Preseason Boys BB Ranks (1-15)

Two of the top players for preseason state No. 1 Bishop Montgomery of Torrance are Jordan Schakel (20) and Ethan Thompson (5). Photos: bmhs-la.org & Patrick Takkinen/SoCalSidelines.com.

Two top players for preseason state No. 1 Bishop Montgomery are Jordan Schakel (20) and Ethan Thompson (5). Photos: bmhs-la.org & Patrick Takkinen/SoCalSidelines.com.

It’s time to launch our winter basketball content on CalHiSports.com and we’ll do it with our preseason boys basketball state rankings. Bishop Montgomery of Torrance has all five starters returning from a SoCal Open Division finalist team and is the preseason No. 1 team for the 2016-17 season. Sierra Canyon starts out at No. 2 for the second consecutive season and adds one of the nation’s best players. Go inside here for teams No. 1 through No. 15 in our preseason State Top 35.

Note: During the season, all of our writeups, analysis and predictions of what’s coming next will be content for our Gold Club VIPs only. To become a member of our Gold Club so you can check out all of our boys basketball content, including player rankings in each class, please CLICK HERE.

For a look at the teams we’ve ranked from No. 16 to No. 35, plus 20 more on the bubble, CLICK HERE.

For last season’s final state rankings, CLICK HERE.

To see the list of major tournaments and showcases involving California’s best teams, CLICK HERE.

California boys hoops is entering its fifth season of CIF Open Division playoffs at the regional level. The concept creates a scenario for the North’s and South’s best team to meet in the final game of the season. One of the reasons it was created was to give more opportunities for public schools to have a realistic chance to compete for a CIF state title in the lower divisions (I-V).

Ironically, a public school with three brothers who grew up down the street from their respective high school captured the CIF Southern Section Open crown, the CIF State Open Division crown and was named mythical national champions last season by the FAB 50 and other credible national polls. That school was Chino Hills, which rode the play of eventual Mr. Basketball winner Lonzo Ball (now at UCLA) to a dominant playoff run and 35-0 season.

Yes, private schools continue to dominate the boys basketball landscape in California, but Chino Hills proved public schools still can compete and occasionally run the tables. The Huskies have four starters back and opened the season No. 14 in the preseason FAB 50, but are only No. 3 in the state to begin the season.

Sierra Canyon standout Adam Seiko talks to San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher during recent visit. Photo: @SCanyonSports/Twitter.com.

Sierra Canyon standout Adam Seiko talks to San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher during recent visit. Photo: @SCanyonSports/Twitter.com.

That’s because Bishop Montgomery of Torrance, the team that took the Huskies down to the wire in a regular season showdown of unbeatens before losing 71-67 and lost to Chino Hills in the SoCal Open Division final, return five starters and should be a stronger — and better team — than last year.

Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth, which defeated Bishop Montgomery in the CIFSS Open Division semifinals but lost in the regional to the Cathedral Catholic of San Diego team that the Knights defeated in the open regional semifinals, return four starters and add Marvin Bagley III, a Mr. Basketball candidate as a junior and one of the nation’s best players regardless of class. Sierra Canyon opened up No. 9 in the FAB 50, two spots behind Bishop Montgomery, but definitely has the personnel and plays the national schedule to move up.

Chino Hills will vie for second consecutive CIFSS and state open division titles, but it remains to be seen how the production of Ball (state-record 25 triple doubles) will be replaced, so the Huskies begin behind Montgomery and Sierra Canyon.

It’s no secret that SoCal has more depth in terms of quality teams, which means the CIF Open Division guts NorCal of teams that would give the region its best chance to win a state title in the other five divisions. It’s really poignant this season, as NorCal lacks a great senior class in terms of college prospects and a senior-oriented team such as the 2015 Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland club featuring Cal sophomore Ivan Rabb. One of the big three SoCal clubs, or whichever emerges from the South, will be a prohibitive favorite in the game that ensures its winner will be the top-ranked team in Cal-Hi Sports’ final rankings.

In October 2015, a two-year pilot proposal passed which changed the parameters of the CIF open division in SoCal only.

