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Which Non-Top-30 Programs Could Make National Noise?

By Samad Hines, 06/20/22, 9:30AM EDT


The first June Live Period weekend has just surpassed us and what does that mean exactly? That we are one step closer to the high school season that will begin in October for most programs. 

The preseason top-30 national rankings coming into the 2022-2023 high school season have shifted and changed over the last few months with all the transfers and new additions teams made over the last few months. 

Here we give you a list of a few programs coming into next season that are outside the top-30 nationally but could make some noise on the national stage and boosted their stock over the first June Live Period weekend. 

Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy (TX)
2021-2022 Record: 36-4

The state of Texas might have lost multiple nationally ranked prospects throughout this off-season but that only left room for a team like Oak Cliff Faith Academy. The Eagles finished last season with a 36-4 overall record, while playing a national schedule, and capturing the UIL Class 4A state championship. They will for sure be at the top of the top when it comes to the best teams in the Lone Star state. The Eagles will be headlined with guys like 2024 Doryan Onwuchekwa, 2023 Jadyn Toppin, 2024 Jazz Henderson, and 2023 Peyton Gusters next season. Faith Academy will be playing in events like the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, Tarkanian Classic, Quincy Shootout, and others. 

Columbus (FL) 
2021-2022 Record: 29-2

Columbus High School, located in South Miami, burst onto the scene late last season after securing the Class 7A FHSAA state championship, winning over Dr. Phillips High School. The Explorers are headlined by 2025s Cameron and Cayden Boozer, sons of long time NBA veteran Carlos Boozer. Columbus is arguably an already top-30 program, but for now, they literally sit right outside our top-30 preseason national rankings. They will obviously be the favorites to re-claim their class 7A state title coming into 2022-2023. The Explorers are already set to appear in multiple national events next season, which include the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, City of Palms Classic, Spalding Hoophall Classic, and more. 

Pace Academy (GA)
2021-2022 Record: 25-5

Pace Academy has continued to be one of Georgia's top programs over the last decade or so and under head coach Sharman White. The Knights are 101-20 since the 2018-2019 high school season and should once again represent the Peach State on the national level. Not the usual, but  unfortunately Pace did not make an appearance in the Class 2A state championship game last season after winning back-to-back times in 2020 and 2021. The Knights bring back a young but talented squad coming into 2022-2023, headlined by 2025 Bryson Tiller. Coach Sharman and his staff already have plans to play a national schedule, which includes a quick trip to London in December. 

Westtown School (PA)
2021-2022 Record: 31-7

Westtown School has always been one of the premier basketball programs out of the Northeast region. They have produced players like Mo Bamba (Orlando Magic), Cam Reddish (New York Knicks), potential lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Derek Lively II (Duke), and more over the years. The Moose might be sitting right outside the top-30 nationally right now, but they will for sure still have the talent and compete at a high level next season. Head coach Seth Berger has already told me this year's team is going to be very good, although they are young. Westtown has already gathered up their roster for the 2022-2023 high school season and will not only be elite this season, but over the next couple of years with this group.  

Jackson-Reed (DC)
2021-2022 Record: 27-5

Jackson-Reed High School, formerly known as Woodrow Wilson, will for sure be one of the top programs in the country and one of the highly ranked public schools coming into the 2022-2023 high school season. The Tigers secured the DCIAA conference title last season while finishing with a 27-5 overall record. They will for sure be one of the best teams out of the DMV area and will be looking to not only defend their DCIAA title, but secure a DCSAA state championship. Jackson-Reed could certainly make national headlines as well as one of the best public schools in the country. 2024 Rob Dockery and 2023 Marvin Brimage will headline next season's roster for the Tigers. 

Moravian Prep (NC)
2021-2022 Record: 36-5

Moravian Prep has been represented well in the state of North Carolina over the past few years and are 143-16 since the 2018-2019 high school season. The Lions have had multiple talented prospects come through their program, Josh Hall (Oklahoma City Thunder) being the most recent. Moravian Prep had a couple flashes in the national rankings during the 2021-2022 high school season, playing a couple nationally ranked teams, and finishing with a 36-5 overall record. They will look to build on that even more coming into the 2022-2023 high school season. 2025 Eli Ellis and 2023 Mayar Wol (College of Charleston) should headline the roster with other talented prospects surrounding them.  

John Marshall (VA) 
2021-2022 Record: 22-4

John Marshall just went 4-0 this past weekend at the first June Live Period event out in D.C. The two time VHSL state champions are looking to get back on the map on the national stage once again coming into next season. The Justices are expected to be lead by 2023 Dennis Parker Jr., who will once again headline their roster for 2022-2023. They will have other pieces surrounding him, as John Marshall is known for their toughness and gritty type play style. The Justices will also be coming into the 2022-2023 high school season ranked as one of the best public schools in the entire country for sure. 

Harvard-Westlake (CA)
2021-2022 Record: 25-4

Harvard-Westlake has been representing Southern California for a few years now as one of the best programs to come out of the area. The Wolverines finished the 2021-2022 high school season with a 25-4 overall record and with a very young but talented squad. They were impressive over the weekend out at Section 7 in Arizona, going 3-1 overall. Harvard-Westlake will return some key pieces from just last season. 2024 Robert Hinton, 2023 Brady Dunlap, and 2024 Trent Perry could headline their roster coming into 2022-2023. The Wolverines will be looking to capture a CIF state championship and also receive some more recognition on the national stage. 

Notre Dame (CA)
2021-2022 Record: 21-8

Notre Dame High School could be another program to represent Southern California during the 2022-2023 high school season. The Knights finished last season with a 21-8 overall record and will be returning half of that same roster with a couple new additions. 2023 Dusty Stromer (Gonzaga) will be the headline of the roster once again for Notre Dame. The Irish have added 2023 Caleb Foster (Duke) and 2024 Mercy Miller (Houston) to that 2022-2023 roster. The Knigths will have their eyes set on a CIF state championship at the end of the day and will most likely play in a couple national events come next season. 

Legacy SSS (TX)
2021-2022 Record: 21-9

Legacy School of Sport Sciences is approaching as one of the national representatives out of the state of Texas. The Titans have never ducked smoked and have played some of the best of the best teams on the national stage over the last couple of years. 2023 Fred Payne will headline their 2022-2023 high school season roster. The Titans have added plenty new additions to help out for this upcoming season and they are expected to play a national schedule once again representing the Lone Star state. They are scheduled to play in events like the OTR Thanksgiving Showcase, Thanksgiving Hoopfest, St. James MLK Classic, and more. 


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