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2011-12 High School Mid-Season Poll

Congratulations to the “A” team from Hunter College High School (New York, New York) for finishing first in the 2011-12 Mid-Season Poll.  Hunter captured 12 of 15 first place votes, with two of the remaining three going to Centennial High School (Roswell, Georgia) and the remaining vote going to Bellarmine College Preparatory (San Jose, California).  Auburn High School (Rockford, Illinois) and the Illinois Math and Science Academy (Aurora, Illinois) rounded out the top five. Continue reading

Preseason High School Top 50: 10-1 – And You Vote!

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.

Preseason High School Top 50: 20-11

20. Raleigh Charter (NC) – Trivia time: name the highest returning scorer from PACE NSC.

The answer is Raleigh Charter’s Peter, who put up 109.29 ppg at NSC. They also get Gautam’s 17.14 ppg back. This should be enough to be a top team.

19. La Jolla (CA) – They return their entire B-team and half of their A-team from HSNCT (Ben and Alison). Since both teams made the playoffs there, it’s fair to say they’re going to be a force this year.

18. Livingston (NJ) – With two teams going to HSNCT, they get two back from their A-team (Tim, with 29.86 ppg, and David, with 18.48 ppg) and two from their B-team (Govind, with 26.18 ppg, and Saagar, with 18.35). Combined, they should form a talented team.

17. Detroit Country Day (MI) – DCD features the highest returning scorer from the HSNCT, Neil, who averaged 76.34 ppg. Unfortunately, he does not return very much support, so the question is if anyone will improve enough to provide significant help or if Neil will be the only notable threat on this team.

16. duPont Manual (KY) – With 4 players returning who played at NSC and 8 who played at HSNCT, this is a deep and talented team. This include Shray (34.02 ppg at HSNCT, 32.14 at NSC), Vishnu (41.41 at HSNCT), Nick (25.74 at HSNCT, 12.73 at NSC), Meghamsh (14.34 at HSNCT, 22.30 at NSC) and Akshai (11.07 at HSNCT, 30 at NSC). It’s not clear who their top team will consist of, but it should be good.

15. Thomas Jefferson (VA) – One of the deepest programs last year sees that younger talent faced with stepping up to fill numerous holes on their A-team. A top four is not clear, but candidates include Seoup (26.70 ppg at HSNCT, 27.14 at NSC), Arjang (18.10 at HSNCT, 29 at NSC), Stephen (37.14 at NSC), Diana (35 at NSC), Olivia (32.14 at NSC), Siddharth (40.83 at NSC), Peter (28.18 at NSC) and James (24.55 at NSC). They stand a very real chance of vastly improving over this year and making an even bigger impact in the final rankings.

14. Torrey Pines (CA) – They were, essentially, a two-person team at HSNCT, with Stephen (60.99 ppg) and Vivek (33.18 ppg). Fortunately for them, both players return. It’ll be very interesting to see how they progress and if they get any significant assistance from a third (and fourth?) player.

13. Dunbar (KY) – Similar to Thomas Jefferson and duPont Manual, they return a lot of players who performed well at nationals. This includes Idrees (15.05 ppg at HSNCT), Brian (36.41 at HSNCT, 37.38 on NSC A-team), Ping (16.02 at HSNCT, 41.78 on NSC A), Victor (30.71 on NSC A), Sandy (52.86 on NSC B), Ailin (44.29 on NSC B) and Matt (37.78 on NSC B). There’s a lot of potential here.

12. Detroit Catholic Central (MI) – They lose everyone from their team that finished fourth at HSNCT and just one player from their NSC team that finished 13th. But, they return their entire B-team that came within 10 points against St. Viator of making the HSNCT playoffs. This includes Matt (11.67 ppg at NSC, 32.03 at HSNCT), Ryan (30.53 at HSNCT), David (21.89 at HSNCT) and Matt (18.60 at HSNCT). Considering the program they come from and their time spent already playing together as a unit, this team has a lot of potential.

11. Eden Prairie (MN) – Their A-team at HSNCT had everyone average at least 17.87 ppg, and as a team they had 16.12 ppb. They do lose their second highest scorer in Sam (23.53 ppg), but retain Xi, Gaurav, Robin and Neil. They also have Peter returning from their B-team, who averaged 36.84 ppg.

Preseason High School Top 50: 30-21

30. Bergen County (NJ) – Watson was a very good player, but with him gone, Bergen will drop down. However, they return three players who scored at least 17 ppg (but no more than 22.28 ppg). Those points aren’t easy to come by alongside a player with 66.23 ppg, either. They also have Dennis from their B team, who put up 30.48 ppg on his own.

29. Parkview Arts & Sciences (AR) – They return Jake, who led their B team into the playoffs at HSNCT with 47.68 ppg. They also get Connor back from their A-team and his 28.84 ppg. Both their teams averaged less than 10 ppb, but this figure should improve if Jake & Connor play on the same team.

