The EBoss Road Show should spotlight most of these guys by season’s end and will get started locally Thursday night when EBoss Hoops Pre-Season player of the year Travis Releford and Bishop Miege travel to Spring Hill.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the top movers and shakers in KC Metro area.
EBOSS HOOPS PRE-SEASON 2006-07 ALL METRO TEAMS
Generally, pre-season rankings and all anything teams should be taken with a grain of salt and there are bound to be some changes. But, these three teams are pretty loaded with talent and all of the players on these players are legitimate D1 prospects and there’s no shortage of potential D1 players in the honorable mention section either.
1St TEAM ALL METRO
*Travis Releford, 6-4 Jr. WG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege- See below.
George Goode, 6-8 BF, Raytown (MO) South- Already signed with Louisville, the long and athletic four man is one of the premier highlight makers in the city. He can shoot with range to 22 feet, rises high for alley-oop and tip slams and is a dangerous shot blocker. With the departure of Roderick Pearson, Ray South is officially his team.
Jarryd Cole, 6-7 Sr. BF, Kansas City (MO) Winnetonka- Maybe the toughest guy in the city, the future Iowa Hawkeye hasn’t benefited from playing on very strong teams at Winnetonka. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from playing relentlessly and physically around the hoop.
Rahmon Fletcher, 5-10 Sr. PG, Kansas City (MO) Paseo- This will be the last year of hoops for the proud Paseo program and Fletcher figures to finish in style. One of the premier scorers in the metro for the last three years, don’t be surprised if the quick lefty puts up big numbers once again. He’ll play his college ball at Wisconsin Green-Bay.
Conner Teahan, 6-4 ½ Sr. WG, Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst- A star quarterback on the gridiron, Teahan will be one of the top scorers in the area. For Rockhurst to win he’s going to have to put up a lot of shots and he’s got the type of mentality that will allow him to fire away. He’s not a bad athlete either and will dunk on somebody if he gets the chance.
*Denotes Pre-Season Player of the Year
2nd TEAM ALL METRO
Marcus Denmon, 6-2 ½ Jr. WG, Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep- After Releford, Denmon is the top transfer in the city. After spending his sophomore season at Lincoln Prep, he’ll bring his high octane offense and quick hands every night. He’s a flat out scorer who gets to the rim, heats it up from outside and he’ll push heavily to make the first team by season’s end.
Mike Dixon, 6-1 So. PG, Lee’s Summit (MO) West- The only sophomore to make any of the pre-season all metro squads, he just may be the best PG in the city. He runs a team, splits traps quickly and can score. He started off quietly as a freshman but had some big games late and has looked fantastic during fall workouts.
Justin Hurtt, 6-4 Sr. WF/WF, Kansas City (MO) O’Hara- A high flying lefty, Hurtt will have some highlight reel jams before the season is over. That’s fine, but it’s his much improved ball handling and ability to shoot the jumper with reliability that makes him dangerous. According to Justin, he’s given a verbal commitment to Tulsa and may head to a prep school next year to get a bit stronger.
Steve Moore, 6-9 Jr. BF/C, Independence (MO) Truman- This lefty has improved as rapidly as any other player in the metro. He runs extremely well, posts up strong and plays with plenty of enthusiasm. With Edriss Floyd gone, the offense figures to run through him this year.
Clinton Mann, 6-6 ½ Jr. BF, Overland Park (KS) Saint Thomas Aquinas- Underrated and under publicized, Mann just goes about his business quietly. He’s tough around the hoop and surprisingly quick on drives from the high post. His older brother Nathan is already playing on the D1 level at William & Mary and he figures to follow in his brother’s footsteps by ending up at a D1 program.
3rd TEAM ALL METRO
Blake Bales, 6-1 Sr. WG/PG, Olathe (KS) East- When OE boss Jim Super has a guy who can put points on the board he’s never afraid to turn them loose so Bales is going to get his touches. He’s a streaky shooter from deep who can also create off the bounce and he should be one of the premier scorers in the Sunflower League.
Reggie Chamberlain, 6-0 Sr. WG/PG, Raytown (MO) High- One of the most dangerous long range marksmen in the metro, Chamberlain is expanding his game. Has a very quick first step and is learning to score off the dribble.
Marcus Butler, 6-4 Sr. WG/WF, Kansas City (KS) Washington- The top player at Washington since Seattle Sonic Earl Watson, he’s a smooth scorer with one of the top mid-range games in the city. After moving from the Detroit area a little over a year ago, there still seems to be some question as to whether he should be considered a junior or senior. We’ll call him a senior for now.
Terrance Hill, 6-5 Sr. WF, Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep- One of EBoss Hoops favorite guys in the city, he’s a jack of all trades. He’ll handle the ball some, he’ll score a little and he’s a versatile defender who is tough enough to play in the post if he has to.
Robert Lewandowski, 6-8 Jr. BF, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley West- A skilled big man who runs pretty well, he’s been pretty heavily recruited. He’ll be looking to prove why Big 12 and Missouri Valley programs have been in to see him early.
