Video: Montverde Academy highlightsNational champions in action last season.
The high school basketball landscape is always tough to define before the offseason transfer season gets underway. This year will be even more so with the uncertainty around how the 2020-21 season will look due to the ever-changing landscape created by the current global pandemic.
However, we've taken a look ahead anyway to get people thinking about next year as we remain hopeful the season will be played as usual and fans will be allowed to attend.
While plenty is certain to change over the summer, here's an early look
at what the 2020-21 preseason Top 25 MaxPreps boys basketball rankings
will look like.
Note: Teams which did not finish their seasons are denoted with an asterisk.
2019-20 Resume: (25-0) No. 1 in final Top 25
2019-20 Resume: (22-3) No. 4 in final Top 25
The Buffaloes have become a mainstay in the national rankings in recent years, finishing 2019-20 in the Top 5 for the first time in program history. A strong returning core is headlined by Kendall Brown
, Zachary Clemence
and Willie Lightfoot
2019-20 Resume: (23-3) No. 8 in final Top 25
Returning starters Jeremy Sochan
, Kamari Lands
and Denham Wojcik
each will play a key role for the Lakers as the perennial powerhouse strives for their sixth consecutive invitation to GEICO Nationals.
2019-20 Resume: (19-6) No. 19 in final Top 25
After capturing the program's first national title in 2018-19, the Ascenders finished the season ranked lower than expected after starting the season at No. 2 in the Preseason Top 25. Key returners Jarace Walker
, Lynn Kidd
, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
and Moussa Diabate
will step into larger roles next season.
2019-20 Resume: (30-4) No. 15 in final Top 25; Advanced to CIF Open Division title game*
After finishing the fourth straight season ranked in the Top 25, the Trailblazers return a strong core led by Amari Bailey
, Harold Yu
, Shy Odom
and Bronny James
. Expect more big names to be added as well.
2019-20 Resume: (29-3) No. 14 in final Top 25, Class 4A state champions
2019-20 Resume: (29-1) No. 16 in final Top 25; Advanced to the NJSIAA Group 2 tournament semifinals*
2019-20 Resume: (25-1) Advanced to the OHSAA Division I state quarterfinals*
Have won 75 of their last 76 games, returning three players who earned All-Greater Catholic League South honors in Logan Duncomb
, Alex Williams
and Will McCracken
The Fighting Crusaders were favorites to capture their third
consecutive state title last season before the season was cut short.
2019-20 Resume: (23-6) WIAA Class 3A state finalist
The Fighting Irish fell shy of repeating at state champions, losing to Garfield (Seattle) in the WIAA Class 3A state title game. O'Dea returns its top four scorers in Paolo Banchero
, John Christofilis
, Max Debiec
and Jermaine Davis
while graduating just one rotation player.
2019-20 Resume: (26-5) GHSA Class AAAAAAA state semifinalist
2019-20 Resume: (19-3) No postseason due to COVID-19*
Outlook: Reigning Gatorade National Player of the Year and MaxPreps All-American first-team selection Emoni Bates
will be the catalyst for a talented returning core that includes Simon Wheeler
, DeCorion Temple
and Braelon Green
. Lincoln captured its first state title 2019.
2019-20 Resume: (28-4) GHSA Class AAA state championsOutlook:
capturing the program's third state title last season, the Knights
return their top five scorers, headlined by reigning Class 3A
North Player of the Year Matthew Cleveland
2019-20 Resume: (21-4) Advance to the third round of the OHSAA Division II state tournament*
The Fighting Irish were favorites to capture their third state title in the past four years. Expect them to return to the national spotlight next season, guided by a talented backcourt that includes Malaki Branham
, Sencire Harris
and Ramar Pryor
2019-20 Resume: (26-7)
The Goats are expected to be the Tar Heel State's top team, returning the majority of their young core from a team that knocked off perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy last season. Top returners include Jalen Hood-Schifino
, Jacori Owens
, Kris Robinson
and Mekhi Grant
2019-20 Resume: (24-9) Qualified for IHSA Class 4A state tournamentOutlook:
losing nine games last season, a challenging schedule prepared a
talented young core for 2020-21. Although Simeon hasn't captured a state
title since 2013, key returners Ahamed Bynum
, Jaylen Drane
and Frederick Poole
give the Wolverines a chance to return to the top next year.
2019-20 Resume: (22-5) Advanced to the PIAA Class 5A state quarterfinals*
2019-20 Resume: (30-3) No. 5 in final Top 25. WCAC regular season, tournament champions
2019-20 Resume: (37-3) No. 6 in final Top 25.
Outlook: Despite losing virtually all its production from last season, history suggests Oak Hill will rebuild in the offseason.
2019-20 Resume: (24-7) No. 24 in final Top 25. GHSA Class AAAAAAA state championsOutlook:
While the Wildcats lose top contributor Sam Hines Jr.
, they return a talented core led by Isaiah Collier
, Ja'heim Hudson
and Maxwell Harris
. Expect this group to be competitive in their bid for a repeat in Georgia's highest classification.
2019-20 Resume: (27-6) NCISAA Class 4A state champions
off their first state title run since 2007, the Cougars return the bulk
of their core from last season headlined by MaxPreps North Carolina
Player of the Year Jaden Bradley
and all-state selection D.J. Nix
2019-20 Resume: (27-2) No. 3 in final Top 25
2019-20 Resume: (24-2) VHSL Class 2 state champions
The Justices only two losses last season came to out-of-state foes, falling to Sierra Canyon 66-55 and McEachern 70-69. Returning top three scorers Jason Nelson
, Roosevelt Wheeler
and Dennis Parker
, expect this group to challenge for a spot in the national rankings next season.
2019-20 Resume: (29-4) Southwest Preparatory Conference state champions
Two leading scorers Colin Smith
and Harrison Ingram
will look to guide this group to back-to-back state titles. Expect the Lions to be the team to beat in the Lone Star State in 2020-21.
2019-20 Resume: (22-3) Advanced to the WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinals*
Reigning MaxPreps Wisconsin Player of the Year Patrick Baldwin
leads the charge for a program in search of its first state championship. The Chargers should enter next season as favorites to capture the state crown.
2019-20 Resume: (20-7) NJSIAA Non-Public B state semifinalistOutlook:
some roster turnover is expected, the Celtics may be on the fringe of
returning to the national rankings on a consistent basis.