The high school basketball season gets underway this weekend with several Thanksgiving weekend tournaments. Here is look at a few of the top boys players and teams to watch in the area this season.
Boys Basketball Players to Watch
Carlos Anderson (Alton) – Athletic 6’4” swingman who has signed with SIU-Edwarsdville.
Jordan Barnes (CBC) – Junior point guard who returns after helping the Cadets to the Class 5 state championship.
Ralph Bellamy (Clayton) – High-flying 6’4” lefty forward who led the Greyhounds in scoring and rebounding last season.
Marshawn Blackmon (Fort Zumwalt South) – Hard working 6’4” athlete who recently signed with Eastern Illinois.
Lee Andrew Bogan (Jennings) – A 6’4” senior guard who returns after leading Warriors to a Class 4 district championship.
Aaron Cook (Westminster) – A 6’1” junior point guard who returns to lead one of the top area teams in Class 4.
Tyler Cook (Chaminade) – The 6’8” junior power forward is ranked among the top 50 players in the country in the Class of 2016.
Alex Floresca (Webster Groves) – The 6’7” senior forward averaged 12 points a game for district champions. Signed with San Diego.
Donovan Franklin (O’Fallon) – The 6’5” senior guard returns after averaging more than 20 points a game as a junior.
Demarkus Gary (Northwest Academy) – Excellent 6’4” senior forward who returns as one of the area’s top rebounders.
Zach Glotta (Fort Zumwalt North) – Takes over role of team leader after graduating of older brother Chaz. Signed with Austin Peay.
Jordan Goodwin (Althoff) – A 6’3” sophomore swing who averaged nearly 20 points a game as a freshman.
Stephen Harris (Webster Groves) – A smooth 6’2” senior guard who led the Statesmen in scoring last season. Signed with Austin Peay.
Mike Lewis (Chaminade) – Smooth shooting 6’1” junior guard who can fill it up from long distance.
Satchel McDonald (Maplewood) – Strong, physical senior guard who led the Blue Devils in scoring as a junior.
Demarco Owens (McCluer North) – A 6’7” senior forward who is a strong presence in the low post for the Stars.
Emondre Rickman (Collinsville) – An improving 6’8” senior post player who signed with Indiana State.
Jahmourie Robinson (Cardinal Ritter) – A four-year starter at the Lions at point guard. Directed Ritter’s Class 3 state championship team in ’14.
Xavier Sneed (Hazelwood Central) – Talented and athletic 6’5” junior forward who helped Hawks to the Class 5 Final Four in ’14.
Jayson Tatum (Chaminade) – The 6’9” junior is ranked the No. 1 player nationally in the Class of 2016. Tatum is being recruited by all of the major power programs.
Jeremiah Tillman (East St. Louis) – The 6’10” sophomore is one of the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2018.
Cullen Van Leer (Pacific) – A 6’4” senior guard who averaged 21 points a game last season. Signed with Missouri.
Levi Stockard (Madison Prep) – A 6’8” sophomore center who made a big impact in the lane for the Bears as a freshman.
Casey Teson (St. Charles) – A 6’2” senior sharpshooter who led Pirates to a Class 4 district title. Signed with Eastern Illinois.
Jah-Kobe Womack (Cardinal Ritter) – A 6’3” guard who is poised for a breakout senior year for defending Class 3 state champions.
Preston Whitfield (Fort Zumwalt South) – Talented senior guard who returns after leading South to the Class 5 state quarterfinals.
Christian Willis (CBC) – Powerful 6’2” junior guard who returns after averaging 13 points a game for Class 5 state champions.
*A few Freshman of Note: Carteare Gordon (Vianney), Courtney Ramey (Webster Groves), Torrence Watson (Whitfield).
Area Teams to Watch
Class 5: Chaminade, Webster Groves, CBC, Hazelwood Central, Fort Zumwalt South, McCluer North, SLUH, Vianney, Francis Howell
Class 4: Borgia, Jennings, St. Charles, Pacific, Westminster, St. Charles West, Festus, Clayton, McCluer, Parkway West
Class 3: Madison Prep, Cardinal Ritter, Maplewood, Northwest Academy, Whitfield, Lutheran North, Duchesne
Illinois: Althoff, Alton, O’Fallon, East St. Louis, Belleville West, Edwardsville, Bethalto, Breese Central, Mater Dei, Nashville