28. MLK Magnet (TN) – They get all three of their key players back from HSNCT, being led by Cody (45.25 ppg) and the help of Will (12.22) and Jordan (10.86). Cody should turn into a very good player in his own right, regardless of who his brother is.

27. Solon (OH) – Their key returnee is Jasper and his 32.27 HSNCT ppg, but they also have Benjamin (11.36) and Ashu (10.45) from their A-team, plus Nashonth (22.97) and Partik (17.12) from their B team. Any four from that bunch should form a very solid team.

26. Bellarmine (CA) – Both their A and B team made the playoffs at HSNCT, and they both return notable scorers. Tanay (26.19) and Vinay (15.15) from their A team and Nikhil (21.66), Phil (21.43 – in just 4.5 games) and Ankit (15.67) from their B team return. This team definitely has youth on their side.

25. St. Anselm (DC) – This is based off their performance at NSC, where in four games Aidan averaged 105 ppg and Matt 65. On the one hand, those numbers are awesome. On the other, it was in just four games. On the third hand (pretend I’m Goro), it was in the bottom tier of the consolation rounds after they took over for a team that withdrew. On the fourth hand, putting up those numbers under any circumstances on the NSC set is an accomplishment.

24. Hume-Fogg (TN) – Ian returns, and he put up 60.19 ppg at HSNCT. Sam is also back after putting up 14.81 ppg. Ian’s one of the highest returning scorers from the HSNCT, and that should be enough to get Hume-Fogg a high finish.

23. Pensacola (FL) – David (46.73 ppg @ HSNCT) and Kay (23.83) return from a team with a 14.71 ppb. Depth will be needed for a very deep run at nationals, but as is this is a solid team.

22. Plymouth (MI) – They return their top scorer, by far, from HSNCT in Shan (53.05 ppg), but also get Alan (10.80) and Rebecca (10.33) back. They also had 13.03 ppb, so returning most of the team points to a strong team this year.

21. Northmont (OH) – They get Michael back (13.45 ppg at HSNCT, 40 at NSC) not to mention Brandon (39.56 at HSNCT, 57.14 at NSC). Assuming Michael’s performance at NSC was more indicative of his general ability level, Northmont has a formidable one-two punch. If Michael’s closer to his HSNCT numbers, then they’ll still be notably good.

Preseason High School Top 50: 40-31

40. Caesar Rodney (DE) – They return a very committed player in Trey (41.77 ppg at HSNCT, 55.71 at NSC) and Coach Chrzanowski who is one of the most active new coaches around. I’m being conservative with this ranking, as they have a very good chance to jump multiple spots if they continue to improve. The addition of a steady cast around Trey would be key as well.

39. Ransom Everglades (FL) – They return four players who averaged 12 ppg or more at HSNCT, earning them this spot despite the graduation of Jesse and Matthew. Bonus conversion will need work, if the B team’s performance at HSNCT is indicative.

38. Blake (MD) – They return Isaac, who put up 71.54 ppg at NSC on his own. That alone is enough to place him here. A solid supporting cast would push this team even higher.

37. Walt Whitman (MD) – They lose Daniel’s 71.43 ppg from their NSC team, but Douglas’s 76.43 ppg return. He’s also been visible in attempts to improve this summer.

36. Walnut Hills (OH) – Peter’s 24.34 HSNCT ppg are gone, but they get Jon (39.82) and Max (22.06) back. With that much scoring coming back from a team that had a 15.80 ppb, these might be an under-ranking on my part.

35. Kellenberg (NY) – This team’s top two HSNCT players – James (36.41) and Nik (27.65) – are back. They also had 16.69 ppb, which speaks well for their ability to improve.

34. Loyola (IL) – They return a lot of players from the HSNCT team – Nolan (21.18 ppg), Marcel (21.01), and Christian (16.98) from the A team, plus Raman (14.41) from the B team. They also have Will from NSC, who put up 23.64 ppg on their B team at that event. I believe the HSNCT experience will do them well.

33. Chattahoochee (GA) – They lose nearly 80% of their A-team’s scoring at HSNCT, which include Wes, who also put up 112.14 ppg at NSC. They do return Connie (21.56 at HSNCT, 36.43 at NSC) and three players from their B team at HSNCT: Vikram (22.87), Rob (11.38) and Siddharth (10.71).

32. Walton (GA) – They lose Gazi (36.50 ppg at HSNCT, 92.86 ppg at NSC(!)) but return the rest of their A-team. Bouncing back is plausible, but they’ll need someone to step up and fill Gazi’s shoes.

31. Santa Monica (CA) – Their HSNCT team’s scoring was very evenly distributed – their high ppg person was Marino with 26.20, and their low were two players (Carlee and Sky) with 20.09 ppg. They lose Marino, but return Carlee, Sky and Max (24.45). If they can get a fourth to fill out the roster, they should be just as competitive as they were this past year.

Preseason High School Top 50: 50-41

#50 Minnetonka (MN) – The loss of Alex Friedman is going to significantly hurt this team. I’m assuming that Joe from the B team is active with the team this coming year, but he only played four games at HSNCT (averaging 20.45 ppg). Mike from the A team and Mitchell from the B team both return as well. Their ppb should be around 10, which is good enough for 50 on this list.

