Thanksgiving has developed into a must-see weekend that alters the national rankings each year, but with COVID-19 looming there have been fewer showcases and fewer overall games played so far. Still there are enough results to publish the first edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com for the 2020-21 season. There is only one newcomer (No. 49 Pebblebrook of Mableton, Ga.) but despite the small sample size we felt it was important to explain how the rankings will shake out in this season unlike any other.
By Ronnie Flores
In a normal season, only a selected number of state would have games played by now. Despite the affects of COVID-19 around the country, there are still enough results to put out the first regular season FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com for the 2020-21 season. Although there isn’t much movement, there is plenty to explain with regards to how results with be factored by the nation’s longest-running weekly high school basketball rankings.
Two power states, Texas (University Interscholastic League) and Florida (Florida High School Athletic Association), caused most of the change in this week’s FAB 50. The lone newcomer is from the Peach State: Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.), which enters the week 4-1 and checks in at No. 49. The Falcons are the fifth GHSA team in the FAB 50 and the No. 3 team from the Class 7A ranks behind No. 42 Milton (Milton, Ga.) and No. 27 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.).
Pebblebrook’s only defeat is to No. 10 Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah), 71-62, at last weekend’s Thanksgiving Hoopfest. At the event, the FAB 50’s No. 10 team (and one of two among the current top 10 that has played an official game so far) also defeated Grayson, 75-72, in overtime. The Rams move up 17 spots in this week’s rankings, despite the close loss to Wasatch Academy, because they are the top ranked team in Georgia’s highest classification and own a 66-54 victory over No. 37 Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.). Jabari Smith-led Sandy Creek, the top-ranked Class 3A club in the state, defeated previous No. 26 Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.), 63-59, to open its season at the On The Radar Tip-Off Classic. As a result of the four-point loss, coach Sharman White’s club, the top-ranked in Class 2A, drops 20 spots in the updated rankings.
Besides the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Snellville, Ga., the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas has become appointment Thanksgiving basketball in the past few years. For the second consecutive season the event held games at American Airlines Arena, and this time around fans were treated to a victory by the local team in the marquee game. Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) showed why its once again the front-runner to capture the UIL Class 6A title with a big 79-65 victory over Ypsi Prep (Ypsilanti, Mich.), which is led by Emoni Bates, the spectacular junior forward who came in as the fourth highest vote-getter in the preseason Mr. Basketball USA Tracker. Bates finished with 28 points, but Duncanville’s defensive effort (led by senior guard Juan Reyna) forced him to work hard for his point total. Duncanville got a big performance from sophomore forward Ron Holland (18 points, 16 rebounds) and was able to pull away down the stretch.
Coach David Peavy’s club also owns wins over preseason Southwest Region ranked iSchool of Lewisville, Texas (77-70), Wagner of San Antonio, Texas (69-49) and Westlake of Austin, Texas (77-67). As a result of those quality wins, Duncanville is up seven spots to No. 16 in this week’s rankings.
The teams that have already played games currently get the benefit of the doubt, so keep it in mind when viewing the latest FAB 50. The rankings will balance out from a geographical standpoint once more state associations (based on local government regulations and recommendations) allow their teams to begin playing. Already some states have delayed the beginning of practice and pushed back official start dates because of COVID-19 positive case rates.
Because of COVID-19, it’s important to review how the myriad of results from around the country will impact this year’s rankings.
• Games played before the official start date of the season will not count towards the FAB 50. We don’t live in a vacuum, so we can see the results of fall league games and they could have an impact in how we position teams. One example is “Air Nado,” a fall league outfit representing the roster at Coronado (Henderson, Nev.). Coach Jeff Kaufman’s club has fared well so far, and as a result move up 13 spots in the new FAB 50. Its record is still reflected as 0-0 since the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) still has not given winter sports the green light.
• Teams don’t get to choose when they start the season and coaches don’t get to choose or dictate which results count. Games after the official start date count in our won-loss records. A great showing at a fall league or unsanctioned event doesn’t count in the same manner a poor showing doesn’t. We’ve seen too often over the years where coaches claim victories, but wouldn’t claim the same game to count towards their record if the result was a loss.
• Teams that lose players as a result of COVID-19 protocol, but still play a sanctioned game, will have that game counted toward their overall record. Missed games as a result of COVID-19 will be looked at as any other player injury. The player personnel loss will be taken into consideration with regards to a team’s ranking position. A game not played as a result of COVID-19 protocol will be considered a default or “no-contest”. It will not result in a loss for the team that had to cancel the game and/or a win for the team that was ready to play but was unable to because its opponent couldn’t make the tip as a result of its COVID-19 situation.
