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2021 GEICO Nationals: Predicting the Field

By Samad Hines, 02/11/21, 11:30AM EST


The 2020-2021 high school season is nearly coming to an end with most of the top tier programs around the country and the question has been asked recently in the high school hoops world is that will there be a GEICO Nationals tournament this season? Last season's GEICO Nationals tournament was set to take place in New York, like every year, then moved to Dorman, South Carolina before officially cancelling due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of right now, there is not a yes or no answer to whether or not we will see a GEICO National's tournament this season. Depending on the COVID-19 situations, there could possibly be a GEICO Nationals at the end of the season. In the meantime, I predict on what could be the possible field if there were to be a tournament and which programs are eligible this season. Take a look below. 


AZ Compass Prep (AZ) (21-1)

Quality Wins: West Oaks Academy (FL), Dream City Christian (AZ), Prolific Prep (CA), Our Saviour Lutheran (NY), Central Pointe (FL), Dorman (SC), Ridge View (SC), iSchool Lewisville (TX), Oak Hill Academy (VA), and Sunrise Christian (KS)

AZ Compass Prep, located right outside of Phoenix, Arizona in Chandler, has made major noise this 2020-2021 high school season and currently rank as the number one team in the nation with a 21-1 overall record. The Dragons feature highly rated Creighton commit 2021 PG TyTy Washington, who is averaging 21.5 PPG, 5.9 APG, 6.2 RPG, and 2.8 SPG up to this point. AZ Compass Prep is apart of the Grind Session league that feature some of the best talent across the country. Could Compass make their first ever GEICO National appearance this season if there were to be one? The only other Grind Session program to appear in the loaded GEICO field was Prolific Prep (CA) last season. This year's AZ Compass team holds multiple quality wins and an elite resume with their only lost coming to Montverde Academy (FL) in overtime. The Dragons need to continue to win games and certainly hope they can represent the state of Arizona in the GEICO Nationals.

Sunrise Christian (KS) (16-2)

Quality Wins: Lake Norman Christian (NC), Legacy Early College (SC) (2x), Premiere Academy (TX), Legacy SSS (TX), Wasatch Academy (UT) (2x), La Lumiere (IN) (2x), Paul VI (VA), IMG Academy (FL), Oak Hill Academy (VA), and Calvary Christian (FL)

Sunrise Christian should make the automatic field no matter what happens from here on out. Head Coach Luke Barnwell and his staff will be making their third straight GEICO Nationals appearance if we potentially have a tournament at the end of the season. It has been a crazy up and down year but Sunrise has secured them several quality wins including an ending to Montverde Academy's 44-game winning streak on their home floor last weekend. Games against Montverde and AZ Compass Prep are the only two loses this year's team has taken and both games were by single digits. The Buffaloes have been led by their senior trio of Tennessee commit 2021 PG Kennedy Chandler, Kansas commit 2021 F Zach Clemence, and Baylor commit 2021 F Kendall Brown. Sunrise has been apart of the new NIBC league that took place for this season and could add more quality wins to their resume over the next month or so. If the GEICO Nationals began today Sunrise Christian will currently be the 2-seed. 

Montverde Academy (FL) (20-1) 

Quality Wins: Calvary Christian (FL) (2x), Dr. Phillips (FL), Windermere (FL), St. Andrew's (FL), Windermere Prep (FL), iSchool of Lewisville (TX), Bishop Walsh (MD), Sunrise Christian (KS), Legacy Early College (SC), Oak Hill Academy (VA) (2x), Wasatch Academy (UT) (2x), IMG Academy (FL), and AZ Compass Prep (AZ)

Montverde Academy is arguably the number one team in some polls and they have a great argument looking at their quality wins so far from this 2020-2021 high school season. The Eagles recent winning streak (44 games) came to a brutal end last weekend as they fell to Sunrise Christian (KS) in overtime at the NIBC Montverde Invitational. A new winning streak could take place as the Eagles are 45-1 overall over their last two seasons. Last year's Montverde Academy team was the clear favorite on winning the 2020 GEICO Nationals title if it were to happen after going an impressive 25-0. This year's squad could also be the favorites as well. The way this year's team defends is amazing and extremely disciplined. Their roster might not have the same type of all around future NBA skill as last season but they will for sure make a run for this year's GIECO Nationals title, if it were to happen. It is without question that Montverde Academy secures an automatic bid to the tournament. 

