Baltimore-area high school boys basketball players to watch in 2018-19

Adrian Baldwin

St. Frances, guard, junior

The 6-foot-1 point guard is the driving force for the No. 1 Panthers, bringing do-everything skills with smart decisions and a relentless approach. Baldwin came into his own from a production and leadership standpoint last season. The All-Metro first-team selection averaged 14 points, seven assists and three steals as the Panthers finished with the best record in the MIAA A and BCL, also capturing the latter’s tournament crown. Maryland and Georgetown are among the schools that have made offers.

James Bishop

Mount Saint Joseph, guard, senior

During any critical moments of a game, the Gaels have comfort knowing they have Bishop to turn to for a big basket. Set to become a four-year varsity player and three-year starter, the 6-foot-2 All-Metro second team pick can score from anywhere and thrives in the big moments. The Louisiana State University commit averaged 18 points last season and worked hard over the summer to improve other areas of his game.

Ryan Conway

Dulaney, point guard, sophomore

The 6-foot standout looks to build on a sensational freshman season with the No. 5 Lions primed to contend for a state title. There’s flash to his game that draws raves, but also substance with his complete skill set and high basketball IQ. Last season, he averaged 18 points per game — hitting 39 percent of his 3s and 76 percent from the line — and added three assists and three steals.

Daeshawn Eaton

Oakland Mills, guard, senior

A two-year captain, Eaton scores, rebounds, dishes out assists and defends, and, by game’s end, he has the stat sheet stuffed to help the Scorpions win. His ability to get to the rim is his biggest asset — he averaged a Howard County-high 17.1 points per game last season and converted 79 percent of his free throws — to lead the Scorpions to a share of the county championship. His complete game also included 6.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.9 steals per game last season.

Michael Gray

Lake Clifton, guard, junior

In his first varsity season, Gray was expected to be a key contributor last year on a balanced team. But by season’s end, he emerged as a top scoring option and much more as the Lakers claimed the Class 2A state championship. Gray averaged 14 points — scoring from the outside, on the break and driving to the basket — to go with seven assists, six rebounds and tough defense. Much of the same is expected this season as he further develops into one of the area’s most complete players.

Daevone Johnson

Old Mill, guard, senior

Set to become a three-year starter for the two-time defending Anne Arundel champions, Johnson’s biggest attribute is his ability to consistently make a positive impact on games in different ways. His stats from last season provide proof as he averaged 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocked shots per game. Johnson is a luxury on defense for the Pats, able to guard any spot and assigned the opponents’ top scorer.

Tristan Kent

Liberty, center, senior

As a freshman, Kent came to Liberty with a 6-foot-2 frame hoping to become a lacrosse standout. But a growth spurt — he is now 6’7 — combined with hard work and constantly improving basketball skills has made him Carroll County’s top force on the hardwood. In his breakout junior season, he was named Carroll County Times Player of the Year after averaging 15.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocked shots to lead the Lions to a program-best 20 wins and the Carroll County Athletic League championship.

Justin Lewis

Poly, forward, junior

There is no limit to what the 6-foot-7 power forward can do on the floor as he has emerged as the area’s most dominating inside force. Last season, his first at Poly, he eventually was able to completely take over games to help the Engineers claim titles in Class 3A and Baltimore City. The All-Metro first team pick averaged 15.2 points and 9.1 rebounds — piling up 17 double doubles down with a 20-point, 12-rebound effort in the state title win over Milford Mill. Maryland, Connecticut and West Virginia are among the schools who have made offers.

Marvin Price

Patterson, guard/forward, senior

If Price’s second stint with Patterson can match his first, watch out Baltimore City. The 6-foot-5 standout, who earned All-Metro co-Player of the Year honors as a sophomore (averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game) in leading the Clippers to city and state crowns, makes his return after playing at Huntingtown (W. Va.) Prep last season. Price, who is working his way back from a torn meniscus, has the ability to take over games with a versatile inside-outside game and a strong desire to make the difference.

Jalen Rucker

Gilman, point guard, senior

The Greyhounds are ready to make a big move in the MIAA A Conference behind their 5-foot-9 do-it-all leader. Explosive with fine game sense, Rucker will look to add to the 1,100-plus points he’s totaled in his first three varsity seasons. Last season, Rucker averaged 23 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals per game. The Army commit has more talent to work with to make for a potentially special senior season.

Others to watch

Rahim Ali, Poly

Javonte Brown, Mount Saint Joseph

Aaron Celcis, Annapolis Area Christian

Logan Curtis, Calvert Hall

Chase Drew, Gilman

Che Evans, Dulaney

Drue Giles, Westminster

Drew Green, McDonogh

Quincy Haughton, C. Milton Wright

Jaylon Johnson, Dundalk

Martaz Johnson, New Town

Mike Johnson, Dundalk

Trea Keys, Wilde Lake

Marlon Lewis, Havre de Grace

Malik McCormack, Dunbar

Jaylin Morris, Joppatowne

Gerard Mungo, Patterson

Gilbert Otoo, St. Vincent Pallotti

Chase Paar, Glenelg Country

Brandon Prox, Mount Hebron

Avion Robinson, Old Mill

Mekhi Simmons, Glen Burnie

Cameron Spencer, Boys’ Latin

Mahzi Thames, Meade

Jordan Toles, St. Frances

Logan Vican, Broadneck

Jamal West, St. Frances

Jalen Willis, Patterson

Darius Woods, Milford Mill

Jalen Yates, City

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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