Preseason High School Power Rankings: November 2, 2011

Twenty-five teams gunnin' for that No. 1 spot

As we inch closer to the start of the high school season, it's time to uncover Five-Star's inaugural and comprehensive preseason High School Power Rankings.

Below you'll find our list of the nation's 25 best teams, highlighted by key players, marquee match-ups, a thorough season outlook and last season's record.

But last year is long forgotten and all teams start with a clean slate for the 2011-12 season. Who will fall, who will emerge and who will ultimately rise to the #1 spot?

Let the debates begin. Did we get it right, or do you feel your favorite team was snubbed? Comment below and tell us what you think. Click HERE for more on our rankings approach. 

Submit game results for next week's rankings.
Rank Prev Team Comments
1 empty
5th year/prep school
Wolfeboro, NH

Head Coach: Jason Smith

Last Season: 33-3

Key Players
: Mitch McGary, Jakarr Sampson, T.J. Warren, Semaj Christon, Jalen Reynolds

Marquee Match-ups: South Kent, Tilton, New Hampton, Bridgton, Arlington Country Day

Season Outlook: Loaded from top to bottom, Brewster is eying its third NEPSAC title in the last five years. Slithery 6-8 forward Jakarr Sampson, who was ruled ineligible at St. John’s in September, is back in Wolfeboro with consensus top-5 2012 forward, Mitch McGary. They are joined by the talented twosome of 6-7 elite scorer T.J. Warren and 6-9 four-man Jalen Reynolds, who’s committed to Xavier. This formidable frontline is complemented nicely by the Bobcats’ backcourt of fellow Xavier-commit Semaj Christon. If Sampson returns for the spring semester, Brewster could be the No. 1 team all season.

2 empty
4-year non-traditional
Henderson, NV

Head Coach: Mike Peck

Last Season: 28-4

Key Players
: Brandon Ashley, Anthony Bennett, Dominic Artis, Winston Shepard, Nigel Williams-Goss

Marquee Match-ups: Simeon, Flower Mound Marcus, Arlington Country Day, Bishop Gorman

Season Outlook: The Pilots cast a wealth of talent both on the perimeter and inside, headlined by a pair of Elite 24 participants: 6-8 seniors Anthony Bennett and Arizona-bound Brandon Ashley. Findlay’s national schedule provides multiple chances to test its mettle and put its preseason ranking in the balance against the country’s elite programs. The challenge will lie in forming good team chemistry and trying to integrate newcomers Ashley, recent Oregon-commit Dominic Artis and guard Armedeo Della Valle with returning stars Winston Shepard and 6-2 shooting guard, Nigel Williams-Goss.

3 empty
5th year/prep school
Tilton, NH

Head Coach: Marcus O'Neil

Last Season: 18-1

Key Players
: Nerlens Noel, Georges Niang, Goodluck Okonoboh, Wayne Selden, Dominique Bull

Marquee Match-ups: Brewster, Huntington Prep, Sunrise Christian Academy, Friends Central, Huntington Prep, Arlington Country Day

Season Outlook: If this roster looks eerily similar to the high successful BABC summer program, that’s because most of Leo Papile’s stars spend their winters in New Hampshire’s Belknap County, continuing their winning ways for Tilton. The Rams are coming off a four-peat performance as Class AA NEPSAC Champions, and are anchored by the imposing Nerlens Noel, Five-Star’s Summer Defensive Player of the Year, and 6-7 power forward Georges Niang, an Iowa State-commit with a cyclone of crafty moves in the pivot. Recent Mizzou-commit Dominique Bull and top 2014 prospect Wayne Selden round out the backcourt. The test? Tilton will have to consistently knock down shots from the perimeter to keep defenses honest.

4 empty
4-year non-traditional
Huntington, WV

Head Coach: Rob Fulford

Last Season: 22-3

Key Players
: Tanveer Bhullar, Elijah Macon, Negus Webster-Chan, Andrew Wiggins, Javontae Hawkins, Stefan Jankovic, Evan Payne

Marquee Match-ups: Tilton, St. Anthony, Westbury Christian, Christian Faith, Whitney Young, Taft, Simeon, Sunrise Christian

Season Outlook: This team has all of the pieces to finish in the top spot by season’s end. The Express feature a towering frontcourt of 7-2 center Tanveer Bhullar, 6-10 forward Stefan Jankovic, a Missouri-commit, and physically gifted West Virginia pledge, Elijah Macon, who is extremely agile in his 6-8 frame. 6-7 wingman Andrew Wiggins, one of the best sophomores in the nation, has NBA genes and can fill it up in an instant. Mizzou-commit Negus Webster-Chan joins Wiggins on the perimeter, along with a trio of athletic options in the backcourt: 6-2 off-guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, 6-5 shooting guard Javontae Hawkins, a South Florida-commit, and steady 6-1 scorer Evan Payne.

