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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Eye on POY: Ohio Boys Basketball

By Joel Beck

The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Justin Fritts
Senior shooting guard, Mentor (OH)

2011-12 Team record: 22-2
2011-12 Team standing: Will begin Division I state tournament on March 15

2011-12 Points per game: 26.1
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 3.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.3
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.5

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Wheeling Jesuit

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 Second Team All-State; 2010-2012 First Team All-Conference

Adolphus Washington
Senior center/power forward, Taft (Cincinnati, OH)

2011-12 Team record: 18-3
2011-12 Team standing: Will begin Division II state tournament on March 15

2011-12 Points per game: 23.1
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 14.3
2011-12 Assists per game: 1.6
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.5
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Ohio State (football)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2010-2012 First Team All-Conference

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Terry Rozier: Senior point guard, Shaker Heights (OH)
Josh Lemons: Senior guard, La Salle (Cincinnati, OH)
Kenny Kaminski: Senior forward, Medina (OH)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.