All-State Boys BB: Best of Best

Six of those named to one of the top three overall All-State teams are (l-r top, then bottom) Rex Pflueger of Mater Dei, Chance Comanche of Beverly Hills, Paris Austin of Bishop O'Dowd, Jeremy Hemsley of La Puente Damien, Bennie Boatwright of Village Christian and Jordan Ford of Folsom. Photos: Willie Eashman, Paul Muyskens, Ronnie Flores.

Six of those named to one of the top three overall All-State teams are (l-r top, then bottom) Rex Pflueger of Mater Dei, Chance Comanche of Beverly Hills, Paris Austin of Bishop O’Dowd, Jeremy Hemsley of La Puente Damien, Bennie Boatwright of Village Christian and Jordan Ford of Folsom. Photos: Willie Eashman, Paul Muyskens, Ronnie Flores.

It’s finally time to present the 37th annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state elite boys basketball teams. These are the teams selected regardless of CIF division or year in school. Every player is written up and profiled. It’s a group with 22 seniors, seven juniors and one sophomore.

For the all-time archive of every Cal-Hi Sports All-State elite/overall team that has been chosen, CLICK HERE.

For this year’s all-state teams by divisions, CLICK HERE.

For this year’s all-state underclass teams, CLICK HERE.


First Team Overall (10)

G ­- Paris Austin (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 5-11 Sr.
It was a terrific season for the Boise-State-bound point guard, as he was an indispensable piece for a club that played a national schedule and finished with the highest national ranking ever (No. 4) for a NorCal school since the advent of weekly polls. If Austin had to play the facilitator or carry the scoring load, O’Dowd didn’t miss a beat with him in either mode. A first team Contra Costa Times choice and co-Player of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Austin averaged 17 points, four assists and nearly two assists per game while shooting 43 percent (72-of-168) from 3-point range. He set a school record with a 43-point outburst and saved his best for last, scoring 21 points versus Mater Dei in the state title game. Austin is one of the best to come down the pike in recent memory at keeping his dribble alive and then finding an open man right before the play is about to break down. Division III All-State.

G ­- Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) 6-5 Jr.
In an unofficial capacity, this do-it-all point guard was the runner-up to O’Dowd’s Ivan Rabb for Mr. Basketball honors and had a spectacular junior campaign. The Division I and State Junior Player of the Year averaged 24.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, five steals and five blocked shots per game with a handful of spectacular triple-doubles. When the team was weakened by injury and transfers that never got eligible, Ball simply stepped up his rebounding and shot-blocking, in addition to continuing his pin-point passing. Ball put the team on his back, leading the Huskies to the CIF Division I state final despite being its tallest player. Last year, our State Sophomore of the Year was only the sixth 10th-grader ever to make first team all-state and he’s grown and is even a better player now. Division I all-state.

Tyler Dorsey of Maranatha. Photo: Nick Koza/

Tyler Dorsey of Maranatha. Photo: Nick Koza/

G ­- Tyler Dorsey
(Maranatha, Sierra Madre) 6-5 Sr.

A repeat Elite Team selection, Dorsey moves up from the second team after a spectacular individual season that saw him earn a place in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book for season (1,021 points) and career scoring (2,398). This season’s Division IV State Player of the Year, Dorsey also made the L.A. Times 10-man all-star squad for the second consecutive season after helping St. John Bosco of Bellflower win the D2 state title as a junior. This year’s Pasadena Star-News Player of the Year led his new school to a CIFSS title in Division 4A after helping Bosco win a section title as a sophomore. In addition to being named CIFSS 4A Player of the Year, Dorsey was named Gatorade State Player of the Year after averaging 34.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He had 40 or more points 11 times and 30 or more 20 times. Division IV all-state.

