Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013 06:54:01 PM
Here comes the 3A preseason rankings for all schools in 3A. This class, as it is many times, is going to be very loaded and one of the toughest classes to get to state in. Alva and Adair highlight the class and I figure will be 1-2 all year and barring any surprises or injuries should be at the state tournament. Then any of about the top 27 schools could get in. I think those other 25 could be divided into two groups you could label ''probables'' and ''longshots'' but on any given day, one of those school could step up. A lot different than most classes. Please if you know any newer info than what is listed, post and give us information on scrimmages as they should be starting in the next couple of weeks. Here we go with preseason rankings;
1. Alva -- Giving them the nod over Adair because I have to pick one. State runners-up with a bunch of freshman and sophomores. 3A in the NW part of the state is easier than 2A is. Not quite as deep. They have several shooters with great fundamentals. Depth is good enough to help out. Last year, for over half the season, they flew partially under the radar. However, moving up in class and doing as good as they did last year, means everyone is going to be out to get them and will give them their best game.
2. Adair -- Record headed into state was surprising. These girls know what it takes to get there and expect to get there. Good shooters, not a ton of size but good speed plus tradition means they should be headed for a collision course with Alva for the gold ball. Adair has turned into a program that just keeps producing top of the line athletes who know what it means to be a Lady Warrior. The only negative for them will be a playoff run where they won't have any real ''give me's'' due to how tough 3A is in NE Oklahoma.
3. Hugo -- Very surprise state tournament team last year should be back for more. Return all 5 starters and 2 off the bench who were good. Have a lot of speed and very athletic (this bunch is the same one that sent Hugo to the state softball tournament this year) which means a lot. Not very disciplined at times. It will also be interesting to see how they can handle the pressure of being a favorite for state and being that young.
4. Tahlequah Seqouyah -- Return a lot from a very good run last year. Also picked up a post with very good hands from Tahlequah who will be eligible. Another coaching change, but they are buying in. Have a very tough schedule that we should see early exactly where they are at. Most coaches I talk to list them in the top 3. I want to wait on that to see how well the new coaches and players gel.
5. Heritage Hall -- Most people have overlooked them from last year. They lost to St. mary's in overtime once last year. Also, lost to them in area and were one game from state tournament. Unless they have moved somewhere, return 4 starters plus a solid freshman class that should give them more depth than they have had in a few years. Play a tough schedule and, with Millwood dropping, become the top team in the city. Should go to the south in playoffs with the lack of teams that way. If they picked up a post with some size over the summer, really look out.
6. Verdigris -- Some coaches have them being down this year with the two scoring losses they have had. However, I don't think they will drop much at all. Depth is untested and if they get in foul problems, it will be interesting to see how and who will step up for them. They have made expectations to get to the state tournament a priority and have a great shot to get back.
7. Meeker -- Had a fantastic summer as they rolled thru most of the competition. Did lose one girl to Deer Creek which means they only return 4 starters instead of 5 but return everyone off the bench as well. Tough conference will have them prepared for playoffs. They will go as Edmonds goes and this is the year to get there as they lose a lot. Didn't get as far last year in playoffs as expected but should this year.
8. Oktaha -- Move up from 2A shouldn't hurt them too much as they should be a solid fundamental team. 2A in the area where they are is a lot more depth than what 2A is though so won't have any room for mistakes come playoffs. Get possibly the best player they have back from an injury last year. They are a team that you have to beat as they won't give you anything. Depth could be a factor for them, especially if they happen to have any injuries like last year.
9. Washington -- Hope they don't have me eat crow again. Started them pretty high last year and they dropped fast. Have a pair of girls that are going to be eligable to play this year plus one back from injury. It will be a different starting five, but the playing time that was earned last year, means a ton of depth for them. May take a couple of early losses, however, expect a run to Friday of area at least and challenge for a spot back at the state tournament.
10.Kansas -- Dropped a bit last year, but should be right back in the thick of things this year. Depending on how the playoffs all shake out, are in a horrible geographical area with Seq, Verdigirs and Adair all close to them. If all four of them don't make it in the top 10, it is going to be one tough area tournament for someone. Point guard will be very solid this year and have speed back. Always a good shooting team that can put up some points.
11. Lindsay -- Return a lot from last year state tournament. Offense should revolve around good 6'2 girl who is very talented and getting some collegiate looks. Depth could prove to be an issue and will need to find someone to go with the top 3 players. Should once again be a good defensive team and make another at state tourney.
12.Beggs -- New coach but should not affect the team much. Have depth with good shooters plus gained a new move in freshman who could make a huge difference. Tough schedule and conference means they will be battle tested and may get some losses early but expect them to make a good run come late Feb and march.
13.Morris -- Return a lot of girls back who have experienced successful post season runs. Also picked up a solid move in who could be the best player on the team. Will rely on pressure defense as they have a signature for doing. Last year were hit by the injury bug mid/late season and that hurt a lot come playoff time. Another team with a tough schedule that will be battle tested come playoff time.
