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April 1, 2014

VaPreps 5A All-State Hoops Teams

VirginiaPreps.com is proud to release our sixth annual All-State Basketball Teams. Unlike the past years when we chose four teams of First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention Team in Group AAA, we are now choosing a First Team and Second Team for all six of the classification in the first year of the new VHSL realignment.

A total of five players are picked on First Team with a Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. After all, a regular basketball starts five, and so does ours. And just like most teams, we go with seven guys on the bench to make up the Second Team, although not one member on any of the six squads was a reserve.

So what are the factors that go into the choices that are made? All are made by me with no consultation of the coaches simply because that's what the VHSCA Teams are designed for in my opinion. However, we try to study individual statistics (some supplied by coaches upon request) as well as factor into the equation team success and overall impact. Once everything is weighed, we try to blend it all together and make the best choices possible, even though there's no perfect team or right and wrong picks.

It's never an easy process because there are always many deserving players who don't get recognized on First or Second Team. A lot of difficult picks had to be made yet again with some back-and-forth on a few of the final spots as usual.

Without further ado, here's the VirginiaPreps.com 5A All-State Basketball Teams for the 2013-14 campaign with bios on each player. . .

5A First Team:
De'Monte Buckingham - Henrico - Soph.
Dominique Tham - Wakefield - Jr.
Kenny Williams - L.C. Bird - Jr.
Randy Haynes - Potomac - Sr.
Trey Porter - Potomac - Sr.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: De'Monte Buckingham (Henrico)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Keith Honore (Potomac)

5A Second Team:
Tyler Blount - Green Run - Sr.
Matt Coleman - Maury - Frosh.
Lucas Brown - Mountain View - Sr.
Khiorie Stewart - Broad Run - Sr.
Tim Branin - Deep Run - Sr.
Brandon Cheeks - Meadowbrook - Sr.
Mike Basnight - Maury - Sr.

VirginiaPreps.com 5A First Team All-State:

De'Monte Buckingham, Henrico, Soph. (Player of the Year)

One season after being the leading scorer in their State Championship win as a freshman, Buckingham took on an even greater role as the lone starter back his tenth grade year in guiding 22-7 Henrico back to the title game. Although they would fall short of repeating as State Champs with Potomac beating them, they got as far as they did in large part because of his stellar play at both ends of the court for the duration of the season.

Earning Conference 11 Player of the Year honors as well as First Team All-State by the VHSCA and VHSL, Buckingham averaged 19.5 points, 11 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He shot 50.5% from the field, made 62% of his free-throws (108-for-175), scored in double-figures in every game he played except one and posted 16 double-doubles. Also an All-Region First Team selection in 5A-South, Buckingham has drawn offers from a host of D-1 schools, including UVA, Maryland, Virginia Tech and ODU among others.

Dominique Tham, Wakefield, Jr.

A year ago, the 6-foot-4 center was the third option for a Warriors team that made it to the State Final Four and runner-up in the Northern Region Tournament. This past season, Tham became a much more viable offensive threat with 513 points, good enough for 17.7 points per game, while shooting 59.7% from the field to lead Wakefield to its first regional title since 2005 in a win over Potomac.

To go with his improved offensive production, the guy they call 'Domo' remained a serious force at the defensive end of the floor rebounding, blocking shots and changing others. For the season, he averaged 9.8 rebounds per game and swatted away 114 shots, giving him the school career blocks record before even embarking on his senior season. As a result of his terrific play, Wakefield finished 24-5 overall, made their second straight State Final Four, and Tham was rewarded by being named First Team All-State VHSCA and VHSL as well as 5A-North Region Player of the Year.

Kenny Williams, L.C. Bird, Jr.

The silky smooth 6-foot-3 shooting guard for the Skyhawks showed why he's got offers from such schools as George Mason, Longwood, Arizona, Old Dominion, Robert Morris and VCU with another outstanding season turned in following a sophomore campaign where he was chosen Third Team All-State AAA on VirginiaPreps.com. Conference 12 Player of the Year honors went to Williams, who led Bird to a 19-5 overall record, conference tournament crown and their third trip to the regional semifinals in as many seasons with him on varsity.

For the season, Williams averaged 21.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game while shooting 55% inside the arc, draining 31 three-pointers and making 103-of-128 free-throws (80.5%). He scored 50 points in a game in a win over Huguenot and failed to reach double-figures only once, making him an easy pick for First Team All-State by the VHSCA and VHSL as well as First Team All-Region in 5A-South.

Randy Haynes, Potomac, Sr.

Twice named Player of the Year in the district or conference, Haynes led the State Champion Panthers in scoring at 17.5 points per game, giving him 491 points on the campaign. Without him, it's tough to imagine Potomac going 28-1 overall, winning their first 26 games and 22 of them by double-digits. In addition to being selected All-Region First Team in 5A-North, Haynes was named co-VHSCA State Player of the Year.

Haynes made 187-of-375 field goals (49.9%) and 92-of-146 at the foul line (63%), aggressively attacking the basket, yet not getting out of the framework of his team's offensive concept. His impact was felt in other categories, too. He averaged 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 3.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

Trey Porter, Potomac, Sr.

