Friday, October 24, 2008

Preseason Teams to Watch: Fairfax

We are less than a month away from the start of high school basketball season in many parts of the country. That means in less than a month the first National Prep Basketball Poll of the season will be released.

Over the last several weeks, PrepNation Basketball Contributor Jeremy Plowman and Editor Jamie DeMoney have been analyzing top teams and players, and collecting information from high school coaches across the country.

Today, we continue giving readers a sneak peak at the preseason rankings (which will be released November 3) with another "Team to Watch" capsule.

Fairfax (Los Angeles)
Coach: Harvey Kitani (563-181, 28 years at Fairfax)
2007-08 record: 27-6, LA City Section runner-up (West Coast No. 8 in final National Prep Poll)
Top players: C/F Renardo Sidney (6-9), Sr; F/G Solomon Hill (6-6), Sr.); G Lance Bailey (6-3), Sr.; G Jordan Weathers (6-2), Jr.
Team strength: Top three players return, led by ultra talented Sidney
Question mark: Can young players step up
Outlook: The Lions have the pieces in place to make a strong run at their fourth section title and third state championship under Kitani. The team's top three scorers are back, including McDonald's All-American shoe-in candidate Sidney. Last year, the Mississippi native averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists in his first season at Fairfax (he also played his sophomore season in the Los Angeles area at Artesia HS). Sidney has an NBA body coupled with a full assortment of inside and outside skills. Hill averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, and three assists as a junior. He is an explosive athlete who is committed to play at Arizona. Bailey, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds, is a terrific outside shooter. Weathers, who scored nine points per game off the bench as a sophomore, is poised for a breakout season as a scorer. Fairfax usually plays a very demanding schedule, and this year will be no different. In addition to facing league rival Westchester twice, the Lions also will play San Diego HS (on ESPN2). The Lions' out-of-state games are just as tough. Over the holidays, Fairfax will make back-to-back trips to the Iolani Classic in Hawaii and the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon. In February, Fairfax will take on nationally ranked Chicago Whitney Young at the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei High School.

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