2016-17 Preseason Rankings

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today


Preseason National Top 40


1 Oak Hill Academy (VA)

2015-16 Record: 42-1 (Dick’s Nationals champions)

Preview:
Legendary coach Steve Smith will be at the helm of Oak Hill Academy for his 33rd season in 2016-17, on the heels of a season that saw him capture his 1,000th win (1,033 currently), and his first ever Dick’s Nationals title. The Warriors will return four of their top six scoring options from last season with 2017 guards 6’ 2” Matt Coleman, 6’ 1” Lindell Wigginton (Iowa State), 6’ 4” Ty-Shon Alexander (Creighton), and 6’ 3” Devontae Shuler (Mississippi) all returning for their senior seasons. Add top-20 2017 6’ 9” forward Billy Preston and 2018 6′ 10″ C David McCormack to strengthen the Warriors front-court and you have a complete team, set to defend their Dick’s Nationals title. Oak Hill has compiled another tough schedule, highlighted by matchups with Sierra Canyon, Chino Hills, Nathan Hale, St. Benedict’s Prep, Huntington Prep, and a trip to Hawaii for the Iolani Classic where they could potentially face Findlay Prep.


2 La Lumiere (IN)

2015-16 Record: 27-4 (Dick’s Nationals runner-up)

Preview:
La Lumiere comes into the season with an extremely strong core led by returning stars 2019 6’ 0” PG Tyger Campbell and 2017 6’ 7” SF Brian Bowen. Although they lose their star big man Jeremiah Tilmon to transfer, they will bring in three high-major big men 2017 6’ 11” C Jacob Epperson, 2017 6’ 10” Michigan State commit Jaren Jackson Jr, and 2018 6’ 9” PF Franklin Agunanne. After finishing runner-up in Dick’s Nationals last season, La Lumiere will look to return to the championship game and capture their first ever Dick’s Nationals title. This season their strong front-court and strong crop of guards will look to mesh together to improve from an impressive 27-4 finish from last season. Alongside returners Campbell and 2017 6’ 0” PG Isaiah Coleman-Lands at guard, newcomer 2017 6’ 3” Michigan commit Jordan Poole will step into the rotation and make an instant impact on the title contender. La Lumiere will play a challenging schedule and will be featured in the Chick-Fil-A Classic, Cancer Research Classic against Villa-Angela St Joseph and Findlay Prep, and the Hoophall Classic, against Sierra Canyon.


3 Sierra Canyon (CA)

2015-16 Record: 26-5

Preview:
The wait is finally over for Sierra Canyon and 2018 Marvin Bagley III as the elite 6’ 11” big man will take the court for the first time for Sierra Canyon in 2016-17, after being forced to sit out last season due to California transfer rules. He will join a talented group led by his sharpshooting brother, 2017 6’ 6” SF Marcus Bagley, and returning starters 2017 6’ 8” PF Cody Riley (UCLA), 2017 6’ 3” guard Adam Seiko (San Diego State), and 2017 6’ 0” PG Remy Martin (Arizona State). This Sierra Canyon is a very experienced team that has played together for a long time, including during the AAU season as 5 players (Bagley III, Bagley, Martin, Seiko, Riley) play for Nike EYBL’s Phoenix Phamily during the summer. This is a team that doesn’t have to worry about creating chemistry and play a brutal national schedule that features showdowns with Oak Hill Academy, La Lumiere, Bishop Gorman, and trips to the Les Schwab Invitational and Bass Pro TOC which features 4 of the top 10 teams in the country. The Trailblazers are primed to have an exceptional season, with chemistry, talent, and experience on their side.


4 Wheeler (GA)

2015-16 Record: 22-6

Preview:
Wheeler is revamped and reloaded, ready to challenge for their sixth state title since 2002, against a brutal Georgia 6A state playoff field. Coach Doug Lipscomb may have assembled his most talented team ever, taking over at the school in 1992, and transforming the Wheeler program into the national power it is today. 2017 6’ 2” Louisville commit Darius Perry will again control the offense at point guard for the Wildcats, while he will be joined by former Montverde star, 2019 6’ 9” EJ Montgomery (Auburn), talented 6’ 6” scoring guard Jordan Usher (USC), New York native, 2017 6’ 7” Jordan Tucker, and top-20 2019 6’ 5” SG Terry Armstrong. 2018 6’ 6” SF Brandon Younger, 2019 6’ 5” SG Isaac Martin, and 2018 6’ 8” PF Austin Johnson will add depth to the rotation immediately, competing against a brutal national schedule. Wheeler’s loaded schedule begins early with a showdown with #7 Greenforest Christian on December 3rd and features matchups with Dematha, Neumann Goretti, Pebblebrook twice, Westlake twice, Greensboro Day, and a trip to the Chick-Fil-A Classic, where La Lumiere looms.


