50 States in 50 Days: Oregon
Landen Lucas returns home to lead a number of prospects
As the season draws closer, Five-Star is previewing the high school basketball scene in all 50 states. Each day, we will focus on one state, highlighting the top teams, players and games of the upcoming season. Today, we focus on Oregon. So, Oregonians, did we pick the top teams or did we snub your alma matter? Did we find the best players, or is there someone flying under the radar, ready to make noise? Let us know in the comments below.
Two of Oregon's biggest recruits play out of state. Senior Jordan Tebbutt holds down a spot at Oak Hill Academy. While heralded junior Nigel Williams-Goss is still at Findlay Prep. That's not to say some of the talent didn't stay within state boundaries. Read on and find out what else is cooking.
Five Teams to Watch:
Westview – The 2011 6A finalists seem primed to make a run this season, despite losing their big man Austin Kuemper to Oregon. That’s because they will replace him with Landen Lucas (see below). 6-3 shooting guard Cole Gatewood and pint-sized 5-3 point man Dominique Keel will play supporting roles.
North Salem – Last year’s team got knocked out in the second round of the 6A championships. Hopes of reaching further lie on the shoulders of L.J. Westbrook and Avery Holmes (see below). Both have the talent to make some noise in the division.
Jesuit – A win over Westview gave the squad a state title last season. That won’t be as easy this upcoming campaign as they graduated McDonald’s All-American Kyle Wiltjer, who's now at Kentucky. 6-8 senior Colin Spickerman will be asked to help fill the void.
Corvallis – This year’s team returns Jake Ehlers who is committed to Portland State. Ehler’s made the 5A all-state first team last year on a squad that went on to win the 5A title.
Dayton – Coach Ron Hop’s team will look to erase the taste of a loss last year in the 3A title game to Horizon Christian. This year’s team brings back Maika Ostling who is heading to Oregon State.
Five Players to Watch:
Landen Lucas (Westview) – The senior 6-8 top-100 big man is widely regarded as the best player in the state. He spent last year at Findlay Prep, but returns to Oregon to play for Westview (he previously attended Sunset before leaving for Findlay). Lucas is a strong rebounder who's developing his post game, and often gets mentoring from Oregon-native and former pro Ime Udoka. He’s entertaining offers from Cal, Tennessee, Stanford, Washington, Georgetown among others.
L.J. Westbrook (North Salem) – Westbrook is one of the top juniors in the state and already committed to Oregon State. The future Beaver plays point guard and has impressive size at the position, standing at 6-2. With his quick burst and long arms, he excels at getting to the rim.
Avry Holmes (North Salem) – As junior last year, the 6-0 point guard was the only underclassman to get all-state honors in the 6A class. He finished on the second team. Despite his size, Holmes is known for his physicality and his ability to finish above the rim. He’s holding offers from San Francisco, Northeastern, Harvard, Fresno State and other mid-majors.
Michone Hopkins (Milwaukie) – Hopkins took home Class 5A first team honors last year. He was one of two underclassmen to make the first team cut. He will look to lead his high school buddies to a championship this season after falling in the quarterfinals last year.
Kameron Chatman (Jefferson) – The small forward is one of the more coveted sophomores in the state. The lefty stands at 6-4 and has impressive touch with developing ball skills. His high school, Jefferson, is the alma mater of current Kentucky star Terrence Jones.
Danny Ainge (North Eugene)
Grayson “The Professor” Boucher (Salem Academy)
Terrell Brandon (Grant)
Mark Few (Creswell)
Thomas Gardner (Jefferson)
A.C. Green (Benson Tech)
Luke Jackson (Creswell)
Terrence Jones (Jefferson)
Maarty Leunen (Redmond)
Kevin Love (Lake Oswego)
Aaron Miles (Jefferson)
Kyle Singler (South Medford)
Erik Spoelstra (Jesuit)
Blake Stepp (South Eugene)
Damon Stoudamire (Woodrow Wilson)
Salim Stoudamire (Lake Oswego)
Mfon Udoka (Benson Tech)
Kyle Wiltjer (Jesuit)