The votes are in for the inaugural MaxPreps Colorado Player of the Year selections in boys basketball. Nearly every coach in the state was provided the opportunity via e-mail to choose his top 5 players, and the selections below are based solely on those nominations, including the respective classification players of the year. Players must have been recognized by at least two coaches to be selected.
Player of the year: Darragh O'Neill
, Fairview, Sr.
After graduating 10 seniors from its 2009 state semifinal team, most state observers thought Fairview would be little more than an afterthought in the title picture this season. Credit the determined effort of O’Neill with getting the Knights to the brink of the big-school championship. Yes, he was slowed by an ankle injury in the final two games, but that didn’t overshadow a season where the 6-foot-2 O’Neill averaged 23.4 points (second-best in 5A), 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. O’Neill also shot a state-leading 90 percent from the free-throw line, and nine times this season scored 30 or more points, including two 40-plus games. He has been selected to participate in The Show all-star game and the Colorado High School Coaches Association’s All-State Games.
Tim Billingsley, Arapahoe, Sr.; DeSe Lee, Aurora Central, Sr.; Darragh O’Neill, Fairview, Sr.; Joey Ptasinski, Regis, Jesuit, Sr.; Bud Thomas, Regis Jesuit, Sr.
Jordan Adams, Chaparral, Sr.; David Day, ThunderRidge, Sr.; Riley Grabau, Boulder, Jr.; Austin Maag, Fort Collins, Sr.; Wes McKenzie, Liberty, Sr.; Michael Melillo, Fairview, Sr.; Tyler Velasquez, Doherty, Sr.; Landon Vermeer, Chatfield, Sr.; Trevor Wages, Chatfield, Sr.; Dominic Williams, Lincoln, Jr.
Player of the year: Jahmall Fountain
, Sierra, Sr.
The 4A ranks annually provide some of the state’s most balanced competition, and that certainly was the case for top player honors. Buoyed by his standout performance in the final four, Fountain was the choice by state coaches. Fountain was selected the tournament MVP after scoring a game-best 20 points (his average in five playoff games) in the finals to give the Stallions a second consecutive championship. Overall, the 6-3 Fountain averaged nearly 14 points, five rebounds and almost two assists for a balanced Sierra lineup that finished 26-2.
Syd Donaldson, Longmont, Sr.; Kyle Englehardt, Lewis-Palmer, Sr.; Jahmall Fountain, Sierra, Sr.; Jordan Gregory, Pueblo East, Jr.; Tyrell Williams, Pueblo South, Sr.
Taylor Guerrero, Northridge, Sr.; Donthe Lucas, Pueblo Central, Sr.; Joel Maly, Berthoud, Sr.; Mark Neely, D’Evelyn, Sr.; Jordan Rockwell, Greeley West, Sr.; Josh Scott, Lewis-Palmer, So.; Xavier Talton, Sterling, So.; Derrick Ward, Prairie View, Sr.; Kamryn Williams, Sierra, Sr.
Player of the year: Andrew Papenfus, Aspen, Sr.
The race between Papenfus and Buena Vista’s Josh Morgan could not have been any tighter for top honors. Papenfus is the choice after leading the Skiers to a state runner-up finish and a 27-1 record. The versatile 6-6 Papenfus averaged 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists this season (he also hit at a 43-percent clip from three-point range) and was selected to participate in the All-State Games.
Starting Five: Nate Engesser, Colorado Springs Christian, So.; Joel Hegarty, Faith Christian, Sr.; J.P. Mile, Peak to Peak, Sr.; Josh Morgan, Buena Vista, Sr.; Andrew Papenfus, Aspen, Sr.
Honorable mention: Trei Dysart, The Pinnacle, Jr.; Brent Harder, St. Mary’s, Sr.; Jared Jenkins, Jefferson Academy, Sr.; Hayden Loudenslager, Faith Christian, Sr.; Taylor Shaffer, Pagosa Springs, Sr.; Josh Sirios, Weld Central, Jr.; Jared Smith, Kent Denver, Jr.; Kolby Wahlert, Brush, Jr.; Chase Webb, Erie, Jr.; Jaden Winger, Yuma, Sr.
Player of the year: Kyle Carper, Holyoke, Sr.
Perhaps for winning the state title and being selected the tournament’s MVP, Carper edged a quality group of contenders for top honors. The 6-3 center posted averages of 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds and shot 66 percent from the field this season, and he improved on those numbers at state. Carper has been selected to participate in the All-State Games.
Starting Five: Matt Brown, Limon, Sr.; Kyle Carper, Holyoke, Sr.; DeLovell Earls, Colorado Springs School, Sr.; Brett Forster, Sanford, Sr.; Alex Herrera, Ignacio, Sr.
Honorable mention: Ryan Baumgartner, Holyoke, Sr.; Andrew Bowers, Lutheran-Parker, Jr.; Jake Eikelberry, Byers, So.; Jonny Foote, Lutheran-Parker, So.; Tyler Hamm, Dolores, Sr.; Clint Hammond, Calhan, Sr.; Matt Hart, Alexander Dawson, Sr.; Mitch Jacob, Meeker, Sr.; Ben Jones, Wray, Jr.; Junior Leon, Wiggins, Sr.; Patrick Phelan, Rangely, Sr.; Nolan Queen, Burlington, Sr.
Player of the year: Corey Stumpf, Caliche, Sr.
Stumpf, a 6-foot guard, ends his high school career with consecutive state championships and a 94-11 overall record in his four years with the program (75-4 as a starter the past three years). In being selected to the All-Tournament Team at state, Stumpf averaged 15 points in the three games, including scoring 17 in the title game. For the season Stumpf posted 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.4 steals an outing and also was the Buffaloes top defensive player. Stumpf has been selected to participate in the All-State Games.
Starting Five: Jake Coulter, Ridgway, Sr.; Jimmy McGrath, Otis, Sr.; Dalton Schuppe, Caliche, Sr.; Brett Stone, Karval, Sr.; Corey Stumpf, Caliche, Sr.
Honorable mention: Shay Carroll, Cheraw, Sr.; Chris Cramp, Ouray, Jr.; James Kelly, Community Christian, Jr.; Karson Kuntz, Otis, Sr.; Curtis Lewis, Kim, So.; Jesse McConnell, Stratton, Jr.; Taylor Reed, Eads, Sr.; Justin Robinson, Primero, Jr.; Rafe Schroeder, South Baca, Sr.; Matt Self, Springfield, Jr.; Aaron Stieb, Caliche, Jr.; Kraig Tagtmeyer, Hi-Plains, Sr.; John Whitmore, Creede, Sr.