G ­- Jeremy Hemsley (Damien, La Verne) 6-4 Sr.
This San Diego State-bound combo guard leaves Damien as a state champion and one of the most decorated players in the history of the greater San Gabriel Valley. A three-time San Gabriel Valley Union-Tribune Player of the Year, Hemsley led the Spartans to the CIF Division III state crown, tallying 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the state final victory over Campolindo of Moraga. Hemsley was the Baseline League MVP over Chino Hills’ Lonzo Ball and Etiwanda’s Kameron Edwards and in almost any other year would be Division III State Player of the Year (O’Dowd is considered part of that CIF Division). Hemsley averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists this season and is the program’s all-time leading scorer (2,262 points) and second all-time in assists. His father Jason was a standout at L.A. Crenshaw and his younger brother Justin will play a much bigger role on next year’s team. Division III all-state.

F ­- T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian, El Cajon) 6-9 Jr.
San Diego County’s top prospect since 2006 Mr. Basketball Chase Budinger of La Costa Canyon, respected long-time evaluator Frank Burlison feels this lanky forward prospect is San Diego’s best long-term prospect since Bill Walton came out of Helix 45 years ago. That’s high-praise indeed, as Leaf has shown glimpses of being that type of player. This year, he improved his all-around game, averaging 27.4 points, 14.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists for a Knights’ team that won the San Diego Section Division II title. Leaf showed what he could do against top-notch competition outside the county when he went for 22 points and 14 rebounds in a close loss to CIFSS Open runner-up Etiwanda. Bound for Arizona in 2016, Leaf was a no-brainer choice for San Diego Section Player of the Year. Division II all-state.

F ­- Chimezie Metu (Lawndale) 6-9 Sr.
Along with Ivan Rabb and Lonzo Ball, Metu was the player whom fans and press row scribes would marvel at because of something he did athletically. Certain parts of the game Metu excels at you just can’t teach and more than one opposing coach told us after Lawndale games, “he’s a future pro.” Metu used his athleticism, timing and skill to average 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game while leading the Cardinals to the SoCal Division II regional final. A first team all-area pick by the South Bay Daily Breeze, Metu was also a first team all-CIFSS Division 2A choice and was edged by T.J. Leaf for Division II State Player of the Year honors. The USC-bound power forward did win the Wooden Award among Division II schools in the CIFSS. Division II all-state.

G -­ Rex Pflueger (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-5 Sr.
The Monarchs were able to remain at the CIF Open Division championship level because of Pfleuger’s ability to step up his game after the graduation of 2014 Mr. Basketball Stanley Johnson. An all-CIFSS Open Division selection, Pflueger was a Mr. Basketball finalist after earning second team all-state underclass honors a year ago. The Notre Dame bound shooting guard not only knocked down big shots for the SoCal Open Division champions, he used his great instincts to create for others while coming up with clutch steals and plays on the defensive end. With the size to match, Pflueger also was one of the state’s best perimeter defenders. On the offensive end, he averaged 16.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Division I all-state.

C -­ Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 6-11 Sr.
The honors keep pouring in for our Mr. Basketball selection. Rabb is a two-time CIF Divisional State Player of the Year, was our State Junior of the Year last season and also was named Contra Costa Times Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Our friends over at Krossover gave us more insight into Rabb’s season, as he shot 62 percent from the field, made 12-of-27 on 3-pointers (44 percent) and shot 77 percent in the paint. The night O’Dowd won the state title, many of his family and close friends celebrated with O’Dowd alums, but he wanted to sleep for his early morning flight to Chicago for the McDonald’s Game. The following weekend he participated in the Nike Hoop Summit then it was off to New York for the Jordan Brand Classic. On top of that, he announced for Cal on the Monday when he got back from Portland, Ore. Division III all-state.
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G ­- Stephen Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance) 6-3 Sr.
Not only is he going to join his father, Steve Sr., at Oregon State, the younger Thompson joins him as a two-time all state selection. His father was twice a first five selection at L.A. Crenshaw in 1985 and 1986. He averaged 22.0 points and 2.1 steals as a junior on a team that won the CIF Division IV state title and this year was even more potent, although Montgomery didn’t win a CIF state title. He moves up from the second team after averaging 24.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists while earning Player of the Year honors from the South Bay Daily Breeze as well as the John Wooden Award for CIFSS Division IV schools. Last year, he was snubbed from the all-CIFSS Open Division team, but this year he was the CIFSS Open Division Player of the Year after leading the Knights to the coveted title. Division IV all-state.

