LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – Tabbing the Player of the Year for the 2011-12 boys hoops season in California is no easy task.
Yeah, but someone has to be up to it, right?
So I rolled up my sleeves (figuratively, of course; it would have been literally or, I would have, had I had been wearing a long-sleeved shirt at the time) and got right to it.
The most obvious options were the two guys who help propel the Santa Ana Mater Dei Monarchs to the State Division I title; the state’s only McDonald’s All-American choice; and two of the very best juniors in all of the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Katin Reinhardt (bound for UNLV) and Xavier Johnson (who signed with the University of Colorado in November) are the two Mater Dei seniors I gave serious consideration to.
But, ultimately, it was too difficult to pick between the two.
So, on to the McDonald’s All-American . . .
And I do think that 6-9 Grant Jerrett (La Verne Lutheran) is, easily, the best college prospect among the seniors in California.
Had he led his team to Southern Section and State titles (in Division III), he might have been my choice. But it would have been difficult tabbing him with the two extremely gifted and productive juniors in the running who DID lead their teams to state crowns.
So, it came down to Jabari Bird (of State D-IV title-winning Richmond Salesian) and Aaron Gordon (whose San Jose Mitty club bagged the D-II crown).
And the Oscar goes to . . . Aaron Gordon!
The first- and second-team, 10-player all-California squads follow with further Top 10s for those seniors, juniors, sophomore and freshmen who didn’t make the first two Top 10 lists.
Ready, set, peruse!
Jabari Bird | 6-5 | Jr. | Richmond (Salesian)
Marqueze Coleman | 6-4 | Sr. | Mission Hills (Alemany)
Aaron Gordon | 6-7 | Jr. | San Jose (Mitty)
Anthony January | 6-7 | Sr. | Woodland Hills (Taft)
Grant Jerrett | 6-9 | Sr. | La Verne (Lutheran)
Xavier Johnson | 6-6 | Sr. | Santa Ana (Mater Dei)
Roschon Prince | 6-5 | Jr. | Long Beach (Poly)
Katin Reinhardt | 6-5 | Sr. | Santa Ana (Mater Dei)
Matt Shrigley | 6-6 | Sr. | San Diego (La Costa Canyon)
Gabe York | 6-3 | Sr. | Orange (Lutheran)
Max Guercy | 5-8 | Sr. | Mission Hills (Alemany)
Isaac Hamilton | 6-4 | Jr. | Bellflower (St. John Bosco)
Parker Jackson-Cartwright | 5-9 | So. | Los Angeles (Loyola)
Stanley Johnson | 6-6 | So. | Santa Ana (Mater Dei)
Marcus Lovett | 5-11 | Fr. | Burbank (Providence)
Jordan McLaughlin | 6-0 | So. | Etiwanda (Etiwanda)
Elliott Pitts | 6-4 | Jr. | Concord (De La Salle)
Tyree Robinson | 6-4 | Jr. | San Diego (Lincoln)
Robert Upshaw | 6-11 | Sr. | Fresno (San Joaquin Memorial)
Grant Verhoeven | 6-8 | Sr. | Visalia (Central Valley Christian)
Player of the Year: Gordon
OTHER SENIORS TOP 10
Michael Bryson | 6-4 | Sacramento (Foothill)
Zena Edosomwan | 6-8 | N. Hollywood (Harvard-Westlake)
Alex Fertig | 6-3 | Clovis (Buchanan)
Chris Reyes | 6-7 | La Verne (Damien)
Victor Robbins | 6-6 | Compton (Compton)
Skylar Spencer | 6-7 | Los Angeles (Price)
Daddy Ugbede | 6-6 | Gardena (Serra)
Tyrone Wallace | 6-5 | Bakersfield (Bakersfield)
Javion Watson | 6-3 | San Diego (San Ysidro)
Dion Wright | 6-6 | Lakewood (Mayfair)
Senior of the Year: Reinhardt
OTHER JUNIORS TOP 10
Payton Banks | 6-5 | Orange (Lutheran)
Jordan Bell | 6-7 | Long Beach (Poly)
Marcus Jackson | 6-4 | Los Angeles (Pacific Hills)
Marcus Lee | 6-8 | Antioch (Deer Valley)
Ron Lee | 6-3 | Agoura Hills (Oak Park)
Markel Leonard | 6-0 | Richmond (Salesian)
London Perrantes | 6-1 | Encino (Crespi)
Brandon Randolph | 6-3 | Playa Del Rey (St. Bernard)
Tyrell Robinson | 6-4 | San Diego (Lincoln)
D’ErrylWilliams | 6-3 | Sacramento (Sheldon)
Junior of the Year: Gordon
OTHER SOPHOMORES TOP 10
Bryan Alberts | 6-4 | Sun Valley (Village Christian)
Isaiah Bailey | 6-5 | Compton (Compton)
Evan Fitzner | 6-8 | San Diego (Parker)
Daniel Hamilton | 6-7 | Bellflower (St. John Bosco)
Bear Henderson | 6-5 | Mission Hills (Alemany)
Ajon Jefferson | 6-0 | Pasadena (Pasadena)
Jeremy Lieberman | 6-0 | Calabasas (Calabasas)
Julian Richardson | 6-0 | Woodland Hills (El Camino Real)
Jack Williams | 6-8 | West Hills (Chaminade)
Namon Wright | 6-3 | Los Angeles (Pacific Hills)
Sophomore of the Year: Jackson-Cartwright
OTHER FRESHMEN TOP 10
Sed Barefield | 6-0 | Corona (Centennial)
Tyler Dorsey | 6-4 | Los Angeles (Ribet Academy)
Jeremy Hemsley | 6-1 | La Verne (Damien)
Aaron Holiday | 6-2 | N. Hollywood (Campbell Hall)
Brodericks Jones | 6-9 | Playa Del Rey (St. Bernard)
Nick Pallas | 6-7 | R. Santa Margarita (Tesoro)
Rex Pflueger | 6-4 | S.J. Capistrano (JSerra)
Mason Shepherd | 6-6 | Los Angeles (Windward)
Kendall Small | 5-11 | Huntington Beach (Ocean View)
Cameron Walker | 6-6 | Santa Maria (Righetti)
Freshman of the Year: Lovett