In the North, CIF member schools are required to participate in the CIF division that has been established by its respective CIF section — unless selected for the open division. In the South, teams selected for the SoCal regional playoffs may be moved to a different division than the one in which they participated in the section playoffs. In SoCal Division V, there is no enrollment cap (previously could not exceed 600). And lastly, divisional placement of teams in the SoCal regionals will be determined by rankings by each of the four SoCal sections (San Diego, Southern, L.A. City, and Central) at the conclusion of their respective section playoffs.

One parameter with regards to the SoCal Open Division wasn’t clear last season and now has been explained by the CIF state office. The CIF Southern Section is pre-designated to fill four open entries, with the open champions of the L.A. City, San Diego, and Central Section filling three spots. An L.A. City, San Diego or Central Section team will fill the eighth spot.

The language previously made it seem as if a team from one of those sections wasn’t strong enough to take on SoCal’s top seeded open team, a fifth CIF Southern Section team would be considered. That’s only true if there is no eligible team from one of the other three SoCal sections, which is unlikely to be the case.

Some of the teams selected for the open division in its first four years had little shot of advancing to the CIF open division state final. The four team per section rule means the CIFSS Open Division quarterfinal games will still go a long way in determining CIF state champions. The Southern Section’s top teams have traditionally dominated the weekly Cal-Hi Sports Top 20 and the four winners in the CIFSS Open Division quarterfinals will be the four teams selected for SoCal Open playoffs, leaving some state ranked teams to fall back to their original divisions.

Will a NorCal team emerge to have a realistic shot at upsetting the SoCal open representative? We’ll see.

2016-17 CAL-HI SPORTS PRESEASON
BOYS BASKETBALL STATE RANKINGS

(This is the 37th consecutive season that CalHiSports.com will provide state rankings; Last year’s final rating in parentheses with 2015-16 won-loss record)

Note: During the season, all of our writeups, analysis and predictions of what’s coming next will be content for our Gold Club VIPs only. To become a member of our Gold Club so you can check out all of our boys basketball content, including player rankings in each class, please CLICK HERE.

Bishop Montgomery head coach Doug Mitchell directs team during 2014 D4 state final. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Bishop Montgomery head coach Doug Mitchell directs team during 2014 Division IV state final. Photo: Willie Eashman.

1. (2) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 28-3
Even though the Knights lost to Chino Hills 84-62 in the SoCal Open final, it was clearly evident coach Doug Mitchell (618-154) was going to have a team that would start the season No. 1 or No. 2 in the state and high in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings. It came down to Sierra Canyon or the Knights and we went with Bishop Montgomery. Yes, Sierra Canyon did beat Bishop Montgomery, 78-69, in the CIFSS semifinals, but also lost to a Cathedral Catholic team in a SoCal Open regional opener that the Knights defeated 72-56 in their next game. From a national perspective, Mitchell’s team is not blessed with great size, but rebounds like gangbusters and are collectively a great defensive unit. Oregon State-bound Ethan Thompson (6-4, Sr.) is one of the state’s best shooters and could emerge as a serious Mr. Basketball candidate with a strong start to the season. Backcourt mate David Singleton (6-4, Jr.) is one of California’s best scorers and a throwback in terms of his intensity and approach to the game. Perhaps no underclass player in the state has shown as much improvement over the past six months as Gianni Hunt (6-2, Soph.), who is emerging as a big-time point guard prospect. Upfront, Jordan Schakel (6-5, Sr.) is multi-dimensional and not afraid to step up offensively and battle on the boards defensively. Fletcher Tynen (6-5, Jr.) rounds out the balanced starting lineup and is a typical player under Mitchell in that he can successfully do a bit of everything without being flashy. Bishop Montgomery could face No. 5 Crespi early in the season at the Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Classic and test themselves nationally versus Montverde Academy of Florida on January 16 at the Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts.

