Monday, November 02, 2009

Preseason National Prep Poll: Regionally Ranked Team Sketches


NORTHEAST


#1. Elizabeth, N.J., St. Patrick (30-3)
#2. Newark, N.J., St. Benedict’s (24-3)
#3. New York, Rice (25-3)
#4. Paterson, N.J., Catholic (26-5)
Seton Hall recruit Fuquan Edwin (6-5, Sr.) leads a group of five returning starters that play with excellent team chemistry.
#5. Jersey City, N.J., St. Anthony (25-4) Historically, St. Anthony has been led by tremendous guard play. However, the strength of this year’s team is in the interior where Devon Collier (6-8, Sr.) is the top returning player.
#6. Landsdowne, Pa., Penn Wood (28-4) The defending 4A state champion has an athletic and quick lineup with four returning starters. The guard court features all-state picks Tyree Johnson (5-9, Sr.) and Aaron Brown (6-5, Jr.).
#7. Jersey City, N.J., St. Peter’s (23-3) The Marauders feature excellent inside/outside balance with a group of five returning starters that include all-county F Ronald Roberts (6-7, Sr.) and sharp-shooting G Myles Davis (6-1, Jr.).
#8. Middle Village, N.Y., Christ the King (25-4) The Royals have excellent depth and experience returning. Junior PG Corey Edwards (6-0, Jr.) is one of the top juniors in New York.
#9. Philadelphia, Neumann-Goretti (26-3 Wake Forest-bound PG Tony Chenault leads the Saints, who seek their fourth Catholic League title in six years.
#10. Glen Head, N.Y., Long Island Lutheran (19-8) Despite the transfer of top recruit Tobias Harris, the Crusaders should make a strong a defense of their Class A state Federation championship. Villanova-bound G Achraf Yacoubou (6-3, Jr.) leads a team that will shoot the ball and run the floor very well.
FIVE TO WATCH: Brooklyn, N.Y., Bishop Loughlin (16-11); Bloomfield, Conn. (21-4); Lawrence, Mass., Central Catholic (23-2); Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Plymouth Whitemarsh (25-6); Trenton, N.J., Catholic (25-4)


EAST COAST

#1. Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill (40-1)
#2. Hyattsville, Md., DeMatha (31-4)
#3. Rockville, Md., Montrose Christian (25-3)
#4. Washington, Gonzaga (29-5)
#5. Kinston, N.C. (29-3)
#6. Greensboro, N.C., Dudley (28-2) The Panthers have three starters back including a backcourt threesome that has started 60 games together the last two seasons, compiling a 55-5 record. The group includes North Carolina recruit P.J. Hairston (6-6, Jr.) and Navy-bound PG Brennan Wyatt (5-10, Sr.).
#7. Baltimore, Mount St. Joseph (22-12) With four returning starters and excellent depth, the Gaels should be one of the nation’s most improved teams. Notre Dame recruit Eric Atkins (6-1, Sr.) averaged 22 points per game and was league MVP last season.
#8. Raleigh, N.C., Enloe (28-3) The Eagles are a veteran group and could be the team to beat in Class 4A this season. Four starters return led by Wake Forest-bound F Melvin Tabb (6-8, Sr.).
#9. Arden, N.C., Christ (36-2) The Greenies graduated three Division I players but replaced them with a trio of talented transfers over the summer including South Carolina-bound PG Eric Smith (6-0, Sr.), who was an all-state performer at Mullins (S.C.) last season.
#10. Danville, Va., Washington (22-5) Among public schools in Virginia, the Eagles might be the most talented group. Four starters are back including standout guards Jerail Howerton (5-10, Sr.) and Greg Wimbush (5-10, Sr.).
FIVE TO WATCH: Richmond, Va., Benedictine (19-12); Baltimore, Lake Clifton (28-0); Greenville, S.C., Mann (19-7); Beckley, W.Va., Mountain State (26-7); Arlington, Va., O’Connell (23-9)


SOUTHEAST

#1. Alpharetta, Ga., Milton (24-8)
#2. Winter Park, Fla. (24-8)
#3. Marietta, Ga., Wheeler (25-7)
#4. Memphis, Tenn., White Station (31-7)

