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Prep Circuit Preseason Player of the Year Candidates

By Prep Circuit Staff, 11/08/18, 4:30PM EST

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The high school season is officially upon us, and the PrepCircuit team has narrowed down five candidates for 2018-19 Preseason Player of the Year.

Cole Anthony, Jaden McDaniels, James Wiseman, Tyrese Maxey and Vernon Carey Jr. made the cut, successfully separating themselves from the rest of the elite players in high school basketball.

We took at hard look at each candidate, breaking down why each is worthy of this preseason honor:


(H/T Slam Magazine)

Cole Anthony

High School: Oak Hill Academy Warriors (VA)
Class: 2019
Position: Guard
Height: 6'3
College: Deciding between UNC, Miami, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Georgetown and Oregon

Oak Hill is a factory for elite basketball talent, and to put it simply, Five-Star point guard Cole Anthony is next in line for the Warriors. Anthony transferred to Oak Hill from Archbishop Molloy (NY), and he has fit in seamlessly as the Warriors leader. Anthony is able to play physical and shows a complete skill set, which makes him the toughest guard to match up against throughout the nation. The three-year EYBL veteran took home regular season Most Valuable Player honors this spring, averaging 26.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 21 games for the New York powerhouse PSA Cardinals  If Oak Hill Academy is to win the GEICO Nationals, Anthony would be in a great position to win the Player of the Year Award.

Vernon Carey Jr.

High School: University School Sharks (FL)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 6'10
College: Deciding between Duke, Kentucky, Miami, UNC, Michigan State

'Intriguing' is a major understatement when it comes to describing Vernon Carey Jr's overall game. There are multiple reasons as to why the University School (FL) senior big man made this list, but it all boils down to how he dominates the game. Carey averaged 19.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game for Nike Team Florida this spring in the NIKE EYBL, showcasing a floor-game that is well beyond his year. For a big man of his stature, one may expect him to strictly be a back to the basket scorer. In the last year, however, Carey has proved that he is much more than that. Carey has an elite face up game, can stretch the defense to the perimeter and is capable of taking you off the dribble. He and Wiseman have established themselves as the two best big men in the class of 2019, and if he has the season we anticipate, Carey will be in the running for POY honors.


(H/T Dallas Morning News)

Tyrese Maxey

High School: South Garland Colonels (TX)
Class: 2019
Position: Guard
Height: 6'3
College: Committed to Kentucky

Tyrese Maxey will have a lot of Kentucky fans tuned into South Garland (TX) games this season. Maxey is one of the most electrifying prospects in the country, and he used this spring and summer to cement himself as one of the best playmakers in the 2019 class. Maxey starred for the Houston Hoops, averaging 20.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals while earning First-Team All-EYBL honors and Regular Season Defensive Player of the Year. Maxey is a nightmare for the opposition to deal with at the high school level, as his length, athleticism and natural quickness are literally un-guardable for most backcourts. Maxey has always been great at slashing to the basket, but he's developing into a consistent from the perimeter. Maxey will be one of the most exciting players to watch this season, and has a chance to take home the Player of the Year Award.


(H/T The News Tribune)

Jaden McDaniels

High School: Federal Way Eagles (WA)
Class: 2019
Position: Swingman
Height: 6'10
College: Deciding between San Diego State, Texas, Washington, Kentucky and UCLA

Jaden McDaniels is representing the West Coast on this list, and he's set for a truly special senior campaign. The Federal Way (WA) star broke out more than any other prospect in the country in the NIKE EYBL with Seattle Rotary (WA), averaging 18.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while helping lift Rotary to their first Peach Jam bid since 2012. McDaniels stands at 6-foot-10 and is as versatile as they come, pairing his freakish length and athleticism with a cool, composed playing style. What's the best part about McDaniels? He's just scratching the surface of his potential. He showed what he was capable of this grassroots season, and is looking to parlay that success into a monstrous final high school season.


(H/T Johnnie Photography)

James Wiseman

High School: Memphis East Mustangs (TN)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 7'0
College: Deciding between Kentucky, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Florida State and Kansas

Prepare yourself for the obvious here…James Wiseman is a special prospect. The Memphis East (T.N.) big man is everything you want in a big man, especially in today’s evolving game. Wiseman has great physical tools, and his skill set continues to progress on both ends of the floor. The East Mustangs will heavily rely on him this season, which will provide him with ample opportunity to show out. When he's on the floor he's utterly dominant at the high school level, so it's imperative that he stays out of foul trouble and stays healthy. With Wiseman being the consensus the number one player in the country, he is one of the favorites to win the Player of the year this season, and will be assisted by the Mustangs putting forth a dominant season.

Also in consideration:

Player: Kahlil Whitney
High School: Roselle Catholic Lions (NJ)
Class: 2019
Position: Swingman
Height: 6'8
College: Committed to Kentucky

Player: Precious Achiuwa
High School: Montverde Academy Eagles (FL)
Class: 2019
Position: Swingman
Height: 6'9
College: Deciding between UConn, Florida State, Kansas, Memphis, St. John's

Player: Isaiah Stewart II
High School: La Lumiere Lakers (IN)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 6'9
College: Deciding between Duke, Syracuse, Kentucky, Washington and Washington

Player: Josh Green
High School: IMG Academy Ascenders (FL)
Class: 2019
Position: Guard
Height: 6'6
College: Committed to Arizona

Player: Matthew Hurt
High School: Rochester John Marshall Rockets (MN)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 6'6
College: Deciding between Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota and North Carolina

Player: Isaiah Mobley
High School: Rancho Christian Eagles (CA)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 6'9
College: Committed to USC

PlayerScottie Lewis / Bryan Antoine
High School: Ranney School Panthers (NJ)
Class: 2019
Position: Guard(s)
Height: 6'5
College: Committed to Florida / Villanova

PlayerArmando Bacot Jr
High School: IMG Academy Ascenders (FL)
Class: 2019
Position: Forward
Height: 6'9
College: Committed to North Carolina

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