5 Montverde Academy (FL)

2015-16 Record: 26-2 (Dick’s Nationals Semifinals)

Preview:
Montverde Academy’s reign as Dick’s Nationals champions was finally ended last season when they fell to La Lumiere in the semifinals, after winning three consecutive titles at the national championship event. This season Montverde Academy will have another very talented team led by Canadian sensation 2019 6’ 6” SF RJ Barrett and a slew of talented guards. Returning this year for the Eagles, 2017 6’ 2” PG Marcus Carr (Pittsburgh) will be joined in the backcourt by elite 2018 6’ 6” CG Rechon Black (North Carolina), and talented 2019 point guards, 6’ 3” Andrew Nembhard and 6’ 0” Jake Betlow. Along with talented guard play, Montverde brought in key additions down low to replace their mass exodus, losing elite 2018’s Silvio de Sousa, EJ Montgomery, and Simi Shittu. 2017 6’ 9” PF Sandro Mamukelashvili and 2017 6’ 10” PF Grant Shepherd will join 2017 6’ 9” SF Sean Mobley (VCU) as key players that will provide length in a guard-dominant lineup. Thea Eagles will have another challenging schedule, featuring trips to the City of Palms Classic and Bass Pro TOC, and showdowns with Pebblebrook, Bishop Montgomery, Memphis East, Roselle Catholic, and West Oaks on tap.


6 Patrick School (NJ)

2015-16 Record: 23-6

Preview:
Patrick School begins the season in the top 10 for the first time since legendary coach Kevin Boyle left for Montverde Academy in 2011. This year, Patrick School returns three of five starters and has an extremely deep and talented roster led by top-20 6’ 11” C Nick Richards (Kentucky) dominant rebounding and shot blocking down low. Beside Richards, 2017 6’ 10” PF Bul Ajang will be relied upon to step into a larger role with Cyril Langevine moving on to Rhode Island, and 2018 6’ 8” transfer Valdir Manuel will step into the rotation to provide depth in the paint. The strength of this year’s Celtics team will be in the backcourt, with 2017 6′ 4″ SG Myles Cale (Seton Hall) joining a deep and talented returning core of 2017 6’ 2” PG Jamir Harris (Minnesota), 2017 6’ 4” SG Marcus McClary (Monmouth), 2018 and 6’ 0” PG Jordan Walker, with 2019 6’ 1” Al Amir-Dawes looking to step up and play key minutes for this loaded roster. Former Rutgers coach Mike Rice is looking to reform his image, while his intensity on the sideline sparks his team’s scrappy play and suffocating defense. Patrick School will have a chance to prove themselves early traveling to a loaded field at the City of Palms Classic.


 Nathan Hale (WA)

2015-16 Record: 3-18

Preview:
Nathan Hale doesn’t have a strong track record, but huge offseason splashes headlined by #1 overall 2017 prospect, 6’ 9” SF Michael Porter Jr (Washington). Along with their new senior leader, his brother 2018 6’ 10” PF Jontay Porter (Washington), former Garfield-star 2019 6’ 3” SG PJ Fuller, promising 2020 6’ 4” SG Marjon Beauchamp, and 2017 6’ 6” SF Keegan Crosby will all step into key roles in the rotation. New head coach Brandon Roy (former NBA all-star) will look to resurrect a program that has gone 9-34 over their last two seasons and does not have a rich history of success. In an unexpected offseason, the Porter brothers decided to transfer to Nathan Hale after their father took an assistant coaching job with the Washington Huskies, and all the pieces have fallen into place to elevate this program to new heights. The Raiders have assembled a very tough national schedule, facing a loaded Les Schwab Invitational field and squaring off against the nation’s top team, Oak Hill Academy at the Hoophall Classic.


