Preseason AAA Hoops Top 25 - 5-1

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The 2012-13 High School Basketball season commences this
week and there are a bevvy of juicy storylines to monitor all the way into
March when someone will cut down the nets as Group AAA State Champions.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Returning in the #1 spot is the defending State
Champions from Hampton, the Crabbers. With
four starters back in the lineup, including the Player of the Year and one of
the top rated prospects nationally in the Class of 2013, they were a logical
choice. But can they repeat, following
the likes of recent Eastern Region squads like Norcom
(2010 and 2011) and Woodside (2004 and 2005) to do so?

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>There will be plenty of challengers along the way for
Hampton, including teams in their own district, such as Kecoughtan,
which has a couple of D-1 signees themselves.
State Tournament participants like Henrico, Gar-Field and Thomas Edison
return multiple starters as well.
Perennial contenders Highland Springs and Potomac took minor dips last
year, but are expected to be strong candidates to go deep in the playoffs both
this season and next year with talented underclassmen on those rosters.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>And as always, there are sure to be some surprises that
emerge along the way. We'll be here the
entire time to break it all down and provide analysis and in-depth coverage to
satisfy your roundball appetite, updating our AAA
Hoops Top 25 weekly and scores daily. So
buckle up, sit back and enjoy what promises to be another exhilarating ride of
High School Hoops in Virginia!

1. Hampton - -
not to like about this Crabbers squad?
Longtime Coach Walter Brower won his third state title last winter and
he's got a couple of Division I playmakers in the backcourt in Anthony 'Cat' Barber
(NC State), the reigning AAA State Player of the Year, and Jordan Baker (Old
Dominion), a hard-nosed defender with a penchant for making big shots.
style=> In the front-court, undersized post Sammie
Royal is a bull that plays with an unbelievable motor that allows him to put up
double-double type numbers nightly, and forward Tre
Perry has improved his shooting range over the off-season.
style=> What makes this team unique is that despite
not having a starter taller than 6-foot-3, all five positions on the floor
rebound the ball exceedingly well and contest every shot, whether it's near or
away from the basket.

style=> Henrico - -
Vance Harmon's Warriors averaged 83 points per game a season ago, tops in the
state at the AAA level, in reaching the State Tournament semifinals with a
school-record 28 victories. In fact,
during one stretch, Henrico won 20 in a row last season.
style=> While they did lose Capital District Player
of the Year Evan Thorpe, who's now at Christopher Newport University, three
starters are back in Tim Jones, Jordon Talley and Marvin Smith that should
allow them to continue to play their pedal to the metal style.
style=> This will be a turbo-charged unit that has
big-game experience on its side, having gone deep in the postseason this past
March with several of those faces comprising their roster for 2012-13.

style=> Potomac - -
Panthers have been to the State Tournament nine times since 1995, claiming a
Northwest Region title as recent as two seasons ago.
style=> Coach Keith Honore
feels the strength of this team will be its size and depth with seven
experienced players returning, plus the addition of Brooke Point transfer T.T.
Felder, son of Potomac great Mookie Felder.
style=> Replacing guard Shawn Andrews is a question
mark, but sophomore Keijon Honore
seems to be up for the task with an offer from Holy Cross already under his
belt. All-Region performer Randy Haynes
and 6-foot-8 center Trey Porter create matchup problems, while Joe Velez
provides a zone buster capable of getting hot from three-point territory.

style=> Herndon - -
a blast from the past for the Hornets.
Returning as Head Coach is Gary Hall, the man who guided them to an
appearance in the state title game in 2006 when Scottie Reynolds, an
All-American guard at Villanova, was their star on the court.
style=> Since that loss to Booker T. Washington in
the State Championship, Herndon hasn't tasted much success, even finishing with
a losing record a year ago. But better
days are ahead with arguably the Northern Region's best 1-2 punch in senior Will
Ferguson, a lightning-quick point guard, and junior Dorian Johnson, a
natural scorer from the wing.

