Preseason State Boys Basketball Top 20

There are some old familar names dotting the top boys high school hoop rankings and the regional diversity is impressive, but on paper the road to the top will have to run through Ed Azzam's L.A. City Section school gym.


(All listed with last year's reported records, if available)

1. Westchester (Los Angeles) 28-2
Comets will contend for top national ranking this year with talent second to none -- at least on the West Coast.

2. Modesto Christian (Modesto) 34-4
Two guys going to Cal -- Richard Midgely and David Paris -- plus a 7-footer on the bench make the Crusaders one to watch. This ranking is done under the assumption that Midgely and English mate Marc Pratt will be eligible.

3. Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 33-2
There is a lot that left after last year, but there's still enough on hand that the Monarchs and the tradition they have built deserve a top ranking until they get knocked off a time or two.

4. Inglewood 28-7
D'Angelo Collins (6-9) may be the best post player in the state and the rest of the starting five looks pretty slick, too.

5. Poly (Long Beach) 23-6
Dominguez transfer Bobby Jones joins a club that already was going to be strong.

6. Fairfax (Los Angeles) 21-6
Evan Burns starts the season as the top State Player of the Year candidate.

7. Fremont (Los Angeles) 20-8
Transfers Geoff Clayton and Erik Herring should help lift the Pathfinders toward the top.

8. Technical (Oakland) 22-4
Leon Powe one of the nation's top juniors; Armando Surratt one of the state's top point guards.

9. Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 26-4
Three key starters return in Matt Sweany, J.J. Hair and Pete Decasas.

10. Crenshaw (Los Angeles) 20-7
Point guard Marcus Williams still only a junior, and several other key players return.

11. Riordan (San Francisco) 28-9
Crusaders will be battle tested in perhaps state's top league this year against St. Francis, Sacred Heart Cathedral and others.

12. St. Mary's (Berkeley) 31-4
Defending Div. IV state champs said to be moving up to Div. I and are loaded in the backcourt with John Sharper and Dashawn Freeman.

13. Glendora 27-5
Tartans' coaching staff to add former SoCal prep standouts Brock Jacobsen and Cameron Murray.

14. Torrey Pines (San Diego) 30-4
J.J. Brull tops strong group of returnees for former college coach John Olive.

15. Redondo (Redondo Beach) 27-6
New coach Tom Maier was previously successful at nearby small school Chadwick.

16. St. Francis (Mountain View) 22-11
David Chiotti a force inside, but outside game could suffer early in the season due to football-related injury to point guard Hakeem Gilliard.

17. Andrew Hill (San Jose) 24-4
Defending CIF Central Coast Section Div. I champs led by CCS Player of the Year Jason Obazuaye.

18. Clovis West (Fresno) 31-3
Top talent from last year is gone, but Nick Debban is a good place for new squad to be built around.

19. De La Salle (Concord) 27-5
Spartans have rebuilding to do on the outside, but frontcourt should be particularly tough on the boards.

20. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 24-5
Lenny Collins top returning player for club that could challenge Mater Dei for league title.

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