St. Patrick, St. Anthony 1-2 in USA Today Poll | Zagsblog
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Friday / February 21.
  • St. Patrick, St. Anthony 1-2 in USA Today Poll

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    A year after losing the No. 1 national ranking at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. by falling to Findlay Prep, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick ascended to the top spot at the same event.

    With their 79-63 victory over Bishop Gorman (Nev.) Monday on ESPNU, the Celtics (10-0) moved into the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today Super 25 rankings.

    Oak Hill Academy (Va.), the former No. 1, lost on Saturday to Milton (Ga.), the school St. Patrick knocked off last month in the final of the City of Palms Classic in Florida.

    “If you’re a good program like us and have good players over the years, people already circle your game and get up for you,” St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle told USA Today. “Now, being No. 1 gives teams a little more incentive.”

    Kentucky-bound wing Michael Gilchrist, a leading contender for National Player of the Year, put up 27 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

    That followed a 23-point, 15-rebound effort in Friday’s 75-66 victory at Winter Park (Fla.), which features the current No. 1 player in the nation, Duke-bound shooting guard Austin Rivers (who had 38).

    Against Bishop Gorman, Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon added 24 points and uncommitted senior guard Chris Martin tallied 18 points before falling and suffering a concussion late in the game.

    “I’m straight,” Martin later said by text, adding that he did suffer a concussion.

    “Most of our scoring has been by our three seniors,” Boyle told USA Today. “[Chris] could not remember anything after the game, so I would assume he had a concussion. He’s been a great fit for us because he really stretches the defense. Derrick has been tremendous in transition and obviously, Mike is always going to get his numbers.”

    Uncommitted junior guard Shabbaz Muhammad dropped 28 points on 10 of 22 shooting for Bishop Gorman.

    He visited Duke unofficially over the weekend and is reportedly considering Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina and Texas, among others.

    St. Anthony of Jersey City (8-0), which routed DeMatha (Md.) Catholic, 75-25, on Saturday behind 28 points from Rutgers-bound point guard Myles Mack, is No. 2 in the latest USA Today rankings.

    The two schools are just 13 1/2 miles apart and appear headed for another collision in the New Jersey North Non-Public B title game at Rutgers in mid-March.

    Both teams are undefeated and could remain that way until they face off.

    St. Patrick faces Andre Drummond, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2012, and St. Thomas More in the PrimeTime Shootout on Feb. 13 in what could be their stiffest test.

    St. Anthony, which also features 6-8 uncommitted junior Kyle Anderson, will play in the SNY Invitational Jan. 28-29 at LIU-Brooklyn. Bob Hurley’s team will face Mount Vernon in the first round, and could meet either Rice or Boys & Girls in the final.

    “I think [Coach Hurley’s] philosophy is we’re going to meet anyway in most years,” Boyle told USA Today. “We haven’t met for a couple of years, which is unusual. And who knows, if we both hold serve, we could have possibly No. 1 and No. 2 in the country playing at Rutgers in March.”

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    (Photo courtesy MassLive.com)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.