50 States in 50 Days: Washington
Five-Star is unveiling an all-encompassing preview package: 50 States in 50 Days
Lakes, A.C. Davis and Garfield are among Washington’s teams to beat in 2011-12
Anrio Adams is an explosive scorer; Zach Banner is a physically imposing prospect
As the high school basketball season draws nearer, anticipation grows. Five-Star plans to add to that fever pitch. Starting today, it's unveiling an all-encompassing new preview package: 50 States in 50 Days. From now until Nov. 23, it will examine a different basketball state, breaking down its top teams, players and rivalries.
Which schools are title favorites? Which players are flying under the radar? All the answers are yet to come. The package -- which can be found in its entirety here -- begins with Washington.
Washington is home to Starbucks, Mount St. Helens and, of course, Adam Morrison's infamous 'stache. But the Evergreen State offers more than just Spokane's Cinderella. Here are several teams and players to keep an eye on.
Lakes (Lakewood, Wash.)
Zach Banner, Lakes' 6-8, 290-pound center, looks to lead the Lancers to another 20-plus win season. But this group is deeper than their dominant big man. Senior forward Nate Guy also returns after tallying 22 points and 12 boards in last year's Class 3A title game against Bellevue, a 71-56 triumph. The success of Lakes' season hinges on how it responds to losing guard Isaac Winston and forward Taylor McAllister, both of whom graduated in 2011.
A.C. Davis (Yakima, Wash.)
The Pirates are one of Washington's most dangerous offensive teams. Senior guard David Trimble -- a D-I recruit -- was last year's Class 4A MVP, DaVonte Luckett averaged a double-double (10 points, eight rebounds) and two-sport star swingman Cooper Kupp -- also a wide receiver -- is an athletic tour-de-force. The three should combine to form a deadly Davis attack.
Point guard Tony Wroten Jr. left for Washington, but last year's Class 4A semifinalists have plenty left in the tank. Forward Daeshon Hall averaged more than 10 points and seven rebounds last year, and wingman Tucker Haymond showed glimpses of greatness. It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs adjust, but expect them to remain in contention come March.
Curtis (University Place, Wash.)
If Curtis didn't collide with juggernaut Gonzaga Prep, the Vikings likely would have won last year's 4A title. But while Gonzaga loses all of its starters from last season, Curtis brings back Darius Johnson-Wilson and Julian Vaughn, a tandem of high-flying forwards. Vaughn, a 6-4, 185-pound bruiser, should key the Vikings' potent inside game.
Few teams in Washington boast as much returning talent as O'Dea. Sekou Wiggs, the Fighting Irish's combo guard, averaged nearly 20 points per game and scored seemingly at will last year. However improbably, he might not even be the best player in his own backcourt. Jalen Ward -- a top-tier recruit -- averaged double figures and five assists during last year's 24-4 campaign.
SG Anrio Adams
Senior, Rainer Beach (Seattle)
An explosive all-around player, Adams has the ability to score in bunches. He possesses tremendous quickness and strength, and has handles that remind scouts of Chris Paul. No stranger to national hype, Adams has offers to Arizona, Washington and Gonzaga and was a member of the NBPA Top 100 Camp over the summer.
G Sekou Wiggs
Senior, O'Dea (Seattle)
Mentioned above, Wiggs' versatility to play both guard positions is invaluable. He owns a precocious basketball IQ and terrific court vision, and should better his already stellar numbers in his senior year. He'll likely commit before the season tips off, and is weighing offers from California, Gonzaga and Washington State.
C Zach Banner
Senior, Lakes (Lakewood)
At 6-8 and 290 pounds, Banner is unmistakably intimidating. He's also bullishly strong, and can muscle his way to an easy bucket. But don't overlook his other skills. Banner has soft hands and quick feet, making him a well-rounded offensive threat. California, Colorado and Wake Forest are among schools currently interested.
PF Ty Egbert
Junior, Lake Roosevelt (Coulee Dam, Wash.)
A 6-8 power forward, Egbert is freakishly athletic. He has the makings of a D-I star: He can run, block, jump and rebound with the best of them. Though he needs to fill out his frame -- he's a lanky 190 pounds -- he averaged 16 points per game as a sophomore. Nevada and Washington State are among his preliminary college choices.
Senior, Evergreen (Vancouver, Wash.)
Looking for a disciplined left-handed center? Look no further than Evergreen's Caleb Dressler. The 6-10, 230-pound big man is long and fundamentally sound, and is a surprisingly deft passer on the interior. He'll look to help the Plainsmen better last year's 16-8 mark before likely departing for Stanford, Gonzaga or Cal Poly next year.
Russell Steinberg is a contributor at Five-Star Basketball.
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