One of the most fun – depressing? – parts of putting out rankings and preseason predictions is looking back at those at the end of the season. Often, I am only reminded how big of an idiot I am.
In many instances, that’s the case again this year. I didn’t share my preseason rankings or preseason all-state teams from football, but I thought it would be fun for the reader to also look back at where I had teams slotted and where they are now.
Teams left from my original rankings: Six.
Biggest mistake: Not ranking Curtis. Curtis has been ranked in the top five or six for the better part of three weeks now, and I didn’t have them anywhere in my top 10. Whoops.
Best call: Jackson at fifth. The Timberwolves are currently second in my Class 4A poll, and so I missed a little bit. But I heard over and over again that Jackson was going to have a really good year and feel decent that I had them in my top five.
What I wrote for my first rankings: “This was the trickiest of them all. In 4A, I think there are clearly a top three and then everybody else. I’m just not sure exactly how to sort the top three. I went with Bothell No. 1 because the Cougars big three are just too talented. Zach LaVine is about as smooth a player as there is, and his shooting has only gotten better. I went Federal Way next because the Eagles have such good guard play, although they don’t have great scoring inside. And Bellarmine Prep might end up being as good as either of them with Sefo Liufau, Isaiah Flynn and Luke Meikle. After that, I think it’s a jumble. Garfield lost to Beamer to open the year, but the Bulldogs are a deep team that will get it figured out while Jackson has an elite player in Jason Todd.”
My original rankings for Class 4A:
1. Bothell 17-11
2. Federal Way 16-9
3. Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma) 24-5
4. Garfield (Seattle) 20-7
5. Jackson (Mill Creek) 19-7
6. Central Valley (Spokane Valley) 22-4
7. Richland 15-10
8. Union (Vancouver) 21-8
9. Issaquah 14-10
10. Gonzaga Prep (Spokane) 16-8
My current rankings for Class 4A:
4. Central Valley
8. Bellarmine Prep
Teams left from my original rankings: 8
Biggest mistake: You could probably make a good case for two options. The first is not ranking Lakeside, who is now the No. 1 team in Class 3A. That was idiotic. I’ll give credit to the Metro League coaches, many of whom picked Lakeside to finish in the top four in the league. The other was picking O’Dea sixth. The Irish were a solid team this year, but they weren’t a top-1o team.
Best call: Foss. Had ‘em ranked seventh at the beginning of the season. Have ‘em ranked seventh right now.
What I wrote for my first rankings: “Rainier Beach goes 12-players deep and features one of the best basketball players in the state in Shaqquan Aaron. Lincoln is a very close second. After that, you could make an argument for any of the other teams to be slotted anywhere. I like Franklin’s depth, and I’ve heard only good things about coach Jason Kerr. I went University fourth because of Brett Bailey and their experience of getting to the state tournament last year. Watch out for Mountlake Terrace. I’ve heard good things about the Hawks.”
My original Class 3A rankings:
1. Rainier Beach (Seattle) 27-3
2. Lincoln (Tacoma) 18-9
3. Franklin (Seattle) 17-8
4. University (Spokane) 21-5
5. Kamiakin (Kennewick) 23-3
6. O’Dea (Seattle) 21-9
7. Foss (Tacoma) 13-8
8. Seattle Prep 24-6
9. Mountlake Terrace 23-3
10. Mercer Island 21-9
My current class 3A rankings:
2. Rainier Beach
4. Mercer Island
6. Mountlake Terrace
10. Seattle Prep
Teams left from my original rankings: 7
Biggest mistake: Hate to say it, but it has to be ranking Sammamish 10th. The Totems went 5-15 this season.
Best call: Ranking Renton 7th. The Indians went 10-14 the year before, but I’ll give myself a little pat on the back (with a huge assist to the coaches and other writers I talked to for these rankings) for having Renton in my top 10.
What I wrote for my first rankings: One thing I was told from people since I’ve been here: Don’t bet against Lynden. So I won’t. Even without Ahmaad Rorie (now at Lincoln) I’ve heard Clover Park is still clearly the second-best team. And I’ve also heard good things about Mark Morris and Pullman from reporters who cover both teams.
My original Class 2A rankings:
1. Lynden 24-4
2. Clover Park (Lakewood) 23-6
3. White River (Buckley) 25-6
4. Mark Morris (Longview) 18-6
5. Pullman 22-4
6. West Valley (Yakima) 15-10
7. Renton 10-14
8. River Ridge (Lacey) 15-9
9. Ellensburg 19-6
10. Sammamish (Bellevue) 15-9
My current Class 2A rankings:
4. West Valley (Yakima)
5. Clover Park
6. Mark Morris
9. White River
Preseason all-state team
My all-state teams won’t come out for another week or two, but I thought it would be worth including who I had on my first, second and third teams before the year.
Who do you think should be on this year’s team?
Zach LaVine, Bothell, 6-4, Sr.
Spot-on shooter who averaged 26 points last year and will play at UCLA next year
Brett Bailey, University, 6-6, Sr.
Versatile wing with a pretty jump shot averaged 16 points; signed with San Diego
Tre’Shaun Fletcher, Lincoln, 6-6, Sr.
Colorado-bound Fletcher (formerly Lexing) averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds
D.J. Fenner, Seattle Prep, 6-6, Sr.
Physical forward who can also shoot averaged 18.3 points and is signed with Nevada
Shaqquan Aaron, Rainier Beach, 6-7, Jr.
Skilled forward with offers from UConn, Arizona and Syracuse moved from California
Ahmaad Rorie, Lincoln, 6-0, Jr.
Named the Tacoma News-Tribune’s all-area player of the year last year and is committed to Cal
Tucker Haymond, Garfield, 6-5, Sr.
Big-time competitor who averaged 22 points and 11 rebounds last year
Seth Berger, Ballard, 6-7, Sr.
Slasher and versatile scorer who signed with Massachusetts
Josh Martin, Bothell, 6-8, Jr.
Powerful force inside who is working on expanding his range; has offer from UW
Luke Meikle, Bellarmine Prep, 6-8, Sr.
Skilled big man and Gonzaga signee averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds as a junior
Arell Hennings, Franklin, 5-7, Sr.
He’s not a big guard, but Hennings has a knack for making plays
Marquis Davis, Rainier Beach, 5-9, Sr.
Scored 30 points in 3A championship game and was named the tournament’s MVP
Dezmyn Trent, Foss, 6-4, Sr.
Averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds a year ago and was co-MVP of Narrows 3A League
Corey Langerveld, Pullman, 6-6, Sr.
ESPN has the left-handed Langerveld as the state’s 8th-best player in the Class of 2013
Jason Todd, Jackson, 6-6, Jr.
Hard-nosed forward is an all-around good player