Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50: Teams No. 16-30!

We continue our 2022-23 preseason FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com countdown with an in-depth look at teams No. 16-30.

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 23 years ago.

Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 National
Team Rankings Powered by Ballislife.com

By Ronnie Flores

(Final 2021-22 ranking in parentheses; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included; Look for preseason Region-By-Region Top 20 Rankings on Wednesday, November 9 and for the preseason Mr. Basketball USA Tracker on Tuesday, November 22.)

RELATED: Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (1-15) | Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (31-50) | Preseason East Region Top 20 | Preseason Southeast Region Top 20  | Preseason Midwest Region Top 20 | Preseason Southwest Region Top 20 | Preseason West Region Top 20 | Preseason FAB 50 Show (REPLAY) |  Ballislife Podcast Network | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | NIBC Bylaws | History of High School Team Rankings

GO TO: No. 16 / No. 17 / No. 18 / No. 19 / No. 20 / No. 21 / No. 22 / No. 23 / No. 24 / No. 25 / No. 26 / No. 27 / No. 28 / No. 29 / No. 30

16. (15) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 30-1 
Key Players: PG Jase Richardson 6-2 2024 (No. 32 ESPN.com), SG John “Juni” Mobley 6-0 2024 (No. 44 247Sports.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Ohio State commit), PF Chris Nwuli 6-8 2025 (No. 24 ESPN.com), SF Keenan Bey 6-5 2023, PG Ryder Elisaldez 6-2 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Gaels have been a FAB 50 staple for more than a decade and should field a terrific team. With four starters and six impact players returning from last year’s club, this unit could be as good as the best of the 2012-2020 teams that captured nine consecutive state titles. Navigating a difficult schedule, developing secondary scorers and staying healthy, particularly Richardson, will be the keys to success. Everything else is in place, as Mobley (15.5 ppg, 2 apg, 2 spg) is the best shooter coach Grant Rice (533-103) has been associated with in 20 years and is a returning second team all-state choice. Elisaldez will take on a bigger role, can play both guard spots and is a fearless competitor. Bey brings experience and terrific defensive abilities to the table, while Nwuli had big moments during the fall and is just scratching the surface of his potential. Eli Bradley (6-2, 2023) is a sniper who can come in cold and knock down big shots or blend in with the starting unit, while Nick Jefferson (6-1, 2025), Quentin Rhymes (6-5, 2024) and Jaxon Richardson (6-4, 2026), Jase’s younger brother, provide depth.

The Skinny: The Gaels have the experience, talent and perhaps most important, the motivation to move into the top 15 and attain a high final ranking. After winning nine consecutive state titles, the Gaels have been denied the past two seasons. They started at No. 25 in 2020-21 but COVID-19 restrictions canceled their season and after starting one spot lower last year, the Gaels were unbeaten until being shocked in double overtime by highly-regarded Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) in the state title game. Gorman is smarting because it knows it had a better overall season than the Patriots, but couldn’t finish higher in the final rankings due to the timing of the loss. Richardson did not play in the Border League event the Gaels hosted in mid-October, but he should be ready to go for the start of the season. Even if Richardson starts off slow, the Gaels have enough backcourt talent and the coaching staff has enough experience to adjust, as the last time the program wasn’t preseason ranked was back in 2009-10. Gorman will play No. 9 Centennial at Hoophall West on Dec. 10 and host the Tarkanian Classic (Dec. 16-22), which will include highly-regarded clubs Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.), Oak Cliff Faith Family of Texas and cross-town Liberty. After Christmas, the Gaels travel to Oregon for the Les Schwab Invitational, where they could potentially meet No. 32 Sierra Canyon in the semifinals and No. 8 Duncanville in the title game. At the Spalding Hoophall Classic, Gorman takes on No. 12 Wheeler (Jan. 14) and No. 7 Camden two nights later on MLK Monday. It also has a made-for-TV showdown with Mikey Williams and San Ysidro on Jan. 28.

