Prep Zone Power Poll – 2012/2013 Basketball #1

GAINESVILLE- Providence (Jacksonville) begins the season where it left off – on top of the preseason boys’ basketball Prep Zone Power Poll.

In fact, Providence, which received three of the six first-place votes, has finished on top of the power poll in two of the past three years.

The Stallions, who finished 28-3 last year following an overtime loss to eventual 3A state champion Tampa Prep in the state semifinals, have won eight straight games to begin the season. They are led by 6’3 junior Grayson Allen, one of the top 10 juniors in the state, and 6’7 junior David Sharp, the 5th-ranked junior center in the state, according to Source Hoops, which has the Stallions ranked No. 1 in 3A.

Father Lopez (Daytona Beach), which is ranked fifth in 3A according to Source Hoops, is ranked second. The Green Wave, who finished 26-4 last year, have won eight of their first nine games, with their only loss coming against last year’s 4A state runners-up, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando), 60-54.

Wolfson (Jacksonville), which lost by only one point to Leesburg in last year’s 6A semifinals, is ranked fourth. The Wolfpack, who received one first-place vote, have won their first 10 games of the season.

NFEI, ranked No. 1 in 2A according to Source Hoops, also received one first-place vote to round out the top five. The Eagles have won seven of their first eight games, with their only loss coming at state-power Montverde Academy, 82-77, on December 7.

They lose Poole, who is graduating early and will en-roll at Georgia Tech in January, but they are loaded with talent, including 6’7 junior Terrell Miller and rising 6’7 sophomore Erich Cobb.

Alachua County is represented next.

Hawthorne, which is ranked sixth, was the 1A state runner-up. The Hornets, who began the season 9-0, will benefit from the transfer of Ed Porter, one of the top sophomores in the state.

Despite losing Porter, there is plenty of talent at Gainesville High. The Purple Hurricanes, who are led by 6’5 junior Isaiah Jackson and rising sophomore Ike Smith, are ranked seventh.

Bartram Trail (St. Johns), Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) and Nature Coast (Brooksville) all round out the top 10, ranking eighth through 10th, respectively.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball and baseball teams (regardless of classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters.

PREP ZONE POWER POLL – PRESEASON RANKINGS (Records through 12/19)
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, overall record and total voting points)

1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3) (3A) (8-0) – 116
2. Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) (3A) (8-1) – 99
3. Leesburg (6A) (8-3) – 95
4. Wolfson (Jacksonville) (1) (6A) (10-0) – 91
5. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (1) (2A) (7-1) – 90
6. Hawthorne (1) (1A) (9-0) – 75
7. Gaineville (6A) (6-2) – 71
8. Bartram Trail (5A) (9-0) – 65
9. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (9-1) – 59
10. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (5A) (9-1) – 55
11. Mount Dora Bible (3A) (6-2) – 54
12. Ridgeview (Orange Park) (6A) (7-2) – 50
13. Forest (Ocala) (7A) (9-0) – 46
14. Ed White (Jacksonville) (7A) (9-2) – 40
15. Fort White (4A) (8-0) – 37
16. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (7-3) – 30
17. New Smyrna Beach (7A) (9-2) – 28
18. Terry Parker (Jacksonville) (5A) (5-1) – 34
19. Palatka (5A) (11-2) – 20
20. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (7-3) – 18

Also receiving votes – St. Francis Catholic (Gainesville) (3A) (9-0) – 15; Lecanto (6A) (8-0) – 14; Creekside (St. Johns) (5A) (6-2) – 14; Williston (4A) (4-2) – 12; Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (9-1) – 10; First Coast (Jacksonville) (7A) (6-3) – 7; Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (4-3) – 6; Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (8-3) – 3; DeLand (8A) (6-3) – 3; Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (6-4); Eagle’s View (Jacksonville) (3A) (7-1) – 1.

Next ranking: January 8, 2013