All guards, Hillcrest — Austin Petry, Juwan Johnson, Roy Hardy, David McIntosh, Matt Rush and Darnell Green-Beckham, along with Glendale transfer Thomas Whittaker, account for more perimeter talent than some small conferences.
Pablo Alvarez, McDonald County, sr. — A great defender and leader, Alvarez was among the cornerstones of a McDonald County team that pulled off an improbable run to the Class 4 sectionals last year.
Blayne Armstrong, Marshfield, jr. — He put up a lot of passing yards in the fall as quarterback of the football team, and should score a lot of points for coach JC Carter’s team.
Justus Boever, Rogersville, sr. — Boever averaged 6.3 points per game for a deep and talented Rogersville team last season. This year, he’ll be counted on to be the No. 1 scoring option.
Chad Elliot, Salem, sr. — Elliot can score facing the basket or with his back to it. Coach Phil McClintock said Elliot has great potential and has a chance to reach it this season.
Jake Fletcher, Republic, sr. — Fletcher is the leader of the Tigers, and will be among the players counted on to step up in big moments for coach Trevyor Fisher’s deep team.
Aaron Freeman, sr., and Corbin Medley, jr., Rogersville — With all the production lost from last year’s senior class, players like Freeman and Medley and going to have to pick up the slack.
Coday Garrison, Bolivar, jr. — The 5-foot-10 junior has a high basketball IQ and nice pull-up jumper. He also led the Liberators in assists last year at four per game.
Grant Hancock and Marcus Miller, Republic, srs. — The 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-7 combination will present problems for opponents down low. Both have shown flashes of being very good players, and with more of those moments, could be considered among the area’s elite players.
Phoenix Johnson, Webb City, jr. — He’s primarily known as a football starter, but Johnson is an athletic basketball player that can push the ball in transition as a point guard.
Ethan Lowery, Cassville, jr. — The 6-foot-7 center has good touch around the basket, but will need to become more of an offensive threat for Cassville to continue its winning ways.
Logan Miller, West Plains, sr. — Miller, a 6-foot-1 guard, was an honorable mention Ozark Conference selection last year. He is one of the leaders among the four returning seniors.
Andrew Parker, Aurora, sr. — Parker averaged 13 points and four rebounds per game last season and was named all-conference. He is a great defender for coach Daniel Cutbirth’s team and the 5-foot-10 point guard is the catalyst on offense.
Chance Rash, Bolivar, jr. — A versatile player for coach Robby Hoegh, Rash is a great athlete who averaged 12 points a game as a sophomore.
Nathan Reid, Carthage, sr. — The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 11.4 points per game. Without Desmond Buerge as the Tigers’ focal point this season, that number could increase dramatically.
Austin Selby, Reeds Spring, sr. — Selby averaged a double-double last season with 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5 senior has a chance to prove he is among the area’s best with a strong season.
Travis Vogt, Carl Junction, sr. — The two-time player of the year in the Big 8 Conference, Vogt is a player that Springfield fans might not have heard of. However, with over 1,000 career points and the skills to move to point guard this year, there’s no doubt he’s a player.
Dalton Winkler, Buffalo, sr. — Winkler can shoot from long range and can score off the dribble for first-year coach Scott Miller.
Kyle Woods, Monett, sr. — Woods is on the varsity for the fourth year and averaged 16 points and six rebounds a game as a junior.