Bishop Montgomery, Sierra Canyon, Mater Dei usher in 2016-17 HoopsByUgland Top 25

November 21, 2016

Mid-to-late November, for many, signals the beginning of the holiday season. Some dread it; others embrace it.

There are those who have to force themselves to spend time with their annoying inlaws and dysfunctional extended family members to pretend to enjoy the dry turkey and sour cranberry sauce whipped together by grandma, whose taste buds left along with her eyesight some 15 years ago.

For others, like myself, mid-to-late November signals the beginning of what’s actually the most wonderful time of the year: High school basketball season.

The hoops scene in Southern California is as interesting and unpredictable as ever.

Can Chino Hills match its historic season from a year ago? Spoiler: No, but the Huskies are still really good.

How difficult will it be to beat Bishop Montgomery? The Knights return five starters and, all of who are Division I caliber players.

How the hell can you beat Sierra Canyon? It’s crazy to imagine what a team with Marvin Bagley III, Cody Riley, Remy Martin, Adam Seiko will look like come January once all the personalities and talents have had the opportunity to mesh.

Can Santa Margarita finally get one over on Mater Dei in the Trinity League? Both are deep and talented.

All of those questions, and many, many more, will be answered shortly, but in the meantime, HoopsByUgland has provided you with a comprehensive SoCal Top 25 ranking and preview to ease the holiday blues.

1. Bishop Montgomery (Torrance)



Coach: Doug Mitchell



2015-16 Record: 28-3, 8-0 Del Rey League (1st)



2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Sierra Canyon, 78-69, in CIF-SS Open Division semifinals; lost to Chino Hills, 84-62, in CIF State Open Division Southern Regional Final



 

Key Returning Players: G Ethan Thompson (6-4, 185, Sr.); G/F Jordan Schakel (6-6, 180, Sr.); G David Singleton (6-4, 190, Jr.); F Fletcher Tynen (6-5, 185, Jr.); G Gianni Hunt (6-1, 165, So.) G Josh Vazquez (6-0, 160, So.); G Jalen Washington (6-0, 165, So.)




Key Newcomers: Cyrus Johnson (6-4, 175, Jr.)



 

Outlook: The talent, experience and cohesiveness of Ethan Thompson, Jordan Schakel, David Singleton, Gianni Hunt and Fletcher Tynen gives the Knights the slight edge over Sierra Canyon as preseason No. 1.

2. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth)



Coach: Ty Nichols



 

2015-16 Record: 26-5, 10-0 Gold Coast League (1st)

 



2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Chino Hills, 105-83, in CIF-SS Open Division Final; lost to San Diego Cathedral Catholic, 83-80, in CIF State Open Division Southern Region first round



 

Key Returning Players: G Remy Martin (6-0, 170, Sr.); F Cody Riley (6-8, 220, Sr.); G Adam Seiko (6-3, 195, Sr.); G Terrance McBride (6-3, 175, Sr.); G Michael Feinberg (6-4, 175, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: Marvin Bagley III (6-10, 220, Jr.); Marcus Bagley (6-5, 185, Fr.)



Outlook: Coach Ty Nichols returns a solid core led by Remy Martin, Cody Riley and Adam Seiko and adds top-ranked junior Marvin and highly regarded freshman Marcus Bagley to an already explosive mix.

3. Mater Dei (Santa Ana)



Coach: Gary McKnight



2015-16 Record: 27-5, 10-0 Trinity League (1st)



2015-16 Playoff Result: Lost in CIF-SS Open Division semifinal to Chino Hills, 102-54; Lost to Foothills Christian, 50-46, in CIF State Open Division first round



Key Returning Players: PG Spencer Freedman (6-0, 160, Jr.); SF Justice Sueing (6-6, 205, Sr.); SF Harrison Butler (6-5, 205, Jr.); PF Miles Brookins (6-8, 205, Sr.); F Michael Wang (6-9, 215, Jr.); F Matthew Weyand (6-5, 200, Sr.); F Reagan Lundeen (6-5, 190, Jr.)



Key Newcomers: G Aidan Prukop (6-3, 155, Fr.)



Outlook: The Monarchs might not have the big, superstar name, but they are balanced, experienced, well-coached and can go three-deep into their bench with no drop-off of ability.


4. Chino Hills



Coach: Stephan Gilling



2015-16 Record: 35-0, 10-0 Baseline League (1st)



2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated Sierra Canyon, 105-83, in CIF-SS Open Division final; Defeated De La Salle, 70-50, in CIF State Open Division final



 

Key Returning Players: G LiAngelo Ball (6-5, 220, Sr.); F Elizjah Scott (6-4, 210, Sr.); G LaMelo Ball (6-1, 155, So.); Onyeka Okongwu (6-8, 215, So.); F Andre Ball (6-7, 185, Jr.)



