Teams have resumed traveling to holiday showcases and tournaments after a year hiatus and the results over Thanksgiving weekend cause some significant change in the first edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com for the 2021-22 season. The highest ranked among five newcomers is No. 14 Richardson (Richardson, Texas), which is one of the many teams from Texas that recorded big November wins.
By Ronnie Flores
They say everything in Texas is big, and University Interscholastic League (UIL) teams in the Lone Star State have definitely recorded the biggest wins in high school basketball so far in the 2021-22 season. With COVID-19 travel restrictions easing across the country for elite teams, there are enough results to publish the first regular season FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com even though a handful of states have not yet started their season.
No where was the results bigger than at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas, which along with the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Snellville, Ga., has developed into a must-see Thanksgiving showcase over the past few years.
Making the biggest splash was Richardson (Richardson, Texas), which opened up at No. 7 in the preseason Southwest Regional Top 20. The Eagles showed they are much more than a regional power, making a national statement by downing AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.), 61-38, at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, as Alabama commit Rylan Griffen netted 25 points while his backcourt mate, Kentucky-bound Cason Wallace, added 22 points. Some ratings compilers (who mainly focus on where prospects on top teams are headed to college and using the rankings to promote events) felt as is AZ Compass Prep was the top independent team in the country. Even though the Dragons wouldn’t be that high in the FAB 50 if eligible, it was still a big win for Richardson considering the margin of victory and AZ Compass Prep’s recent track record.
That win helps propel the Eagles up to No. 14 in the FAB 50 as this week’s highest newcomer, one spot in front of North Little Rock (Ark.), another team that performed well at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest. The Charging Wildcats move up seven spots this week after downing regionally-ranked Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy of Dallas (79-63) and No. 30 Kimball (72-70). Arkansas-bound Nick Smith hit a driving, straight-away pull-up jumper from 14 feet out with three seconds remaining to clinch the win over Kimball. Smith finished with 15 points and five assists in the big win, while Oregon-bound center Kel’el Ware had 23 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for the Charging Wildcats.
Richardson takes on North Little Rock on December 11 at the Battle in the Bluff in Memphis, Tenn.
Richardson takes on Coppell (Texas) before leaving for Memphis and speaking of Coppell, its top player from last season is now eligible at Duncanville (Texas). That player is 6-foot-7 wing Anthony Black, who was granted a court-issued injunction on November 19 to be able to suit up for the Panthers after initially being ruled ineligible by the UIL in October. Black teams up with junior forward Ron Holland to give Duncanville one of the best 1-2 punches in high school basketball. The Panthers move up two spots from the preseason and are putting itself in position to challenge for the FAB 50 mythical national title by remaining unbeaten against a rugged schedule. The Panthers’ last four wins have come against FAB 50 ranked foes, including California’s top two clubs at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest.
Coach David Peavy’s club downed previous No. 14 Centennial (Corona, Calif.), 75-70, as Holland had 28 points and Black 17 to offset a 29-point performance from junior guard Jared McCain of Centennial. The next night Duncanville downed California’s top ranked club, No. 9 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), 80-73. The Panthers used balanced scoring to hold off a Trailblazers team that made a spirited fourth quarter comeback after trailing big after three quarters. Holland, Davion Sykes and Aric Demings each scored 16 points, with C.J. Ford adding 12 and Black 11.
Sierra Canyon continues to play without UCLA-bound guard Amari Bailey, who came in No. 2 in the preseason Mr. Basketball USA Tracker behind Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) Duke-bound big man Dereck Lively II. Sierra Canyon still has a terrific team and remains at No. 9 in the FAB 50. There is no timetable for Bailey’s return, and eventually if his absence is reflected in the results, Sierra Canyon will be ranked accordingly.
Before the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, Duncanville easily downed previous No. 43 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), 73-54, and previous No. 42 Kimball (84-82). Duncanville’s FAB 50 title candidacy will have two more big tests in the next two weeks when it faces No. 38 Carver (New Orleans, La.) at the Red River Hoopfest on December 4 and top-ranked Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) on December 9 at Hoophall West in Phoenix, Ariz.
