Keith Booth, Dunbar, So., F His teammates often referred to him as "The Baby," because h was the youngest and least experienced of Dunbar's starting five, but his inexperience was not often evident in his play. Booth stepped into the starting lineup and turned out to be the missing link for a Poets team that came up short last season, but won it all this season. Booth is a versatile, 6-foot-5 player who already has college recruiters excited by his potential. He averaged 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and shot 81 percent on free throws.
Donta Bright, Dunbar, Jr., C Bright unselfishly curbed his appetite for scoring to make th Poets a more cohesive unit. "He improved his total game," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey. "He did a lot of scoring as a sophomore, but one of the greatest reasons we were 27-1 was because he expanded his total game." With his smooth moves and soft touch, Bright was the main man inside for the Poets. He averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots. Bright surprised opponents this season by adding three-pointers his arsenal.
David Cason, Southern-Balto., Sr., G Cason, a second-team pick last year, took over the leadershi role for Southern, as the Bulldogs challenged Dunbar in the Public Schools Tournament and Metro Classic but came up short each both time. Cason averaged 12.4 points, 12.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 steals. Maybe the area's best ball-handler, Cason became a more consistent perimeter shooter this year, which really complemented his ability to penetrate. Towson State and Northeastern are among the Division I schools recruiting Cason.
Dennis Edwards, Annapolis, Sr., F Nicknamed "instant offense," Edwards led Anne Arundel County scoring and ranked among the area's top three at 27.1 points. He scored 50 against Parkdale, which tied the second-highest ++ total for a county player. "In his ability to penetrate defenses and maneuver and score, I've never seen anyone better," said coach John Brady. Edwards, the sixth man on last season's state championship team, also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists while leading Annapolis to the state semifinals this season.
Kwame Evans, Southern-Balto., Jr., G After Southern coach Meredith Smith prodded Evans to scor more, Evans began to resemble his mentor and uncle Dickie Kelly, a Dunbar scoring sensation from the late 1960s. With his size (6 feet 5) and skills, Evans will be one of the area's top college prospects next season along with Dunbar's Donta Bright and Michael Lloyd. With his late scoring surge, Evans finished as Southern's leading scorer (12.5) and also averaged 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.3 steals.
Devin Gray, St. Frances, Sr., C With an offensive array that relied heavily on power move inside, Gray averaged 25.6 points, 14.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks heading into the Alhambra Tournament this weekend. Gatorade and Quaker Oats chose Gray as state player of the year. On March 27, Gray will become the first player from a school in Baltimore to play in the Capital Classic since 1985. He has the potential to be a major Division I starter. He has visited Minnesota and Richmond and also has shown interest in
Maryland, Clemson, St. John's and Wake Forest.
Michael Lloyd, Dunbar, Jr., G A second-team pick a year ago, Lloyd came back with vengeance this year to earn first-team honors. "He improved the overall aspect of his game as a point guard," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey. The most notable improvement was emotionally, where Lloyd really matured. Lloyd led the Poets in scoring (21.1), assists (10.8) and steals (4.0). Lloyd is a terrific ball-handler who enjoys going inside, drawing contact and using his outstanding repertoire of dunks off the break. He also is accurate from three-point range.
Stevie Thomas, Walbrook, Sr., C No player progressed as quickly as Thomas over the past fou years after coming to Walbrook at 6 feet 5, 180 pounds. Now a solid, 6-7, 210 pounds, Thomas was one of the area's top three frontcourt players. As a freshman, Thomas averaged 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. This season, he averaged 15.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. Thomas already has visited Towson State and St. Bonaventure and also may visit St. Peter's, Richmond, Old Dominion or Northeastern.
Ronnie Van Hook, Lake Clifton, Sr., G Transferring from Perry Hall after his sophomore year, Van Hoo spent his junior season getting acquainted with the tougher Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference. This season, Van Hook was one of the conference's top shooting guards. He led the surprising Lakers in scoring (17.5) and also averaged 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 rebounds. He was as effective outside as he was driving to the basket or finishing the break with one of his one-handed slams.
Boys Player of the Year
Terrance Alexander, Dunbar, Sr., G