So who are the best of the best?
Honestly, we won’t know for another three or four months. But with a new basketball season already here, we took a shot at identifying the area’s best returning players for today’s 2013-14 preview.
As always, the Super 7 consists of the seven best returning players in the area, although the definition of “best” has can have multiple meanings. In my mind, it takes the following into account: past production; expected future production; who a player did or will achieve that production against; and what that player’s potential is for the future.
It’s not exactly a scientific formula, but I think this is a solid group, one that is representative of the area’s best.
The Second 7 are the next best, in our eyes. There were several talented, experienced players who just missed the cut. To them, their teams and their fans, remember: The season has just started. There’s plenty of time to prove you belong among the postseason honorees, too.
2013-14 SUPER 7 —
Devonte Banner, Mount Vernon: After steadily emerging and cracking the starting lineup last season, the rangy 6-foot-1 senior returns as the top guard on the Knights. He has received Division I interest, including from several MAAC programs.
Kevin Degnan, Pearl River: The 6-foot-8 Fairfield signee (pictured right) averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds per game last season as a junior and is a top preseason contender for Section 1’s “Mr. Basketball.”
Brandon Martin, Mount Vernon: This burly 6-foot-3 weight-room wonder (pictured top) will provide the Knights with a force in the paint for the third straight season. He evolved from a key reserve on a state champion as a sophomore to averaging 12.1 points per game and leading the team in rebounding (8.1) as a junior.
Rickey McGill, Spring Valley: As the area’s only junior to commit already (Manhattan), the speedy McGill all but has his future determined. Of course, after averaging 21 points last season, expect the 6-foot guard to produce plenty more in the present.
Kai Mitchell, Spring Valley: The 6-foot-5, 250-pound forward with the deft touch averaged 21 points and 10 boards for the league champion Tigers. He already has an offer from Manhattan and interest from the likes of Iona and Seton Hall.
Matt Ryan, Iona Prep: With 28 Division I scholarship offers, the 6-foot-7 junior has already blossomed into one of the county’s biggest recruits in years. Notre Dame and Boston College are among those to offer, although Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky have been in touch with the sharpshooter, who was second-team All-CHSAA as a sophomore.
Naim Thomas, Stepinac: This 5-foot-11 senior (pictured below), now in his fourth year on varsity, is skilled both on and off the ball for the Crusaders. His playmaking and smooth jumper earned Thomas third-team All-CHSAA honors after he helped guide Stepinac to its first AA semifinal in 27 years.
SECOND 7 —
Jack Daly, Sr., Eastchester
Mike DeMello, Sr., White Plains
Tyler Fernandez, Sr., Rye Country Day
Isiah Ice, Sr., Iona Prep
Walter King, Sr., Stepinac
Ryan Simone, Sr., Mahopac
Isaiah Ward, Sr., Palisade Prep