Despite losing three games, Kimball was able to move up 12 spots in the rankings because of its strength of schedule and the nature of those losses. Kimball not only lost to North Little Rock in the closing seconds, it lost to Duncanville by only two points on a game-winning lay-up by Holland at the RJ Hampton Showcase. In its second game at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, the Knights were downed by No. 13 Centennial, 67-59. Centennial was able to actually move up a spot because of that bunch back win and the closeness of the game with Duncanville the previous evening.
The teams that have already played games currently get the benefit of the doubt in the latest FAB 50, so keep it in mind because two teams that haven’t yet played dropped out to make room for teams that already have games under its belt. Teams that have yet to play will have ample opportunity to move up or into the nation’s longest-running weekly rankings.
There isn’t a state that has reported a push back to its official start dates because of COVID-19 positive case rates. Holiday tournaments and showcases are back en masse, but it doesn’t mean we are out of the woodwork just yet with regards to the pandemic. Teams that lose players as a result of any 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. Any game not played as a result of COVID-19 protocol will be considered a default or “no-contest”.
The next FAB 50 update is scheduled for Monday, December 6.
Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com
(1st poll of 2021-22 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, November 28; *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.)||1-0|
|3||3||Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)||5-0|
|4||4||Camden (Camden, N.J.)||0-0|
|5||7||Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)||5-0|
|6||5||Milton (Milton, Ga.)||1-0|
|7||8||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)||0-0|
|8||6||Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||8-1|
|9||9||Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)||4-1|
|10||10||Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)||0-0|
|11||11||Gill St. Bernard’s (Gladstone, N.J.)||0-0|
|12||17||Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.)||6-0|
|13||14||Centennial (Corona, Calif.)||4-1|
|14||NR||Richardson (Richardson, Texas)||7-0|
|15||22||North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.)||3-0|
|16||15||Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)||2-0|
|17||16||Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)||0-0|
|18||18||Reading (Reading, Pa.)||0-0|
|19||20||Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)||0-0|
|20||26||Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)||0-0|
|21||21||Calvary Christian Academy (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)||1-0|
|22||28||La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)||5-0|
|23||23||Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.)||1-0|
|24||24||Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)||0-0|
|25||25||Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)||1-0|
|26||27||Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)||2-0|
|27||29||Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)||3-0|
|28||40||Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)||9-0|
|29||NR||Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.)||8-0|
|30||42||Kimball (Kimball, Texas)||4-3|
|31||31||Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)||1-0|
|32||32||Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.)||0-0|
|33||19||Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)||3-1|
|34||34||Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)||0-0|
|35||13||Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)||1-1|
|36||36||West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)||6-0|
|37||38||Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)||0-0|
|38||48||Carver (New Orleans, La.)||6-0|
|39||NR||The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.)||6-1|
|40||NR||Cathedral (Indianapolis Ind.)||2-0|
|41||39||Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.)||1-0|
|42||41||Cane Ridge (Nashville, Tenn.)||2-0|
|43||33||Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.)||4-1|
|44||44||St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)||0-0|
|45||NR||Zionsville (Zionsville, Ind.)||2-0|
|46||45||Ballard (Louisville, Ky.)||0-0|
|47||43||Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)||1-2|
|48||12||Carmel (Carmel, Ind.)||1-1|
|49||46||Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.)||2-2|
|50||47||St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)||0-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 30 Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.), No. 35 Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.), No. 37 St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), No. 49 Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.), No. 50 La Crosse Central (La Crosse, Wis.).
Bubble Teams: Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 0-0; Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) 0-0; Blue Ridge (St. George, Va.) 0-0; Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) 1-0; Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 7-0; Catholic Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 0-0; Central Pointe Christian (Kissimmee, Fla.) 5-2; Chambers (Charlotte. N.C.) 1-1; Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 3-0; Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.) 0-0; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 0-0; Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.) 1-0; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 4-1; Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 4-0; La Crosse Central (La Crosse, Wis.) 0-0; Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.) 1-0; Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 0-0; Manasquan (Manasquan, N.J.) 0-0; McKinney (McKinney, Texas) 9-1; Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 1-0; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 0-0; Newton (Covington, Ga.) 4-0; Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 0-0; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 4-1; Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 1-0; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) 0-0; South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 0-0; St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) 3-0; St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 0-1; The Burlington School (Burlington, N.C.) 6-1; Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.) 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 22 years ago.