By Kyle Sutherland I Photo by Tommy Land
With the high school basketball season over, SBLive takes a look at Arkansas’ top male players. Today, we present the best positions (power forwards/centers) for all classes. This list is not meant to be exhaustive as there are hundreds of great basketball players in the state.
Important position note: In the current era of positionless basketball, it is very rare for teams to list a starter at all five positions, and many players are fully interchangeable from position to position. For example, depending on game or match situations, an athlete may play all 1 or 2 guard positions, possibly a guard/striker role as a winger, or some have the talent to play all positions 1-5 Please use the comments section to discuss other outstanding Arkansas players you would like to name.
Soon you will have the opportunity to vote for which ones you think are the best boys positions in the state.
Terrion Burgess | marion | 6-8 | FR
Some have described Burgess as “Phenom” and “The Next Big Thing” to name a few, and just about any cliche relating to that would be a great way to describe him as he took attack the state. Although the Forrest cousins get the majority of the pub, and deservedly so, Burgess is a strong presence in the paint and already has offers from Arkansas, Auburn and Texas Tech, to name a few. name a few.
Nicolas Davillier | udder | 6-4 | RS
Davillier mostly made a name for himself on the gridiron as a signing to University of Arkansas football, but was a big part of Maumelle’s second-place finish last season and the Hornets’ strong regular season this year. . Heck, Davillier’s football recruiting really started to take off, literally, in the summer of 2020 when he sent in a video of himself dunking. He was a perfect complement in the paint of the great Hornets duo of Carl Daughtery Jr. and Colby Garland.
Anton Emsweller | Watson Chapel | 6-7 | RS
Emsweller will continue his college career playing for the Weatherford Coyotes after an excellent tenure at Watson Chapel. He was a consistent double-double as he showed early in the year, then finished conference play with a 23-point, 10-rebound performance against Monticello.
Evan Goldman | The new school | 6-5 | J.R.
One of the small school stars in the state, Goldman put together another all-state caliber season shooting 54% from the field and 15.2 points per game to go with 6 rebounds.
“Evan has become a dominant player who can take control of any game he finds himself in,” said TNS assistant coach Jarred Osnes. “He is a true leader on and off the floor and has worked hard in the weight room to progress to a more physical presence in the position.”
Harrison Hicks | Bentonville | 6-7 | RS
Bentonville head coach Dick Rippee doesn’t think Hicks has reached his full potential, but he’s been pretty good shooting from three-point range 40 percent. He netted 14 points in a lopsided 78-48 win over reigning runners-up 5A Maumelle and has continued to improve throughout the year and can play both as a striker as well as a forward. as a guard.
Bryson Hammond | Jacksonville | 6-7 | SO
Hammond is one of the main underclass players the Titans have relied on this year and he continued to improve, especially in the later part of the season when he averaged five blocks per game. He still has plenty of time to continue growing within his frame and is expected to play a much bigger role next season and competing over the summer will be a big part of his development.
Jordan Harris | Pine Bluff | 6-7 | J.R.
Although he also has a knack for getting shots, Harris is a force on the boards because it seems like every time he plays his rebound totals are in the double digits. He contributed quality minutes for the Zebras in their run to the 5A State Semifinals.
Shane Holloway | Eureka Springs | 6-10 | RS
As one of the tallest players in the smaller ratings this year, it goes without saying that Holloway’s length played a key role in Eureka Springs’ great season, combined with excellent backcourt play. He spent part of the year injured, but averaged 10.5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks while on the floor.
Omarion Jefferson | marion | 6-10 | RS
Jefferson is another big man who doesn’t usually light up the stat sheets but holds down the front court to create chances for his teammates. He helped lead the Patriots to the 5A state title game in his senior season.
Chase Jessup | Lake Hamilton | 6-4 | RS
Signed to Arkansas State football, Jessup also had a very successful basketball career, earning several all-conference honors. His point totals aren’t mind-blowing, but he played his part as well as anyone else doing their job in the paint, which helped Wolves around the perimeter become one of the best running backs in the state.
