Here are Scorebook Live’s preseason Top 25 California high school boys basketball rankings. Our rankings encompass the entire state and are compiled by Scorebook Live California reporters Connor Morrissette, Bodie DeSilva and Lance Smith. The rankings will be released weekly during the regular season, which starts the week of Nov. 18.
Sierra Canyon, last year’s Open Division Southern Section and State champions, begin the year at number one. High profile senior transfers BJ Boston and Ziaire Williams are still awaiting clearance from the Southern Section, but senior Terren Frank and junior Amari Bailey return from last year’s squad. The Trailblazers have also added freshman Bronny James and senior Zaire Wade, sons of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade respectively. They’re loaded.
2. Mater Dei
Mater Dei junior point guard Devin Askew committed to Kentucky a few weeks ago. Seniors Aidan Prukop and Ryan Evans as well as junior Harrison Hornery, Wilhelm Breidenbach, Nick Davidson and Casey Jones are the other names to know. The Monarchs fell to Sierra Canyon twice in postseason play a year ago.
Evan Mobley, the consensus top player in the 2020 recruiting class, leads Rancho Christian. He’s committed to USC. Juniors Luke Turner and Jaden Byers along with senior Gonzaga commit Dominick Harris make up a very strong core that will compete for the Open Division title. Rancho Christian was the only California team to beat Sierra Canyon last season.
Etiwanda returns the majority of their playmakers from a year ago. Junior forward Jahmai Mashack is a great prospect. Adding senior wing Jaylen Clark, a transfer from Corona Centennial, makes Etiwanda Open Division title contenders.
Senior forward and Arizona state commit Marcus Bagley returns for the team that fell to Sierra Canyon in the state championship a year ago.
6. Salesian College Prep (Richmond)
Salesian went 31-1 a year ago and return a good portion of their core.
Windward grew up before our eyes a season ago and everyone is back for 2019-2020. Senior forward Devin Tillis leads the Wildcats along with super sophomores Dylan Andrews and Kijani Wright.
8. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City)
Johnny Juzang jetted for Kentucky after just three years of high school, but senior and Princeton commit Mason Hooks returns for Harvard-Westlake along with seniors Holden McRae, Spencer Hubbard, Brase Dottin and junior Trumann Gettings.
9. St. John Bosco
St. John Bosco doesn’t have a standout player that teams will specifically look to stop like a few of the teams above. Instead, the Braves have strong depth and a roster filled with reliable players who know their roles and execute them well. Senior point guard Josh Camper is an underrated guard in the region.
What will Fairfax look like under new head coach Reggie Morris Jr.? That’s the main question for the Lions coming off of last season’s City Section Open Division championship run. San Diego State commit and senior Keith Dinwiddie takes over for Ethan Anderson (USC) as the go-to scoring option this year. Senior point guard Justyn Hunter is Fairfax’s secret weapon.
11. Campolindo (Moraga)
Campolindo won the Division II state championship last season over Colony. They return several key players, including senior point guard Carter Mahaney, sophomore Aidan Mahaney and junior Emmanuel Callas.
12. Modesto Christian
Modesto Christian handed Salesian their only loss a year ago. Despite losing sophomore guard Devin Day to a torn ACL, the Crusaders are a dangerous team again in 2019-2020.
Mayfair have two of the nation’s top high school players in senior Joshua Christoper and sophomore Dior Johnson. Mayfair will go as far as these two take them.
Damien has two of the top guards in Southern California in junior Malik Thomas and sophomore RJ Smith. Senior forward Austin Cook has Division 1 talent as well.
15. Bishop Montgomery
Bishop Montgomery lost a great group of seniors from a year ago as well as Bradley Ezewiro who transferred to Oak Hill. The Knights will still be solid led by 2020 big man Isaiah Johnson, but the losses hurt.
16. St. Augustine
Senior Luke Haupt and Texas Tech commit Chibuzo Agbo lead the most experienced team in San Diego.
17. Cathedral Catholic
The Dons talented core adds senior Beon Riley to the mix for the 2019-2020 season.
2020 Utah commit Ian Martinez leads a JSerra team with Trinity League title aspirations.
19. Ribet Academy
Ribet went 27-3 last season and bring back their two top players: junior Tyler Powell and senior Snookey Wigington.
Birmingham are City Section Open Division title contenders. Brothers Corey Cofield and Elisha Cofield (2021 and 2020 respectively) as well as juniors David Elliot and James Nobles want revenge on Westchester after falling to the Comets in the semifinals a year ago.
It’s a new look Westchester team in what could be Comet head coach Ed Azzam’s final season. Senior guard Kymani Pollard is the lone impact player from a year ago to return. The Comets have also added 2021 guard TJ Wainwright, a transfer from Santa Monica.
22. Foothills Christian
2020 Yale commit Yassine Gharram will look to improve on last season’s average of 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
23. Torrey Pines
The reloaded Falcons will rely heavily on senior Brandon Angel, a Stanford commit, and junior Chris Howell.
24. Riverside Poly
“I’m really excited about this year’s team,” said head coach Yancy Dodson. “I would put our guard corp of Lamont Butler, DJ Davis (Corona Centennial transfer), Evan Oliver, and Chance Stephens (transfer) up against any guard corp in the state. We have another returning starter in senior forward Derek Rubidoux who does nothing but impact winning. Senior guard Budd Bernie, who is also a 3 year starter at quarterback for the Varsity football team, returns after being 6th man for the last 2 years including as a sophomore on the team that went to the CIF Championship Game. We also have a pair of 6’5” junior forwards, in Mason Bates and Travis McDowell, who will give us what we need up front.”
25. Corona Centennial
Corona Centennial lost three starters from last year’s team to transfers. Jaylen Clark (Etiwanda), DJ Davis (Riverside Poly) and Dennis Cash (Trinity International Prep in Nevada) all will be playing at new schools this season. The Huskies will be young due to the departures, but they do have two talented seniors in Paris Dawson, a Portland State commit and Mason Machado, a 6-foot-7 senior who is committed to Northwest Nazarene. With all the transfers, junior guard Donovan Watkins will have an increased role in 2019-2020. Corona Centennial has a good incoming freshman class with PG Jared McCain, F Aaron McBride and F Jeremiah Whitmore.