The Dallas Morning News’ Joseph Hoyt previews the 2019-20 boys basketball season. He takes a loot at storylines to know, as well as players and teams to watch.

Click here to see SportsDayHS’ top 20 boys basketball recruits for 2020.

Top storylines

Can Duncanville repeat?

The 6A state championship in Texas has only existed since 2014-15 school year. Dallas-area teams have won the state title every year aside from 2017, when Cypress Falls knocked off Skyline in overtime of the state semifinals before taking the title.

The interesting thing about it: The other four titles were each won by a different Dallas-area team. Plano West won in 2015, DeSoto took home the title in 2016, then Allen and Duncanville have won it the last two years. Obviously, repeating as state champions isn’t easy, but could Duncanville do it?

The Panthers lost four seniors from last year’s state championship team, including guard Jahmi’us Ramsey, who wasted no time cracking the starting lineup for Texas Tech, the reigning national runner-up. Micah Peavy, the second-ranked player in the state and the son of head coach David Peavy, is back, however, and looking to end his high school career with a state title.

With Peavy, and a core made up of seniors Ja’Bryant Hill and Robert Banks, as well as junior Damon Nicholas, the Panthers could repeat as champions.

Who emerges in 5A?

Lancaster – the 2016 state champions – was the top-ranked 5A team in the state last year for most of the season. That is, until Frisco Lone Star stunned them in the regional tournament.

Ultimately, Mansfield Timberview went to the state tournament and won it all, doing so for the second time in three years.

In total, Lancaster and Mansfield Timberview have combined to win four of the last five state championships. Will it come down to those two teams for the 2020 state title, once again? Or will another 5A team step up?

Justin Northwest is a possible candidate. The Texans have been to the state tournament twice in the last three years, and nearly made it a third, but ultimately lost to Timberview in a battle of the two best remaining 5A teams in the state.

Frisco Lone Star, Midllothian, South Oak Cliff and Kimball are a couple other teams to keep an eye on.

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Is Faith Family about to start a dynasty?

Oak Cliff Faith Family, a 4A charter school in south Dallas, was relatively unknown before the start of last season. Then, it went out and won the 4A state championship. The scariest thing about Faith Family’s rise? Two of the team’s best players were only freshman.

Trae Clayton, a preseason all-area selection, already has offers from Texas A&M and Illinois-Chicago. Fellow sophomore Jordan Walsh had the game-winning dunk as time expired in the state championship game. He already has offers from Texas A&M, Texas and Texas Tech.

Winning a state title last year wasn’t something Faith Family expected, but it did. The next few seasons? Expectations will be nothing less.

Preseason all-area team

Mike Miles, Lancaster senior guard: The Tigers were the top-ranked 5A team in the state for most of last season. Miles was a major reason why. As a junior, the four-star recruit averaged 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, earning second-team all-area honors. He’s waiting until spring to sign with a college.

Trae Clayton, Oak Cliff Faith Family sophomore guard: Faith Family took home the 4A state championship a year ago. Clayton was a major reason why. He was a freshman who played beyond his age, his coach said, averaging 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Texas A&M has already offered. Expect Clayton to make a huge jump in Year 2.

Micah Peavy, Duncanville senior forward: Peavy is the only returning player who earned first-team all-area honors a year ago. The Duncanville senior averaged 18 points and nine rebounds last season, providing a powerful one-two punch with current Texas Tech freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey. Peavy also signed with Texas Tech this past week.

JaKobe Coles, Denton Guyer senior forward: Duncanville won state, but it nearly lost in overtime in the regional tournament against Denton Guyer. Coles had a major impact in that games and expects to do the same this year. The Butler signee was the 5-6A Offensive Player of the Year, averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds per game. He signed with Butler.

Harrison Ingram, St. Mark’s junior forward: Ingram, at 6-foot-7, is ranked as the No. 17 player in the 2021 recruiting class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Last year, as a sophomore, Ingram averaged 18.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the regular season. He has 20 reported offers, so far.

