ESPN 25 Power Rankings and records as of Dec. 9:
* * *
2. Montverde (Fla.) Academy (6-0): The tournament’s top-seeded team includes Florida-bound point guard Kasey Hill and 6-foot-10 Dakari Johnson. Add in 6-8 West Virginia recruit Devin Williams, and this is a national title contender.
5. Chester (Pa.) (0-0): Didn’t start its season until Dec. 9. It ended last year with a 58-game winning streak. A senior-dominated team has 6-7 guard Rondae Jefferson bound for Arizona.
6. Highland (Utah) Lone Peak (6-0): Back from a state-championship team are guards Nick Emery and T.J. Haws and 6-9 senior Eric Mika, who are its three BYU hoops recruits. Also playing is BYU football recruit Talon Shumway.
8. Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic (4-0): USC recruit Roschon Prince and 6-7 shot-blocker Jordan Bell (Oregon) lead the Jackrabbits, who haven’t allowed more than 55 points in any of their first four games. They could be Central’s opponent on Wednesday.
12. Memphis Southwind (6-1): The Jaguars have a big front line with 6-5 Jajuan Johnson (Marquette), 6-8 Johnathan Williams III (Missouri) and 6-4 Payton Hulsey (Lipscomb).
14. Chicago Whitney Young (1-0): Was given a first-round bye. The Dolphins already had 6-9 junior Jahlil Okafor and 6-8 junior Paul White before picking up a pair of backcourt transfers to become a strong contender in the Chicago Public League.
17. Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI (3-1): Recently ended a long winning streak by Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, which Central plays in Grand Island on Feb. 9. Last year the Panthers were the first undefeated champion in the Washington, D.C., area not named DeMatha in 50 years. They have 6-10 Tim Higgins heading to Cornell and 6-5 Jamall Robinson to Niagara.
24. Tifton (Ga.) Tift County (3-0): A junior-dominated lineup also has a Kansas recruit, 6-6 Brannen Greene, who transferred into the school in the offseason. Tadric Jackson is the Blue Devils’ top guard. Central could see Tifton on Wednesday.
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Aquinas (7-1 through Dec. 12): Central Florida 6-5 recruit Steve Haney is one of four returning starters for the Raiders.
Jackson (Miss.) Callaway (6-4): The Chargers bring back 6-7 TreShawn Bolden and highly-touted sophomore scorer Malik Newman from a state championship team.
Lake Wales (Fla.) (2-2 through Dec. 11): Won a summer qualifier to return to the tournament. The Highlanders won a state title last season.
McDonough (Ga.) Eagle’s Landing (6-2 through Friday): Central’s first-round opponent has two Division I recruits in 6-5 Eric Wortham (Middle Tennessee) and 6-8 Desmond Ringer (South Carolina). Also in the frontcourt is 6-8 junior Jordan Sessions.
Orlando Lake Highland Prep (7-1 through Dec. 11): These Highlanders were a state runner-up team last season and anticipated having the same lineup before returning Mr. Florida Basketball Joel Berry, a junior guard, needed arthroscopic knee surgery. Denzel Davis is a 6-8 Rice recruit and 6-5 Landon Stokes will sign with Vanderbilt for football.
Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian (4-6 through Dec. 11): Last year’s City of Palms winner has lost two standouts to season-ending injuries — 6-9 senior Julius Randle (foot) and 6-6 sophomore Mickey Mitchell (knee).