style=> Kecoughtan - -
signee Rajay Bullock is one of the most skilled
forwards in the nation from the Class of 2013, and you'll be hard-pressed to
find a better shooter in the Commonwealth this year than Greg Alexander, who's
headed to East Carolina. Having those
two back is comforting for Coach Ivan Thomas after seeing eight seniors
graduate from a State Final Four team.
The Warriors are beginning to grasp Thomas' system and understand what
it takes to sustain success year after a year in establishing
class=SpellE>Kecoughtan as one of the better programs around.
style=> To be in the Championship hunt again,
sophomore point guard Marcell Haskett
and senior center Kaelin Poe will have to take
pressure off of Bullock and Alexander offensively as well as defensively when
the lights shine brightest.

style=> John Marshall - -
most teams that graduate 70 points per game and a pair of dynamic guards like
the Justices had in Jestin Lewis (Alabama State CC)
and Willie Mangum (Western Nebraska CC), there would be enormous concern.
style=> Not John Marshall, though, as Ty White's team
won the competitive Hampton Roads Fall League with a rotation that might be
better than last year's bunch that finished 24-4 overall and made it to the
regional semifinals. Forward Brian White
has signed to play D-1 College Hoops at The Citadel, and guards Dominique Terry
and Gee Dean-McBride are more than capable replacements to Lewis and Mangum in
the backcourt. Keep an eye on 6-foot-7
sophomore forward Nate Williams as well; he's a potential breakout name in the
Central Region.

style=> W.T. Woodson - -
Craig's Cavaliers have a great amount of experience returning from a team that
finished 20-5 in 2011-12 and won the Patriot District regular season
title. Although this team lost its top
two defensive players from last season, which will likely mean it's a work in
progress in that early on, they have six of their top eight scorers back, led
by 6-foot-6 senior forward Tommy Stepka
(14.1PPG). Sophomore Eric Bowles should
be one of the better point guards to come out of the Northern Region by the
time he graduates. This is a group that
will share the basketball, run its sets effectively and not do a lot to beat

style=> Highland Springs - -
programs in Virginia stack up with the Highland Springs Springers,
who have had remarkable success under longtime Head Coach George Lancaster, a
man with over 600 victories and two State Championships.
style=> There might not be a better junior point
guard in the Central Region than C.J. Wiggins (14PPG), a speed demon who'll
allow them to play up-tempo basketball for a full 32 minutes against
practically any opponent. Six-foot-6 senior
and Patrick Henry-Ashland transfer Romeo Jones will help significantly on the
backboards along with 6-foot-2 senior forward Ralph Stovall, and 6-foot-2 freshman
Curtis Jones has special written all over him.
Coach Lancaster likes his team's depth, chemistry and ability to score
the basketball, though believes how well they defend will determine whether or
not this squad is in Championship contention.

style=> L.C. Bird - -
seasons removed from reaching the State Championship game, where they led
eventual Champion Norcom at half-time before losing,
the L.C. Bird Skyhawks could surprise some people in
the Central Region this year, despite seeing guard Robert Johnson transfer to
Benedictine and two key starters from that team graduate in power forward
Christian Smith and point guard Harvey Freeman.
Back is senior guard Javonte Reddick, a scoring
threat from beyond the arc. Second-year
Head Coach Troy Manns also has three dynamite
sophomores in Kenny Williams, Thomas Taylor and Marsellis
Purvis, a newcomer that should average double-figures in points and rebounds.
style=> Getting that spark off the bench will be
essential for them to make a third straight trip to the regional semis.

style=> King's Fork - -
Worrell's King's Fork Bulldogs nearly made it to the Eastern Region
Championship game and Group AAA State Tournament for the third time in five seasons,
losing narrowly to Hampton in overtime of the regional semifinals after
upsetting Eastern District Tournament Champ Norcom
and Beach District Champion Landstown.
style=> Standout forward Zach Johnson is now at Army
and that leaves a void in the front-court, but they have four integral
components returning in seniors Jacorey Smith,
class=SpellE>Akanni White, Rod Parrett and Byron Taylor all at either
the guard or wing positions. This team
has committed itself to playing scrappy, tough defense, and they know their roles
real well. After watching Great Bridge
and Nansemond River win the last two league titles, they want to get back on
top in the Southeastern District as well.