2. (4) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 26-5
Last season, the rankings dilemma at the top was between Chino Hills and the Trailblazers and this year it’s between Bishop Montgomery at coach Ty Nichols’ team. For the second consecutive year we’re going against Sierra Canyon, as it must prove its consistency against underdog opponents. It bit them in last season’s opener vs. Moreau Catholic and in a SoCal Open Division playoff game vs. No. 7 Cathedral Catholic. Our Chino Hills forecast proved to be correct last season, but that doesn’t mean we have as strong feelings of being correct this season, as Sierra Canyon is more dynamic this year than last, deeper than Bishop Montgomery, and plays a tougher national schedule. The Trailblazers have plenty of landmines, including FAB 50 No. 1 Oak Hill Academy of Virginia on December 15, and if they come through unscathed could be California’s second consecutive mythical national champion. It begins with four returning starters in point guard Remy Martin (5-10, Sr.), combo guard Terrence McBride (6-2, Sr.), shooting guard Adam Sieko (6-3, Sr.) and power forward Cody Riley (6-8, Sr.). Martin (Arizona St.) and Riley (UCLA) are Pac-12 players, Sieko (San Diego St.) is underrated nationally and McBride is a three-year starter who would be a star on nearly any other team in the state. The wildcard is Marvin Bagley III (6-10, Jr.), who sat out last season after transferring in from Arizona and is regarded as one of the nation’s best players regardless of class. He’s Sierra Canyon’s most talented player, but the senior group has had plenty of success without him and how quickly the group meshes will determine its rankings. How the group jells by the end of the season, however, will ultimately determine its chances to get by Bishop Montgomery, Chino Hills and Mater Dei to play in for the open division title at Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center March 25.

3. (1) Chino Hills 35-0
With four starters back returning from a mythical national championship club, it would seem logical to begin the Huskies preseason No. 1. We don’t for two reasons: 1) Bishop Montgomery and Sierra Canyon could be that good. 2) Only six teams in the annals of California high school basketball since 1955 have had to replace a national player of the year and that’s what Chino Hills has to do. Lonzo Ball (UCLA) was a transcendent player and replacing 23.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 11.7 apg, 5.1 spg, and 2.0 bpg and a state record 25 triple-doubles is nearly impossible to do. The Huskies, however, have plenty of talent and have even been getting after it a bit more in practice because there is more depth and playing time to be fought over. Players such as Andre Ball (6-8, Jr.), Phaquon Davis (5-9, Soph.) and Ofure Ujadughele (6-3, Jr.) will have big roles on a team that will look to force turnovers and create havoc in order to wear down opponents. New head coach and former assistant Stephan Gilling has the luxury of Gelo Ball (6-5, Sr.) and Melo Ball (6-1, Soph.) back along with LMU-bound Eli Scott (6-4, Sr.) and Cal-Hi Sports State Freshman of the Year Onyeka Okongwu (6-9, Soph.). Gelo Ball was the leading scorer (27.5 ppg) while Melo Ball (16.1 ppg) has grown physically and mentally to help lead this team. Scott’s physicality and Okongwu’s defensive presence were keys in last year’s title run and if those two increase their overall production, a second consecutive CIF Open Division state title could be in the works.

4. (6) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 27-5
In many ways the Monarchs are a deceptive No. 4 because of the perception of their 102-54 waxing by Chino Hills in last year’s CIFSS Open Division semifinals. The reality is, overall, Mater Dei had a better season than that score would indicate and Chino Hills average margin of victory in the playoffs was 29 points. Mater Dei will significantly close the margin between itself and the top three teams in these rankings. If the Monarchs’ title at the Ron Massey Memorial Fall Classic in any indication, they’ll be right in the thick of the CIF Open Division title game race with a physically strong and smart team with excellent chemistry. Justice Sueing (6-7, Sr.) is a complete forward and point guard Spencer Freedman (6-0, Jr.) is a terrific outside shooter who will be an even more dangerous player with an improved talent level around him. The improvement of Michael Wang (6-9, Jr.) and Harrison Butler (6-5, Jr.) was noticeable this summer and if the rumors are true 7-foot junior center Bol Bol from Kansas will eventually enroll at Mater Dei, this team could go from very good to great. That hasn’t happened so even if Bol doesn’t play for this team, it still will be tough to beat at the end of the season because of the combination of talent and coaching, as Gary McKnight enters the season with 11 CIF state titles and a 1,051-95 career won-loss mark.

