We have finally reached the top 10 teams in this ranking.
10. Hoover (AL) – Their team last year went 10-4 and tied for 17th at NAQT’s HSNCT. They return all three players who averaged at least 10 ppg at that tournament – Lowell (41.48 ppg), Patrick (38.43 ppg), and Justin (20.52 ppg). They also averaged 17.45 ppb and 273.4 points per 20 tossups heard, both good for the 14th most in that stat at the 09 HSNCT. With basically their entire team returning, they will be a very tough team.
9. Mission San Jose (CA) – Similar to Hoover, they went 9-5 and tied for 11th at the HSNCT, and have almost all of their A-team returning: Vicky (30.57 ppg), Kirk (28.8), Youngjun (19.69) and Matthew (15.49, in just a bit over three games). They do lose Brian (26.50 ppg), but also have Dawei from their B-team return (38.12). There’s no reason they can’t at least match last year’s performance, if not improve on it.
8. Wilmington Charter (DE) – It might be surprising to see them ranked this highly after losing Henry (73.73 ppg at HSNCT, 165.71 at NSC). However, they return David from their A-team (19.07 at HSNCT, 30.71 at NSC), plus they get Alex (44.08), Billy (18.48) and Meg (15.17) back from their B-team that finished tied for 27th at HSNCT with a 8-5 record with a solid 13.25 ppb. At this point at least, Charter isn’t rebuilding, they’re reloading.
7. Georgetown Day School (DC) – They lose Ian (75.73 ppg at HSNCT, 100 at NSC), which is definitely a big deal. But they return Matt (47.28 at HSNCT, 95 at NSC), plus they had a B-team at NSC that showed some promise, featuring Jordan (34.29 at NSC), Oliver (32.89 at NSC), and Jared (22.86 at NSC). That’s enough to keep them high in the rankings.
6. Southside (SC) – They get Ming (92.86 ppg), Ben (36.43) and Max (12.86) back from their A-team that finished in the top bracket at NSC, plus Amit (40.71) and Neil (35.71) from their B-team at the same event. This is a team that returns a lot of talent and should be a one of the best southern teams in recent memory.
5. LASA (TX) – After finishing tied for 11th at HSNCT, they return all four of their top scorers – Thomas (41.21 ppg), Benji (30.27), Daniel (26.88) and Aaron (21.74). They need to improve their bonus conversion – they had the lowest ppb of any team in the top 16 at HSNCT – but experience and continued work should take care of that.
4. Dorman (SC) – Yes, they lose everyone from the team that finished 8th at PACE NSC and 2nd at NAQT HSNCT. But their entire B-team from those events returns, and that’s a B-team that finished tied for 17th at HSNCT and 21st at NSC. Masuma (30.3 ppg at HSNCT, 53.57 at NSC), Gregory (25.11 at HSNCT, 65.71 at NSC), Mariya (22.94 at HSNCT, 37.14 at NSC), and Sydney (12.73 at HSNCT, 17.86 at NSC) all come back. They should have yet another great year at Dorman.
3. Hunter (NY) – Take the Georgetown Day School situation, replace Ian with Guy (142.14 ppg at NSC) and replace the returning players with even more experienced players, and you have Hunter. They get Lily (30) back from their A-team at NSC, plus York (60), Zihan (42.86), Paul (28.57) and David (28.57) off their B-team at the same event – a B-team that finished 22nd. Even without Guy, Hunter is thriving.
2. State College (PA) – State College returns most of their team that finished 3rd at HSNCT and 2nd at NSC. Without being able to pull much individual information from their HSNCT stats due to usage of pseudonyms, they lose Ben (100 ppg at NSC), but get back Monica (57.86), Graham (55) and David (45.71) from their A-team at NSC, plus have Christopher (62.14) from their B-team at the same tournament. At this point in time, I think there are two teams that would conceivably win a national tournament held this coming weekend, and State College is one of those two teams.
1. Maggie Walker (VA) – They return almost everyone from a team that finished tied for fifth at HSNCT and fourth at NSC. Most notably, their only loss was Matt, who was just their fourth highest scorer. They get back Tommy (43.28 ppg at HSNCT, 95 at NSC), Greg (44.12 at HSNCT, 87.86 at NSC) and Sarah (18.49 at HSNCT, 33.57 at NSC) from their A-team, and get J.R. (52.86) back from their B-team at NSC. I believe that all of this returning firepower earns Maggie Walker the title of the best team in the nation – at this very moment.
Now, there’s a lot that can change over the next nine months, and these rankings are not intended to be predictive for next year’s nationals. There’s entirely too much time for players to improve for me to even pretend I can guess how much better someone can get. I’m also not even trying to rank B-teams at this time, although it would be less than surprising to see a few break into the top 50 by the end of the year.
But there’s officially a forum for you to disagree with me in! Discussion of these rankings are on-going here.
Additionally, the hsquizbowl forums poll is now be conducted. For information on how to vote, go here.