style=> Petersburg - -
Crimson Wave basketball team has put together a better record than anyone else
in the state at the Group AAA level over the past six years 160-18, which
included a 29-2 mark in their first seasons under Head Coach Rick Hite.
style=> But as great as Petersburg has been of late,
they've seen their Championship quest come up short with five losses in the
State Tournament over the last six years, four of those times being eliminated
by the Eastern Region Champion. While
the state's leading scorer is gone in Frank Mason, Petersburg will have a
pretty deep rotation with seniors Earl Adams, Quadree
Walker, Marius Watson and Malik Blackwell; juniors Gevon
Arrington, James Byers and Adonis Jameas; and sophomore
Gemonta Jackson.

style=> GW-Danville - -
Coach Thomas Carr comes in with a different mindset and a plan to push the basketball
up the floor at a rapid pace for the GW-Danville Eagles, who are trying to get
back to the State Tournament for the first time since 2009 when they lost to
King's Fork in overtime in the quarterfinals.
This team will feature some seasoned talented with seven seniors, led by
two highly sought after recruits in guard Jarod Williams and wing Ahmad Thomas.
style=> Last season, Thomas put up nearly 16 points
per game for the Eagles as they made it to the regional quarterfinals, whereas
Williams returns to GW after spending last year at Blue Ridge.
style=> They have two bona-fide scorers in Williams
and Thomas to be in the hunt, but to contend for hardware it may take getting a
lift from the support cast.

style=> Maury - -
10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In 36 seasons at
the helm, Jack Baker has won 649 games, the most among all active VHSL coaches
in the state. His Commodores are sure to
be competitive, even with the departure of ultra-athletic scoring wing Jamal
Ferguson to Marquette. Jamal's younger
brother, Jaleel Ferguson (14PPG, 9.8RPG), is going to
carry them on the baseline alongside fellow 6-foot-5 junior Shyheim
Draughan, a potential breakout player in the Eastern
Region this year. Size and outside
shooting is there. What they aren't real
sure about going into the campaign is ball-handling duties, where things could
be split up amongst the likes of Mike Basnight,
class=SpellE>Jalon Williams and Blake Gibson until someone takes control
at the point.

style=> Green Run - -
Head Coach Kenny Harris has the Stallions looking to build on a regional
playoff appearance and 17-win campaign, but they will have to do it with
double-double man Mark Hall, the Beach District Player of the Year who's now
playing football at UVA. Fortunately for
the Stallions, they have basically everyone else back and couple talented
newcomers to make a push towards the school's first Beach District title since
1988-89. They will lean on the perimeter
trio of senior point guard Lequan Thomas, junior wing
Keon Buchanan and junior shooting guard Tyler
Blount. Each brings a different dimension
to the equation with Thomas providing quickness and relentlessness, Buchanan
possessing athleticism and toughness, and Blount bringing three-point shooting
and poise.

style=> T.C. Williams - -
times in the past six years, the Titans have won the Northern Region,
highlighted by their run to a state title 2008.
Gone are three-year starters Daquan Kerman and
Anthony 'T.J.' Huggins, leading to questions about where some of their
leadership and scoring will come from this season.
style=> One guy they will lean on heavily is 6-foot-5
senior forward Landon Moss, who put up over 11 points and seven rebounds a game
this season and is capable of raising those numbers to around 18PPG and
10RPG. Typically, T.C. Williams plays
extremely hard defensively and is battle-tested come playoff time because of
the tough non-district schedule they play, so count on them being a factor when
the postseason rolls around even if they get off to a slow start.

