Sunday, June 23, 2024

Preseason POY Tracker: Boozer’s Crown, Flagg’s World!

Duke-bound Cooper Flagg of FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) leads a two-horse race within the 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker powered by The 6-foot-9 ahead edges final yr’s Mr. Basketball USA honoree, Cam Boozer of Columbus (Fla.), in an in depth race between the 2 elite prospects amongst 20 candidates. The Mr. Basketball USA Tracker is now in its seventeenth season.

RELATED: All-Time Mr. Basketball USA Winners | Remaining 2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker

Let’s rewind again to the 2007 USA Basketball Coaching Camp in Las Vegas as Workforce USA was getting ready to revive its dominance of worldwide basketball. The late Kobe Bryant had requested a commerce from the Los Angeles Lakers a couple of months earlier than the camp and the media was going to get an opportunity to speak to him for the primary time since as camp opened. Bryant would finally emerge because the chief of the “Redeem Workforce” that received the Gold Medal on the 2008 Olympics in China, however at the moment in 2007 he wasn’t significantly near his future Olympic teammates.

With the assistance of J.J. Redick, Bryant was getting up his photographs with none dribbling, with none wasted movement and with little communication together with his teammates. He knew there was going to be a media onslaught and it was constant as soon as follow was over all the way in which till the gamers left collectively from the gymnasium. Different Workforce USA gamers, akin to Carmelo Anthony, gave Bryant a tough time concerning the media onslaught and loved their valuable time away from the highlight.

After leaving the follow and heading to the subsequent grassroots basketball occasion on our schedule that day, we bumped into Chris Rivers, then Reebok Basketball’s Sports activities Advertising and marketing Director, concerning the follow. We informed him concerning the jovial follow session everybody had, anticipate for Bryant within the context of how severe he took it. Rivers uttered this assertion: “It is LeBron’s league, however it’s Kobe’s world.”

Rivers’ assertion echoes our sentiment about highschool basketball and this yr’s race for the nation’s most prestigious particular person honor: Mr. Basketball USA. For the primary time since LeBron James in 2002-03, highschool basketball has a returning Mr. Basketball USA. That might be 6-foot-9 Cameron Boozer of FAB 50 No. 3 Columbus (Miami, Fla.), the nation’s high participant in 2022-23. He was the primary sophomore to ever earn nationwide participant of the yr honors. Over his profession when it comes to accomplishment, Boozer has an opportunity to dominate the highschool sport like no participant since James did within the early 2000s.

If the preseason voting outcomes by the 10-man Mr. Basketball USA Tracker panel, plus feedback from considered one of its senior members, are any indication, it is really another person who may be probably the most expert American-born highschool participant with positional NBA measurement because the former St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) wunderkind.

That participant is 6-foot-9 Duke-bound Cooper Flagg, a re-classed senior from Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) who was a third 5 All-American final season for the Eagles as a sophomore. Whereas Boozer was final season’s most dominant highschool participant and deserving of any and all accolades that come his manner, the highschool and grassroots world at present belongs to the sinewy ahead initially from Newport, Maine.

Flagg is the highest vote-getter within the preseason 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker powered by with 95 complete factors, besting Boozer by seven (87) factors general. In a season by which 20 gamers obtained preseason recognition as a nationwide participant of the yr candidate, Flagg and Boozer clearly lead the pack. The nation’s high senior prospect and its high junior have been the one two gamers to look on every of the ten ballots that make up the Mr. Basketball USA Tracker panel. Flagg, who dedicated to Duke on October 30 and was the 2022 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Yr, obtained six first-place votes (10 factors every), three second-place votes (9 every) with one poll itemizing him in third place. Boozer, who beat out Isaiah Collier (USC) and Ron Holland (G-League Ignite) for the distinguished honor in 2022-23, obtained two first-place ballots, 5 second-place ones, two third-place and one fifth-place (value six factors) for his 87 factors.

The 2 different candidates to obtain a first-place vote (one every) was undecided guard Dylan Harper of FAB 50 No. 18 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) and Rutgers-bound ahead Airious “Ace” Bailey of FAB 50 No. 21 McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). Many recruiting consultants really feel Harper will be a part of Bailey at Rutgers within the fall of 2024.

