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Winter 2019-20 All-Junior Team watch lists for boys basketball

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 18, 2020, 10:07 am

As talented as some graduating classes have been in Michigan over the years, the 2011 class doesn’t take a backseat to any of them. The leaders of this year’s junior class — and next year’s crop of Mr. Basketball hopefuls — are a deep and talented bunch, making the whittling down of a watch list as hard as next year’s arguments are bound to be over who belongs on the Mr. Basketball ballot.

Below is a list of who we would have been keeping an eye on for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, for honors on the STATE CHAMPS! All-Junior Team, had the season continued. Our final four will be released later this week or early next week, and our final determination of who makes it on to the 2019-20 All-Junior Team will be made later this spring.

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(in alphabetical order)

Jaden Akins, Farmington (6-3 guard)

Honorable mention D1 AP all-state as a sophomore, HM BCAM’s Best. 

Averaged 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in 2018-19.

Led the Falcons to a division title in the OAA White. 

Pierre Brooks II, Detroit Douglass (6-6 forward)

D2 BCAM’s Best as a sophomore.

Averaged 23.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists in 2018-19.

Led the Hurricanes to the PSL championship game. 

Kobe Bufkin, Grand Rapids Christian (6-5 shooting guard)

Second-team D2 AP all-state as a sophomore, D2 BCAM’s Best.

Averaged 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists in 2018-19, and had bumped his average to 23 points per game by mid-January. Led the Eagles to a second-place finish in the OK Gold. 

Legend Geeter, River Rouge (6-7 power forward)

Averaged eight points, 4.5 rebounds as a sophomore, but role was limited behind a big group of seniors, but he was the one scoring at the end of games. Entering district play, the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference champs hadn’t lost since Dec. 21, against Grand Rapids Catholic Central. 

Julian Lewis, Ann Arbor Huron (6-6 forward)

Missed several weeks with a fractured wrist, which could impact his status, but his candidacy will depend on his postseason performance, as he and his teammates try to add hardware to an SEC Red title. Averaged 12.2 points, 9.1 rebounds in 2018-19.

Keyon Menifield Jr., Flint Beecher (5-10 point guard)

Beecher’s only loss since its opener was to Grand Blanc in a highly-anticipated postseason tune-up, but the Bucs have their eyes on a sixth state title since 2012.

Jayden Nunn, Flint Carman-Ainsworth (6-3 guard)

Honorable mention D1 AP all-state as a sophomore. The defending Saginaw Valley League champs dropped to second in the Blue Division this season, behind a young Grand Blanc squad. 

Julian Roper, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (6-5 shooting guard)

Averaged 20 points per game at Country Day before transferring midseason to OLSM. This year, paired up with Lorne Bowman to form one of the state’s best backcourts, helping lead the Eaglets to their first CHSL title since 2008.

Foster Wonders, Iron Mountain (6-5 small forward)

First-team D3 AP all-state as a sophomore, D3 BCAM’s Best. Led the Mountaineers to the D3 title game a year ago, and to a co-championship in the West-PAC-East this season. 

Omar Zeigler III, Detroit King (6-5 small forward)

The Crusaders won the PSL’s East Division ahead of Brooks and Douglass, but were knocked off by the Hurricanes in the PSL tournament semifinals.