Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Analysis of Rivals150

Every year, releases their list of the top 150 prospects in a given class. We here at CA/CO Prep Sports took a look at this list and found some very interesting things!

If you asked your average basketball junkie, most would think that the states of California, Illinois and New York would produce the most HS level basketball talent. After analyzing the list, only one of these 3 states is in the top 3 in terms of the number of prospects on the 150 list.

1. Georgia-GA leads the nation with 14 prospects on the list. In recent years, GA has become arguably the nations top prep basketball state. Schools like Norcross HS have made their name on the national scene and the AAU club the Atlanta Celtics played host to current NBA stars Josh Smith and Dwight Howard. With the expansion of the Atlanta metropolitan area, GA's talent level should only rise.

2. CA/NJ- Jersey and the Golden State tie with 11 prospects a piece. With national powerhouses like St. Benedicts and St. Anthony's it is not totally surprising to see NJ putting out big time talent. CA is a players paradise. There is competition in every gym. Los Angeles puts out players that range in style from Aaron Afflalo and Gilbert Arenas to Tyson Chandler and Teyshaun Prince. Oakland is one of the most historically rich basketball towns, and The Town loves to produce big guys like Drew Gooden, Leon Powe and Cal's Devon Hardin.

3. FL- It isn't just UF that is strong in basketball these days. With 2 major metropolitan areas in Tampa and Miami, it isn't hard to put out some of the top talent in the country. Edgewater and Clearwater HS's are big time programs. One of Florida's home grown boys? Vince Carter.

4. North Carolina- While the Carolina state is rich in College tradition with Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and NC State, the high school scene has picked up as well. While NC is putting out talent, much of it is transplant talent due to the high volume of Prep Schools. For example, the star of the Pendletton School, Matt Simpkins, is from Northern California.

Others of Note: TX 7, IL 7, NY 6, VA 6

Monday, December 3, 2007

Top Ten

Now for the good stuff, here are the top 10 CO basketball teams as of 12/04/2007.

1. Denver East- Simply put, the Thorton brothers are dominating. Combining for 49 points against Doherty, the brothers helped east down the #4 team in Colorado 79-70. When the Angels get star Mookie Gilbert back, Rudy Carey should have his 3rd state title in 5 years.

2. ThunderRidge- This program has no excuse to ever be out of the top 5 as they are just that deep with talent. Coach Joe Ortiz has the talent and the experience to get this team to the Coors Event Center yet again.

3. Poudre- Dallas Elmore and company dispensed Xavier Howard-less Smoky Hill this past week to boot the Buffaloes out of the top 10. If the rest of Poudre can step up when Elmore is focused on, this team could be simply dangerous!

4. Doherty- The loss to #1 East drops the Spartans only one spot. Doherty has some big shoes to fill from last year, but has the talent to do it. The league games against Reggie Jackson and Palmer will be exciting.

5. Mullen- Two Final Fours and a state championship are things that programs often dream about. For Coach Cutrell and the Mustangs that is the level of expectations that they must live up to. Cutrell has built Mullen into a perennial powerhouse and with stars Terrance Dent and Stan Jones, I don't see Mullen falling to short of those expectations.

6. Cherry Creek- They have talent year in and year out and this year is no exception. Trey Eckloff is looking to have a monster senior year and lead CC back to Boulder. Will he have enough support from his fellow Bruins?

7. Palmer- This team could catapult up these rankings very soon. Reggie Jackson has a very capable cast around him and should they split with Doherty, I like them come tourny time. For now though, Palmer is at #7.

8. Boulder- Word is that this group of seniors has changed their attitude and set their sights on playing up the hill on campus come later in the season. Will the Panthers finally live up to their potential?

9. Wheat Ridge- One of the taller teams in the state and they should have a favorable league schedule. Will the Farmers have the guard play to compete with the state's elite? Early indications are negative, but the post play is enough to warrent a top 10 ranking.

10. Fairview- Coach Lee has all three components of a team to make a run for CEC; they have a great PG, a star on the wing, and they play great defense. Fairview could shoot up the rankings and gain a #1 seed coming tourny time, or they could finish mid pack in the Centennial and make a Cinderella run at the title.

Players to Watch

We all know about the stars of Colorado like Dallas Elmore, Trey Eckloff and Demetrius Thorton, but who are the top players in each class that could have break out years?

Freshman: T.J. Adams (Silver Creek)- Adams stands at about 6'4 and is as coordinated as it gets at that age. Despite the lack of a consistent outside shot, Adams is a strong rebounder and has a high motor at all times. It looks like Adams will be starting for the Raptors and Coach Banning, so he should have plenty of opportunities to succeed.

Sophomores: Nick Tomsick (Broomfield)- Tomsick should be the next great guard to wear an Eagles uniform. Tomsick performed very well in the Rocky Mountain Fall Showcase and is looking to lead Broomfield towards a state title in 4A.

Juniors: Beau Gamble (Fairview)- I can't say how much I like his game. He is a quick point guard who simply does not turn the ball over. He is every coaches dream PG. Gamble also possesses a great shot. Gamble will be the beneficiary of double teams on fellow teammate Travis Shepherd.

Seniors: Mitchell Frasier (Boulder)- While Frasier is a common name to CO HS basketball junkies, many out side of the Centennial League know about this athletic guard. Frasier posses the passing ability of a point guard, the shooting of a shooting guard, and the athleticism of a power forward. Look for him to possibly lead the Centennial League in scoring.

League Rankings

1. Centennial: With 4 of the top 10 teams in the state, it is hard to argue against this choice. Over the past 5 years the Centennial league has only won a single state title, but has produced 6 Final Four teams including an All-Centennial Final Four.