Mater Dei's Spencer Freedman is an elite point guard. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

Mater Dei’s Spencer Freedman is an elite point guard. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

5. (7) Crespi (Encino) 33-4
The Celts finished right in the range projected of them for the 2015-16 preseason and it wouldn’t surprise us if they were consistently in this range once again. Russell White has led his program to two consecutive CIF state titles in two different divisions (IV in 2015 and I last year) and the challenge this time around it to make the SoCal open regional after losing in the opening round of the CIFSS Open Division playoffs last season. Crespi’s strength is its backcourt, with Brandon Williams (6-1, Jr.) emerging as one of the nation’s top guards in the 2018 class this past summer. He averaged 15.8 ppg last season and those numbers should increase with backcourt mate Taj Regans (5-8, Jr.) taking pressure off him because of his improved game. White is a bit concerned about his rebounding because of the lack of a true post presence, so the contributions of forwards Anthony Booker (6-3, Jr.) and Kyle Owens (6-5, Soph.) will be critical. The graduation loss of De’Anthony Melton (USC) cannot be underestimated, and this team will know where it stands right away based on how well it fares in the Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Challenge and when it hosts No. 3 Chino Hills on December 13.

6. (22) Fairfax (Los Angeles) 30-5
After 35 seasons and 745 victories at the well-known school off Melrose Ave., Harvey Kitani retired from the LAUSD and stepped down as coach of the Lions. He didn’t leave the cupboard bare for new coach Steve Baik, who moves over from mythical national champion Chino Hills while Kitani took the job at Rolling Hills Prep. Baik will enjoy coaching up this team compared to last season when he basically handed the keys over to Lonzo Ball and didn’t need to substitute much in the big games. Fairfax lost to Narbonne of Harbor City in the L.A. City Section Open Division semifinals, but rates as the slight favorite this season with a stellar backcourt led by returning all-state underclass pick Ethan Anderson (5-11, Soph.) and the lightening-quick Jamal Hartwell (5-10, Jr.). Bobby McRae (6-3, Soph.) will be counted on to step up his production, but what could take this team to an elite level is the rebounding and activity level of forward Kirk Smith (6-7, Jr.). Baik knows whoever emerges as the regular fifth starter will have to rebound and do some of the dirty work in order for this team to live up to its potential.

7. (14) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 21-7
The Dons open up as the top ranked team in the CIF San Diego Section and as one of the favorites to win its open division title. Last year, they played second-fiddle to T.J. Leaf and Foothills Christian, but with Leaf off to UCLA, Cathedral Catholic big man Brandon McCoy (7-0, Sr.) reigns as the most dominant player in the section. McCoy (21.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3.6 bpg) is one of the nation’s best big men and the only virtual lock to play in the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game among players at CIF programs. If McCoy plays as he did in an overtime victory over Sierra Canyon (23 points, 14 rebounds) in the SoCal Open Division regional playoffs, coach Will Cunningham’s team will be competitive against any in the state. The other returning starter, guard Jevon Figaro (6-1, 2017), doubles as a cornerback on the football team and should hit his stride later in the season. Cunningham is a bit concerned about depth and outside shooting, but if Dallas Cunningham (6-7, Sr.), who sat out last season with injury, and Zach Green (6-2, Sr.) step up, the Dons will be formidable come playoff time.

8. (16) Centennial (Corona) 23-9
It initially looked like the Huskies might fall off their pace of the last three seasons, but they should be more balanced and make another solid run in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs. Coach Josh Giles will miss the interior presence of Ike Anigbogu (UCLA) and the shooting of Jordan Griffin (Long Beach St.), but at times the team relied on Griffin’s scoring too much and overall there are more weapons for teams to worry about this season. Gio Nelson (6-5, Sr.) has improved his perimeter skills immensely and earned a scholarship to UC Davis. Isom Butler (6-1, Sr.) was inconsistent last year, but his defense never takes a play off and he is playing with much more confidence, while Paul Viela (5-10, Sr.) is a quality guard as well. Depth is provided by the likes of Isaiah Knox (6-4, Jr.), Allen McBride (6-2, Soph.) and Jaylen Clarke (6-4, Fr.), the latter who will eventually develop into a big-time player. UCLA-bound Jalen Hill (6-9, Sr.) is a four-year contributor, but he needs to have a big season in order for the Huskies to hover around the Top 10 and challenge for a spot in the SoCal Open Division regional playoffs.