Tyrone Hooker, 6-4 Jr. WF, Kansas City (MO) Don Boscoe (2008); Dominique Lane, 6-4 Jr. WG/WF, Kansas City (MO) Northeast; Bryan Nelson, 6-6 Sr. BF, Prairie Village (KS) Shawnee Mission East; Keith McCollough 6-8 Jr. BF, Overland Park (KS) St. Thomas Aquinas; Chris Combs, 6-1 Sr. WG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege; Dominique Morrison, 6-5 Jr. WF, Raytown (MO) High; Denver Holmes, 6-3 Jr. WG, Olathe (KS) South; Jordan Allison, 5-11 Sr. PG, Overland Park (KS) St. Thomas Aquinas; Demarcus Dobbins, 5-10 Sr. PG, Olathe (KS) North; Dominique Newton, 6-0 Jr. PG/WG, Raytown (MO) South; Mike Gholston, 5-11 Jr. PG, Raytown (MO) South; Logan Hawley, 6-2 Sr. WG, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley Northwest; Rashaad Lucas, 6-1 Sr. PG, Blue Springs (MO) South; Riley Reynolds, 5-11 Jr. WG/PG, Blue Springs (MO) South; Eric Jones, 6-7 Sr. BF, Kansas City (MO) Ruskin; Eric Roe, 6-3 Jr. WG/WF, Weston (MO) West Platte; Austin Bond 6-2 Sr. PG/WG, Kansas City (KS) Piper; Nate Daniels, 6-4 Sr. WF, Kansas City (KS) Piper; DeJaun Slaughter, 6-6 Sr. BF, Kansas City (KS) Sumner Academy; Earnest Jones, Jr., 5-10 Jr. PG, Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep; Jason Payton, 5-10 Jr. PG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege; Terrance Thomas, 6-2 Jr. WG, Prairie Village (KS) SM East; Mike Sanders, 6-4 Sr. WG/WF, Kansas City (MO) O’Hara; Raphael Brown, 5-10 Sr. PG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege; Luke Engelken, 6-5 Sr. WF/WG, Faucett (MO) Mid-Buchanan; Victor Ojele, 6-5 Sr. BF, Ottawa (KS) High; Adam Jones, 6-5 Jr. BF, Smithville (MO) High; Willie Reed, 6-10 Jr. C/BF, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege; Spencer Ladner, 6-7 Sr. BF/C, Kansas City (MO) Pembroke Hill.
PRE-SEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
For the second year in a row Travis Releford is the pick for Pre-Season Metro Player of the Year. Now a junior, the 6-4 guard has left Kansas City (MO) Central for Bishop Miege. At Miege he’ll join an already talented backcourt that features senior guard Chris Combs and jet quick junior PG Jason Payton.
One of the top prospects nationally in the class of 2008, it’s been almost a year since Releford last played a high school game after transfer rules forced him to sit out second semester last year. He can handle the ball, plays terrific defense, attacks the glass, finishes in transition and more importantly makes those around him better. Next year, he’ll be a candidate to be the first Metro area player to earn McDonald’s All-American honors since Wayne Simien.
Save for a few teams, it’s pretty tough to find metro area teams that really jump out as particularly loaded. There are plenty of good players in the area, but not many teams are deep or blessed enough to have multiple talents. However, one team does stand out from the rest.
Bishop Miege- Honestly, it wasn’t tough to pick Rick Zych’s squad. The 06-07 edition of the Stags will be favored to win the Kansas Class 5A title and there isn’t another team in the metro that can match them top to bottom. Star player? Check. Depth? Check. Size? Check. Talented underclassmen? Check. Releford will be expected to lead, Combs will knock down shots from deep and Payton will be tough to contain off the dribble. In January they’ll become even tougher when Hickman Mills transfers Willie Reed, a 6-10 junior big man receiving considerable D1 interest, and 5-10 guard Raphael Brown become eligible. As for the talented underclassmen, keep an eye out for freshman PG Trevor Releford and freshman forward Justin McKay.
More teams to watch- Kansas City (KS) Piper; Overland Park (KS) St. Thomas Aquinas; Kansas City (MO) O’Hara; Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley Northwest; Kansas City (MO) Hogan Prep; Olathe (KS) East, Raytown (MO) South; Raytown (MO) High.
Alex English, 6-5 So. WF, Overland Park (KS) Blue Valley Northwest- Strong and athletic, English didn’t have quite the breakout freshman season he’d hoped for. A year wiser, he’s much stronger and ready for a big season.
Trevor Releford, 5-6 Fr. PG, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege- He’s not the biggest guy around, but Travis Releford’s little brother is a player in his own right. A wizard wit the ball, he’s a tricky passer and ball handler who is a smooth operator.
Justin Clark, 6-4 So. WG, Independence (MO) William Chrisman- A three point shooting ace, he just missed making one of the pre-season all metro teams. Don’t bet against him being there in the post season. A good athlete with a great stroke and he’s going to get plenty of chances to put up huge numbers in his team’s three point gunning offense
Shaun Adams, 6-5 So. WF, Liberty (MO) High- A smart all-around player, Adams can beat you with the jumper or get to the rim. A good athlete who can finish alley-oops, he’s looking to become a go to guy for the Blue Jays.
Rodney Givens, 6-0 Fr. WG/PG, Lee’s Summit (MO) West- For the second season in a row, LS West may have the best incoming freshman in the city. He’s a smooth scorer with deep range who just needs to get a bit stronger.
Will Spradling, 6-1 Fr. PG, Overland Park (KS) Shawnee Mission South; Justin McKay, 6-4 Fr. BF, Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege; Mark Brayden, 6-1 Fr. PG, Kansas City (MO) O’Hara; Alex Burcks, 6-0 So. PG, Grandview (MO) High; Darian Hill, 6-5 So. WF/BF, Leavenworth (KS) High; Danny Mundweiler, 5-11 So. WG, Olathe (KS) East; Bruce Reed, 6-5 So. WF/BF, Olathe (KS) East ; Ryan O’Rell, 6-2 So. WG, Shawnee (KS) Shawnee Mission Northwest; Widget Washington, 6-0 So. WG/PG, Kansas City (MO) Center; Dillon Starzell, 6-5 Fr. BF, Kearney (MO) High; Ryan Pearson, 6-0 So. PG, Raytown (MO) South; Anthony May, 6-3 So. WF, Lee’s Summit (MO) High.