F -­ Anthony Townes (Modesto Christian) 6-6 Sr.
The manner in which Townes battled Bishop O’Dowd in the CIF NorCal Open Division final was the difference in a close call for one of the final spots on the first team. The under-sized big man hit for 20 points in that game and had the Crusaders even with eventual state champions until the final minutes. Townes also capped a stellar four-year varsity career (he started all four years) by earning the Modesto Bee’s Player of the Year honor. He averaged 19.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Townes will head next to the University of Pacific where he will join former MC teammates T.J. Wallace and Raymond Bowles. Division II all-state.

Second Team Overall (10)

G ­- Sedrick Barefield (Centennial, Corona) 6-0 Sr.
On a team loaded with talent, the Huskies’ clear offensive leader was this SMU-bound point guard. The Riverside Press-Enterprise County Player of the Year, Barefield was also the Big VIII League MVP after sharing that honor as a junior. For the season, the flashy point guard averaged 20.6 points, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game for a 25-6 team that advanced to the SoCal D1 regional final. Centennial was streaky this season, and when the Huskies were on, Barefield was simply spectacular with his ability to set up teammates or score upwards to a dozen points in a matter of minutes. When the going got tougher, a team with at least four other future D1 players looked for Barefield to take the big shot. He’s the son of former Hoover of Fresno standout guard and current Rancho Christian of Temecula coach Ray Barefield. Division I all-state.

Guard Sedrick Barefield of Corona Centennial was the Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year. Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

Guard Sedrick Barefield of Corona Centennial was the Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year. Photo: Courtesy Student Sports.

F -­ Bennie Boatwright (Village Christian, Sun Valley) 6-9 Sr.
His combination of size and shooting ability gave Boatwright one of the most unique skill sets of any player in the state and was a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. A deep-range shooter nicknamed “Benny Buckets,” Boatwright improved his toughness and rebounding this year and went on to average 27.8 points and 13 rebounds per game, with a high mark of 50 points. After leading the Crusaders to a CIFSS Division 4A title as a junior, Boatwright had a 30-point, 13-rebound outing in a 79-61 victory over Great Oak of Temecula in the CIFSS Division IA championship game. An L.A. Times all-star selection, the USC-bound forward was the CIFSS IA Player of the Year and shared co-POY honors from the L.A. Daily News with fellow second-teamer Aaron Holiday. Division I all-state.

C -­ Michael Cage Jr.
(Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-10 Jr.

He moves up from third team and with continued improvement could be a leading Mr. Basketball candidate next year. Over the past two seasons, Mater Dei has played in a plethora of big games (in which we’ve seen over 75 percent of them) and we have yet to see Cage play a bad game. It’s a good sign when a big man is consistent and puts up stats when you look at the box sheet. A two-time all-Orange County choice, Cage averaged 13.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks after averaging 14.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks as a sophomore. Outside the numbers, Cage became a more assertive defensive force and teams challenged him less often as the season went on. He’s also one of the few players we saw savvy and smart enough to neutralize Lonzo Ball on the boards. In addition to being named to the L.A. Times All-Star team, Cage was chosen to the all-CIFSS Open Division honor squad. Division I all-state.

