The 2015-16 high school basketball season has arrived in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Here’s a look at our boys’ preseason Top 20 rankings, and the preaseason All-Met Watch. For links to comprehensive league-by-league preview capsules, scroll to the bottom of this story, and visit allmetsports.com all winter long for stories, standings, scores, statistics and more. To view the girls’ basketball season preview, click here.
1. DeMatha - Final 2014-15 record: 33-4 (Final ranking: 1)
Last year’s top-ranked team starts the season in the same spot with hopes of winning its first WCAC title since 2011 behind All-Met guard Markelle Fultz and highly touted junior D.J. Harvey.
2. Westfield - 27-2 (3)
After nearly winning last year’s Virginia 6A state title, the Bulldogs return the nucleus from their best season ever in lightning-quick guard Blake Francis and versatile swingman Tyler Scanlon.
3. St. John’s - 27-9 (4)
The defending DCSAA champs feature star power in All-Met guard and Maryland recruit Anthony Cowan as well as experienced talent in sharpshooter Jeffrey Dowtin Jr. and Kylia Sykes.
4. Gonzaga - 25-12 (5)
The Eagles look to defend their WCAC title with a mix of explosive play in junior guard Chris Lykes and emerging talent in sophomore playmaker Prentiss Hubb and Eddie Scott.
5. Wise - 17-9 (NR)
The Pumas made a strong postseason run last winter when juniors Michael Speight and Darron Barnes emerged as two of Prince George’s County’s top prospects and they added 6-foot-6 Northwestern transfer Saiquon Jamison.
6. Paul VI - 20-15 (NR)
With a year in the WCAC under his belt, nationally ranked swingman V.J. King takes the reins for a Panthers team that also features Pittsburgh recruit Corey Manigault and savvy point guard Aaron Thompson.
7. Meade - 26-2 (2)
Guard Tristan Easton is back for his senior season and ready to lead a Meade team that won 25 of its final 26 games last season en route to a dominant Maryland 4A state title game victory.
8. Douglass - 20-5 (19)
The Eagles lost an overtime heartbreaker in last year’s Maryland 2A South region final to eventual state champion Oakland Mills, but the return of seniors Cameron Hayes and Donald Carey could put them over the top this winter.
9. National Christian - 26-5 (12)
The Capital Beltway regular season champions will again be among the area’s top offensive teams with All-Met Christian Matthews (Georgia Tech recruit) and senior Fred Rowles back in the fold.
10. Eleanor Roosevelt - 20-4 (14)
Though the defending Prince George’s County champions lost their two top scorers from last year, senior Naji Marshall can fill the void by taking on a larger role after a breakout summer.
11. Riverdale Baptist - 25-16 (NR)
The Crusaders could be poised for a big winter with transfers Jamal Wright (Bullis), Greg Boyd (Parkdale) and Amanze Njoku-Ibe (Pallotti) joining three returning starters.
12. Bullis - 20-8 (NR)
After having their string of three IAC titles snapped at the buzzer in last year’s final, the Bulldogs possess both motivation and experience with Alex Leder and Chyree Walker among four returning starters.
13. H.D. Woodson - 26-6 (18)
The defending DCIAA champions return league player of the year Antwan Walker, and the addition of Dunbar transfers Kiyon Boyd and Derquan Washington could make the Warriors even tougher to beat this season.
14. Maret - 22-5 (13)
Led by 6-9 center Luka Garza and a new coach in Chuck Driesell, the Frogs are in search of another MAC championship after earning at least a share of the last three titles.
15. Bethesda-Chevy Chase - 20-6 (16)
The Barons will lean on guard Kevin Holston and 6-10 center Tyjhai Byers after reaching the Maryland 4A state title game last season.
16. McNamara - 20-11 (NR)
All five Mustangs starters are back, including fourth-team All-Met guard Jamir Moultrie , Drexel signee Sam Green and bruising forward Jamar Watson, to prove their mettle in the always-tough WCAC.
17. Bowie - 16-8 (NR)
With the backcourt tandem of Quinton Drayton and Michael Gray back, as well as the return of 6-foot-8 big man Yohance Fleming, the Bulldogs have plenty of ammunition to challenge for a state title this year.
18. Potomac (Va.) - 22-4 (10)
Jeffrey Gordon, a senior transfer who posted 19.4 points per game at Evangel Christian last season, and senior center Damani Morris, a 6-foot-6 Robert E. Lee transfer, headline the Panthers’ latest influx of fresh talent.
19. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes - 17-10 (NR)
The Saints will be without guard Michael Janowski (torn ACL) but they still return four starters, including capable scorer Denmark Slay and post threat Andrew Trainer from last year’s IAC regular-season championship team.