14.Atoka -- Return 4 starters from a team that played on Saturday for a birth to the state tournament. Plus the gain a good solid post player, who due to injury, didn't play much after the second week of the season. If she can get back in shape, it will give them a good 1-2 punch in the paint and a good 3 point shooter. They don't have any depth though so staying out of foul trouble will be important. Having Oktaha move up from 3A means they are going to have to work very hard to get back to Area Saturday, however, the second year of the same coach will help out.
15.Tishomingo -- Probably the most disappointing team in the state last year. I had them in the top ten most of the year before they tanked come playoffs. They return all 5 starters plus the leaders off the bench and will try to finish and not peak too early this year. Should be a solid team that doesn't make many mistakes.
16.Henryetta -- Many people think they have dropped a lot. However, they are going to start in the top 20. Should be solid with some outside shooting. Did lose some points to graduation, but return a lot of girls who can make that up. Tough schedule gave them some losses and made it hard to get confidence. A lot of their success will be how they handle the schedule they have and how will the new starters cope with starting. Have a lot of success as they are coming off a state tourney appearence in sb.
17.Okemah -- Surprised many last year but return 4 starters and most of the bench back to build on that success. Has some added height this year they didn't have last year and had a very successful summer. Very tough schedule last year and this year is no difference. Could see over 15 ranked teams so they will be ready come playoffs. Also, the second year in the same system will help.
18.Newkirk -- Another year and another coach means more adjustment. Winburn comes back to guide the Lady Tigers where he took them to multiple state appearences. Very solid senior group who will be mainly 3 and/or 4 year starters. Has good guard play who can hit threes and a fairly strong post play.
19.Perkins -- Lost most of the post play and will be a guard oriented team this year. Tough conference schedule. Struggled finding identity this summer but will be ready to go by December. They are always solid team and may struggle early but should make a run to at least area.
20.Lincoln Christian-- The Lady Bulldogs lost some height of past years but should still be solid. A lack of depth will be a concern but you never know who they picked up. Saw them at ORU this summer and they could still score some points. Not the best ball handlers and without height to throw over people, teams that press with speed could cause them problems.
21.Wilburton -- Return 4 starters and bench players who picked up the most playing time. Won some big games last year. I would have ranked them higher, but the quality of the girl lost to graduation, could be huge. Someone is going to have to stand up and become the scorer. Defense should be good, but offense could struggle. If that steps up, they have potential to be a top 15 or 12 team and go deep in playoffs.
22.Sulphur -- Lost a lot but had a good summer. Coach Todd will have the younger, inexpecienced girls ready to go come time for the season to get here. Is not going to be a look for anyone to over look. Could easily move up the rankings but have to see how the inexperience is going to affect them.
23.Prague -- have tradition and will have good numbers. They won't have any one or two players you can stop. Should be decent defensively but will need to find consistent scoring. Should be scoring by committee but if they can find one or two girls that can average 12+/gm they will be in a lot better shape.
24.Chisholm -- Had a fantastic summer. Has some height and is very fundamental. Could make a run to top 10 and make a run to area. After Alva, there isn't a lot of difference between a Newkirk and a Chisholm. Will need to be more consistent to be a serious contender.
25.Holdenville -- Counting Stroud in 2A, the 6th top 25 team from 66 Conference. Return the entire team from last year and a Friday area appearance. Offensively was very Jackyll and Hyde. may score 61 and the next night flip flop the numbers. Will need to be consistent offensively to make a serious run. They know how to win and are hungry to take the next step.
26.Keys -- Lost one major player but returns a very good group of youngsters. Due to the toughness of the schedule was about .500. They will be a better team but with the same schedule may not win many more. Should go further in playoffs this year and should be competitive with everyone they play.
27.Vian -- Ultra Athletic, very fast, very good basketball players. That usually means a top 10 rankings. However, they are not disciplined, and that has been the biggest problem. With Millwood moving down, probably the only 3A team that can athletically, girl to girl, match up with Hugo. Another new coach means new adjustments. If they will let the coach be in charge and listen to him and not try to run things, they could easily be a top ten or top 5 team. The frist 5-6 games of the season should tell us a lot. They can beat any team in the state by double digits if they get things going.
28.Lone Grove -- Return 4 starters from a team that was around the .500 mark. They also drop down from 4A. They could be a surprise and with Sulphur losing a lot and Plainview moving up to 4A, could be the best team in the south-central/ southwest part of the state. Having another year in the same system makes this team one that many coaches will be looking past.
29.Chelsea -- Always a solid team with a lot going for them. Can't seem to get past the big dogs and they have a lot of them on the schedule. Their location kills them come playoff time with all the loaded teams that surround them.
