Prospects Guide: 2015 State Playoffs

Brackets for the 2015 LHSAA state playoffs were released on Monday. TSD publisher Ben Love sets the scene, including which top prospects to monitor and which players are being targeted by LSU.

Playoff basketball in the Louisiana prep ranks begins this week, ultimately culminating in the Top 28 at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles March 10-14.

Brackets for all seven in-state classes were released Monday. TSD has them all linked, with brief notes on many of the state’s top players, including those on LSU’s radar, and where their teams are seeded/playing.

Check it out below and stay tuned to TSD for coverage of the LHSAA boys’ state championships in the coming weeks.

CLASS 5A BRACKET/NOTES


Natchitoches Central, the defending 5A champs, are the top seed. The Chiefs will begin their title defense at home Friday versus Rummel. Among the best first-round matchups this year are Higgins at Bonnabel, Southwood at Alexandria and Jesuit at Mandeville. There’s a heavy New Orleans-area flavor to this bracket, with Helen Cox, St. Augustine, West Jefferson, Brother Martin and East St. John all in the top 10, but they’ll have to contend with the likes of NCHS and Scotlandville, the two finalists from a season ago, from other areas of the state.

No. 1 NCHS – Danny Cohen (2015), Austin Guy (2016), Cameron Lard (2016), Brandon Rachal (2017)

- LSU continues to monitor both Lard and Rachal with these playoffs and the summer to come looming large for Lard especially. If he can replicate his Most Outstanding Player performance from last March, Lard, arguably the state’s top big man, may find himself high on the Tigers’ wish list. Neither he nor Rachal are hurting for interesting college suitors, though.

No. 3 Scotlandville – Javonte Smart (2018)
No. 4 St. Augustine – Caleb Daniels (2017)
No. 6 Lafayette – Corey Davis (2015)
No. 7 Byrd – Chad Lott (2015)

- It’s uncertain whether Lott, who’s been involved with LSU since the summer before his junior season, will have a spot in TigerTown. If both Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey leave, the chances go up that the senior from Shreveport lands at LSU. But, even in that case, it’s not a lock. His collegiate future is still up in the air.

No. 10 East St. John – Troy Green (2016)
No. 13 Bonnabel – Joe Thompson (2017)
No. 20 Higgins – Melvin Frazier (2015)

CLASS 4A BRACKET/NOTES


Salmen, the top seed in 4A, will start its playoff run hosting Bastrop. Last season’s title-winner in this classification, Landry-Walker, comes in as the six seed in these playoffs, welcoming in Loyola Prep in Friday’s opener. Other noteworthy top seeds include perennial power Peabody, second; Edna Karr, third and St. Michael (Baton Rouge), 10th, although the health of Warriors’ senior star Jacob Evans, a Cincinnati signee, is in question as he’s dealing with an injured ankle.

No. 2 Peabody – Cedric Russell (2017)

- Amazingly, Russell is the only participant in this year’s Louisiana high school playoffs, at any level, committed to LSU. There’s a former commit in the ranks (see University Lab below), but otherwise Russell, a sophomore point guard, is the lone guy. He’s fielding interest from a number of prominent schools, but the latest word is that Russell’s commitment to the in-state Tigers is firm.

No. 3 Edna Karr – Raekwon Bush (2015)
No. 6 Landry-Walker – Blake Paul (2015), Lamar Peters (2016), Lamont Berzat (2017)
No. 9 Ellender – Leland Alexander (2015)
No. 10 St. Michael – Jacob Evans (2015)
No. 12 McDonogh 35 – DeJon Jarreau (2016), Brison Gresham (2016)

CLASS 3A BRACKET/NOTES


Like Natchitoches Central, University Lab is back as the defending state champion in its classification and at the top of its bracket. The Cubs tip off the 2015 playoffs versus Lusher Charter on Friday. The other heavyweights in this class include Rayville, seeded second; John Curtis, third; and Westlake, fourth. Port Allen and Parkview Baptist will square off in a 9-versus-24 matchup, which is one of the more intriguing opening-round pairings. As far as individual talent goes, look out for Larry Owens of Carroll, which will host Miller-McCoy Academy in a 14-versus-19 tilt.

