The NCAA Tournament is back in 2021 after being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. This year’s men’s tournament is filled with former Texas (UIL) high school basketball stars – including first-team All-American Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) and second-team All-American Drew Timme (Gonzaga).
Here’s a look at former Texas high school basketball stars in the 2021 men’s tourney, broken down by Region and their college. (Feature photo by Colin Mulvany, The Spokesman-Review)
FORMER TEXAS STARS IN 2021 NCAA TOURNAMENT
Drew Timme – Pearce HS (Richardson)
Timme, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, is one of the best big men in the country and helped lead Gonzaga to a 26-0 record. He averages 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds and was named a second-team AP All-American for the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Marcus Garrett – Skyline HS
Garrett, a 6-foot-5 senior, fills up the stat sheet at 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He was named second-team all-Big 12 and is the reigning national defensive player of the year.
Jalen Wilson – Guyer HS (Denton)
Wilson, a 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman, leads Kansas in rebounding at 8.2 per game and also averages 12.1 points. Wilson is currently in COVID quarantine and won’t play in the Jayhawks’ first-round game.
Keller Casey – Episcopal School (Dallas)
Casey, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, has played in four games this season.
Ajare Sanni – Clear Lake HS (Houston)
Sanni, a sophomore, is averaging 12.5 points and 2.5 assists and was named the Big West’s Sixth Man of the Year.
Grand Canyon (15-seed)
Bryce Okpoh – The Colony HS
Okphoh, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, has played in eight games this season and averages 1.8 points.
Andrew Deutser – Kinkaid HS (Houston)
Deutser, a sophomore, has played in two games this season.
Jase Febres – Westfield HS (Houston)
Febres, a senior guard, is averaging 5.4 points for the Longhorns.
Royce Hamm Jr. – Aldine Davis HS (Houston)
Hamm Jr., a 6-foot-9 junior, is a versatile defender and is averaging 2.4 rebounds.
Andrew Jones – MacArthur HS (Irving)
Jones, a 6-foot-4 redshirt junior, averages 14.6 points and was named honorable mention AP All-American. He was diagnosed with leukemia in Jan. 2018 and has made a remarkable recovery.
Blake Nevins – Cypress Ranch HS (Houston)
Nevins, a senior, has played sparingly this season.
Donovan Williams – Elkins HS (Fort Bend)
Williams, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, is averaging 3.5 points for the Longhorns. He scored a season-high 11 points against Oklahoma on Jan. 26.
Eli Parquet – West Brook HS (Beaumont)
Parquet, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, is an outstanding perimeter defender. He is averaging 5.2 points for the Buffaloes.
Brandon Averette – Richardson HS
Averette, a grad transfer from Utah Valley State, is averaging 11.5 points and was named second-team all-WCC.
Caleb Lohner – Flower Mound HS
Lohner, a 6-foot-8 freshman, played his first two years of high school ball at Flower Mound before transferring to Wasatch Academy in Utah. He’s BYU’s leading rebounder at 7.0 per game.
UNC Greensboro (13-seed)
Hayden Koval – CHANT homeschool
Koval, a 7-foot-1 senior center, is averaging 7.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He will be a tough matchup for Florida State in the first round.
Abilene Christian (14-seed)
Logan McLaughlin – Hebron HS (Carrollton)
McLaughlin, a 6-foot-1 freshman, averages 3.4 points for Abilene Christian, who will be going up against UT in the first round.
Reggie Miller – Klein Forest HS (Houston)
Miller is the senior leader for Abilene Christian. The starting point guard is averaging 6.2 points and 4.4 assists.
Tahlik Chavez – Lake Ridge HS (Mansfield)
Chavez, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard, played his first season of college ball at Garden City CC in Kansas. He’s averaging 3.2 points for Rick Pitino’s squad.
Texas Southern (16-seed)
Bryson Etienne – Bush HS (Fort Bend)
Etienne, a junior, is sidelined this season with an injury.
Jordan Gilliam – Chris Walker Academy (Houston)
Gilliam, a junior, had 12 points and four rebounds in Texas Southern’s 60-52 win over Mount St. Mary’s in a First Four game on Thursday.
Ashton McClelland – Cypress Ranch HS (Houston)
McClelland, a sophomore, has seen limited action in nine games this season.
Joirdon Karl Nicholas – Dawson HS (Pearland)
Nicholas, a 6-foot-9 junior, is averaging 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had six points and seven rebounds in the First Four win over Mount St. Mary’s.
Ja’Mare Redus – Eisenhower HS (Houston)
Redus, a sophomore, has seen limited action in seven games this season.
Andrew Malveaux III – Strake Jesuit HS (Houston)
Malveaux, a sophomore guard, has played in five games this season.
John Walker III – Marshall HS (Fort Bend)
Walker III, a 6-foot-9 junior, had 19 points and nine rebounds in their First Four win over Mount St. Mary’s on Thursday.
L.J. Cryer – Morton Ranch HS (Katy)
Cryer, a 6-foot-1 freshman, is averaging 4.1 points for the top-seeded Bears.
Jackson Moffatt – Magnolia HS
Moffatt, a sophomore, has played in eight games this season.
Mark Paterson – Trinity Christian Addison
Paterson, a 6-foot-1 senior, has played in eight games this season and is averaging 1.3 points.