#5. Decatur, Ga., Columbia (29-3) The Eagles have excellent depth, athleticism and length at every position. Five starters return including Northwestern-bound G Jershon Cobb (6-5, Sr.).
#6. Jacksonville, Fla., Providence (27-2) The athletic Stallions have three starters back plus two highly decorated transfers. The newcomers are Kentucky-bound guard Stacey Poole (6-5, Sr.) and Florida-bound big man Patric Young (6-9, Sr.).
#7. Memphis, Tenn., Melrose (29-6) The Golden Wildcats are loaded with experience and athleticism. Adonis Thomas (6-7, F) and Chris Jones (5-9, PG) are two of the top juniors in the nation.
#8. Jackson, Miss., Callaway (33-6) The Chargers have tremendous talent in the back court and are a good bet to repeat as 4A state champions. Deville Smith (5-11, PG) averaged 18 points and seven assists as a sophomore.
#9. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Pine Crest (28-4) The two-time defending 3A champion returns reigning
USA Today national player of the year Brandon Knight (6-4, G). He averaged 32 points per game as a junior.
#10. Huntsville, Ala., Butler (34-3) Sharp-shooting G Trevor Lacey (6-2, Jr.) will lead the Rebels’ charge for a repeat 5A state title.
FIVE TO WATCH:
Jacksonville, Fla., Arlington Country Day (25-7); Baton Rouge, La., Glen Oaks (35-3); Jackson, Tenn., Liberty Tech (28-7); Montverde, Fla., Montverde Academy (21-7); Norcross, Ga. (27-3)


MIDWEST

#1. Columbus, Ohio, Northland (27-1)
#2. Bloomington, Ind., South (26-0)
#3. Chicago, Young (26-9)
#4. Covington, Ky., Holmes (36-2)
#5. Detroit, Pershing (26-1)

#6. Waukegan, Ill. (26-5) The up-tempo, hard-guarding Bulldogs return four starters. That includes one of the state’s top players in Jereme Richmond (Illinois), who scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds per game last season.
#7. Beverly Hills, Mich., Detroit Country Day (24-2) The quick, up-tempo Yellowjackets lost three starters to Division I basketball and another to Division I football. However, Ray McCallum (6-1, Sr.), one of the nation’s top-rated point guards, does return.
#8. Madison, Wis., Memorial (26-1) The defending state champion have three returning starters and good depth. Marquette-bound G Vander Blue averaged 17 points per game as a junior.
#9. Georgetown, Ky., Scott County (30-4) The Cardinals return an experienced squad that is led by former Kentucky commit Dakota Euton (6-7, Sr.).
#10. Chicago, Simeon (18-10) The Wolverines are led by Dayton-bound two-guard Brandon Spearman (6-2, Sr.) and freshman phenom Jabari Parker (6-5, G).
FIVE TO WATCH: Chicago, De La Salle (21-5); Louisville, Ky., Eastern (31-3); Indianapolis, Pike (14-9); Cincinnati, Princeton (25-2); Akron, Ohio, St. Vincent-St. Mary (23-4)


MIDLANDS

#1. Ames, Iowa (26-0)
#2. St. Louis, Chaminade (27-4)

#3. Aurora, Colo., Regis (26-2) What the Raiders may lack in athleticism, they more than make up for with experience and size. The defending 5A champ has three starters back, including Gatorade state player of the year Bud Thomas (6-6, Sr.).
#4. Minnetonka, Minn., Hopkins (31-0) The Royals must replace five starters who all were Division I recruits but still may be favored to repeat as 4A state champion. Guard D.J. Peterson (6-4, Sr.) averaged seven points off the bench last season.
#5. Wichita, Kan., Wichita Heights (24-1) Last season’s 6A state champion has one of the nation’s top junior big men returning in Perry Ellis (6-8). He averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.
#6. Mendota Heights, Minn., Sibley (27-3) The Warriors are absolutely stacked at the post position with 7-footer Jake Kreuser (Sr.) and Mike Rostampour (6-7, Sr.) returning.
#7. Roeland Park, Kan., Miege (23-2) Led by Alabama-bound PG Trevor Releford (5-11, Sr.) and Oklahoma football recruit Justin McCay (6-3, Sr.), the Stags hope to end Topeka Highland Park’s streak of three consecutive 5A state titles.
#8. Columbia, Mo., Rock Bridge (28-3) The Bruins, who finished third at the state tournament for the fourth time, hope to break through this season with three returning starters. Guard play should be a strength, with Missouri-bound Ricky Kreklow (6-6, Sr.) leading the way.
#9. Provo, Utah (24-1) Provo had won 39 straight games and was cruising toward its third consecutive 4A title before being stunned by Salt Lake City West in the state championship game. BYU-bound G Kyle Collinsworth (6-6, Sr.) returns, as the Bulldogs seek redemption.
#10. Topeka, Kan., Highland Park (24-1) Two starters return for the Scots, who have three consecutive 5A state titles and only two losses total the last three years. The floor general will be two-time all-state guard Rico Richardson (5-11, Sr.).
FIVE TO WATCH: Littleton, Colo., Arapahoe (17-9); South Jordan, Utah, Bingham (17-7); Omaha, Neb., Bryan (20-8); Omaha, Neb., Creighton Prep (22-5); Denver, East (21-4)


