New Mexico 2013 Rankings
August 23, 2012West Coast Hoops
Fullcourt Press New Mexico 2013 Rankings:
Top 20 Players
by Devon Honomichl
**special to the Fullcourt Press
The players listed below represent the top 20 ranked players in New Mexico’s Class of 2013. My #1 ranked player is Cullen Neal who is a 2012 Pangos All-American Camp invitee that hopes to lead his Eldorado squad to back-to-back New Mexico state titles this season. Close behind Neal is his Danny Granger AAU teammate Bryce Alford who would love nothing more than to have his La Cueva team meet Eldorado again in the state title game, but this time with a different result. Dawson is the state’s best available uncommitted prospect that had a strong spring and summer and is drawing a wide variety of interest from mid-high major programs.
1. Cullen Neal 6'4” CG Eldorado (Albuquerque NM)
Great combo guard has outstanding shooting ability to go along with effective slashing skills. Neal has a high basketball I.Q. and is a leader on the floor. Son of New Mexico associate head coach and former NBA player Craig Neal is all set to attend WCC power St. Mary’s in the Fall of 2013. Neal is ranked in the Rivals.com 2013 Top 150 (#146) and was an all-tourney selection at the Las Vegas Fab 48 in July.
2. Bryce Alford 6'4” PG La Cueva (Albuquerque NM)
Surprisingly athletic guard has a very accurate shot and gets to the rim well. Outstanding passer with quick handles knows how to run a squad with precision. Very smart player will play college ball for his dad – New Mexico head coach Steve Alford (former Indiana star and NBA player). Made all-tourney at this July’s Las Vegas Fab 48.
3 Jon Dawson 6'3” PG Clovis (Clovis NM)
Athletic point guard can score when he wants, but will look to get teammates involved first. Dawson has legitimate “3-point” shooting ability but prefers to take it inside when the opportunity presents itself. Solid defender is receiving interest from Arizona State, Creighton, UTEP, Wyoming, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona and Texas Tech.
4. Sam Haywood 6'1” CG Volcano Vista (Albuquerque NM)
Strong and athletic combo-guard can easily get to the basket off the dribble and finish. Also has ability to post up opposing guards. Great defender is a solid shooter that rebounds well. Northern Arizona is among the schools showing interest.
5. Zach Lee 6'7” SF Eldorado (Albuquerque NM)
Crazy athletic forward will set screens and roll off and catch lobs. Has decent 15 jump shot and will crack boards hard. Great defender likes to rise up and block shots. Definite “sleeper” in the Rocky Mountain region.
6. DJ Blackmon 6'2” SG Clovis (Clovis NM)
Athletic guard gets to the rack whenever he wants and is also a dependable shooter. Good passer will crash the boards and has quick hands that lead to plenty of steals per game.
7. Mike Torrez 6'6” PF Rio Grande (Albuquerque NM)
Hard working post player has a nice 15 foot pull up “J”. Mike has decent handles, will block shots on defense and protect the paint.
8. Dane Pannel 6'2” CG Hobbs (Hobbs NM)
Tough, strong combo guard can shoot the jumper, as well as post up and finish.
9. Kane Martinez 6'2” CG Eldorado (Albuquerque NM)
Super quick lead guard has a respectable outside shot, possesses decent handles and is a solid defender.
10. Ben Romero 5'9” PG Los Lunas (Los Lunas NM)
Manzano transfer is a very nice point guard that can score and run his team. Tends to be flashy but always makes the right pass. .
11. Kai Williams 6'4” CF Las Cruces (Las Cruces NM)
Undersized interior forward with nice footwork and post moves. Spin move is predictable but effective.
12. Preston Bungei 6'4” SG Cibola (Albuquerque NM)
Deep 3 point shooter reads screens accordingly to get open looks. Quickly improving wing is an underrated driver.
13. Ross Buchman 6'6” PF Cibola (Albuquerque NM)
Ross is a grimy, hard-nosed post that gets all the dirty work done inside. Probably the most aggressive player in NM, Buchman also has a decent mid-range game and knows how to finish around the rim.
14. Donovan Khatam 6'4” SF West Mesa (Albuquerque NM)
Volcano Vista transfer is a tough forward with a nice fade-away jump shot that can also shoot the 15 foot and 3 point shot. Will take it inside, can rebound and is a solid defender. Should be ranked higher but missed last season due to transfer rules.
15. Cristian Lucero 5’9” CG Manzano (Albuquerque NM)
Sharp shooter has a nice pull up “J” as well as solid handles. Small but tough combo is a good defender.
16. Nic Stafford 6'3” SF St. Pius X (Albuquerque NM)
Aggressive swingman can step out and occasionally hit the 15 footer. Attacking style of play draws lots of fouls.
17. Josh Lucero 5’9” PG Rio Rancho (Rio Rancho NM)
Point guard likes to come off screens and fire long range shots. Will get to the basket and finish if defenders give him space.
18. Chris Crespin 5’9” CG Cibola (Albuquerque NM)
Guard is excellent off the dribble and is a streaky shooter that loves harassing opposing ballhandlers.
19. Jacob Porras 6'5” PF West Mesa (Albuquerque NM)
Defensive monster who will protect the paint and block shots. Very athletic forward will post up but prefers high post turn-around jump shots and can hit the “3” as well.
20. Nic Martin 5'10” CG Volcano Vista (Albuquerque NM)
Very smart combo-guard is a nice outside shooter that will connect in clutch situations .