IMG Academy (FL) (20-2)

Quality Wins: Booker (FL), Lee (FL), Winston-Salem Christian (NC), Word of God Christian (NC), Calvary Christian (FL), Canterbury (FL), Tampa Catholic (FL), Riverview (FL), Naples (FL), Victory Christian (NC), Houston (TN), Oldsmar Christian (FL), Charlotte (FL), Central Pointe (FL), Knoxville Catholic (TN), and Minnehaha Academy (MN)

The last time we had a GEICO Nationals tournament, IMG Academy eventually took home the championship back during the 2018-2019 high school season. The Ascenders are the defending champions and should make their way into the tournament field this season, if we were to have a GEICO Nationals. This year's squad plays extremely well together and one of the best overall defensive teams in the country. Their roster feature top prospects like Michigan commit 2021 F Moussa Diabate, Texas commit 2021 G Tamar Bates, 2022 PG Jaden Bradley, 2022 F Jarace Walker, and more. Looking at their resume, IMG might have an argument as having the best total quality wins so far this 2020-2021 high school season. If the tournament were to happen today, the Ascenders will go in as a fourth seed. They luckily squeezed in last year's GEICO Nationals field after Grayson (GA) took a lost in their Georgia class 7A state title game. I will not be surprised whatsoever if this IMG Academy squad were to make it to this year's GEICO Nationals championship game. 

Wasatch Academy (UT) (18-6) 

Quality Wins: Grayson (GA), Pebblebrook (GA), Lone Peak (UT), American Fork (UT), Layton Christian (UT), Dixie (UT), Timpview (UT), ISA (OH), Elevation Prep (IN), La Lumiere (IN) (2x), Bishop Walsh (MD), Legacy Early College (SC), and Oak Hill Academy (VA) (2x) 

If we were to have a GEICO Nationals tournament at the end of this season, Wasatch Academy, out of Utah, should make their 4th appearance in the loaded tournament field. The Tigers have quietly had an excellent season this year under new head coach Paul Peterson. They currently hold a 18-6 overall record with a few quality wins over Grayson (GA), Pebblebrook (GA), Oak Hill Academy (VA), Lone Peak (UT), and others. Wasatch has been led by their backcourt of Kentucky commit 2021 PG Nolan Hickman and 2022 PG Richard "Pop Pop" Isaacs Jr. this season and their recent addition, Ohio State commit 2022 G Roddy Gayle Jr., has been amazing since his transfer. In past seasons, Wasatch Academy has held their own in the GEICO Nationals tournament, taking Oak Hill Academy (VA) down to the wire back in 2019 in their last appearance. This season's team has been ranked in the top-10 nationally all season long and will most likely go into this season's tournament at a 5th or 6th seed. 

Oak Hill Academy (VA) (14-6)

Quality Wins: Minnesota Prep (MN), Lake Norman Christian (NC), Legacy Early College (SC), Wasatch Academy (UT), Bishop Walsh (MD), La Lumiere (IN) (2x), and iSchool of Lewisville (TX)

Powerhouse Oak Hill Academy has made eleven GEICO National appearances and winning one back in 2016. This season's Oak Hill Academy's team is not filled with "star" power as past season that we are used too but they will compete on both ends of the floor. This year's squad is a young but extremely talented overall as they currently hold a 14-6 record up to this point in the 2020-2021 high school season. 2022 SG M.J. Rice has been the leading scorer for the Warriors this season averaging 18.9 PPG. Other key prospects on the roster this season for head coach Steve Smith and staff have been 2021 PG Camryn Carter (12.8 PPG), 2023 PG Caleb Foster (12.7 PPG), 2021 F Jalen Ricks (11.1 PPG), and 2021 G A.J. Williams (10.3 PPG). Oak Hill Academy has reached the GEICO Nationals championship game at least five times since this tournament has been constructed and would not be surprised at all if this year's team would make it to the final game if we were to have a GEICO Nationals tournament. 


Milton (GA) (22-2)

Quality Wins: Greenforest (GA), Berkmar (GA), Grayson (GA), Norcross (GA), Denmark (GA), Houston (TN), Gray Collegiate (SC), Greensboro Day (NC), Calvary Christian (FL), Cherokee (GA) (2x), and Wheeler (GA)

In past years, the GEICO Nationals committee has always taken or at least considered one Georgia team to be apart of the tournament field. Georgia programs like Wheeler and Miller Grove have competed in the past. What top Georgia program could be considered for this season's field? Milton High School, just outside of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia. The Eagles are apart of the top class in Georgia (class 7A) and have been apart of the national top-25 rankings throughout this 2020-2021 high school season. Their dynamic backcourt of Ohio State commit 2022 PG Bruce Thornton and 2023 G Kanaan Carlyle have led the way for Milton this season. As of today, the Eagles are on a 20-game winning streak and have not lost since early December. They are the favorites as of right now to capture the Georgia class 7A state title and after reaching the semifinals last season. What does Milton have to do secure an automatic bid to this year's GEICO Nationals field? Win the Georgia class 7A state championship game. 

