Last year, Maryland Sports Access launched the “Power-5 Hardwood rankings,” ranking the top-25 public school boys basketball teams from the county’s and regions of Baltimore, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s.
Along with a statewide public school media poll with 11 voters, MSA will also provide a private school basketball media poll featuring the top teams in Maryland as well as the WCAC.
Every Monday, team records and resumes are compiled and ranked Associated Press style based on how the panel feels about where each team stands up to date.
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Panel: Adam Ayalew, senior contributor for Vantage Hoops; Traevon Benjamin, owner of G.O.A.T. Enterprises; Dylan Crane, owner of 24/7 Basketball Training LLC; Evan Engelhard, MSA videographer; Marcus Helton, DMVelite editor-in-chief; Kendall Hilton, Co-Founder of Fan-I Sports; Kyle McFadden, MSA editor-in-chief; Ryan McFadden, owner of Inside The Locker Room; Tom Peace, MSA Baltimore reporter; Azhar Shamsudeen, vice president of Maryland Elite Basketball; Ben Spector, MSA reporter; Brooks Warren, MSA reporter.
1. DeMatha Catholic Stags (4) — 230 points (2015-2016 record: 32-5)
After a losing in the WCAC championship to St. John’s, the Stags return Notre Dame commit D.J. Harvey (6-foot-6 small forward) and UCONN commit Josh Carlton (6-foot-9) center.
2. Gonzaga College Eagles (D.C.) (7) — 220 points (24-10)
The Eagles return every starter with reigning WCAC Player of the Year and Miami commit, Chris Lykes (5-foot-7 point guard), leading the charge.
3. Paul VI Catholic Panthers (Va.) — 200 points (20-14)
Paul VI will deploy a lethal backcourt duo with senior lead guard Aaron Thompson (Pitt commit) and junior shooting guard Brandon Slater (eight Power-5 offers).
4. Bishop O’Connell Knights (Va.) — 187 points (20-11)
The Knights are projected to not have a starter under 6-foot-3. They’ll be led by 6-foot-8 senior center Nate Watson (Providence commit) and 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard Matt Lewis (JMU commit).
5. Mount St. Joseph Gaels (1) — 184 points (33-6)
Behind one of the top 2018 recruits, 6-foot-8 power forward Jalen Smith (nine Power-5 offers), the Gaels have one of the most intriguing rosters in the Baltimore area.
6. John Carroll School Patriots — 159 points (27-11)
Five-star junior point guard Immanuel Quickley (over 30 Division I offers) leads the Patriots into 2016-2017 hoping to dismantle MIAA reigning champ St. Frances and top MIAA ranked Mount St. Joseph.
7. St. John’s College Cadets (D.C.) — 149 points (30-5)
The reigning 2016 WCAC champs will roll out a fresh line of faces after graduating current Maryland guard Anthony Cowan.
8. Bishop McNamara Mustangs — 147 points (17-13)
9. National Christian Academy Eagles — 138 points (27-2)
10. Riverdale Baptist School Crusaders — 117 points (26-13)
11. St. Frances Academy Panthers — 107 points (31-11)
12. St. James School Saints — 100 points (21-6)
13. Capitol Christian Academy Warriors — 95 points (27-13)
14. McDonogh School Eagles — 90 points (18-12)
15. St. Maria Goretti Gaels — 87 points (15-14)
16. Rock Creek Christian — 71 points (9-15)
17. Glenelg Country School Dragons — 48 points (19-9)
18. Georgetown Prep Little Hoyas — 44 points (13-10)
19. St. Mary’s Ryken — 39 points (14-17)
20. Bullis School Bulldogs — 27 points (16-10)
Others receiving votes: Calvert Hall College (17-14) 27 points, Mount Zion Prep, Our Lady of Good Counsel (12-16), Our Lady of Mount Carmel (15-19), Annapolis Area Christian (23-5), St. Paul’s (16-9), St. Vincent Pallotti (11-14)