High school basketball: MVPs were perfect leaders and teammates
SALT LAKE CITY — Some have suggested that the overall talent during the 2009-10 boys basketball season wasn't as strong as it has been in recent years.
This year's five Deseret News boys basketball MVPs, however, have spent the past three-and-a-half months dispelling that myth with their outstanding individual abilities on the court, as well as their ability to be the perfect teammates.
Three of this year's five MVPs guided their teams to a state championship, whereas the other two came within a couple points of doing the same.
Here's a summary of this year's MVPs as picked by the Deseret News: The first-, second- and third-team selections as well as honorable mentions were voted on by the coaches:
5A MVP: Kyle Davis, Alta
Moving to Utah was the best thing that could've happened to Davis and his new basketball team.
A year ago, the Alta senior was playing in Idaho for a coach who utilized him almost exclusively in the post. Upon arriving at Alta, his new coach gave him the green light to be a scorer both inside and out, and Davis and the Hawks flourished as a result.
Led by the 6-foot-7 forward who averaged 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds, Alta pulled off the impressive double by not only winning the Region 4 championship but the 5A state championship as well.
"I was excited (when he moved here) because we definitely needed some people at those bigger positions. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting when I first saw him," said Alta coach Jim Barker.
He quickly learned that Davis had a great feel for the post, but he could also step out and knock down an outside shot.
Davis made an immediate impact in his first game with Alta, but as the season wore on and he grew more and more comfortable with his new teammates, it was clear the SUU-bound forward had transformed the Hawks into state-title contenders.
He scored in double figures in every game but two, and his poise in the fourth quarter was a big reason why Alta won five region games by one point. In the state tournament, Alta dodged such drama, winning its four games by an average of 14.5 points.
"He had an ability to not only score but to rebound and come up with big plays when we needed them," said Barker.
Defensively, Davis had his fair share of struggles this year. In the state tournament though, following an intense week of defensive focus, Davis ended up playing his best offensive and defensive basketball of the season at just the right time for the eventual state champs.
4A MVP: Eli Robison, Timpview
On a team with four juniors who played significant minutes, Robison was the glue that held everything together for the eventual 4A state champions.
"He was one of those guys I would seldom take off the floor," said Timpview coach Perry Wildeboer. "I think his work ethic is one of the best on the team. He was definitely a leader that way."
Robison finished the season averaging 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds. Many of those points came via the T-Birds' patented transition game.
"He plays fast. For anybody who has to guard that kid, I feel sorry for him. He runs the floor unlike anyone I've ever had," said Wildeboer.
During his junior year, Robison played football and basketball, but he opted to focus exclusively on basketball this season. That decision, along with a torn ACL to Bronson Kaufusi during the football season, vaulted Robison into a starring role for the T-Birds. Once he and his underclassmen teammates figured everything out, Timpview was clearly the best team in the state when it mattered most.