Posted: 2:59 pm Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Palm Beach Post ballot for Florida Dairy Farmers Florida Mr. Basketball, coach of the year 

By Jeff Greer

I recently received my ballots to vote for the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Basketball and Coach of the Year in each of the six basketball classes. Here’s who I voted for and why.

I have to admit, it’s pretty hard to vote for a player of the year and coach of the year when I haven’t seen every possible team, player and coach involved. So for this season’s ballot, I’m basing it on overall stats and performance in the state playoffs, which I did see.

I’ll list the candidates, some of their stats and who I voted for. Let me know what you guys think.

CLASS 6A

My vote for Mr. Basketball: Austin Rivers, Winter Park

Not exactly a shocker, right? He’s the top-rated recruit in the nation and he has the numbers (28.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2 spg) to back it up. I saw him play twice in the state semis and finals, and he was the best high school player I’ve ever seen in person. He’s lightning fast and confident on the ball. And as Dwyer center Joel James said the other day, Rivers just knows how to get his shot off. He’ll be a great fit at Duke.

Other players on the ballot
Michael Frazier, Tampa Plant: 29.7 pts, 9.7 reb, 2.1 stl
Dennis Diaz, DeLand: 14.1 pts, 6.8 reb
Shane Larkin, Orlando-Dr. Phillips: 19 pts, 6.4 asst, 6.3 reb
Angel Hernandez, Miami-Dr. Krop: 25 pts, 8 asst, 5 reb
Jonathan Holton, Coral Gables: 25 pts, 16.4 reb, 3.3 asst, 3 blk
Deandre Burnett, Miami-Carol City: 24.1 pts
Kameron Mitchell, Mandarin: 23.2 pts, 4 reb, 3.3 asst, 2.6 stl
Eddie Odio, Miami-Columbus: 16.5 pts, 10.2 reb, 3.1 blk, 2.8 asst

I really liked both Larkin and Odio at the state finals. Larkin is a very quick lead guard and does a good job finding teammates. Odio has great range for a 6-7 forward and has nice hops, too.

My vote for Coach of the Year: Brad Flaig, Atlantic

Flaig didn’t exactly have any superstars on his team. His starting big fella Richarson Myrthil and lead guard Marquale Thomas did a great job carrying a very athletic club that had solid wings in Estilus Lahens and Wyndell Gilliam. They had hiccups early in the season that made me wonder if they’d be able to make a run in the playoffs, but when I saw them again during the districts and regionals, they were a completely different team.

Others on the ballot
Tommy Tonelli, Wharton
Mike Phillips, Tampa Plant
Joe Giddens, Spruce Creek
John Zeoli, DeLand
David Bailey, Winter Park
Ray Beneby, Hialeah-Miami Lakes
Henry Lorenzo, Miami-Columbus
Anthony Long, Orlando-Dr. Phillips
Kenneth Kelly, Miramar

CLASS 5A

My vote for Mr. Basketball: Jacoby Brissett, Dwyer

Brissett took a little time to get into basketball shape and rhythm, but when he did, he stole the show. The Florida-bound quarterback played a similar role on the basketball court, literally taking over the state-championship game at its most critical stretch. He averaged 15.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.1 steals a game.

Other players on the ballot
Daniel Sapp, Oakland Park-Northeast: 17.4 pts, 3.6 asst, 3.4 reb, 2.4 stls
Devon Walker, Winter Haven: 23.1 pts, 2.1 asst, 2.3 blks, 9.0 reb, 1.1 stls
Reshard Brown, Tampa King: 24.2 pts, 3.0 asst, 2.8 blks, 12.2 reb, 1.8 stls
Chris Burgess, George Jenkins: 27.5 pts, 2.8 asst, 2.9 reb, 2.5 stls
Rashawn Rembert, Tampa Sickles: No Stats Provided
Mazen Hindawi, Lynn Haven Mosley: 9.3 pts, 3.4 asst, 3.3 reb, 2.7 stls
Mike Kirkland, Ocala West Port: 16.4 pts, 1.3 asst, 10.4 reb, 1.3 stls, 2.0 blks
Victor Adams, Dwyer: 16.1 pts, 2.0 asst, 2.2 reb
AJ Shepherd, Fort Walton Beach: 14.3 pts, 3.8 reb, 3.1 asst
Sedric Rudolph, Fort Walton Beach: 13.4 pts, 2.4 reb, 1.5 asst
Marcel White, Lake Wales: 12.4 pts
Russell Wilson, Lake Wales: 7.9 pts
Gary Simon, Gibbs: 14.7 pts, 2.2 asst, 4.7 reb, 2.1 stls
Quincy Ford, Gibbs: 17.8 pts, 2.0 asst, 10.0 reb, 2.0 stls

My vote for Coach of the Year: Billy Washington, Lake Wales

I can already hear the howls from our Dwyer fans for not picking Fred Ross, who did a magnificent job this year en route to his third state-title ring. But if you saw the state finals in Lakeland, you’d know that Washington did a whole lot without … a whole lot. His team reached the finals and pushed Dwyer in a way I hadn’t seen all year (I didn’t see either of Dwyer’s losses). He got a lot of out of his kids, who were athletic and feisty, but just not strong enough or deep enough to run with Dwyer.