 

Key Newcomers: G Ofure Ujadughele (6-4, 185, Jr.); F Daijon Davis (6-5, 175, Jr.); G Phaquon Davis (5-9, 155, So.)



 

Outlook: The Huskies lost the best basketball player at the high school level, Lonzo Ball, but younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo and sophomore forward Onyeka Okongwu will keep Chino Hills in Open Division title contention.
     
5. Fairfax (Los Angeles)



 

Coach: Steve Baik



 

2015-16 Record: 30-5, 11-1 Western League (1st)



 

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Narbonne, 51-40, in CIF L.A. City Section Open Division semifinals; lost to Eastvale Roosevelt, 56-55 (2OT), in CIF State Division I Southern Regional first round



 

Key Returning Players: G Jamal Hartwell (5-10, 165, Jr.); G Ethan Anderson (6-0, 180, So.); G Robert McRae (6-3, 180, So.)



 

Key Newcomers: F Kirkland Smith (6-7, 185, Jr.)



 

Outlook: Ethan Anderson, Jamal Hartwell and Robert McRae headline a solid trio of returners for new coach Steve Baik. The addition of walking double-double and all-out energy guy Kirk Smith helps ease the loss of Donald Gipson.



6. Crespi (Encino)



 

Coach: Russell White



 

2015-16 Record: 33-4, 10-2 Mission League (2nd)



 

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Damien, 65-61, in CIF-SS Open Division first round; defeated Redondo Union, 89-71, in CIF-SS Open Division consolation bracket championship; defeated Berkeley, 68-53, in CIF State Division I championship

 



Key Returning Players: G Brandon Williams (6-3, 170, Jr.); G Taj Regans (5-9, 150, Jr.); G Kyle Owens (6-4, 170, So.); G Billy Oxley (5-11, 165, Sr.); F Anthony Booker (6-3, 210, Sr.); C Jack Houghton (6-6, 180, Jr.); G Isaiah Perrantes (5-10, 170, Jr.)



 

Key Newcomers: F Rob Hunter (6-3, 203, Sr.)



 

Outlook: Blue-chip recruit Brandon Williams is one of the most talented scoring guards in the state, but has been nursing an ankle injury since the summer. Taj Regans, Kyle Owens and Billy Oxley are all capable of picking up any slack for the Celts. 



7. Corona Centennial



 

Coach: Josh Giles



 

2015-16 Record: 23-9, 9-1 Big VIII League (1st)



 

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Mater Dei, 61-46, in CIF-SS Open Division quarterfinals; lost to San Diego St. Augustine, 60-59, in CIF State Southern Region Division I first round



 

Key Returning Players: F Jalen Hill (6-9, 220, Sr.); G/F Gio Nelson (6-3, 185, Sr.); G Isom Butler (6-1, 170, Sr.); G Paul Viela (5-10, 165, Sr.)

 



Key Newcomers: F Jaylen Clark (6-3, 175, Fr.); Legend Stamps (6-7, 190, So.)



 

Outlook: The Huskies return four players who saw minutes as starters in Hill, Nelson, Viela and Butler. Sophomore Legend Stamps will stretch the floor nicely and freshman Jaylen Clark is one of the top rookies in the Southland. 



8. Santa Margarita

 



Coach: Jeff Reinert 



 

2015-16 Record: 18-12, 6-4 Trinity League (3rd)

 



2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Chino Hills, 100-66, in CIF-SS Open Division first round; lost to Los Alamitos, 64-59, in CIF State Southern Region Division II second round



 

Key Returning Players: F Adrease Jackson (6-8, 215, Sr.); G Kaden Rasheed (6-1, 175, Sr.); F Jordan Guest (6-7, 220, Jr.); F Jake Kyman (6-7, 185, So.); F Max Agbonkpolo (6-6, 170, So.); C Johnny Wang (6-8, 235, Sr.)

 



Key Newcomers: G Pearson Parker (6-0, 170, Sr.); Ryan Evans (6-2, 175, Fr.)



 

Outlook: The Eagles are deep, experienced and talented across the board. They filled their most dire need, point guard, with Servite transfer Pearson Parker and added a solid freshman, Ryan Evans, who provides depth in the back court.



9. Alemany (Mission Hills)



 

Coach: Tray Meeks

 



2015-16 Record: 24-9, 11-1 Mission League (1st)



 

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Inglewood, 76-74, in CIF-SS Open Division first round; lost to Narbonne, 72-70, in CIF State Southern Region Division I second round



 

Key Returning Players: G Brandon Davis (6-1, 190, Sr.); G Ernie Sears (6-4, 175, Sr.); G D.J. McDonald (5-11, 165, Jr.)