Greenforest Christian (GA)

2015-16 Record: 30-2 (Georgia A Private Schools State Champions)

Preview:
Greenforest Christian comes into this season with a chip on their shoulder after being denied an opportunity to compete in the prestigious Dick’s Nationals tournament last season, despite a stellar year in which they finished 30-2 and capturing the Georgia A Private school state championship. This year’s squad is loaded with veteran talent as their five key returners are all members of the 2017 class. Led by 7-foot shot-blocker Ikey Obiagu and 6’ 8” forward Victor Enoh (Memphis), 6’ 10” PF Abayomi Iyiola, 6’ 2” PG Justin Forrest, and 6’ 0” guard Jandan Duggan will all return to the rotation for the Eagles. Also added to the lineup is 6’ 3” dynamic senior scorer David Quimby, who tallied 40 points in a single game last season. Greenforest Christian has compiled one of the toughest schedules in the nation, featuring matchups with Wheeler, Westlake, Norcross, Dematha, Roselle Catholic, and IMG Academy. They will also face a tough field in Missouri at the Bass Pro TOC, where potential matchups with Montverde Academy, Sierra Canyon, Findlay Prep, and Memphis East loom.


Neumann Goretti (PA)

2015-16 Record: 27-4 (Pennsylvania 3A State Champions)

Preview:
Neumann Goretti has been the standard of excellence in Pennsylvania over the last decade, capturing six of the previous seven PIAA AAA titles and going for their fourth consecutive state title this season, behind a senior laden group led by Quade Green and Dhamir Cosby Roundtree. 2017 6’ 1” PG Quade Green is a ferocious competitor who is looking for his fourth state title and will lead the way again for a loaded Saints squad. Their other senior leader hungry for his fourth state championship, is always improving 6’ 9” big man Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Villanova). Roundtree will have a running mate down low this season as incoming 6’ 10” PF Marcus Littles will provide a much-needed second option against their brutal national schedule. Role players filling out the rotation this season for Neumann-Goretti include 6’ 7” Temple football commit Emil Moody, 2018 6’ 6” SF Tony Zhiang, 2018 6’ 2” PG Noah Warren, and 2017 6’ 5” SF Mike Milsip. The Saints will be challenged early and often this season, facing a loaded City of Palms field, Wheeler at the Cancer Research Classic, Paul VI at the Slam Dunk to the Beach, and Greensboro Day at the Hoophall Classic, and capping off their schedule with a tough Philadelphia Catholic league slate.


10 Findlay Prep (NV)

2015-16 Record: 28-2 (Dick’s Nationals qualifiers)

Preview:
Findlay Prep has been one of the most successful programs in the nation since their inaugural season in 2006-07, winning three NHSI/Dick’s Nationals titles and appearing in the event a record eight times. Despite their success, however, they have had trouble keeping a head coach, going through four coaches in the last five seasons. This season it will be Paul Washington taking over for the Pilots, led by his son, top-20 2017 6’ 8” PF PJ Washington. Other key returners for this year’s team includes summer breakout performer 2017 6’ 7” SF Lamine Diane, 2017 6’ 7” forward Donnie Tillman, 2018 6’ 5” SF Spencer Washington, and 2017 6’ 3” SG Devon Cooper. Findlay Prep will also feature a trio of much-needed guard transfers this season as 2017 5’ 11” PG Justin Roberts (DePaul), talented 2017 6’ 3” Texas native Chris Giles, and 2018 6’ 5” SG Tony Goodwin. Another key transfer who will compete for a starting role in the Findlay Prep frontcourt is 2018 6’ 8” PF Reggie Chaney, another talented Texas native. Findlay Prep plays a very challenging national schedule this season, with trips to the Iolani Classic and Bass Pro TOC on tap and scheduled matchups with La Lumiere, Wasatch Academy, and Bishop Gorman.


11 Bishop Montgomery (CA)

2015-16 Record: 28-3

Preview:
Bishop Montgomery has been very consistent over their last five seasons, going 142-18 and capturing the state title in 2013-14. This year, Bishop Montgomery starts the season as the second ranked team out of California behind Sierra Canyon, with Chino Hills and Mater Dei just behind them, marking the four preseason favorites to compete for the CIF Open Division state title at the end of the year. Bishop Montgomery brings back an experienced core that will look to carry this talented group for a chance to compete for their fourth state title under head coach Doug Mitchell, who heads into his 28th season at the helm. This year, the Knights will be led by 2017 6’ 4” SG Ethan Thompson (Oregon State), 2017 6’ 5” SF Jordan Shakel (San Diego State), and 2018 6’ 4” SG David Singleton, with other key returners 2019 6’ 2” PG Gianni Hunt and 2018 6’ 5” SF Fletchen Tyen stepping into a greater role this season. The Knights will have a chance to prove themselves on the national stage this season when they face off against perennial power Montverde Academy in a Monday matchup at the Hoophall Classic.