30.Luther -- Top 30 teams that only won 3 games last year?? This will be a totally new looking team. Have a move in that becomes eligable this year as well as one of the best sophomores in the state who had a great freshman year. Won't have much depth, but could make a run. Coach Vick will also have them in shape ready to go come playoffs. Don't be shocked to see them upset a few of the top 20 this year.
31.OCS -- Better than advertised last year. Lost some major scoring and I haven't heard who or what they have new this year. If they have some new kids lookout again. if not they could struggle. Until the season gets going and we see what is going on, they get a ranking in the middle of the road.
32.Spiro -- Will be athletic and another year in same system will help. Started off on a high not last year and then fell off the second half of the season. Will need to hold the intensity all the way through the season this year.
33.Eufaula -- Could struggle this year. Was used to having a stud ball pla yer you could look to for scoring and ball handling. That is gone this year and they could struggle vs press and scoring. Will need to find one or two girls to step up. If they do, they could move up a bit, if not they could be int eh bottom 20.
34.Jones -- Has some solid players back. had a lot better year than most people new about. They had several wins but didn't get any recognition. Will probably start late due to football and that hurt them early last year as well.
35.Salina -- Wait and see team. Could be a lot better than this or not quite as good. Should be in every game but shouldn't be a real challange to any of the big top 10 that dot their schedule.
36.Davis -- Surprise team that made a run last year. Shouldn't be quite as good this year but is right in their with Lone Grove, Sulphur this year and should push Tish.
37.Antlers -- Struggled at ORU this summer. Need to be better defensively to equal wins of last year.
38.Marlow -- Will have to clean up the ball handling issues that plaqued them last year. Finding an identity on offense will be important for them this year.
39.Metro Christian -- Were young last year and had a couple of injuries that hurt. That inexperience last year could pay off this year as they drop from the 4A ranks. Could make a run this year if they can develop a lot of depth and help in the guard area. had some turnover issues vs quick pressing teams.
40.Riverside -- Finished about .500 last year before falling apart come playoffs.
41.Lexington -- Last year was their year. They won't be bad this year but may take some lumps early in the season as those girls gain experience.
42.Stigler -- Tough geographical area. finding scoring will be important for this year.
43.Chandler -- Will be more athletic this year. Second year in system will help but they are in a tough conference. May end up starting 5 freshman as that group of Frosh didn't lose any 6-8 games. However, with that schedule playing several teams that are senior laden, could be hard to pick up a ton of wins.
44.Westville -- Upset some teams last year. Don't look for many of those this year, but they should still get a fair share of wins.
45.Idabel -- Drop from 4A should help. last year had a huge drop in talent and not much depth. Will need to stay focused this year and not have any problems within the team to get more wins and make a playoff run.
46.Sperry -- Lost a lot of scorers but should be decent offensively. Will be hard pressed to get to double digit wins this year though.
47.Haskell -- Will have some athletic kids but will have to step up defensively to get more wins than they did last year.
48.kellyville -- Had 2 major players with a lot of girls who bought into their role on the team. This year those two are gone. Could be a long year.
49.Valliant -- Very young team that should get better as the season goes on.
50.Marietta -- Picked up some wins and may be able to come together to reach the 10 win plateau.
51.Nowata -- Will struggle to get wins with the schedule. Scoring was very scarce at times last year.
52.Oklahoma Centennial -- After last year, looked like a possible top 20 team. However, lost coach and top 6 players, (when they only went 6 players deep and no bench) will kill you. Dropped from top 20 to trying to stay within 20 points. ranked this high to see who may come out. They usually have athetes.
53.Kingston -- Still trying to get over the top. Will have a chance to get to 10 wins this year but it will be hard.
54. Okmulgee -- new coach to adjust too. Gave some teams a run last year and just hammered by some last year. Should have 4 starters back but heard most of them may or may not play. Athletic enough for 12-15 wins.....but......
55.Little Axe -- Should make an improvement on last year. May squeeze in 8 games but prob closer to 5. New coaching staff will mean an adjustment. Still will have one pretty good three point shooter.
56.Heavener -- Worst record in a very long time last year. Don't know that they will do much better than that this year either.
57.Pawhuska -- Look to get over the hump this year. had issues with ballhandling last year and need to find consistent scoring.
58.Crooked Oak -- Could push for 8 wins this year whivch would be a huge improvement.
59.Perry -- Lost a lot of kids. Could struggle this year
60.Commanche -- Struggled last year. Will strive for 8-10 wins. This would be a huge accomplishment.
61.Coalgate -- Struggled and will struggle again.
62.Astec -- Charter school that had more wins and keeps getting better each year.
63.Harding Arts -- Another OKC charter school that will struggle this year. Looking for first win in 2 years.
64.TSAS-- Tulsa Charter school. On website says they don' thave sports teams but are still isted on OSSAA classifications. Don't know anything about them and until I see scores from games, will leave them here at 64 in last place.
There you have it. Please let me know scrimmage information or injuries or move ins I haven't heard about. Hope everyone finished the preseason and scrimmage season with no injuries.