No. 1 University Lab – Skylar Mays (2016), Wayde Sims (2016), Jalen Johnson (2016), D.J. White (2016)

- Coach Joe Spencer has one heck of a junior class, and the two headliners – Mays and Sims – are both LSU prospects. Sims, whose father Wayne played for the Bayou Bengals, is actually a relative of LSU head coach Johnny Jones while Mays, formerly a verbal commitment to the Tigers, is still heavily considering the home-town college.

No. 9 Port Allen – Ishmael Lane (2015)
No. 14 Carroll – Larry Owens (2017)

CLASS 2A BRACKET/NOTES


Riverside Academy is gunning for its third straight 2A state crown, and with the Rebels’ current form, they’ll be a bear for any team to topple. RA hosts Springfield on Friday and would play the winner of Isidore Newman-Jeanerette in the second round. Lakeview, which lost to Riverside in last year’s final, is the second seed. North Caddo, the fifth seed, boasts one of the best up-and-coming juniors in the state. Other noteworthy seeds: Episcopal (Baton Rouge), third; Welsh, fourth; and Rapides, sixth. Upsets are always possible, but Class 2A has the feel of a two-team race.

No. 1 Riverside Academy – Jordan Andrews (2015), Malik Crowfield (2016), Herb McGee (2016)

- The Rebs have shooters for days and are well-coached. They also have an inside presence in Joe Anderson, an Ole Miss football signee who’s going to go the junior college route. But the two best players are the juniors, Crowfield and McGee. Both are being courted by LSU and have offers, McGee on the football side (wide receiver) and Crowfield on the hardwood.

No. 2 Lakeview – Adrio Bailey (2016)
No. 5 North Caddo – Robert Williams (2016)

CLASS 1A BRACKET/NOTES


With the possible exception of the 5A Wild West, this might be the most competitive and entertaining bracket to follow. Country Day, the four seed, is seeking to defend its title while Madison Prep, which lost a nail-biter to Country Day in the final a season ago, is top-ranked and formidable nearing March. MPA will have a tough road to the final, possibly having to navigate Southern Lab, five seed Northwood-Lena, which features one of the state’s top big men, and Country Day. On the bottom of the bracket are second-seeded Arcadia and Lafayette Christian, the three seed with a dynamite freshman.

No. 1 Madison Prep – Brandon Sampson (2015), Josh Anderson (2017), Josh Leblanc (2018)

- Sampson, a St. John’s commit, has the experience and is the biggest gun in the Chargers’ outfit, but the gap is closing quickly, thanks to the continued improvement of Anderson, a sophomore. He’s being courted by a number of high-profile schools already, and LSU is definitely among them. After Jarell Martin and Sampson, Anderson is a worthy heir to the hoops throne at MPA.

No. 2 Arcadia – Eric Brown (2015)
No. 3 Lafayette Christian – Greg Williams (2018)
No. 4 Country Day – Romin Williams (2017)
No. 5 Northwood-Lena – Mike Layssard (2016)

- “Big Mike” is fast becoming a name many around the SEC and college basketball in the South are getting to know. LSU is keeping tabs on the big man from a small school in the middle of the state, but upon last check the school/recruiter that first got in on Layssard were Texas A&M/Rick Stansbury.

No. 8 Southern Lab – Bladrick Veal (2016)

CLASS B BRACKET/NOTES


Midland, the defending champ in Class B, will begin its playoff run this season ranked fourth, hosting Doyline. The top seed in 2015 is Florien, which will host M.L. King Charter in its opener, while the second seed is Fairview, playing host to Evans on Friday night.

CLASS C BRACKET/NOTES


Last year’s state title-winner, New Living Word, is fourth in this bracket, while Atlanta is the one seed. In fact the top four seeds in Class C all have byes this year, as only 28 teams are in the playoff hunt.



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