2. Denever Prep League: While not all the schools are 5A, the DPL has a total of 3 teams ranked the top 10 of their respective top 10 polls. Included in those rankings are Colorado's #1 Denver East, defending 4A champion Lincoln and 4A powerhouse Thomas Jefferson.

3. Continental: The Continental league may not be as deep in terms of good teams as the Centennial, but they are more competitive in the middle than the DPL. ThunderRidge again leads the way for the conference with Gateway, Arapahoe and Regis leading the middle.

Friday, November 23, 2007

DC runs to the upset

When Mullen's starting QB Johnny Miller went down earlier in the year, Sophomore Tim Tancik stepped up to the plate for the Mustangs. With 14 TD passes to 3 interceptions, Tancik had yet to be rattled; Douglas County was able to do that Friday night at De La Salle Field winning 21-14.
Down 14-7 at halftime, the Huskies of DC rushed for over 225 yards in the 2nd half. The go ahead TD was by Jose Astorga on a 82 yard TD run in the 4th quarter. QB Will Arnold ran for the second TD in the 3rd quarter while Astorga scored from 7 yards in the 1st.
"It took a lot (to beat Mullen)," said Arnold. "We dug down and took it to them."
With under 3:00 to go, Mullen got the ball at their own 22 yard line with a chance to score. After converting on 4th down and 3rd and long, Tincik completed a 13 yard pass to Mullen senior Terrence Dent to get Mullen inside the 20 yard line. After nearly being intercepted by Douglas County LB Ryan Misare on a sideline pass, Tincik went back to the same rout only this time Misare hauled it in.
"I jumped it and came down with it, it was awesome," Misare said
With the win, Douglas County moves to its second state final in three years. As of Friday night, the Huskies look to face either Bear Creek or Grandview.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Action packed?

If you are well connected in the circle of Colorado prep sports, it's likely that you've heard about what happened on November 3rd when Highlands Ranch faced Rangeview on the gridiron. If not, then check out this video on

What you will see is following the play, a Highlands Ranch player grab the face mask of a Rangeview player and toss him to the ground using his strength and body weight. This action resulting in a serious neck injury (reportedly a broken neck) to the young man in the Raider uniform. What makes this so different then any other dangerous play on the football field that unfortunately results in serious injury? There was no penalty, and no response from CHSAA.

This was no ordinary action either. It is clear in the video, that this was done with malicious intent and you see the head referee come into view at the end of the video. Where was his flag? Did he leave it with his glasses in the car? There is no way that he did not see the act because the quarterback ran and was down just yards from the incident. This kind of action is inexcusable and the player should be penalized accordingly: career long suspension, anger management classes and his parents should cover the medical bill of the injured Rangeview player. This is similar to the incident in the NHL when Todd Bertuzzi attacked a player from the Avalanche and critically injured him. Criminal acts are criminal acts, whether they take place in a bar or on a playing field and whether they are premeditated or in the heat of the moment. The staff at CA/CO Prep Sports strongly encourages the justice department and the Highlands Ranch administration to do the right thing.

Monday, November 5, 2007

5A League Predictions

As basketball try outs near, it is time to look at the prediction champions in each 5A conference in Colorado.

Favorite- ThunderRidge- Coach Ortiz returns a squad this year that is looking to help the Grizzlies return to Coors Event Center in 2008. David Arnold and Corey Stern will carry the Grizzlies.

Sleeper- Gateway- The Olympians are led by all everything player O'Rion Hughes. With a dominant showing at the Rocky Mountain Fall Showcase, Hughes is looking to lead his team to a possible Cinderella type season.

Favorite- I'm going to go out on a limb and pick Mullen here. I think Mullen has gained the competitive mental edge over Cherry Creek in the last few years even with the loss of All-State Devin Aguilar (right) and I love Coach Cutrell. Terrance Dent and Stan Jones headline the Mustangs this year.

Sleeper- Not much of a sleeper with Mr. Basketball candidate Trey Eckloff (committed to Colorado) on the squad. Cherry Creek could easily take the #1 spot from Mullen, but they will have to overcome the losses that they have suffered in the past few years.

Colorado Springs Metro:
Favorite- Doherty should be the overwhelming favorite on nearly every board. With a junior class that is probably the best in the state, the Spartans will make a run at state for the next two years.

Sleeper- Palmer, led by Reggie Jackson (committed to Boston College) will give Doherty all they can handle. Jackson, arguably the state's top player, will need to trust his supporting cast if Palmer plans on making a run at Doherty.

Denver Prep:
Favorite- The East Angels. Need I say more? The name alone brings chills to teams that have been conquered by Rudy Cary and company. Demetrius Thornton and Mookie Gilbert will lead the Angels into the season as the top ranked team in Colorado and defending 5A champions. This year is the most likely year that we will see a repeat champion since the early 2000's with ThunderRidge, but it will not be easy.

Sleeper- I am going to go with Manual. Oh wait, Manual closed. Well, that about shows who is going to be able to steal the city title from East.

Front Range:
Favorite- Poudre is lead by Mr. Basketball favorite Dallas Elmore (committed to Boston College) but will need to prove that they can get the job done as a team unit.

Sleeper- Legacy has their own star in Trevor Noonan (committed to Air Force) but will they have enough to stop the Impalas?

Favorite- Chatfield is my pick here. They lose some talent but they also have some underclassmen that provide the new talent along with senior leadership. They will likely struggle outside of conference but the Jeffco is one of the weaker leagues in 5A Colorado.

Sleeper- Anyone.

Aurora Central- The Trojans lose nearly everything from the State Runner up last year, but new addition Kojo Mensah from Brooklyn, NY should give AC the athleticism, experience and talent to win the weakest 5A conference in the state.

Sleeper- Noone.

CA/CO Prep Sports has yet to evaluate teams from this conference.