Prolific Prep (CA) (25-5) 

Quality Wins: Dream City Christian (AZ), PHH Prep (AZ) (2x), Minnesota Prep (MN), St. Louis Christian (MO), Tennessee Prep (MN), Central Pointe (FL), and Our Saviour Lutheran (NY)

Last season, Prolific Prep made their first appearance in the GEICO Nationals tournament, although we never actually had the elite tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak. Prolific Prep was also the first ever California team (not apart of the CIF) to be selected to compete in the GEICO Nationals tournament. This year's squad has been led by Oregon commit 2021 F Nathan Bittle, 2022 SG Kamari Lands, and 2022 PG Milos Uzan for the most part this season. Like AZ Compass Prep (AZ), Prolific Prep has been apart of the Grind Session series throughout the season and have been one of the top teams in that league. Really almost every win in the Grind Session could be considered a quality win due to the talent and competitiveness of the sessions. The Crew has been consistent all season and are currently "on the bubble" as of right now to make their 2nd straight appearance in the loaded GEICO Nationals tournament.  

Ypsi Prep (MI) (7-2) 

Quality Wins: ISA (OH), Legacy SSS (TX), Air Nado (NV), Spire Academy (OH), and First Love Christian (PA)

Recently new program, Ypsi Prep Academy, out of Ypsilanti, Michigan, has been considered as one of the "on the bubble" programs that could possibly make this season's GEICO Nationals tournament at the end of the season. The only thing that can hold Ypsi Prep back from making an appearance? The lack of games played. The Ballboys feature highly rated Michigan State commit 2022 F Emoni Bates and have played a national schedule throughout the season but obviously COVID-19 has held them back from playing much more games than on their schedule. Ypsi Prep currently sits at a 7-2 overall record and is expected to play more games this season before March. Not many quality wins sit on their resume, but they do have a few over teams like ISA (OH), Legacy SSS (TX), Spire Academy (OH), and First Love Christian (PA). 

Oak Ridge (FL) (19-2)

Quality Wins: Olympia (FL), West Orange (FL), Windermere (FL), Osceola (FL), West Nassau (FL), Greensboro Day (NC), Bartow (FL), Windermere Prep (FL), Boone (FL), Dr. Phillips (FL), and University (FL)

Oak Ridge High School, out of the Orlando, Florida area, are one of the few public schools that are being evaluated right now to see if they can compete in this year's possible GEICO Nationals tournament. The Pioneers are currently 19-2 on the season and both their loses came within at least three points. Head Coach Steve Reece has always ran the Oak Ridge program at an elite level and has another competitive squad this season. The Pioneers went 21-9 overall last season and reaching the Florida class 7A semifinals where they eventually lost by four points. The GEICO Nationals committee has invited Florida programs before in the past not named Montverde or IMG. For example, University School (FL) has made an appearance in the GEICO Nationals field but they played a much more competitive national schedule. If Oak Ridge can win their state championship at the end of their season, it is a possibility that they can receive an invite to a possible GEICO Nationals tournament later this season if we were to have one. 

La Lumiere (IN) (5-8) 

Quality Wins: Bishop Walsh (MD), Legacy Early College (SC), Wasatch Academy (UT), and Calvary Christian (FL)

La Lumiere has made the last two GEICO Nationals appearances and actually took home the title back in 2017. The Lakers have not had the best overall season this year but COVID-19 has definitely been a huge part of that struggle for the lack of games. La Lumiere has a 5-8 record as of now but they have been apart of the competitive NIBC league that features other top programs like Montverde Academy (FL), Sunrise Christian (KS), Wasatch Academy (UT), and Oak Hill Academy (VA). Their 5-8 record has all been from games in the NIBC. This season's team, like last season, might not have that "superstar" name but feature a good core of next level prospects headlined by 2022 C Vincent Iwuchukwu and 2022 G J.J. Starling. The Lakers are currently "on the bubble" with their under .500 record but it is still a possibility they could make the 8-team tournament field if we were to have a GEICO Nationals tournament. 

DeMatha Catholic (MD) (10-0) 

Quality Wins: John Marshall (VA), St. Frances Academy (MD), St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH), Gonzaga (DC), and Paul VI (VA)

The defending WCAC champions, DeMatha Catholic, has been considered once again this season for a trip to the GEICO Nationals this season if we were to have one by April. In the past, WCAC girls program St. John's College (DC) has competed in the girls field of the GEICO Nationals so it is possible DeMatha Catholic can be put in the field this season. This season has started late for the Stags, as COVID-19 has delayed their start to their 2020-2021 season. Head Coach Mike Jones and his staff have been excellent adding high major games to their short seasoned schedule and have wins over top quality teams already like St. Frances Academy (MD), John Marshall (VA), and St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH). This season's team is filled with talented prospects like UConn commit 2021 SG Jordan Hawkins, 2021 PG Elijah Hawkins, 2022 G Rodney Rice, 2022 SG Tyrell Ward, and others. 


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