 

Key Newcomers: C Fred Odhiambo (6-11, 210, Jr.); F K.J. Warren (6-5, 245, Sr.); G Noah Laurie (5-9, 160, Fr.); G Brandon Whitney (5-10, 170, Fr.)



 

Outlook: Brandon Davis, Ernie Sears and D.J. McDonald return to try and return to the top of the Mission League. The additions of Fred Odhiambo and K.J. Warren were much needed to shore up the interior.



10. Long Beach Poly

Coach: Shelton Diggs

2015-16 Record: 24-11, 10-2 Moore League (1st)



2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to J.W. North, 61-58, in CIF-SS Division 1AA Championship; lost to San Mateo Serra, 48-43, in CIF State Division II Championship.

Key Returning Players: F Zafir Williams (6-6, 200, Sr.); G Darryl Polk, Jr. (5-7, 135, Jr.); F John Duff (6-9, 190, Sr.); C Myles Johnson (6-9, 245, Sr.); G Jeremiah Sadler (6-1, 185, Sr.); G Kyle Thurmond (5-10, 170, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Justin Rene (6-0, 150, So.); G Jonathan Hill (5-8, 150, So.)

Outlook: The Jackrabbits return four starters, including a healthy Myles Johnson to a squad that reached the Division II State Finals a season ago.

11. Santa Monica



 

Coach: James Hecht



 

2015-16 Record: 30-3, 10-0 Ocean League (1st)



 

2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated Temecula Valley, 66-60, in CIF-SS Division 1A championship; lost to Washington Prep, 64-60, in CIF State Southern Region Division II first round



 

Key Returning Players: G Rip Economou (6-6, 175, Jr.); F Daniel Schreier (6-7, 220, Sr.); G Cameron Boyd (6-2, 165, Jr.); G Rod Henley II (5-9, 150, Sr.)

 



Key Newcomers: G/F Desean Allen-Eikens (6-5, 215, Jr.); G/F Payton Moore (6-4, 180, Jr.)

 



Outlook: The Vikings are looking to mesh a host of returners, led by Rip Economu and Daniel Schreier, and two talented transfers in Desean Allen-Eikens and Payton Moore.

12. Foothills Christian (El Cajon)


Coach: Brad Leaf

2015-16 Record: 25-5, 12-0 Coastal League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated Cathedral Catholic, 80-63, in CIF-SDS Open Division Championship; lost to Chino Hills, 82-62, in CIF State Open Division Southern Regional semifinals



Key Returning Players: G Jordan Van Ommering (6-4, 180, Sr.); F Kale Baldado (6-5, 180, Sr.); G Jaren Nafarette (5-7, 130, So.); F T.J. Lowery (6-6, 180, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: G Jaylen Hands (6-3, 175, Sr.); G/F Kaleb Lowery (6-4, 175, Fr.)

Outlook: The Knights reloaded by way of UCLA-bound point guard Jaylen Hands via transfer. Hands has plenty of options to dish to, including sharpshooter Jordan Van Ommering and athletic wing Kale Baldado.

13. Eastvale Roosevelt

Coach: Stephen Singleton

2015-16 Record: 23-9, 9-1 Big VIII League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Redondo Union, 56-54, in CIF-SS Open Division first round; lost to San Diego St. Augustine, 54-52, in CIF State Southern Region Division I second round.

Key Returning Players: G Jemarl Baker (6-3, 170, Sr.); F Matt Mitchell (6-5, 215, Sr.); G Xavier Preston (6-1, 160, Sr.); G/F Brennon Wade (6-3, 175, Jr.); F David Agba (6-4, 180, Jr.)



Key Newcomers: F Jarred Williams (6-5, 185, Jr.); G Trey Boyd (6-0, 165, Jr.)

Outlook: Cal Berkely-bound guard Jemarl Baker is one of the best shooters in the state and Cal State Fullerton-bound forward Matt Mitchell is as versatile as they come.

14. Birmingham (Lake Balboa)

Coach: Nicholas Halic

2015-16 Record: 22-10, 7-3 West Valley League (2nd)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Narbonne, 76-69, in CIF-LACS Open Division first round; lost to Redondo Union, 84-72, in CIF State Southern Region Division I second round

Key Returning Players: G/F Devante Doutrive (6-5, 185. Sr.); G Deschon Winston (6-3, 180 Sr.); G/F Devonaire Doutrive (6-5, 170, Jr.); F Josh Abrams (6-6, 170, Sr.); F Mark Boland (6-5, 180, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Tyjae Medley (5-8, 155, So.)