Flagg made an enormous leap through the 2023 grassroots season with a purpose to supplant Boozer as the highest nationwide participant of the yr candidate because the 2023-24 season suggestions off. Following his sophomore marketing campaign for the common season Nationwide Interscholastic Basketball Convention (NIBC) champions, Flagg completed in tenth place general whereas showing on 4 ballots within the closing Mr. Baskeball USA tally of 2022-23. Flagg averaged 9.8 factors, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a pair of.2 blocked photographs per sport and he helped Montverde Academy qualify for GEICO Nationals for the eleventh consecutive season, however pure numbers do not start to inform the story of his affect. He runs the ground like a deer, is thought for his defensive versatility and his large play-ability on probably the most talent-laden group within the nation.

“There will not be a U.S. highschool participant of his measurement, 6-foot-9-ish, together with his mixture of ability and measurement since LeBron,” mentioned panel member and U.S. Basketball Writers Affiliation Corridor of Fame member Frank Burlison. “I feel Boozer is nice; it is shut, plus he is a yr youthful. In most different years, both man can be a hands-down No. 1.”

Two elements could play in a task within the voting that noticed final yr’s honoree are available second this preseason. One, the highest participant on the No. 1 ranked group at present leads the way in which. Second, every season is judged otherwise and final season has little or no bearing on the panelists’ perceptions of this upcoming season. As he did final yr when he overcame the nation’s elite seniors, Boozer is as soon as once more going to have to beat another person within the pole place for Mr. Basketball USA honors.

The nice factor is, the nationwide participant of the yr race will probably be selected the hardwood. Columbus and Montverde Academy will lock horns on December 1 (on ESPN2) at MVA to comply with up on the terrific trilogy the 2 gamers had through the summer season grassroots season. The 2 groups might meet greater than as soon as this season as effectively. Boozer can have loads of alternatives to defend his title because the nation’s greatest participant, and by that December 1 sport can have already performed three FAB 50 ranked golf equipment, together with versus No. 6 Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) on November 22.

The voting outcomes and the quantity of terrific early season video games create probably the most highly-anticipated early-season, excessive degree highschool hoop matchups in latest reminiscence.

Make certain to love and subscribe to the “Within the Paint” podcast and keep logged in to to trace the progress of the nation’s high particular person gamers and the nation’s Prime groups.

Editor’s Observe: Click on on the “+” signal subsequent to every participant’s quantity to view what number of first, second, third or fourth place votes he acquired and his general level complete.

Rank Prev. Title Excessive Faculty 1st 2nd third 4th Whole
1 10 Cooper Flagg (10) Montverde Academy (FL) 6 3 1 0 95
2 1 Cam Boozer (10) Columbus (FL) 2 5 2 0 87
3 11 Dylan Harper (8) Don Bosco Prep (NJ) 1 0 3 1 58
4 9 Flory Budunga (8) Kokomo (IN) 0 0 1 3 50
5T 29T A.J. Dybansta (5) Prolific Prep (CA) 0 1 2 1 36
5T 7 Tre Johnson (5) Hyperlink Academy (MO) 0 1 1 2 36
7 25T Ace Bailey (5) McEachern (GA) 1 0 0 0 29
8 29T V.J. Edgecombe (4) Lengthy Island Lutheran (NY) 0 0 0 0 20
9 25T Ian Jackson (2) Our Savior Lutheran (NY) 0 0 0 1 12
10 13T Koa Peat (2) Perry (AZ) 0 0 0 0 11
11 NR Derrion Reid (2) Prolific Prep (CA) 0 0 0 0 9
12 NR Derik Queen (1) Montverde Academy (FL) 0 0 0 1 7
13T 29T Cayden Boozer (1) Columbus (FL) 0 0 0 0 6
13T NR Darius Acuff (1) IMG Academy (FL) 0 0 0 0 6
13T NR Cam Scott (1) Lexington (SC) 0 0 0 0 6
16T NR Brandon McCoy (1) St. John Bosco (CA) 0 0 0 0 5
16T 8 Meleek Thomas (1) Lincoln (PA) 0 0 0 0 5
18T NR Tajh Ariza (1) St. Bernard (CA) 0 0 0 0 4
18T NR Boogie Fland (1) Archbishop Stepinac (NY) 0 0 0 0 4
18T NR Darryn Peterson Huntington Prep (WV) 0 0 0 0 4

About Mr. Basketball USA Tracker Panel’s panel of 10 consultants, which incorporates 5 McDonald’s All-American choice committee members, casts its vote for the highest nationwide participant of the yr candidates. Every panelist lists his high seven candidates no matter class. The votes are then tabulated on a 10-point scoring system with a first-place vote equaling 10 factors, a second-place vote incomes 9 factors and right down to 4 factors for a seventh-place vote. The quantity in parenthesis refers back to the numbers of ballots on which a participant appeared and former rankings refers to place in final season’s closing tracker.

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