There were so many players that showed off at the Kansas Top 250 Expo last Saturday, it gave a great look ahead to what’s in store for basketball in the state. But all-star teams from the event are naturally dominated…
There were so many players that showed off at the Kansas Top 250 Expo last Saturday, it gave a great look ahead to what’s in store for basketball in the state. But all-star teams from the event are naturally dominated by the seniors who showed up.
Here are the Kansas Top 250 All Stars:
G – Marcus Zeigler Jr Marcus Zeigler Jr 6'2" | PG Wichita Heights | 2023 State KS , 6-foot-2 guard, 2023, Wichita Heights:
Not surprisingly, Zeigler (pictured) dominated games from the point guard spot. One-day expos like this can devolve into chaotic one-on-one, cherry-picking affairs. But Zeigler kept his teams under control and playing as a unit. He has a commanding presence on the floor and plays with high intelligence. But that’s not to say that when he wants to, he can’t overwhelm a defense with his athleticism in the open floor and ability to penetrate. He remined everyone how gifted he is with a handful of high rising slams.
G – Jasiah Shields Jasiah Shields 6'0" | PG Derby | 2023 KS , 6-foot guard, 2023, Derby:
Shields showed that he can create shots with the best of them. He was uncontainable off the dribble, and he scored a flurry of points in the midrange. He is ultra-quick and blows up defenses with his penetration, which frees up shooters for kickouts. He was disruptive on the defensive end.
F – , 6-foot-4 forward, 2024, Bennington:
This guy really jumped out Saturday. He did a lot of everything, handling the ball and passing effectively by seeing over the top of smaller opponents. He was smooth on the dribble and got to where he wanted. Once in the paint, he overwhelmed defenders with his combination of size/power and explosiveness. He rises easily for two-hand slams and hit jumpers with an effective jumper. Smith was dominant.
F – Kaeden Bonner Kaeden Bonner 6'2" | SG Seaman | 2023 State KS , 6-foot-2 guard, 2023, Seaman:
Bonner is listed by Prep Hoops as a guard, but we’re slotting him here. Has evolved over the years from a small outside shooter to a powerfully built big man (he looks taller than the 6-foot-2 that was listed in the roster). He can legitimately be considered a forward due to his size and strength and ability to rebound. But he is still just as dangerous as ever floating around the perimeter to confidently launch bombs. When his team got in trouble, Bonner could take the ball from end to end, shifting to the point guard spot. Bonner gave a look ahead to how his game might play differently as the lead dog for Seaman. Graduations will force him to carry a heavy load for the Vikings this season.
C – Eli Lawson Eli Lawson 6'7" | C Bennington | 2024 State KS , 6-foot-7 center, 2024, Bennington:
Lawson looked Saturday like one of the best bigs in the state. While other bigs were impressive, Lawson was dominant. His combination of size and fundamental skill makes him efficient and effective in the low block. He knows how to pin defenders and overwhelm them. He has the turnaround jumper to either side, the dropstep into a dunk and great hands to receive passes. Based on his performance at the Expo, he appears to have the fire to be the best.
G – Hunter Vaughn Hunter Vaughn 5'11" | CG Colby | 2023 State KS , 5-foot-11 guard, 2023, Colby:
Small-school players can get overwhelmed by the format of an expo event. Vaughn stayed within himself, didn’t get caught up in one-on-one showmanship and just concentrated on being himself. He has such great vision and handle. He is creative and occasionally flashy, but stays in control. He is very effective taking the ball full court and he produces a lot of opportunities for teammates. Vaughn is a player everyone from KC and Wichita should know about.
G – Kaeson Fisher-Brown Kaeson Fisher-Brown 6'2" | SG Derby | 2023 State KS , 6-foot-2 guard, 2023, Derby:
Fisher-Brown did at the Expo what you would expect from a big, athletic and experienced guard. He was just too much for a lot of the opposing guards to contain. He used his power and first step to get to where he wanted to pull up or draw and dish. But when given space, he dropped shots from the perimeter. He was business-like with his approach, playing in control and getting others involved.
F – Immanuel Campbell Immanuel Campbell 6'4" | SF Bishop Ward | 2023 State KS , 6-foot-4 forward, 2023, Bishop Ward:
Campbell is poised for a big senior year. He is a big, powerful man who stood out among the younger opponents at the Expo. He can get it done from the wing or in the paint. He is a rebounder and defender who can run the floor and factor in transition.
F – Nash Johnsen Nash Johnsen 6'7" | C Conway Springs | 2024 State KS , 6-foot-7 center, 2024, Conway Springs:
Johnsen is typically a center, but he deserves recognition for his work teamed with Lawson at the Expo. Johnsen shifted to the high post and fed Lawson effectively. He hit from the midrange, set screens and moved the ball with vision and smart passes. Johnsen is a big, rugged guy but he has sneaky athleticism. He demonstrated versatility at the Expo that earns him second-team at the forward spot.
C – Will Mlynek Will Mlynek 6'9" | C Free State | 2023 State KS , 6-foot-9 center, 2023, Free State:
The biggest player at the Expo, Mlynek impressed in a number of ways. First and foremost, he shot it at a high clip from deep. He was actually one of the best shooters from deep at the event. Not only does that rack up points, but it draws opposing bigs farther and farther away from the paint. Mlynek is a force on the boards and a disrupter in the lane at the defensive end.