The Bee's Bill Paterson highlights 25 players to watch this season.
25 PLAYERS TO WATCH
DAKARAI ALLEN | Sheldon, Sr.
The 6-foot-6, four-year varsity veteran, 2012 Bee All-Metro first-teamer and San Diego State signee returns to lead the Huskies, who are looking for an unprecedented Sac-Joaquin Section Division I four-peat.
JOSEPH BARNES | Sacramento, Sr.
The returning Bee All-Metro player and 6-3 guard is an all-around force for the Dragons, averaging 11.8 points and a team-high nine rebounds this season.
GABE BEALER | Antelope, Sr.
A Bee All-Metro second-teamer last season, he averaged 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Titans, who were 30-2 and won the D-II section title.
JUSTIN BESKEEN | Bear River, Sr.
The 6-6, three-year varsity starter is averaging 23.6 points and five rebounds. He's accepted a volleyball scholarship to Cal State Northridge.
NOAH BLACKWELL | Woodcreek, So.
The point guard started for the Timberwolves as a freshman and gained a lot of attention from college recruiters over the summer. He will be one of the Sierra Foothill League's top players.
ISAIAH ELLIS | Antelope, Sr.
A shot blocker who brings his football toughness to the hardwood, he's helped the Titans go 57-9 the past two seasons and play for two D-II section championships, winning their first last season.
UCHENNA IROEGBU | Capital Christian, Jr.
The youngest of three basketball-playing brothers is coming into his own for the talent-laden Cougars. Oldest brother Chuks played at Franklin; middle brother Ikenna is at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
KENDRICK JACKSON | Granite Bay, So.
Blessed with perimeter skills and beyond-his-years savvy, the 6-3, 170-pound son of former Kings guard Bobby Jackson has the same high energy his father did.
NIFAE LEALAO | Capital Christian, Jr.
The 6-6, 275-pound national football recruit is also a force in basketball for the defending D-V section champions.
LAKE LUTES | Jesuit, Jr.
With Jesuit hit hard by graduation, the slender 6-6 forward is the Marauders' go-to scorer after strong performances in the recent Jack Scott Tournament.
EDWIN OLYMPIO | Folsom, Sr.
The 6-3 French transplant, who dazzles with his leaping around the rim, led Folsom with 23 points in its one-point win over Woodcreek on Saturday for the Folsom-Vista del Lago tournament championship.
BENSON OSAYANDE | Franklin, Jr.
The 6-7 shot blocker, rebounder and slasher should be the Wildcats' next impact player after the graduation of Theo Johnson and the transfer of Darin Johnson to Sheldon.
DE'SEAN PARSONS | Grant, Sr.
He's off to a strong start this season for the Pacers, with 92 points in four games at the McDonald's Classic in Stockton, including 22 in the championship game loss to Bay Area power El Cerrito.
MALIK POPE | Laguna Creek, Jr.
All eyes will be on the 6-8 Burbank transfer this season; he's ranked as the No. 1 Class of 2014 player in Northern California by NorCalPreps.com and No. 9 nationally by Rivals.com.
HAYDEN RUSSELL | Davis, Sr.
The point guard is averaging 20 points a game in leading the Blue Devils' creative, up-tempo "System" that already has topped 100 points three times.
VASLIJE SARABA | Del Campo, Jr.
The 6-4 jump shooter, averaging 20.8 points, had 34 points in a 77-76 overtime win against Vista del Lago.
AHMAD SMITH | Bella Vista, Sr.
The unselfish and dynamic floor leader should help the Broncos challenge for their third straight Capital Valley Conference title.
CHRIS SNYDER | Ponderosa, Jr.
The 6-9 post is averaging 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds as the latest star in Shingle Springs after Saint Mary's Brad Waldow and Sonoma State's Steve Lackey.
DAVID STRAUGHTER | Burbank, Sr.
A three-year varsity contributor and former role player, he has developed into the Titans' leading scorer and rebounder at 18.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.
ERIC STUTEVILLE | Casa Roble, Sr.
The 6-10 Sacramento State signee could lead Casa Roble to a special season after averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks as a junior.
MALIK THAMES | Pleasant Grove, Sr.
The returning All-Delta River League point guard has developed into a dominating player like older brother Xavier, a former Pleasant Grove star now at San Diego State.
ALEX VAN DYKE | Cosumnes Oaks, Jr.
The 6-4, 205-pound forward scored 68 points in four games to lead Cosumnes Oaks to third place in last weekend's McDonald's Classic in Stockton.
ANTHONY WILLIAMS | Foothill, Sr.
The returning All-Pioneer Valley League player is averaging 21.5 points for the Mustangs, who were hit hard by graduation.
D'ERRYL WILLIAMS | Sheldon, Sr.
The muscular 6-2 point guard, The Bee's Player of the Year last season and a San Diego State signee, is expected back soon after battling an aggravating bone bruise in his foot.
DEVIN YOUNG | Sacramento, Fr.
The 6-6 forward tops the Dragons in scoring and leads a strong freshman class that includes Sheldon's Devin Greene and Ian Miller, Rio Americano's Matt Lyon and Folsom's Jordan Ford.