Want to stay warm while our city is either littered with snow or freezing temperatures? Visit a local gym because the basketball season is heating up.
Here is how our latest New York City basketball rankings break down:
1. Rice (9-1) (Last week: 1)
How is Rice not ranked nationally? They walloped a good Christ the King team, ranked No. 4 here, by 13 points last week and made Pine Crest (Fla.) star Brandon Knight, rated as the second best junior in the country by many recruiting services, look average. Their only loss was a setback to Findlay Prep (Nev.), USA Today’s No. 2 school, last month. The Raiders may be unbeatable if junior Shane Southwell, who transferred from All Hallows at this time last year, is anywhere near as good as
Next: Jan. 19 vs. Long Island Lutheran (L.I.) in High School
Invitational @ Hunter College
2. Lincoln (10-5) (2)
To think there are coaches out there that envy Lincoln’s Dwayne (Tiny) Morton. His team is floundering, falling apart at the seams, and in the next few weeks the Railsplitters have non-leagues scheduled against nationally ranked opponents LeFlore (Ala.), St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.), St. Patrick’s (N.J.) and Westchester (Calif.) and rematches against Brooklyn AA foes, No. 8 Boys & Girls (home) and No. 2 Thomas
Jefferson (away). Ouch. It may get worse for Morton before it gets better.
Next: Jan. 19 vs. LeFlore (Ala.) in Hoops Hall Classic @ Springfield, Mass.
3. Thomas Jefferson (14-3) (3)
The Orange Wave has won two in a row in Bed Stuy against No. 8 Boys & Girls. Winning once there is tough enough. The schedule doesn’t lighten up. Monday, Jefferson heads to northern New Jersey to take on Paterson Catholic. After a sloppy effort Saturday in a four-point win over decimated Long Island Lutheran, Keith Spellman and Co. will have to be better – much, much better.
Next: Jan. 19 @ Paterson Catholic (N.J.)
4. Christ the King (14-2) (5)
The Royals haven’t impressed of late, barely getting by Holy Cross, Archbishop Molloy and St. Dominic’s (L.I.). Fortunately for them, we don’t care about margin of victory. Winning is all that matters. And for a young team that is slowly growing, that is the only important note in a 3-0 week.
Next: Jan. 23 @ No. 5 Bishop Loughlin
5. Bishop Loughlin (10-3) (6)
No. 2 Lincoln may see the best out-of-state competition, but try the Lions’ weekend out for size: Friday Loughlin hosts No. 4 Christ the King and Sunday they visit No. 1 Rice at Gauchos Gym. Jayvaughn Pinkston and Trevon Hamlet, the Lions’ forceful pair, better be rested and ready.
Next: Jan. 19 vs. Pine Crest (Fla.) in High School Invitational @ Hunter College
6. Bishop Ford (13-1) (7)
So much for that ankle injury Chaz Williams suffered last week in a win over Mount St. Michael. The Hofstra-bound point guard dropped 36 points in a victory over St. Edmund Friday. Coach John Infortunio said his star senior had a high pain threshold, but this is ridiculous. As if there was a doubt who is the city’s best lead guard.
Next: Jan. 19 vs. Xavier
7. John F. Kennedy (14-2) (10)
We’re nearing February and the Knights are rolling. No surprise there. They’ve won seven in a row, including Sunday’s 16-point pasting of Long Island power Uniondale. Wings Academy may hold the tiebreaker in Bronx AA, but there is little doubt which club is playing better right now. The evenly balanced Knights can’t wait for Thursday – when they attempt to avenge one of their two losses against Wings at home.
Next: Jan. 20 vs. Lehman
8. Boys & Girls (13-5) (4)
The Kangaroos are probably still steaming after blowing that six-point lead in the final 2:40 of regulation against No 3 Jefferson at home. But they shouldn’t be too angry – the chance for revenge comes this weekend in the SNY Invitational. If each side wins their opener Friday night – Boys draws No 10 St. Raymond’s and Jefferson has Mount Vernon (N.Y.) – a rematch will follow Saturday night at NYU.
Next: Jan. 20 @ Grady
9. Cardozo (12-0) (NR)
The Judges are still a rather large question mark. Talented? Yes. Experienced and poised? Maybe, maybe not. There is still no doubting what Ron Naclerio’s Judges have done up to this point. They’ve won all 11 league games, including Friday’s eight-point win over rival Thomas Edison and passed their first non-league test in a 13-point win over St. Peter’s in the High School Invitational over the weekend.
Plus, we haven’t seen an inside duo – in the PSAL -- better than juniors Dwayne Brunson and Ryan Rhoomes.
Next: Jan 20 @ Martin Van Buren
10. St. Raymond’s (9-5) (9)
The learning curve is still in full effect for Oliver Antigua’s bunch. They went 1-2 in the Tournament of Champions in Springfield, MO., against three tough opponents. There is no break for the Ravens with the SNY Invitational on tap this weekend.
Next: Jan. 23 vs. No. 3 Thomas Jefferson in SNY Invitational @ NYU
Dropped out: Wings Academy (14-3)
New: Cardozo (12-0)
On the bubble: Archbishop Molloy (8-5), Xaverian (6-7), Mount St. Michael (12-4), Monsignor McClancy (12-2), Wings Academy (14-3), Wadleigh (13-3) and Transit Tech (12-8)