The Preseason National Top 10 rankings were dominated by NIBC programs, as seven teams were ranked to begin the season. Montverde Academy sits at No. 1, Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
comes in at No. 2, AZ Compass Prep is ranked No. 3, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
debuted at No. 5, La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)
was positioned at No. 7, Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)
is No. 8, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
begins the year at No. 9 and Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.)
was among five teams commencing the season "on the bubble."
The NIBC schedule is dispersed across high school events around the country as conference games are scheduled to be played at the Sunshine Classic, Air Capital Hoopfest, Bob Kirk Invitational Showcase, Hoophall West, La Porte Invitational, Hoophall Classic, Metro Classic, NIBC at IMG Academy and NIBC at Legacy Early College along with the previously mentioned 5 for the Flight National Hoopfest.
Continue reading for a breakdown of all 10 teams playing in the NIBC this season.
Preseason NIBC Power Rankings
2021-22: 22-4, No. 1 in final National Top 20
2021-22: 25-2, No. 2 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
Captured the inaugural NIBC regular season title last season going 9-1 in conference play. The Buffaloes have a retooled roster that features top 50 prospects Layden Blocker
, John Bol
, Mike Brown
, Matas Buzelis
, Miro Little
and Scotty Middleton
. Although Sunrise Christian Academy begins the year at No. 2 in the conference power rankings, expect Sunrise Christian Academy to be difficult to unseat as the top dog in the NIBC this season.
2021-22: 25-5, No. 8 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
Highly regarded prospects Mookie Cook
, Rayvon Griffith
, Zayden High
and Vyctorius Miller
headline one of the most talented rosters in high school basketball. The Dragons have the pieces to compete for the top spot in the NIBC, led by eight top 150 prospects. AZ Compass Prep is one of two newcomers to the NIBC this season and expected to be ranked among the top teams in the conference annually.
2021-22: 21-5, No. 4 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
Six top 60 players highlight the Ascenders rotation as Amier Ali
, Amari Allen
, Jamier Jones
, Jamie Kaiser
, Khani Rooths
and Bryson Tucker
bring high expectations for the No. 5-ranked team in the Preseason National Top 10. The Ascenders will be battle tested early with a showdown against top-ranked Montverde Academy on Dec. 1 to open NIBC play after going 7-3 in conference last year.
2021-22: 19-8, UnrankedBreakdown:
Plenty of challenges await this program as it enters the NIBC for its first season. Senior guard Jayden Reid
is the only returning starter. Newcomers Jayden Ross
, V.J. Edgecomb
, Godswill Erheriene
and Jacob Ross
will be relied on heavily for the Crusaders. It is unclear how Long Island Lutheran will compete against a grueling NIBC slate.
2021-22: 21-5, No. 5 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
Following an early season loss to Skill Factory (Atlanta), the Lakers appear to have an uphill battle in the rugged NIBC this season after going 6-4 in conference play in 2021-22. The under-the-radar group has just two top 100 prospects in Kaleb Glenn
and Gus Yalden
but look to compete behind strong defense and fundamentals. La Lumiere has nine GEICO Nationals appearances.
2021-22: 14-10, No. 12 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
Top 100 prospects Malick Diallo
, Isiah Harwell
and R.J. Jones
are expected to be catalysts for a program that is looking for its first GEICO National invite under third-year head coach Paul Peterson. Wasatch Academy failed to be competitive in NIBC play last season finishing 2-8 while losing by 11.3 points per outing. The Eagles have plenty to prove this season.
2021-22: 33-8, No. 9 in final National Top 20Breakdown:
The long-time perennial powerhouse has tempered expectations after legendary head coach Steve Smith retired after 37 years at the helm. First-year head coach Yerrick Stoneman looks to continue the program's winning ways behind a trio of top 150 prospects — Zion Pipkin
, Micah Robinson
and A.J. Swinton
. Oak Hill Academy went 6-4 in conference last year and are off to a shaky start this season with a pair of single-digit wins against lesser opponents.
2021-22: 10-17, UnrankedBreakdown:
Owned the worst plus-minus in NIBC play last season, losing by an average of 19.5 points while going 2-8 against conference opponents. The Lions return their top two scorers from last season as top 50 senior Coen Carr
and Khalil Arnold
are joined by numerous impact transfers. Legacy Early looks to flip the script this year and compete on a higher level.
2021-22: 9-15, UnrankedBreakdown:
After finishing the 2021-22 season 1-9 in conference play with seven consecutive losses to NIBC opponents to close the season, the Spartans look to rebound and show they can be competitive in the nation's toughest high school basketball conference. Finishing anywhere above last place in conference play would be a step in the right direction after struggling to gain any footing last season.