All-State Basketball: Boys Super Elites
April, 30, 2012
By Mark Tennis & Ronnie Flores | ESPN.com
Willie Eashman/ESPNHSIt's a minefield of Monarchs for all-state player Dakarai Allen in D1 state final.The five finalists for Mr. Basketball are joined by 25 others on the overall Cal-Hi Sports All-State teams regardless of CIF division or year in school. Click here for All-State Underclass or All-State by CIF Divisions.
F Jabari Bird (Salesian, Richmond) 6-6 Jr.
The first team all-state junior and Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year finalist was the catalyst to Salesian’s Division IV state title appearance. He scored 24 points to lead his team to a come-from behind win over Price of Los Angeles in the championship. Salesian's leading scorer (18.7 points per game) and rebounder (4.8) is the No. 8 player in the nation for the 2013 class by ESPN.
F Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-8 Jr.
The great thing about being Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year is you get to be first team on everything else that applies. On the same court as the current NBA star, Gordon elicited memories of 1991 and 1992 Mr. Basketball Jason Kidd in the way he dominated play in leading his team to a second straight D2 state title. He's not as skilled as Kidd, but he dominates in similar fashion. Now he gets a chance to one up Kidd when he brings his 22.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks from this season back next year for a shot at a three-peat.
C Grant Jerrett (Lutheran, La Verne) 6-10 Sr.
The Division IV State Player of the Year led Lutheran to the SoCal regional final after helping the Trojans win two state titles as an underclassman. California's first McDonald's All-American since the loaded Class of 2008, Jerrett picked up the slack for a team that lost its depth by averaging 22.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. He was one of the nation's most versatile big men, able to knock down baseline jumpers and straight-away 3-pointers with ease. The Gatorade State Player of the Year is headed next to Arizona.
F Xavier Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-7 Sr.
Up until the state title game against Sheldon of Sacramento, the Colorado-bound Johnson was Mater Dei's most impressive player in the post-season. He came up big against Long Beach Poly in a state No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup with 19 points and 20 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive glass. The Orange County Register Player of the Year and a repeat Super Elite team selection, Johnson averaged 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds for a 34-2 team.
G Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-5 Sr.
This UNLV-bound guard started the season hot and never really let up, capping it off with a 30-point performance in the Division I state final victory over Sheldon. The L.A. Times Player of the Year, Reinhardt is one of the nation's best shooters and many national scouts feel he might have been one of perhaps two or three national "snubs" for this year's McDonald's All-American Game. Reinhardt, officially the state senior player of the year because Mr. Basketball Aaron Gordon is a junior, led Mater Dei with 18.6 points per game and toned down some of his flashy play to become a more complete player.
Joel Francisco/ESPNHSGrant Verhoeven was part of a very strong group of players in 2012 from the CIF Central Section.
G Aaric Armstead (Bullard, Fresno) 6-5 Sr.
One of the state's most gifted offensive talents, Armstead was a bit under-the-radar on a statewide level after a transfer from Hales Franciscan (Chicago), which he led to the Illinois Class 2A state title last season. He really made a name for himself in the post-season, as Bullard advanced to the SoCal Div. I regional final. He went for 32 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and six steals against Westchester and 14 points in Bullard's victory over L.A. City champ Taft. When Armstead closed out the season with a 33-point performance against eventual state champ Mater Dei, it gave him 803 points, a school record according to Central Section historian Bob Barnett.
F Marqueze Coleman (Alemany, Mission Hills) 6-4 Sr.
He came up big in the clutch with 27 points, nine rebounds and two steals in the Div. III state title game victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral to cap off a whirlwind season. Coleman averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the No. 5 ranked team in the state. The co-CIF Southern Section Division 3A Player of the Year with teammate Max Guercy, Coleman was named the Division III State Player of the Year and the L.A. Daily News Player of the Year. Also a fine defender, Coleman is headed to Nevada.
F Anthony January Jr. (Taft, Woodland Hills) 6-7 Sr.
After missing the first seven games of the season following his transfer from Compton High, A.J. led the Toreadors to the L.A. City Section Div. I title. Easily one of the state's best talents when on his game, January averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game while earning West Valley League MVP and L.A. City Section Div. I Player of the Year honors. In the Collision All-Star game pitting the City vs. the Southern, Section, January led the City with 26 points and 14 rebounds. His father, 6-foot-6 forward Anthony January Sr., was a third five selection at Carson for the 1985-86 season.
C Grant Verhoeven (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) 6-9 Sr.
This Stanford-bound big man dominated the CIF Central Section on his way to being named the Times-Delta/Advance-Register player of the year. On the season, he averaged a whopping 27.4 points, 18.3 rebounds and 5.7 blocks as the Cavaliers captured their third section title in the last four years. It’s true he didn’t fare too well in a head-to-head matchup with La Verne Lutheran’s Grant Jerrett, but there is still no doubt he was one of the state’s top 10 players for the season.
G Gabe York (Lutheran, Orange) 6-2 Sr.
