After kicking off our boys basketball position rankings series on Tuesday with the guards, we now shift our attention to the forwards.
For the second installment in our three-part series, we rank the area’s top-10 players at that position for 2023-24.
We hope you enjoy our list.
10. Levi Glover, Jr., San Saba — This 6-foot-2 wing player made an splash on both ends as a sophomore, averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 steals per game.
With that year of varsity experience behind him, Glover should make a significantly larger impact this season as a junior.
9. Brooks Wright, Sr., Forsan — A relentless defender and rebounder, Wright fought through injury to average 6.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game last season as a junior.
Now healthy, the high-motor 6-2 small forward will to look to build on those numbers and the second-team all-district recognition they earned him.
8. Karter Smalley, Sr., Breckenridge — Smalley broke out in his first varsity season, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds per game on his way to earning second-team all-district honors as a junior.
With that experience under his belt, the talented 6-2 small forward should be one of the area’s top players from the jump in his final high school season.
7. Griff Reel, Jr., Jayton — One of several talented young players on Jayton’s state finalist squad last year, Reel’s combination of size and skill made a him a matchup nightmare as a sophomore.
Now an established talent with an even larger role for the Jaybirds, this 6-5 “small” forward should have little trouble improving on the 11 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks he averaged a year ago.
6. Bryson Callaway, Sr., Knox City — At 6-feet tall, Callaway isn’t the biggest player on this or any other list. But this talented forward does nothing but produce.
After averaging 16.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.7 steals to earn district MVP honors as a junior, Callaway will enter his final high school season with some of the highest expectations of any player in the area.
5. Adam Hill, Sr., Albany — As a standout running back and linebacker for the Lions football team, Hill may not hit the hardwood for another six weeks. But once he does, you can expect him to make a significant impact.
He showed what kind of player he can be last year, when he averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game to earn district Defensive MVP honors and set a high bar for his senior season.
4. Malik Brown, Sr., Sweetwater — This talented and versatile wing player can play guard or small forward — and do both at a high level.
As a first-team all-District 5-4A pick a year ago, the athletic 6-footer averaged 12 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, setting the baseline for what fans can expect from him this winter.
3. Kyler Beaty, Sr., Comanche — Beaty is committed to play college football at Baylor after high school, but this 6-3 standout is a heck of a basketball player as well.
He put all of his many talents on display last season, when he averaged 13.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game on his way to earning first-team all-district recognition, and he’ll no doubt do so again in 2023-24.
2. Derrick Evans, Sr., Wylie — Standing 6-3 and weighing in at about 170 pounds, Evans is on the light side for an interior player at the Class 5A level. But no one in the Big Country plays with more toughness or heart.
With an abundance of skill and a silky-smooth touch around the basket, this first-team all-District 4-5A power forward can dominate a game — something he showed last season while averaging 13.9 points on 61 percent shooting to go with 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
1. Clayton Gray, Sr., Eula — A standout since he was a freshman, this 6-2 small forward has done nothing but improve over his time in the Eula program.
That trend may be difficult to continue this season — at least in terms of production — given the impressiveness of his 2022-23 numbers, which included averages of 22 points, eight rebounds, two steals, three deflections, a 50.4 field goal percentage and a 35.4 percent success rate from 3-point range.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Morsello Hooker, Sr., Brownwood; Diontay Ramon, Sr., Hawley; Levi Glover, Jr., San Saba; Mark Moreno, So., Winters
BIG COUNTRY PREPS POSITION RANKINGS
Tuesday — Guards
Wednesday — Forwards
Thursday — Posts