5 empty
4-year traditional
Mouth of Wilson, VA

Head Coach: Steve Smith

Last Season: 29-4

Key Players
: Tyler Lewis, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Jordan Adams, Damien Wilson, A.J. Hammons

Marquee Match-ups: Grace Prep, Prestonwood Christian Academy, Quality Education Academy

Season Outlook: Year after year, Oak Hill is listed among the top of the country’s high school programs. This year’s Raiders’ squad is buoyed by a handful of guards that can cause havoc on the hardwood. Tyler Lewis, an N.C. State-commit and Five-Star player blogger, is the consummate floor general, while backcourt counterparts, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Georgetown) and Jordan Adams (UCLA) can adequately shoulder the scoring burden. Memphis-bound Damien Wilson is an explosive slasher who can provide highlight-filled tallies in transition if not contained properly, and Purdue pledge A.J. Hammons provides tremendous size in the middle at 7-0, 275 pounds.

6 empty
4-year traditional
Chicago, Ill.

Head Coach: Robert Smith

Last Season: 30-2

Key Players
: Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor, Kendrick Nunn, Jaylon Tate

Marquee Match-ups: Findlay Prep, Huntington Prep, Whitney Young, Miller Grove

Season Outlook: The Windy City’s perennial public power, Simeon Career Academy, also recognized as the alma mater of Derrick Rose and the late Ben Wilson, is stacked. Point blank. 6-8 power forward Jabari Parker is the most coveted 2013 recruit and possibly, some would argue, the best overall prospect in the nation regardless of class. Parker and Steve Taylor, a 2012 Marquette-commit, are both double-double scoring and rebounding threats on any given night. Kendrick Nunn, a 6-1 southpaw who recently de-committed from Texas A&M, has a deft shooting touch and can drain it consistently from beyond the arc, while 6-1 point guard Jaylon Tate controls the tempo. One question looms, though: Which Wolverine will plug the middle and do the dirty work for Coach Smith in the paint?

7 empty
4-year traditional
Las Vegas, NV

Head Coach: Grant Rice

Last Season: 25-6

Key Players
: Shabazz Muhammad, Rashad Muhammad, Rosco Allen, Demetris Morant, Stephen Zimmerman, Ben Carter

Marquee Match-ups: Findlay Prep, Mater Dei, DeMatha Catholic

Season Outlook: Bishop Gorman will go as far as far as Shabazz Muhammad will take it. But Coach Grant Rice has no need to fret; The Gaels are in great hands. As 2012's savviest southpaw and the consensus No. 1 player in the nation, Muhammad is virtually unstoppable. If and when the lethal lefty can be slowed down, Rosco Allen, a 6-9 Stanford-commit, and 6-8 power forward Ben Carter can pick up the scoring slack. Gorman’s size doesn’t stop there. Heralded freshman Stephen Zimmerman, who holds offers from Kansas, UCLA, UConn and hometown UNLV, is as skilled as they come for a 6-11 teenager, and Demetris Morant, who’ll run with the Runnin’ Rebels in 2012, can provide plenty of second-chance scoring attempts. Muhammad’s younger brother Rashad, a 6-4 point guard, will look to play an increased role in the backcourt.

8 empty
5th year/prep school
New Hampton, NH

Head Coach: Peter Hutchins

Last Season: 21-13

Key Players
: Zach Auguste, Olivier Hanlan, Noah Vonleh

Marquee Match-ups: Brewster, Tilton School, Bridgton

Season Outlook: The Huskies boast a triumvirate of top talent: an active 6-9 power forward in Zach Auguste, who gave coach Mike Brey the nod at Notre Dame; Olivier Hanlan, a tough 6-3 point guard who is committed to Boston College and can will his team to wins when it counts; and Noah Vonleh, a superlative 6-7 sophomore with a world of potential. New Hampton will play a rigorous 30-game slate, including a gauntlet of games in the heavyweight AAA Class of the NEPSAC. Vonleh’s new to the school, but the big man who possesses a 7-0 wingspan should have no problem wrapping his arms around the competition.