Jeff Kamanga | Park view | 6-5 | RS
When top sophomore Dallas Thomas was slowed by injury late that year, Kamanga stepped in and likely exceeded expectations. Thomas didn’t play against Maumelle at all in the regular season finale and Kamanga made his presence felt, falling just short of a triple-double with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks.
Lindsey | bryant | 6-4 | SO
Lindsey is already listed as one of football’s top prospects for 2024, but he’s also been known to possess the qualities of Dennis Rodman in terms of not being a goalscorer, but believes every rebound is his. In two consecutive games in February, Lindsey totaled 30 boards.
austin mac | Dierks | 6-5 | RS
As is typical for small schools, Mack plays pretty much all over the front court, and especially the shooter up front. He averaged 18 points for the Outlaws, leading a highly successful senior class to the state quarterfinals.
Rashaud Marshall | Blytheville | 6-9 | J.R.
Marshall continued to make great strides in his first full college season averaging double-doubles (19 points and 10 rebounds) with a blistering 75% field goal percentage leading the Chickasaws to the title game of the state.
“The sky’s the limit for Rashaud, he just keeps getting better,” Blytheville head coach McKenzie Pierce said. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find 50 national prospects in the class of 2023 better than him.”
Caden Miller | Bentonville | 6-9 | SO
Miller is emerging as one of the best in the 2024 class averaging 11 points and 12 rebounds per game. In 20 games, he blocked 67 shots and barely scratched the surface. Miller is also an excellent passer, which is a major bonus for a big one. He had 21 rebounds in the semifinal against Fayetteville.
“Caden is one of the most improved players at Arkansas State,” Tigers head coach Dick Rippee said. “His athleticism is underrated and he has a great engine to bounce back both ways.”
Paul Mitchell | Mineral springs | 6-4 | RS
Mitchell has dominated this season averaging 23.5 points per game and 11 rebounds, mostly playing no more than three quarters per game in most cases.
Javon Orr | big low | 6-6 | RS
Orr is averaging just under a double-double this season with 14 points per game and 9 rebounds with 2 blocks while often facing double and triple teams.
“Javon has really improved his passing and gotten tougher,” Panthers head coach Craig Neumeier said. “We won games when he didn’t score a lot, but that paved the way for other guys.”
Aiden Underdown | Elkin | 6-6 | RS
Being in a smaller classification can make it harder to get noticed, but Underdown grabbed the bull by the horns in his senior high school season and took the state by storm receiving interest and offers from colleges. He averaged 25 points per game this year and finished the first round of the state tournament with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. His best game of the year came on January 22 against Bergman when he scored 44 points (4-for-4 from deep), grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.
Devonta Walker | Magnolia | 6-5 | RS
With Razorback signer Derrian Ford and gritty guard Nevi Tell doing much of the notable work done for Panthers #3, it’s easy for other players to get lost in the shuffle and Walker is in that mix. He played very well in December’s King Cotton Classic against domestic competition and had one of his most recent best matches on March 5.and state tournament contest against Pulaski Robinson scoring 22 points.
Kel’el Ware | Little North Rock | 7-0 | RS
Oregon’s commitment has been able to make its presence felt even more this season with less attention due to the amount of talent on North Little Rock’s roster. Whether in the paint, from the midrange or even getting the ball down the court, Ware does it all effectively. He is ranked ninth player in the country by the rivals and is probably the best player in the country.
West Colbie | Bradley | 6-5 | RS
West led the Bears to a great season his senior year averaging 25.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2 steals per game. He maintained that pace in the playoffs by continually filling out stat sheets.
West Jabari | Hot springs | 6-7 | RS
Known as a force around the rim, the George Washington signee is a double-double waiting to happen every time he’s on the floor, as evidenced by one of his best performances this season at a 62-55 win over Vilonia in December when he had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals.
Caden Whitehead | Buffalo Island Center | 7-0 | RS
Whitehead is a force in the paint not only because of his size, but he can also move well and has good hands. He currently has an offer from Crowley’s Ridge College and has received other academic interests. During the regular season, Whitehead averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 blocks per game.
Williamson’s Creed | small christian rock | 6-8 | RS
The son of Arkansas great Corliss “Big Nasty” Williamson tried to create his own legacy. He was named 5A-West All-Conference this year averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds per game after averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds as a junior.