F ­- Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove) 6-9 Sr.
Fans at the CIF state finals might remember Chriss as a talented sophomore starter for a team that won the CIF Division I crown. Chriss went on to have a stellar career and is, along with first teamer Chimezie Metu, the most athletic forward in state. The University of Washington recruit averaged 21.9 points with 11.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Chriss probably would have been the Sacramento Bee Player of the Year were it not for Folsom’s Jordan Ford. Among his standout performances was a 34-point, 20-rebound outing against NorCal D1 semifinalist Berkeley plus 28 points and 29 points in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff wins against Tracy and Kennedy of Sacramento. Division I all-state.

G -­ Lindsey Drew (Fairfax, Los Angeles) 6-4 Sr.
Lonzo Ball is in a class of his own when it comes to an all-around guard play, but the lead guard in the state closest this season in terms of scoring, passing, rebounding and defense was the son of former NBA player and coach Larry Drew. Older brother Larry Jr. was the Division I State Player of the Year in 2008 and another older brother, Landon, played D1 basketball after starring at both Fairfax and Taft, where Larry Jr. attended. Most respected evaluators feel Lindsey has the best long term potential of the three with his length, athleticism and basketball pedigree. On a team with a deep backcourt, Lindsey averaged approximately 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the L.A. City Section Open Division champs. Headed for Nevada, he already was named the L.A. City Section Player of the Year and the Wooden Award winner among L.A. City programs. Division I all-state.

G ­- Jordan Ford (Folsom) 6-0 Jr.
A repeat Elite Team selection, Ford led the Bulldogs to another strong season after they were the NorCal D2 champions in 2013-14. After earning player of the year honors from the Sacramento Bee for the second consecutive season, Ford moves up to the second from the third team. This season against stiffer competition, Ford averaged 20.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.2 steals while leading the Bulldogs to a 28-5 record and a spot in the NorCal Open Division regional playoffs. For the second consecutive season, the cerebral lead guard had a big game in a Sac-Joaquin Section title game, going for 18 points in a one-point win over Sheldon of Sacramento after dropping 33 points against Cosumnes Oaks as a sophomore. More than numbers, Ford just has a feel for the game that is nearly impossible to teach and it has made Folsom a statewide threat after it was a sub .500 program before he arrived. Division I all-state.

G – ­ Aaron Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood) 6-2 Sr.
Another repeat selection, Holiday shared L.A. Daily News Player of the Year honors with fellow second teamer Benny Boatwright. This four-year starter also earned CIFSS Div. IV-A and L.A. Daily News Player of the Year honors as a junior. Plenty of players around the state can score at a high clip, but few can with the relentless nature of Holiday and carry a team with the sheer strength of his will. He showed that when he went for 31 points in a win over Village Christian, again when he went for 35 in the Vikings’ win over top seed Immanuel of Reedley in the SoCal D4 regional semifinals and nearly did it again with a big fourth quarter in the regional final versus eventual state champ Crespi of Encino. The UCLA recruit and brother of 2008 Mr. Basketball Jrue Holiday averaged 25 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Division IV all-state.

C – ­ Ben Kone (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-8 Jr.
With the power he displays around the basket, Kone at times reminds Mitty fans of recent Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Aaron Gordon. He doesn’t have Gordon’s high-end athleticism so it will be interesting to see how Kone develops his game heading into his senior season. He played as a freshman at Salesian of Richmond, then transferred to Mitty last season and now as a junior is second team all-state overall, first team all-state junior and was a solid pick as the San Jose Mercury News Player of the Year. While Mitty did not win the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division, both Serra of San Mateo and St. Francis of Mountain View had balanced lineups. At Mitty, which did make it to the CIF D2 state final, Kone clearly was the main man. He hit for 20.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Division II all-state.

F – ­ Cody Riley (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-7 Soph.
The only 10th-grader to make any of this year’s all-state overall teams, Riley had a honor-filled campaign for a nationally-ranked team made up primarily of underclassmen. He was the CIF Division V State Player of the Year after leading Sierra Canyon to a state title in that division. Riley was also the only sophomore on the 10-man L.A. Times All-Star team and the 12-man all-CIFSS Open Division team. On a team with an abundance of backcourt talent, Riley held down the frontcourt with averages of 15.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. A strong left-hander who can overpower opponents around the rim, Riley has worked to add a perimeter game after coming into high school as a pure power player. Division V all-state.

