Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) has a new head coach in former NBA player Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams, but he's hardly new to the team, as he has been an assistant at Findlay Prep the past five years.
It's also not new that Findlay is loaded with high-level talent. The Pilots, who are the top team in the Super 25 preseason boys basketball rankings, were 35-1 last season and have sent five players to the NBA since the team began seven years ago.
The Pilots' top three seniors are newcomers. Shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, who is listed as the No. 7 player in the country according to Rivals.com, averaged 28.8 points and 9.6 rebounds last season at Robbinsdale Cooper (New Hope, Minn.). High-motor small forward Kelly Oubre, a Kansas commit, averaged 22.7 points to lead Bush (Richmond, Texas) to a 32-5 record last season. Power forward Craig Victor, who has said he will sign with Arizona, averaged 14.1 points and 11.3 rebounds last season at St. Augustine (New Orleans).
The Pilots also have two elite sophomores in forward Justin Jackson and point guard Derryck Thornton and one of the most difficult schedules in the country.
The other teams No. 2 through No. 5:
2. Montverde Academy, Montverde, Fla. (26-2)
The Eagles were last season's Super 25 champion and have six players who have already signed with Division I teams. Guard D'Angelo Russell, an OhioState signee who averaged 12.2 points 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists, is the team's top returning starter. Two other major returnees are point guard Jalyn Patterson, who signed with LouisianaState, and 6-9 junior big man Ben Simmons, who said he plans to sign with LSU. The team's top newcomer is Makinde London, a 6-10 center who has signed with Xavier and averaged 12 points and eight rebounds at Summit (Spring Hill, Tenn.) last season.
3. Huntington Prep, Huntington, W.Va. (30-3)
The Express lost Andrew Wiggins, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year, to graduation, but have plenty of elite talent. The only returning player is junior Montaque Gill-Caesar, who shined on the summer circuit and averaged 14 points a game last season. Huntington Prep has at least four senior transfers who are headed to Division I teams: point guard Josh Perkins (Gonzaga); guard JaQuan Lyle (Louisville); guard Jalen Lindsey (Providence) and senior center Angel Delgado (Seton Hall). A junior transfer who could have a big impact is 6-9 forward Thomas Bryant, who led Bishop Kearney (Rochester, N.Y.) to the state AA title as a sophomore, averaging 13.7 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
4. Mater Dei, Santa Anta, Calif. (34-2)
The Monarchs are shooting for their fourth consecutive state title and have the state's top player in senior forward Stanley Johnson (19.4 points, 8.9 rebounds), who signed with Arizona. Another big returnee is senior forward Mario Soto, who was an All-State second team player. The top newcomer is Rex Pflueger, who averaged 11.4 points a game last season at Junipero Serra (San Juan Capistrano).
5. Whitney Young, Chicago (27-4)
The Dolphins have the best returning big man in the country in Jahlil Okafor, a 6-11, 277-pound center who has said he will sign with Duke. Okafor averaged 20.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots to lead his team to the city title last season. At least two other seniors are headed to Division I schools: 6-8 forward Paul White, who has committed to Georgetown, and point guard Miles Reynolds, who signed with St. Louis.