1. Montverde Academy (FHSAA independent)
Consensus national No. 1 Eagles won Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Dec. 30 to run record to 15-0. Great guards, strong front line and national No. 1 senior prospect in R.J. Barrett (6-7, Sr.). That could be enough to run the table.
Save the date: Jan. 11 ESPNU home game vs. Orlando Christian Prep; Jan. 18 home game vs. No. 4 West Oaks.
2. University School (Fort Lauderdale)
FHSAA 5A District 13
City of Palms Classic championship in Fort Myers followed by title at John Wall Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., put Sharks at 12-0. Vernon Carey Jr. (6-9, Jr.) joins Barrett in the national player of the year conversation.
Save the date: Jan. 15 ESPNU game vs. Oak Hill Academy (Va.) at Springfield, Mass; Jan. 20 vs. Kissimmee Osceola at Wally Keller Classic, at Punta Gorda Charlotte.
3. Oak Ridge (Orlando)
FHSAA 9A District 5
Pioneers (13-3) have proven to be among the best public school teams in the country against a national schedule.
Save the date: Jan. 6 vs. Lake Highland Prep in Showdown in O-Town at Orlando Christian Prep; Jan. 20 vs. Tampa Prep in ARS National Hoopfest at Berkeley Prep (Tampa).
4. West Oaks (Orlando)
Sunshine Independent Athletic Association
Three-time SIAA champs Flame beat Mt. Zion on its home court in Raleigh, N.C., to win the Bull City Classic and improve to 15-2. Tyrell Jones (6-2, Sr.), P.J. Person (6-0, Sr.) and Tyrieke Blakeney (6-0, Sr.) lead a backcourt that makes this team go.
Save the date: Jan. 18 at No. 1 Montverde Academy; Jan. 20 vs. IMG Academy in ARS National Hoopfest at Berkeley Prep.
5. Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens)
FHSAA 8A District 13
Ran record to 13-0 by beating foes from Georgia, New York and South Carolina on way to championship at Holiday Basketball Classic of the Palm Beaches on Dec. 30. Panthers survived December unscathed with OT away wins at Palm Beach Lakes, at Martin County and at DeLand.
Save the date: Jan. 6 vs. No. 2 University School at Charger Classic, at Suncoast (Riviera Beach), Jan. 9; Feb. 3 vs. Suncoast, home.
Here’s one man’s attempt to rank the best in each FHSAA classification. Not sure when I’ll tackle this again but all feedback is welcome — especially if it provides detail on exactly what team’s have and what they’ve done on the court. Email me at [email protected]