Chino Hills (Calif.), which finished last season as the nation’s No. 1 team, begins this season as No. 1 in the Super 25 Preseason Computer rankings.
The Huskies are only missing two parts of their championship team, but they were key parts, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year in PG Lonzo Ball, now at UCLA, and ALL-USA Coach of the Year Steve Baik. Former Chino Hills and Long Beach State player Stephan Gilling is the team’s new coach with Baik now at Fairfax (Los Angeles).
However, the rest of the team just got older and better: senior F LiAngelo Ball (27.5 ppg), sophomore G LaMelo Ball (16.4 ppg, 3.8 apg), sophomore big man Onyeka Okongwu (7.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and senior W Elizjah Scott (15.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg).
The Super 25 Computer rankings are provided by Ken Massey. Because some of the data is based on past performances, the computer will be more accurate as the season progresses. As teams play more games, the computer can better slot how it stacks up against teams nationally.
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 is also factored in.
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) is ranked No. 2 in the preseason by the computer. Sophomore SG R.J. Barrett is an American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason selection and was the team’s leading scorer; sophomore PG Andrew Nembhard was a standout in the Jordan Brand Classic International game last April; and Marcus Carr, is back to his explosive self after being hurt much of last season.
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) is No. 3, led by senior G Lindell Wigginton (15.8 ppg) an Iowa State commit. Other returning starters include: 6-1 senior G Matt Coleman (11.0 ppg, 8.2 apg); and 6-4 senior G Ty-Shon Alexander (13.5 ppg), a Creighton commit.
Texas teams — Atascocita and DeSoto — check in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. DeSoto beat Atascocita in last season’s Texas 6A final, 73-54, although both teams have lost key players. DeSoto is without Tristen Wallace, the 6A finals MVP who signed with Oregon to play football, and Marques Bolden, who signed with Duke. Atascocita is minus Carsen Edwards, now at Purdue, among others.
Defending Missouri state champion Chaminade (St. Louis) is No. 6, although faces a challenge to repeat without Michael Porter Jr., the No. 2 player in the Class of 2017, and brother Jontay. Both Washington commits, they have transferred to Nathan Hale (Seattle).
Rounding out the Top 10 are St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) and Apple Valley (Minn.). Apple Valley is without Duke signee Gary Trent Jr., now at Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.).
Hopkins (Minn.) begins the second 10 at No. 11, followed by Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), which is bolstered by the addition of Marvin Bagley. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), with Kentucky commit P.J. Washington, is No. 13, with Stevens Point (Wis.) and Lancaster (Texas).La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), which is ranked No. 1 in the Super 25 Expert rankings, is No. 16. Overland (Aurora, Colo.) is No. 17, followed by Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), Foothills Christian (El Cajon, Calif.) and Garfield (Seattle.).
The final five are Omaha South (Omaha, Neb.), St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), Centennial (Corona, Calif.), Elkins Missouri City, Texas) and St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.).