Posted: Wednesday November 2, 2011 12:45PM ; Updated: Tuesday November 8, 2011 8:20AM
Five-Star Basketball
Five-Star Basketball>BOYS' BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS

Brewster Academy, Findlay Prep top preseason Power Rankings

Story Highlights

Brewster Academy is No. 1 behind a loaded frontcourt with Mitch McGary

Oak Hill and Simeon, traditional powers, also seem poised for big seasons

Bob Hurley Sr. and St. Anthony will attempt to replicate their perfect season

2011-12 Preseason Top 25
It's only November and Brewster Academy's Mitch McGary is already talking about the Super Bowl. Not because football is on his mind, though. The bruising 6-10 power forward learned after practice on Tuesday that his Bobcats were ranked No. 1 in the preseason Five-Star High School Power Rankings.

"We're really honored," he said. "We'll need to lay it on the line every game because we know we're going to be everyone's Super Bowl."

And therein lies the connection.

Xavier commit Semaj Christon, an ultra-skilled floor leader, can dole out assists in the blink of an eye. High-flying Deonte Burton, a Marquette commit, will help dictate the tempo on the perimeter. Brewster's interior is even more impressive: In addition to McGary, the team boasts St. John's decommit Jakarr Sampson, 6-8 combo forward T.J. Warren, and fellow Xavier commit Jalen Reynolds.

Sampson wasn't academically cleared by the NCAA for the fall semester and now serves as a key returnee for Brewster. He can score off the dribble and finish high above the cylinder, playing a major role in the Bobcats' ultimate NEPSAC Class A success. It's competition Smith has the utmost praise for.

"The tradition, the programs and the coaching in this league are second to none," he said.

Brewster is second to none, too, in our preseason Power Rankings. Let's see how long it will last.
 
1
Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)
2010-11 record: 33-3
School type Five-year prep
Key players: Mitch McGary, Jakarr Sampson, T.J. Warren, Deonte Burton, Semaj Christon, Jalen Reynolds

Marquee matchups: South Kent, Tilton, New Hampton, Bridgton

Season outlook: Loaded with stars from top to bottom, Brewster eyes its third NEPSAC title in the last five years. Slithery 6-8 forward Jakarr Sampson, ruled ineligible at St. John's in September, returns to Wolfeboro to join top-ranked forward Mitch McGary, T.J. Warren and 6-9 four-man Jalen Reynolds, a Xavier commit. Factor in a backcourt that includes fellow Xavier commit Semaj Christon and Marquette-bound swingman Deonte Burton, and Brewster is the team to beat in 2011-12.

 
2
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
2010-11 record: 28-4
School type: Four-year non-traditional
Key players: Brandon Ashley, Anthony Bennett, Dominic Artis, Winston Shepard, Nigel Williams-Goss

Marquee matchups: Simeon, Flower Mound Marcus, Arlington Country Day, Bishop Gorman

Season outlook: The Pilots have a wealth of talent on the interior, headlined by 6-8 seniors Anthony Bennett and Brandon Ashley, a pair of Elite 24 participants. Their challenge lies in establishing team chemistry. Findlay will look to integrate newcomers (Ashley, Dominic Artis and guard Armedeo Della Valle) with returning stars (Winston Shepard and shooting guard Nigel Williams-Goss) for a group that will be tested early and often: The Pilots play Flower Mound, Simeon and Bishop Gorman by mid-January.

 
3
Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)
2010-11 record: 18-1
School type: Five-year prep
Key players: Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, Goodluck Okonoboh, Wayne Selden, Dominique Bull

Marquee matchups: Brewster, Huntington Prep, Sunrise Christian Academy, Friends Central, Huntington Prep, Arlington Country Day

Season outlook: If Marcus O'Neil's roster looks eerily similar to that of the highly successful BABC summer program, that's because it is. Most of Leo Papile's stars spend their winters in New Hampshire's Belknap County. Coming off a Class AA NEPSAC four-peat, the Rams should continue their winning ways, anchored by Nerlens Noel, a defensive menace, and Georges Niang, an Iowa State-bound power forward. If Dominique Bull and Wayne Selden can consistently convert shots from the perimeter, Tilton will be an increasingly tough out this spring

 
4
Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)
2010-11 record: 22-3
School type: Four-year non-traditional
Key players: Tanveer Bhullar, Elijah Macon, Negus Webster-Chan, Andrew Wiggins, Javontae Hawkins, Stefan Jankovic, Evan Payne

Marquee matchups: Tilton, St. Anthony, Westbury Christian, Christian Faith, Whitney Young, Taft, Simeon, Sunrise Christian

Season outlook: Huntington has a towering frontcourt, with 7-2 center Tanveer Bhullar, 6-10 forward Stefan Jankovic and 6-8 forward Elijah Macon. It has a trio of athletic backcourt options, with 6-2 Xavier Rathan-Mayes, South Florida-bound Javontae Hawkins and steady 6-1 scorer Evan Payne. Add in wingman Andrew Wiggins, Rivals' top-ranked player in the class of 2014, and the Express have all the pieces in place to contend for a national championship at season's end.

