With the 2023-24 AIA boys basketball season just a couple months away, I wanted to give some deserving players some well deserved recognition. Whether it's Spring, Summer or Fall ball or school ball, I'm watching these boys and their growth in the game. Believe me when I say, Southern Arizona Basketball is on the rise. Keep an eye on the following players this upcoming season.
Southern Arizona Top 15 2024 Boys Basketball Prospects
1. Isaiah Hill 5-10 SR PG Pueblo High School
Isaiah Hill is emerging as Southern Arizona's top basketball prospect. In his junior season Hill racked up 636 points, 205 rebounds, 101 assists and 119 steals. Hill was First Team All-4A Conference, 4A Kino First Team, 4A Kino Offensive Player of the Year and 4A Kino Player of the Year. A skilled lefty with elite decision making and elite scoring ability. He currently holds an offer from Pima Community College. I expect his recruitment to blow up this season.
2. Will Dixion 6-3 SR SG Canyon Del Oro High School
Strong defender that can guard 1-4 and will account for a few steals and blocks every game. Strong rebounding ability. Offensively, Dixion is just as much of a threat. Dixion can score very well off the pass from behind the arc, and is a very talented mid-range scorer. He has a strong body that attacks the rim with confidence and finishes well through contact. Dixion is having a terrific summer and is getting a lot of notice. Another player that is receiving interest from college coaches. Dixion will look to lead the Dorados to the playoffs.
3. Ashton Romney 6-5 SR SF Walden Grove High School
Romney is an extremely athletic combo-guard with elite ability to score at all three levels. High IQ on the court and in the classroom. A great decision maker and a very good ball handler that can create and space the floor. Shoots extremely well off the dribble. Received First Team 4A Gila Region honors. Romney has done a lot this off season to help his recruitment. Romney has received offers at the D-3 and juco levels. Coaches should not overlook this kid.
4. Isaiah Berg 6-7 SR PF Mica Mountain High School
Berg's size and skill make him one if not the top available wing prospects in Southern Arizona. He has the ability to guard 1-5. Berg can score at all levels, but his defense separates him from most. Very good shot-blocking ability and a gifted rebounder. Berg received 4A Gila Player of the Year honors. Mica Mountain's success this season will rely heavily on Berg's performance.
5. AB Mendoza 6-6 SR SF/PF Catalina Foothills High School
Mendoza had a breakout year as a junior for the Falcons - earning first team all region honors. As great of a year Mendoza had, I felt he was under utilized by the heavy guard play the Falcons had last season. A dominant threat inside the paint on both ends of the floor. Finishes above the rim with ease. Warning for opponents, Mendoza has gotten a lot better. His confidence is growing and I expect him to have a bigger year for the Falcons as he helps lead them back to the state playoffs.
6. MarQuez Tyree 6-3 SR SG Walden Grove High School
Tyree might be one of the more overlooked combo-guards in the state. The Reigning 4A Gila Region Offensive Player of the Year averaged 21.3 ppg in his junior season. Though Tyree can score at any level, he's extremely dangerous when he attacks the rim. A dangerous defender with quick hands that will steal the ball and finish with on the other end. Tyree has transferred to Walden Grove, where he will team up with other top prospect, Ashton Romney, in hopes of making a deep playoff run for the Red Wolves.
7. Moses Bahige 6-2 SR SG Cienega High School
An athletic combo guard who is just a great all-around player. Finishes through contact, wins the 50/50 balls, rebounds, scores etc. Bahige had a great junior season, averaging 8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg and shooting 52% from the field. Bahige will have a bigger roll for Cienega this year. Look for those numbers to rise. Bahige currently holds an offer from Pima Community Colleges. I expect his recruitment to grow this season.
8. Nick Ponds 6-3 SR SG Sahuaro High School
High IQ defender. Ponds is the guy you want in the game when you need a defensive stop. A defensive specialist capable of guarding all positions. Elite rebounding ability. Can be just as dangerous on the offensive end. Capable three level scorer. Attacks the rim with confidence. Good ability to take charges. Hustle player that will win the majority of 50/50 balls. Sahuaro's success this season will rely on how well this kid out hustles his opponents. I expect Ponds to be a First-Team Region player and in discussion for an end of season POY award.
9. Devin Antone 6-0 SR PG Baboquivari High School
One of the more interesting players in the small school scene. Antone averaged 15.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 4.7 spg and 3.4 apg, while leading Baboquivari to the 1A State Championship game. He received the following end of season honors - All Conference 1st team and Region Defensive Player of the Year. Antone can just about do it all on the court. Has the ability to out-rebound opponents, regardless of their size. Antone will look to lead Baboquivari back to the State Championship game in his senior year.
10. Cameron Kroeger 6-1 SR PG/SG Catalina Foothills
One of, if not the best knock-down three point shooter in Southern AZ. A player that was under-utilized due to heavy senior presence last season for the Falcons. Kroeger has an extremely high game IQ, great footwork and on the defensive end has shown himself to be a step or two ahead of his opponents quite often. Kroeger, along with Mendoza (featured above), will make things extremely difficult for opponents this upcoming season.
11. Adam Bernal 5-8 SR PG Tucson High School
One of the most fearless competitors in Southern AZ. Bernal was known for his next level scoring ability. His mid-range and three-point game is unlike most. Bernal has improved tremendously on the defensive side of the ball, and is quickly becoming one of the better defenders in Tucson. He will be taking on a big leadership role for the Badgers, as he looks to lead them to another region title.
12. Isaac Sdobnev 6-2 SR SG Cienega High School
One of the more athletic combo guards in Southern Arizona, Sdobnev will be playing a big role for the Cienega Bobcats who made it to the 5A state quarterfinals last season. A very underrated defender who times steals perfectly then uses his speed and athleticism for a dunk on the other end. Offensively, Sdobnev is a deep ball threat but also very skilled and can confidently attack the rim. I expect big things from him as a result of the bigger role he’ll have this season.
13. Bobby Smith 6-6 SR PF Salpointe Catholic High School
The Lancers will be getting ready to rely on big man Bobby Smith in hopes of another successful season, and I think Smith is up to the task. Smith is a big and powerful body in the paint where he cleans up the glass better than most. He is a great shooter, so don't leave him open or he’ll make you pay. With Pasha Shemirani graduating last year, I expect Smith to get a much bigger role.
14. Logan Martinez 6-0 SR PG/SG Salpointe Catholic High School
Look for Martinez to have a breakout senior season for the Lancers. The Lancers graduated a talented guard class last season. Martinez is ready to help lead Salpointe back on a deep playoff run. A great shooter of the dribble from both mid and deep range. Plays the game with patience and does not get rattled easily. Martinez averaged 6.0 ppg, 3.0 asp, 2.8 rpg last season. I expect those to double this season.
15. Antonio Amador 6-0 SR PG/SG Salpointe Catholic High School
Another Lancer guard that can have a huge season with a lead role for Salpointe. Amador is a high IQ player who makes the right plays. A selfless player that makes his teammates better. I’ve watched this kid many times and can’t remember a moment where his body language was off, no matter the situation. He’s a skilled defender that could have him in talks for region DPOY. The 4A Gila Region is stacked with some of the top guards in Southern AZ. Amador's defensive presence against those guards could determine the success of the season for Salpointe.