SOUTHWEST

#1. Henderson, Nev., Findlay (33-0)
#2. Houston, Yates (34-1)
#3. Cedar Hill, Texas (35-4)

#4. Phoenix, North (25-6) With four starters returning, the Mustangs are favored to repeat as 5A/II state champions. A senior-dominated fast-break offense is anchored by three-time all-state G Daniel Bejarano (6-5), an Arizona recruit.
#5. Bellaire, Texas (26-6) If team chemistry continues to improve, the experienced and athletic Cardinals will be a major factor when the 5A state playoffs are contested. Two seniors –- 6-3 guard Jamal Outler (Texas Tech) and 6-7 forward Tobi Oyedeji (Texas A&M) are Division I commits.
#6. Las Vegas, Bishop Gorman (28-5) Four starters are back for the athletic Gaels, who were state champions for the third time in eight seasons. All-state guard Jonathan Lloyd (5-9, Sr.) averaged 15 points and six assists.
#7. DeSoto, Texas (38-8) The Eagles are sure to offer up a fierce defense of their 5A state championship. The team will rely upon the experience of senior point guard DeRico Dandridge (5-9).
#8. San Antonio, Wagner (32-8) The Thunderbirds, who begin the season top-ranked in the state coach’s poll, have four returning starters. Guard Jordan Clarkson (6-3, Sr.) is committed to Tulsa.
#9. Duncanville, Texas (27-10) Last season’s national preseason No. 1-ranked team must replace four starters and retired longtime head coach Phil McNeely. The lone holdover is highly routed Baylor-bound big man Perry Jones (6-11, Sr.).
#10. Fayetteville, Ark. (30-0) The Bulldogs have won 38 of their last 39 games and return three starters, but are now without two-time state player of the year Fred Gulley (Oklahoma St.). Guard play should be a strength as all-stater Kikko Haydar (5-9) returns after averaging seven points and five assists as a junior.
FIVE TO WATCH: Lancaster, Texas (28-7); Dallas, Lincoln (28-8); Oklahoma City, Putnam City (25-4); Plano, Texas, West (30-3); Austin, Texas, Westlake (26-8)


WEST COAST

#1. Los Angeles, Westchester (35-2)
#2. Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei (31-2)
#3. Woodland Hills, Calif., Taft (27-5)

#4. Portland, Ore., Jesuit (25-3) The defending 6A champion returns one of the state’s top players in junior forward Kyle Wiltjer (6-9). St. Mary’s recruit Stephen Holt (6-3) is back to run the point.
#5. Concord, Calif., De La Salle (26-2) Featuring a hard-to-defend “Princeton-style” offense and smothering defense, De La Salle Spartans seek their third state championship this decade. The Spartans don’t score a lot, but the points that do come are often courtesy of junior guard Joe Stein (6-2) and blue collar Santa Clara recruit John McArthur (6-8).
#6. Federal Way, Wash. (28-2) Rebounding and the transition game will again be a strength for the Eagles, who are the defending 4A championship. Only two starters are back –- Isiah Umipig (6-0, Sr.) and Cole Dickerson (6-7, Sr.) –- but both are sure-fire Division I prospects.
#7. Los Angeles, Fairfax (27-5) You can never count on the Lions, who will contend for their fourth city championship despite returning only two starters. You’re going to be hear a lot about freshman forward Reggie Theus Jr. (6-6).
#8. Huntington Beach, Calif., Ocean View (27-8) The Seahawks are a good darkhorse contender to challenge the perennial powers for SoCal basketball supremacy this season. It’s a versatile team with four starters back, led by Stanford-bound G Anthony Brown (6-7).
#9. Corona, Calif., Centennial (24-4) Darkhorse No. 2 in Southern California are the Huskies, a fast and athletic squad featuring four returning starters. USC commit Gelaun Wheelwright averaged 18 points per game and led Centennial with 26 points in an upset victory over eventual regional runner-up Riverside King last season.
#10. Gardena, Calif., Serra (23-8) With four starters back --- including three all-CIF selections -- consider the Cavaliers SoCal darkhorse contender No. 3. Tremendous depth and quickness at the guard position makes Serra up-tempo offense and pressure defense tough to defeat. Montana recruit Vaughn Autry (6-2) averaged 16 points per game as a junior.
FIVE TO WATCH: Seattle, Garfield (23-4); Portland, Ore., Jefferson (20-6); Covington, Wash., Kentwood (19-7); Long Beach, Calif., Poly (23-6); Richmond, Calif., Salesian (31-4)

2 comments:

US said...

Dont forget Dallas God's Academy in the Southwest. They return 5 players from last years 37-9 team. They return their 2 top scorers.

US said...

They have added 6'3 sg Terrance Lafayette who lock up Brandon Knight in the spring.

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