 
5
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
2010-11 record: 29-4
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Tyler Lewis, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jordan Adams, Damien Wilson, A.J. Hammons

Marquee matchups: Grace Prep, Prestonwood Christian Academy, Quality Education Academy

Season outlook: Year after year, Oak Hill ranks among the nation's top programs. This one should be no different. Point guard Tyler Lewis, an N.C. State commit, is the consummate floor general, while backcourt counterparts D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown) and Jordan Adams (UCLA) can also shoulder the scoring load. With Memphis-bound Damien Wilson on the wing and Purdue pledge A.J. Hammons (7-0, 275) in the middle, the Raiders are stocked with D-I caliber talent.

 
6
Simeon (Chicago)
2010-11 record: 30-2
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor, Kendrick Nunn, Jaylon Tate

Marquee matchups: Findlay Prep, Huntington Prep, Whitney Young, Miller Grove

Season outlook: The Windy City's perennial power -- and alma mater of Derrick Rose -- and is stacked again in 2011. Power forward Jabari Parker, the most coveted recruit in the junior class, is arguably the nation's most complete player. Steve Taylor, a Marquette commit, is a double-double machine. With Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate contributing in the backcourt, the Wolverines are well-rounded. One question remains: Who's willing to step up and do the dirty work in the paint?

 
7
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
2010-11 record: 25-6
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Shabazz Muhammad, Rashad Muhammad, Rosco Allen, Demetris Morant, Stephen Zimmerman, Ben Carter

Marquee matchups: Findlay Prep, Mater Dei, DeMatha Catholic

Season outlook: Bishop Gorman will go as far as Shabazz Muhammad takes it, and that's certainly not a bad thing. As the consensus No. 1 player in the nation, Muhammad is virtually unstoppable, possessing the speed, savvy and athleticism to overpower defenders. Rosco Allen and Ben Carter can also score in bunches, as can heralded freshman Stephen Zimmerman, a 6-11 wunderkind with offers to Kansas, UConn and UCLA. But the X factor? Try Shabazz's younger brother, Rashad. The 6-4 point guard will look to create his own recruiting buzz while taking on an increased role in the backcourt.

 
8
New Hampton (New Hampton, N.H.)
2010-11 record: 21-13
School type: Five-year prep
Key players: Zach Auguste, Olivier Hanlan, Noah Vonleh

Marquee matchups: Brewster, Tilton School, Bridgton

Season outlook: The Huskies boast a triumvirate of top talent: power forward Zach Auguste, point guard Olivier Hanlan and all-everything athlete Noah Vonleh, the latter a sophomore with a seven-foot wingspan. They also face a grueling schedule. New Hampton's 30-game slate includes a gauntlet of games against NEPSAC Class AAA competition, contests that should define the fate of Peter Hutchins' group.

 
9
St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
2010-11 record: 33-0
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Kyle Anderson, Jimmy Hall, Josh Brown, Halice Cook, Rashad Andrews

Marquee matchups: Miller Grove, Plainfield

Season outlook: It's impossible to top a perfect season, but St. Anthony will try to match its spotless 33-0 ledger from 2010-11. It may have the talent. Point guard Kyle Anderson (6-9) is drawing comparisons to Magic Johnson, and Jimmy Hall, Josh Brown and Hallice Cook can all dependably produce. Legendary coach Bob Hurley Sr., a Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, will look to lead the Friars to a record 27th state championship.

 
10
Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
2010-11 record: 31-2
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Tony Parker, Christian Houston, Brandon Morris, Tony Evans

Marquee matchups Southwest DeKalb, Oak Hill Academy, St. Anthony, Simeon

Season outlook: The carryover effect should behoove Miller Grove. Tony Parker, a 6-9, 270-pound man-child, played with Brandon Morris, a 6-5 Georgia commit, with the AAU Georgia Stars over the summer. Building off their cohesiveness, the two-time defending Class AAAA state champions should cruise through its Georgia public school slate. But the Wolverines are top heavy, and it remains to be seen if they'll rank among the Top 10 all season.

