By Scott Hansen
This is undoubtedly the first MaxPreps report to ever come out of the friendly confines of Southwest Asia. A military deployment can delay, but not stop, the 2006-07 Oklahoma Boys All-State team.
2006-2007 Oklahoma All-State Basketball Team
Most Valuable Player
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Christian (6-9, Sr., 26.8 Points Per Game)
Griffin may have jumped onto the basketball map a little early thanks to his creativity in the McDonald's All-American Game dunk contest. The Oklahoma-bound Griffin stood with his back to the basket, bounced the ball between his legs off the backboard, and rattled the rim with a thunderous dunk. Griffin fought off constant double and triple teams, including being undercut on numerous occasions, to average 26.8 points, 15.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game for the Class 2A state champions. Griffin also shot 71.8 percent from the field on the season.
Against Oklahoma City Southeast, Griffin had 41 points, 28 rebounds, and 10 assists. Yes, in one game. Griffin could very easily play his way into the Big XII Freshman of the Year honor next season for the Sooners.
Xavier Alexander, Midwest City (6-7, Sr., 23.0)
Alexander led Midwest City to the Class 6A state championship and 27-1 record, with their only blemish coming in December to Jenks. Alexander signed to continue his basketball career at George Washington after averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds per game this season. The younger brother of former Charlotte standout DeAngelo, the Colonials are getting a steal with the younger Alexander.
Rotnei Clarke, Verdigris (6-0, Jr., 37.6)
The Damon Bailey-like legend is growing for the junior out of Verdigris. In the first round of the Class 3A state tournament, Clarke hit for 60 points, setting an Oklahoma state tournament record. Along with averaging 37.6 points per game for the 3A semifinalists, Clarke pulled down nine rebounds and dished out six assists per game. After just three seasons, Clarke has totaled 2,534 career points. The likes of Duke, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Arkansas are leading the way for this sharp-shooting star.
Cade Davis, Elk City (6-5, Sr., 23.5)
Davis is an absolute steal for Jeff Capel and Oklahoma. Davis averaged 23.5 points per game for Elk City, who was shocked in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament after heading in with an unblemished record. Davis scored 37 points in the loss, but displayed the offensive mindset to be able to make a smooth transition into Big XII basketball as a small forward. Davis can score in any way imaginable.
Xavier Henry, Putnam City (6-6, So., 23.0)
Despite the fact that Putnam City failed to make the state tournament, Henry proved why he is one of the top underclassmen in the nation. The sophomore averaged 23 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Pirates last season. Henry is ranked amongst the top 10 players in the Class of 2009 in numerous recruiting publications.
Gerald Jones, Millwood
Jones led Millwood to yet another Class 3A state title, and had his hand in holding Rotnei Clarke to "just" 33 points in the semifinals. Jones is a great athlete and a very underrated basketball talent. Jones averaged 15.9 points per game for the Falcons last season and is on his way to Tennessee on a football scholarship.
Keiton Page, Pawnee
Page is already committed to Oklahoma State. The junior averaged 36 points per game and is another player that is a great shooter and can score along with anybody despite being just 5-10. His 1,045 points last season led Oklahoma.
Michael Sosanya, Bishop McGuinness
Led Bishop McGuinness to second-straight Class 4A state title under the tutelage of Tondrell Durham. Sosanya led the Fighting Irish with 17.3 points while also shooting 65.4 percent from the field as a senior. Sosanya is likely to walk-on to Oklahoma State to try his hand at football, a sport he has never participated in.
Will Creekmore, Tulsa Edison
The 6-9 center averaged 22.9 points and 16 rebounds per game for Edison, who qualified for its first state tournament since 1989. Creekmore is mulling offers from mid-major Division I schools for his services.
Nick Sidorakis, Jenks
Despite nursing a shoulder injury during his senior season, the Oklahoma State signee averaged 17 points per game for the Class 6A state qualifier last season.
Daniel Orton, Bishop McGuinness
Orton, a 6-9 sophomore, may have averaged just 6.8 points per game, but his presence was felt on the defensive end after averaging six blocks per game while altering many other shots. Orton will attend the Nike All-American camp this summer and will be relied upon next season offensively with the departure of Michael Sosanya.
