The opportunity to probe the minds of coaches and a few media about all-state selections is usually a mixed bag. Basketball, as much as any team sport, is about teamwork. Postseason individual honors are not. As much as some people believe that an all-state selection should or must be as close to a championship trophy as possible, it just ain’t so.
Ernie Banks won a National League MVP award while playing for a last-place Chicago Cubs team. The debate about who is worthy of being honored at any level, pro, college or high school, can go on for eternity.
For our All-State process, asking voters to submit their top defensive players, most improved players and more is always interesting. Here’s what we found with the 2015-16 boys basketball class.
1. Robby Mann, ‘Iolani. At 16 points per game, he led the state champion Raiders in scoring. His ability to shoot was always a plus, but he morphed into a physical, attacking scorer this season. His durability and strength — and toughness, judging by the shot he took to the nose during the state tournament — took his game to another level.
2. Alex Layi, Kalaheo. He was steady, consistent and productive in the post despite being on the slender side. His craftiness near the basket helped Kalaheo surge to the OIA title.
3. Micah Mitchell, Hawaii Baptist. The junior made 60 3-pointers this year.
Also receiving votes: Keoua Mahiko, Kaiser; Jaymason Nunuha, Saint Louis; Liam Fitzgerald, Leilehua; Kaeler Kahana, Kamehameha; Huthifa Abdel Jawad, McKinley; Hugh Hogland, ‘Iolani; Jared Elwin, Roosevelt.
1. Hugh Hogland, ‘Iolani
2. ‘Akahi Troske, Punahou
3. Cole Arceneaux, Punahou
4. Helam Baldomero, ‘Iolani
5. Kekai Smith, Kalaheo
6. Isaac Slade-Matautia, Saint Louis
7. Brian Washington, Maryknoll
8. Koa Kauhi, Leilehua
9. Zion Shepherd, Mid-Pacific
10. Hunter Lee, Punahou
Also receiving votes: Robby Mann, ‘Iolani; Joseph Gouty, Leilehua; Nick Kennedy, ‘Iolani; Alex Layi, Kalaheo; Liam Fitzgerald, Leilehua; Zach Gelacio, ‘Iolani; Jared Lum, Punahou; Michael Miske, Kaiser; Jared Elwin, Roosevelt; Jaymason Nunuha, Saint Louis; Huthifa Abdel Jawad, McKinley; Kama Scheer, Kaiser; Chance Kalaugher, Kaiser; Kaeler Kahana, Kamehameha.
2016-17 Top Four
Also receiving votes: Mid-Pacific, Moanalua, Saint Louis.
1. St. Francis
Also receiving votes: Castle, Campbell.