1. Butler (2-0)
The Bulldogs opened the season with a blowout win over South Meck behind 32 points, eight steals and six assists from Queens University of Charlotte commit DJ Little. Four days later, they showed they are deserving of opening No. 1 in the Super 7 rankings with a 73-72 overtime win over highly regarded Cannon School. Little (23 points) and New Orleans commit Gerrale Gates (25 points, 12 rebounds) both fouled out, but Butler had just enough to pull off an impressive win.
2. Providence Day (5-1)
Providence Day has arguably the toughest schedule in the state and opened the year with wins over Northwood Temple, Word of God, Legacy Charter, SouthLake Christian and Gaston Day. They lost by five to nationally ranked Cox Mill and played another nationally ranked team in Greensboro Day on Nov. 28, after the South Charlotte Weekly deadline. Devon Dotson and Trey Wertz have been as advertised, but so far, guard Isaac Suffren has been sensational to lead the charge.
3. Carmel Christian (7-0)
The Cougars made the NCISAA Division II championship game in coach Byron Dinkins’ first year at the helm and are headed in that direction once again. They have big wins over in-state stalwarts Christ School, Carolina Day and Asheville Christian and beat Georgia powers Discovery and St. Francis. Donovan Gregory has been sensational so far, but Marten Maide and Myles Pierre are bonafide stars in their own right.
4. Charlotte Christian (4-0)
The Knights have averaged about 75 points per game during their unbeaten start and appear ready to push Providence Day for the CISAA crown. They have four double-digit scorers who bring it every night, making this a very dangerous team as JC Tharrington (14.5 points, 7.5 assists), Paul Hudson (14.5 points, 11 rebounds), Blake Preston (12.5 points, 15.5 rebounds) and Seth Bennett (11.5 points) are as good as any foursome around.
5. Rocky River (2-0)
The Ravens have beaten Northwest Cabarrus and South Meck so far, but they will be tested in the coming week or so with games against Cox Mill, Vance and Butler coming in a one-week window. While they may be unproven a little to this point, they have a superstar in sophomore Jaden Springer (28.5 points, 11 rebounds per game). With Jordan Campbell, Darlinstone Dubar and freshman Khalil Brantley stepping up, this team seems legit.
6. Ardrey Kell (3-0)
The Knights have two impressive blowout road wins over Marvin Ridge and Weddington and took down Myers Park in overtime in a game they didn’t play their best. David Kasanganay is averaging over 23 points per game while shooting 45 percent from 3-point land, but the quick emergence of newcomer Luke Stankavage (15 points per game) and Christian Pickens, who averaged 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds last year, but is averaging a double-double this season, have the Knights looking tough early on.
7. Independence (2-0)
The Patriots got past Hopewell on the road by two points and looked better against Olympic in an 18-point win. The Patriots weren’t expected to have another 20-win season like they have produced in three of the past five seasons, but don’t put it past coach Preston Davis and this bunch. Led by Jamarius Burton (18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds), Matt Smith (12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds) and Andra’ McGee (10.5 points) these guys are dangerous.
Note: All records are through Nov. 28