The time has come for us to release our preseason state rankings (4A, 3A, 2A). Note that some teams have played already and those games have been accounted for in these rankings.
I do realize there are teams that have been excluded from these rankings that some may believe belong. Of course, the same arguments could be made for teams that are currently in the rankings, but would have been bumped out if others were included.
If you can understand what I’m saying, there are more than 10 teams that can argue it belongs in the rankings. If you differ with our rankings, feel free to leave a comment and tell us why.
I’ll post our preseason all-state teams in a bit so they don’t get convoluted with the rankings.
Reigning Washington Gatorade Player of the Year Jason Todd leads last season’s state runner-ups.
Fresh off a third-place finish at last season’s state tournament, Garfield will have a fresh influx of talent, including Washington State commit Tramaine Isabell.
3. Central Valley
Favorites to win the Greater Spokane League (GSL), Central Valley returns four starters from last year’s state tournament team, including all-league point guard Adam Chamberlain.
The Chargers have a senior-laden team, with Jawan Stepney proving to be a prolific scorer.
A lot of returning talent for Issaquah in Tyler Gibson, Brian Watson, Cory Nevin and Jake Henke.
Arlington returns four players that made the Wesco all-league team in some capacity (first team, second team or honorable mention).
Ferris figures to be Central Valley’s biggest challenger in the GSL. The Saxons are led by senior Cody Benzel, who averaged 17.6 points per game last season.
The Bombers have a lot of returners to a squad that made the state tournament a season ago.
Beamer will find out early if it belongs in these rankings with a Dec. 20 date with Curtis.
Bothell will be competitive with Josh Martin, but if it’s going to make a deep run in the playoffs, it will need some young players to step up.
1. Rainier Beach
Rainier Beach boasts as talented a lineup as its ever had, headlined by Louisville signee Shaqquan Aaron.
Returning Second-Team All-League players Kyle Foreman and Jack Walton return for Bellevue.
Jacob Lampkin might be the star of the Irish team, but don’t be surprised if you hear the name Jamie Orme a lot more.
4. Mercer Island
The Islanders lost league MVP Joe Rasmussen to graduation, but still have the talents of Kaleb Warner.
Wilson should be the team to beat in the Narrows League.
6. Mountlake Terrace
Mountlake Terrace lost a significant amount of players to graduation, but returns a pair of big men in Loren Lacasse and Greg Bowman.
7. Seattle Prep
The Panthers lost star DJ Fenner and have only two seniors, but they also have an experienced roster that went to the state tournament last season.
Senior Eugene Artison and sophomore Keith Smith lead the Quakers in a deep Metro League.
UW commit Donovan Dorsey is back after leading Timberline to its first state tournament appearance since 2004.
Stanwood has six seniors and should be one of the best teams in Wesco.
Pullman returns four starters from last year’s state championship team.
Senior Keenan Jackson can light up the scoreboard for the Spartans.
Ty Johnson is averaging 24.5 points per game through two games for last season’s state runner-ups.
Clarkston returns three all-league second-team players and should provide a challenge to Pullman for the Great Northern League (GNL) title.
Matt Hubbard, a 6-foot-10 Santa Clara signee, leads Colville in a top-heavy GNL.
6. Clover Park
Despite losing David Crisp to transfer, Clover Park should still have a successful season.
Despite two losses to open the season against 4A competition, the Indians return multiple players that gained experience in last season’s state tournament and should be competitive in 2A.
8. Mark Morris
Mark Morris is a young team, but it has experience and should be the team to beat in the Greater St. Helens league.
Sequim boasts a tall frontcourt and returns three players with experience from last season’s state tournament team.
10. West Valley (Spokane)
Jake Love is lighting up the scoreboard, averaging 28.7 points per game.