NO. 2 IMG ACADEMY
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Preseason Rank: 2
2018-19 record: 31-1
Final 2018-19 Super 25 ranking: 1
Make no mistake about it, IMG could have easily been listed in the top spot of the preseason Super 25. The Ascenders earned their first GEICO Nationals title last season, refusing to die and outplaying everyone in New York.
This year they have the talent to repeat led by their three Chosen 25 players, combo guard Jaden Springer, a Tennessee commit who is ranked No. 8, wing Jalen Johnson, a Duke commit who is ranked No. 9, and forward Moussa Diabate who is ranked No. 9 in 2021.
Additionally, IMG boasts 2022 forward Jarace Walker, widely regarded as a top five prospect in his class.
Then, in four-star center Mark Williams and talented underclassmen like Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Eric Dailey Jr. and the Ascenders have the depth and talent to repeat.
IMG’s biggest loss in the offseason was Noah Farrakhan, who transferred to The Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.). That will be an adjustment because he played a vital role in the Ascenders cutting down the nets in New York last April.
That loss will elevate Springer’s role even more and opens the door for Chikara Tanaka.
As usual, IMG will play one of the toughest schedules in the country, including a matchup with No. 1 Montverde on Jan. 19.