style=> Stonewall Jackson - -
season, the Raiders made their first trip to the Northwest Region Tournament
since 2003. Now, Stonewall Jackson has
its sights set on winning the Cedar Run District and making a deep playoff run
with ten players back from their 2011-12 bunch,
headlined by 6-foot-3 senior guard J.R. Washington (20.9PPG, 7.8RPG, 4.1SPG).
style=> Alongside Washington, the Raiders expect to
get quality play from senior point guard Mustafa Ali and junior forward
class=SpellE>Diandre Stubbs.
Defensively, they gave up 63.2 points a contest and will have to reduce
that total to go further in the postseason this time.

style=> Norcom - -
not quite the Greyhounds team that won back-to-back state titles with Dorian
Finney-Smith, DeCarlos Anderson and Jeremy
class=SpellE>Canty leading the way, but there's firepower for Coach Leon
Goolsby to pursue a sixth Eastern District Tournament
crown in seven years. At his disposal
are two of the best perimeter scoring threats in Malique
Trent and James Whitaker, a pair of seniors getting courted by D-1
schools. Each can erupt for a huge scoring
outburst at any time. How far they go
will depend on a few factors, such as the defensive intensity for 32 minutes,
production from role players like Antonio Parker and Troy Locke, and what kind
of consistency they get out of the point guard and post positions.

style=> Westfield - -
spot might be a little low for the defending Northern Region Champions, who did
say good-bye to front-court standouts in the 6-foot-11 Zach Elcano,
now at American University, and 6-foot-4 forward Quentin Basil.
style=> What they do have back is an All-District
athlete in 6-foot-3 wing C.J. Hill, who is explosive going to the rim and reliable
defensively for a Bulldogs team known for stymying offensive-minded squads that
want to get out and run. Six-foot-4
senior swingman Trevon Walton, a transfer from
class=SpellE>Riverbend, gives the Bulldogs a major boost with what they
lost in terms of scoring as well as rebounding.

style=> Thomas Jefferson - -
Coach Kendrick Warren, the Vikings enjoyed a major turnaround last season in
winning 20 games, including a comeback victory over L.C. Bird in the
Times-Dispatch Tournament and beating John Marshall to capture the Colonial
District Tournament Championship. None
of their five starters from last season graduated, but word has it that
injuries to a couple of key starters, Josh Boone and Vidrell
Lee, will have them sidelined for the first month of the season, if not
longer. They'll lean on Garrick Ellis,
class=SpellE>Kadeem Wright and Rashawn
Alexander, all double-figure scorers. How
healthy this team is down the stretch, and what kind of lift they are able to
get from their bench, should determine their success in the postseason.

style=> Great Bridge - -
Even though All-District point guard Taj Owens is
gone to Radford, the Wildcats have perhaps the best junior guard in Tidewater
in Marcus Evans, who'll follow in the footsteps of Owens and VCU's
class=SpellE>Briante Weber as the next D-1 product from a Great Bridge
program that's coming off its first Southeastern District title in 12 years.
style=> Steve Bienlien is more
than serviceable on the interior for the Wildcats, and both Andre Banks and Mark
Madison must be accounted for by defenses with their ability to strike from
three-point land. This is a team that
wants to control tempo, dictate the pace and let their defense set the tone to
frustrate the opposition. It'll take a
team forcing the action in transition, yet being disciplined and patient in the
half-court when needed to beat them.

style=> Thomas Edison - -
amount of progress the Eagles have made from going 1-19 three years ago to
reaching the Group AAA State Tournament last season, their first trip since
1970, is rather remarkable. Coach Terry
Henderson relied heavily on the twin tower combination of Matt Murphy and Ty
class=SpellE>Mackall down low, but those two graduated, meaning the
backcourt will be in the spotlight.
Markus Brumsey Jr. and Chief
class=SpellE>Amoah give them two quality guards that can create off the
bounce and pressure the basketball defensively.
Edison will have to make up for that front-court scoring and rebounding
they lose in Mackall and Murphy, though, and improve
their outside shooting, which cost them in the 68-61 State Playoff loss to
Petersburg when they shot 0-for-10 from beyond the arc.

