On October 1st, basketball practices opened up all across the state of Oklahoma. We’re getting closer and closer to scrimmages starting and games tipping off in November and early December. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be taking an in-depth…
On October 1st, basketball practices opened up all across the state of Oklahoma. We’re getting closer and closer to scrimmages starting and games tipping off in November and early December. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the upcoming season with plenty of team previews, players to watch features, scrimmage breakdowns and much more! Keep it locked into Prep Hoops Oklahoma as we’ll have new preview content dropping on the site every single day!
In this preview, we take a look at last year’s class 6A runner ups, the Moore Lions.
Moore entered last season as a team with a good talent base because of a talented underclassmen group. By early January they proved they were ready to compete with the state’s best when they took down Putnam City West at the Putnam City Invitational. That signature victory would be prophetic. As two months later the Lions would repeat the performance by once again taking down the Patriots in the opening round of the Class 6A State Tournament. They would follow that up with a semifinal victory over Edmond Santa Fe. They fell short in the state title game, but the message was still clear about the positive changes in the program culture and expectations.
There are key pieces missing from last year and the Lions won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year. They still return three players with starting experience and likely have a healthy amount of players with the potential to play college basketball at some level. It was not too long ago that Moore struggled to put together double digit wins in a season. Now Greg Hardin has put together back to back wining teams, with a talented roster that looks likely to make it three winning seasons in a row. Along with a good chance to be firmly in the mix come Area weekend and have the opportunity to punch another ticket to the Class 6A State Tournament.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
After making spot starts and being a key contributor as a freshman thanks to his shooting ability, the expectations are high for Hankins to make a sophomore leap. Based on his summer performance and his recent offer from Oral Roberts, there’s a good chance he’ll thrive with his increased role. He’ll still be among the best shooters in the state, but will also likely spend more time on the ball. Which he has shown potential to do just that and would have multiple benefits. Hankins becoming more of a combo guard, or even a point guard would likely elevate the athletic roster around him. While also making him a more appealing prospect to college coaches.
Lee plays bigger than his listed size because of his high motor and athletic ability. He’s an aggressive driver off the bounce and thanks to the previously mentioned burst and leaping ability he’s a very strong finisher for his size. Look for him to build off his 10.2 points and 6 boards a game averages from last season.
After knocking down three pointers at a 40% rate last season for Moore, Smith will have a bigger role as a scorer. While watching him compete regional for grassroots ball, he displayed the potential to be than just a shooter. With a crafty driving game he displayed on the circuit, he should be able to damage teams in more ways than just being a shooting specialist.
“Bubby” is a Swiss army knife for the Lions. He has a lanky wingspan and great hops which allows him to standout with slams and blocks. He led the team with 38 rejections last season. But Grant is more than just a garbage man around the rim. Grant has the athletic ability to switch out and defend most guards in Oklahoma, while also stretching the floor as a three point shooter. His floor game still needs work but if he plays with the same intensity he did in their semifinal win over Santa Fe last year, the junior is likely to be one of the most impactful players in Oklahoma when it comes to making winning plays.
MORE NAMES TO KNOW
JJ Gomez – 2023 Guard
– 2024 Guard
Messiah Bunting – 2024 Guard
Ebi Bortey – 2024 Forward
Jakari Davis – 2025 Guard
Hayden Stull – 2025 Forward
Josiah Thomas – 2025 Guard
Keyshawn Myles – 2026 Forward