Boys basketball preview: Addition of P.J. Fuller makes loaded Garfield even more dangerous

The Bulldogs were already a big favorite to win the state title for coach Brandon Roy. Fuller, a four-star shooting guard, played for Garfield his freshman season before transferring to Nathan Hale.

The beat dropped the same day P.J. Fuller shook the local basketball scene.

“What’s a Hater?” is the title of the track produced by Jack City and featuring lyrics from Fuller. The catchy hook sounds like a pre-emptive attack for those questioning Fuller’s journeyman high-school career that now has him starting at Garfield.

“Nah, it’s just a song,” he said after scoring 16 points in an 85-32 win against Bainbridge on Tuesday.

Boys basketball

Five teams to watch

Nathan Hale: Many predict the Raiders will flop as most of last year’s players are gone, but new coach Walter Williams has talent to work with.

Kentwood: The Conks have to reload, in the absence of last year’s do-everything guards Rayvaughn Bolton and Darius Lubom, if they hope to repeat as Class 4A state champions.

Lincoln: The Abes lost point guard Trevante Anderson, who transferred to Rainier Beach, which puts a crimp on Lincoln’s Class 3A state title hopes.

King’s: The Knights look to make their 13th straight Class 1A state tournament appearance. They placed third last season and winning the title in 2016 and 2015.

Selah: Hot hands Elijah Pepper and Zak Donato are back, scoring 33 points each in a season-opener win and aiming to win the Class 2A state title after placing second last March.

Five players to watch

Kevin Porter, Rainier Beach (6-5, Sr., SF): Regarded as the top player in the state by multiple recruiting sites, the USC commit aims to reclaim the Class 3A state title for Beach.

Erik Stevenson, Timberline (6-4, Sr., SG): The Wichita State commit averaged 20.3 points and six rebounds per game in leading the Blazers to a Class 3A state tournament appearance last season.

C.J. Elleby, Cleveland (6-6, Sr., SF):

The Washington State commit averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds and four assists per game in leading the Eagles to the Class 3A state tourney last March.

Riley Sorn, Richland (7-3, Sr., C): Set a Class 4A state tournament record with 30 blocks in four games, helping the Bombers reach the semifinals.

Devin Culp, Gonzaga Prep (6-5, Sr., SF): Looking to build on last season’s Class 4A third-place finish in his last hurrah before playing football at Washington.

Jayda Evans

Still, Fuller’s opportunity to be a back-to-back…

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