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The Times' boys' basketball rankings

Preaseason rankings for high school teams in the Southland by Ben Bolch.

November 30, 2009

The Times' preseason high school basketball rankings by Ben Bolch (last season's final records are listed): Rk. Team (Rec., Sec.-Div.) Comment 1 WESTCHESTER (35-2, City-Div. I) Loaded Comets will be a force as long as they follow The Jordin (Mayes) Rules. 2 TAFT (27-5, City-Div. I) Coach Derrick Taylor and Mater Dei counterpart Gary McKnight agree to co-write "Impact Transfers for Dummies." 3 MATER DEI (31-2, SS-Div. 1AA) Transfers Keala King and Max Hooper follow in the Nike Air-cushioned footsteps of Tyler Lamb, Jamal Sampson, etc. 4 CORONA CENTENNIAL (24-4, SS-Div. 1AA) Super sophomores Gelaun Wheelwright and Dominique Dunning are now jump-through-the-roof juniors. 5 HARVARD-WESTLAKE (28-7, SS-Div. 3A) Season should be one long high-five for Wolverines, who return all their starters from last year. 6 LOYOLA (26-7, SS-Div. 1A) Coach Jamal Adams wants Cubs to know that character counts -- and so does winning the Mission League. 7 GARDENA SERRA (23-8, SS-Div. 3A) Cavaliers have enough college-bound talent to compete in Big West Conference right now. 8 LONG BEACH POLY (23-6, SS-Div. 1AA) With football team in rebuilding mode, fans chant "Wait 'till basketball season" for first time in decades. 9 EISENHOWER (32-3, SS-Div. 2A) Eagles bring their sneakers and industrial-strength earplugs to first practice.10 FAIRFAX (27-5, City-Div. I) Lions have massive hole in middle of lineup but fewer headaches with Renardo Sidney gone.11 LEUZINGER (26-7, SS-Div. 1A) It's an Olympic year in 2010, but will it be year of the Olympians?12 ORANGE LUTHERAN (25-6, SS-Div. 4AA) UC Irvine Coach Pat Douglass asks Lancers counterpart Chris Nordstrom if they could trade backcourts.13 OCEAN VIEW (27-8, SS-Div. 3AA) Coach Jim Harris glad he got to experience state title game before it was moved to Bakersfield.14 THOUSAND OAKS (30-3, SS-Div. 1AA) UC Davis-bound forward Alex Tiffin should relish final year of big-time hoops before heading to Big West Conference.15 SIMI VALLEY (22-7, SS-Div. 2AA) Deep and balanced Pioneers could be a bigger attraction than retired Air Force One at the Reagan Library.16 SANTA MONICA (22-9, SS-Div. 1A) Perimeter-oriented Vikings are seeking fifth consecutive 20-win season and first trip to The Lobster that isn't overpriced.17 CRENSHAW (19-4, City-Div. I) Highly touted freshman Isaac Hamilton hopes to help Cougars recapture a taste of their glory days.18 PRICE (29-6, SS-Div. 4AA) As usual, small-school Knights are stockpiled with inordinate number of big-time prospects.19 PACIFIC HILLS (28-7, SS-Div. 4A) Crenshaw transfer Geoffrey Allen wanted to test the waters elsewhere for senior year.20 ETIWANDA (25-6, SS-Div. 1AA) Even with no returning starters, Eagles expect to soar with newcomer Byron Wesley and reserve Jordan Daniels in the fold.21 KING (30-3, SS-Div. 1AA) Wolves might feel as if they're starting every game down 5-0 with nobody back from starting lineup.22 RANCHO VERDE (24-6, SS-Div. 1AA) Mustangs' underclassmen thought last year that having a McDonald's All-American entitled team to free McDonald's.23 LOS OSOS (18-12, SS-Div. 1AA) David Smith, returning to coach Grizzlies after colon cancer diagnosis, is the inspirational story of the year.24 CLEVELAND (20-9, City-Div. I) Guards Jason Johnson and Jalen Bland will lead up-tempo attack that is anything but dull.25 REDONDO (15-13, SS-Div. 2AA) Sea Hawks don't expect to be anywhere near .500 this year with four returning starters.

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