3-pointers for 26-1 team.
Trey Wood, Anthem Prep, F, 6-8, Jr.
Led 1A in rebounding at 14.6 points a game. Averaged 23.6 points and six blocks and made 51 percent of his shots.
Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-316-8827. Follow him at azc_obert