12 Hamilton Heights Christian (TN)

2015-16 Record: 28-3

Preview:
Hamilton Heights Christian has a strong chance to recieve an invitation to their first ever Dick’s Nationals this season, behind their dynamic guard duo of 2017 6’ 5” SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech) and 2017 6’ 5” PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Although the Hawks lose their dominant shot-blocking big man Abdul Ado, who will be featured at Mississippi State this season, they bring a number of talented big men to add depth to their frontcourt. 2018 6’ 10” C Kaosi Ezeagu, 2019 6’ 9” PF Mahamadou Diawara, and 2019 6’ 7” Issa Samake will provide much needed length for a team taking on a tough national schedule. Other players who will play key roles on this deep and talented roster include, 2017 6’ 5” guard Therren Shelton-Szmidt (Middle Tennessee State), 2019 6’ 6” SF Wheza Panzo, 2019 6’ 6” SF Tre Edwards, and 2019 6’ 0” PG Jordan Rawls. The Hawks will go ten deep this season against a very difficult schedule, featuring matchups with Memphis East, Prolific Prep, and IMG Academy, and taking on a talented field at the Chick-Fil-A Classic.


13 Westtown School (PA)

2015-16 Record: 28-6 (PAISAA champions)

Preview:
Westtown School brings in one of the most talented scoring tandems in the nation on the wing, as 2017 6’ 6” SG Brandon Randolph (Arizona) and 2018 6’ 8” SF Cameron Reddish look to lead a dynamic offense with 2017 6’ 11” C Mohamed Bamba anchoring a lengthy defense. Westtown has all the makings of a top ten team this season and could climb up the rankings throughout the season with a strong showing early in the City of Palms signature series, where they will face off against Hillcrest Prep before taking on either Putnam Science Academy or IMG Academy. Cameron Reddish is one of the most talented players in the 2018 class and thrives on his ability to create his own shot and score in bunches. Randolph’s movement off the ball combined with his deadly outside shooting makes him the perfect complementary option to Reddish, with Bamba cleaning up any missed shots around the rim with his elite rebounding prowess. Along with their “big 3”, Westtown also returns 2017 6’ 8” PF Anthony Ochefu and brings in talented 2017 6’ 8” PF Jake Forrester to an already talented roster. This team is a must-see team in 2016-17 with elite talent on both sides of the ball.


14 Chino Hills (CA)

2015-16 Record: 35-0 (National Champions, California state champions)

Preview:
Chino Hills loses the heart and soul of their team as Lonzo Ball moves onto college at UCLA, leaving a huge void in their potent offense this season. Although Lonzo Ball averaged a triple double last season and was the Huskies undoubted leader, they still return an extremely talented roster led by elite 2019 prospects, 6’ 1” PG LaMelo Ball and 6’ 9” PF Onyeka Okongwu. LaMelo Ball will look to take over the reigns of the offense from his brother, in charge of controlling a talented offense that returns its leading scorer from last year, 2017 6’ 5” SG Li’Angelo Ball (UCLA). The other key returning starter from last year’s undefeated roster is 2017 6’ 4” workhorse Eli Scott (Loyola Marymount). The Huskies will be hungry for another state championship run this season behind a strong returning core and strong development from role players 2018 6’ 8” PF Andre Ball, 2019 5’ 9” PG Phaquon Davis, and 2018 6’ 3” SG Ofure Ujadughele. Chino Hills will face off against another tough schedule, facing Oak Hill Academy, Wasatch Academy, Bishop Gorman, and Foothills Christian, and traveling to the Tarkanian Classic before Christmas.


