Commentary

Mr. Basketball USA Tracker: Oak Hill's Tyler Lewis making waves

Updated: January 30, 2012, 6:31 PM ET
By Ronnie Flores | ESPNHS.com

Top recruit Shabazz Muhammad, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle collect first place votes while Tyler Lewis increases point total by 25.

The New Year brought changes of opinion for some of the nation's leading talent evaluators regarding the top national player of the year candidates.

At the very top, the voting results of the latest ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Tracker are the same with ESPNU 100 No. 1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) leading the way with 92 points, one less than his preseason point total.

From the major holiday tournaments, two new candidates emerged among the top seven. Team success in these tournaments was the main factor causing change in the voting results.

In the preseason, point guard Tyler Lewis of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) appeared on one ballot in fourth place (seven points). Lewis, coming off an MVP performance at the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro, Ore., is consistently putting up double-digit numbers in scoring and assists for the Warriors.

In the latest tracker, Lewis appeared on five ballots and gained 25 points. Oak Hill currently sits at No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50 at 25-0. The next major test for the Warriors is Jan. 14 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., against Julius Randle and No. 23 Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas).

"Oak Hill doesn't have a lock McDonald's All-American... the team's sum is greater than its individual parts," said ESPN senior national basketball analyst and panel member Dave Telep. "The guy making them go is Tyler Lewis. He's always been everyone's favorite teammate in a camp setting and now with the parts around him, he's thriving."

Coming off an MVP performance at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla., Randle increased his point total to 53, up from 31 in the preseason. Although he remains in fourth place, he appeared on two additional ballots.

The player who dropped to make way for Lewis was Tony Parker of No. 34 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.). He appeared on two less ballots after his team went 0-3 at the City of Palms. The reigning ESPNHS National Junior Player of the Year, however, can make up ground with big performances in upcoming showcase games -- beginning against second place vote-getter Jabari Parker and his team at top-ranked Simeon (Chicago) on Jan. 7 (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET).

"My feeling about these television games is, they are really great for the fans, but whoever wins this award should win a state championship," Telep said.

Fortunately, December injuries did not knock out any of the leading candidates, as it had in recent seasons.


2011-2012 ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA Tracker: Week 2
Rank Prev. Name Pos High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
1 1 Shabazz Muhammad (10) SF Bishop Gorman 3 6 1 0 0 92
2 2 Jabari Parker (9) SF Simeon 6 1 0 1 1 82
3 3 Kyle Anderson (9) PG St. Anthony 0 1 3 2 1 63
4 4 Julius Randle (7) PF Prestonwood 1 1 1 2 2 53
5 NR Tyler Lewis (5) PG Oak Hill 0 0 1 2 1 32
6 5 Marcus Smart (3) SF Flower Mound 0 1 1 0 1 23
7 NR Anthony Bennett (3) SF Findlay Prep 0 0 2 0 0 21

Others Receiving Votes:
Brandon Ashley (Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.) 17 pts. (3)
Amile Jefferson (Friends' Central, Wynnewood, Pa.) 17 pts. (3)
Alex Poythress (Northeast, Clarksville, Tenn.) 12 pts. (2)
Tony Parker (Miller Grove, Lithonia, Ga.) 11 pts. (2)
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.) 9 pts. (2)
Nerlens Noel (The Tilton School, Tilton, N.H.) 8 pts. (2)
Grant Jerrett (La Verne Lutheran, La Verne, Calif.) 7 pts. (1)
Jerami Grant (DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md.) 6 pts. (1)
Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young, Chicago, Ill.) 6 pts. (1)
Katin Reinhardt (Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.) 6 pts. (1)
Gabe York (Orange Lutheran, Orange, Calif.) 5 pts. (1)
Parker Cartwright (Loyola, Los Angeles) 4 pts. (1)
DaJuan Coleman (Jamesville-DeWitt, DeWitt, N.Y.) 4 pts. (1)
Tyler Dorsey (Ribet Academy, Los Angeles) 4 pts. (1)
Perry Ellis (Wichita Heights, Wichita, Kan.) 4 pts. (1)
Evan Nolte (Milton, Milton, Ga.) 4 pts. (1)

About ESPNHS Mr. Basketball Tracker Panel
ESPNHS' panel of 10 experts, which includes five McDonald's All-American selection committee members, casts its vote each week for the top national player of the year candidates. Each panelist lists the top seven candidates regardless of class. The votes are then tabulated on a 10-point scoring system with a first-place vote equaling 10 points, a second-place vote earning nine points and down to four points for a seventh-place vote. The number in parenthesis refers to the numbers of ballots on which a player appeared and previous rankings refers to position in 2011-12 preseason tracker.