SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25: Gradey Dick powers Sunrise Christian (Kansas) to No. 1 in national boys basketball rankings

It’s a question we’ve been trying to answer since our preseason rankings debuted in October, and one that in the second week of 2022, may not be any more clear as the race for a spot at GEICO Nationals appears wide open. 

Who is the No. 1 high school boys basketball team in the country?

This week, there is a new team at the top of the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25 after another jam-packed NIBC weekend in La Porte, Ind. — Sunrise Christian Academy, which is now the only one-loss team in the NIBC standings.

The Buffaloes went 20 days between games without showing rust. Led by a stellar weekend from Kansas pledge Gradey Dick, they swept three NIBC games in as many days, including a win over No. 3 Montverde — which previously handed SCA its only loss. Dick averaged 21.7 points per game and hit 14 3-pointers over the weekend.

Find the complete breakdown of the latest SBLive/SI Power 25 national boys basketball rankings below.

SBLIVE POWER 25: PRESEASON RANKINGS NOV. 22NOV. 29 DEC. 6 DEC. 20 | JAN. 3

The Power 25, sponsored by Discount Tire, is a collaboration between SBLive and Sports Illustrated. Power 25 rankings are compiled by SBLive reporter Andy Buhler and SI Director of Basketball Recruiting Jason Jordan based on observations and conversations with an extensive network of coaching and media sources across the country. You can reach Andy on Twitter @AndyBuhler or email him at andy@scorebooklive.com.

SBLIVE/SI POWER 25 NATIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS

Jan. 10, 2022

1. Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, Kan.) (12-1)

Up next: Jan. 15 vs. No. 14 Combine Academy (N.C.)

Last ranking: No. 4

Returned from a 20-day break between games to rattle off three NIBC wins in three days in La Porte, Ind., including a 71-61 win over No. 3 Montverde (its only loss) behind a standout weekend from Kansas pledge Gradey Dick. Dick hit five 3s in the first half against Montverde, a game Sunrise Christian led by as many as 18 points.

2. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (14-2)

Up next: Jan. 12 vs. Southeast (Fl.)

Last ranking: No. 1

Three NIBC wins in three days with three different leading scorers. Houston pledge Jarace Walker scored 21 points against Bishop Walsh (Md.), Memphis commit Noah Batchelor had 21 on 6 of 8 shooting (4 of 6 from 3) against Legacy Early (S.C.) and Baylor-bound Keyonte George had 27 in a win over Wasatch Academy (Utah).

3. Duncanville (Duncanville, Tex.) (17-1)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Waxahachie (Tex.)

Last ranking: No. 2

Five-star Anthony Black, newly returned after the latest chapter in his eligibility battle saw him become eligible mid-game, scored 15 points in a 71-55 win over Mansfield Lake Ridge on Friday. The Panthers also scored an early-week win over Midway of Waco, Tex.

4. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) (13-3)

Up next: Jan. 13 vs. No. 6 Camden (N.J.)

Last ranking: No. 3

Dillon Mitchell’s 29 points and Kentucky pledge Skyy Clark’s season debut weren’t enough to overcome Kansas-bound Gradey Dick’s 20 points and Scotty Middleton’s 19 on 7 of 7 shooting in a 71-61 loss to No. 4 Sunrise Academy, a team it previously beat. Rebounded with a 33-point win over Bishop Walsh (Md.) and a 63-55 win over J.J. Starling (25 points) and No. 6 La Lumiere in a jam-packed NIBC weekend. Beat Wasatch Academy 64-50 and Legacy Early 86-65.

5. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) (14-1)

Up next: Jan. 13 vs. Parkview (Mo.)

Last ranking: No. 5

Did not play ahead of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo., a tournament that includes nationally-competitive Whitney Young (Ill.), Paul VI (Va.) and Milton (Ga.).

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6. Camden (Camden, N.J.) (5-0)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Eastern (N.J.)

Last ranking: No. 7 

Handed South Jersey foe Lenape its first loss of the season behind North Carolina-bound DJ Wagner’s 23 points, five assists and five steals on Tuesday, beat Bishop Eustace Prep (N.J.), 66-47, on Thursday and thrashed Winslow Township (1-7) on Saturday to collect its 41st, 42nd and 43rd consecutive wins. Big tests this week against Montverde and Calvary Christian.

7. Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) (21-0)

Up next: Jan. 9 vs. Putnam City North (Mo.)

Last ranking: No. 8

Game against Putnam City North (Okla.) in Springfield, Mo. was postponed. Link Academy says the game will be rescheduled.

8. La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) (11-2)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. International Sports Academy (Ohio)

Last ranking: No. 6

Notre Dame pledge JJ Starling was a standout at the latest NIBC weekend, with 20 points in a 74-46 win over Legacy Early (S.C), 12 in a 70-56 win over No. 16 Oak Hill and 25 in an eight-point loss to No. 3 Montverde.

9. Richardson (Richardson, Tex.) (19-1)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Pearce (Tex.)

Last ranking: No. 9

After collecting its win of the season in a battle atop Texas — an overtime victory over No. 2 Duncanville — the Eagles collected comfortable winns over Texas 6A opponents Irving and Berkner.

10. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) (6-1)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Gonzaga College (D.C.)

Last ranking: No. 10

Saw the start of WCAC play delayed with the postponement of its first two games against Bishop O’Connell (Va.) and Archbishop Carroll (D.C.). Has not played since Dec. 15.

11. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (10-1)

Up next: Jan. 15 vs. No. 6 Camden (N.J.)

Last ranking: No. 11

After a strong showing at City of the Palms Classic, coasted to three consecutive wins over Florida teams — Westminster Christian, Archbishop McCarthy and Killian — ahead of its biggest test of the season at the Spalding Hoophall Classict: New Jersey power Camden.

12. Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) (8-1)

Up next: Jan. 13 vs. No. 25 Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.)

Last ranking: No. 12

The Lions have won eight straight since its season-opening showdown with Camden, most recently collecting double-digit wins over New Jersey schools Plainfield (80-47), Linden (57-47) and Union Catholic (96-28) ahead of an appearance at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

13. North Little Rock (Little Rock, Ark.) (12-3)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Little Rock Southwest (Ark.)

Last ranking: No. 13

Did not play this week due to the postponement games Tuesday against Little Rock Central and Friday versus Conway.

14. Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) (11-3)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Elevation Prep Academy (Ind.)

Last ranking: No. 14

Has not played since New Years Day. Faces a tall ahead — No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy on Saturday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

15. Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) (11-3)

Up next: Jan. 12 vs. Olympia (Fla.)

Last ranking: No. 15

Defeated Orlando Christian Prep 48-37 at the Showdown at O-Town —  a battle between Florida state champions. Florida signee Denzel Aberdeen led the way with 19 points for Dr. Phillips.

16. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) (15-7)

Up next: Jan. 15 vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)

Last ranking: No. 16

Went 2-1 at the NIBC weekend in Indiana. Beat Wasatch Academy 91-49 behind Judah Mintz’s 25 points and five assists, lost by 14 to Aden Holloway (22 points, 4-4 3-point shooting) and No. 6 La Lumiere and six players finished in double figures scoring in a 99-68 thrashing of Bishop Walsh (Md.).

17. Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) (16-0)

Up next: Jan. 12 vs. Larkin (Ill.)

Last ranking: No. 17

The Hilltoppers have done nothing to shake the widely shared view that they are the top team in Illinois. Four finished in double figures in a 15-point win over Benet (Ill.) in the Pappas Shootout in Chicago Saturday, led by Caden Pierce’s 17.

18. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) (14-0)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Centennial (Nev.)

Last ranking: No. 18

Did not play last week. Returns to action against Las Vegas opponent Centennial on Tuesday at home.

19. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (14-1)

Up next: Jan. 12 vs. Norco (Calif.)

Last ranking: No. 19

Beat CIF opponents Rancho Christian 95-63 last Monday and King 79-56 on Wednesday — both at home — ahead of a matchup with undefeated Norco (Calif.).

20. Gonzaga College (Washington D.C.) (7-0)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. DeMatha (Md.)

Last ranking: No. 20

Beat St. Mary’s Ryken 76-59 in its return to WCAC play and first game since its momentous Dec. 12 win over St. Frances, then beat Our Lady of Good Counsel on Sunday, 72-55.

21. St. Frances (Baltimore, Md.) (16-2)

Up next: Jan. 10 vs. Glenelg Country School (Md.)

Last ranking: No. 21

Beat John Carroll (Md.) at home on Wednesday 73-58, then picked up a solid win over prep upstart Donda Academy, 63-56, at the R1A Classic.

22. Newton (Covington, Ga.) (13-1)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Parkview (Ga.)

Last ranking: 22

Georgia’s top-ranked team put forward a strong showing at the Sugar Bowl Classic in Louisiana. Rams  won the national bracket with four consecutive double-digit wins, capped by a 13-point win over Texas power Beaumont United Saturday. Indiana commit Jakai Newton had 25 points and seven boards in the final.

23. Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) (19-2)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Calvary Day School (N.C.)

Last ranking: No. 23

Throttled rabun Gap-Nacoochee 81-60 behind junior guard Jaydon Young’s 19 points and six boards. 

24. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) (9-0)

Up next: Jan. 11 vs. Holy Cross (N.Y.)

Last ranking: 24

Three more games, three more wins for the top-ranked team out of New York. Beat Archbishop Molloy at home, then picked up  wins over Chaminade College Prep (Mo.) and Little Rock Parkview (Ark.) at Hoophall South.

25. Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) (9-1)

Up next: Jan. 13 vs. No. 6 Roselle Catholic (N.J.)

Last ranking: 25

Beat the Knox School (N.Y.) by 60 at home with its toughest test of the season awaiting next when it crosses the Hudson River to take on New Jersey power Roselle Catholic in the Metro Classic.

Who qualifies for the Power 25?

In order to qualify, programs must be either affiliated with the state high school athletic association in the state it resides in or recognized by the association and allowed to play member high schools in its home state.

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— Andy Buhler, SBLive – @AndyBuhler

— Jason Jordan, SI – @JasonJordanSI

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