RJ Melendez (POY) – Central Point
The 6’7 senior and Illinois commit has been a one of the better players in the SIAA the past two years as he keeps adding new facets to his skill set. Always considered an excellent perimeter shooter, Melendez was even more difficult to defend with him improved ability to drive the ball and finish at the basket through contact in traffic. He showed off improved athleticism and explosiveness both in transition and at the defensive end.
Kevin Miller – Victory Rock
The 6’0 senior was nothing short of dynamic in leading the Blue Devils to the SIAA state tournament title this season. Exceedingly quick with the ball, Miller ties defenders in knots with his ability to change directions. “Boopsie” took his game to another level by developing a consistent perimeter jumper, leaving defenses with a challenging choice of whether to try to contain his drive or jump shot. Miller does a great job of taking care of and sharing the basketball. Defensively, he is solid, moves his feet well and has quick hands.
Matt Bewley – West Oaks
The 6’9 sophomore showed why he is a top five player nationally in the 2023 Class. Bewley is long, athletic, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He is very quick off of his feet to challenge shots on the defensive end and pursues rebounds out of his area on both ends of the floor, coming up with the majority of them. Bewley beats his defender down the floor in transition. When the game does slow down, he is able to scoring posting up near the basket, blow by his defender off the bounce from the wing, or connect on perimeter shots both inside and behind the arc.
Arturo Dean – Calusa Prep
The 6’0 senior was one of the more exciting players in the SIAA this season. He proved to be very tough to defend as he has crafty dribble moves, is quick with the ball, and was nearly impossible to keep out of the lane. He got to the foul line often, many of those free throws on the end of scoring through contact at the basket. Dean also proved to be a dangerous shooter from deep. He made good pass vs. shot decisions on the move and routine got hit teammates open shots. Defensively he created havoc, getting many tips, deflections, and steals over the course of a game.
Bryce Johnson – Oldsmar Christian
The 6’5 senior keyed a revitalization of the Oldsmar Christian program. Johnson found equal success this season in scoring from the perimeter or at the basket. His range extended past the college three point line but when given the opportunity, Johnson did not hesitate to take the ball to the basket and attempt to put the defense on a poster. He showed an ability to play either guard spot as well as defend multiple positions on the floor.
Kyle Duke – The Rock
The 6’3 senior was instrumental in leading The Rock to the SIAA state tournament final. His calling cards are his quickness with the ball, ability to attack any type of defense, and successfully defend the opponent’s top perimeter scorer. Duke improved his perimeter shooting this season and made defenses pay for playing off of him for the drive. The Rock relied on him to push the pace in transition, get teammates into the right position, and take over whenever the shot clock was winding down.
AJ Neal – West Oaks
The 6’3 senior became the leading scorer in West Oaks history, a significant accomplishment considering all the talented players that have come through the program. Neal developed from simply a catch-and-shoot option to a player that could get to the basket and either score or get the ball into hands of open perimeter shooters or interior scorers. His range is well beyond the high school three point line and it wasn’t unusual for Neal to go on runs a multiple made shots in a row, breaking the will of many opponents.
Jeremy Foumena – Central Point
The 6’10 junior may not have been a big scorer for the White Tigers but he made an impact at both ends of the floor. Foumena showed some basic scoring skills, including a soft jump hook, around the basket. He also was an active rebounder and shot blocker. His mobility made it difficult other “bigs” in the league to keep up with him when the game went uptempo.
Wesley Cardet – West Oaks
The 6’6 senior arrived at West Oaks and immediately had an impact. His ability to play multiple positions, as well as both score and facilitate, gave the Flame a matchup nightmare for opponents. At his best when attacking the basket on the drive, Cardet challenged defenders and often ended up with trips to the foul line. His jumper continued to improve over the course of the season and he was able to get by over-anxious defenders to create plays for himself of teammates. Also a stout defender, Cardet relished the opportunity to defend the best player on the opposing team.
Prince Mosengo – Victory Rock
The 6’9 junior continues to make rapid progress with the Blue Devils. Long, athletic, and active, Monsengo is become a potent perimeter shooter to go along with his ability to post up or score with one to two dribble drives from the high post and short corners. Very fast in transition, Mosengo gets many easy buckets by beating his man down the floor. Defensively he can switch ball screens and keep up with smaller players on the perimeter as well as guard bigs in the post.
Prince Ebwea – Downey Christian
The 6’5 junior led a resurgent Downey Christian program to new heights this season. Ebwea solid frame and strength allowed him to overpower most defenders when heading to the basket. He showed that he could score in a crowd at the basket as well as rise up and knock down mid-range jumpers when the opportunity presented itself. Defensively, his strength allowed him to successfully defend bigger players while his top-shelf athleticism made it difficult for smaller players to get by him. A grab-and-go rebounder, Ebwea routinely became an instant fast break once he secured the defensive rebound. He also got a lot of easy points pursuing offensive rebounds at every opportunity.
Ronnie Johnson – Oldsmar Christian
The 6’2 senior used his speed, quickness, and ball-handling skill to slice through defenses, get into the lane, and either score or get the ball to teammates for open shot attempts. Johnson pushed the pace and was often a one-man press break. His ability to get by defenders and score in the lane made it unlikely for him to unleash a jump shot but he proved he could do so on more than one occasion. With the ability to anticipate where the ball was going, Johnson was always ready to get into the passing lane and turn steals into scores.