5th annual ESPN National High School Invitational teams have been announced:
#1 Findlay Prep (NV) featuring top 5 senior PG Nigel Williams-Goss, UNLV commit Christian Wood, UCLA commit Allerik Freeman and IU commit Stanford Robinson
#2 Montverde Academy (FL) featuring UF Commit Kasey Hill, UK Commit Dakari Johnson, WVU Signee Devin Williams and Highly ranked Junior D'Angelo Russell
#4 Prime Prep Academy (TX) featuring LSU commit Jordan Mickey and top 5 Junior Emmanuel Mudiay
#5 St. Benedicts Prep (NJ) featuring Syracuse commit Tyler Ennis and highly touted sophomore Isaiah Briscoe
#8 La Lumiere Prep (IN)
#9 Blanche Ely (FL)
#19 Oak Hill Academy (VA) featuring IU Commit Troy Williams and Ikenna Irogebu
#25 Montrose Christian (MD) featuring Baylor commit Ishmail Wainright
Any match ups anybody looking for? I kind of want to see Montverde defeat Findlay Prep being as they've lost the previous two matchups by the margin of a half point.
Being from Australia I have no idea how the highschool rankings work, are these teams private schools so they dont play against simeon and huntington, or are they different conferences? Because I see Simeon ranked number 1 in other threads so would someone please enlighten me as to how the rankings work? Do public schools and private schools play in different leagues, therefore have different rankings or is it East Coast/West Coast?
These schools may never play each other, so it is really a great deal of guess work. Their are a lot of different sources that do polls as well, so they are confusing. I believe the rankings the original poster gave are from ESPN, though USA Today and MaxPreps may have others. MaxPreps ranks "high schools" (ie. Lone Peak, Simeon and Germantown) and "academy" schools (Findlay, Prime Prep, St. Joseph's, Montverde and La Lumiere are their top 5), so you can differ by that as well.
Really, they are based on opinion, much like the college polls only with less organization as far as fair conference play. These high schools tend to not have the resources a university does, so many play far more local games. Basketball academies tend to travel more and most top teams will go to tournaments to play other top ranked HS teams, though many will play a state schedule that sometimes makes it difficult to differentiate the level of competition.
Than you also usually have state rankings or city rankings. For instance, Simeon (which was considered #1 in some overall rankings earlier in the year, now are #6 in MaxPreps) is the #1 ranked team in the state of Illinois. Whitney Young was considered #2 and were beaten, knocking them out of state title contention. The bigger the state, the more levels and titles their will be. For instance, in Oregon, Kevin Love went to 6A Lake Oswego and Terrence Jones/Ross went to 5A Jefferson. So, come state tournament time, they would not be going up against each other, yet each could be state champions (Kevin did go against Kyle Singler his senior year and lost, though Mike Harthun won MVP of that game).
You kind of have to take the rankings with a grain of salt at the HS level. It is cool to have a tournament like this where you can kind of say "well this team is the champion", though even than their are some other teams that will have been undefeated or could lay claim to the title. If you are Australian, you may want to follow Montverde for next year. Ben Simmons is already there, though has to sit out and wait until next year to play I believe. Aran currently has him ranked #1 in the HS class of 2015, feels he could be a special player. Player rankings at the HS level are much more intriguing than team rankings, since their really is no definitive tournament saying which team is the best. That happens once they get to the next level (for most of them), the NCAA.
Though the team I most want to see is Prime Prep. I really think Emmanuel Mudiay may end up being neck and neck with Jahlil Okafor as far as #1 in the Class of 2014. Like Findlay, they are undefeated so that would lead to a monster final. Montverde is VERY talented, just saw Paul IV beat them and feel they can get lackadaisical at times. Kasey Hill was really held at bay both times they lost this year.
I think Kasey is the better NBA prospect, though Nigel scored 26 points in the win over Montverde (18 in the 4th) and the game winner. This should be an interesting tournament and Montverde is in it, but even if he is going to my arch rival school in UW, I really think this kid is a winner. They have a great team as well. A lot of big time prospects here, most teams have a couple future NBA prospects, if not more. I'll take Findlay though, just am not completely sold on Montverde. Both their losses are buzzer beaters, felt they really lost focus with the game on the line.
Here was Paul IV and Kevin Dorsey. I can say it would have been nice with a shot clock, but you have to work with what you have. Montverde had numerous chances to win this game against a Paul IV team led by three sophomores (Dorsey, Marcus Derrickson and Franklin Howard)
mikeyvthedon, thank you for your insightful comments. the australian is not the only one who learned something new from your comments. makes me want to follow some of these games.