Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story inaccurately listed the father of Wheeler junior guard Cameron Jordan.
Over the next few days, USA TODAY High School Sports will be releasing our preseason Super 25 boys basketball rankings. Here’s the release schedule:
October 30: Teams 11-25
October 31: Teams 6-10
November 3: Team 5
November 4: Team 4
November 5: Team 3
November 6: Team 2
November 7: Team 1
11. Wheeler, Marietta, Ga. (27-6)
The Wildcats were the AAAAAA state runner-up and have the nation’s No. 2 senior returning in 6-7 small forward Jaylen Brown. Brown was the state AAAAAA Player of the Year last year and played well in the summer, averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. While the Wildcats lost talented big man Daniel Giddens to Oak Hill in Virginia, they gained several big-time transfers: Tennessee commit Shembari Phillips (15.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg), a 6-4 shooting guard, was at Tucker (Atlanta) last season; 6-7 senior forward Hakeem Anchrum moved in from Parker (Birmingham, Ala.); sophomore point guard Darius Perry, who was the state Class A Player of the Year, transferred from Mount Vernon Presbyterian (Atlanta); and junior guard Cameron Jordan was at Marietta.
12. Simeon, Chicago (23-4)
Senior 6-7 power forward Ed Morrow, a Nebraska commit, is poised for a breakout year and the Wolverines have plenty of talent next to him. Junior shooting guard Zach Norvell is a top 100 player in the 2016 class. Senior forward D.J. Williams (10 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.0 apg), who has committed to Illinois, was a standout player on the summer circuit.
13. Our Savior New American, Centereach, N.Y. (28-3)
The Pioneers have one of the best shot-blockers in the country in 6-9 power forward Cheick Diallo. Pittsburgh commit Damon Wilson is a solid 6-5 point guard with a good outside shot and Kassoum Yakwe, a 6-7 junior forward, is a strong defender who makes Diallo even more effective. Djibril Diallo, a 6-2 point guard (no relation to Cheick), is another key player. A good addition is 6-5 combo guard Davon Dillard, who transferred from Bowman Academy (Gary, Ind.), where he averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and 2.3 steals.
14. Huntington-St. Joseph Prep, Huntington, W.Va. (28-5)
Big man Thomas Bryant (14.1 ppg, 13.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg) is a strong overall player, considered the No. 10 player in the 2015 class by ESPN.com. HSJP also has a Top 10 junior in Miles Bridges (10 ppg, 10 rpg, 3.5 bpg) and another Top 50 2015 player in 6-8 power forward Ted Kapita, a native of Congo. Center Levi Cook, who has committed to West Virginia, is a physical presence underneath and the rest of the roster is getting plenty of Division I offers.
15. Arlington Country Day, Jacksonville, Fla. (30-5)
The Apaches won the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association title and have a mostly new, but very talented, roster. Junior 6-7 forward Mario Kegler, who averaged 15.4 points and 7.2 rebounds while at Mississippi 5A state champion Callaway (Jackson) last season, is the top newcomer. Yankuba Sima, a 6-11 senior, was the starting center for Spain’s U18 National Team this past summer. Senior Tulio Da Silva was a starter on Brazil’s U18 team and 6-2 junior point guard Lamonte Turner is already being recruited by SEC and ACC schools.
16. Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland (28-5)
The Dragons won the state Northern California Open Division title and return 6-11 senior power forward Ivan Rabb (25 ppg, 16 rpg, 5 bpg), a consensus Top 10 player, and point guard Paris Austin, who averaged nearly 20 points a game in the playoffs. Watch for Isaiah Thomas, a 6-8 forward, to have a bigger role this season after sitting out part of the season last year because of transfer issues.
17. Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth, Calif. (29-4)
The Trailblazers started three freshmen and a sophomore last season and should reap the benefits of that young talent. Power forward Cody Riley (14.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is considered the No. 10 player in the 2017 class, according to ESPN.com. Speedy junior point guard Devearl Ramsey (14.8 ppg, 5.7 apg) played for the USA U17 team last summer. Other key players include sophomore point guard Adam Seiko (7.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and sophomore power forward Ira Lee (9.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg). Sophomore shooting guard Terrence McBride and freshman Michael Feinberg will also contribute right away. Remy Martin, who was ineligible last season, returns and has offers from Connecticut and Southern Cal.
