For the next two weeks, Jim Halley and Jason Jordan of USA TODAY High School Sports will take a look at the 10 high school boys basketball teams with a shot to be ranked as the preseason No. 1 team in the country. Next up, alphabetically, is a West Virginia powerhouse with the nation's top player.
Monday's Case: Chester, Pa.
Tuesday's Case: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Today's Case: HUNTINGTON PREP (W. Va.)
Why it should be No. 1: Of the 12 players on the Express roster, 11 of them are Division I-level players and one poses arguably the greatest matchup problem of any player in the country – Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins, who recently reclassified from 2014 to 2013, is a nightmare for most teams because, at 6-foot-7, he can guard all five positions and offensively he can hurt you in every way imaginable. Makes sense that when he reclassified he jumped into the No. 1 spot in every major recruiting rankings service.
“He’s the guy,” Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. “Everyone knows that, but he’s got plenty of weapons around him.”
Express senior guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, a Florida State commit, can fill it up from the perimeter and create his own shot at will. Moses Kingsley, a senior center who is committed to Arkansas, and skilled forward Dominic Woodson, a senior, anchor the paint with reserves Patrick Strake and Gabrielle Williams, both seniors, ready to produce immediately.
“Our depth is where we’ll be able to really wear people down,” Fulford said. “We’ve got so many guys that can make things happen.”
Player Sound-Off: Xavier Rathan-Mayes, junior, shooting guard: “We’re No. 1 because we’re the deepest team in the country led by Drew and myself. And we have a bunch of guys that can do different things great. Then I think we have the best coach in the country in Coach Fulford and his staff. Plus we’ll play anyone. That’s the mark of a real No. 1 team. We want to play every top team in the country - no ifs, ands or buts about it. Can’t say the same for other teams.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSAToday.