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.
Oct. 29: Chester, Pa.
Oct. 30: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Oct. 31: Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
Nov. 1: Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
Nov. 2: Montverde (Fla.)
Nov. 5: Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Nov. 6: Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas)
Nov. 7: Simeon Career Academy (Chicago)
Today’s Case: St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
Why they should be No. 1: For the past four or five years, no team in the nation has been as consistently good as St. Anthony. The Friars have won 65 games in a row and no matter who the players are, Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley, who has won more than 1,000 games and 26 state titles at St. Anthony, demands that his players get the job done.
While the Friars lost elite player Kyle Anderson to UCLA, some of the best St. Anthony teams haven’t had a star. Just a team of good players who play tenacious defense. The talent begins with a solid tandem of 6-foot-3 guards: Josh Brown, who has committed to Temple, and future Oregon State player Hallice Cooke. The pair helped an AAU team beat a team over the summer that included the Harrison twins.
Marist recruit Kentrell Brooks, a 6-8 forward, gives the Friars some size and 6-5 combo forward Tim Coleman is committed to New Jersey Tech. The Friars have two other Division I recruits in 6-8 Canadian forward Aaron Ariri and 6-3 senior guard Kody Jenkins.
The team’s schedule includes two other likely ranked teams: Lone Peak (West Highland, Utah) and St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark).
Sound-off: Bob Hurley, coach: “Nobody in the country has beaten us in two years. We have four kids committed to Division I schools. That must mean there’s some talent there. We might not have Kyle Anthony, but we have a lot of really good players. We win because we know what we’re doing. We have good kids who are used to winning.”
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @JimHalley.