18. Archbishop Carroll, Wayne, Pa. (23-5)
The Patriots made the state Class AAA quarterfinals and return senior power forward Derrick Jones (14.1 ppg), who has more than 20 offers from powerhouse programs, along with Temple commit Ernest Aflakpui (10.2 ppg), a 6-9 center. Other key returnees include junior point guard Josh Sharkey (3.2), senior power forward Ryan Dailey and senior shooting guard Samir Taylor (4.8 ppg).
19. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (29-6)
By winning the BSN Elite summer league, the Stags showed they’ll be fine without Joe Hampton (now at Oak Hill) and Alani Moore (now at Montrose Christian). Schools are lining up to offer sophomore shooting guard D.J. Harvey (10 ppg, 7 rpg) and athletic junior shooting guard Markelle Fultz. Senior 6-7 forward Jaelin Grant, the youngest son of former NBA player Harvey Grant; Drexel commit Terrell Allen (7.5 ppg); and 6-9 power forward Thomas Bruce, a Binghamton commit, will be needed to step up as well.
20. La Salle, Wyndmoor, Pa. (23-7)
The Explorers were a surprise state runner-up last season and return three top senior scorers: 5-11 guard Kitt Najee Walls (11.8 ppg); 6-7 forward Dave Krmpotich (11.9) and 6-1 guard Shawn Witherspoon (8.4 ppg). Junior point guard Jarrod Stukes, the brother of La Salle University point guard Amar Stukes, provides depth, along with and junior 6-5 guard Shane Stark, 6-4 junior guard Ryan McTamney, senior guard Dan Corr and senior 6-5 forward Matt Dessner.
21. Stevenson, Lincolnshire, Ill. (32-2)
Start with Villanova commit Jalen Brunson, considered the consensus No. 2 point guard in the country and a member of the USA U18 team. He’s joined in the backcourt by Rice commit Connor Cashaw, a 6-4 shooting guard. Another key player for the Patriots is 5-10 senior guard Matt Johnson. Those three give the Patriots a chance to improve on last year’s third-place finish in the 4A state tournament.
22. St. Benedict’s Prep, Newark (19-7)
The Gray Bees were the state Prep A runner-up and again have the backcourt to compete with elite teams. St. Benedict’s Prep is led by senior 6-3 guard Kamar McKnight; 6-5 guard Eli Cain, a Delaware commit; 6-2 guard Trevon Duval, considered the No. 14 player in the 2017 class by ESPN.com; and Nate Pierre-Louis, another highly touted sophomore guard. St. Benedict’s is also expecting big things from 6-9 sophomore forward Arnaldo Toro, who can play several positions. As usual, the Canadian connection continues with the Gray Bees adding four juniors from up north: 6-6 wing Daniel Cummings, 6-8 power forward Isaiah Mike, 6-4 guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater and 6-2 guard Marcus Ottey.
23. DeSoto, Texas (31-4)
The returning state 5A semifinalists return 6-10 center Marques Bolden, considered the No. 22 player in the 2016 class, according to ESPN.com. The Eagles also get back junior guard Julian Miranda and senior guard Dominique Thomas, who started last season. Edric Dennis, a senior guard who transferred from Skyline (Dallas), should play a key role as well.
24. Oak Ridge, Orlando (19-9)
The Pioneers return seven players, including three starters: Antonio Blakeney, a 6-4 senior guard who averaged 25 points; senior power forward Alex Owens, who averaged 15 points; and senior 6-6 swingman Willy Nunez, who averaged 10 points. Talented 6-2 freshman point guard Michael DeVoe played well this summer for AAU program Each 1, Teach 1. An ambitious schedule that includes the City of Palms tournament should toughen up Oak Ridge for the state tournament.
25. John Carroll, Bel Air, Md. (25-15)
Junior power forward Michael Tertsea (10 ppg, 8 rpg 2 bpg) returns, along with two senior guards in Bucknell commit Kimbal MacKenzie (16 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg) and Florida Gulf Coast commit Elijah Long (10 ppg, 4 apg, 4 rpg). Freshman guard Immanuel Quickley is already getting offers and junior guard Michael Asemota, a transfer from Canada, will be a big part of the Patriots.