• Teams will remain in the rankings as long as the governing body it belongs to or is associated with hasn’t officially canceled its season. Already we’ve heard rumblings of a few associations that may cancel winter sports altogether, but until that happens a team will remain in the rankings at 0-0, unless we feel a team with games under its belt is deserving to go in and takes it place. Only after a state association cancels its season will a preseason ranked team be removed. If a state association decides to cancel the remainder of the season after it has begun, we will make the determination if the ranked team has enough game results to keep its spot in the FAB 50.
We hope all 50 states get their seasons in and complete them. The more realistic situation is all states getting at least its conference or league games in and having a version of its playoff tournament. The less than ideal situation is having the season coming to an abrupt halt and having to rank all the teams with a limited number of results.
The next FAB 50 update is scheduled for Monday, December 14.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(First poll of 2020-21 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, November 29; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)
|No.||Prev.||High School (City)||Record|
|1||1||Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)||2-0|
|2||2||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)||0-0|
|3||3||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||0-0|
|4||4||Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)||0-0|
|5||5||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||0-0|
|6||7||St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)||0-0|
|7||8||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||0-0|
|8||9||Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)||0-0|
|9||10||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||0-0|
|10||11||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)q||2-0|
|11||14||Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)||0-0|
|12||12||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||7-0|
|13||13||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||0-0|
|14||15||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||0-0|
|15||16||Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.)||3-0|
|16||23||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||7-0|
|17||17||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||0-0|
|18||18||Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)||1-0|
|19||20||O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.)||0-0|
|20||6||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||2-1|
|21||22||Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)||0-0|
|22||24||John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)||0-0|
|23||25||Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)||0-0|
|24||37||Coronado (Henderson, Nev.)||0-0|
|25||27||Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)||4-0|
|26||28||Houston (Germantown, Tenn.)||1-0|
|27||44||Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)||4-1|
|28||29||St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)||0-0|
|29||30||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|30||31||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||0-0|
|31||32||Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)||0-0|
|32||33||Poly (Baltimore, Md.)||0-0|
|33||34||North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)||0-0|
|34||35||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||0-0|
|35||36||Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas)||3-0|
|36||38||Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)||0-0|
|37||46||Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Ga.)||2-1|
|38||39||St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||0-0|
|39||40||Notre Dame College Prep (Niles, Ill.)||0-0|
|40||41||Waukee Senior (Waukee, Iowa)||0-0|
|41||42||Fern Creek (Louisville, Ky.)||0-0|
|42||21||Milton (Milton, Ga.)||2-1|
|43||43||Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)||0-0|
|44||49||St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)||0-0|
|45||45||Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)||0-0|
|46||26||Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)||1-1|
|47||47||Marion (Marion, Ind.)||0-0|
|48||48||Desert Pines (Las Vegas, Nev.)||0-0|
|49||49||Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.)||4-1|
|50||50||Brookfield Central (Brookfield, Wis.)||0-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 19 Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.).
Bubble Teams: Adams (South Bend, Ind.) 0-0; American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 0-0; Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 0-0; Bartow (Bartow, Fla.) 0-0; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 0-0; Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.) 2-1; Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 0-0; Blazer (Ashland, Ky.) 0-0; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 0-0; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 0-0; Callaway (Jackson, Miss.) 0-0 ;Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 2-1; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 1-0; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 0-0; Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Col.) 0-0; Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 0-0; Christian Brothers (St. Louis, Mo.) 0-0; Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) 0-0; Crispus Attucks (Indianapolis, Ind.) 0-0; Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 2-0; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) 0-0; Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.) 0-0; Faith Family Academy (Dallas, Texas) 5-0; Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.) 0-0; Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Grand Blanc (Grand Blanc, Mich.) 0-0; Green Run (Virginia Beach, Va.) 0-0; Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 0-0; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 2-2; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 0-0; iSchool (Lewisville, Texas) 4-2; Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) 0-0; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 2-0; King’s Fork (Suffolk, Va.) 0-0; Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.) 3-1; Las Cruces (Las Cruces, N.M.) 0-0; Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 0-0; Magnolia (Magnolia, Ark.) 0-0; Male (Louisville, Ky.) 0-0; McKinley (Canton, Ohio) 0-0; Mountain Pointe (Pheonix, Ariz.) 0-0; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 0-0; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 3-0; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 1-0; Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 2-0; Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 1-0; Richardson (Richardson, Texas) 1-0; Ramsay (Birmingham, Ala.) 2-0; Rangeview (Aurora, Col.) 0-0; Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0; Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) 1-0; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 0-0; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 0-0; St. Mark’s (Dallas, Texas) 0-0; Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 4-0; Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) 1-0; Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas) 3-1; Westlake (Austin, Texas) 4-1; Westover (Fayetteville, N.C.) 0-0; Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 1-0; Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) 0-0.
Note: The FAB 50 powered by Ballislife.com is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota compiled them. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 21 years ago.