Countdown to Tipoff: Boys No. 5 – Fred Lavender

Weston Ranch guard Fred Lavender, center, competes against Aptos in the 2014-15 CIF NorCal playoffs. RECORD FILE 2015

Fred Lavender once had a teammate named Jazz Swanson.
And, undoubtedly, like that heralded musical genre, both are smooth in their games.
Lavender, an incoming Weston Ranch boys basketball senior, is equal parts driving guard and formidable forward on the court. He and fellow senior Jaelen Ragsdale are one of the best tandems in the area, and make the Cougars Sac-Joaquin Section championship contenders, without a doubt.
At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Lavender’s versatility is what separates this team, along with Ragsdale, senior guard and co-captain Josh Dilg, and key transfers D’Angelo Finely (6-3) and Anthony Booker (6-10).
That’s why Lavender is No. 5 on my Countdown to Tipoff boys basketball returning rankings, dissecting some of the best ballers in The Record’s coverage area.
Lavender averaged 13 points, five boards and two assists for Weston Ranch in 2014-15, as the Cougars stormed through the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III bracket to the finals as a No. 9 seed.
He and Ragsdale will both play college ball for NCAA Division II Cal State Stanislaus State, joining fellow Weston Ranch graduate Dylan Alexander. Booker will play in the same conference, the California Collegiate Athletic Association, for Cal State Monterey Bay.

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, but the day the near entirety of the section begins: with the Foundation games on Monday, Nov. 30.


Nos. 11-15: Aidan Green, Isaiah Harris, Elan Spencer, Jess Spivey, D.J. Barlow

Nos. 7-10: Evan Madill, John Berna, Ephraim Estell, Tydus Verhoeven

No. 6: Justice Harris (Chavez G, Sr.)

No. 5: Fred Lavender (Weston Ranch G, Sr.)

No. 4: Wednesday

No. 3: Thursday

No. 2: Friday

No. 1: Nov. 30


Twitter: @RecordPreps

Facebook: Thomas Lawrence


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