9 empty
4-year traditional
Jersey City, NJ

Head Coach: Bob Hurley Sr.

Last Season: 33-0

Key Players
: Kyle Anderson, Jimmy Hall, Josh Brown, Hallice Cooke, Rashad Andrews

Marquee Match-ups: Miller Grove, Plainfield

Season Outlook: You can’t top a perfect season, but St. Anthony will certainly try to match its spotless 33-0 ledger from 2010-11. Owners of a national record 26 state championships, the Friars are built to excel under the guidance of Naismith Hall of Fame coach, Bob Hurley Sr. Kyle Anderson will have large shoes to fill with the graduation of electric guard, Myles Mack (Rutgers), but that shouldn’t be a problem. Anderson’s 6-9 and can play the point, and Hurley is already comparing the UCLA-commit to Earvin “Magic” Johnson. St. Anthony will need increased production from the lengthy 6-8 Jimmy Hall, who is headed to Hofstra, along with lockdown defender Josh Brown and Hallice Cooke, a 6-3 two-guard with dependable range.

10 empty
4-year traditional
Lithonia, GA

Head Coach: Sherman White

Last Season: 31-2

Key Players
: Tony Parker, Christian Houston, Brandon Morris, Tony Evans

Marquee Match-ups: Southwest DeKalb, Oak Hill Academy, St. Anthony, Simeon

Season Outlook: The carryover effect should behoove this talented Miller Grove squad. 6-9 man-child Tony Parker, who can easily carve out space on the block with his 270-pound frame, balled with teammate Brandon Morris, a 6-5 UGA-commit, with the Georgia Stars this summer. With a strong cohesiveness between the two stars, the two-time defending Class AAAA state champions should cruise through Georgia public school competition en route to pegging its talents against a quartet of nationally recognized programs. Will they have the depth to remain a top-10 contender? That remains to be seen.

11 empty
4-year traditional
Flower Mound, TX

Head Coach: Danny Henderson

Last Season: 39-1

Key Players
: Marcus Smart, Phil Forte, Nick Banyard

Marquee Match-ups: Findlay Prep, Plano West, Lewisville, Yates, Montrose Christian

Season Outlook: Reigning Texas UIL Conference 5A State champs, the Marauders will be preseason favorites to repeat. Why? They return four starters, including the titillating tandem of Marcus Smart and Phil Forte, who paced Texas Assault to the prestigious adidas Super 64 title in July. Forte, a 5-10 floor leader, and Smart, Rivals’ No. 3 ranked small forward in 2012, will pair up again at Oklahoma State to play for coach Travis Ford. But first they’ll be focused on finding some scoring and rebounding help on the interior and taking one more step towards etching their names and program in Texas high school basketball lore by defending their title and taking down national power Findlay Prep on Dec. 3 at the 'Throwdown in D-Town' event.

12 empty
4-year traditional
Hyattsville, MD

Head Coach: Mike Jones

Last Season: 25-1

Key Players: Jerami Grant, James Robinson, BeeJay Anya, Jairus Lyles

Marquee Match-ups: Bishop Gorman, Gonzaga Prep

Season Outlook: The Stags have three of the best players in the talent-rich D.C. metro region in point guard James Robinson (Pittsburgh), swingman Jerami Grant (Syracuse) and junior center BeeJay Anya, one of the nation's best shot blocking big men in the 2013 class. Jerami is the son of former NBA forward Harvey Grant. Coach Jones' program competes in arguably the best high school basketball league in the nation and has won three consecutive WCAC titles (2009-11), and six in the last seven years. His senior-led team expects to make this season memorable with four league titles in four years.

13 empty
4-year traditional
Rockville, MD

Head Coach: Stu Vetter

Last Season: 25-1

Key Players: Justin Anderson, Ishmael Wainwright 

Marquee Match-ups: Arlington Country Day, Chavez

Season Outlook: Do-it-all swingman Justin Anderson (Virginia) is the heart and soul of the Mustangs squad and sets a strong defensive tone for Coach Vetter's team. Multi-skilled forward Ishmael Wainwright is a transfer from Raytown South (MO), and was a driving force behind the success of his KC 76ers summer travel team. The keys to Montrose's success this year will be twofold: one, how Wainwright meshes with Anderson on the wing. And, two, can Coach Vetter plug the hole left by last year's floor general, Tyrone Johnson, who has moved on to Villanova?

