By Ryan Rohde
December 18, Arlington Country Day Apaches (FL) vs. Roman Catholic Eagles (PA): Arlington Country Day has won four consecutive Class 2A state titles and has the talent to make it a record five in a row. Roman Catholic is a traditional Philadelphia Catholic power and the program has featured some of the best teams in the city’s history. Roman Catholic point guard Maalik Wayns is
one of the best ball handlers in the country and has signed with Villanova. Country Day forward Walley Judge is a Kansas State recruit who stands 6-9 and is a great rebounder. Meanwhile, guard Rodney McGruder is smooth player in the open court. This game takes place in the exclusive City of Palms tournament.
Dec. 19, Montverde Academy Eagles (FL) vs. Boyd Anderson (FL): Montverde could be the most talented team in the state. The Eagles are ranked in most national polls, thanks in part to seven legit Div. I players. Ruslan Pateev has signed with Arizona State, Robert Chubb with Auburn and James Bell with Villanova. Meanwhile, Boyd Anderson fell five points short of a 6A state title last season and is ready to take that next step. This is a great match up of Public vs. Private schools and should turn out to be one of the best games of the year.
Jan. 9, Scott County Cardinals (KY) vs. Mason County Royals (KY): Two top teams in Kentucky square off in a matchup of storied programs. Mason County heads into the contest as the defending state champs and look to make another run at a title. Scott County bowed out early in the playoffs but returns a deep team that can make make it deep into the playoffs. Scott County get an early season test to see how good they are in the heralded Hoop Fest at Mashall County High. This game might be an early preview of the state championship
Jan. 15, South Atlanta Hornets (GA) vs. Leflore Rattlers (AL): The best from Atlanta takes on the best from Alabama. Each team arguably features the best crop of players in their respective state. Derrick Favors vs. DeMarcus Cousins will be one of the best showdowns this season. South Atlanta was bounced out in the first round of the playoffs last season and Leflore looks to get back to the title game after winning it in ’06.
to N.C. State next fall. Brown is a playmaker out on the court and possesses great vision. Veritas Academy is another North Carolina private school power. Sasha Borovnjak is a versatile forward and he can score both inside and out. The senior is considering N.C. State, Xavier and Cincinnati. This game is going to be an out of state classic.
Jan. 20 Gonzaga Eagles (DC) vs. DeMatha Stags (DC): The eyes of the WCAC will pay close attention to this game. DC’s top two teams play twice during the season with this being the first. This game will give good indication as to who is the frontrunner for the best squad in the city. DeMatha shooting guard Naji Hibbert is potent from the outside and is going to Texas A&M. These teams split the season series last year and look for this season to feature more of the same intensity.
widely regarded as one of the state's best players. Only a sophomore, Rivers has already committed to Florida and is a preseason all-state selection. Olympia is a deep team that has four Div. I signees in the starting five. Olympia came up short in the playoffs after losing in the district semifinals and is poised to make a run this time around. This game in January could be a preview of the 6A state title game.
Feb. 14, Oak Hill Warriors (VA) vs. St. Patrick Celtics (NJ): Oak Hill has been a dominant force in high school basketball for a long time. The Warriors are known for producing NBA talent and winning national titles. Oak Hill also does not shy away from top teams around the nation. This year's schedule includes Veritas Christian (NC), South Atlanta (GA) and Christ School (NC), but it’s this game against St. Patrick’s that is the one to keep your eye on. St. Patrick’s is a traditional national power as well and fell to Oak Hill last season, 63-55. Celtics shooting guard Dexter Strickland is a North Carolina commit who has the ability to penetrate or shoot from the outside. Our preseason No. 3 and No. 6 teams showcase their talent this February.
To contact correspondent Ryan Rohde, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org