With the 2020-2021 Idaho high school boys basketball season wrapped up, it’s time to hand out some awards.
Brandon Walton has compiled SBLive’s All-State Teams for boys basketball, featuring first team, second team and honorable mention selections. The teams span all levels of IDHSAA competition.
With dozens of worthy candidates, the teams were tough to put together. But these 15 boys basketball players stood above the rest. Congratulations to all!
FIRST TEAM BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
F Brody Rowbury, sr., Meridian
The 6-foot-11 senior forward did it all for the Warriors. Literally. Meridian coach Jeff Sanor said he could even run a pick and roll with him if need be. He never got the chance to do that, but Rowbury still did a lot of other great things, especially this season. He nearly averaged a double-double with 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game to help Meridian end a 29-year state championship drought. Rowbury was also a 5A Southern Idaho Conference first-team selection and the 5A State Player of the Year. Rowbury is in the midst of fielding offers from Nebraska’s Chadron State (NCAA DII), North Idaho College and Edmonds College (Washington).
“Brody has been a tremendous player for Meridian,” Sanor said. “He can score from anywhere on the floor and defend multiple positions effectively.”
C Blake Buchanan, so., Lake City
Buchanan went from good in the regular season to arguably the most talked about player in the state during the postseason. The 6-foot-9 center erupted in the playoffs with 16.3 points, which included several highlight reel dunks, and 8.7 boards per game. The breakout performance helped the Timberwolves advance to the state final for the first time in 19 years. Buchanan was picked to the 5A All-State first-team primarily for those efforts. He already has interest from Pac-12, Big Sky, Big West and WCC schools.
“Blake’s potential is unlimited,” Lake City coach Jim Winger said. “His performance at state was quite frankly, awesome. He is also a tireless worker who is always working to get better.”
F Tyler Medaris, jr., Middleton
Medaris’ greatness this season simply just can’t be measured in stats. He certainly had those with 15.7 points, 9.8 boards, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. But those numbers could have very easily been greater if not for his unselfishness. That sacrifice led to the Vikings claiming their first title in 56 years. But the 6-foot-7 forward still got his due in the form of All-4A Southern Idaho Conference first-team and 4A State Player of the Year award honors.
“I think the greatest way that I can describe Tyler is that the best players find a way to inspire their teammates to work hard. And Tyler inspired his teammates to play hard,” Middleton coach Andy Harrington said. “Tyler is encouraging and he builds trust. So guys want to see him succeed because he genuinely wants them to succeed. And having that as your best player makes it easy to coach because everyone is playing hard and everyone is sharing the ball and enjoying the experience because Tyler is not a me guy, he’s a we guy.”
G Joe Mpoyo, sr., Meridian
If teams were able to key in on Rowbury, there was still Mpoyo to deal with. And he was a whole different problem. The 6-foot-5 do-everything guard was right behind his teammate in scoring with 17.1 points to go along with 4.5 rebounds per game. He was also the team’s best defender. Mpoyo earned both All-5A SIC and 5A All-State first-team honors for his significant role in the Warriors’ first piece of blue hardware since 1992. He doesn’t have any offers yet. But that will surely soon change with schools like North Idaho College, Western Wyoming, Snow College (Utah) and the College of Sequoias (California) all in his ear.
“Joe is a complete player,” Sanor said. “He affects a game with his defense and rebounding as much as he does with his great shooting ability.”
G Covy Kelly, sr., Garden Valley
Kelly could not only have played at any level, but he also could have been the best player on nearly all of those teams. His 45-point record-breaking spectacle in this year’s 1A Division II state championship game against Dietrich was proof of that. It all resulted in the Wolverines’ first state title in program history and it came two years after he broke Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Leighton Vander Esch’s previous record with 38 points. Kelly averaged 22.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game on his way to being named the 1A DII Long Pin Co-Player of the Year and the 1A DII State Player of the Year. The 6-foot-1 guard just signed on to play at Walla Walla Community College in the fall.
“In a previous life, I was a fighter pilot in the Air Force, I was around four-star generals and astronauts, and I’ll put his work ethic against anybody I’ve ever been around,” Garden Valley coach Joel Lafleur said. “I’ve coached for a short period of time, and he’s been the gold standard. I’ve had him as part of what I’ve been doing and it’s always challenged me to try to bring it as much as I can because I don’t want to let that kid down.”
SECOND TEAM BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
G Titus Yearout, jr., Lapwai
The 6-foot-2 guard may have 2,000 career points when his already prolific high school career is all said and done. He eclipsed the 1,500 mark in another truly remarkable year. Yearout was the all classification leading scorer yet again with 24.0 points per game. But he was no one-trick pony with 8.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.1 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. He catapulted the Wildcats back to the top of the mountain following a two-year absence for the 11th state title in program history. It all led to him promptly being named the 1A Division I State Player of the Year and the Whitepine League Player of the Year for the second season in a row.
“Titus Yearout’s combination of his basketball IQ, work ethic and athleticism makes him one of the best guards in the state,” Lapwai coach Zachary Eastman said. “Titus is a true leader on and off the court. He continues to push himself and teammates every day to continue their quest to being the state’s best team in Idaho.”
F Hyrum Lindsey, sr., Fruitland
Lindsey is going places. The kid already has a LinkedIn page. His play on the hardwood will help too. The 6-foot-5 senior forward was a walking double-double this past season with 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He also shot 52% from the floor with 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game to lead the Grizzlies to 3A Snake River Valley and District III Championships. So it came as little surprise when he was selected to the 3A All-State first-team for the second straight year. His basketball career will be on a bit of a pause as Lindsey will serve a two-year LDS mission in Peru after graduation.