The 6-foot-10 George Mason signee served as arguably the best rim protector in the state and did so while committing only 77 fouls in 28 games. Co-VHSCA State Player of the Year with his teammate Haynes, Porter shot 59.9% from the field (154-of-257) for the State Champs and that was highlighted by his 7-for-7 performance in the title game vs. Henrico when he finished with game-highs of 18 points and six blocked shots.

Speaking of blocked shots; that was a specialty of Porter's as he wound up with 111 on the season, right at four a contest. He also averaged 15.6 points and eight rebounds per game with 102 offensive boards and 129 made free-throws out of 195 attempts (66%). To go with winning a state title, Porter was chosen to play in the VHSCA All-Star Game and earned First Team All-Region honors in 5A-North.

Coach of the Year: Keith Honore, Potomac

A 1992 graduate of Potomac, Honroe was an assistant coach on the Panthers' previous state title winning team in 1995. His senior class went out with a record of 86-18 overall, perhaps most impressively this season winning 23 of 29 games by double-figures. Expectations were high and pressure never wavered as the team entered the season ranked #1 in Group 5A and finished there.

After his Panthers suffered their first loss of the season to Wakefield by a count of 70-66 in the 5A-North Region Championship in a game that featured 22 lead changes, Honore's guys responded. They beat Maury by a count of 55-52 in the State Semis in the Commodores' backyard at ODU, and then defeated reigning AAA State Champ Henrico 54-42 in the heart of Richmond at VCU for the 5A crown.

VirginiaPreps.com 5A Second Team All-State:

Tyler Blount, Green Run, Sr.

The sharp shooting guard for the Stallions capped a superb career that saw him score over 1000 points and set school records for three-pointers made in a career (236), season (88) and game (9). Behind Blount's offensive exploits that saw him average 19 points per game, Green Run was able to go 22-5 overall, reach the regional semifinals and win the Conference 9 Tournament. In fact, it was Green Run's first 20-win campaign since 1995 and first time they advanced in regionals in ten years, certainly enough to earn Blount a spot on both the VHSL and VHSCA First Team All-State squads in addition to being chosen the Conference 9 Player of the Year.

Matt Coleman, Maury, Frosh.

Becoming the first ever freshman to be named to the VirginiaPreps.com All-State First or Second Team in history, Coleman lived up to all the hype and then some during his ninth grade year with the Commodores. The 6-foot-2 floor general not only garnered First Team All-State honors by the VHSCA and VHSL as well as First Team All-Region in 5A-South and First Team All-Conference, but he guided Maury to their first State Final Four in 11 years. Coleman put up 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and three steals per game as the Commodores won 25 of their 28 games.

Lucas Brown, Mountain View, Sr.

One year after earning Northwest Region Player of the Year honors as a junior and leading Mountain View to a regional title, expectations were high for Brown, even though most of the roster from 2012-13 departed to graduation. Behind his leadership, the Wildcats went 14-11 and got to the regional quarterfinals. A First Team All-State choice by the VHSCA and All-Region First Team in 5A-North, Brown averaged 19.3 points, seven assists and 5.1 steals per game for Mountain View while shooting 54% from the field, 80% at the foul line and netting home 35 three-pointers.

Khiorie Stewart, Broad Run, Sr.

Tabbed Conference 14 Player of the Year along with First Team All-Region in 5A-North and Second Team All-State by the VHSCA and VHSL, Stewart led Broad Run to a 20-4 overall recorded that included a spot in the regional semifinals. The 6-foot-3 guard torched opponents all season long on his way to averaging a team-high 20.9 points per game with 47 three-pointers. On three occasions this season, Stewart went for 30 points or more, highlighted by a 31-point effort in a 71-66 overtime win over reigning Northwest Region Champion Mountain View in the regional quarterfinals.

Tim Branin, Deep Run, Sr.

Described by Wildcats Head Coach Curt Kassab as the cornerstone of their program the past couple seasons, Branin lifted Deep Run into the Top Ten in 5A with his play. The point guard averaged 17 points, four rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 45% from the field, which included 47% inside the arc and 39% from downtown, plus made 83% of his foul shots. Make no mistake that Branin, a First Team All-Region pick in 5A-South, was very influential in Deep Run winning 18 in a row at one point en route to a 20-3 overall record.

Brandon Cheeks, Meadowbrook, Sr.

For a Monarchs team that finished 16-6 overall, Cheeks was the first player opponents that played Meadowbrook had to worry about. It's not hard to understand why as the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 19.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game and 2.5 steals per game to finish with 1204 points, 490 rebounds, 121 assists and 143 steals for his 65-game career. Chosen First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Region in 5A-South, Cheeks shot 49% from the field last season and 48.3% in his career at Meadowbrook.

Mike Basnight, Maury, Sr.

A four-year starter for the Commodores, Basnight delivered a number of big moments for Maury during his time with the Norfolk school as they posted a record of 78-24. The Conference 9 Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-Region selection in 5A-South averaged 10.9 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 steals per game as they went 25-3 overall this past season with a berth in the State Final Four. Both Basnight's shot-making and improved play at the defensive end of the court enabled Maury to win its first regional title since 2003.

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail [email protected], and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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