An early candidate on the list of the most improved players in the state has been Putnam City West senior Tavionne Pennon, who earned MVP honors in guiding the Patriots to the Ardmore Holiday Invitational title on Friday.
Pennon, a 6-foot-4 swingman, had 25 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in the championship game, a 56-47 win over Carl Albert.
Pennon has expanded his game dramatically since last season. At the beginning of last year, he did much of his work on the inside, but as he developed, he was able to move to the wing.
In Friday's win, coach Lenny Bert moved him to point guard for much of the second half.
The ninth-ranked Patriots open play at the Putnam City Invitational on Thursday against No. 11 Lawton Eisenhower at Putnam City.
The PCI field includes six of the top 12 teams in the Class 6A rankings.
ALL-CITY CONFERENCE SHOWDOWNS TUESDAY
The All-City Athletic Conference will open the new year with some big boys basketball matchups on Tuesday night, highlighted by a top-10 Class 4A showdown.
Top-ranked Douglass, winner of the last two 4A titles, will host No. 8 John Marshall, which faces a challenging week. After facing the Trojans on Tuesday, John Marshall will take part in the Putnam City Invitational Thursday-Saturday.