#49 Culver (IN) – They lose a 30 ppg at HSNCT from both their A and B teams, but return three players who each got around 15 ppg at the same time. They should be around 10 ppb this coming year at HSNCT.

#48 North Kansas City (MO) – Lead scorer Brandon (43.18 ppg) leaves, but Grant (34.09) is back. It’s hard to tell how they will perform with this loss, but they’ll be a force in Missouri.

#47 Ottawa Hills (OH) – They return their high HSNCT scorer Nirbhay (36.40 ppg), from a team that also had two scorers with just over 26 ppg each. Their ppb will likely drop with the graduation of John and Spencer, holding them back.

#46 Berkeley (CA) – Both Matt (36.65 ppg at HSNCT) and Kyle (21.7 ppg) return, which is a fairly high scoring one-two punch. The lack of an established third and fourth are troubling, though, plus a low ppb of 9.59 is holding them back.

#45 DeLaSalle (MN) – They return their top two scorers from HSNCT, Charlie (43.66 ppg) and Kelsey McCoy. They were a very two-person team last year and a 11.09 ppb is not the best.

#44 Bellaire (TX) – They return Jacob, who scored 47 ppg at NSC last year, and Jimmy (17.38). They did graduate a lot of talent, though.

#43 Providence Day (NC) – They get their top two scorers back in Michael (40.19 at HSNCT) and Cindy (16.82). They missed the playoffs by a win last year and averaged just 12.05 ppb, but hopefully they’ll be able to improve this.

#42 St. Mark’s (TX) – They return both Stewart (36.24 ppg) and Max from a HSNCT team that finished one win out of the playoffs last year and had a 15 ppb average. They do lose about 37 ppg, but should still be relevant.

#41 Brookwood (GA) – I’m unsure of what to do with Brookwood here. On the one hand, they lost a huge portion of their scoring at nationals last year. On the other, they do return a couple of players who put up ok numbers on good teams and have shown some promise at ACE camp. With Brookwood’s history of putting together top 20 teams, I’m going to guess and put them here despite a fair amount of uncertainity.

Preseason High School Top 50: Notes & Just Misses

Hello all,

I am preparing to announce my list of the top 50 teams for the 2009-10 season.

There is reason for these rankings to be inaccurate, as they only reflect a team’s performance at the NAQT HSNCT and/or the PACE NSC. If a team has a rising young player who did not attend either tournament, they would not be considered in the following rankings. Additionally, if a team was not able to attend the HSNCT or NSC, they would not be considered here either.

There is also the possibility that I gathered incorrect information regarding which players are returning and which are not. If I used incorrect information or omitted someone, I apologize.

Finally, it’s important to note that these rankings are indicative only of my personal research. They are not representative of any group that I am currently or at one time was affiliated with.

The following teams had really good teams last year, but have lost a lot of key players. Some have longer traditions of high levels of play than others, but all can reasonably be expected to drop off from last year’s level. That being said, it would not be shocking to see them perform well once more. In no particular order:

Walter Johnson (MD), James Monroe (VA), Gonzaga (DC), E. O. Smith (CT), St. John’s School (TX), Stow-Munroe Falls (OH), Shady Side (PA), Rappahannock County (VA), North Hollywood (CA), Cave Spring (VA), Half Hollow Hills West (NY), Rancho Bernardo (CA), New Trier (IL), Carbondale (IL), Chaska (MN), Flushing (MI), Wheaton Warrenville South (IL), Buffalo Grove (IL), Russell (KY), Troy (MI), East Brunswick (NJ), Grosse Point North (MI), Rockford Auburn (IL), Hoggard (NC), Rocky Mount (NC), Tippecanoe (OH)

Additionally, I considered these 14 teams for entry into the top 50 but for varying reasons (graduating players, low bonus conversion, etc.), they did not make the final list but deserve some mention for a returning player or two who either show promise or come back from a team that performed well last year. Once again, in no particular order:

Hopkins (MN), Edmond Santa Fe (OK), Ballard (KY), Lafayette (LA), Drummond (OK), Robinson (VA), South Range (OH), Bristow (OK), St. Viator (IL), Penn (IN), Edmond Memorial (OK), Newtown (CT), Glasgow (MO), Arcadia (CA), Moravian (PA), Robinson (VA), Temple (TX)

Additionally, there are two teams that I have heard good things about, but am holding off on ranking them for now.

First is James Island of South Carolina. I’m not sure of what type of talent level they are returning, and they haven’t played at HSNCT since 2007 and have never appeared at a NSC. Still, they are a team to watch for the future.

Second is Parkersburg High of West Virginia. They performed well at NAC, return their entire team (which is made up mostly of juniors) and appear willing to go to either the HSNCT and NSC. They remain untested for these rankings, but could appear in the future.

The 41st through 50th teams will be posted soon.