Salesian's James Akinjo had a breakout season as a sophomore and is just one reason to like his team as perhaps the best from NorCal for 2016-17. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Salesian’s James Akinjo had a breakout season as a sophomore and is just one reason to like his team as perhaps the best from NorCal for 2016-17. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

9. (31) Salesian (Richmond) 28-5
This is the spot where NorCal’s preseason top-ranked team lands. We’ve known for a long time this wasn’t a vintage year in terms of individual senior talent in the region and have known since last season there wasn’t going to be a NorCal juggernaut like Bishop O’Dowd’s team in 2015. Still, this doesn’t mean a NorCal senior can’t have a breakout senior or a dominant team won’t emerge. The best bet is Bill Mellis’ crew, which qualified for the NorCal Open Division playoffs and lost in overtime, 51-45, to eventual NorCal champion De La Salle of Concord. Mellis’ best player and one of the best in the region, James Akinjo (5-11, Jr.), is tough on both ends and coming off a fantastic summer. Jamario Bibb (6-4, Jr.) is a capable scorer who is good around the paint and improving his perimeter skill. Mellis has an abundance of backcourt depth at his disposal, as Derrick Langford (6-2, Jr.) and twins Jaden (5-8, Soph.) and Jovon (5-8, Soph.) McClanahan are explosive athletes with tons of experience despite their underclass status. Even up front, The Pride is young, so there could be some early ups-and-downs before this team settles in to make a run at the NorCal Open crown. The development of Emmanuel Adeyoe (6-9, Soph.), Salesian’s most talented post prospect, will be key for a team that will test it wares against regional competition in the top division of the Tarkanian Classic before the Christmas Break.

10. (NR) Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) 18-12
This team is big, strong and long on experience and will be the main challenger to No. 4 Mater Dei in the Trinity League. Coach Jeff Reinert’s team lost by less than 10 points in both games versus the Monarchs last year and played in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs. Unfortunately, the Eagles drew Chino Hills, but this season should nab a higher seed behind the inside play of talents such as Jordan Guest (6-7, Jr.), Adrease Jackson (6-8, Sr.) and Johnny Wang (6-9, Sr.). Jake Kyman (6-7, Soph.) is a versatile talent who is quickly getting better and could be in line for all-state underclass honors. Kaden Rasheed (6-1, Sr.) is the Eagles’ most experienced backcourt player and Max Agbonkpolo (6-6, Soph.) helps answer questions about the team’s general lack of foot speed versus the state’s best teams. If Rasheed is consistent from the outside and Kyman and Agbonkpolo develop as expected, this team should make a serious run at a SoCal Open Division playoff berth.

11. (21) Alemany (Mission Hills) 24-9
The Warriors could easily climb into the Top 10 with a nice blend of talent, coaching, and results that make them a major CIFSS Open Division contender. Coach Tray Meeks has guided this program to consecutive outright Mission League titles, but a loss to Inglewood in the opening round of the CIFSS Open playoffs caused this club to fall out of the final state Top 20 last season and land right outside the preseason top 10 this season. There is not only talent, but plenty of motivation because two Mission League teams, No. 5 Crespi (D1) and No. 26 Harvard-Westlake (IV), went on to win CIF state titles. Alemany split with Crespi and the addition of transfer Fred Odhiambo (6-10, Jr.) is just what the doctor ordered because the Warriors are guard-oriented, as is Crespi. Ernie Sears (6-3, Sr.) is a returning all-state underclass pick plus a 7-foot high jumper, while Brandon Dante Davis (6-2, Sr.) is headed to UCSB. D.J. McDonald (5-10, Jr.) also had a breakout sophomore campaign and big things are expected from Noah Laurie (5-8, Fr.) in the future. Alemany gets tested right away versus No. 18 Capital Christian at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic.

12. (NR) Santa Monica 29-3
The Vikings should have been selected for the CIFSS Open Division playoffs last season, and if the newcomers mesh with the veterans there shouldn’t be any doubt they belong this time around. The questions surrounding that cohesiveness, not to mention an upset loss to Washington Prep of L.A. in the opening round of the SoCal D2 regional playoffs, likely cost the Vikings a spot or two in these rankings. They can, however, quickly make up for it with good showings at the St. Monica Tournament, Beverly Hills Tournament and The Classic at Damien. Rip Economou (6-7, Jr.) is one of the state’s most improved players and Daniel Schreier (6-7, Sr.) is also all-CIFSS caliber. What really gets coach James Hecht excited for this season’s prospects is the addition of Payton Moore (6-4, Jr.) and combo forward DeSean Allen-Eikens (6-6. Jr.). Moore, an explosive wing with improving ball skill, moves over from nearby L.A. Windward and Allen-Eikens comes in from Williston, N.D. and provides toughness and scoring ability around the basket.