17. (NR) Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 15-11
Key Players: SF Brandon Williams 6-8 2023 (No. 74 247Sports.com, UCLA commit), PF Qingfang Pang 6-9 2024, SG Dwayne Pierce 6-5 2024 (No. 70 Rivals.com), PF Brandon Gardner 6-8 2023 (No. 66 Rivals.com, St. John’s commit), SG Kiyan Anthony 6-4 2025 (No. 62 247Sports.com).
Why This Ranking: The Royals took their lumps last season with a young nucleus, but they come into this season as the slight favorite in the race for the NYC Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) title over No. 19 Cardinal Hayes, with Archbishop Stepinac right on the heels of both clubs. The Royals have a deep and talented roster and not only are four starters and 10 lettermen returning, but a 18-0 JayVee team moving up to push the veterans in practice. It begins with Williams (15.3 ppg), a third team all-state choice as a junior who leads the way with his versatility on both ends of the floor. Coach Joe Arbitello (280-93) has a team full of interchangeable forwards including Pang, a native of China who had a big summer and is now getting serious D1 scholarship offers. Gardner, a native of Georgia, decided to move to the Big Apple in preparation for his college career and that only makes CTK that much better and dangerous. Pierce is an explosive wing player who would be a star at a number of ranked schools. Simply put, there are tons of weapons on this team.
The Skinny: CTK wasn’t all that dominant last year, but on paper this team is loaded at every position. In fact, shooting guard Devin Vanterpool (6-3, 2023) is the second most accomplished scorer (13.7 ppg) behind Williams on this team, but may not put up the same type of numbers this season because of how talented the roster is. Anthony, the son of former NBA star Carmelo Anthony, will get his opportunity and Jayden Ramirez (6-4, 2025) adds even more backcourt depth. The loss count will have to be cut by 75 percent in order for the Royals to retain this ranking and Arbitello would like to see the 3-point shooting improve if his team is to capture the CHSAA title and win the big games outside the Catholic League. The Royals open their season at the Hoophall International (Dec. 2) versus No. 3 Paul VI with the winner taking on the Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) winner the following day. On Dec. 12, they will travel to California to face No. 32 Sierra Canyon in a nationally-televised showcase game. On Dec. 18, they will hit the road to face No. 19 Cardinal Hayes in a CHSAA showdown with the matchup with Archbishop Stepinac at home Feb. 14 to close out the regular season. In January, the Royals will participate at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. against the likes of No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy, No. 11 Link Academy and No. 49 Bartlett.

18. (45) Columbus (Miami, Fla.) 29-2
Key Players: PF Cameron Boozer 6-8 2025 (No. 1 247Sports.com, Ballislife National Freshman of the Year), PG Cayden Boozer 6-3 2025 (No. 24 247Sports.com), PF Malik Abdullahi 6-7 2024, SG Garyn Bess 6-1 2023, PG Kevin Noriega 5-10 2023, SG Benny Fragela 6-2, 2025.
Why This Ranking: Even though the Boozer brothers were expected to make a big splash on the high school scene, Columbus was an unknown commodity on the national scene last season. That all changed when it downed Dr. Phillips of Orlando, a team with three high major D1 players that started No. 13 in the 2021-22 FAB 50, for the FHSAA Class 7A state crown. That pushed the Explorers into the final FAB 50, but they couldn’t rate any higher than No. 45 because of two losses to unranked foes. The expectations are completely different this season, as Columbus returns its team intact, including a difference-maker in Cameron Boozer. He averaged 18 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.2 bpg and went for 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the state title game. Even more than his numbers, Boozer has the ability to play at a different level than the vast majority of his All-American counterparts. His brother Cayden (16.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.1 apg), who hit the game winning free throw with five second remaining vs. Dr. Phillips, is a physical guard who will show marked improvement over the course of the year. The team is a lot more than the Boozer brothers, as Abdullahi (5.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg) is one of the best shot-blocking forwards in the country, a great defender on the perimeter and undervalued nationally as a prospect. Bess (9.3 ppg, 2.2 apg) is a terrific athlete from the lead guard position and can slide to the off-guard if the team decides to go small. Fragela (9.2 ppg) is a good scorer, while Noriega can spell both guard positions.
The Skinny: The hushed whispers that Cameron Boozer is the best player in the nation, regardless of class, are growing louder. The 2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker will tell us where he stands as far as that statement goes, but it doesn’t change the facts his presence gives this team a chance to be special and that he’s still 15 years old and prone to letting the game come instead of being “a good selfish” as many elite seniors are. In recent years, we’ve had a few special talents (i.e. Michael Porter in 2016-17) with a solid supporting cast a bit too low to begin with and we won’t make that mistake with Columbus, which was up-and-down in its big fall league games. With a player of his caliber in the fold, the Explorers have been invited to national events and will get to prove just how good they can be on the hardwood instead of the polls. They will take on No. 8 Duncanville at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest (Nov. 25) and are entered in the prestigious City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla., (Dec. 16-21). If Columbus can get by the No. 26 Myers Park-No. 44 North Laurel winner, a potential showdown with No. 3 Paul VI awaits in the semifinals. The Explorers will also participate in the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina (Dec. 27-30), which includes No. 12 Wheeler, No. 22 John Marshall and highly-regarded Calvary Christian Academy of Florida. At the Spalding Hoophall Classic, Columbus takes on Mikey Williams led San Ysidro (Calif.) on Jan. 14 and No. 32 Sierra Canyon on Jan. 16.

