Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
went 28-4 in 2011-12 and captured its fifth Class 4A state title in Nevada under head coach Grant Rice.
With Muhammad moving on along with three other Division I recruits in Rosco Allen (Stanford), Ben Carter (Oregon) and Demetris Morant (UNLV), many figured 2012-13 would be a rebuilding year for the Gaels as a new wave of promising young talent gained experience.
That's not how the story played out.
Bishop Gorman beat Centennial (Las Vegas)
69-43 on Friday night in the Class 4A state championship game to cap a 29-3 season and finish with one more win and one less loss than it did a year ago with Muhammad in the lineup. [Read recap here from Las Vegas Review-Journal]
The Gaels' only losses this winter came to national top 10 teams in Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
and Whitney Young (Chicago)
. Gorman finished No. 7 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 a year ago and is likely to climb from its No. 16 position in this week's rankings.
Rapidly-developing 6-foot-11 sophomore Stephen Zimmerman
led the Gaels on Friday night against Centennial with 18 points. It marked Gorman's fourth win over Centennial – featuring Stanford-bound twins Malcolm
and Marcus Allen
– this season.
Despite the emergence of Zimmerman, Gorman's MVP award will likely go to guard Rashad Muhammad
, who led the team in scoring and stepped out of his famous brother's shadows with a monster senior season. Rashad pumped in 29 points in the semifinals and averaged nearly 20 points per game on the year.
With Zimmerman returning along with junior sharpshooter Noah Robotham
and 6-7 sophomore forward Chase Jeter
, expect the Gaels to figure prominently in the 2013-14 preseason rankings.