A four-year standout for the Lancers, York was one of the state's top scorers, averaging 25.5 points to follow up on a spectacular AAU season where he earned recognition as one of the nation's top 50 prospects. After missing some league games for participating in an adult league game, York stepped up his game in the post-season, averaging 28.5 points and leading Orange Lutheran to the CIFSS Div. I-A title. The I-A player of the year, York is known as one of the nation's most flashy playmakers and dunkers with a large following among viewers of new media sites such as BallIsLife.com.
G Max Guercy (Alemany, Mission Hills) 5-9 Sr.
The super-quick point guard averaged 18 points per game to go along with four assists and three steals as the Warriors captured the Division III state championship. Along with teammate Marqueze Coleman, he was named the CIFSS Division III-A co-player of the year and co-MVP of the Mission League. He earned praise from opposing coaches for his leadership and rock solid play in the clutch.
G Isaac Hamilton (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-5 Jr.
The younger brother of former all-state forward Jordan Hamilton of Compton Dominguez (now with the Denver Nuggets), Isaac is one of the state's best pure scorers. A transfer from L.A. Crenshaw, Isaac averaged 24.3 ppg and shot over 50 percent from the field against tough competition for a team that advanced to the SoCal Div. III regional final. Hamilton has a great feel for the game on both ends, averaging 5.4 assists and grabbing 9.6 rebounds per game despite his thin frame. Already off to a solid AAU season, a big summer would make him a strong McDonald's All-American candidate next year.
F Roschon Prince (Long Beach Poly) 6-4 Jr.
One of the state's top athletes, Prince had a solid season for the Jackrabbits' football team but an even more spectacular basketball season for the CIFSS Div. I-AA runner-up. Prince, the state freshman of the year in 2010, led Poly in scoring at 21.7 ppg and also chipped in 7.6 rebounds. Prince is also one of the state's best at defending the wing, operating the baseline and drawing fouls on offense. The Moore League MVP, Prince will be watched closely this summer by national scouts. If his perimeter game develops, he'll have a chance to be one of the nation's top players next season.
C Skylar Spencer (Price, Los Angeles) 6-9 Sr.
With this big guy in the middle, the Knights reached the state finals for the second time in three years before coming up short with a loss to Salesian of Richmond. Spencer’s most impressive skill is blocking shots, but he also can get up and down the court. He is headed to play next season at San Diego State.
F Daddy Ugbede (Serra, Gardena) 6-7 Sr.
Daddy sure was big for the Cavaliers and could be the state’s most surprising player for the season. He was off-the-charts in the playoffs, especially with 32 points in a win over La Verne Lutheran in the CIFSS Div. 4AA championship. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds for the season. Ugbede was not only MVP in the rugged Del Rey League, but also already has been named Player of the Year by the South Bay Daily Breeze.
F Jordan Bell (Long Beach Poly) 6-8 Jr.
Of all the players around the state who didn't start on varsity in 2010-11, Bell likely made the biggest impact among first-year starters. Backing up 2011 Mr. Basketball Ryan Anderson (Boston College) paid immediate dividends, as Bell was the defensive leader for one of the state's top teams. He averaged 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, but his block totals don't begin to tell the story of how he disrupted offenses. When challenged straight on like he was in a league game against Long Beach Jordan, Bell came up with 16 blocks, 13 rebounds and 16 points. With improved ball-handling and face up skills, Bell could double his offensive output (8.4 points) next season.
F Matt Shrigley (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad) 6-6 Sr.
A small forward who projects to be a shooting guard in college, Shrigley has been chosen as the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year. After scoring 25 points in the section finals (he averaged more than 22 ppg for the season), Shrigley led the Mavericks to an appearance in the CIF Div. II state final and to a 35-3 season record. He was recruited by many Pac-12 schools last summer, but eventually signed in November with hometown San Diego State.
F Nick Stover (Windward, Los Angeles) 6-6 Sr.
After averaging 15.9 points as a junior for the 2011 Division IV state champions, Stover stepped up to average 21.7 points and 9.1 rebounds for a team that battled, and defeated, some of the state's top teams such as Mitty and La Verne Lutheran. Among scouts, Stover is mentioned as one of the best long-term prospects in this year’s group of seniors because of his ball skills and body control. He's also known as a clutch free-throw shooter. An LMU recruit and the brother of UCLA center Anthony Stover, Nick is the latest in a succession of all-state level players at Windward for coach Miguel Villegas that began with the Los Angeles' Lakers Darius Morris.
C Robert Upshaw (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno) 6-11 Sr.
A late recruiting frenzy surrounded Upshaw when he de-committed from Kansas State due to a coaching change. He has since decided to play for Fresno State. Upshaw is coming off an outstanding senior season, too. He led the Panthers to a Central Section Division II championship with averages of 18 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks and three assists per game. He also played well in matchups against top teams in the CIF Div. II SoCal regional playoffs.
G Tyrone Wallace (Bakersfield) 6-3 Sr.
Wallace is yet another CIF Central Section player that gets into the one of our top four elite first fives. He was the Bakersfield Californian’s Player of the Year twice, but was not chosen this year in a choice we respectfully wouldn’t have made. Wallace was on a weaker team this season, but his totals were still more than solid at 20 points and eight rebounds per game. He also ends his career with 1,767 points, which is the most in Bakersfield’s long history. There aren’t many all-staters headed to the Pac-12, either, but he is one of them and will play next for Cal.
