The high school basketball season is upon us. Here are the top 12 players to watch out for in my opinion -- Southeast Missouri's Dandy Dozen.
Poplar Bluff, 6-9, Jr.
In Southeast Missouri, Hansbrough is the man, hands down. Just how good is the 6-foot-9 specimen? Good enough to get personal visits from the likes of Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Quin Snyder and Billy Donovan. You would be hard pressed to find a Division I coach in the country that hasn't heard of this guy. He averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game as a sophomore, shooting just under 70 percent from the field. This year he's back one inch taller, 15 pounds heavier and has added several inches to his vertical. Is this guy ever going to stop growing?
Charleston, 6-6, Jr.
Farmer did it all for Charleston's Final Four team last year, averaging 14 points and six rebounds per game. He could rebound, he could pass, he could defend, and most importantly, he could score from any spot on the floor. He could lead the Bluejays all the way this year.
Bell City, 6-0, Sr.
Bell City coach David Heeb put it best, "Anytime you can say, 'well, we've got Dominitrix,' that's a good sentence to start talking about your team with."
Johnson still looks like a little kid, but his ability on the court is far from immature. He averaged 23 points and eight rebounds a game as a junior, and will carry even more of the load now that Eric Henry is gone.
Charleston, 5-7, Jr. Biles has the game to live up to his last name. At point guard, he was the driving force behind Charleston's offense last season, averaging 14 points, five assists and five steals a night. The sky is the limit this year. He won't put up the stats like Bell City's Johnson, but he has just as big of an impact on the game.
Dexter, 6-6, Sr.
The Bearcats lost four starters to graduation, leaving Demaree behind to carry the load. The 6-foot-6 center is more than capable. As a junior, he averaged 17 points and seven rebounds a night for Dexter's 21-5 team. He also shot 63 percent from the field and 80 percent from the foul line.
Cape Central, 6-8, Jr.
Expectations are high for Cape Central this year, and Chestnutt is the biggest reason why. The 6-foot-8 center was dominant at times last year, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds per game. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he could be unstoppable this year.
Cape Central, 5-11, Sr.
Delph is another big weapon Cape Central coach Derek McCord has in his arsenal. Along with Chestnutt, he gives the Tigers a good inside-outside threat.
He put up 14 points a night last year and can carry the offense.
East Carter, 6-0, Sr.
East Carter was the only state champion in Southeast Missouri last year, and Reynolds was their best player. The 3-point specialist averaged 18 points and six rebounds a game as a junior.
Scott Central, 6-4, Sr.
Pullen has always been a force in the post as a shot-blocking specialist. Last year the slender 6-foot-4 forward averaged 17 points and eight rebounds a night. This year, he has added a mid-range shot to his arsenal. Look for big things out of the Braves' big man.
Jackson, 6-3, Sr.
McNeely isn't going to impress you during warmups, but when Jackson needs to a big defensive stop or a crucial score, the 6-foot-3 bruiser is the man to do it.
He averaged 15 points and seven rebounds a game last year.
11. Willie Hassell
Portageville, 5-10, Jr.
Hassell started for Portageville as a sophomore last year, averaging 10 points per game. His play will be crucial early while the rest of Portageville's inexperienced team gains varsity experience.
NMCC, 6-0, Sr.
If the Eagles are to improve on last year's eight wins, Kimble will be the player the team looks to. He averaged 13 points and four rebounds per game as a junior.
OTHER PLAYERS that just missed the cut include Trevor Douglas, East Carter; Tim Perry, Bloomfield; William Moore, Hayti; Jarrad Duffel, Senath; Chris Woodall, Gideon; and Jeremy Johnson, Scott Central.