Wasatch Academy Ranked 10th in the 2018-19 Preseason FAB 50 National Team Rankings
10. (41) Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 24-2
Key Players: C Mady Sissoko 6-9 2020 (No. 38 247Sports.com), PF Bernardo Da Silva 6-8 2019, PG Michael Saunders 6-1 2020, SG Tre’ Williams 6-5 2019.
Why This Ranking: The Tigers have been a middle of the pack FAB 50 program in recent seasons, but they’re our hunch team for 2018-19. Sure they have a new coach, as former Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) mentor David Evans takes over for Curtis Condie, but their nice blend of returning talent, skilled newcomers and an infusion of enthusiasm should lead to a GEICO Nationals return. Leading the way is Sissoko, one of the most intense and team-first post players in the country. His motor and enthusiasm are contagious, and even the Tigers’ bench accountability was off the charts in Fall League games we evaluated. Wing Leonardo Colimerio (6-6, 2020), a native of Sau Paulo, Brazil, is the other returning junior who should have a jump in production this season. Williams is primed for a big season and Saunders is just what the doctor ordered at point guard.
The Skinny: Wasatch missed last year’s GEICO Nationals after earning back-to-back berths in 2016-17 and a beefed-up schedule should help this team prepare for a run at its third berth. Richie Saunders (6-3, 2020) is the knockdown shooter that will keep teams honest defensively and Sissoko and Da Silva must learn to avoid cheap fouls to stay on floor because this team will rely on its defense and athletes to match the other top shelf teams. “Playing up tempo and our defense is the strength of this team,” Evans said. Wasatch will take on regionally-ranked Meadowcreek (Norcross, Ga.) at the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Atlanta Nov. 24 and has a three-game Northern California swing in between two December holiday tournaments. January results versus regional-level foes Fairfax (Los Angeles) and Clark (Las Vegas, Nev.) will be a good indicator of where this clubs stands entering the Montverde Academy Invitational Jan. 24. That tournament will prepare Evans’ club for its games with No. 6 La Lumiere at The Bob Kirk Invitational in Cumberland, Md., Feb. 1 and No. 17 Sunrise Christian Academy at the Heartland Hoops Classic in Nebraska Feb. 2.