14 empty
4-year traditional
Santa Ana, CA

Head Coach: Gary McKnight

Last Season: 32-2

Key Players
: Katin Reinhardt, Xavier Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Elijah Brown, Eli Stalzer

Marquee Match-ups: Christ the King, Bishop Gorman, Grace Prep, Orange Lutheran, Miller Grove

Season Outlook: Another West Coast squad is in line for a serious run at the No. 1 spot in the nation. UNLV-commit Katin Reinhardt, who put on a show at NBPA Top 100 camp last June, will have to handle the ball and run the team in addition to doing what he does best: score and knock down perimeter shots. The questions we have for coach McKnight's 2011 CIF State Champs: How well will highly-touted underclassman Stanley Johnson play with more attention paid to him? How does the team replace the sharp shooting of Shaqquan Aaron, who transferred to Taft? And can Xavier Johnson, a Colorado pledge, knock down the jumper consistently from the perimeter?

15 empty
4-year traditional
Arlington, TX

Head Coach: Ray Forsett

Last Season: 22-6

Key Players: Isaiah Austin, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jelon Hornbeak, Jordan Mickey, Karvair Sheppard

Marquee Match-ups: Prestonwood Christian Academy, Trinity Christian, Fort Bend Travis, Oak Hill 

Season Outlook: Baylor commit Isaiah Austin, a consensus top 5 recruit, has an enormously diverse inside-outside skill set for a 7-0 big man. For the team’s long-term success, Austin will need to focus the majority of his efforts on scoring, rebounding and defending the interior. Additionally, a ton of responsibility will be placed on dynamic sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who will have to be assertive in a key leadership role for the Lions.

16 empty
5th year/prep school
South Kent, CT

Head Coach: Kelvin Jefferson

Last Season: 16-5

Key Players: Chris Thomas, Ricardo Ledo, Laimonas Chatkevicius

Marquee Match-ups: Brewster, Northfield Mount Hermon

Season Outlook: The Connecticut prep school might have the best backcourt in the nation in 6-5 Chris Thomas and 6-6 Providence-commit Ricardo Ledo. Thomas is the more unselfish of the dynamic duo, but both have the ability to go for 30+ on any given night. Add super-skilled 7-foot Kansas State-commit Laimonas Chatkevicius to the mix and South Kent creates matchup nightmares for any opponent. Whether Ledo and Thomas can build chemistry together will go a long way in determining just how good this year's team will be.

17 empty
4-year traditional
Montverde, FL

Head Coach: Kevin Boyle

Last Season: 23-5

Key Players: Kasey Hill, Michael Frazier

Marquee Match-ups: Mater Dei, Dr. Phillips

Season Outlook: After building St. Patrick’s (N.J.) into a national power, Coach Kevin Boyle has headed south to coach this talented Orlando area squad. Kasey Hill distinguished himself as one of the best point guards in the nation with his breakout performance at the adidas Invitational this summer in Indianapolis. Backcourt mate and Florida-commit Michael Frazier will be there to help relieve the pressure he’ll see routinely. Sophomore big man Dakari Johnson, who Boyle brought with him from St. Pat's, will have to sit out the year due to transfer rules.

18 empty
4-year traditional
Indianapolis, IN

Head Coach: Doug Mitchell

Last Season: 22-3

Key Players: Ronnie Johnson, Patrick Ingram, Darius Latham

Marquee Match-ups: Hamilton Southeastern, Park Tudor

Season Outlook: This bunch just might be the best in the hotbed hoops state of Indiana, even after losing Georgetown-commit D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 25.1 points per game to Oak Hill Academy. The Panthers will have multiple opportunities to prove their worth with games against Yogi Ferrell’s Park Tudor team and a loaded Hamilton Southeastern (Gary Harris and Zak Irvin). They'll feature a future Big Ten backcourt in point guard Ronnie Johnson (Purdue) and off-guard Patrick Ingram (Iowa), along with 6-5, 280-pound two-sport star Darius Latham.

19 empty
4-year traditional
Richmond, TX

Head Coach: Craig Brownson

Last Season: 34-5

Key Players: Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Christian Crockett

Marquee Match-ups: Yates, Grace Prep, Fort Bend Bush, Fort Bend Hightower

Season Outlook: The highly-touted Harrison twins led their Houston Defender squad to the No. 1 spot in Five-Star's inaugural Top 25 this summer and are looking to carry that momentum into their first full season at Fort Bend Travis. The junior backcourt tandem will be joined by 6-6 PF and Mount St. Mary's-commit Christian Crockett, as they play a tough national schedule.

