Defending NorCal CIF Open Division champ Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland is highest ranked California club in preseason GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50 national boys basketball rankings. Dragons check in at No. 7 with Corona Centennial next at No. 12 and Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at No. 14
It’s looks like the California team that came the closest to beating Mater Dei of Santa Ana last season is the early favorite to capture the 2014-15 CIF Open Division state title in boys basketball. Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland had a poor shooting night in the 2014 CIF Open Division state title game, but earlier in the season the Dragons took the Monarchs down to the wire in the championship game of the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas. With Ivan Rabb, the top-ranked player in the 2015 Cal-Hi Sports Hot 100, and recent Boise State commit Paris Austin returning, Bishop O’Dowd is a heavy favorite to represent NorCal in this season’s CIF Open Division state title game.
The two early favorites to represent SoCal — Corona Centennial and Chatsworth Sierra Canyon — joined O’Dowd in the top 15 of the preseason GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50 national rankings. The Dragons cracked the top 10 at No. 7 with the Huskies at No. 12 and underclass-dominated Sierra Canyon two spots behind Centennial at No. 14.
The 2014-15 preseason Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 was released in three parts. On Sunday afternoon part one (teams No. 31-50) was published. The second part (teams No. 16-30) was published on Monday with the final one (teams No. 1-15) released Tuesday afternoon.
Centennial advanced to the CIF Division I state tile game last season, where it fell to Danville of Monte Vista, but return four starters and bolstered its front court with the improvement of young talents such as sophomore Jalen Hill. Right behind the Huskies is Sierra Canyon, led by junior point guard Devearl Ramsey and a talented lineup full of sophomores. Sierra Canyon, despite its youth, might be the most talent-laden team in the state, but Corona Centennial is a senior-laden team with tons of big-game experience.
Not much separates the top three FAB 50-ranked California clubs. O’Dowd did graduate guard Juwan Anderson, but Austin is improved and the frontline around Rabb will be much bigger this season. O’Dowd also had a tough schedule right off the bat, taking on No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic and top-ranked Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) on December 12. Sierra Canyon defeated O’Dowd at last year’s Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, but Corona Centennial beat the Chino Hills team that Sierra Canyon lost to in order to advance to the tourney title game.
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