19. (19) Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) 26-3 
Key Players: SF Ian Jackson 6-5 2024 (No. 2 247Sports.com, Ballislife National Sophomore of the Year), SG Elijah Moore 6-3 2024 (No. 68 Rivals.com), C Steven Solano 6-11 2024 (No. 111 Rivals.com), PG Tyleek Fields 6-3 2023 (Lincoln University commit).
Why This Ranking: The Cardinals will once again be in the thick of the NYC CHSAA title race with No. 17 Christ the King and Archbishop Stepinac. It’s not so much the quantity of the returnees for coach Joe Lods (288-64), it’s the quality as Hayes has one of the best players in the country in the fold, a true pivot and point guard. Jackson is that elite player and returns for his junior season after averaging 19.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 4.0 apg in a breakout sophomore campaign after Hayes only played seven games in 2020-21 because of COVID-19 restrictions. Jackson has a skill level and motor that could take this team to its third Catholic League title in six years. Fields is a versatile guard with good shooting range, while Jaiden Williams (6-2, 2023) adds to the backcourt depth. This team can defend and has experience, but must show it can consistently score inside against a loaded schedule.
The Skinny: While we rate No. 17 Christ the King as the slight CHSAA favorites over the Cardinals, it wouldn’t surprise us to see Cardinal Hayes repeat. Last season, the two teams split four games. Stepinac and CTK still has to prove it can beat this nucleus when it matters. The CTK-Hayes regular season matchup will take place at Hayes on Dec. 18. Hayes graduated front court stalwarts Tobe Awaka (the CHSAA’s MVP) and Tarique Foster, which put them back a few spots in the rankings, so the production of Solano will be key. The transfer from Donda Academy in California is a good shot blocker and his interior presence is key against a loaded schedule. Even before the Hayes-CTK showdown, from a national perspective Jackson and company will know exactly where they stand when they head to Hoophall West in Phoenix to take on No. 8 Duncanville (Dec. 8) and highly-regarded Perry of Arizona (Dec. 9). At the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., the Cardinals will take on No. 10 Imhotep Charter on Jan. 15. While the CHSAA had a full slate in 2021-22, the PSAL should finally get back to one in 2022-23. South Shore of Brooklyn rates as the early PSAL title favorite for the third consecutive season, but is still chasing the CHSAA powers and No. 25 Long Island Lutheran from a national perspective.