20 empty
5th year/prep school
Saxton River, VT

Head Coach: Jesse Bopp

Last Season: 17-14

Key Players: Daquan McNeil, Jamel Artis, Dominic Woodson

Marquee Match-ups: Tilton School, St. Mark’s, Hotchkiss

Season Outlook: The New England school boasts Daquan McNeil and Jamel Artis, a pair of Baltimore products that made noise this past summer playing with the Nike Baltimore Elite program. Dominic Woodson, standing at a mammoth 6-10, 265-pounds, is a force on the interior. Post-graduate UMass-commit Trey Davis will have to learn to become more of a pass-first point guard for this team to reach its full potential.

21 empty
4-year traditional
Jacksonville, FL

Head Coach: Rex Morgan

Last Season: 23-2

Key Players
: Torian Graham, Jordan Goodman, Junior Etou, Trey Boykin

Marquee Match-ups: Oak Hill Academy, Montrose Christian, Findlay Prep, Brewster

Season Outlook: This squad has the talent to give any team in the country a run for its money. The D.C. Assault foursome of Jordan Goodman (Texas Tech), Torian Graham (North Carolina State-decommit), Trey Boykin and Junior Etou give the Jacksonville school no shortage of length and athleticism on the wings.

22 empty
5th year/prep school
Fitchburg, MA

Head Coach: Ryan Hurd

Last Season: 22-7

Key Players: Steven Adams, Myles Davis, Shaquille Jones, Sam Cassell Jr.

Marquee Match-ups: Mater Dei, Boys & Girls

Season Outlook: Coach Ryan Hurd has built an impressive crop of talent once again. 6-10 New Zealand native and Pitt-commit Steven Adams may just be the best big man in the country after his breakout performance at adidas Nations, and he should pair well with the sharpshooting of Xavier-commit Myles Davis on the perimeter. Add Sam Cassell Jr. and Shaquille Jones to the group and Notre Dame Prep can play with anybody in the nation.

23 empty
4-year traditional
Middle Village, N.Y.

Head Coach: Joe Arbitello

Last Season: 22-7

Key Players
: Omar Calhoun, Isaiah Lewis, Jordan Fuchs

Marquee Match-ups: Mater Dei, Boys & Girls

Season Outlook: The Royals get the nod over a handful of other teams as the best in New York, for now. Omar Calhoun, a UConn-commit. Isaiah Lewis is an emerging star in the 2013 class and should play a supporting role after picking up a bevy of offers this summer. Two-sport athlete Jordan Fuchs, a 6-6 power forward, should give CK the much-needed size, toughness and athleticism inside. dasf 

24 empty
4-year traditional
Wichita Heights, KS

Head Coach: Joe Auer

Last Season: 25-0

Key Players: Perry Ellis, Gavin Thurman

Marquee Match-ups: N/A

Season Outlook: Five-Star rated Kansas-commit Perry Ellis is undoubtedly the man on this squad, but will need help from Missouri State-commit Gavin Thurman and Emporia State-bound Terrence Moore to get it done on the national stage.

25 empty
4-year traditional
Decatur, GA

Head Coach: Phil McCrary 

Last Season: 30-3

Key Players
: Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Jarmal Reid, Jhaustin Thomas

Marquee Match-ups: N/A

Season Outlook: This crew is one of the best in the state of Georgia. Tahj Shamsid-Deen, who starred with the Atlanta Knicks over the summer, is one of the top guards in the country and will be joined by Jarmal Reid, who has pledged to play for Craig Robinson's Oregon State program. They also have an elite athlete in the 6-5, 230-pound Thomas, a South Carolina football recruit.

Best of the Rest

Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA), Chester (Chester, PA), Friends Central (Wynnewood, PA), Gonzaga College Prep (Washington, D.C.), Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, VA), La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, CA), La Lumiere (La Porte, IN), Linn-Mar (Marion, IA), Milton (Alpharetta, GA), Our Savior New American (Centerreach, NY), Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, TX), Southwest Dekalb (Decatur, GA), Riverside Academy (Reserve, LA), St. Benedict's (Newark, NJ), St. Frances (Baltimore, MD), St. John Neuman (Philadelphia, PA), Whitney Young (Chicago, IL)

Submit game results for next week's rankings.