Countdown to Tipoff Rankings: Boys Nos. 7-10

Manteca's Tydus Verhoeven is No. 7 on Thomas Lawrence's Countdown to Tipoff boys basketball returner rankings. RECORD FILE 2015

As we move on in my Countdown to Tipoff Boys Basketball Rankings, we reach more and more players who have already shown their impact at the varsity level, and some of whom, have done so on the playoff stage.

In this edition, Nos. 7-10, we decipher players from high schools in Stockton, Tracy and Manteca.

It’s my second season covering prep basketball for The Record, and in honor of that, I’m incorporating returning player rankings, a top 15, and a “Countdown to Tipoff” for boys and girls hoops.

How it works: These player rankings are returning players only. These are weighed both by past varsity success and statistical prowess and the potential impact these players may have this year. All factors will be weighed, including whether a player must sit out time after a transfer. At least one player on both the boys and girls lists are a transfer.

Now, this counts down not to the first day of regular-season hoops, which for a handful of teams in the area is Friday, Nov. 27, but the day the near entirety of the section begins: with the Foundation games on Monday, Nov. 30.

Away we go:

No. 10 – Evan Madill (St. Mary’s G, 6-0, Sr.)

Madill, a lefty with one heck of a 3-point shot, not to mention underrated defense, averaged eight points and three boards for a 2014-15 Rams team that reached the semifinals in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II and NorCal playoffs.

Thing is: he peaked at the right time of the year. Madill dropped a career-high 31 points in a NorCal playoff win over Dublin, going a scalding 7 for 10 from 3-point land.

Now, with Lance Coleman II, Jacob Aruta, Devin Williams and Alex Smith graduated, he and Aaron Masuda must anchor the backcourt scoring load.

No. 9 – John Berna (Bear Creek PG, 5-foot-10, Sr.)

Berna was one of the rare, old-school point guards, and was a phenomenal facilitator for now-graduated Brandon Moss, Andre Green, Craig Perkins and Quinn Ryan. Usually, the only statistic he’ll fill up is assists, but he’s one of the most underrated players around and Bear Creek needs him more than ever with a new roster and coach in Luke Williams: formerly a Brookside Christian assistant.

No. 8 – Ephraim Estell (West F, 6-foot-5, Jr.)

Estell was a precocious sophomore for the Wolf Pack in 2014-15, averaging 11 points and eight boards. With Elijah Tuando graduated, he’ll take on an even larger role for West: which in my opinion, will compete for a Tri-City Athletic League title if it stays healthy.

No. 7 – Tydus Verhoeven (Manteca G/F, 6-foot-7, Jr.)

Don’t get me wrong, Verhoeven has the talent and drive to be a top five returner here. And in my mind, he basically is. Part of the gauge on these rankings is potential impact, and on teams like Manteca and Weston Ranch, where talent is plentiful, it’s kind of a crapshoot ranking their returning players, because any of them could go off on any given night.

Verhoeven, a double-double waiting to happen, can slash to the basket, hit the 3 ball and facilitate big men Kenny Wooten and Anand Hundal.

COUNTDOWN TO TIPOFF RANKINGS

Nos. 11-15: Green, Harris, Spencer, Spivey, Barlow

Nos. 7-10: Madill, Berna, Estell, Verhoeven

No. 6: Monday

No. 5: Tuesday

No. 4: Wednesday

No. 3: Thursday

No. 2: Nov. 27

No. 1: Nov. 30

CONNECT WITH THOMAS LAWRENCE

Twitter: @RecordPreps

Facebook: Thomas Lawrence

Email: tlawrence@recordnet.com

Phone: 209-546-8272

Ask a Question: ask.fm/RecordPreps

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