The first National Interscholastic Basketball Conference crowned its first champion Saturday night at the Metro Classic in Toms Ford, NJ
Locked atop the high school basketball super-league standings at the start of the weekend, No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas) beat No. 2 IMG Academy (Florida) 57-52 to win the NIBC title.
The victory nearly secured the top seed for the GEICO National Championships in late March and confirmed the Buffaloes’ position at No. 1 in this week’s SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25 Men’s National Basketball Rankings.
Other Power 25 teams faced off at the Metro Classic, including No. 8 La Lumière (Indiana), who beat Baylor’s commitment Keyonte George (40 points) and IMG Academy in double overtime on a go-ahead at 3 points from Aden Holloway.
Gonzaga’s commitment Braden Huff and No. 16 Glenbard West (Illinois) gave Amari Bailey and No. 11 Sierra Canyon (California) a wire-to-wire effort in front of a raucous sold-out crowd at Chicago’s SunTrust Arena , but Trailblazers junior Dylan Metoyer dashed the Hilltoppers’ upset hopes, hitting a winning 3-point corner in the closing seconds.
The NIBC rankings may be set, but coach Luke Barnwell’s top-ranked Buffaloes face another top-5 showdown with No. 5 Link Academy (Missouri) on Friday at the Heartland Hoops Classic in Grand Island, Nebraska. Can National newcomer Link Academy produce a win in its biggest game yet as a program?
Find the full breakdown of the latest SBLive/SI Power 25 Men’s Basketball National Rankings below.
SBLIVE/SI POWER 25: PRESEASON RANKINGS | NOV. 22| NOV. 29 | DEC. 6 | DEC. 13 | DEC. 20 | JAN. 3 | JAN. 11 | JAN. 18 | JAN. 24 | JANUARY 31
The power of 25, Sponsored by Discount tire, is a collaboration between SBLive and Sports Illustrated. The Power 25 rankings are compiled by Andy Buhler, SBLive reporter and SI Director of Basketball Recruiting Jason Jordan based on observations and conversations with an extensive network of coaches and media sources across the country. You can reach Andy on Twitter @AndyBuhler or email him at [email protected].
SBLIVE/SI POWER 25 BOYS BASKETBALL NATIONAL RANKINGS
February 7, 2022
1. Christian sunrise (Bel Aire, Kansas) (21-1)
Following: Feb. 11 vs. Link Academy (Mo.)
Last ranking: No. 1
Locked in the inaugural NIBC Championship with a win over the #2 IMG Academy at the Metro Classic, also picking up wins over #1 SI99 prospect Derek Lively and Westtown (Pennsylvania) and Bishop Walsh (Md.).
2. Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) (25-1)
Following: February 8 against Cedar Hill (Texas)
Last ranking: #3
It’s unclear if they’d even be able to accept an invitation to the GEICO Nationals, but the Panthers are cooking up an impressive resume. Defeat the Lake Ridge District enemy by eight and Waxahachie by 41 – 19 from the junior forward Ron Holland.
3. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (21-4)
Following: February 9 vs. Florida Coastal Prep (Florida)
Last ranking: No. 2
Keyonte George forced OT with a clutch 3 and finished with 40, but the Ascenders lost in double overtime to No. 9 La Lumière on a 3 winner by Aden Holloway in the Metro Classic, then beat The Patrick School (NJ ) by 35 then lost the NIBC title match to No. 1 Sunrise Christian on Saturday.
4. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Florida) (19-4)
Last ranking: Number 4
Scored 3-0 on his last NIBC weekend in New Jersey, capped off with 16 points from Malik Reneau and a double-double from Dillon Mitchell.
5. Academy link (Branson, MO) (26-0)
Following: Feb. 11 vs. No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)
Last ranking: #5
Snow kept the Branson, Mo. Lions out of the Metro Classic with their Game of the Year Friday: No. 1 Sunrise Christian in the Heartland Hoops Classic.
6. Richardson (Richardson, TX) (26-1)
Following: February 7 against Pearce (Texas)
Last ranking: Number 6
A relatively quiet week that saw a game moved to Monday and Kentucky-bound Cason Wallace named one of 10 Naismith Trophy semifinalists, recognizing the National High School Player of the Year.
seven. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (16-2)
Following: February 8 against Coral Springs Charter (Florida)
Last ranking: No. 7
On the way to victories over Schoolhouse Prep (Florida) and St. John Paul II Academy. The playoffs begin this week and Calvary Christian enters the District 13-4A tournament seeded.
8. The Light School (The Gate, Indiana) (16-3)
Following: February 8 vs. International Sports Academy (Ohio)
Last ranking: No. 9
Aden Holloway’s go-ahead 3 with seconds to go gave the Lakers a 93-91 win over No. 2 IMG Academy at the Metro Classic on Thursday. They followed that up with a 15-point loss to No. 4 Montverde and a 17-point win over Gill St. Bernard’s (NJ).
