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Preseason Top 20

Dec. 05, 2005
Dec. 05, 2005

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Dec. 5, 2005

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Preseason Top 20

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1 LAWRENCE NORTH, Indianapolis (24-2 in '04-05)
The Wildcats will be seeking a rare state-title three-peat behind two Ohio State recruits: dominant 7-foot center Greg Oden and 6'1" point guard Mike Conley.

This is an article from the Dec. 5, 2005 issue Original Layout

2 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN, Rockville, Md. (23-3)
The Mustangs add 6'10" transfer Kevin Durant, a do-it-all Texas signee, to a team that includes 6'5" Maryland recruit Greivis Vasquez.

3 OAK HILL ACADEMY, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (34-2)
Durant is gone, but transfers Michael Beasley (6'9") and Nolan Smith (6'3"), top 20 prospects in the class of '07, join 6-foot senior point guard Tywon Lawson.

4 RICE, New York City (22-5)
Curtis Kelly, a 6'8" UConn signee, and point guard Edgar Sosa, a 6'2" Louisville recruit, anchor the squad. Touted freshman guard Lamont Jones (5'10") might contribute.

5 ST. PATRICK, Elizabeth, N.J. (28-4)
The Celtics lost 6'9" Louisville recruit Derrick Caracter to a prep school but have plenty left. Junior point guard Corey Fisher (6 feet) will pass to 6'6" junior Jeff Robinson and 6'5" senior Ruben Guillandeaux.

6 ARLINGTON COUNTRY DAY, Jacksonville (28-3)
Jason Bennett, a 7'3" center in his fifth year as a starter, and 6-foot Florida State signee Josué Soto are the key cogs for the Apaches.

7 GLENBROOK NORTH, Northbrook, Ill. (32-2)
Three starters, notably Duke-bound 6'6" guard Jon Scheyer, return to defend the Class AA state title.

8 MCKINLEY, Canton, Ohio (26-1)
Eight of its top nine players are back, including all-state forwards Raymar Morgan (6'7", bound for Michigan State) and Ricky Jackson (6'6").

9 KINGWOOD, Kingwood, Texas (37-4)
Arizona signee Nic Wise (5'9") runs the show for the defending Class 5A state champion.

10 DEMATHA CATHOLIC, Hyattsville, Md. (29-2)
Virginia Tech signee Nigel Munson (6 feet) and leading scorer Austin Freeman, a 6'5" junior, are joined by 6'9" junior Jerai Grant, son of ex-NBAer Harvey Grant.

11 NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio (27-1)
Three of the nation's top juniors (6'5" O.J. Mayo, 6'6" Bill Walker and 6'11" Keenen Ellis) make up a formidable core.

12 FAIRFAX, Los Angeles (26-6)
Four starters are back, led by senior Jerren Shipp (6'5"), brother of UCLA's Josh. Also watch 6'8" senior Matt Shaw, a Temple signee, 6'7" junior Chase Stanback and 6'2" sophomore Chris Solomon.

13 NEUMANN-GORETTI, Philadelphia (27-3)
Two juniors who are committed to Syracuse--6'8" center Rick Jackson and 6'4" guard Antonio (Scoop) Jardine--lead the way.

14 NORCROSS, Ga. (31-1)
Three touted transfers--including the state's top prospect, 6'9" junior center Gani Lawal--join seniors Jodie Meeks, a 6'4" guard headed to Kentucky, and 6'1" guard Brenton Butler.

15 SIMEON, Chicago (29-4)
Junior guard Derrick Rose (6'3") runs an offense that features 6'5" junior Tim Flowers and 6'6" junior transfer Jelani Poston.

16 MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (20-4)
The team's 10 returnees include captains Jonathan Mitchell, a 6'7" senior who has committed to Florida, and Michael Coburn, a 6-foot junior.

17 DOMINGUEZ, Compton, Calif. (25-5)
The Dons are led by 6-foot point guard Brandon Jennings, one of the nation's best sophomores, and 6'4" transfer guard Patrick Christopher, a Cal signee.

18 WHEELER, Marietta, Ga. (31-1)
With seven players back, the Wildcats are a good bet to win their fourth Class 5A state crown in five years. Last season, in his first year as a starter, 6'2" senior guard James Florence averaged 15.8 points per game in the state tournament.

19 SANTA FE, Edmond, Okla. (25-4)
The entire starting lineup from the Wolves' Class 6A state champs returns, led by 6'4" guard and state tournament MVP Obi Muonelo, who has signed with Oklahoma State.

20 MITCHELL, Memphis (30-5)
The Tigers have two big-time recruits: 6'8" forward Thaddeus Young, Tennessee's Class 2A Mr. Basketball last year and a Georgia Tech signee, and Florida-bound 6'5" guard Brandon Powell. --D.H.

PHOTOMICHAEL DANN LEADING MAN - Traditional power Oak Hill will be strong again behind Lawson, a point guard who's bound for North Carolina.