Mark Vital – API (Dallas)
Vital, a 6-foot-5 senior, is one of the best and most versatile defenders in the Big 12. He averages 6.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks.
Bryson Morehead – Tompkins HS (Katy)
Morehead, a 6-foot-8 freshman walk-on, has played in three games this season.
Emeka Obukwelu – West HS (Plano)
Obukwelu, a 6-foot-8 senior, has played in five games this season.
Texas Tech (6-seed)
Kyler Edwards – Bowie HS (Arlington)
Edwards, a 6-foot-4 junior, is averaging 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Red Raiders. He transferred from Bowie to Findlay Prep in Nevada for his senior year of high school.
Micah Peavy – Duncanville HS
Peavy has been a factor for the Red Raiders as a freshman, averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds. His length (6-foot-7) causes problems for opponents on the defensive end.
Tyreek Smith – Trinity Christian Cedar Hill
Smith, another rangy Texas Tech defender (6-foot-7), is averaging 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds. Smith is a redshirt freshman.
Osayi Osifo – McKinney Boyd HS
Osifo, a 6-foot-7 junior, is averaging 1.9 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Gators.
Utah State (11-seed)
Karson Stastny – Celina HS
Stastny, a 6-foot-4 freshman, has played in seven games and is averaging 0.4 points.
North Texas (13-seed)
Zachary Simmons – Cedar Hill HS
Simmons, a 6-foot-10 senior, is averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game. He helped lead the Mean Green to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 11 years.
JJ Murray – Rowlett HS
Murray, a 6-foot-2 redshirt senior, averages 2.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and a team-leading 1.2 steals.
Rubin Jones – Yates HS (Houston)
Jones, a freshman, was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team.
Mykell Robinson – Hightower HS (Missouri City)
Robinson, a freshman, has played in 11 games this season.
Oral Roberts (15-seed)
Max Abmas – Jesuit (Dallas)
Abmas, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, leads the country in scoring at 24.2 points per game. He can light it up from deep (43 percent) and has two 40-plus point performances this season. Ohio State will have its hands full trying to slow him down in the first round.
Jonathan Alexandre – Legacy Christian Academy (Frisco)
Alexandre, a 6-foot-6 freshman, has played in five games and is averaging 3.4 points.
Nate Clover – Port Arthur Memorial HS
Clover, a 6-foot-8 freshman, is averaging 1.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in limited minutes.
Justin Lovvorn – First Baptist Academy (Dallas)
Lovvorn, a 6-foot-3 redshirt senior, has played in seven games and is averaging 5.1 points.
Kevin Obanor – Alief Hastings HS (Houston)
Obanor, a 6-foot-8 senior, is averaging 18.2 points and shooting 47-percent from deep.
DeShang Weaver – Cypress Falls HS (Houston)
Weaver, a 6-foot-8 redshirt sophomore, is averaging 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Quentin Grimes – College Park HS (The Woodlands)
Grimes, a junior guard, had a big regular season for the Cougars. Voted third-team AP All-American, he’s averaging 17.9 points while shooting 40-percent from deep.
Tramon Mark – Dickinson HS (Houston)
Mark has had a sizable impact as a freshman, averaging 8.1 points off the bench.
Marcus Sasser – Red Oak HS
Sasser, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is averaging 13.7 points and was named second-team all-American Athletic Conference.
Fabian White – Atascocita HS (Humble)
White, a 6-foot-8 senior, is averaging 5.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.
West Virginia (3-seed)
Kedrian Johnson – South Oak Cliff HS
Johnson, a 6-foot-3 junior, is averaging 1.4 points.
Taz Sherman – Marshall HS (Fort Bend)
Sherman, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, is averaging 13.6 points per game. He scored a season-high 26 in a 94-89 loss to Baylor on March 2.
Oklahoma State (4-seed)
Cade Cunningham – Bowie HS (Austin)
Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 freshman, is averaging 20.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals. He was named a first-team AP All-American and is expected to be a Top 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Cunningham transferred to Montverde Academy in Florida to finish his high school career.
Isaac Likekele – Timberview HS (Mansfield)
Likekele, a junior guard, is an important player on both ends for OSU, averaging 9.5 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Avery Anderson – Northwest HS (Justin)
Anderson, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, is averaging 11.7 points and 4.0 rebounds for the Cowboys.
Chris Harris Jr. – South Garland HS
Harris Jr., a 6-foot-2 sophomore, tore his ACL early in the season.
Loyola Chicago (8-seed)
Baylor Hebb – Colleyville Heritage HS
Hebb, a 6-foot-2 freshman, is averaging 3.7 points and 0.9 rebounds.
Oregon State (12-seed)
Warith Alatishe – Westside HS (Houston)
Alatishe, a 6-foot-7 junior, is averaging 9.9 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds for the Beavers.
Dearon Tucker – South Garland HS
Tucker, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, averages 2.8 points and 1.8 rebounds for the Beavers. Tucker finished his high school career in South Carolina.
Chris Parker – Plano East HS
Parker, a 6-foot-1 senior, is averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 3.5 assists for Liberty, who is riding a 12-game winning streak.
Micaiah Abii – Liberty HS (Frisco)
Abii, a 6-foot-7 freshman, is averaging 4.3 points and 1.5 rebounds.