Others on the ballot
Christopher Snyder, Chamberlain
Todd McNeil, Tallahassee Chiles
John Lavin, Fort Walton Beach
Bruce Rosebrock, Jacksonville Wolfson
Joe Duffy, Melbourne Palm Bay
Fred Ross, Dwyer
Trent Tice, Durant
Larry Murphy, Gibbs
Steve Powell, Ocala Forest

CLASS 4A

My vote for Mr. Basketball: Jake Driscoll, New Port Richey-Mitchell

Didn’t really know much about the guys in this category. Driscoll had the best all-around stats: 23.2 pts, 4.2 asst, 7.5 reb, 1.3 stls.

Other players on the ballot
Andre Smith, Tampa Blake: 19.4 pts, 3.6 asst, 2.1 reb, 3.3 stls
John Wade, Springfield Rutherford: 24.0 pts, 1.4 asst, 12.0 reb
Tanner Carey, Wiregrass Ranch: 12.9 pts, 1.2 asst, 4.5 reb, 1.6 stls
Diamante Lewis, Lake Weir: 21.0 pts, 4.7 asst, 4.0 reb, 3.3 stls
Ben Mayell, Cardinal Gibbons: 11.3 pts, 1.75 reb, 2.3 asst
D’Mauri Jones, Leesburg: 9.9 pts, 4.0 reb
Joe Toolie, Leesburg: 12.8 pts, 3.0 asst, 1.9 reb, 1.3 stls
Teron Wallace, Leesburg: 11.3 pts, 2.2 reb
Andre Smith, Blake: 19.4 pts, 3.6 asst, 2.1 reb, 3.3 stls
Jernell Hughes, Immokalee: 25.5 pts, 5.7 asst, 3.5 reb, 2.3 stls
Tyler Bergantino, Nature Coast: 17.9 pts, 4.8 blks, 12.6 reb

My vote for Coach of the Year: Marty Seidlin, Fort Lauderdale-Cardinal Gibbons

Led his team all the way to the state finals. I was impressed with Gibbons’ fight when I saw them play in Lakeland.

Others on the ballot
Winston Davis, Tampa Blake
Jeremy Calzone, Wiregrass Ranch
Rhondie Ross, Rutherford
Lamar Purifoy, Palatka
James Dawson, Fort Pierce Central
Marcel Thomas, Leesburg
David Pisarcik, Nature Coast Tech
Scott Guttery, Fort Myers
Mike Surber, Lake Weir

CLASS 3A

This class didn’t have a single Palm Beach County or Treasure Coast nominee on it so I won’t list it all. I voted for Orlando Jones’ Angelo Warner (18.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.9) for Mr. Basketball and Tallahassee-Rickards coach Eli Bryant for Coach of the Year.

CLASS 2A

Same problem as 3A: There weren’t any area folks on the list. I picked Sagemont forward Rod Day (18.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.6 apg) and Sagemont coach Adam Ross for the two awards.

CLASS 1A

My vote for Mr. Basketball: Farad Cobb, Summit Christian

Kind of a no-brainer: The leading scorer (22.3 ppg) in the area and the leading scorer on the Class 1A champs. Cobb has ice in his veins and can be counted on for big shots. He moves well without the ball and that really makes guarding him a full-time job. And he’s only a junior.

Other players on the ballot
Shaq Jackson, Paxton: 26.2 pts, 2.3 asst, 12.9 reb, 2.1 stls
Chai Baker, Malone: 14.9 pts, 1.5 asst, 5.9 reb, 2.5 stls
Miles Kauffman, Seven Rivers: 11.0 pts, 4.6 asst, 2.7 stls
Marko Smith, Lake Mary Prep: 16.6 pts, 3.4 asst, 7.4 reb, 2.1 stls
Adonis Burbage, Orlando Christian Prep: 14.7 pts, 6.4 reb
Isaac Cohen, Orlando Christian Prep: 15.4 pts, 7.4 reb, 2.2 asst
Ismaila Dauda, Grandview Prep: 20.2 pts, 14.6 reb, 4.3 blks, 2.1 stls
Jean Prophete, Summit Christian: 18.9 pts, 12.5 reb, 3.2 asst

Tanner Wozniak, Keswick Christian: 32.1 pts, 2.1 asst, 8.2 reb, 1.3 stls

My vote for Coach of the Year: Murray Smith, Summit Christian

He took a team that didn’t have a ton of depth all the way to a state title. Summit upended heavy favorite Orlando Christian Prep in the semis and then bested county rival Grandview Prep in the final. He’s done a great job molding Brandon Williams into a player, and Cobb just keeps getting better under his tutelage.

Others on the ballot
Tony Medina, Orlando Faith Christian
Jeff Bradley, Paxton
Steve Welch, Malone
Matt Benefiel, Lake Mary Prep
Eugene Granger, FAMU
Jim Ervin, Seven Rivers Christian
Joe Dawson, Grandview Prep
Andres Ibon, Champagnat Catholic
Reggie Kohn, Orlando Christian Prep
David Magley, Bradenton Christian
Bob Madden, Seacrest Country Day

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