5A’s top talent was on display in Emporia on Thursday. The stars shone bright, led by Basehor-Linwood’s Tyson Ruud Tyson Ruud 6'5" | SF Basehor-Linwood | 2023 State KS , Andover’s Eli Shetlar Eli Shetlar 6'5" | SG Andover |…
5A’s top talent was on display in Emporia on Thursday. The stars shone bright, led by Basehor-Linwood’s, Andover’s and Kapaun’s .
But some other guys really stood out, including some who are new on the Prep Hoops radar. Here are big impressions from day one of 5A:
#1 Highland Park defeated #8 Basehor-Linwood 60-49:
Jamon Wilson, 5-foot-10 guard, 2025, Highland Park:
While the focus is on this week’s tournament, it’s tempting to look ahead to see what Highland Park will have after it graduates a really loaded senior class. Wilson may just step up into that lead guard role. He is a powerful, compact driver who can get to the right spots and deliver the ball. He is built in the mold of blazingly fast and quick Highland Park guards who can get downhill with the ball, and really torment opposing guards. In the win over Basehor-Linwood, Wilson played a big role in keeping the opponents unsettled and out of rhythm. He also hit 3-4 from the field, 2-2 from the line and finished with 8 points.
# 4 Andover defeated #5 Maize South 49-46:
, 6-foot-2 guard, 2024, Andover (pictured):
On a team loaded with perimeter threats, Rucker was a difference maker against Maize South. He came off the bench firing and hit a couple of huge 3s to help Andover establish and edge. Rucker understands his role and he works hard at both ends. He moves non-stop without the ball to find open shots, and he hit from behind the arc, in the midrange and also fought his way to the basket. The junior finished with 14 points, second-highest scorer in what was a great game.
#2 Kapaun Mt. Carmel defeated Blue Valley Southwest 58-48:
Max Keller, 6-foot-4 forward, 2023, Kapaun:
Kapaun has several guys who get the attention –, and leading the way. But on Thursday, Keller was right there with Thengvall as most impressive players in the game. Keller mirrored Thengvall as a big, yet agile forward who can handle the ball, dish it in creative ways to teammates, and hit impressive shots from every level. Keller hit for 7 points and really impressed with his overall skill.
#3 Hutchinson defeated #6 Pittsburg 84-51:
Julian Smith, 6-foot-4 forward, 2024, Hutchinson:
Here’s a new name for you. Smith wasn’t someone we counted on to make a big splash against Pittsburg, but wow was he an eye opener. Smith found open shots, and did he ever drill them. With his length and quick release, he can get shots off and he connected on 6-7 from deep and 8-9 altogether to finish with 22 points off the bench. Hutchinson will graduate a bunch of guys, so Smith might be a guy to watch to take a huge leap next season.