“Hyrum is just a difficult match for everybody because of his versatility,” Fruitland Co-head coach Willie Lake said. “He can play anywhere on offense and guard multiple positions defensively. His motor is what makes him special.”
W Jaylen Alexander, sr., Columbia
After playing for Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Southern California a year ago, Alexander returned to Columbia for his final year and reminded everyone who he is this season. The 6-foot-6 wing very nearly pulled off a double-double average with 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He also added 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. People took notice. Alexander was the 4A SIC Player of the Year and a 4A All-State first-team selection. He will play for Pima Community College (Arizona) in the fall.
“Jaylen is the type of player that coaches dream about,” Columbia coach Trevor Morris said. “He is coachable, humble, physically gifted and extremely talented. For his size, he has tremendous ball skills and the IQ to run any offense from the point guard perspective. He is a leader on the floor both from his vocal presence and his physical example.”
G DJ Green, jr., McCall-Donnelly
The Vikings almost didn’t have a season because of COVID-19. It’s a good thing they did because the Gem State would have had to wait another year for Green’s emphatic arrival. The 6-foot junior led McCall-Donnelly to the best season in program history with a state runner-up finish in its first season back in the 3A classification. Green averaged 24.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during that surprising run. He tallied 17.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during the regular season. Green hauled in All-SRV first-team and 3A State Player of the Year honors as a result.
“DJ’s combination of basketball IQ, skillset, quickness, and first step are as good as I’ve seen at the high school level,” McCall-Donnelly coach Jason Tinney said. “As he started to gain confidence throughout the year, I think we could see that kind of performance was possible.”
G Taden King, sr., Madison
The Bobcats, the winners of nine state championships, found themselves in an unfamiliar place last season during the state tournament – home. King made sure that didn’t happen again by bringing them back in style with a third-place finish in 2021. The 6-foot-4 point guard did so by leading Madison in both scoring (19.9 ppg) and assists (4.2) with 5.5 rebounds per game to boot. King earned 5A All-State and 5A/4A All-High Country first-team honors for those efforts. He is currently going through offers from North Idaho College, Edmonds Community College (Washington), Everett Community College (Washington) and Umpqua Community College (Oregon).
“He was a terrific leader for our guys this year,” Madison coach Travis Schwab said. “He has a great basketball IQ and he could score at will. To be a team’s leading scorer as well as their leader in assists, is quite an accomplishment.”
HONORABLE MENTION BOYS BASKETBALL ALL-STATE
G Lloyer Driggs, sr., Thunder Ridge
The Thunder Ridge boys basketball program has only been around for three years. But Driggs’ shoes are already going to be hard to fill. The 5-foot-11 point guard became the first boys player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points. He did so by being the second leading scorer in the state behind only Titus Yearout with 23.7 points per game on 50% shooting from the field, including 41% from 3-point range. Driggs added 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game as well. Naturally, the awards such as the 5A/4A High Country Conference Player of the Year and 5A All-State first-team honors started piling up. He will play for former Texas A&M and Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie at NCAA Division I’s Tarleton State (Texas).
“Lloyer is an outstanding player and an extremely hard worker,” Thunder Ridge coach Lee Toldson said. “He’s an excellent on/off-ball defender, great finisher, and his biggest strength is his mid-range and three-point shooting.”
G Jordan Lenz, jr., North Fremont
It took a miracle shot to deny Lenz an opportunity at a third straight state title. But that’s about the only thing he had taken away from him this year. The 6-0 guard repeated as both the Nuclear Conference and 2A State Player of the Year with 19.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assist and 3.1 steals per game. Lenz still helped the Huskies bring home a third-place trophy. But he’s going to be fully motivated to get that state championship back next season. And that will probably be a scary thing for teams standing in his way to deal with.
“The great thing about Jordan is he’s good at every aspect of the game, whether it’s offense or defense,” North Fremont coach Shannon Hill said. “He can shoot and convert any shot, and he can also defend both guards and posts. He is a great individual player, but he is also very unselfish and creates for his teammates.”
W Charlie DeBoer, sr., Riverstone
The Otters had never been out of the first round of state and were 1-8 overall there. But DeBoer helped change that narrative. The 6-foot-3 wing tallied 21.9 points on 67% shooting from the field, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.7 steals per game to lead a Cinderella run all the way to the state final. DeBoer was rewarded with 1A Division I Western Idaho Conference Player of the Year and 1A D1 All-State first-team honors. He will play for NCAA Division III University of Puget Sound (Washington) next season.
“Charlie is an excellent scorer from anywhere on the court, has great court vision and involves teammates in every possession,” Riverstone coach Steve Bowen said.
G Kolton Mitchell, so., Lake City
While Buchanan got most of the attention at state, it was really Mitchell’s team during the regular season. The 6-0 point guard was the team MVP and the Co-Player of the Year with Post Falls’ Caden McLean after all. But Mitchell still had a great postseason himself with 15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He averaged 16.7 points and 3.2 assists overall to walk away with 5A All-State second-team honors. Mitchell has interest in schools from both the Big Sky, WCC and Big West.
“(He) definitely holds the keys to our engine,” Winger said. “Kolton first and foremost is a fierce competitor.”
C Jason Janish, sr., Eagle
Janish was without a doubt the most improved player in the state this season. In one year’s time, he went from the junior varsity team to the 5A SIC Player of the Year and a 5A All-State second-team selection. The 6-foot-7 center surprised everyone by averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game on his way to leading the Mustangs to state for the third consecutive year. He is getting interest from College of Idaho, Columbia Basin College and Bellevue Community College.
“Jason was a pleasure to coach,” Eagle coach Cody Pickett said. “He was hard to deal with in the paint, a good passer and he can also shoot it very well from the perimeter. I wish I had another year with him.”
— Brandon Walton