G ­ – Kendall Small (Mayfair, Lakewood) 6-0 Sr.
There is usually one player each season that is a bit overlooked because of his team’s success (or lack thereof) compared to the previous season. Small falls into that category. A closer look at Small’s resume, however, reveals he’s a cinch second team pick and was seriously considered for first team. A two-time Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team and all-CIFSS Division IA selection, Small didn’t repeat as Player of the Year even though individually he might have been even more dominant. He twice went over 30 points versus Division II state champ La Mirada, scored over 30 eight times and had 16 double-doubles while attempting to keep the undersized Monsoons in games against the better opponents. On the season, the Oregon-bound guard averaged 22 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.1 steals per game and finished with 2,209 career points. Division I all-state.

Third Team Overall (10)

C – ­ Chance Comanche (Beverly Hills) 6-11 Sr.
One of the state’s top pivots, Comanche has been a standout for four years, first at St. Bernard of Playa del Rey, then at View Park Prep of Los Angeles and his final year with the Normans. He’s saved his best for last, leading Beverly Hills to a 26-6 mark and helping them win a CIFSS Division 3A title with a 55-47 win over Corona del Mar by scoring 10 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. “The Chief” ended his career with four CIF section titles. Bound for Arizona, he averaged 20 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots per game while earning CIFSS Division 3A Player of the Year honors. Division III all-state.

Campolindo's rugged center, Chris Hansen, was a load this season. Photo:

Campolindo’s rugged center, Chris Hansen, was a load this season. Photo:

G – ­ Lorne Currie Jr.
(Fairfax, Los Angeles) 6-2 Sr.

At times, Currie can be a bit too flashy and careless, but there is no denying his offensive talents. In many respects, Currie has some of the ability of many of the first team guards, but has to be behind teammate Lindsey Drew in the all-state pecking order and just needs to add consistency to be a big-time college player. Currie had 11 points, seven assists and dominated with his confidence in a big win over Sierra Canyon when that team was No. 2 in the state, had 23 points in the SoCal Open Division regional semifinal win over Etiwanda and was MVP of the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. He’s still undecided about his future by will sign with a D1 school. Division I all-state.

F – ­ Kameron Edwards (Etiwanda) 6-6 Sr.
Similar to second teamer Aaron Holiday, Edwards is relentless around the basket and excels at scoring on second chance opportunities. He also excelled at getting a basket or getting to the line when Etiwanda needed points in crunch time. On a team that is defensive-oriented and often keeps the score in the 50s, Edwards averaged 16.6 points and 8 rebounds per game. The Pepperdine commit was a two-time all-league choice and made the prestigious 12-man all-CIFSS Open Division team. Division I all-state.

G – ­ Ke’jhan Feagin (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 5-11 Sr.
“K.J.” will play D1 basketball, but he’s one of those players we see every year and wonder why he doesn’t have a few more college offers. Feagin made the all-CIFSS Open Division team and was runner-up to fellow third teamer Vance Jackson for Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team honors. He averaged 12.8 ppg and 4.6 apg for a balanced team that was ranked in the State Top 20 a majority of the season. He could effectively run a team or finish in transition equally well and consistently made clutch plays. In fact, there weren’t too many better in the state the past two years at converting game winning or tying coast-to-coast field goals. Division I all-state.

