7. Prime Prep (Dallas)Head coach:
Ray Forsett2012-13 record:
37-2, No. 4 final Academy Top 10 national rankingPlayers to watch: Davontae Bailey
(6-4, Sr., G), Terrance Ferguson
(6-5, So., G), Emmanuel Mudiay
(6-4, Sr., G, SMU verbal commitment), Micah Seaborn
(6-5, Sr., G/F), Sean Williams
(6-0, So., G)Breaking down the Truth
A first-year program last season, Prime Prep legitimized itself on the court instantly with wins over powers like Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W.Va.), Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.), Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) and Yates (Houston).
Forsett's squad was minutes away from playing in the de facto national championship game but fell to eventual No. 1 Montverde Academy 57-55 at the National High School Invitational.
"Last year was a special group," Forsett said. "I'm not sure if we are quite as strong as last year, but we are right there with everybody else."
While the program has suffered some big losses with departed big men Karviar Shepherd and Jordan Mickey, it probably won't slide much with the nation's top prospect still on the roster.
Mudiay is 247Sports.com's No. 1 and was the leading scorer on Prime Prep's 37-win team a year ago. The multi-dimensional guard was pursued by powerhouse programs nationwide but stunned many by electing to stay close to home and play for head coach Larry Brown at SMU.
"He's grown tremendously," Forsett said of Mudiay. "He's matured into being a leader and worked his butt off so he can get stronger and carry the load a little bit more for us."
Bailey and Seaborn add additional firepower in the backcourt. The frontcourt is not as settled. Prime Prep took another hit there in addition to Shepherd and Mickey as star 2015 forward Elijah Thomas left the school for nearby Lancaster High School.
Ferguson was overshadowed a bit as a freshman by the deep assortment of talent on the Prime Prep roster. But the sophomore scorer made a statement over the summer by earning a spot on USA Basketball's U16 team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship.
Ferguson played nearly 20 minutes per game and averaged 5.8 points per game on a team that also featured young stars like Malik Newman, Diamond Stone and Ivan Rabb. That experience should pay dividends for Prime Prep this winter.Key dates
Nov. 11 – vs. Yates (Houston)
at RCS Season Opener
Nov. 15 – at Triple A Academy (Dallas)
Dec. 7 – vs. Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
at Marshall County Hoopfest
Dec. 18-21 – Tarkanian Classic
Jan. 14 – vs. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
Jan. 18 – vs. Huntington St. Joseph Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)
at Spalding Hoophall Classic
March 7 – vs. Sunrise Christian Academy