Being a one-dimensional player just wasn't good enough during the 2008-09 basketball season. The best players in Utah were great offensively and defensively and led their respective teams to outstanding seasons.
This year's five Deseret News boys basketball MVPs were also the consummate teammates and absolutely indispensable to their teams' success.
Four of this year's five MVPs guided their teams to a state championship, whereas the one who didn't led his team to a 24-0 record before coming up short in the title game and is a Mr. Basketball front runner next season.
Here's a list of this year's MVPs as picked by the Deseret News. The first-, second- and third-team selections were voted on by the coaches:
5A MVP: Rayes Gallegos, West Jordan
In the past 12 months this West Jordan senior has gone from being an athletic player with potential to a state championship MVP.
The Jaguars' offensive and defensive standout, Gallegos was instrumental in leading his team to a co-Region 3 title and the 5A state title.
"For the success we had it wouldn't have been possible without Ray becoming the player he became," said West Jordan coach Scott Briggs.
Offensively he averaged 16.7 points and shattered the school record with 66 3-pointers. Defensively, he was the ace of the team and there was no way Briggs was going to give him an easier assignment to keep him out of foul trouble.
Gallegos took just as much pride in defense as offense. In the opening round of the state tournament his primary task was shutting downtown Viewmont's best player, which he did exceptionally well. In the quarters West Jordan needed him to score, and he led the team with 16 points. In the semifinals, the Nebraska-signee was more balanced with seven points, eight rebounds and five steals, and then in the championship game he was simply sensational with 22 points and four 3-pointers.
Over the past couple years he's become a much more consistent player, and his versatility enabled him to be a factor every game.
During one particular game this season the coaching staff discovered they were taking Gallegos' production for granted. They originally thought he'd had an off night because of a sub-par shooting performance, but a closer look at the stats revealed he grabbed double-digit rebounds and had seven steals.
"It just goes to show our expectations as the season went along, we just started expecting these things," said Briggs.
He delivered when it mattered most as well.
4A MVP: Kyle Collinsworth, Provo
Even though the Bulldogs came up short in their quest for perfection and a third-straight state title, the best player in 4A this year was unquestionably Collinsworth.
The 6-foot-6 point guard averaged 19 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals for the 4A runner-ups. The Bulldogs were 24-0 prior to losing to West in the championship, a game in which Collinsworth still finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
"He's just a very good player, a complete player that can take over a game," said Provo coach Craig Drury. "He's a point guard, and he'd be a very good point guard if he was 6-foot tall, now you put him at 6'6" and now he has all the advantages of a 6'6" kid. He plays hard, gets to the rim very well, passes the basketball."
Just a junior, he's being heavily recruited by in-state and out-of-state schools. He may end up in the Pac-10 or Big 12, or perhaps even at BYU where his older brother plays. He's expressed interest in the Utes as well.
With another year of high school ball in front of him, and with the graduation of Brandon Davies, Collinsworth should dominate next year even more.
Drury is quick to point out that Collinsworth doesn't necessarily want to dominate. He's content to take what opponents give him. In a game earlier this year he went scoreless in the first quarter, scored 17 points in the second quarter, and was content to dish out assists in the second half after the opposition made defensive adjustments.
"He can score in bunches, and he's effective if he's not scoring," said Drury.
3A MVP: Wade Bronson, Bear River
On a dominant team with numerous MVP-caliber players, Bronson was the difference maker for the Bears. Whether it was his commitment, his enthusiasm, his athleticism or his determination, he was a man on a mission in leading the Bears to the state title.
Following an injury-plagued junior season in football, Bronson opted not to play football his senior season to pursue his true love — basketball. It made a difference right away with two poster-worthy dunks in the opening game of the season. It seemed to set the tone for the whole season according to his coach.
"That just set off the confidence in not only him but the whole team," said coach Van Park.
Bronson averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds. His activeness on the defensive end was perhaps his greatest strength. A tremendous athlete, Bear River's coaching staff frequently utilized Bronson up top in their match-up defense.
"He caused a lot of trouble defensively out front in our press, and when he's up top he can slash to the basket for rebounds," said Park.
There were games when Bronson took a back seat in scoring to all-staters like Matt Weyland and Isaac Ericksen, but in those games his contributions were more subtle.
"He just wanted to do what he could to make the team better, and sometimes he knew that would mean being a decoy at time," said Park, who indicated that Dixie and Western Wyoming have shown the most interest in Bronson's services at the next level.
2A MVP: Caden Richins, North Summit
North Summit wasn't a favorite to win the 2A state basketball tournament, just like it wasn't a favorite to win the football title last fall. A few losses along in each sport had many questioning if the Braves had what it took.
Thanks to seniors like Richins, the Braves ended up capturing state titles in both sports.
"It's kind of the way this group has worked, it's how it worked in football too," said North Summit coach Jerre Holmes. "It's tough to beat them the second time."
During the regular season North Summit lost to Manti and Rowland Hall, but beat both en route to the state title. Richins was instrumental in that success leading the team in scoring (14.4), rebounding (10.0) and blocks (3.0).
"He was very consistent, and he contributed in a lot of ways. He led us in scoring, he was a huge rebounder for us, but he was a contributor in more than just offense," said Holmes. "He plays above the rim and he alters guys shots when they come at the rim."
A laid back person off the court, Holmes said Richins intensity on the court was unmatched and a big reason why the Braves were resilient in their quest for the title.
1A MVP: Tim Hughes, Escalante
This returning 1A MVP was the focus of every defense this year, but it simply did not matter. Hughes was so good he still managed to average 20.2 ppg and led his team to a second-straight state championship despite the extra harassment.
"People have tried to defend him the best they could with the best they had," said Escalante coach Greg Allen. "If you can keep production up under those circumstances you're a pretty good ball player."
Hughes' 20.2 ppg was second only to Panguitch's Trac Norris who averaged 20.8 points. He was by no means alone on a talented Escalante team, but his experience and work ethic separated himself from the everyone else.
A fantastic shooter, Hughes also had the ability to post up inside and was an underrated defender as well.
"He's kind of fearless. He had his goals set, and he worked hard to reach them. You couldn't scare him much," said Allen.