Derrek Lewis, Tulsa Union
Originally signed with Texas A&M until coach Billy Gillespie went to Kentucky. Lewis was one of the main reasons why Union entered the state tournament unbeaten before losing in the semifinals to Lawton Eisenhower. Lewis averaged 14.7 points per game for the Redskins.
Eddie Williams, Lawton Eisenhower
Williams helped Eisenhower reach the Class 6A state final, after a semifinal upset over Tulsa Union. Williams averaged 17.1 points per game for the Eagles.
Robert Crawford, Victory Christian
Exploded onto the scene with two thunderous one-handed dunks in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament. Crawford led Victory Christian to a first-round upset over then-unbeaten Elk City. Crawford averaged 17 points per game for the Conquerors as a junior and could be a Division I target next season.
Matt Qualls, Tahlequah
The 6-7 sophomore continues to impress as part of one of Oklahoma's top basketball classes in its history. Qualls averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds per game for Class 6A Tahlequah, while also shooting 63.8 percent from the field.
Final MaxPreps Top 10
1. Midwest City (27-1)
2. Tulsa Union (26-1)
3. Lawton Eisenhower (23-3)
4. Bishop McGuinness (24-5)
5. Carl Albert (25-3)
6. Putnam City (21-6)
7. Jenks (20-4)
8. Oklahoma Christian (26-3)
9. Tulsa East Central (25-6)
10. Norman North (17-7)
Boys State Champions
6A: Midwest City (27-1)
5A: Carl Albert (25-3)
4A: Bishop McGuinness (24-5)
3A: Millwood (22-7)
2A: Oklahoma Christian (26-3)
A: Okeene (28-1)
B: Stringtown (28-4)
Other Underclassmen to Watch for 2007-08
Tom Becker, Tulsa Union
A 6-4 shooting guard, Becker is one of the top shooters in the state and one of the many reasons why Union could be one of the favorites heading into next season.
Geo Brewer, Lawton MacArthur
The 6-2 guard quietly averaged 20.6 points per game for the Highlanders, while also connecting on 57 three-point baskets.
Sidney Hadnott, Tulsa East Central
Averaged 15.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for East Central, who lost in the Class 5A state championship game to Carl Albert.
Kyle Hardrick, Norman
Fought off a knee injury as a sophomore. The 6-8 Oklahoma commit played just 16 games for the Tigers, averaging 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Ricky Hill, OKC Douglass
The sky is the limit for Hill. The 6-6 forward, who is on the radar for plenty of Division I schools, was key in Douglass' run to the state tournament this season before being upset by fellow OKC Public School rival Star Spencer.
Ken Holdman, Tulsa East Central
Committed to Missouri State. Averaged 15.7 points per game for the Cardinals, combining forces with Sidney Hadnott for a formidable scoring combo. Also had 139 steals on the season.
Jarrod McDaniel, Midwest City
The 5-8 point guard scored when he needed to, but more important quarterbacked the Bombers to the Class 6A state title. Dished out over six assists per game last season.
Dennon Mitchell, Putnam City North
Mitchell averaged 17.5 points per game and led the charge in a first round upset over Jenks in the Class 6A state tournament with 23 points.
George Overbey, Oklahoma Christian
Averaged just 12 points per game on an outstanding team playing second fiddle to Blake Griffin. Overbey will increase his scoring load next season.
Prince Shaw, Crescent
Shaw averaged 30 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as a junior for the Class 2A state qualifier.
James Watson, Stringtown
6-8 post player was third scoring option for Class B powerhouse behind Orlando Brown and Chris Washington. Watson should break out for his senior season for one of the best team in any class in Oklahoma.
* Editor's Note: Scott Hansen covered boys and girls basketball in Oklahoma throughout the 2006-2007 season before being deployed recently to Southwest Asia. True to form, he still found time to file this report. We wish Scott a safe and speedy deployment and look forward to him being back in the press box this fall to cover football in the Sooner State.
Scott Hansen: firstname.lastname@example.org