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HS Programs on the Rise in 2020-21

By Samad Hines, 04/18/20, 6:45PM EDT

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We are only in the month of April and the 2020-2021 high school season will not begin for another few months around September, October. Here we take a look at an early preview on some programs who did not finish the 2019-2020 high school in the top-25 nationally but could receive some national attention as their season goes along next year. Again, we are only in the month of April, which means a lot of changes could be made to these rosters in the next few months. 

Milton (GA) Last Season Record: 26-5

The Milton Eagles should be one of the top teams to keep an eye on next season for the 2020-2021 high school basketball year. The Eagles finished the 2019-2020 high school with a 26-5 overall record and made it all the way to the Georgia class 7A semifinal's matchup before losing to eventual champions Wheeler (GA). Top prospect 2022 PG Bruce Thornton Jr. will headline next season's Milton squad alongside 2023 PG Kanann Carlyle. Milton return's a bunch of their scoring from last year's team and has already been booked for top national events next season like the famous City of Palms Classic and Beach Ball Classic. 

Oak Ridge (FL) Last Season Record: 21-9

Oak Ridge, out of Orlando, Florida, has always been one of the most consistent programs in the state over the last few years ran by their head coach Steven Reece. The Pioneers have always played a national schedule and should certainly do the same next season as they return most of their roster from last season's squad who reached the Florida class 7A final four and losing in overtime to Mirmar (FL). One of the nations top sleepers, 2021 F Michael James, will headline next season's Oak Ridge squad and 2021 PG Jalen Smith is expected to return as well, their starting point guard from last year.

Coronado (NV) Last Season Record: 20-9

The Cougars of Coronado have been on the national stage over the last few years and should be back on the national stage for the 2020-2021 high school season. The Cougars are headlined by one the nation's top prospects in 2021 SG Jaden Hardy. Coronado finished their 2019-2020 high school season with a 20-9 overall record and reaching the Desert Region semifinals. 2022 F Jaxon Kohler will also return to the roster for the Cougars next season. They have already been offered to attened multiple national events for this upcoming season. 

Eastside Catholic (WA) Last Season Record: 25-4

Eastside Catholic caught some national attention last season after defeating powerhouse Bishop Gorman (NV) during the Les Schwab Invitational in Portland, Oregon. The Crusaders could receive the same attention early during the 2020-2021 high school season as they return half of their roster from their 25-4 squad. Their roster for the upcoming season will be headlined by 2021 PG Shane Powell, one of the best prospects in the country. Eastside Catholic should once again be one of the best teams out West. 

Legacy Charter (SC) Last Season Record: 23-8

Legacy Charter, out of Greenville, South Carolina, has always been one of the state's most consistent basketball programs. The Lions played a national schedule during the 2019-2020 high school season and finished with a nice 23-8 overall record. Legacy Charter should be back flirting with the national top-25 next season for sure with the return of 2021 PG Jacobi Wright and 2021 W Isaiah Cornish. The Lions have also added Florida State commit 2021 SG Bryce McGowens, who should add scoring power to the roster. 

Cannon School (NC) Last Season Record: 26-7

Highly ranked 2022 PG Jaden Bradley will headline next season's 2020-2021 Cannon School roster once again. 2022 F D.J. Nix should also play a big role once again next season for the Cougars. Cannon School caputred the 2019-2020 NCISAA class 4A state title and could be the favorites for next season's title. The Cougars could certainly make their way into the national rankings someway somehow and should play another national schedule next season against some top tier talent across the nation. 

O'Dea (WA) Last Season Record: 23-6

One of the nation's top prospects resides at O’Dea High School in Seattle, Washington and that kid is 2021 F Paolo Banchero. The Irish finished their 2019-2020 high school season with a 23-6 overall record and reaching the Washington class 3A championship game where they took a lost to Garfield (WA). O'Dea could definitely begin the 2020-2021 high school season in the national top-25 as they return their entire starting lineup plus a couple more key pieces from their 2019-2020 roster.

Archbishop Wood (PA) Last Season Record: 22-4

The reigning Philadelphia Catholic League's most valuable player, 2021 PG Rahsool Diggins, will headline next season's Archbishop Wood (PA) squad once again and will have the help he needs on the roster. Other prospects like 2021 PG Jaylen Stinson and 2021 SG Daeshon Shepherd will play big rolees next season as well for the Vikings. Archbishop Wood's season was cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak but should make noise nationally playing another national schedule. They are already expected to play in the Beach Ball Classic and famous Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Pace Academy (GA) Last Season Record: 28-4

Famous head coach Sharman White captured the school's first state championship title in Georgia's 3A class since 2018. The Knights are headlined by one of the nations top prospect in 2021 F Matthew Cleveland. Pace Academy finished the season with only four loses last year and will be returning most of their roster from the 2019-2020 high school season, including key pieces like 2021 F Cole Middleton and 2021 PG Madison Durr. Not only will the Knights be one of the best teams in the state of Georgia, but also could make some national noise next season as they are already scheduled to attend multiple national events. 

John Marshall (VA) Last Season Record: 24-2

John Marshall, out of Richmond, Virginia, has been one of Virginia's most consisent basketball programs over the last few years, winning two state titles in the last four years. The defending Virginia class 2A state champions should be back on the national radar next season as they return almost all of their roster from a year ago headlined by the man down low 2021 C Roosevelt Wheeler. The Justices only two loses last season came from out of state opponents McEachern (GA) and Sierra Canyon (CA). Expect this group to play another national schedule and defend their 2A title.

Gill St. Bernard's (NJ) Last Season Record: 20-8

Gill St. Bernard's finished their 2019-2020 high school season with a 20-8 overall record and reaching the NJSIAA Non-Public B championship where they lost to Roselle Catholic (NJ). The Knights have been one of the states most consistent basketball programs for a few years now and should be one of the top teams in the state for the 2020-2021 high school season. Although they lose leading scorer Zach Martini, they will return 2022 PG Denver Anglin and 2023 W Mackenzie Mgbako, who should headline next year's roster. 

Ypsilanti Lincoln (MI) Last Season Record: 19-3

One of the nation's best prospects regardless of class, 2022 F Emoni Bates, is expected to return to Ypsilanti Lincoln High School for his junior season. Bates has captured the last two Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year awards and was named the National Gatorade Player of the Year recently, becoming the first ever sophomore to do so. He will headline next season's roster alongside 2021 PG Simon Wheeler. The Railsplitter's should receive some national recoginition next season, and with a name like Emoni Bates, they should play a national type schedule. 

Windward (CA) Last Season Record: 28-8

The Wildcats finished their 2019-2020 high school season last year with a 28-8 overall record reaching the CIF Division 1 State Regional semifinals and losing by one to Ribet Academy (CA). Windward should be one of the best teams in California over the next couple years and should also receive that national attention. Their top guys, 2022 F Kijani Wright and 2022 PG Dylan Andrews, should headline their roster over the next two seasons. The Wildcats return most of their core from last season's squad and will be on the national stage for sure for the 2020-2021 high school season. 

Other Programs Include:

Teays Valley Christian (WV)
Callaway (MS)
Briarcrest Christian (TN) 
Lausanne Collegiate (TN)
Rutgers Prep (NJ)
Gonzaga (DC)
Wheeler (GA)

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