Outlook: Devante Doutrive, Deschon Winston and Devonaire Doutrive form an explosive trio and one of the top teams in the City Section.

15. Oak Park

Coach: Aaron Shaw

2015-16 Record: 28-7, 8-0 Coastal Canyon League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated Bonita, 68-49, in CIF-SS Division 3AA Championship; lost to Ayala, 62-59, in CIF State Southern Region Division III semifinals

Key Returning Players: F Riley Battin (6-9, 215, Jr.); G Wes Slajchert (6-4, 175, Jr.); C Ezekiel Richards (6-10, 245, Jr.); G Itay Dvir (6-4, 175, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: G Clark Slajchert (5-11, 155, Fr.)

Outlook: Riley Battin, Wes Slajchert and Ezekiel Richards lead yet another talented Eagles squad. Oak Park is another team to add a talented freshman in Clark Slajchert.

16. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego)

Coach: Will Cunningham

2015-16 Record: 21-7, 11-1 Western League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Foothills Christian, 80-63, in CIF-SDS Open Division Championship; lost to Bishop Montgomery, 72-56, in CIF State Open Division second round

Key Returning Players: C Brandon McCoy (6-11, 245, Sr.); G Christian Moore (6-2, 175, Sr.); G/F Dallas Cunningham (6-5, 185, Sr.); G Zach Green (6-3, 180, Sr.); G Je’Von Figaro (6-2, 165, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: None

Outlook: Brandon McCoy does as he pleases when he stays in the painted area and is surrounded by athletic guards and good shooters.

17. Westchester (Los Angeles)

Coach: Ed Azzam

2015-16 Record: 26-7, 11-1 Western League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated Narbonne, 51-42, in CIF-LACS Open Division Championship; lost to Bishop Montgomery, 72-58, in CIF State Southern Region Open Division first round

Key Returning Players: G Luis Rodriguez (6-4, 180, Sr.); G Jordan Brinson (6-2, 165, So.); G Virshawn Green (6-1, 165, Sr.); G Chris Simmons (5-10, 160, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G/F Harold Moore (6-4, 185, Sr.)

Outlook: The Comets are without a headliner again this season, but Luis Rodriguez and Harold Moore are poised to take their games to the next level.

18. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City)

Coach: David Rebibo

2015-16 Record: 27-8, 7-5 Mission League (3rd)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 56-54, in CIF-SS Division 4AA semifinals; Defeated Salinas Palma, 66-49, in CIF State Division IV Championship

Key Returning Players: G Cassius Stanley (6-5, 180, So.); G L Simpson (6-1, 175, So.); G Carter Begel (5-11, 170, Sr.); G Neil Iken (6-0, 160, Jr.); G Ali Iken (5-11, 160, Sr.); F Aaron Glazer (6-4, 180, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Johnny Juzang (6-6, 180, Fr.); F Mason Hooks (6-9, 215, Fr.); G/F Terren Frank (6-5, 180, Fr.)

Outlook: The Wolverines are super young, but extremely talented. Cassius Stanley is the most explosive athlete in SoCal and freshman Johnny Juzang is one of the best 2020 prospects in the state.

19. St. Augustine (San Diego)

2015-16 Record: 24-8, 10-2 Western League (2nd)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Cathedral Catholic, 55-43, in CIF-SDS Open Division semifinals; lost Crespi, 68-55, in CIF State Southern Region Division I semifinals

Key Returning Players: F Taeshon Cherry (6-8, 205, Jr.); F Josue Lara (6-5, 185, Sr.); G Otto Taylor (6-1, 155, Sr.); G Jack Peterson (6-1, 160, Sr.); J.T. Cox (6-4, 180, Sr.); G Tariq Thompson (6-0, 155, Sr.); G Isaac Hall (6-2, 165, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: F Chibuzo Agbo (6-6, 180, Fr.); G Seth Hayes (6-4, 175, So.)

Outlook: The Saints will go as Taeshon Cherry takes them. He has a good supporting cast with Lara, Taylor, Peterson. St. Augustine also landed a host of very good freshmen looking to cut their teeth on the varsity level.

20. Redondo Union

Coach: Vic Martin

2015-16 Record: 28-7, 9-1 Bay League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Sierra Canyon, 74-70, in CIF-SS Open Division second round; lost to Crespi, 66-63 (OT), in CIF State Division I Southern Regional Final

Key Returning Players: G Ryse Williams (6-3, 190, Sr.); C Quinn Collins (6-8, 180, Jr.); G Jalien Moore (6-1, 150, Sr.); F Isaiah Tyler (6-3, 175, Sr.); G Tyler Murrell (6-1, 160, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Zekiah Lovett (6-1, 165, Jr.); G Jace Bass (6-1, 165, Sr.); F Brandon Dickinson (6-6, 235, So.)

