Teams to Watch in 6A
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Football season is winding down. Basketball will get rocking very soon. So let’s take a peak ahead to teams that might bear watching this season, starting in the biggest class. Returners: Shawnee Mission Northwest No team returns its talent like…
Football season is winding down. Basketball will get rocking very soon. So let’s take a peak ahead to teams that might bear watching this season, starting in the biggest class.
Shawnee Mission Northwest
No team returns its talent like the Cougars. They don’t lose a lot from last year’s state team. But the important thing to watch will be the development of big man. If Taylor takes a big step, look out. There’s a ton of offensive talent and versatility around him, led by , and . There’s some height and depth among the senior class.
Derby loses some good veteran guards, but the key nucleus is back, plus some guards who came off the bench to be hugely significant last year. So we are going to include them among the “Returners” category. Back is impactful big man(pictured), a guy who has flown under the radar to a degree but should be one of the best big forward/centers in the state this year. He will benefit from some guys opening things up by sniping from the perimeter. Derby might have the best collection of three-point shooters in the state in , and Mason Anderson.
Why is Wichita Heights, who might have the top one-two returners in the state, listed as a “Contender” rather than a “Returner?” Well, despite having the best player inand arguably the best athlete in , they lost quite a bit – seven members of last year’s team, to be exact. So while we fully expect the Falcons to be in the mix for a title, they will have to do it with quite a few new contributors.
Blue Valley Northwest
Same situation as Wichita Heights. There are a lot of really good players back, but they lose last year’s best player – Grant Stubblefield – and five other seniors to boot. But they have got a top big man inand a guard who should take a huge step in . There’s always a lot of talent to develop in this program.
We’re waiting for the official roster to be known before we pump up the Jaguars too much. But they will be led by arguably the state’s best junior,. That’s a great place to start. Beyond that, transfers and football opt-outs may greatly impact the lineup for this team.
Blue Valley North
Who will be on the court for this state semifinalist? They lose eight seniors from a year ago. The one guy we expect to be big is senior. Can they replace nearly everyone else and make another run?
Maize moves up to 6A. How’s the timing for such a move going to affect the program? Maize did its best last year to build around young players, and the results weren’t great. They went 10-11, but they did give playing time to a lot of guys with high upside. Eight freshmen and sophomores got playing time, headed by stud guard. Watch for high-flying to have a breakout junior year, and Alec Grill should also make a big step forward as a junior.
The season came to a very disappointing end for the talented Buffaloes last spring. They were loaded and ready to make a state tournament run before getting upset by Junction City. Now they have to figure out how to adjust to the loss of a quartet of talented veterans.is just about the only returner who was a big part of the success. How good can this new version of the team be? We’ll see.