F Josh Fox (Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Francisco) 6-5 Sr.
Had things gone a little differently, Fox could have been one of the heroes of a Division III state championship. He still kept the Irish in the title-game loss to Alemany of Mission Hills with a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds. The team’s leading scorer (16 ppg) on the CIF Central Coast Section and NorCal D3 champions had an even better game in the NorCal title-game win over Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland. Fox had team-highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds.
G Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Loyola, Los Angeles) 5-10 Soph.
Averaging a second-best 12.5 points per game to go along with four rebounds and three assists, the Cubs had an impressive season before running into Mater Dei in the section and state playoffs. After being named to the All-CIFSS Division IAA first team as the only player from Loyola, he also was runner-up to Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei as the State Sophomore of the Year. Jackson-Cartwright was the State Freshman of the Year for last last season.
F Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-5 Soph.
As a freshman, Johnson often shared the spotlight with fellow ninth-grader Shaqquan Aaron. Aaron shined early, but by the end of the season Johnson played like he was going to be Mater Dei's future leader. With Aaron no longer part of the team this year, Johnson stepped up and averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Div. I state champs. Known for sparking Mater Dei runs, Johnson stepped up in the state championship game (21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks) after Xavier Johnson fouled out early. The State Sophomore of the Year also gets kudos from coach Gary McKnight for his scouting reports on Mater Dei's top opponents.
G Joe Rahon (Torrey Pines, San Diego) 6-2 Sr.
After an injury-plagued sophomore season, Rahon stepped up as a junior and did even better as a senior. The former all-state freshman (one of just 10 in the state that season) finished with per game averages of 22.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He is headed next to Boston College of the Big East Conference where former San Diego area standout Jared Dudley (now in the NBA) had a strong career.
G Jovian Watson (San Ysidro) 6-3 Sr.
Before Watson arrived at San Ysidro, the team had not won more than seven games in a season. He leaves after this year’s team went 25-6 and he’s earned the CIF San Diego Section Div. I player of the year honor. Watson led the section with 26.6 points per game and also averaged 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals. The Long Beach State-bound talent finished his career with 2,219 points, 217 3-pointers and 536 steals with 717 assists. He ended top 10 all-time in the section in all four categories.
F Dakarai Allen (Sheldon, Sacramento) 6-4 Jr.
His teammate, D’Erryl Williams, received a few more honors, but this talented junior led the way on the offensive end for the Huskies as they captured the school's first Division I NorCal championship. Both Allen and Williams averaged 14 points per game, but it was Allen, and not Williams, who was voted as the league MVP. The good news for us is that we ended up picking both players to the same teams so we didn’t have the problem of picking between them. Among those who have offered Allen include San Diego State, USC and Oregon State.
G Ron Lee Jr. (Oak Park, Agoura Hills) 6-2 Jr.
The son of former NBA player Ron Lee has piled up the awards after the season. And what a season it was. The talented scorer averaged 21.6 points per game and 4.8 assists as the Eagles reached the CIFSS finals for just the second time in school history. He more than held his own in that title game in a loss to eventual state champ Alemany, too. Among the honors he has received include being named to our All-State Junior First Team, Tri-Valley League MVP and the Ventura County Star Co-Player of the Year. He was player of the year by himself by the Ventura County Basketball Coaches Association.
G Amadi Udenyi (De La Salle, Concord) 5-11 Sr.
When a coach like the Spartans’ Frank Allocco says a player is one of the best defensive and overall guards he’s ever coached, that certainly has some meaning based on who Allocco has had in his backcourt over the years. The defensive stopper that can penetrate and dish was also an excellent threat from outside after shooting 37 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The team’s leading scorer (16.1 ppg) led De La Salle to a CIF North Coast Section Div. I championship as a junior and to a 10th this year as a senior.
G D’Erryl Williams (Sheldon, Sacramento) 6-2 Jr.
It was a year to remember for the Huskies, as they reached the state finals for the first time in school history where they lost in the Division I title game to Mater Dei. Williams averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He is a guard who can penetrate, find open teammates and shoot from the outside. He already has been named the Sacramento Bee Player of the Year and joins teammate Dakarai Allen on three separate all-state teams. With the two of them and more returning, next year could be even better for the Huskies.
F Dion Wright (Mayfair, Lakewood) 6-6 Sr.
It only made sense for Wright to be named the CIF Southern Section Division IIA Player of the Year as he led the Monsoons to the section championship. Wright averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game. He was an outstanding floor leader and has a younger brother, Brian, who will be an all-state candidate next season.
Notes: Players from Division I schools tend to dominate these choices each year, but those from Division IV this season were perhaps the best in the 34 years in which we've been releasing these honors. Jabari Bird, Grant Jerrett, Grant Verhoeven, Skylar Spencer, Daddy Ugbede and Nick Stover were all on the fourth five or higher. Thanks to Harold Abend and Paul Muyskens as well for their work on these teams. Corrections or comments? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.