9. Camden (Camden, NJ) (14-2)
Following: February 7 Woodrow Wilson (NJ)
Last ranking: No. 10
Five-star junior DJ Wagner had 17, but his supporting cast built most of the lead en route to a 24-point victory over NJ power St. Peter’s Prep at the Metro Classic.
ten. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA) (22-3)
Following: CIF Southern Section Open Division Pool Game (release brackets Tuesday)
Last ranking: No. 11
Snapped No. 16 Glenbard West’s 26-game winning streak in front of a raucous crowd of pro-Hilltoppers for his biggest win of his national calendar to date. Chicago native and UCLA commit Amari Bailey had a record 19 and Dylan Metoyer hit the winner. Next, a return to California for three Southern Section Open Division pool games. Sierra Canyon enters the No. 2 seed.
11. Dr Phillips (Orlando, Florida) (21-4)
Following: February 9 vs. District Tournament Opponent
Last ranking: No. 12
Closed his regular season with a 56-53 win over Florida powerhouse Windermere on Tuesday. Florida signee Denzel Aberdeen scored 14 goals and Kansas signee Ernest Udeh Jr. scored 13.
12. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) (23-7)
Following: Feb. 11 vs. Rock Creek Christian (Md.)
Last ranking: No. 14
Battled his way to a 3-0 weekend at the Metro Classic, headlining a 61-54 win over No.8 Roselle Catholic to finish fourth in the CNIB classification at 6-4.
13. Catholic of Roselle (Roselle, N.J.) (16-2)
Following: February 8 vs. Westfield (NJ)
Last ranking: No. 8
The winning streak ended at 17 after a 61-54 Metro Classic loss to Judah Mintz (23 points) and No. 14 Oak Hill (Virginia).
14. Little North Rock (Little Rock, Ark.) (18-3)
Following: Feb. 8 vs. Little Rock Southwest (Ark.)
Last ranking: No. 13
Defeated rival Little Rock Central, Ark., in overtime thanks to 29 points from McDonald’s All-American Nick Smith, then had a game Saturday with Conway, Ark., canceled due to ice.
15. Combine Academy (Lincolnton, NC) (14-4)
Last ranking: No. 15
Illinois-bound Jayden Epps had 24 points and eight assists and Virginia Tech commitment Patrick Wessler finished with 17 and 13 boards in a 73-56 win over Huntington Prep, then beat the Vertical Academy 84-76 Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Short XIV Classic.
16. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) (24-0)
Following: Feb. 8 vs. Canyon Spring (Nv.)
Last ranking: No. 17
Defeat Southern League 5A foe Durango, Nev., and defeat Faith Lutheran to remain one of three undefeated Power 25 teams.
17. Crown centenary (Corona, Calif.) (26-1)
Following: CIF South Section Open Division Pool Game (release brackets Tuesday)
Last ranking: No. 18
Finished Big VIII League play with lopsided wins over Roosevelt and Corona before the start of South Section Open Division pool play. The Huskies are the No. 1 seed.
18. Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) (26-1)
Following: February 10 against Hinsdale Central (Illinois)
Last ranking: No. 16
Took care of two conference opponents to pave the way for a showdown with the No. 11 Sierra Canyon in Chicago and took the star-studded Trailblazers to the wire in a 67-64 loss. Gonzaga Braden Huff’s commitment has presented itself for the moment and the Hilltoppers have proven that they belong in the national conversation.
19. Greensboro Day (Greensboro, NC) (26-3)
Following: February 7 vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC)
Last ranking: No. 19
Lost to North Carolina’s 2A opponent Trinity Academy and defeated Caldwell Academy (NC) by 19.
20. Downtown (Centerville, Ohio) (19-0)
Following: February 8 against Springboro (Ohio)
Last ranking: 22
Snagged wins over Veritas Academy (Ohio), 67-63, and a 20-point win over Greater Western Ohio Conference foe Fairmont.
21. Saint Paul VI (Chantilly, Virginia) (18-3)
Following: Feb. 8 vs. The Heights (Md.)
Last ranking: NR
Panther is familiar with free basketball after last week. Beat DeMatha 77-74 in overtime and play St. John’s to triple overtime in the WCAC game.
22. Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) (20-2)
Following: February 8 vs. Newnan (Ga.)
Last ranking: 25
Georgia’s top-ranked team remains top of the 7A class heading into the final week of the regular season. Escaped with a one-point home win over No 18 McEahearn and ran alongside Campbell.
23. Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) (14-2)
Following: February 8 vs. St. John’s (DC)
Last ranking: 23
Still atop the WCAC after wins over conference foes Our Lady of Good Counsel and Bishop Ireton, but suffered their second loss of the season to non-conference opponent Sidwell Friends (DC) 52-46 on Saturday.
24. Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) (13-9)
Following: February 9 against Layton Christian (Utah)
Last ranking: NR
They were on the verge of a comeback after a last-second loss to No. 1 Sunrise Christian. Now the Tigers are back after surviving a grueling NIBC schedule — 7 of 9 losses are to Power 25 teams — following a double-overtime win over No. 23 Long Island Lutheran. Big man Keba Keita and Ohio State-bound Roddy Gayle had 18 apiece.
25. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) (15-2)
Following: February 8 vs. Xaverian (NY)
Last ranking: 20
Lost to St. Francis Prep (NY) 61-56 in his only game of the week.
Who qualifies for the Power 25?
To be eligible, programs must either be affiliated with the state high school athletic association in the state in which they reside, or recognized by the association and licensed to play in member high schools in their home state.
—Andy Buhler, SBLive— @AndyBuhler
— Jason Jordan, SI — @JasonJordanSI