KC Metro Hoops Year in Review

Now that all of the state championships have wrapped up and most of the various All State and All Metro teams have been announced it's time to move on to spring and summer ball. However, before moving on to the spring, those who follow the Kansas City hoops scene may be interested in taking a look back at the season that was. Making lists like this is never easy but the guards, in particular, were really tough to choose from.

EBOSS HOOPS KC PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Roderick Pearson, 6-2 PG, Raytown (MO) South- Quite frankly, deciding on the player of the year was by far the hardest decision that had to be made. Competing against strong candidates like Isacc Miles, JD Christie, and Dominique Johnson, Pearson gets the slight nod in a very close race.

A strong and physical point who is ambidextrous, Pearson’s determination and ability served him well as he led the Raytown South charge during his senior season. During the fall, he committed and signed with Southeast Missouri State but he isn’t likely to end up there. Once a new coach is named, Pearson is expected to ask for a scholarship release and if it’s granted he’ll be a very desirable commodity.

THE ALL METRO TEAMS

FIRST TEAM

George Goode, 6-8 BF/WF, Raytown (MO) South (2007)- A pre-season first teamer, Goode backed it up all year long. He’s a dangerous shooter from behind the three point line but made an effort to improve his ball handling and did more damage around the basket. He’s got high major written all over him and still has plenty of room to improve and get stronger.

JD Christie, 6-5 ½ WF/BF, Overland Park (KS) SM East- Going for 19 and 10 a night, Christie willed his team into the Kansas Class 6A state championship game where they fell just short. He’s tough and bouncy around the basket, has added range on his jumper and competes as hard as anybody in the city. Recently committed to Evansville.

Conner Teahan, 6-5 WG, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst (2007)- Considering he was named the Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year, it isn’t a surprise to see him on the first team. He’s got a sweet stroke from deep, is adding to his mid range game and will dunk on somebody whenever he gets the chance. He could emerge as a high major recruit before summer’s end.

Dominique Johnson, 5-10 PG, Kansas City (MO) Lincoln Prep- Domo helped lead a talented Prep squad all the way to the Missouri Class 4A final four. Had the best single game performance of the year when he went for 46 in the state quarterfinals but was just as likely to drop 10 dimes in a game. Utah State, among others, is heavily involved but he may choose to attend a prep school next season.

Isacc Miles, 6-2 PG/WG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege- It isn’t a surprise to see Isacc -- who shared the Miege backcourt with Johnson during his freshman and sophomore years -- make this team and he certainly deserves it. He had a huge season both scoring and distributing the rock. He recently took himself off the market and is a monster pickup for Creighton.

SECOND TEAM

Casey Crawford, 6-9 BF, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley North- A skilled big man who can fill it up from deep, Crawford was solid all season long. He can score with either hand around the post and caused opponents to alter their game plans all season long. Hasn’t decided on a school yet but is expected to visit Wake Forest this weekend and a commitment could follow soon after.

Jarryd Cole, 6-7 BF, Kansas City (MO) Winnetonka (2007)- Winnetonka isn’t a hoops powerhouse, but Cole has given high major programs a reason to watch the Griffons play. He’s a complete horse around the basket and is expanding his offense each time he takes the court. Nobody in the city is tougher than this 230 pounder.

Bristan Kelley, 6-7 BF/C, Lee’s Summit (MO) North- As he’s transformed baby fat into muscle, Kelley has emerged as one of the most dominant big men in the area. He bangs down low, but it is his touch from 12 feet and exquisite passing that really makes him a tough matchup. He’s a terrific pickup for Northern Illinois.

Adam Leonard, 5-11 PG, Lee’s Summit (MO) North- Kelley’s teammate, Leonard is a tough as nails point with a penchant for sticking big shots. He refused to listen to those who said he didn’t have what it takes to earn a division one scholarship and earned his ticket to Eastern Kentucky.

Rahmon Fletcher, 5-10 PG, Kansas City (MO) Paseo- This jet quick lefty is well known as a scorer and he certainly did that this season. However, what was most impressive is how much he improved as a facilitator for others. He’ll continue to get better and will have no shortage of D1 schools tracking him this summer.

THIRD TEAM

Cavel Witter, 5-10 PG, Kansas City (MO) Ruskin- A co-winner of the best trash talker award, this electric scorer backed up his words with his play. He used a lightning quick first step, deep range and tricky ball handling to free himself for shots and score on drives to the cup. Has been generating some serious low to mid major division one attention lately and should sign somewhere as long as he takes care of his books.

Ryan Jehle, 6-5 BF/WF, Overland Park (KS) Shawnee Mission South- A first team class 6A performer in the state of Kansas, Jehle was one of the premier scorers in the city. He hit the weights hard and added strength allowed him to finish inside and improve his athleticism all while he kept his deft touch from the perimeter. He signed early with Missouri State.