Myles Johnson of Long Beach Poly figures to be key player for Jackrabbits. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Myles Johnson of Long Beach Poly figures to be key player for Jackrabbits. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

13. (26) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 24-11
The defending SoCal D2 champions didn’t expect to lose to San Mateo Serra in the state title game, nor a double-digit loss total, but injuries contributed heavily to both scenarios. If Poly remains relatively injury free, it should return to the CIFSS Open Division playoffs after losing in the Division I-AA title game. The heavy Moore League favorite, Poly’s fortunes will rest on the health, physical conditioning and development of post players John Duff (6-9, Sr.) and Myles Johnson (6-8, Sr.). If both those players perform to par, Poly will be formidable with Zafir Williams (6-5, Sr.) providing the scoring punch and Darryl Polk Jr. (5-10, Jr.) running the show. Poly could face No. 14 Roosevelt in the Pac Shores semifinals during the first week of the season.

14. (27) Roosevelt (Corona) 23-9
The Mustangs faced an abrupt coaching transition last season with Steve Singleton taking over for Vonn Webb, but had a successful season by qualifying for the CIFSS Open Division playoffs. It looked like Roosevelt was dealt a big blow when Cal-bound Jemarl Baker (6-4, Sr.) briefly transferred to Mater Dei, but he’s back in the fold and gives Roosevelt a chance to do some damage in the section’s open division playoffs. After all, the sweet shooting guard and forward Matt Mitchell (6-6, Sr.) were the only teammates to earn first team all-state underclass honors among juniors. Roosevelt has capable athletes and defenders, but no true post man, so the team’s execution will have to be razor sharp in order to win the Big VIII League crown. Last season, Roosevelt and No. 8 Centennial split in league play and shared the title, with Centennial easily winning the playoff rubber match.

15. (NR) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 17-15
The Dragons were expected to be down a notch in 2015-16 from their team that went wire-to-wire as the state’s No. 1 team the season before, and they did struggle at times. O’Dowd’s young team, however, made strides at the end, knocking off talented Weston Ranch of Stockton and advancing to the NorCal D3 regional final before the chain came unraveled in the second half against eventual state champ Manteca. Coach Lou Richie expects to continue the positive momentum with solid pieces surrounding an excellent backcourt. B.J. Shaw (6-4, Sr.), the son of former Dragons standout and NBA player Brian Shaw, has shown marked improvement and can play on the wing or spell returning underclass all-stater Naseem Gaskin (6-4, Jr.) and lead guard Elijah Hardy (6-2, Jr.) in the backcourt. O’Dowd is a legit contender to earn its second NorCal Open Division crown in three years, but winning the CIF Open Division state title will take major improvement over last year. That’s why the intensity, commitment and production of Raymond Hawkins (6-9, Soph.) is key and it begins November 26 when the Dragons take on No. 1 Bishop Montgomery at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic.

For a look at the teams we’ve ranked from No. 16 to No. 35, plus 20 more on the bubble, CLICK HERE.

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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5 Comments

  1. phil60
    Posted November 17, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    As usual, a fantastic analysis. One comment is that Crespi seems to me a little high in your rankings. Melton was the glue to get them through tough situations. Also, the loss of Mitch Michailoff (sp.) in the middle who did unsung yeoman work should hurt this smaller sized team. Just a thought.

    • Ronnie Flores
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I think a few people felt Crespi was too high. But given their track record and outstanding back court, they’ll be there in the end competing. Challenge will be to get in SoCal Open regional i.e. win two CIFSS Open games.

  2. Steve Williams
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This is a good ranking list. However, I wonder why Westchester High School was not ranked in your top 15. I saw that team last night and they look top 15 worthy. I believe they’ll surprise some folks.

    • Ronnie Flores
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I did rank Westchester in the Top 25, just not sure their talent level is par with the very best teams. As I said in the write up, can never count out the Comets and wouldn’t be surprising to see them rise. Great tradition and they usually play harder than their opponent.

  3. Derrick Neal
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    You left Birmingham off your list a very glaring over site ,beware they are for real two or threel state talents on.one team who play well and are hungry.

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