This year will be an exciting year for Southern California basketball, as always. All of the games will count, as high-level colleges are recruiting many high profile players. We’re in for a good season.

Here are The Tidings’ top five teams to watch this upcoming season.

1. Bishop Montgomery tops the list, with a 5-0 record. The reigning Division III champions feature an offensive attack led by senior shooting guard Stephen Thompson Jr., who scored 36 points in a game against host team Westchester in the 2014 Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Classic this past week.

They went on to beat St. John Bosco 74-60 to win the Tip-Off Classic. Their schedule is packed with tournaments until well past Christmas. Their first league game will be on Jan. 14, against St. Bernard.

2. Cathedral is 1-0, and has much to look forward to. They are led by junior Kobe Paras, a Filipino foreign exchange student who has already committed to UCLA. He made waves in 2013, when he dunked on NBA superstar Lebron James.

Milan Acquaah led the team to their lone victory however, with Paras absent. Acquaah tallied 31 points, which was just enough to beat Morse (San Diego).

Cathedral will travel far for tournaments, going to the likes of Las Vegas and Hawaii. They will take on No. 1 Bishop Montgomery on Jan. 16 in a can’t-miss game. Their first league game is on Jan. 21, when they take on Cantwell-Sacred Heart.

3. Cantwell-Sacred Heart is 3-1, only having lost to Price (Los Angeles). They begin their league play on Jan. 14, when they take on Gardena Serra.

4. St. John Bosco is 6-2. Vance Jackson, who is ESPN’s 32nd best player in the 2016 class, leads them. Jackson is averaging 21.9 points a game. Their first league game is Jan. 7, against Mater Dei.

5. Alemany is 3-1, with wins over Cajon, Oak Park, and Westlake. Their only loss came to No. 3 Sacred Heart, 64-52. Their first league game is against Crespi, on Jan. 7.