Player of the YearAaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose), 6-8, Forward, Senior
A McDonald's All American, Gordon could do it all — but perhaps his greatest asset was elevating a Monarchs team that returned no other starters this season yet still won the NorCal Open Division championship before falling in the state finals to Mater Dei (Santa Ana). Gordon could handle the ball, run, rebound, score inside and out, defend any position and lead. He averaged 22 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the playoffs and bowed out with three NorCal championships and a reputation as the best player in Northern California since Jason Kidd of St. Joseph (Alameda) in 1992. He will announce during this month's McDonald's All-American game where he will attend college.
Read more about Aaron Gordon in 'Beyond the X'Coach of the Year
John DePonte, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove)
Growing from the pain and experience of losing three close games to rival Sheldon, including in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals, DePonte expertly kept his Eagles focused, hungry and a bit angry with something to prove. In the end, Pleasant Grove was the only boys teams from Northern California of the six competing for CIF State Championships to win a title, belting Santa Monica 73-57. The Sacramento Bee's Coach of the Year, DePonte's team was led by three three-year varsity starters in guards Malik Thames
and Matt Hayes
and forward Cole Nordquist
. He also received key contributions from senior forward Matthew Smrekar
and sophomore post Marquese Chriss
.FIRST TEAMDakarai Allen, Sheldon (Sacramento), 6-6, Guard, Senior
The Sacramento Bee Player of the Year and the MVP of the Delta River League, Allen won 109 games over his four varsity seasons, including four Sac-Joaquin Section D-I titles and a win over state-ranked No. 1 Salesian (Richmond) in the NorCal Open semifinals. The San Diego State-bound Allen averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists in addition to guarding all positions on defense for a 27-6 team.Jabari Bird, Salesian (Richmond), 6-6, Guard, Senior
A McDonald's All-American headed to Cal, where his father excelled in the mid 1970s, Bird was difficult to cover with his skill set that includes dribbling, driving and scoring from anywhere. He also had a dramatic flair for the dramatic dunk, either the soaring down-the-lane type or a reverse flush off an alley-oop. Bird averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Pride, who went 30-4 this season.
Raymond Bowles, Modesto Christian, 6-5, Forward, Senior
The Modesto Bee's two-time Player of the Year, Bowles was dynamic in the open court with the ability to score inside or outside. He was a four-year starter, joining past MC greats such as Michael Porter (Kentucky), Adrian Oliver (Washington State and San Jose State) and Reeves Nelson (UCLA) to do so. He averaged 16.2 points and six rebounds for the Crusaders, who went 29-4 and beat Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) in the NorCal Open playoffs.Henry Caruso, Serra (San Mateo), 6-4, Guard, Senior
The Princeton-bound leader was a mixture of physicality, drive and skill in willing the Padres into the NorCal Open playoffs. Caruso averaged 22 points and eight rebounds, banging inside for buckets or popping jumpers. One regular-season victory came against Aaron Gordon and Mitty in West Catholic Athletic League play.Marcus Lee, Deer Valley (Antioch), 6-10, Center, Senior
Explosive for a big man with great agility to match his wingspan, the McDonald's All-American and Kentucky signee was positively dominant. He averaged 17.9 points, 19.2 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the 26-6 Wolverines, who won their first North Coast Section D-I title and reached the D-I NorCal finals.SECOND TEAM
Kendall Smith, Deer Valley, 6-3, Guard, Senior
The UNLV commit averaged 22.5 points, 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals a game for the Wolverines. He and Lee made up one of the most formidable duos in Bay Area history. Elliott Pitts, De La Salle (Concord), 6-4, Guard, Senior
The anchor for the Spartans who returned in the NorCal Division I tournament and finished 27-5, Pitts averaged 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. He has signed with Arizona.Ivan Rabb, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland), 6-11, Center, Sophomore
One of the highest recruited sophomores in the country, Rabb started the season with a 40-point effort in a three-point victory over Castro Valley (Concord) and never really slowed down. He was dominant inside in averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds for a Dragons team that went 26-4 and reached the NorCal Open playoffs.
Malik Thames, Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove), 6-1, Guard, Senior
The poised floor leader for the state Division I champions averaged 17.5 points and 5.6 assists in a breakthrough season. Thames was a three-year starter who said three agonizingly tough losses to rival Sheldon fueled the NorCal D-I playoff charge that included a semifinal rout of De La Salle and a title rout of Deer Valley before beating Santa Monica in the state finals. He has not signed with a college.D'Erryl Williams, Sheldon (Sacramento), 6-2, Guard, Senior
A four-year starter who was as rock-solid in performance as he was in build, the San Diego State-bound Williams started games as a facilitator and often ended them as a finisher. He averaged 14 points, six rebounds and five assists.