With Dan in the fold again and a season behind him, I think it’s time to incorporate his opinion into our weekly rankings. So, as you can see below, each of us will file our own Top 10. We’ll then combine on the class-by-class rankings, which start this week but will be expanded later this season.
Good to have the basketball season back. If you have any complaints, critiques or — gasp! — complaints, you know where to find us.
JOSH THOSMON’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohudinsider)
1. Mount Vernon (3-1): Wow. I certainly didn’t expect Mount Vernon to play White Station so tough last night. This isn’t the most skilled Mount Vernon team I’ve ever seen, but it is a rugged one. Holding USA Today’s No. 7 team to 56 points backs that up.
2. Iona Prep (3-2): Tom Capuano might not be Iona’s point guard, but the junior from Hastings is the ultimate glue guy who makes it all work. He can play a bunch of different roles. You have to love his game.
3. Spring Valley (2-1): The Tigers have everything it takes to challenge Mount Vernon for the championship. They just need to bring it together. There’s plenty of time for that yet.
4. White Plains (2-0): These Tigers probably have more skill than any team in Section 1, but do they have the brawn? Their lack of muscle inside could prove to be an Achilles’ heel, although I wouldn’t want to play them on a night they were hot from 3-point land.
5. Stepinac (1-3): Just a bizarre week for the Crusaders, who played Christ the King just about even over the last three quarters but lost by 30-plus to Cardinal Hayes and St. Peter’s. Still, Stepinac has a very strong, deep backcourt. They just need to play much, much better defensively.
6. New Rochelle (1-1): The Huguenots may actually have the area’s most difficult non-league schedule this year. It continues tomorrow in Harlem against PSAL power Jefferson.
7. Peekskill (2-1): The Red Devils showed some immaturity Thursday night, but they also flashed plenty of talent. They need to keep Musheed Muhammad on the floor and protect the ball better. This roster has so many guys who can attack the rim effectively. No team in Class A has more potential.
8. Clarkstown South (4-0): All four of the Vikings’ wins (Nanuet, Pearl River, Tappan Zee and Nyack) are solid. They look like the best team in Rockland outside of Spring Valley right now.
8. Fox Lane (6-0): The Foxes are big, relatively deep and every starter is a legitimate threat to score. Still, they could’ve lost to Scarsdale and were pushed at least a little by Valhalla and Harrison. The jury remains out.
10. Eastchester (5-0): The Eagles looked a little complacent while squeaking by Pelham on Wednesday. Perhaps they were looking ahead to the Slam Dunk. Regardless, they’ll need to play a little tighter until all-section forward Mike Milo returns. That could happen soon.
On the bubble: None.
DAN DEFRANCESCO’S TOP 10 — (file complaints/critiques here: @lohud_defran)
1. Mount Vernon (3-1): The Knights start where they spent the majority of last season — the top. Seniors Brandon Martin and Devonte Banner are two of the best players in the section and will lead a Mount Vernon team looking for redemption.
2. Iona Prep (3-2): A slow start brought out plenty of Gaels’ doubters, but last weekend’s win against Spring Valley proved Iona Prep is an elite team. Continued production out of Isiah Ice and Ty Jerome will open things up for Matt Ryan.
3. Spring Valley (2-1): Kai Mitchell might be the most dominant post player in the section right now. Mitchell and fellow star Rickey McGill have said their biggest focus this season is to get their teammates more involved, a scary proposition for the rest of Class AA.
4. White Plains (2-0): Jordan Tucker seems to be as good as advertised, which only spells good things for the Tigers. The heart of this team is senior Mike DeMello, who will dictate the pace of games and has the experience and talent to keep White Plains among the elite.
5. New Rochelle (1-1): Joe Clarke who? The Huguenots seem to be far from rebuilding after playing a talented Newburgh team close and manhandling North Rockland. Derek Dorn leads a group hungry to make their own history.
6. Stepinac (1-3): Times are tough for the Crusaders right now. Things certainly won’t get easier for Stepinac playing in the talented AA league of the CHSAA. Still, there is too much talent on this team not to have them ranked.
7. Peekskill (2-1): The Red Devils have one of the biggest and most athletic teams in the section. While they can be inconsistent at times, they have the talent to be considered one of the top contenders in Class A.
8. Eastchester (5-0): There has been no slowing down the Eagles’ offense, which has scored at least 70 points in its first five games, all wins. Jack Daly is a known commodity. What will be interesting is the development of talented sophomore Benny Dimirco.
9. Fox Lane (6-0): Andrew Redhead and James Morales have been steady in scoring double figures just about every game. The true test for the Foxes comes Saturday at Harrison when they take on White Plains.
10. Clarkstown South (4-0): The Vikings have one of the better backcourt duos in senior Joe Zayer and junior Conor McGuinness. The pair’s strong outside shooting will help out their teammates inside.
On the bubble: Mahopac (5-0).
CLASS-BY-CLASS RANKINGS —
Every week, Dan and I will put our heads together and compile our rankings by class. Here’s our Top 5 in each class going into the holiday:
1. Mount Vernon
2. Spring Valley
3. White Plains
4. New Rochelle
5. Fox Lane
3. Pearl River
4. Tappan Zee
1. Putnam Valley
3. Rye Neck
5. Palisade Prep
4. Children’s Village
1. Iona Prep
4. Rye Country Day
5. Sacred Heart