20. St. Andrew’s - 21-6 (20)
To fill the void left by the graduation of standout Marcus Adkison, the Lions will turn to forwards Tyler Stewart, Anthony Duruji and George Muresan as they look to build on last year’s MAC tournament title.
On the bubble: Battlefield, Centennial, Clarksburg, Clinton Christian, Episcopal, Hylton, North Point, O’Connell, West Springfield
G Anthony Cowan, St. John’s, 5-11, Sr.
Maryland signee is poised for an even bigger senior season with improved ball handling skills, more strength and a steady jumper to go with his ability to attack the basket.
G Alani Moore, Friendship Collegiate, 5-9, Sr.
After transferring from Montrose Christian and signing with Temple, he has plans to build on his breakout junior campaign during which he averaged 17.4 points per game.
G Markelle Fultz, DeMatha, 6-4, Sr.
Fresh off a summer that shot him up the recruit rankings and included a commitment to Washington, the reigning WCAC player of the year has his sights set on a WCAC title.
G/F V.J. King , Paul VI, 6-7, Sr.
Ranked as one of the nation’s top players, the Louisville recruit’s smooth play and length make him a tough assignment for opposing defenses.
G/F Christian Matthews, National Christian, 6-6, Sr.
The Georgia Tech recruit used a feathery stroke and plenty of range to give opponents fits and average 22.4 points for the Eagles last season.
G Chris Lykes , Gonzaga, 5-6, Jr.
The electrifying playmaker plays much bigger than his height, using an explosive first step and a fearless style to lead the defending WCAC champion Eagles.
G Tristan Easton, Meade, 6-3, Sr.
The top player for the defending Maryland 4A champion is on pace to become the school’s all-time leading scorer thanks to a strong inside-outside skillset.
G/F D.J. Harvey, DeMatha, 6-7, Jr.
Listed as one of the country’s top juniors, the physical swingman has a soft touch from the outside and a knack for getting to the rim for the nationally ranked Stags.
F Luka Garza , Maret, 6-9, Jr.
Talented post player emerged last season as a threat in the paint as well as a perimeter shooter capable of stretching defenses for the Frogs.
F Tyler Scanlon, Westfield, 6-7, Sr.
Boston University recruit averaged a team-high 17.6 points in leading the Bulldogs to a school-record 27 wins and their first Virginia 6A state final.
On the bubble
Guards: Ako Adams, O’Connell, Sr.; Matt Ayoub, W.T. Woodson, Sr.; Isaiah Boggs, Largo, Sr.; Jared Bynum, Georgetown Prep, Sr.; Jerry Carter, Hylton, Sr.; Nate Darling, DeMatha, Sr.; Jeffrey Dowtin Jr., St. John’s, Sr.; Quinton Drayton, Bowie, Jr.; Blake Francis, Westfield, Sr.; Jalen Gibbs, North Point, Jr.; Kevin Holston, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Sr.; Prentiss Hubb, Gonzaga, So.; Ibrahim Kamara, Woodbridge, Sr.; Daniel Kiley, Oakland Mills, Sr.; Andrew Kostecka, Clarksburg, Sr.; Alex Leder, Bullis, Sr.; Jamir Moultrie, McNamara, Jr.; Rinardo Perry, McKinley Tech, Sr.; Nick Reed, Episcopal, Sr.; Kevin Sellman, Crossland, Sr.; Keaton Simmons, Stonewall Jackson, Sr.; Denmark Slay, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, Jr.; Michael Speight, Wise, Jr.; Aaron Thompson, Paul VI, Jr.; Chyree Walker, Bullis, Sr.; Camari Wilkerson, Old Mill, Sr; Jamal Wright, Riverdale Baptist, Sr.
Forwards/Centers: Nick Barnes, Stone Bridge, Sr.; Daryl Bones, IDEA, Sr.; Malik Brown, North Point, Sr.; Tom Brown, Centennial, Sr.; James Butler, Lake Braddock, Sr.; Tyhjai Byers, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Sr.; Kyle Copeland, Tuscarora, Sr.; Dayvon Cuffey, Glen Burnie , Jr.; Kuony Deng, Champe, Sr.; Shaq Dibuti-Lobe, Whitman, Sr.; Lewis Djonkam, West Springfield, Sr.; Melo Eggleston, Clinton Christian, Jr.; Jeffrey Gordon, Potomac (Va.), Sr.; Cameron Hayes, Douglass, Sr.; Brandon Horvath, Southern, Sr.; Corey Manigault, Paul VI, Sr.; Naji Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jr.; Deng Nhial, Wakefield, Sr.; Ejike Obinna, Virginia Academy, Jr.; Dondrea Tillman , Potomac Falls, Sr.; Andrew Trainer, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, Sr.; Antwan Walker, H.D. Woodson, Sr.