Outlook: The much-improved Ryse Williams, Jailen Moore and Quinn Collins will guide Redondo under new coach Vic Martin.

21. St. John Bosco (Bellflower)

Coach: Matt Dunn

2015-16 Record: 21-10, 3-7 Trinity League (4th)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to J.W. North, 78-51, in CIF-SS Division 1AA semifinals

Key Returning Players: G J.J. Watson (6-3, 175, Sr.); G Makani Whiteside (6-3, 185, So.); F Tarrean Brown (6-4, 220, Sr.); G/F Alpha Okoli (6-4, 185, Jr.); F JoJo Bush (6-6, 225, Jr.); G/F Nick Ainsworth (6-3, 185, So.)

Key Newcomers: G Joshua Adoh (6-3, 185, So.); F Quinton Adams (6-3, 175, Sr.)

Outlook: The Braves are experienced and skilled. Coach Matt Dunn has four returning starters at his disposal.

22. Lynwood

Coach: Gary Lenoir

2015-16 Record: 23-9, 9-1 San Gabriel Valley League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Santa Barbara, 75-65, in CIF-SS Division 2A Championship; lost to Bernstein, 86-75, in CIF State Southern Region Division Division III first round

Key Returning Players: G Jamal Bogan (6-3, 204, Sr.); G Oscar Lopez (6-3, 210, So.); G Keith Carlton (6-0, 160, Jr.); G Denzel Williams (6-0, 195, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Noel Scott (6-2, 175, Jr.)

Outlook: Lynwood has three starters back - Jamal Bogan, Oscar Lopez and Keith Carlton - from its Division 2A finalist squad.
 
23. Damien (La Verne)

Coach: Mike LeDuc

2015-16 Record: 25-6, 8-2 Baseline League (2nd)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Bishop Montgomery, 58-56 (OT), in CIF-SS Open Division quarterfinals; Lost to Lake Balboa Birmingham, 81-78, in CIF State Southern Region Division I first round

Key Returning Players: G Elijah McCullough (6-1, 165, Jr.); G Ezekiel Alley (5-11, 165, Sr.); F Justin Hemsley (6-5, 180, Sr.)

Key Newcomers: G Cameron Shelton (6-2, 180 Jr.); G/F Austin Cook (6-4, 180, Fr.)

Outlook: The addition of Cameron Shelton to a back court with Elijah McCullough and Ezekiel Alley gives the Spartans a top 25 nod.

24. Etiwanda

Coach: Dave Kleckner

2015-16 Record: 20-10, 6-4 Baseline League (3rd)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Lost to Rancho Verde, 57-40, in CIF-SS Division 1AA quarterfinals

Key Returning Players: G Miles Oliver (6-1, 175, Sr.); F Kessler Edwards (6-5, 170, Jr.); G Elijah Harkless (6-3, 175, Jr.); G Krystian Wilson (6-2, 180. Jr.); G Bryce English (6-2, 170, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: F Isaiah Beal (6-3, 150, Jr.); C Jordan Simpson (6-5, 185, Sr.)

Outlook: You can always count on a Dave Kleckner coached team to have a litany of talented guards who defend.

25. Rancho Christian (Temecula)

Coach: Ray Barefield

2015-16 Record: 23-12, 10-0 South Valley League (1st)

2015-16 Playoff Results: Defeated St. Bernard, 73-57, in CIF-SS Division 5A Championship; Lost to St. Bernard, 67-61, in CIF State Division V Southern Regional Championship.

Key Returning Players: F Isaiah Mobley (6-8, 210, So.); F Solomon Davis (6-7, 200, So.); Yousef Johnson (6-7, 205, Jr.); K.J. Redfield (6-2, 180, Jr.)

Key Newcomers: G Jordan Montgomery (6-0, 165, Fr.); F Evan Mobley (6-8, 170, Fr.); G Stephen Park (6-0, 170, Jr.); G Isaiah Knox (6-3, 175, Sr.)

Outlook: Isaiah Mobley and Solomon Davis are two of the more talented front court players in SoCal. Freshmen Evan Mobley and Jordan Montgomery will contribute right away.

Others considered: Heritage Christian, Cantwell-Sacred Heart, JSerra, Lynwood, Esperanza, Edison, Orange Lutheran, Narbonne, Village Christian

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