Top 25 Arizona high school boys basketball players for 2017-18 season: American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arizona preseason boys basketball
ORIGINAL PUBLISHED BY: Richard Obert, azcentral sportsPublished 7:51 p.m. MT Nov. 22, 2017 | Updated 7:53 p.m. MT Nov. 22, 2017
With the Arizona Interscholastic Association basketball season starting on Nov. 20, this is a good time to look at 50 players who will make a difference this season. Some have grown up in the state. Others have arrived from elsewhere looking to make a statement. This will change at mid-season with a new 25.
Here is a list of the top 25 who play in the AIA to start the 2017-18 season.
No. 1 Nico Mannion
Phoenix Pinnacle, PG, 6-2, So. | Great all-around point guard with an explosive first step to the basket. Plays above the rim and gets teammates around him to play better.
No. 2 Majok Deng
Tucson Salpointe Catholic, G/F, 6-5, Jr. | Athletic freak who has Duke looking at him closely. Won’t have to put the Lancers on his back with good players around him.
No. 3 Timmy Allen
Mesa Red Mountain, G/F, 6-6, Sr. | Utah commit, has great all-around feel for the game, explosive, dynamic scorer who will rebound and pass.
No. 4 Jovan Blacksher
Phoenix Shadow Mountain, G, 6-0, Jr. | Fast, quick, can fill it up from 3 and has a nice medium-range jump shot. Tremendous on-ball defender who gets the Matadors’ fast-break going. Has seven Division I offers.
No. 5 Jaelen House
Phoenix Shadow Mountain, G, 6-2, Jr. | Big-time scorer from outside, a lot like his dad was at Arizona State. One of the best defenders in the state, the catalyst to a team that is looking for a third state title in four years. He has three D-I offers.
No. 6 Jason Harris
Gilbert Higley, F, 6-7, So. | Recently medically cleared to play after undergoing shoulder surgery in the summer. Big force who transferred from Mesa Desert Ridge, so he’ll likely have to sit out the first half of the season.
No. 7 Trey Wood
Anthem Prep, F, 6-8, Sr. | Was very good last year, but even better now with his ability to change the game on both ends of the court. Shot blocker who can rebound and score.
No. 8 Tyrek Chambers
Phoenix Desert Vista, G, 6-3, Jr. | Great burst to the basket, tough on the boards and handles the ball well. Shooting guard from New York has offers from UNLV, Providence, Iona and Cincinnati.
No. 9 Wesley Harris
Phoenix Desert Vista, F, 6-6, Sr. | An elite athlete who will attack the glass at both ends and finishes at the rim. He’s improved his outside shot and can create with his on-ball defense.
No. 10 Immanuel Allen
Phoenix Shadow Mountain, G, 6-5, Sr. | Moved from Oregon with his brother Christian, a junior. Strong athlete who fits into Shadow Mountain’s transition defense and offense.
SEE: American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arizona preseason boys basketball team
No. 11 Evan Nelson
Tucson Salpointe Catholic, G, 6-2, So. | Transferred in from Marana Mountain View, a great complement to Majok Deng, he is being recruited by several Division I colleges, including Grand Canyon.
No. 12 Quentin Guliford
Peoria Liberty, G, 6-5, Sr. | Glider, who can score from outside and inside. Signed with Montana State.
No. 13 Jackson Ruai
Tucson Amphitheater, G, 6-4, Jr. | Getting Division I offers for his ability to make plays on offense and defense. Tough, athletic scorer.
No. 14 Emanuel Taban
Glendale Apollo, F, 6-7, Jr. | Getting strong Division I attention with his potential. Long, athletic wing who can score from inside and outside. Watch for a breakout year.
No. 15 Nikc Jackson
Scottsdale Rancho Solano Prep, F, 6-7, Sr. | Air Force commit was a double-double guy at Tucson Sunnyside before moving to Scottsdale in the summer. Should have a dominant presence at the 2A level.
No. 16 Sam Beskind
Tucson Catalina Foothills, G, 6-4, Sr. | Strong frame and athletic, attacks downhill and finishes above the rim. Can score at all three levels. Tough defender who can take over the game. He won a gold medal last summer with the USA Maccabi Team in Israel.
No. 17 Jaxson Baker
Phoenix Brophy Prep, G, 6-7, Sr. | Very good shooter who with his length creates matchup problems. He can also score I side and will crash the boards.
No. 18 Trent Brown
Phoenix Pinnacle, PG, 6-1, Jr. | Great 3-point marksmen who complements Nico Mannion in the backcourt.
No. 19 Chris Orozco
Phoenix Sunnyslope, F, 6-5, Sr. | Banger who can score, very unselfish, consummate team player for a team that could repeat as 5A champs.
No. 20 Jared Perry
Surprise Paradise Honors, F, 6-8, Sr. | Should average a double-double in 2A. Strong, explosive, great at both ends of floor, attacks each plays like it is his last. Only in his second year playing high school basketball, so upside is tremendous.
No. 21 Shon Robinson
Higley, F, 6-8, So. | Has potential to be a high major power forward if he continues to fill out and add strength.
No. 22 Ian Burke
Phoenix Brophy Prep, 6-5, F, Sr. | Burst onto the club scene this summer at Arizona Powerhouse Hoops’ most consistent scorer. A point guard who can make it difficult for smaller guys to defend him with his ability to create.
No. 23 D'Maurian Williams
Avondale Westview, PG, 6-4, Jr. | Already has 500 career points and led team to the state quarterfinals and best winning percentage (24-3, 88.9) and a Southwest Region title, averaging 18.4 points and 4.2 assists.