Monday, November 03, 2008

Preseason Top 25: No. 8 Findlay Prep

8. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Coach: Michael Peck (32-1, 1 season at Findlay Prep)
2007-08 record: 32-1
Top players: G D.J. Richardson (6-3), Sr.; Avery Bradley (6-3), Sr.; F Carlos Lopez (6-11), Sr.; F Victor Rudd (6-8), Sr.; G Cory Joseph (6-3), Jr.; C Godwin Okonji (6-9), Jr.; G Willie Hankins (6-3), So.; G Issiah Grayson (6-2), Jr.
Team strength: Speed, athleticism
Question mark: Chemistry
Toughest games: Dec. 6 vs. Montverde (Fla.) at Marshall County Hoopfest; Dec. 30 vs. Rice (N.Y.) at Rock Holiday Classic; Jan. 17 vs. Garfield Heights (Ohio) at Flyin' to the Hoop.
Outlook: The Pilots begin nationally ranked in their first season using only traditional four-year high school players. Though only two players return from last year's team that won 32 games -- including a 14-point decision over nationally ranked Wheeler (Ga.) -- Findlay's roster is overflowing with high-level Division I talent. Big men Lopez, a UNLV recruit, and Nigerian native Okonji, are the lone holdovers from last season. They are joined in the front court by Sylmar (Calif.) transfer Victor Rudd, a Top 150 player in the Class of 2009. Findlay's collection of guards is top-notch. Richardson, a Peoria (Ill.) native who is committed to Illinois, is an up-tempo slasher with great speed. Bradley, who hails from Tacoma (Wash.) and is pledged to Texas, is very explosive and a likely McDonald's All-American pick. Underclassmen Cory Joseph (a native of Canada), Hankins (Van Nuys, Calif.), and Grayson (Tucker, Ga.) provide high-quality depth.

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