Dominique Thuston, 6-5 WF/WF, St. Joseph (MO) Lafayette- St. Joe may be stretching the metro out a little, but room had to be found for Thuston. He’s a big time scorer with blazing speed and some springs around the hoop. He’ll likely spend a few years in junior college but his athleticism and jump shooting should eventually land him in a solid mid major conference.

Justin Hurtt, 6-5 WF, Kansas City (MO) O’Hara (2007)- A high flying lefty, Hurtt struggled at times making the adjustment after transferring from tiny Blue Ridge Christian. Still, it’s clear that he’s one of the most intriguing talents in city and he’s improved his ball handling and shooting dramatically. Look for big things out of him next winter.

Edriss Floyd, 6-2 PG/WG, Independence (MO) Truman- Floyd shares the trash talk award with Witter and his on court cracks will be missed next season. He sacrificed his scoring at times for the benefit of his team but still managed to get his 20 a night while involving others. He’ll be pretty heavily recruited on the D1 level out of junior college.

HONORABLE MENTION- Mark Smith, 6-7 BF/C, Kansas City (MO) Hickman Mills; Blake Bales (2007), 6-1 WG, Olathe (KS) East; Dusty Burdolski, 5-11 PG, Overland Park (KS) Shawnee Mission Northwest; Brandon Coleman, 6-5 BF, Kansas City (MO) Lincoln Prep; Brandon Coleman, 6-1 PG/WG, North Kansas City (MO) High; Terrance Hill (2007), 6-4 WF, Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep; JaJuan Maxwell, 6-6 BF, Raytown (MO) High; Reggie Chamberlain (2007), 6-0 WG/PG, Raytown (MO) High; Brandon Kinnie (2007), 6-4 WF, Grandview (MO) High; Patrick James, 6-7 BF, Kansas City (KS) Schlagle; Aaron Trigg, 6-2 WG, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley West; Chris Combs (2007), 6-1 WG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege, Austin Bond (2007), 6-4 WG, Kansas City (KS) Piper; Caleb Mills, 5-9 PG, Kansas City (KS) Sumner Academy; Luke Engelken (2007), 6-5 WF, Faucett (MO) Mid Buchanan.

*Pre-season player of the year Travis Releford was not considered after playing only half a season due to his transfer to Bishop Miege.

THE ALL UNDERCLASSMEN TEAM

Steve Moore, 6-8 ½ BF, Independence (MO) Truman (2008)- The sophomore of the year in the Metro area, Moore emerged seemingly out of nowhere. He runs the court, has some skill and will rip an opponent’s arms off if he has to in order to get to a rebound. That nasty streak will serve him well as he gets stronger and adds more experience down the road. He’s already on the radar of high major programs.

Robert Lewandowski, 6-9 BF, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley West (2008) - Another skilled big man who is already on the radar of high major programs, Lewandowski picked his spots. He runs the court well, has great mechanics on jumpers to 12 feet and blocks some shots. Expect big things out him next year when the offense is flowing through him.

Marcus Denmon, 6-2 WG, Kansas City (MO) Lincoln Prep (2008) - Until he was sidelined late in the season, Denmon was making a strong case for sophomore of the year. He’s a terrific defender who finds his offense on strong drives to the bucket. Who knows, maybe Lincoln Prep wins the state title if he can play during the state playoffs.

Clinton Mann, 6-6 ½ BF, Overland Park (KS) St. Thomas Aquinas (2008) - A fundamentally sound scorer in the low post, Mann is equally comfortable facing up defenders 15 feet from the hoop. He can drive and dunk, or he’ll pop easy jumpers. He gets on the boards and is easily one of the hardest working bigs in the area.

Michael Dixon, 5-11 PG, Lee’s Summit (MO) West (2009)- This slick and slender guard earns the award as the top freshman in the area. He has a smooth and effortless jump shot, gets into the lane using either hand, sets up his teammates and plays solid defense. He’s growing quickly and should be considered one of the top floor generals in the city regardless of class.

HONORABLE MENTION- Ernest Jones, Jr. (2008), 5-10 PG, Kansas City (MO) Central; Widgett Washington (2009), 5-10 WG, Kansas City (MO) Central, Justin Clark (2009), 6-2 WG, Independence (MO) William Chrisman; Alex English (2009), 6-5 BF/WF, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley Northwest; Marcus Butler (2008), 6-3 WG, Kansas City (KS) Washington; Andrew Jones (2008), 6-6 BF, Smithville (MO) High; Keith McCullough (2008), 6-8 BF, Overland Park (KS) St. Thomas Aquinas; Shawn Adams (2009), 6-5 WF/WG, Liberty (MO) High; Dominique Lane (2008), 6-4 WF, Kansas City (MO) Northeast; Michael Gholston (2008), 5-11 PG, Raytown (MO) South; Dominique Newton (2008), Raytown (MO) South.


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