In this article, I will feature some teams that I think are overrated and underrated by the media. I will soon be making my “Way Too Early High School Basketball Rankings.”
Camden – Lance Ware will be a tough loss, but I see them being better. The Panthers return seven of their eight top scorers and are headlined by star guard D.J. Wagner (2023), Cian Medley (2023), and Penn State commit Taquan Woodley (2020).
Last year the Panthers played some really good teams such as Roselle Catholic, Rancho Christian, and Gill St.Bernard’s, and they should play some more good teams this year. Former NBA player Rick Brunson is an excellent coach and should be able to harness all the young talent.
Combine Academy – Combine Academy should improve off a very good season last year in which they beat Oak Hill Academy and played a relatively tough schedule.
The Goats return most of their rotation headlined by Jalen Hood-Schifino (2022 Pittsburgh commit), Robert Dillingham (2023), Mekhi Grant (2023), Jacori Owens (2021), and Khris Robinson (2021). The Goats are led by former NBA player Jeff McInnis.
Northeast – Northeast is returning their four best players led by the Bewley twins, Ryan and Matthew (2023), Wesley Cardet (2021), and Jameon Harris (2021).
Cardet is the forty-third best rising senior in the country according to 247Sports. Northeast played some good teams last year and they beat Mayfair led by five stars Dior Johnson and Josh Christopher. Look for Northeast to be one of the best teams out of Florida next year.
Hillcrest Prep – Hillcrest Prep will probably add some players, but right now they aren’t in my top tier of teams. According to the MaxPreps Computer Rankings, Hillcrest was ranked 164. If they were returning most of their players that would be one thing, but losing Dalen Terry, Makur Maker, Puff Johnson, and Sadraque Nganga won’t be easy.
Michael Foster Jr. (2021) is a special player, but more players will have to be added for them to move up in the rankings.
Minnehaha Academy – Minnehaha Academy wasn’t ranked inside the top 130 last year according to the MaxPreps Computer Rankings. Then, they lost their best player and team leader Jalen Suggs.
They do return Chet Holmgren (2021), Prince Aligbe (2022), and Hercy Miller (2021) but this will not compensate for the loss of the irreplaceable Suggs. I just don’t think they’re as good as some of the teams ranked ahead of them according to other websites.
DeMatha – DeMatha loses their two best players, Earl Timberlake, and Hunter Dickinson. I believe both of these players will prove to be irreplaceable.
They do return a few solid role players including Jordan Hawkins (2021) and Tyrell Ward (2022), but until someone steps into a major role, they won’t be as good as they have been in recent years.