By HockomockSports.com Staff
Boys Basketball Players to Watch 2019-2020
Player are listed alphabetically
Brandon Borde, Senior- Foxboro
When we put Foxboro senior Brandon Borde on this list last year, we talked about the improvement from his freshman to sophomore year and what that could mean for his junior. Now we’re expecting Borde to take it to even a higher level for his fourth year on the Warriors after averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game a year ago. As a four year player, there aren’t many secrets with Borde; he’s one of the best finishers around the rim in the league and he showed last year he can hit the big shot when needed. This might be the deepest Foxboro team that Borde has played on and that will make it tough for opposing defenses because they can’t give too much help off others to guard Borde. On top of that, he’s a utility man defensively with the ability to guard almost every position.
Andrew Burton, Senior- Sharon
The Eagles picked up two wins in their final four games last season and two big things that jumped out at me during those games was the play of Andrew Burton. I left the final game of the season thinking that Burton will definitely be in the mix for a league all-star spot, and after his 26-point performance on Friday night, it looks that will definitely be a possibility this season. There isn’t anything overly flashy with his game but he’s good in just about every aspect. He can shoot from three and one of the things he really improved last season was his ability to attack the rim. Sharon has an experienced team this year that features some top shooters like Aidan Kane, and with Burton’s ability to get it done on both ends of the court, the playoffs are a real possibility for the Eagles.
Qualeem Charles, Senior- Attleboro
Since we put Bryant Ciccio on this list last year, it’s only fair we give Qualeem Charles the spotlight this time around. Both players could have been on the list last year, and the same goes for this season. It’s probably one of the most worn-out terms in basketball but it truly fits in this case: Charles is a “nightmare matchup.” At 6’5 and 290 pounds, there just aren’t many players that can handle him by themselves. We’ve seen teams bring double teams or try and front the post to deny entry, but it’s only a matter of time until Charles (13.8 points, 11.2 rebounds per game) gets his offensively or the defense has to change out because he’s such a good distributor and can find open teammates. And the same advantage he provides on offense, he gives the Bombardiers an edge on defense in the post. Now in his senior year, we think the best is yet to come.
Jordan Darling, Junior- Milford
The Scarlet Hawks graduated over 60% of its offensive production from a year ago so head coach Paul Seaver is in need of some new players to step up. Fresh off a great sophomore season, junior Jordan Darling will be one of those options. He started 18 games a year ago so he has plenty of experience at this level, and he averaged a near double-double with 7.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game to earn HockomockSports.com All Underclassmen Team honors. Playing alongside Dom Schofield, the Hawks had a formidable frontcourt that gives Seaver some options with matchups. It also means that Milford will be a tough team to score against inside and rebound against. With a lot more opportunity on the offensive end, Darling could be poised for a breakout season.
Chris Edgehill, Senior- Franklin
Franklin senior Chris Edgehill has packed a lot into his high school career: scoring over 1,000 points, reaching the D1 State Championship game twice, named HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year as a sophomore, and the list goes on. And he’s done it all in just three seasons. Now a senior, Edgehill is yet again one of the best players in the league and we’re excited to see what he has for his final season dawning Panther blue. He was second in the league last year with 16.5 points per game while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists per game. Not only does he consistently lead the team in scoring, but he’s also impressed with his ability to get teammates involved. After Franklin graduated a handful of talented players from last year, Franklin will lean heavily on Edgehill for his leadership on and off the court.
Alex Fritz, Senior- King Philip
If the first game of the season is any indication what this year could be for Fritz, it will be a special one. After bursting onto the scene last year as KP’s leading scorer, and the Hockomock League’s fourth-leading scorer, with 15.5 points per game, Fritz started off his senior year with a 36-point performance on Friday in the season opener. In a day and age when the three-point shot is all the rage and the quickest way to fill up the stat sheet, Fritz is a little old school. While he certainly can hurt teams from beyond the three point line, he has a lot of confidence pulling up for mid-range jumpers and can finish through contact going to the rim. He showed that by hitting 11 two-point shots on Friday night. He’s a pure scorer and that’s going to be very important for a team like King Philip that is battling for a postseason spot.
George Ladd, junior- North Attleboro
When you watch North Attleboro junior George Ladd play you can’t help but categorize him as a throwback player. He’s not going to end up on an And-1 mixtape and he probably isn’t going to be shooting from NBA range like some players are starting to do, but he’s very fundamentally sound and that’s very important for a team in a bit of a transition year like the Rocketeers are. Due to the size North had last year, Ladd was forced to play more as a guard but should match up with more forwards this season. He does a lot of the little things that go unnoticed: setting solid screens, rebounding the basketball, and playing solid defense. He has a nice touch around the rim and he can step out and hit a three, which will help North Attleboro stretch the floor. He’s already off to a great start this season with 14 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Taunton.
Jay Spillane, Senior- Oliver Ames
We’ve seen the name Spillane fill up the Oliver Ames scoring column before and that could very well be the case again this year. Senior Jay Spillane can get hot from downtown at any given moment and that can change the game. Look at Friday’s win over Stoughton as a prime example as Spillane struggled to tickle the twine from deep in the first half but came out and went 4-for-4 from downtown in the second half, helping the Tigers pull away for a big win. OA coach Don Byron said he thinks the Tigers will be a good shooting team this year and Spillane is certainly a reason why. Beyond shooting, Spillane can handle the ball when needed and help put things in motion offensively. He is an energy type player that is active defensively, the type of player that comes up with hustle plays that can change a game.
Sam Stevens, Senior- Mansfield
There were a handful of players we could have gone from when it comes to Mansfield, including reigning Underclassman of the Year Matt Boen (9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals per game as a sophomore) or junior TJ Guy (10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds as a sophomore), but we went with senior Sam Stevens. Part of a small but talented senior class with Drew Rooney and Makhi Baskin, Stevens (who scored 303 points in his first year on varsity) stands out as one of the top offensive players in the league. Mansfield almost always has a balanced scoring attack but that doesn’t mean Stevens won’t have games where he fills up the stat sheet. Last year, he went off for 35 points in a road win at Taunton. He is a terrific shooter from three-point range, but at 6’5, he can be a tough matchup for opponents and can get to the rim and score. By the end of last year, he was one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league, and now back for his senior year with a season of experience under his belt, Stevens could be in line for a breakout year.
Obinna Ugwuakazi, Senior- Stoughton
There were a handful of players that burst onto the scene last year as either sophomores or juniors, and that includes Stoughton’s Obinna Ugwuakazi. Ugwuakazi joined the program last year and emerged as one of the team’s top players through his hard work and effort. He was one of the league’s leading scorers because of his willingness to battle down low and fight for offensive rebounds. If he can replicate that effort this season, he will be an incredibly tough matchup for opponents. He was tremendous down low last year with a high shooting percentage around the rim, averaging 14 points per game along with eight rebounds. He also provides the Black Knights with post defense, giving head coach John Gallivan an option to match up with other bigs. Even though others will be game-planning for him this year, we think he could average a double-double if he puts the same effort in as he did last year.
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