 
11
Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
2010-11 record: 39-1
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Marcus Smart, Phil Forte, Nick Banyard

Marquee matchups: Findlay Prep, Plano West, Lewisville

Season outlook: The reigning Texas UIL Conference 5A State champs, the Marauders are preseason favorites to repeat. They return four starters, including Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, a tandem of Oklahoma State commits that led the AAU Texas Assault to the adidas Super 64 title in July. Marcus can cement its spot among the high school basketball elite by knocking off Findlay Prep at the Throwdown in D-Town on Dec. 3.

 
12
DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)
2010-11 record: 25-1
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Jerami Grant, James Robinson, BeeJay Anya, Jairus Lyles

Marquee matchups: Bishop Gorman, Gonzaga Prep

Season outlook: The Stags have thrived in arguably the best high school league in the nation, winning three consecutive WCAC titles (2009-11) and six in the last seven years. They'll look to further that trend behind three Premier D.C.-area talents. Point guard James Robinson (Pittsburgh), swingman Jerami Grant (Syracuse) and junior center BeeJay Anya, one of the nation's best shot-blocking big men, have the skills to matchup with anyone.

 
13
Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
2010-11 record: 25-1
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Justin Anderson, Ishmael Wainwright

Marquee matchups: Arlington Country Day, Chavez

Season outlook: The keys to Montrose's success this year are twofold:

1. Will Ishmael Wainwright, a transfer from Raytown South (Mo.) mesh well with Justin Anderson, the defensive-minded heart and soul of the Mustangs?

2. Can coach Vetter fill the void left by Tyrone Johnson, last year's floor general and a current freshman at Villanova?

If both answers are yes, Kevin Durant's alma mater could replicate last year's 25-1 mark.

 
14
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2010-11 record: 32-2
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Katin Reinhardt, Xavier Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Elijah Brown, Eli Stalzer

Marquee matchups: Christ the King, Bishop Gorman, Grace Prep, Orange Lutheran, Miller Grove

Season outlook: Another nationally contending West Coast squad, Mater Dei has a bona fide star in Katin Reinhardt, a UNLV commit with a terrific perimeter shot. But questions linger for the 2011 CIF State Champs. Namely: How will highly-touted Stanley Johnson play with increased attention? How will handle Shaqquan Aaron's transfer to Taft? And how well will Xavier Johnson, a Colorado commit, convert three-point opportunities from the perimeter?

 
15
Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)
2010-11 record: 22-6
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Isaiah Austin, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jelon Hornbeak, Zeldric King, Chad Rykhoek

Marquee matchups: Prestonwood Christian Academy, Trinity Christian

Season outlook: Baylor commit Isaiah Austin, a consensus top-five recruit, has an incredibly diverse skill set and should score, rebound and defend on the interior. That places pressure on dynamic sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay to match his production. If he can fill an assertive leadership role, these Lions will be extremely dangerous.

 
16
South Kent (South Kent, Conn.)
2010-11 record: 16-5
School type: Five-year prep
Key players: Chris Thomas, Ricardo Ledo

Marquee matchups: Brewster, Northfield Mount Hermon

Season outlook: In 6-5 Chris Thomas and the 6-6 Ricardo Ledo, South Kent might have the best backcourt in the nation. Thomas is the more unselfish of the two, but both have the ability to go for 30 points on any given night. Add in 7-0 Kansas State commit Laimonas Chatkevicius, and the Cardinals create matchup nightmares for almost any opponent. Whether they can crack the Top 10, however, depends on Ledo and Thomas' ability to play as one functioning unit, not two disparate superstars.

 
17
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
2010-11 record: 23-5
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Kasey Hill, Michael Frazier

Marquee matchups: Mater Dei, Dr. Phillips

Season outlook: After building St. Patrick (N.J.) into an unmistakable national power, coach Kevin Boyle brings his wisdom to this Orlando-area squad. And it's brimming with talent. Kasey Hill distinguished himself as one of the nation's top point guards with a breakout performance at the adidas May Classic, and backcourt mate Michael Frazier, a Florida commit, should help alleviate defensive pressure. Montverde would likely be a national frontrunner if sophomore forward Dakari Johnson, who followed Boyle from St. Pat's, didn't have to sit the year out after transferring.

