The CHSAA boys basketball landscape next season will be vastly different.
In an effort to promote a more balanced playing field across its three classes – AA, A and B – the league has changed its mechanism for evaluating teams and will institute power rankings to determine what schools belong in what division.
Patterned loosely after the method used by the Catholic High School Football League, the league sent ballots out to each school asking them to rank the schools in their section – Brooklyn/Queens schools voted on Brooklyn/Queens schools and the Archdiocesan schools on their teams.
Archbishop Stepinac and Mount St. Michael are both moving up to Class AA after dominating Class A.
The top six rated teams on each side in Class AA, the remaining four in Brooklyn/Queens and five in the Archdiocesan in Class A, while the top two teams in Staten Island will be in ‘AA’ and the next two will be in ‘A’.
The ‘B’ division, which is comprised of Salesian, Sacred Heart, Cathedral Prep, Nazareth, Blessed Sacrament, Saint Agnes and Monsignor Scanlan remains unchanged.
The proposal, which was made by the CHSAA advisory committee for basketball and endorsed by Ray Nash and Rich Tricario, the presidents of each diocesan, was overwhelmingly approved by the league’s athletic directors.
The rankings will be voted on each year, which could result in a very fluid league.
“We felt that there were a number of games, too many games, that were not competitive,” said Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary, the Brooklyn/Queens chairman and member of the CHSAA advisory committee. “The reason for that, the committee felt, was that some teams were not in the proper divisions.”
Gilvary said in the past the league has taken a laissez faire approach with its member institutions when it came to deciding what level its teams should play in.
“But that is part of what led us to be in this situation,” Gilvary said.
The committee initially considered geography as a way to objectively group teams together and even enrollment, as is the barometer for many leagues throughout the state, but that proved problematic. Gilvary cited Rice, which will shut its doors later this month, as the classic example of a basketball powerhouse with a very small enrollment.
The biggest change came in the Archdiocesan, which doubled in size from three teams to six. In the past, Rice and St. Raymond would be shoe-ins to play for the Archdiocesan tournament title, especially with just four teams – St. Raymond, Rice, All Hallows and St. Peter’s from Staten Island – competing.
But now, Archbishop Stepinac, Cardinal Hayes and Mount St. Michael, traditional Class A powerhouses in recent years, make the jump along with Fordham Prep, while the Brooklyn/Queens division remains unchanged.
Based on the votes by each school, the following is the realigned CHSAA for next season:
Archdiocesan of New York
No. 1 St. Raymond – 121 points
No. 2 Cardinal Hayes – 103 points
No. 3 Mount St. Michael – 102 points
No. 4 Archbishop Stepinac – 89 points
No. 5 All Hallows – 69 points
No. 6 Fordham Prep – 67 points
No. 7 Iona Prep – 59 points
No. 8 Xavier – 50 points
No. 9 Cardinal Spellman – 28 points
No. 10 Regis – 24 points
No. 11 LaSalle – 14 points
No. 1 Christ the King – 100 points
No. 2 Bishop Loughlin – 85 points
No. 3 Xaverian – 77 points
No. 4 Holy Cross – 73 points
No. 5 Archbishop Molloy – 63 points
No. 6 St. Francis Prep – 52 points
No. 7 Bishop Ford – 35 points
No. 8 Monsignor McClancy – 26 points
No. 9 St. John’s Prep – 20 points
No. 10 St. Edmund Prep – 19 points
No. 1 St. Peter’s – 15 points
No. 2 Monsignor Farrell – 12 points
No. 3 St. Joseph by the Sea – 7 points
No. 4 Moore Catholic – 6 points
In Class AA, each team will play a division opponent twice and will cross over for two games against teams with a similar ranking. For example, Christ the King and Bishop Loughlin, the top two teams in BQ will meet St. Raymond and Cardinal Hayes.
Brooklyn/Queens teams will have a total of 12 league games, while the six Archdiocesan squads will have 14, which include one game against both St. Peter’s and Monsignor Farrell.
The postseason will be enhanced with an eight-team Archdiocesan tournament, instead of the four-team field of years past, while Brooklyn/Queens remains the same. The Class AA intersectional tournament will have 14 teams, up from 10 in recent years.
In Class A, each team will play a division opponent twice and crossover to play the entire other division once. That will give Brooklyn/Queens teams 11 league games, while the Archdiocesan teams will also play St. Joseph by the Sea and Moore Catholic once for a total of 14 league games.
“I think it gives coaches a lot of flexibility in terms of their schedule and provides a very competitive regular season,” Gilvary said. “I think where we’ll really see the benefit more than anywhere else is in the postseason. I think we’re going to have a very, very exciting postseason.”