With high school basketball underway, ESPN Rise answers five burning questions about the 2010-11 season.
Will the American high school game go international?
Basketball continues to attract talented international teenagers, but we don't envision the rankings involving teams outside the United States. Look at the international flavor of Christian Faith Center Academy (Creedmoor, N.C.) and now-closed Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.) last year.
Look for similar programs to emerge, attract talented players and eventually align themselves with state and national federation rules. For economic reasons, even high-powered teams like Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) are conscious of travel and look to play as many local games as possible. It's just difficult to imagine a school from Canada or Puerto Rico playing mainly against American high schools and cracking the rankings.
Will Austin Rivers take home City of Palms MVP award for the third consecutive time and lead his team to the title?
Yes and no. We don't think Rivers' Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.) team will win the The City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. (Dec. 17-22). He'll definitely have some big games against top-ranked teams and is a good bet to win MVP if his team makes the finals. Two years ago, the Duke recruit put himself on the national map with a 46-point performance in a win over Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.). Last year, he netted 45 points as the Wildcats handed St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) its only loss. We expect Rivers to have another signature performance but don't think his team has enough firepower to win five games in a row against a stacked field of teams.
To see the rest of the story, visit Ronnie Flores' ESPN Rise story.