Class players of the year Patrick Baldwin Jr (Juniors), Emoni Bates (Sophomores) and D.J. Wagner (Freshmen) headline the 2019-20 Underclass All-American Elite team.
Two juniors and a sophomore named to the 26th Annual All-American Elite Team headline a group of 75 elite players selected to the 2019-20 Underclass All-American Elite team powered by ballislife.com.
Small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. of Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.), this year’s National Junior of the Year, was named to the overall All-American Elite third team. In 2018-19, Baldwin was the only tenth-grader on the Elite All-American second team. This season no underclass player was chosen to the second team, as a strong senior class was rewarded for its efforts.
The second junior to make the All-American Elite team was big man Mousa Cisse of Lausanne Collegiate (Memphis, Tenn.). The fourth five selection led the Lynx to the TSSAA Division II Class A state crown.
Two juniors were honored as fourth five selections in 2018-19: Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) and Jalen Johnson of Nicolet (Glendale, Wis.). Mobley moved up to the first team this season and Johnson didn’t play in enough games to be eligible for All-American honors. He was expected to suit up for preseason FAB 50 No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), but eventually returned to Wisconsin and played a handful of games at the end of the regular season for his original high school.
This year Emoni Bates became the first sophomore to earn first five honors since current NBA superstar LeBron James while at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) in 2000-01. In the past 26 years under the current selection format Bates and James are the only tenth-graders to earn first five All-American honors and fans are already anticipating a lengthy pro career for Bates.
In 26 years of publishing our annual All-American teams and including our retroactive teams dating back to the 1954-55 season, no freshman has ever been a first team All-American selection. Bates was a second team selection in 2018-19 and the third freshman ever to earn All-American acclaim, joining Marvin Bagley III of Corona Del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) in 2014-15 and 6-foot-8, 215-pound man child Wayne McKoy of Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) back in 1973-74.
As is the case every year, some underclass All-Americans will transfer programs and have already made the announcement. Each year, more players are classifying up in order to speed up the recruiting process or join a class that will be more advantageous to their development.
Sophomore big man Jalen Duren will leave Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) and is headed to defending FAB 50 champ Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.). Sophomore Skyy Clark of Heritage Christian, (Northridge, Calif.) is headed to Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.) while Zion Cruz will leave Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.) to play for Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), where he will be joined by another talented 2022 guard, Dior Johnson from Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.). Expect more player movement and some more reclassification as the summer rolls on.
National Grassroots Editor Ronnie Flores selects this performance-based squad with input from Mr. Basketball USA panelists. It is chosen after the conclusion of the season, which makes the Underclass All-American Team more reflective of players who made state championship runs.
Our national coach of the year is Thomas Ryan of Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.).
Juniors to Watch (2021)
G — Trey Alexander, Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 6-4
F — Patrick Baldwin Jr., Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 6-8
C — Nate Bittle, Crater (Central Point, Ore.) 6-11
G — Ahamad Bynum, Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 6-2
G — Kennedy Chandler, Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 6-1
F — Paolo Banchero, O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 6-9
F — Kendall Brown, Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kan.) 6-7
F — Max Christie, Rolling Meadows (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) 6-6
C — Moussa Cisse, Lausanne Collegiate (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-10
G — Zaon Collins, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 6-1
G — Jerdarrian Davison, Calhoun School (Letohatchee, Ala.) 6-3
C — Moussa Diabate, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-10
G — Rashool Diggins, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) 6-1