15 St Anthony (NJ)

2015-16 Record: 32-0 (New Jersey Tournament of Champions winner)

Preview:
Legendary coach Bob Hurley may be nearing the end of his illustrious career at St. Anthony, with his career wins totaling 1,062, and last year, capturing his 13th New Jersey tournament of champions title. Although he loses five of his six leading scorers from last year’s championship team, he still has key contributors returning from last season’s deep and talented team that went undefeated in 2015-16. 2017 6’ 0” PG RJ Cole (Howard) and 2017 6’ 9” PF Daniel Mading will play a vital role for this year’s Friars team. Their quest for back-to-back titles will begin with key returners Cole, Mading, 2017 6’ 11” C Oscar Okeke, 2019 6’ 9” PF Ogheneyole Akuwovo, 2018 6’ 1” PG Chauncey Sterling, and a talented crop of newcomers. The Friars will be faced with tough tasks including Patrick School, Jemison, and Lincoln among others. This year’s Friars will turn to a new group of talented prospects to carry on their school’s winning tradition, with another magical season under the tutelage of the great Bob Hurley.


16 Memphis East (TN)

2015-16 Record: 32-2 (Tennessee AAA state champions)

Preview:Memphis East carries one of the deepest rosters into the upcoming season, rich with returning talent from top to bottom. They have also scheduled one of the most challenging national schedules, featuring showdowns with the likes of Montverde Academy and Hamilton Heights Christian, and traveling down to Florida to compete in a loaded City of Palms Classic field. Talented 2019 6’ 9” PF Chandler Lawson, 2019 6’ 8” PF Malcolm Dandridge, and key newcomer 2019 6’ 7” SF Antavion Collum will provide height to a team that will rely heavily on their guard play during the upcoming season. In the backcourt, the Mustangs will feature a talented crop of guards led by 2018 6’ 4” SG TJ Moss, 2018 5’ 11” PG Alex Lomax, and 2018 6’ 4” SG Jayden Hardaway. Other key contributors returning for this year’s team will include 2018 6’ 4” SF Radarius Washington, 2017 5’ 11” PG Nikc Merriweather, and 2017 5’ 10” PG Parker Stewart. Memphis East still has a very young roster, however, their exceptional talent and depth provide them an opportunity to continue flourish, as they look to compete for another state title. 


17 IMG Academy (FL)

2015-16 Record: 27-10

Preview:
IMG Academy comes into 2016-17 with high expectations, forming a strong starting lineup driven by key offseason additions. The nation’s top point guard, 2017 6’ 3” Trevon Duval will take control of the high powered offense with options to go to down low, with 2018 6’ 8” PF Simi Shittu and 2017 6’ 8” PF Isaiah Stokes patrolling the paint for the Ascenders. IMG Academy also returns an elite prospect of their own from last year’s team, with talented 2018 6’ 7” SF Emmitt Williams gaining the much needed help to take this program to new heights this season. IMG Academy will have a chance to prove themselves early and often this season, facing off against Pebblebrook and West Oaks Academy before the month of December. Other key national showdowns for IMG Academy this season include Gray Collegiate Academy, Bishop O’Connell, Westlake, Greenforest Christian, Hamilton Heights, and Wasatch Academy. The Ascenders have put together the roster to compete with one of the most difficult national schedules in this year’s preseason rankings.


18 Gonzaga (DC)

2015-16 Record: 24-10

Preview:
Gonzaga has a the perfect mixture of youth and experience to see themselves rise up the rankings throughout the season playing in the merciless WCAC. The Eagles will be led by fierce 2017 5’ 7” PG Chris Lykes (Miami) as the talented guard will start as their floor general for his fourth consecutive year. This year Lykes will have a talented and experienced group that will look to capture their seventh WCAC title, starting the year as the highest ranked team in their prestigious conference, with Dematha Catholic nipping at their heels just four spots behind. Beside their star senior, Gonzaga has a strong returning core with 2018 6’ 3” SG Prentiss Hubb, 2017 6’ 5” SF Myles Dread (Penn State), 2017 6’ 5” SF Eddie Scott (Pennsylvania), and elite 6’ 6” freshman SF Myles Stute. Although Gonzaga may struggle matching up with teams that feature a talented frontcourt, the Bulldogs will look to feature an up-tempo group of athletes that will look to maintain their lofty ranking, despite a rugged schedule featuring matchups with Simeon, Westlake, and a trip to the Les Schwab Invitational.


