Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pre-Season Top 10 (Part 1)

In part 1 of the "Pre Season Area Top Ten High School Teams" posts, I highlight teams 10, 9, and 8.  This Friday and Saturday's ABR Live Tip Off Invitational (see full schedule here) marks the first weekend of high school hoops action where we will get to see most of the area's teams in action for the first time. Each night this week, I will share my thoughts about who the area's best ten teams will be.  Let me know what you think in the comment section.

#10 - Evans
The 2012-2013 Knights sailed through sub region play undefeated and recorded signature wins at home versus Aquinas and North Augusta.  And two players no longer with the team, Damion Foreman and Jacob Buchanan, had much to do with that success.
Evans' Patrick Lawrence, Kameron Mason, and
Jacob Buchanan fight for a rebound.

But returnees Patrick Lawrence and Kameron Mason will likely inherit much of the leadership responsibilities. And these guards can score.  Additionally, Matlin Marshall and K'lon Lovett are tough defenders who can also contribute offensively.  All four of these guards know how to win and have experience doing so.  The biggest strength this team should have is the expectations of its coach, and therefore the players, that success is a habit. Figuring out how to win may be the task at hand.  But I predict coach Kenny and the Knights will rise to the occasion.

#9 - Richmond Academy
Richmond's Tiger Daggett in Warmups
Brothers Frank (senior) and Nick (sophomore) Roberts will team with proven junior guard Tiger Daggett to give the Musketeers a formidable inside-out attack.  Last year's poor sub region regular season record should prove to be a fluke for the proud Richmond basketball program.  In addition to the Roberts brothers, Richmond has additional big, active bodies.  And most importantly, coach Steve Nobles and his formidable staff has clearly taught the players the importance of feeding the post.  Region 4AAAA action is about to get even more exciting with the Musketeers joining the competitive fray.

#8 - Thomson
Thomson always competes fiercely, applying constant full court pressure and a team first mentality.  Guards Felton Hatcher and Malik Gibbons are very capable.  Hatcher can shoot from deep and the lefty is as explosive as any guard.  And Gibbons is a smart point guard who knows how to play the game and get his teammates great shots.  A beneficiary of Gibbons' savvy point guard play is Stephen Hart, a 6'4" center with good footwork in the post.  The 7 spot was basically a toss up between sub region 3AAA rivals Thomson and WACO.  Luckily, we will see things sorted out during the teams' 2-3 meetings this regular and post season.

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