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Teams to watch

Denton Guyer junior forward JaKobe Coles, center left, and Duncanville junior guard Micah Peavy, center right, battle for a rebound during overtime of the Class 6A Region I championship boys basketball game at the Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center in Fort Worth, Saturday, March 2, 2019. Duncanville won in overtime 66-62. (Brandon Wade/Special Contributor)
Denton Guyer junior forward JaKobe Coles, center left, and Duncanville junior guard Micah Peavy, center right, battle for a rebound during overtime of the Class 6A Region I championship boys basketball game at the Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center in Fort Worth, Saturday, March 2, 2019. Duncanville won in overtime 66-62. (Brandon Wade/Special Contributor)(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer: You could make an argument that the 6A state championship didn’t happen in San Antonio. Instead, it happened in Fort Worth, when Denton Guyer and Duncanville, the top-two teams in the state, faced off in the regional final. The game lived up to the hype, but Duncanville eventually prevailed in overtime. Guyer lost two key players – Oklahoma guard De’Vion Harmon and Kansas guard Jalen Wilson – but returns forward Jakobe Coles, a Butler signee, and Tyler McGhie, an important part of Guyer’s success a year ago.

Allen: The Eagles were the defending state champions a year ago and looked the part in the regular season, finishing with only three losses. Then Allen lost in the second round of the postseason. The Eagles lost district MVP Isaiah Stevens, who’s now at Colorado State, but return reigning district newcomer of the year Thailand Elder – a Louisiana Tech signee – Northern Colorado signee Bryce Kennedy and first-team all-district guard Manny Obaseki, a junior.

Kimball: The Knights went to the third round of the playoffs last season, ultimately losing 52-39 to Highland Park. Kimball could make a leap this season, however, with plenty of talent on its roster. That’s led by sophomore point guard Arterio Morris, who had 12 points per game a season ago and has reported offers from TCU, SMU and Kansas. Senior shooting guard Jamari Lawrence averaged more than 18 points per game a season ago, as well.

St. Mark’s: The Lions haven’t won a Southwest Preparatory Conference title since 2007, despite being the north division’s No. 1 seed the last two seasons. This could be the year St. Mark’s gets over the hump. The Lions have one of the best juniors in the country in forward Harrison Ingram and one of the best sophomores in guard Colin Smith. On top of that, the Lions also have 6-foot-6 senior forward Andrew Laczkowski, who is committed to Penn. The Lions might not only have the best trio in the SPC, but one of the best in the entire state.

Players to watch

Latrell Jossell, Keller Central senior guard: The senior had a quiet recruitment, but ultimately ended up signing earlier this week with Kansas, one of the best NCAA basketball programs in the country. He averaged 18.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season.

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Logan Mclaughlin, Hebron senior guard: The three-star Abilene Christian signee led the team in scoring, assists and steals a year ago, earning first-team all-district honors.

Jake Milkereit, Bishop Lynch senior guard: The William & Mary signee shot 46 percent from 3-point range last year, finishing with 20 points per game. Also averaged seven rebounds.

Donte Houston, Garland Lakeview Centennial senior forward: The No. 6 player in the SportsDayHS Top 20 is an athletic 6-foot-8 prospect who has offers from Houston, Middle Tennessee State, TCU and more. He was the District 10-6A Defensive Player of the Year.

Jaylin Posey, Grand Prairie senior guard: Posey signed with Stephen F. Austin over offers from TCU and Texas Tech, becoming the first Grand Prairie player to sign with a Division I school in 13 years.

Baylor Hebb, Colleyville Heritage senior guard: Hebb averaged 21 points per game last year, drawing scholarship offers from over 10 Division I schools. He ended up signing with Loyola-Chicago. He was the District 7-5A Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

Zaakir Sawyer, Mesquite Horn senior guard: The 6-foot-4, Louisiana-Monroe signee averaged 18.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game a year ago, earning District 11-6A first-team honors.

Jarren Cook, Carrollton Newman Smith senior guard: The Sam Houston State signee proved to be one of the better shooters in the area last year, averaging 22 points per game and earning District 11-5A MVP honors.

Karson Stastny, Celina senior guard: He was the district offensive MVP as a freshman. He then followed that with District MVP honors the last two years. The four-year varsity letterman has also already eclipsed the career 2,000-point mark.

Kylon Owens, South Oak Cliff senior forward/center: Owens has been on varsity all four years at South Oak Cliff. The 6-foot-10 post nearly averaged a double-double last season with 9.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He also had 103 blocks.

On Twitter: @JoeJHoyt





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