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Grassroots Hoops Underclass All-American Team

Junior All-American Rawle Alkins led Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) to the CHSAA Class AA title and No. 36 FAB 50 ranking. Photo: Kelly Kline/adidas)

Junior All-American Rawle Alkins led Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) to the CHSAA Class AA title and No. 36 FAB 50 ranking. Photo: Kelly Kline/adidas)

Class players of the year Harry Giles III (Juniors), DeAndre Ayton (Sophomores) and Marvin Bagley III (Freshmen) headline the 2014-15 Grassroots Hoops Underclass All-American team.

Giles III, Ayton, Ball Among Nation’s Best Underclassmen

Four juniors, one sophomore and a special freshman already named Grassroots Hoops All-Americans headline a group of 65 elite players selected to the 2014-15 Grassroots Hoops Underclass All-American boys’ basketball team.

Headlining the 2014-15 Grassroots Hoops Underclass All-American watch list as the intense travel ball summer season nears is junior forward Harry Giles III of Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), this year’s National Junior Player of the Year, center DeAndre Ayton of Balboa City School (San Diego, Calif.), this year’s National Sophomore of the Year, and guard Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.).

All three were already named to the overall All-American first team. Giles and Ayton was second five selections with Ball a third five choice.

The other two juniors to earn All-American acclaim (second team) were highly-regarded Jayson Tatum of Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.), whom some scouting services tap as the top prospect in the Class of 2016, and Arkansas State Player of the Year Malik Monk of Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.).

No sophomore made the All-American second team, but a promising freshman did.

Marvin Bagley III of Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), a 6-foot-10 first-year player who led his team to a Division I state title, was named AZCentral Big Schools State Player of the Year and National Freshman of the Year after averaging 19.6 points and 10.3 rebounds. Corona del Sol won its fourth consecutive state title and was ranked No. 14 in the final Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 national rankings.

Whispers of Bagley already being one of the nation’s best players regardless of class circulate in gyms across the country and he might one day be only the second high school basketball player ever to earn All-America accolades four times. The first was big man Wayne McKoy of Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) between 1974-1977. McKoy, who was scouted by NBA teams as an underclassman, was named to the first McDonald’s All-American team and went on to play at Rutgers.

The six Grassroots Hoops All-Americans and 59 other underclass honorees all had standout campaigns for their respective high school teams while others are sure to emerge this summer as bona fide 2015-16 All-America candidates. Nearly every summer on the circuit, well-known players are eclipsed by lesser-known commodities, and every so often a prospect comes out of nowhere to emerge as a Mr. Basketball USA candidate.

It’s a yearly ritual for some underclass All-Americans to change programs. Sophomore center Zach Brown of Miami Beach (Miami, Fla.) is headed to Miami Senior for his junior campaign. High-scoring sophomore guard Markus Howard of Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) will be at Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) for his junior season. Speaking of Findlay Prep, junior All-American point guard Derryck Thornton Jr. has reclassified to the 2015 class at will enroll at Duke this fall. Expect more player movement, and perhaps more reclassification, as the summer rolls on.

2014-15 Grassroots Hoops Underclass All-American Team

Juniors to Watch (2016)
C — Edrice Adebayo, Northside (Pinetown, N.C.) 6-9
G — Rawle Alkins, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 6-5
G — Trevor Anderson, Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.) 6-2
C — Udoka Azubuike, Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) 6-10
G — Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) 6-6
F — Miles Bridges, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) 6-6
G — Tony Carr, Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) 6-3
G — Anthony Cowan Jr., St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 6-0
C — De’Ron Davis, Overland (Aurora, Colo.) 6-9
G — Carsen Edwards, Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 5-10
F — Markelle Fultz, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 6-4
G — T.J. Gibbs, Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) 6-2
F — Harry Giles III, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) 6-10
F — Mustapha Heron, Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 6-6
G — Drew Homa, Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 6-6
F — Dewan Huell, Norland (Miami, Fla.) 6-9
G — Frank Jackson, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 6-1
F — Mario Kegler, Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) 6-7
G — Josh Langford, Madison Academy (Madison, Ala.) 6-5
F — T.J. Leaf, Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) 6-9
G — Malik Monk, Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.) 6-3
G — Brailen Neely, Western International (Detroit) 5-9
G — Payton Pritchard, West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) 6-1
F — Maverick Rowan, Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 6-7
G — Kobi Simmons, St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 6-5
G — Xavier Simpson, Lima Senior (Lima, Ohio) 6-0
G — Dennis Smith Jr., Trinity Christian (Fayetteville, N.C.) 6-2
G — Jayson Tatum, Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 6-7
G — Derryck Thornton Jr., Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-1
G — Seventh Woods, Hammond (Columbia, S.C.) 6-1

2015 National Junior of the Year: Harry Giles III

Sophomores to Watch (2017)
C — DeAndre Ayton, Balboa City School (San Diego, Calif.) 7-0
F — Mitch Ballock, Eudora (Eudora, Kan.) 6-5
G — Alex Barcello, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 6-2
F — Brian Bowen, Hill (Saginaw, Mich.) 6-6
G — Troy Brown, Centennial (Las Vegas) 6-6
C — Zach Brown, Miami Beach (Miami, Fla.) 7-0
C — Wendell Carter Jr., Pace Academy (Atlanta) 6-10
G — Matt Coleman, Maury (Norfolk, Va.) 6-1
G — Trevon Duval, Saint Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) 6-2
G — Jalek Felton, Mullins (Mullins, S.C.) 6-2
G — Jordan Goodwin, Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Ill.) 6-3
G — Quade Green, Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 5-11
G — Markus Howard, Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 5-11
G — Jaylen Nowell, Garfield (Seattle) 6-5
F — John Petty, J.O. Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) 6-6
G — Michael Porter, Father Tolton (Columbia, Mo.) 6-5
C — Nicholas Richards, The Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 6-11
F — Cody Riley, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 6-7
G — Paul Scruggs, Southport (Indianapolis, Ind.) 6-3
C — Jeremiah Tillman, Lincoln (East St. Louis, Ill.) 6-9
F — Xavier Tillman, Forest Hills Center (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 6-7
G — Gary Trent Jr., Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.) 6-3
F — James “M.J.” Walker Jr., Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ga.) 6-5
G — Jarred Vanderbilt, Victory Prep (Houston) 6-7
C — Austin Wiley, Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.) 6-10

2015 National Sophomore of the Year: DeAndre Ayton

Freshmen to Watch (2018)
C — Marvin Bagley III, Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) 6-10
F — Riley Battin, Oak Park (Oak Park, Calif.) 6-6
C — Jordan Brown, Woodcreek (Roseville, Calif.) 6-9
G — Marquis Brown, Simeon (Chicago) 6-0
G — De’Sean Eikens, Williston (Williston, N.D.) 6-4
F — Brandon Johns, East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.) 6-7
G — Foster Loyer, Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 5-11
G — Cameron Reddish, Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.) 6-4
G — Javonte Smart, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.) 6-3
F — Robert Woodard, Columbus (Columbus, Miss.) 6-5

2015 National Freshman of the Year: Marvin Bagley III

Note: ESPN selections 2010-2012; EA SPORTS selections 2003-2009; Student Sports selections prior to 2003; Selections are based on high school accomplishment, not future college/pro potential, and are reflective of those that lead their teams to state championships. The editors of GrassrootsHoops.net do not knowingly select fifth-year players, and those ineligible due to age or academics, Mr. Basketball USA or to its various All-American teams.

Ronnie Flores is the Publisher and Editor of GrassrootsHoops.net. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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