19 Mater Dei (CA)

2015-16 Record: 27-5

Preview:
Mater Dei returns six of their seven top scorers from last season, losing key big man and leading rebounder, MJ Cage, playing at Oregon this season. Despite losing their key inside presence, 2017 6’ 10” C Miles Brookins and 2018 6’ 9” PF Michael Wang will look step into pivotal roles inside for the Monarchs this season, as they will look to add to storied coach, Gary McKnight’s 11 state titles. However, winning a state title will not be easy this season with a loaded California state playoff field, featuring ranked foes Sierra Canyon, Chino Hills, and Bishop Montgomery. Other key returners for Mater Dei this season will be sharp-shooting 2017 6’ 2” SG Spencer Freedman, athletic 2017 6’ 7” wing Justin Sueing, and talented 2018 6’ 5” SG Harrison Butler. Add in depth from 2018 6’ 5” SF Reagan Lundeen and 2017 6’ 5” SG Matthew Weyand, and the talented California powerhouse has all the pieces to add another 25-30+ wins to Coach McKnight’s already incredible win total of 1,051.


20 Garfield (WA)

2015-16 Record: 26-3

Preview:
Garfield has been dominant over their last four season, winning 25 or more games each year, and finishing a combined 105-8. This season should be no different for the Bulldogs, as they bring back a strong core led by future Washington Huskies, 2017 6’ 5” SG Jaylen Nowell and 2017 6’ 4” SG Daejon Davis. Along with these two talented prospects, Garfield will also bring back three very talented underclassmen, 2018 6’ 9” PF J’Raan Brooks, 2019 6’ 8” PF Maxwell Goodman, and 2019 6’ 6” SF Jamon Kemp. Although Garfield loses PJ Fuller to transfer and Alphonso Anderson, Jashaun Agosto, and Terrell Brown to graduation, they will look for another state title to add to their resume in a tough 3A Washington state championship tournament. Last season they lost in the semifinals to their bitter rivals, Rainier Beach 66-61 after winning back-to-back state titles in 2014 and 2015. This season Garfield will participate in the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon, where potential matchups with Sierra Canyon, Gonzaga, and Nathan Hale loom.


21 Dematha Catholic (MD)

2015-16 Record: 33-5 (Maryland Schools State Champions)

Preview:
The most dominant team in WCAC history will look to add another conference title to their record 39. While the rest of the WCAC has combined for just 17 conference titles overall, the Stags haven’t won a conference title since 2011, marking the longest title drought in school history. Despite not winning a conference title since 2011, Dematha has been very successful over that time period, going 139-38 over their last five years. This season, athletic 6’ 6” wing DJ Harvey (Notre Dame) and 2017 6’ 9” PF Josh Carlton (Connecticut) will lead the way for a very talented bunch hungry to make their mark. Other key returners 2017 6’ 2” PG Ryan Allen (Drexel) and their summer and fall league leading scorer, 2019 6’ 3” SG Justin Moore. Moving up from junior varsity this season look for 2019 6’ 5” SF Bobby Carson and 2019 6’ 4” SG Carsten Kogelnik to provide much needed depth to the rotation while Freshman team MVP 2020 6’ 10” Hunter Dickson will provide length beside Calton. Dematha faces another loaded schedules this season, featuring Wheeler, Greenforest Christian, Bishop Gorman, and their brutal conference schedule.


22 Pebblebrook (GA)

2015-16 Record: 23-10 (Georgia 6A runner-up)

Preview:
Pebblebrook has come up just short of winning their first ever Georgia 6A state championship, losing in the title game in their previous two seasons, (59-58 to Wheeler in 2014-15, 68-58 to Westlake in 2015-16). Led by scoring juggernaut 2017 6’ 2” Collin Sexton, this year’s Falcons have the pieces to finally get over the hump and capture the school’s first ever state championship. Although they lose talented point guard, Jared Harper, who will showcase his abilities at Auburn this season, key newcomers 2017 6’ 5” SG Elias Harden (Xavier) and 2017 6’ 0” PG Drue Drinnon will step up to replace his output beside Sexton in the backcourt. Other key newcomer, 2019 6’ 9” PF Jared Jones will provide some much-needed size in the paint for a team that will face off against a very difficult national schedule. Pebblebrook will have an opportunity to prove themselves early and often this season, facing off against Montverde Academy, IMG Academy, and Paul VI before taking on a loaded City of Palms field in mid-December.


