Boys Basketball

New stars of Washington high school boys basketball: 10 point guards to watch in 2019-2020

Before we close the book on the 2018-19 Washington high school boys basketball season, we’re taking a position by position look at the underclassmen that emerged as stars.

Though there are no high level Division I point guard prospects like Brock Ravet of Kittitas, it doesn’t mean next season won’t see great playmaking across the state. From Eastside Catholic’s Nolan Hickman to West Valley’s Malachy Caffrey, here are 10 point guards to keep an eye on. All of the names on this list are freshmen, sophomores or juniors, meaning all of these players are among the ones we’ll be watching entering the 2019-20 season.

New stars to watch: Point guards | Shooters | Wings | Post players

Nolan Hickman, Eastside Catholic

Nolan Hickman, Eastside Catholic (6-1 sophomore)

The engine behind Eastside Catholic’s great 2018-19 season. A young player who understands the value of setting the table for others and then getting his. Look for him to continue to work on and improve his shooting ability over the summer and prepare to help the Crusaders make another deep state tournament run.

Maui Sze, Roosevelt (5-11 junior)

Sze has been described as relentless by more than one opposing coach. Might be a tad undersized but his basketball IQ, skill and competitive spirit have allowed him to have success in the Metro League. He will be playing with Carl Howell and Washington Supreme this summer as he looks to help Roosevelt crack the stranglehold of Rainier Beach, Garfield and Eastside Catholic at the top of the Metro standings.

Cobi Campbell, Puyallup (6-2 sophomore)

The son of a coach, Campbell has the basketball IQ and understanding you would expect to go along with the skills. He has continued to show improvement in his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Look no further than his 36-point performance against Emerald Ridge earlier this season when he knocked down seven 3-pointers.

Omari Maulana, Life Christian Academy (6-2 sophomore)

Coming from a smaller 2B school it is hard to gain respect or attention across the state, but Brock Ravet has shown if you have game it will be found. Could Maulana make this kind of splash? The young point guard is athletic and has a game that is really starting to grow. His summer will be spent playing with Washington Supreme.

Hunter Ecklund, La Center (5-11 junior)

Ecklund hasn’t received the same attention other small school guards have, but that should change. A scoring point guard who also gets others involved, Ecklund shown the knack for making big plays.

Malachy Caffrey, West Valley (6-0 junior)

All-around skilled point guard for coach Jon Kinloch of West Valley. Caffrey averaged 18 points and nearly 5 assists as a junior. He might be the most underrated player in the state at the large school level. Caffrey is poised to have a big impact next season.

Damani Green, Wilson (5-10 junior)

A true point guard, Green is one of the best passers in the state. He was limited by an injury late in the season, and didn’t play in Wilson’s 3A state tournament loss to Kelso. If he’s at full strength, Wilson will be a force next season.

Ryan Moffet, Odessa (5-11 junior)

Another small school point guard doing big things. Moffet is one of the best scoring point guards in the state, and he showed it at the 1B state tournament, averaging 30.8 points over four games, including a tournament record 48-point performance in a win over Neah Bay.

Bennett O’Connor, Mount Si (5-11 freshman)

The son of former Bellevue coach Chris O’Connor, Bennett has a high basketball IQ. As a freshman he helped lead Mount Si on a remarkable run to the 4A state championship game, winning 20 consecutive games along the way. With O’Connor setting the table for shooters Jabe Mullins and Tyler Patterson next season, Mount Si will be dangerous.

(Photo from Union High School Athletics)

Brad Lackey, Union (6-0 junior)

Lackey formed one of the best backcourts in the state this past season along with sharpshooter Ethan Smith. With Smith gone, Lackey will be counted on to score, and he’s more than capable. Lackey and the emerging Tanner Toolson will comprise one of the best two-man games in the state next season.

— Dan Dickau, dickau@scorebooklive.com; Twitter: @dandickau21

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