In Episode No. 51 of our “In The Paint Show,” co-hosts Ronnie Flores and Devin Ugland go hard on the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings, which were the most difficult to compile, and the most anticipated, in many years.
There was major movement and 11 newcomers this week, and the fellas bring on special guest coaches Josh Giles of Centennial (Corona, Calif.), whose team is one of this week’s newcomers at No. 24, and Steve Smith of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson Va.), whose team is up seven spots this week to No. 3.
While Centennial and Oak Hill Academy are both fine programs in their own right, the latter is used to high national rankings under Smith, whose program has been ranked in the FAB 50 (every year since 1989) before Centennial even opened in Southern California’s Inland Empire. They both have one thing in common this season, however, and that’s having expectations a bit lower than normal in the preseason. Centennial wasn’t even ranked in Cal-Hi Sports’ preseason Top 20 and Oak Hill started out at No. 8 in the FAB 50, its lowest preseason ranking since 1988-89, when the Warriors were unranked in the preseason but finished at No. 12.
Giles talks about how his team has exceeded expectations and what has been the keys to the team’s success so far despite the off-season transfer of three senior starters. Smith talks about how satisfying it has been to coach this team, which he understood was going to start lower than usual in the national rankings. Smith knew this team had a chance to be a very good unit, led by LSU-bound guard Cam Thomas, and feels it’s a better team than last year’s club. Tune in to listen to why he feels this team can play with anybody, including FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).
With the recent news that USA Today is discontinuing its Super 25 national rankings, Smith reflects on the early days of national rankings, his program’s big breakthrough in the Super 25 in 1987 behind All-American Brian Shorter and the difference in the rankings now and then.
To learn more about our hosts, Ronnie Flores and Devin Ugland, and to get more information about what “In The Paint” is all about, check out our intro below!