style=> Gar-Field - -
their first 23 games a season ago, the Gar-Field Indians went on to grab the
Northwest Region Tournament crown before falling to Kecoughtan
in the State Tournament quarterfinals to cap one of the finest years in school
history on the hardwood. Gone is
All-State guard Marcus 'Smoke' Knight, but they'll be just fine in the
backcourt with a couple of All-Cardinal District selections in Navy commit Zach
Fong (66 3's) and Curtis Lovitt (13.3PPG).
style=> Most importantly, Gar-Field has developed a
winning mentality and confidence that will give them an edge most nights when
they take the court. Beyond Fong and
class=SpellE>Lovitt, the Indians have to identify who else they can
count on for consistent minutes and productivity because there's not a ton of
size or depth for Coach Andy Gray.

style=> Battlefield - -
starters return for the Bobcats after notching a 12-11 mark in year one under
Coach Kurt Pauly.
Six-foot-1 senior Roman Hall (12PPG) is a four-year starter and speedy
off the bounce; 6-foot-4 senior wing Terrell Walker (10PPG) is a three-year starter
that affects the game in a variety of ways; and 6-foot-3 junior guard Trevor
class=SpellE>Blondin has stellar touch from long distance.
style=> In addition, Battlefield returns junior guard
Jamison Glover and Kameron Hedgepeth,
a dynamic 6-foot-2 sophomore that contributed quite a bit as a freshman.
style=> Look for this program to be on the rise for
years to come with four members from a J.V. team that went 33-2 over the past
two seasons moving up the ladder.

style=> Cosby - -
10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Led by Second Team
All-State performer Troy Caupain, a fearless attacker
who averaged 25 points per game as a junior, the Cosby Titans are looking to
follow up their Dominion District Tournament crown with another solid
campaign. To go with him, the Titans
have one of the better freshmen around in Justin Henry.
style=> Outside of the Cincinnati signee
class=SpellE>Caupain and Jarek
class=SpellE>Frankovich, there isn't a great amount of experience, plus Coach
Ronald Carr has concerns about their size and depth against some of the upper
echelon teams in the Central Region.
However, when Caupain is on and if Henry
develops on schedule, this team will threaten again in the Dominion District.

style=> Landstown - -
11 seasons under Coach Dwight Robinson, the Landstown
Eagles have gone 187-86 with a record of 103-39 in Beach District play.
style=> All four perimeter starters from last year's
team in Tim Marshall, D.J. Roberson, Sedric
class=SpellE>Nady and Tyri Morring
moved on to the next level. Diminutive
5-foot-6 point guard Jordan Roberson is the pulse of the team and plays with
terrific energy and hustle every possession.
Robinson's teams are always aggressive defensively with various presses and
traps, but they now finally have a true inside presence to fall back on in
6-foot-8 sophomore center Darius Bolstad.

Honorable Mention: Bethel, Patrick
Henry-Roanoke, Fairfax, Nansemond River and Meadowbrook

*** See
the Top Ten rankings for the Eastern Region, Central Region, Northern Region
and Northwest Region at
link on the VIP Board! ***

2012-13 Group AAA Basketball Schedules with Results & Standings
115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> 2011-12 Group AAA Basketball
Schedules with Results & Standings


115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
serves as State Basketball Analyst for
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>, part of the
Network. Check out
text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'>Hatfield's Twitter page
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'> for more sports related info and
updates. To contact Matthew, please
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
and don't forget to listen to him on the Hour every Saturday
at 11AM on
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>ESPN Radio 94.1
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
and watch him on the
115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Cox 11 Sports Report
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>.

Sign up for premium access to with a 7-day free trial!
Check out our FREE top prospect listings:
Class of 2012 |
Class of 2013 |
Class of 2014  | 
Class of 2015 (Premium)
Follow all the hoops commitments via
Basketball Commitments Tracker (FREE!)
VIP Board provides the latest in recruiting updates plus in-depth top
prospects lists for football, basketball and baseball!