The Super 25 Computer rankings for boys basketball are back on USA TODAY High School Sports and Montverde Academy (Fla.) begins at the top of the mountain.
The Eagles, who won the national title according to the Super 25 Expert rankings, are without American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year Ben Simmons, but return 6-9 center E.J. Montgomery and 6-7 forward Silvio De Sousa.
Coach Kevin Boyle’s team also has added two talented juniors from Canada, — 6-1 guard Marcus Carr and 6-9 center Simi Shittu — and transfers in 6-10 Ohio State commit Micah Potter and 6-3 sophomore guard Anfernee Simmons.
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) holds the No. 2 spot, according to the Super 25 Computer. The Monarchs are coming off a state title game appearance but lose Rex Pflueger to Notre Dame. Mater Dei does return Oregon commit M.J. Cage, a 6-9 power forward who is ranked as the No. 6 player in the state by the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), No. 1 in the Super 25 Expert preseason rankings, is No. 3. While the Pilots lost elite point guard Derryck Thornton to Duke and shooting guad Allonzo Trier to Arizona, they have two solid point guards in Markus Howard, who averaged 32.4 points a game at Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) last season and Skylar Mays, an LSU commit who played for University Lab (Baton Rouge) last season. The Pilots’ top returnee is P.J. Washington, a 6-8 junior power forward who is listed as the No. 15 player in his class.
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), even without No. 1 overall recruit Harry Giles, should very good again and comes in at No. 4. Transfer Mario Kegler, a 6-8 small forward who signed with Mississippi State, likely will be expected to do more in Giles’ absence, but the team is loaded with stars, including Devontae Shule, Braxton Key, Khadim Sy and Matt Coleman.
No. 5 is Apple Valley (Minn.), which is led by the highly touted pair of Gary Trent Jr. and Tre Jones. Trent might have had the best summer of any player in the nation between his AAU success and his play for Team USA.
Round out the Top 10 are Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.), Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.), Lancaster (Texas) and DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.).
The computer rankings are provided by Ken Massey. The ratings are designed to reward teams for their performance, and objectively quantify those performances. Strength of schedule is built into the model. The model also corrects for home field advantage. Teams lose less for a loss on the road and gain more for a win on the road. Margin of victory also is factored in. Because some of the data is based on past performances, the computer will be more accurate as the season progresses.