23 Althoff Catholic (IL)

2015-16 Record: 32-2 (Illinois 4A state champions)

Preview:
Althoff Catholic will look to repeat as Illinois 4A state champions this season behind a strong returning core led by 2017 6’ 4” SG Jordan Goodwin (St. Louis) who nearly averaged a double-double last season, totaling 18.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Alongside Goodwin, returning contributors from last season include, sharp-shooting 2017 6’ 5” wing Marvin Bateman, 2017 6’ 1” PG C.J. Coldon, 2018 6’ 5” PF Jordyn Slaughter, and 2017 6’ 6” PF Edwyn Brown. Although the Crusaders don’t have any players over 6’ 6” on their roster, they should be able to manage playing against mostly in-state teams this season, highlighted with a matchup with Curie at the Marshall County Hoopfest to determine who is Illinois’ best this season. Losing Tarkus Ferguson will be tough for a program coming off its first state title, however with the leadership abilities and elite talent Jordan Goodwin brings to the team, the Crusaders look set to make another deep run in the Illinois state basketball tournament.

24 Imhotep Charter (PA)

2015-16 Record: 24-6

Preview:
Imhotep Charter is always a Philadelphia Public league power year in and year out, this season the Panthers see themselves in the spotlight on the national stage. Imhotep will have a chance to prove their top 25 ranking early on this year when they face Neumann Goretti in early December before heading off to the Beach Ball Classic after Christmas. Fearless leader 2017 5’ 10” PG Daron Russell (Rhode Island) will guide the offense again after a breakout summer in which he averaged 21.4 points per game during Nike EYBL Peach Jam play. He will be joined in the backcourt by high-major 2017 6’ 4” SG David Beatty, formerly of Archbishop Carroll and St. Benedict’s Prep. Supporting their elite backcourt, talented underclassmen, 2019 6’ 7” wing Donta Scott and 2020 6’ 8” PF Elijah Taylor will provide length to a team playing a tough national schedule. Imhotep Charter will be hungry for their fifth state title this season, and their first since 2013.


25 St Benedict’s Prep (NJ)

2015-16 Record: 35-2 (Dick’s Nationals qualifiers)

Preview:
St. Benedict’s Prep has been impressive during Mike Taylor’s tenure with the program, going 155-21 since he took over in 2011-12. This season, he will have a talented group of players returning, including three starters from a very successful team a year ago that capture 35 victories and earned their fourth appearance in Dick’s Nationals, and their third appearance under coach Taylor. Although St. Bendict’s Prep loses three key players off last year’s team, with Arnaldo Toro and James Scott moving on to the next level, and leading scorer, David Beatty to transfer. The Gray Bees return elite rebounder, 2017 6’ 10” PF Bourama Sidibe and 2017 6’ 9” PF Warren Williams to a team with plenty of depth at big man, with transfer 2019 6’ 8” Precious Achiuwa among seven players listed at 6’ 8” or taller on the roster. Other key returners 2018 6’ 5” SG Matthew Cotton and 2017 6’ 1” PG Jayden Saddler will form a tough backcourt joined by newcomer 2017 6’ 6” SG Najja Hunter. St Benedict’s Prep will have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves on the national stage this season, facing another tough national schedule this season.



26 Greensboro Day (NC)

2015-16 Record: 28-5

Preview:
Greensboro Day is going to be a problem in North Carolina this season, featuring a talented crop of returning contributors. Legendary coach Freddy Johnson will look to add to his superb career win total of 958. The Bengals will play a tough national schedule and play with pace powered by a talented backcourt.


27 Curie (IL)

2015-16 Record: 29-3 (Illinois 4A State Champions)

Preview:
Curie finished 29-3 last season and captured their first ever Illinois high school state championship. This season, Curie has a strong mixture of talented returners and newcomers that will look to return to glory and continue their program’s positive trajectory on the hardwood.


28 New Albany (IN)

2015-16 Record: 27-1 (Indiana 4A State Champions)

Preview: New Albany features elite 2018 guard Romeo Langford who averaged over 30 points per game last season, as he started to make his case for the best player in his class. Last year they finished an impressive 27-1 and this season they will get a chance to prove themselves early with a tilt with national power La Lumiere in December.


29 Wasatch Academy (UT)

2015-16 Record: 29-4 (Dick’s Nationals Qualifiers)

Preview:
Wasatch Academy earned their first ever Dick’s Nationals berth last season, losing in the first round to eventual tournament champion, Oak Hill Academy. This year, Wasatch Academy will feature another extremely talented and deep lineup that will compete on the national stage against multiple national powers.