C ­ – Chris Hansen (Campolindo, Moraga) 6-7 Sr.
Anybody who watched Hansen battle on the interior in games such as the NorCal D3 final or CIF Division III state final can see how hard he works, how well he can move for having such a wide frame and how well he can shoot. He was chosen All-East Bay first team by the Alameda Newspaper Group and All-Metro first team by the San Francisco Chronicle. Hansen, headed to UC San Diego, had per game averages of 25.5 points, 17.1 rebounds, six blocks and four assists per game. He shot an amazing 67 percent from the floor and got fouled plenty, where he made teams pay with his 87 percent free throw mark. Division III all-state.

F ­ – Vance Jackson (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) 6-8 Jr.
One of the state’s best talents, Jackson led the Braves back to the CIFSS Open Division playoffs after he became the No. 1 option on a team that lost last year’s Division II State Player of the Year Daniel Hamilton (UConn) to graduation and Tyler Dorsey to transfer. Although he didn’t make the all-CIFSS Open Division first team, he was selected Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year over Kendall Small and Ke’jhan Feagin. A pure shooter, Jackson added muscle to his frame and produced despite being the focal point of defenses. He finished the season with team-highs of 19.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals steals per game. Division I all-state.

C – ­ Kendall Lauderdale (La Mirada) 6-8 Sr.
He was the unquestioned team leader for a La Mirada club that defeated Archbishop Mitty of San Jose for the CIF Division II state title, which also is the program’s first state crown. Lauderdale made the Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team and was named the Whittier Daily News Player of the Year. He averaged 18 points and eight rebounds game and made his presence felt with space-eating and toughness. His per game averages are right about what he got in the state final (18 points), as he had big baskets to help La Mirada overcome a 12-point deficit. Lauderdale also had 36 in a CIF SoCal D2 playoff game against Canyon of Anaheim. Division II all-state.

G ­ – Colin Slater Jr. (Immanuel, Reedley) 6-0 Jr.
Going head-to-head against All-State second team elite guard Aaron Holiday in the CIF SoCal D4 regional semifinals, Slater poured in 35 points and had five assists and four rebounds although Holiday’s team won. In the previous round, the muscular guard with explosive moves to the basket had 18 points and 12 assists in a win over Oaks Christian. Slater led Immanuel with averages of 20.8 points and also had 4.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game with an 86 percent free throw percentage. Named as the Fresno Bee’s Co-Player of the Year with teammate Darrin Person Jr., we only had room for one of them on this unit (we never have co-players of the year or ties in rankings) and have Slater rated as the higher player on our all-state board. Person Jr., however, made the all-state underclass team. Division IV all-state.

G ­ – Keith Smith (San Ramon Valley, Danville) 6-0 Sr.
We can honestly say that if San Ramon Valley, with Smith leading the way, had not won the CIF D1 title that another player probably would have gotten this spot on the elite all-state lineup. But the point guard definitely stepped up his game in the last month of the season. He averaged 15 ppg in the playoffs, including 20 points, with 12 assists, in the Wolves’ state title game win over Chino Hills. He also had a game-high 16 points when SRV topped Woodcreek of Roseville in the NorCal D1 final. He’s already a member of the Contra Costa Times All-East Bay team. Division I all-state.

F ­ – Cameron Walker (Righetti, Santa Maria) 6-6 Sr.
A Stanford commit and a versatile all-around talent, Walker represents the Central Coast region of the CIF Southern Section on this squad. He has either been player of the year or co-player of the year since his sophomore year by Lee Central Coast Newspapers (including the Santa Maria Times). As a senior, Walker knocked down 21 points per game plus he grabbed an average of 11 rebounds. He also was among the leaders for 23-7 Righetti in assists. Walker is a bit forgotten when mentioning the state’s elite players, but his talent and production is hard to ignore even though he played far from any of the state’s traditional basketball hotbeds. “There will not be another player on the Central Coast like Cameron for a long time,” Righetti coach Kevin Barbarick told the Santa Maria Times. Division II all-state.

Note: Co-founder Mark Tennis contributed to this report. To see which players may have come the closest to making one of our all-state elite overall teams, check out the all-state teams by division.

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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