 
18
North Central (Indianapolis)
2010-11 record: 22-3
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Ronnie Johnson, Patrick Ingram, Darius Latham

Marquee matchups: Hamilton Southeastern, Park Tudor

Season outlook: North Central might be the best team in basketball's Hoosier hotbed, even with the departure of D'Vauntes Smith-Riviera (25.1 ppg) to Oak Hill for his senior year. The Panthers feature an all-Big Ten backcourt in point guard Ronnie Johnson (Purdue) and off-guard Patrick Ingram (Iowa), and a two-sport star in the 6-5, 280-pound Darius Latham. They'll have multiple opportunities to showcase their skills: They play Hamilton Southeastern and Park Tudor in consecutive games on Dec. 17 and 23.

 
19
Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)
2010-11 record: 34-5
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Christian Crockett

Marquee matchups: Yates, Grace Prep, Fort Bend Bush, Fort Bend Hightower

Season outlook: The highly-touted Harrison twins (Andrew and Aaron) led the AAU Houston Defenders squad to the No. 1 spot in Five-Star's inaugural Top 25. Now, they'll look to replicate that success in their first full season at Fort Bend Travis. The brothers are joined by 6-6 power forward Christian Crockett, and will play a schedule that includes Yates, Grace Prep and Fort Bend Bush.

 
20
Vermont Academy (Saxton River, Vt.)
2010-11 record: 17-14
School type: Five-year prep
Key players: Daquan McNeil, Jamel Artis, Dominic Woodson

Marquee matchups: Tilton School, St. Mark's, Hotchkiss

Season outlook: The Wildcats are spearheaded by Daquan McNeil and Jamel Artis, a pair of Baltimore products that took the summer's Nike Elite program by storm. They'll be aided by Dominic Woodson, a 6-10, 265-pounds mammoth on the interior. Vermont Academy should perform far better than last year's 17-14 mark, but will need UMass commit Trey Davis to become more of a pass-first point guard in order to reach its full potential.

 
21
Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville)
2010-11 record: 23-2
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Torian Graham, Jordan Goodman, Junior Etou, Trey Boykin

Marquee matchups: Oak Hill Academy, Montrose Christian, Findlay Prep

Season outlook: Arlington Country Day has the talent to challenge any team in the nation. Jordan Goodman (Texas Tech), Torian Graham, Trey Boykin and Junior Etou provide the Apaches with remarkable depth on the wings, as they look to avenge losses to Oak Hill Academy and Montrose Christian, their only two defeats in 2010-11.

 
22
Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.)
2010-11 record: 22-7
School type: Five-year prep
Key players: Steven Adams, Myles Davis, Shaquille Jones, Sam Cassell Jr.

Marquee matchups: Mater Dei, Boys & Girls

Season outlook: Coach Ryan Hurd has amassed an impressive crop of talent. New Zealand native and Pitt-bound Steven Adams may be the best big man in the country, and Xavier commit Myles Davis is one of the Northeast's most potent sharp shooters. If Sam Cassell Jr. and Shaquille Jones are also clicking, Notre Dame Prep can hang with anyone.

 
23
Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.)
2010-11 record: 22-7
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Omar Calhoun, Isaiah Lewis, Jordan Fuchs

Marquee matchups: Mater Dei, Boys & Girls

Season outlook: UConn commit Omar Calhoun, one of most prolific scorers in the nation, should keep the Royals in the running all season. He averaged more than 25 points during the summer AAU circuit, and will receive help from Isaiah Lewis, Jordan Fuchs and Jon Severe. Christ the King should contend for its second Federation AA title in a span of three years.

 
24
Wichita Heights (Wichita Heights, Kan.)
2010-11 record: 25-0
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Perry Ellis, Gavin Thurman

Marquee matchups: Northwest

Season outlook: Five-star recruit Perry Ellis is undoubtedly the headliner on this squad, but he's not the only Wichita Heights standout. Missouri State commit Gavin Thurman and Emporia State commit Terrence Moore are also threats, and have the Falcons primed to make noise on the national stage.

 
25
Columbia (Decatur, Ga.)
2010-11 record: 30-3
School type: Four-year traditional
Key players: Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Jarmal Reid, Jhaustin Thomas

Marquee matchups: Greater Atlanta Christian

Season outlook: By all appearances, Columbia is one of the best teams in Georgia. Tahj Shamsid-Deen, a diminutive 5-10 and 150 pounds, is one of the top point guards in the country. Jarmal Reid, an Oregon State commit, is a polished combo forward. But what truly sets the Eagles apart is Jhaustin Thomas. A South Carolina-bound defensive end, he's a force in the low post with his 6-7, 245-pound frame. A tremendous athlete, he should be a powerful presence around the rim all season.

 

For more high school basketball coverage, visit Five-Star Basketball.

 
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