F — Caleb Furst, Blackhawk Christian (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) 6-10
G — Jaden Hardy, Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 6-5
G — Chucky Hepburn, Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 6-1
G — Nolan Hickman, Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 6-3
C — Chet Holmgren, Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.) 7-1
F — Daron Holmes, Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.) 6-9
G — Jackie Johnson, Wichita Southeast (Wichita, Kan.) 5-10
G — David Jones, Teas Valley Christian Prep (Scott Depot, W. Va.) 6-5
F — Harrison Ingram, St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 6-6
G — Trevor Keels, Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 6-5
F — Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek (Sellersburg, Ind.) 6-9
F — Jonathan Lawson, Wooddale (Memphis, Tenn.) 6-7
F — Aminu Mohammed, Greenwood Laboratory (Springfield, Mo.) 6-5
F — Trey Patterson, Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.) 6-7
G — Daeshon Ruffin, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) 5-9
G — Hunter Sallis, Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 6-4
F — Jabari Smith, Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.) 6-9
2020 National Junior of the Year: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Sophomores to Watch (2022)
G — Amari Bailey, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 6-4
F — Emoni Bates, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.) 6-8
G — Jaden Bradley, Cannon (Concord, N.C.) 6-2
F — Andre Casey, Tinley Park (Ill.) 6-8
G — Skyy Clark, Heritage Christian, (Northridge, Calif.) 6-3
C — Donovan Clingan, Bristol Central (Bristol, Conn.) 6-10
G — Zion Cruz, Hudson Catholic (Hudson, N.J.) 6-3
F — Gradey Dick, Wichita Collegiate (Wichita, Kan.) 6-6
C — Lee Dort, North Dallas Adventist Academy (Richardson, Texas) 6-10
C — Jalen Duren, Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-9
F — Barry Dunning, McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.) 6-7
G — Keyonte George, Lewisville (Texas) 6-3
G — Rylan Griffen, Richardson (Texas) 6-4
G — Bryce Griggs, Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) 6-1
G — Sterling “Scoota” Henderson, Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 6-2 G
G — Trejuan Holloman, Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 6-0
G — Jalen Hood-Schifino, Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 6-4
F — Caleb Houstan, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 6-7
G — Ricky “Pop Pop” Isaacs Jr., Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 6-2
F — Kamari Lands, La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 6-7
G — Desean Lecque, Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) 6-0
G — Chris Livingston, Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, Ohio) 6-5
G — Fletcher Loyer, Clarkston (Clarkston, Mich.) 6-4
F — Mark Mitchell, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 6-8
G — Ben Roy, Manasquan (N. J.) 6-1
G — Bruce Thornton, Milton (Ga.) 6-2
G — Milos Uzan, Desert Pines (Las Vegas, Nev.) 6-5
F — Jarace Walker, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 6-6
G — Chance Westry, Trinity (Camp Hill, Pa.) 6-5
F — Kijani Wright, Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 6-8
2020 National Sophomore of the Year: Emoni Bates
Freshmen to Watch (2023)
F — Omaha Biliew, Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa) 6-7
G — Kanaan Carlyle, Milton (Ga.) 6-1
F — Kwame Evans, Poly (Baltimore, Md.) 6-8
C — Baye Fall, Lutheran (Parker, Col.) 6-10
F — Rayvon Griffith, Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) 6-6
F — Matthew Bewley, Northeast (Oakland Park, Fla.) 6-9
F — Amani Hansberry, St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 6-7
G — Jaylen Jones, East Nashville (Nashville, Tenn.) 5-9
C — Jalen Lewis, Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 6-8
G — Chris Lockett, Newman (New Orleans, La.) 6-4
F — Mackenzie Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.) 6-7
F — Dennis Parker, John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 6-6
G — Mike Price, Crespi (Encino, Calif.) 6-1
G — D.J. Wagner, Camden (N.J.) 6-2
G — Mikey Williams, San Ysidro (Calif.) 6-3
2020 National Freshman of the Year: D.J. Wagner
National Coach of the Year: Thomas Ryan, Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.).
Note: ESPN selections 2010-2012; EA SPORTS selections 2003-2009; Student Sports selections prior to 2003; Selections are based on high school accomplishment, not future college/pro potential, and are reflective of those that lead their teams to state championships. The editors of Ballislife.com do not knowingly select fifth-year players, and those ineligible due to age or academics, Mr. Basketball USA or to its various All-American teams.