Video: 2020 Kentucky Commit BJ Boston
Chris Stonebraker sits down with the 5-star Sierra Canyon talent.
The 2019-20 high school basketball season has finally arrived, as more and more states around the country begin play in the coming weeks.
As action has already gotten underway in some states, now seems like the perfect time to announce our leaders in the clubhouse for National Player of the Year honors this season.
Reigning award winner Sharife Cooper will be a strong contender to become the first multi-time award winner, while top-ranked Class of 2020 prospects Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Jalen Johnson also begin the year firmly in the race.
Follow along throughout the year for updates on the MaxPreps National Player of the Year race.
After becoming the first non-senior to win MaxPreps National Boys
Basketball Player of the Year, the Auburn pledge begins the season among the favorites to repeat. Cooper was incredible in 2018-19, averaging 28.6 points, 8.6 assists and 4.1
steals per contest and leading McEachern to its first state championship
and an unbeaten record. Through three games this season, the 5-star guard is averaging just over 31 points per contest.
Regarded as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2020, Cunningham again will be the catalyst for another loaded Eagles roster. The 5-star guard earned second team MaxPreps Junior All-American honors last season, averaging 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. Although Cunningham is a leading candidate to capture Player of the Year honors, teammates Scottie Barnes
and Day'ron Sharpe
could sneak into the conversation as well.
The No. 3 overall Class of 2020 prospect finished an impressive three-run career at San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) with 2,291 career points, averaging 30.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest last season. Prolific Prep begins the season at No. 4 in our initial Top 25 rankings and will rely heavily on the production of Green in big-time national showdowns. His backcourt mate Nimari Burnett
also has a chance to enter the Player of the Year discussions.
Wisconsin Associated Press Player of the Year led Nicolet to its first
state title in program history, posting 20 points and 20
rebounds in the state title game. The Duke bound 5-star earned first
team MaxPreps Junior All-American honors averaging 19.7
points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per outing. A talented Ascenders team will rely heavily on Johnson and key returner Jaden Springer
who just missed this list.
Regarded as the top prospect in the Class of 2020, the USC pledge earned first team MaxPreps Junior
All-American honors last year and averaged 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per
game. Mobley enters the season with extremely high expectations as he is the clear No. 1 option on offense this year after the graduation of his brother, 2018-19 McDonald's All-American Isaiah Mobley. Expect the 7-footer to have a monster senior campaign for the Eagles.
Others Top Candidates:
Earned first team MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honors after leading O'Dea last season to its first state title since 2007, averaging 18.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest. Banchero is regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the Class of 2021, but another strong season could put him firmly in the discussion to be No. 1. The 6-9 forward would need to have a monster week at the City of Palms Classic to move from contender to front-runner status.
While it's hard to fathom a sophomore winning Player of the Year honors, Bates is a generational talent. Last season, the top prospect regardless of class averaged 28.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and led the Railsplitters to their first state championship in program history in Michigan's highest classification. The 6-8 wing also not only won MaxPreps Freshman of the Year, but captured the Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year, among other accolades.
The Trailblazers have immense national expectations heading into the season and Boston is the go-to guy for the potent offensive attack. The 5-star Kentucky commit will be forced to produce big numbers early in the season, with fellow 5-star Ziaire Williams
missing the first month of the season due to transfers rules. The elite 6-6 guard has the potential to become a high-level producer for the two-time defending state champions.
Coming off a stellar year that saw the 6-8 wing captured MaxPreps Sophomore Player of the Year honors, the top-ranked Class of 2021 prospect is set for a massive junior season. He averaged 25 points, five rebounds and five assists for Our Savior New American in 2018-19 and will be expected to do much of the same for the Celtics. Patrick School begins the season ranked No. 7 in the preseason Top 25 and has the opportunity to climb higher against a grueling national schedule.
The highly touted two-sport star looks to lead the Red Hawks to a
fourth consecutive state title, coming off an impressive junior year
that saw him win a state title both on the hardwood and the gridiron. In 2018-19, he earned third team MaxPreps Junior All-American honors
averaging 23.3 points, 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 steals per outing. Five-star teammate Chet Holmgren
could also insert himself into the Player of the Year conversation if he continues his rapid improvement.