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Case for No. 1: Travis

Tigers return three starters, including Harrison twins, from last year's 5A state runner-up


1:50 PM, Nov. 09, 2012 EST

Andrew Harrison and twin brother Aaron helped Travis to a state runner-up finish last season. / Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle

Jim Halley and Jason Jordan of USA TODAY High School Sports are looking 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)
Nov. 8: St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)

Today’s Case: Travis, Richmond (Texas)

Why they should be No. 1: The Tigers made it to the state 5A final and return three starters, including what is considered to be the best backcourt in the country in the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, both of whom made the preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA team and say they plan to sign with Kentucky. The other returning starter is guard John Burnett, a three-point threat. Because the Harrisons are both 6-5, that helps make up for the team's lack of height underneath.

"After last season, there won't be a lot that will leave them in awe," Travis coach Craig Brownlee said. "The Harrisons can help guard the post, but on offense, we're not going to use them down low and put the ball out of their hands. They do their best work from the perimeter, rather than posting up a 6-8 guy."

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The Tigers will be tested, thanks to a schedule that includes games with Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) and Madison County (Richmond, Ky.) in the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Ky., plus games with Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) and St. Frances (Baltimore).

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"We tell our kids that we're focusing on the process," Brownlee said. "We don't talk about we have to do this as a goal. We don't want to put any limits on our team. You never know what you're going to face. You can't judge your season based on one game. We want them seeing the big picture."

Player Sound-Off: Aaron Harrison: "I just think we have a great group that loves to play together. We have great chemistry. Losing in the state title game was a humbling situation. As a team, all we talk about is that hurt and it always pushes us."

Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @JimHalley.

 

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