About the rankings: MaxPreps.com already provides the most comprehensive high school sports ratings with the MaxPreps National Rankings presented by the National Guard, a computer model developed by Ned Freeman. Now, it’s time to get the human element involved.
Each Monday, senior writer Dave Krider will run down the top 25 boys basketball teams in the country – weighing record, quality wins and losses and other factors to determine the best of the best.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 - Final Rankings
Bishop Gorman, NV vs. Findlay Prep, NV
Findlay Prep in action earlier this year
1. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 33-0. Last week: 4. The Pilots stung previously No. 1-ranked Oak Hill Academy, 74-66, to win the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep and finish the year as MaxPreps’ No. 1 team. Senior guard Avery Bradley earned MVP honors with 20 points and eight rebounds for the third-year program. They ousted No. 5-ranked Montrose Christian, 60-43, in the semifinals with a collapsing zone and Bradley’s 27 points, six rebounds, four steals and three blocks. In the quarterfinals, they defeated Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.), 76-55, as 6-foot-9 junior forward Tristan Thompson amassed 20 points and eight rebounds during 19 minutes off the bench.
2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 40-1. Last week: 1. The Warriors finished second in the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational following a 74-66 loss to then No. 4 Findlay Prep. Six-foot-nine senior center Keith “Tiny” Gallon was the leader with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Pe’Shon Howard added 19 points. Senior guard Lamont Jones scored 22 points during a 74-66 semifinal victory over No. 13 St. Benedict’s. Junior guard Doron Lamb scored 26 points and Jones added 20 in an 83-64 quarterfinal win against Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.). The Warriors posted six victories over teams ranked in the final top 25.
Westchester vs. McClymonds (CA) Basketball
Westchester D1 State Championship
3. Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) (35-2) Last week: 2. The Comets arrived a year early by giving coach Ed Azzam his fifth Division I state title and three juniors starters will return next year. They are 6-2 Jordin Mayes, who averaged 19.8 points and 3.1 assists; 6-6 Dwayne Polee, who averaged 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds; and 6-4 Kareem Jamar, who averaged 5.3 points. Senior guard Dominique O’Connor, who averaged 15.3 points and 6.7 assists, will be missed.
4. St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 30-3. Last week: 3. Injuries and ineligibility could have cost the Celtics a perfect season, but they still notched their third Tournament of Champions crown in the last four years. Junior guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the first 12 games due to transfer rules, was high scorer with a 16.7 average while also getting 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals per outing. Sophomore center Michael Gilchrist averaged 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds. Senior guard Dexter Strickland averaged 12.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, while senior forward Paris Bennett averaged 11.1 points in a superbly balanced attack. Junior guard Kevin Boyle set the pace with 5.2 assists per game.
5. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 21-3. Last week: 5. The Mustangs bowed to then No. 4-ranked Findlay Prep, 60-43, in the semifinals of the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep. They shot only 27 percent from the field against the Pilots’ collapsing zone defense. In the quarterfinals they defeated Friend’s Central (Wynnewood, Pa.), 88-45, as 6-10 Mouphtaou Yarou and 6-8 Isaiah Armwood each scored 12 points.
6. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 31-0. Last week: 6. Hopkins became the state’s first Class 4A team to go unbeaten, establishing it as one of the best ever in Minnesota. Four starters averaged in double figures and at least five will receive Division I scholarships. Royce White, a 6-7, 225-pound senior, set the pace by averaging 15.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. Trent Lockett, a 6-4 senior, was next with a 13.1 scoring average and 6.0 rebounds per game. Other seniors who scored in double figures were 6-4 Ray Cowels (12.5) and 6-8 Mike Broghammer (11.0). Broghammer was the leader in rebounds (6.8) and blocks (1.9).
7. South (Bloomington, Ind.) 26-0. Last week: 7. Despite starting three underclassmen, the Panthers won their first Class 4A state title. Senior guard Jordan Hulls led in scoring (15.8), assists (5.2), steals (2.5), free throwing shooting (.870) and tied for first in 3-point shooting (.460). Sophomore guard Dee Davis averaged 13.1 points and 5.1 assists. Sophomore forward Spencer Turner (6-3) averaged 11.8 points and junior center Erik Fromm (6-8) averaged 10.3 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds.
8. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 31-2. Last week: 8. The Monarchs have five Division I players and all of them averaged in double-figure scoring this year. Senior David Wear (6-10) led the balanced attack in scoring (16.4) and rebounding (7.6). His twin brother, Travis, was right behind with averages of 14.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. Next in line were junior guards Gary Franklin (14.2 points and 4.5 assists) and Tyler Lamb (14.0 points and 3.4 steals). Senior forward Andy Brown (6-8) averaged 13.0 points in 21 games before being sidelined by a season-ending injury.
9. Northland (Columbus, Ohio) 27-1. Last week: 9. The youthful - but powerful – Vikings gave Northland its first Division I state title with promise of more to come. Junior center Jared Sullinger (6-9, 253) dominated defenses with averages of 19.9 points, 14.3 rebounds and a .677 field goal percentage. Another junior, 6-7 J.D. Weatherspoon, averaged 15.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and shot .695 from the field. Sophomore guard Trey Burke averaged 10.7 points and an outstanding 9.1 assists, while making only 1.7 turnovers per game.
10. LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) 29-3. Last week: 10. The Rattlers played seven teams that were ranked at one time or another in the Xcellent 25, defeating five of them. Superstar DeMarcus Cousins, a 6-10, 270-pound senior, paced LeFlore in scoring (24.6), rebounding (12.3), blocks (3.8), steals (5.7), assists (5.1) and field goal percentage (.623). Darryl Woods, a 6-4 senior, averaged 15 points and eight rebounds.
11. Pershing (Detroit, Mich.) 26-1. Last week: 11. The Doughboys won their last 15 games and their fifth Division I state title. Junior guard Keith Appling averaged 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.6 blocks. Senior center Derrick Nix (6-10, 290), who was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball, averaged 15.2 points, 14.9 rebounds and 4.6 blocks. Junior forward Juwan Howard (6-5) averaged 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds.
12. Franklin (Seattle, Wash.) 28-1. Last week: 12. Senior point guard Peyton Siva led the Class 3A state champions in scoring (18.2), assists (5.3) and steals (2.3). He also averaged 3.4 rebounds and shot .500 from the field. Senior Chris Holmes (6-3) led the small but quick Quakers in rebounding (5.9) while also averaging 12.7 points and shooting .560 from the field. Senior guard Vonchae Richardson also averaged in double-figure scoring at 10.3.
13. St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 24-3. Last week: 13. The Gray Bees lost to then No. 1-ranked Oak Hill, 74-66, in the semifinals of the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep. Senior guard Tamir Jackson was high with 20 points, two more than Aaron Brown. In the first round they defeated St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.), 74-65, as Jackson scored 14 points. John Paul Kambola, a 6-10 junior reserve, scored all 10 of his points in the final five minutes as St. Benedict’s expanded a slim 53-52 lead.
14. South Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.) 29-3. Last week: 14. Ranked No. 1 in the country in the pre-season, Derrick Favors did not disappoint as he led the Hornets to their first Class AAA state title. The 6-9, 235-pound senior averaged an impressive 28.1 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5.0 blocks, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists while shooting a sizzling .750 from the field. He set career school records in points (2,341), rebounds (1,511) and blocks (741). Andre Malone, a 6-5 senior, averaged 20 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 steals. Senior guard Nick Watkins averaged 16 points, a school-record 8.4 assists (17 in one game) and 4.0 steals.
15. Yates (Houston, Texas) 34-1. Last week: 15. The Class 4A state champs are looking good for next year, too, with an all-junior lineup bringing back a high-octane offense which produced over 100 points 13 times. They averaged a prolific 96.5 points and gave up just 50.9 per outing. Junior guard Joseph Young set the pace with a 19.4 scoring average. Brandon Peters (6-2) averaged 18.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6.2 steals. Darius Gardner (5-10) averaged 12.2 points, 7.2 steals and 6.8 rebounds. Marshall Lange (6-0) averaged 10.5 points, 4.6 assists and 4.5 steals, while 6-8 Alexander Davis averaged 7.5 points and 3.4 blocks.
16. Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.) 26-3. Last week: 16. Durand Scott, a 6-5 senior, led the Raiders to the State Federation Class AA championship. The Miami-bound standout was MVP in the title game with 23 points. The Raiders have several outstanding underclassmen and should be a strong title contender again next year.
17. Holmes (Covington, Ky.) 36-2. Last week: 17. The Bulldogs won their first state championship with three junior starters: 6-6 Elijah Pittman, 6-4 Ricardo Johnson and 6-3 Jeremiah Johnson. Pittman averaged 14.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot .530 from the field. R. Johnson averaged 11 points and 5.7 rebounds, while J. Johnson averaged 8.5 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds. Senior guard JaMel Riley averaged 10.3 points. “I’m so happy I could be twins,” coach David Henley said after finishing second three times.
18. Coral Reef (Miami, Fla.) 27-4. Last week: 18. The Barracudas won their first Class 6A state championship. Charles Hankerson (6-5, 215), the only junior starter, was high scorer with a 21.6 average and also averaged 6.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Senior Jerron Granberry (6-5) averaged 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while 6-1 senior Steve Lopez averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds.
19. Ames (Iowa) 26-0. Last week: 19. The Little Cyclones won the Class 4A state title (seventh for the school) and have a great chance to repeat next year. Standout junior Harrison Barnes (6-7) was the leader, averaging 19.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and .566 from the field. Another 6-7 junior, Doug McDermott, averaged 14 points, 7.2 rebounds and .715 from the field.
20. Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) 27-5. Last week: 20. The Lions hold victories over No. 3 Westchester, No. 10 LeFlore and No. 25 Putnam City. Senior center Renardo Sidney (6-11, 256) dominated with averages of 24.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and .540 field goal shooting. Senior forward Solomon Hill (6-6) averaged 16.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists.
21. Lake Clifton (Baltimore, Md.) 28-0. Last week: 21. The Lakers won their second Class 3A state championship. Will Barton, a 6-6 junior, was the leading scorer at 18 points per game and he also averaged 10 rebounds. Cleveland Melvin (6-8) averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Senior guard Jason Sharp averaged 13 points, while outstanding junior point guard Antonio Barton averaged 14 points and six assists.
22. Fayetteville (Ark.) 30-0. Last week: 22. The Class 7A state champions set school records with their first unbeaten season and most victories. – and they will return four of their top six players. Senior guard Fred Gulley averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 steals. Senior forward Cable Hogue (6-7) averaged 12.9 points and a team-high 9.1 rebounds, while junior guard Taylor Cochran averaged 12.5 points.
23. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) 31-4. Last week: 23. The Stags were Washington, D.C., Catholic and city champions with a young team. Senior Naji Hibbert (6-6) led with a 15.1 scoring average and also averaged 5.3 rebounds. Sophomore guard Quinn Cook was right behind with a 14.7 scoring average and set the pace with 6.1 assists per game. Also scoring in double figures were 6-1 senior Marcus Rouse (11.4), 6-4 junior Jerian Grant (10.7) and 6-4 junior Victor Oladipo (10.1).
24. Butler (Huntsville, Ala.) 34-3. Last week; 24. The Class 5A state champions set a school record for most victories while winning their fourth title in the last six years. Sophomore sensation Trevor Lacey (6-3) averaged 18.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.2 steals, prompting veteran Jack Doss to call him “the best I’ve ever coached.” Junior Ryan Ervin (6-4) averaged 15.3 points and 8.9 rebounds, while another junior, 6-3 Dallas Jones, averaged 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. Freshman point guard Justin Pride averaged 6.3 assists.
25. Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 25-4. Last week: 25. The Class 6A state champions lost only once after 6-6 senior superstar Xavier Henry returned from a pre-season injury. He finished with averages of 28.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and a .569 field goal percentage. Senior Kyle Hardrick (6-8) averaged 10.6 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures were 6-4 senior Garen Wright (12.1) and 6-4 sophomore Dominique Raney (10.5).