Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Big Reds are the defending Class A boys basketball state tournament champions, haven’t played a game yet, but are getting some early recognition on the national stage.

USA Today Sports has Muskegon listed 28th in its first regular-season Super 25 poll of the season announced today.

A year ago, Muskegon did not receive a ranking until the third week of the poll in January. Then the Big Reds climbed from 49th in Week 3 to 20th in the final poll for Week 15 announced in early April.

Now the challenge starts early for Muskegon. The Big Reds do not play their first game until Dec. 12 at Rockford and do not play their first home game until Jan. 3. Then Muskegon plays three games in a row at home with the next two on Jan. 6 against Grand Haven and then against Zeeland East on Jan. 9.

Prior to the Jan. 3 game, Muskegon also will play road games at Saginaw Arthur Hill on Dec. 20, at Lansing Eastern on Dec. 29 and at East Kentwood on Dec. 30.

The rankings are compiled by a member of the USA Today sports staff and are based on a combination of results, quality of players and schedule. The next rankings will be announced on Dec. 9.

Elsewhere, Montverde, Fla., Academy, has a 4-0 record and holds down the top spot. Wesleyan Christian, of High Point, N.C., has an 6-0 record and has the No.2 spot in the poll.

Oak Hill, of Mouth of Wilson, Va., is ranked third after starting the season 11-0.

Muskegon is the only team from Michigan included in the rankings. USA Today published the Super 25 rankings in Tuesday’s printed edition. The complete list of the top 50 teams can be found by clicking here.