2011 Daily Journal All-Area Boys Basketball Top 10

By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal

Tadarious Coburn
New Albany
• Vitals: Forward, 6-6, 205, senior
• Facts: 17.1 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg, 2.2 bpg. … 2010-11 MHSAA Division 1-4A Player of the Year. … 2010-11 McDonald’s All-American nominee. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … Being recruited by University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Blue Mountain, East Tennessee State, Mississippi College and Northeast Mississippi Community College.
• Coach speak: “Tadarious is the complete package: He shoots the ball well; he can post you up; and he runs the floor well. He’s a good defender, shot blocker and rebounder.” – Brad Gray
D.J. Gardner
Okolona
• Vitals: Guard, 6-7, 195, senior
• Facts: Daily Journal player of the year. … 32.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.3 spg, 81 FT %, 40 3-point %. … 2010-11 First-Team Parade All-American selection. … 2011 All-State Second-Team selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … Scored 30 or more points in 21 games. … All-Area selection last season. … Signed with Mississippi State.
• Coach speak: “He’s the kind of player that you don’t necessarily have to run a set play for him to get his shot. He can get his shot on his own.” – Bobby Ford
Deontaye Ewing
Tupelo
• Vitals: Guard, 6-1, 175, senior
• Stats: 17.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.8 spg, 77 FT %, 40 3-point %. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … 2010 Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star selection. … A 3-year starter, he’s being recruited by Itawamba Community College, Paris Junior College, Shelton State Community College, South Alabama, Southeast Louisiana, Missouri State-West Plains, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State and Wallace State Community College.
• Coach speak: “He played big in big games. He’s a workaholic. He scored big baskets for us and made big plays on defense.” – Grant Pate
Deonta Herman
Corinth
• Vitals: Guard, 5-11, 171, senior
• Stats: 14.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 7.5 apg, 4.2 spg, 31.8 3-point %. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … MHSAA All-Division 1-3A first-team selection. … Scored 1,382 points, grabbed 518 rebounds, recorded 660 assists and 353 steals in his career. … Signed with Jackson State.
• Coach speak: “Just the speed he can play at is so fast. With his vision, you’re talking about a kid that can see many things, whether it’s in the full court or half court or in transition.” – Keith Greene
J.R. Jennings
Calhoun City
• Vitals: G/F, 6-1, 175, senior
• Facts: 19.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 3.2 spg. … Co-MHSAA Division 2-2A Offensive Player of the Year. … MHSAA Class 2A All-State Tournament selection. … A 2010 Daily Journal All-Area football selection, he signed with the Northeast Mississippi Community College football program and hopes to also play basketball for the Tigers.
• Coach speak: “He was what I called “the nails” on the team. That’s what I call a tough player. He’d score, defend and rebound, and was just mentally tough, which was a big plus.” – Daren Coffey
Keldrick Lesley
Booneville
• Vitals: Guard, 6-1, 150, junior
• Facts: 17.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.9 spg, 70 FT %, 31.2 3-point %. … MHSAA All-Division 1-3A first-team selection. … Had 11 games in which he scored 20 or more points, including 4 in the North Tournament. … Scored a game-high 19 points in the Class 3A state championship game.
• Coach speak: “He wants to be the one who carries the load. He wants the opportunity to be a special player.” – Michael Smith
Robert Montgomery
Myrtle
• Vitals: Guard, 5-8, 140, soph.
• Facts: 18.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.8 spg, 72.1 FT %, 32.9 3-point %, 39 charges taken. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … Had 3 games in which he scored more than 30 points. … Averaged 18.8 ppg in 5 postseason games to help lead the Hawks to the MHSAA Class 1A state semifinals.
• Coach speak: “He’s just driven to do whatever it takes to win. He’s got a lot of heart, a lot of effort.” – Jonathan Ashley
Reggie Patterson
Baldwyn
• Vitals: G/F, 6-2, 170, junior
• Facts: 25.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 4.6 apg, 2.5 spg. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … 2011 Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star selection. … Named Co-MVP of MHSAA’s Division 1-2A along with teammate Dee Gates. … Had 11 games in which he scored 30 or more points. … Scored a season-high 42 points in a division tournament win vs. East Union, and was named tournament MVP.
• Coach speak: “He has a unique ability to score in a lot of different ways. He’s a very smart basketball player both offensively and defensively.” – Jason McKay
Devin Tillman
Bruce
• Vitals: G/F, 6-2, 188, senior
• Facts: 14.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg. … Co-MHSAA Division 2-2A Offensive Player of the Year. … Had a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) in state semifinals vs. Richton. … Scored 27 points in team’s win vs. Pontotoc and 26 vs. West Lowndes.
• Coach speak: “Devin is our glue guy. He made everything run smoothly. He made everything stick together for us. Anytime a team would make a run, it seemed like our guys would look towards Devin to bail us out.” – Seth Burt
Acie Vance
Ripley
• Vitals: Guard, 6-0, 175, senior
• Facts: 31.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.6 apg, 2.9 spg. … 2010-11 MHSAA Division 1-3A Player of the Year. … 2011 All-State Honorable Mention selection by The Clarion-Ledger. … 2010 Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star selection. … Scored 48 points vs. Booneville in a MHSAA Division 1-3A Tournament game.
• Coach speak: “Dynamic is the word that comes to mind. He can beat you by shooting the ball and also by breaking you down and finding other people. He does so many things so well.” – Grant Gardner
Capsules compiled by John Wilbert