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Saturday, March 17, 2012
Eye on POY: Iowa 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.

Marcus Paige
Senior point guard, Linn-Mar High (Marion, IA)

2011-12 Team record: 20-5
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class A semifinals

2011-12 Points per game: 28.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 4
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.5
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.9
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.7

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: North Carolina

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 McDonald’s All-American; 2012 Jordan Brand Classic selection; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference

Adam Woodbury
Senior center, Sioux City East (Sioux City, IA)

2011-12 Team record: 22-3
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class 4A state final

2011-12 Points per game: 17.3
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 11.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 1.7
2011-12 Steals per game: 1

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Iowa

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2009-2011 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.

Kale Abrahamson: Senior forward, Valley (West Des Moines, IA)
Sam Skogen: Senior guard, Mason City (IA)
James Harrington: Senior forward, Cedar Falls (IA)

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.