30 Westlake (GA)

2015-16 Record: 27-4 (Georgia 6A state champions)

Preview:
Westlake finished last season atop the Georgia 6A state championship field, knocking off Norcross and Pebblebrook twice (once in regional championship, once in state championship). Westlake has their top contributors returning and will look to make another push for a state championship against an even tougher field.


31 Christ the King (NY)

2015-16 Record: 19-9

Preview:
Christ the King returns a strong core, led by Georgia Tech commit Jose Alvarado. They will play a tough national schedule, featuring trips to the Hoophall West and Beach Ball Classic. Look for Christ the King to compete for their sixth City title and fourth state championship since the 2010 season.


32 Norcross (GA)

2015-16 Record: 26-4

Preview:
Norcross will return all five starters from a team that finished 26-4 a year ago, losing to eventual state champion, Westlake. This year, Norcross will be led by talented big men Lance Thomas (Louisville) and Rayshaun Hammonds (Georgia). Norcross will be challenged early, heading down to the City of Palms Classic in December.


33 St Anthony (TX)

2015-16 Record: 32-6

Preview:
St Anthony is the only team from Texas ranked in the preseason top 40 and will have a chance to prove how good they are early with a treacherous path in the City of Palms Classic that features potential matchups with Norcross and Neumann Goretti. Elite 2019 6′ 10″ big man Charles Bassey will be the centerpiece again for this talented group.


34 Providence Day (NC)

2015-16 Record: 30-4 (Dick’s Nationals qualifier)

Preview:
Providence Day lose all three of their front-court options from last season and feature a very small lineup fueled by their talented guard play. This season, featuring two transfers and a freshman beside talented returning starters Devon Dotson and Trey Wertz. This year the teams size is their major downfall, with no player over 6′ 5″ on the roster.


35 Rainier Beach (WA)

2015-16 Record: 24-6 (Washington 3A state champions)

Preview:
Rainier Beach is the third ranked team in the Metro League, sitting behind top-25 squads Garfield and Nathan Hale. Rainier Beach will look to repeat as 3A Washington state champions, after capturing the championship last season. The Vikings will have a difficult road this season, but have a strong chance of going back-to-back.


36 Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)

2015-16 Record: 20-9

Preview:
Wesleyan Christian will look to rise in the rankings this season to position themselves for a Dick’s Nationals bid with talented transfers leading the way beside a number of key returning veterans. The Trojans finished just 20-9 last season, but will feature a much different lineup that will compete for a state title in a brutal playoff field.


37 West Oaks Academy (FL)

2015-16 Record: 25-4 (Florida SIAA champions)

Preview:
West Oaks Academy has all the pieces to challenge for their third consecutive SIAA Florida state championship. They face off against the two Florida teams in front of them in the rankings with a chance to prove themselves early in match-ups against IMG Academy and Montverde Academy. Watch for transfer LJ Figueroa to take a leading role this season.


38 Huntington Prep (WV)

2015-16 Record: 29-10

Preview:
Huntington Prep finished last season with a disappointing 29-10 record after coming into the season with lofty expectations. In their worst schedule since the program’s inaugural season in 2009, the national powerhouse will look to rebound with a talented group of talented transfers led by 2018 guard Keldon Johnson.


39 Hudson Catholic (NJ)

2015-16 Record: 21-4

Preview:
Hudson Catholic loses just one player to graduation, and returns the deep and talented backcourt led by Jahvon Quinerly and Luther Muhammad. After finishing 21-4 last season, Hudson Catholic will feature another young and talented group that will be challenged early at the City of Palms Classic in December.


40 Bishop Gorman (NV)

2015-16 Record: 25-7 (Nevada Division I state champions)

Preview:
Bishop Gorman is the overwhelming favorite to win their sixth consecutive Nevada state championship behind elite scorer Charles O’Bannon. The Gaels will feature a strong mixture of talented returning players and key additions. They will face California powers Sierra Canyon and Chino Hills among other national tests this season.


Previous HS Hoops Elite Top 25:

2015-16: #1 Chino Hills (CA)
2014-15: #1 Montverde Academy (FL)
2013-14: #1 Montverde Academy (FL)


Top Events:

City of Palms Classic
Hoophall Classic
Chick-Fil-A Classic
Bass Pro TOC
Beach Ball Classic
Cancer Research Classic
Flyin’ to the Hoop
Les Schwab Invitational
Iolani Classic


Player Rankings History:

2017 Player Rankings
2016 Player Rankings
2015 Player Rankings
2014 Player Rankings