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Non-Top-25 Preseason Programs Watch List

By Samad Hines, 09/12/22, 1:15PM EDT

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The 2022-2023 high school season is quickly approaching as we are now in the month of September. The updated preseason top-25 national rankings were released just a few weeks ago. 

There has been multiple changes since the August release, as official preseason rankings will not drop until early November. 

A few teams who could be considered as top-25 preseason teams were left off the list and here we take a look at a few teams that could easily have a chance to climb the ladder throughout the 2022-2023 season. 

Word of God (NC)
Last Season Record: 27-9

Word of God Christian is arguably the No. 1 ranked program in the state of North Carolina coming into the 2022-2023 high school season. The Holy Rams will be lead by 2023 Freddie Dilione (Tennessee) this upcoming season and will certainly have a chance to break into the top-25 rankings. They will be have an extremely talented roster with a few next level prospects on hand. 2023 Davin Crosby Jr., 2023 Mehki Grant (Morehead State), 2023 Isaiah Coleman (College of Charleston), 2023 Mayar Wol (College of Charleston), 2025 Zion Collins, and 2025 Trevor Best will also be important pieces to this team. Word of God will be playing a tough schedule once again this season and will have their eyes set on a Hoop State Championship.  

McEachern (GA)
Last Season Record: 15-10

McEachern High School has always been one of the most consistent basketball programs in the state of Georgia and will probably have their best seasons since the Sharife Cooper era this upcoming year. The Indians will be apart of the gauntlet in the Peach State and should receive some national attention over these next two seasons. 2024 Ace Bailey will headline their roster for 2022-2023 high school season. Other important pieces like 2023 Jalen Hillard, 2024 Moses Hipps, and 2025 J.D. Palm will be apart of this McEachern team this season. The Indians are expected to play a few national games throughout as they are one of the top public schools nationally and will have a chance to put their name onto the national rankings. 

Columbus (FL)
Last Season Record: 29-2

The defending FHSAA 7A state champions are going to be playing one hell of a schedule for this upcoming high school season. The Explorers should be one of the best teams out of Florida for the next few years as long as the Boozer twins are staying put. 2025 Cameron and Cayden Boozer, twin brothers and sons of former NBA veteran Carlos Boozer, will headline their roster for the 2022-2023 high school season. Columbus will be playing a few national events and have a few key matchups already set throughout the season that can help their chances to climb up the national top-25 rankings. Certainly the favorites to recapture the 7A state title. 

Combine Academy (NC)
Last Season Record: 25-5

Combine Academy has a new chapter set to begin with new head coach Mike Wright taking charge. Wright will begin his debut season as head coach of Combine Academy for 2022-2023. The Goats will still be one of the best programs in the state of North Carolina and in the country. They have revamped their entire roster from just a year ago and are expected to have a whole different team. 2023 Silas Demary Jr. will headline Combine Academy's roster for this season with other high level prospects like 2024 Rakease Passmore and 2024 Trentyn Flowers alongside. We should expect Combine Academy in the mix with some of the other top national programs throughout the season as they are expected to compete in a plethora of national events. 

Vashon (MO)
Last Season Record: 28-4

Vashon High School is one of the best public school basketball programs in the country and this season will certainly not be any different. The Wolverines come in ranked as the No. 1 team in the state and will be looking to capture another MSHSAA 4A state championship. Public schools are not really known to play extremely tough national schedules most of the time, but Vashon is expected to have one of the toughest schedules in the country. 2023 Kennard Davis Jr. headlines their roster once again this season with a bunch of other gritty prospects who should make names for themselves as the season goes along. The Wolverines are playing multiple top tier national events all across the country which could help them get a spot somewhere in the national top-25. 

 

Faith Family (TX)
Last Season Record: 36-4

Faith Family is looking to once again be one of the more dominant programs in the Lone Star state this upcoming high school season and as they should. The Eagles captured the UIL 4A state championship last season and should be one of the favorites to secure it once again. They are currently one of the top ranked public schools in the country and sit right outside the top-30 nationally. 2024 Doryan Onwuchekwa2023 Jadyn Toppin2024 Jazz Henderson, and 2023 Peyton Gusters headline the Eagles roster for the 2022-2023 high school season. They are playing in multiple big time events throughout the year that will give them chances to face quality teams and get themselves in the top-25 national rankings. 

John Marshall (VA)
Last Season Record: 22-4

John Marshall is another one of those public schools that have been extremely consistent for the last few years. One of the best teams in the state of Virginia, the Justice have captured multiple Virginia 2A state championships since 2014. They will for sure be looking to secure another one once again at the end of the 2022-2023 high school season. 2023 Dennis Parker Jr. will be headlining their roster for this upcoming year with a few other key pieces to round out. John Marshall has a couple games schedule for this upcoming season that can help them crack that top-25 national ranking and will be playing in a couple events outside of Virginia as well. 

Others:
Gonzaga (DC)
Huntington Prep (WV)
Notre Dame (CA)
St. Frances Academy (MD)
DeMatha Catholic (MD)
Neumann-Goretti (MD)
Kenwood Academy (IL)
Whitney Young (IL)

Hillcrest Prep (AZ)
Cardinal Hayes (NY)

 

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