The high school is upon us and with that means more localized coverage throughout the winter from various spots.  We start first in Wisconsin with a quick look at five teams and five prospects that looked primed to be big stories or breakout stories this season across the Badger state…

FIVE TEAMS TO WATCH
Note – Listed in alphabetical order – This is not an exclusive list

Brookfield Central
The defending D1 state champions look to repeat behind senior Malik Abdul-Wahid, juniors Ben Nau and David Joplin, and sophomore Andrew Rohde amongst others.  Gone is senior standout Cole Nau (Hillsdale) but they return a lot of minutes and a lot of experience and they’re going to need it with Sussex Hamilton, Kimberly, Madison East, etc. amongst others chasing them.

Madison East
One of the premiere teams in the state last season, East fell short to an upset in tournament play and they return a loaded cast of players led by Anthony Washington.  They are legitimate threat once again and they are hungry to take a big step forward after last year’s disappointment.

Wauwatosa East
This to me is the surprise team of the season at the D2 level and they’re absolutely loaded.  Juniors Brian Parzych, John Lovelace Jr., and Alex Singleton pace the attack with sophomore Leon Bond also in the mix.  They are legitimate threat to capture the D2 state title this season if they play up to their potential and look for them to be in the mix with La Crosse Central, Nicolet, etc. when it’s all said and done.

Racine St. Catherines
Junior guard Tyrese Hunter is soaring and for good reason as he’s a human highlight reel on the hardwood and he’s only getting better.  Always well coached and talented with junior Kamari Magee alongside Hunter to form a lethal backcourt combination.  St. Cats is a legitimate D3 state championship contender this season.

Sussex Hamilton
They fell to Brookfield Central in the playoffs last year and they return a year older and a bit deeper with junior big man Nolan Rieder expected to play a more significant role.  Junior Patrick Baldwin Jr. is still the alpha here and he’s the best player in the state regardless of the class.  They are experienced and talented and they join Madison East, Brookfield Central, Kimberly, etc. as favorites in challenging for the Division 1 state championship.

FIVE PROSPECTS TO WATCH
Note – Listed in alphabetical order – This is not an exclusive list

Alex Antetokounmpo – 2020 – 6-7 – F – Dominican (WI)
The youngest of the Antetokounmpo brothers, Alex enters his final season trending upward.  He took steps forward last high school season and he’s look to do the same for Dominican this season.

Learic Davis – 2022 – 6-7 – SF – Milwaukee Bradley Tech (WI)
One of the fast rising sophomores in the state, Davis is an explosive athlete with the ability to score in transition and half court sets.  His offensive game is versatile and he has the ability to play above the rim with consistently.  Long and lean, Davis will be one of the more exciting sophomores in the state this season.

John Lovelace Jr. – 2021 – 6-7 - F – Wauwatosa East (WI)
Another plus length explosive athlete with the ability to be a dominant force both offensively and defensively.  Lovelace is ultra-athletic and that athleticism combined with his size and length is exciting to watch.  He should be one of the breakout performer in the state this season and he’s a potential high major Division 1 caliber prospect with a huge ceiling.

Nolan Rieder – 2021 – 6-9 - F/C – Sussex Hamilton (WI)
As talented as Sussex Hamilton is the emergence of this talented junior could very well be the key to their season’s fortunes.  He brings excellent size to the court and he has to be accounted for with his ability to finish around the basket and face up and knock down the jump shot.  A legit 6-9 plus with strength and physicality, Rieder gives them a lot of size down low allowing Baldwin to move around and create matchup problems with his game offensively.  

Donavan Short – 2022 – 6-9 – F/C – Denmark (WI)
As 2022 prospects go Donavan is one to watch very closely as he is another legitimate Division 1 prospect who is one of the top 2-3 in the state in his class and could possibly be the top sophomore in the state within 12 months.  He has size, an ability to score around the basket, physicality, athleticism, and range that extends beyond the arc.  Look for him to have a big double double type season at Denmark.