20. (NR) Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.) 27-4
Key Players: SF Kennard Davis 6-6 2023, SG Jayden Nicholson 6-5 2023, PG Trey Williams 6-0 2025, PF Nicholas Randall 6-8 2025.
Why This Ranking: With the team returning intact, you have to like what the two-time defending Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 4 champions bring to the table. Five starters and 12 lettermen return, led by leading scorers Davis (11.8) and Nicholson (11.5), both first team all-state selections. Davis led the relatively inexperienced 2021-22 club (he was the lone returning starter) with his rebounding and scoring ability, while Nicholson made a big splash in his first season in the program with his shooting and slashing ability. Williams is one of the best point guards in his class, and made all-conference as a freshman. Cameron Stovall (6-6, 2023) is another honors candidate and a D1 prospect who can play inside or on the wing. Randall has tremendous upside with his length and shot-blocking ability and should see his production increase ten-fold this season. “We will be versatile with the ability to play both big and quick,” said head coach Antonio Irons. “This team will be one of the deepest we’ve had at Vashon.”
The Skinny: Irons (288-81) does have the luxury of talent and depth, but mentioned finding playing time for all the talent at his disposal and expectations is what his primary concern is. Expectations are always high and since taking over for his father Floyd Irons, Antonio has won five state titles (five less than dad) so that championship experience should make a difference this season. This team does have veteran leadership to self-police and a deep bench creates a situation where sitting will cure small ills and create intense practices. That will help the young players’ development and the depth includes talents such as Jordan Logan (6-8, 2023), Christian Williams (5-11, 2025) and Dierre Hill (6-1, 2025). Vashon’s schedule will put it in position to challenge for the program’s highest FAB 50 ranking (No. 5 in 2002). The Wolverines play Dallas Kimball and Dallas Carter at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas (Nov. 25-26), Chicago Curie at the Chicago Elite Classic (Dec. 3), No. 31 Neumann-Goretti at the Spalding Hoophall Classic (Jan. 15), Moline (Ill.) at the Highland Shootout (Feb. 3-4), and No. 29 Simeon the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout (Feb. 10-11). At the prestigious City of Palms Classic, the Wolverines open with highly-regarded Archbishop Stepinac and could face No. 10 Imhotep Charter in the second round.

21. (23) Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) 29-2
Key Players: PF Caleb Williams 6-7 2024 (No. 135 247Sports.com), PG Cameron Gillus 5-11 2023 (Lehigh commit), SG Jalen Rougier-Roane 6-4 2025.
Why This Ranking: The Quakers had a terrific 2021-22 season, capturing the District of Columbia Schools Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class AA title with a buzzer-beating victory over No. 45 Jackson-Reed. Coach Eric Singletary (223-125) has three returning starters and nine lettermen returning, plus two impact transfers that should help take this team to the next level. It begins with Williams, whose recruitment has taken off since his incredible, put back buzzer-beater to propel Sidwell Friends to a berth in the inaugural State Champions Invitational. The team’s returning leader in three main categories (12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.7 apg), Williams expanded his game and gained more confidence by leading Team Takeover to the Nike EYBL 16U title. Gillus (11.5 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.3 spg) is a four-year starter and one of the best lead guards in the DMV. Rougier-Roane (7.4 ppg) was a key contributor as a freshman and should be one of the breakout performers in the East Region with his positional size and skill. The depth on hand allows the Quakers to really get after it on the defensive end, and outside of Gillus won’t be worried much about foul trouble. “Our greatest strength is our team culture based around our principles of attitude, toughness, and intelligence,” Singletary said.
The Skinny: The Quakers enjoyed the national stage the inaugural State Champions Invitational created, but were a bit overwhelmed by eventual tourney champ Calvary Christian Academy of Florida, so there is work to be done to move up from this spot. Sidwell Friends will be more in the national spotlight this season and won’t sneak up on anyone, but it will also be a more experienced and talented club. St. John’s transfer Acaden Lewis (6-3, 2025) is talented, Bishop O’Connell transfer Jake Williams (6-3, 2024) is a sniper from the outside and players such as power forward Chris Russell (6-6, 2023) add to the tremendous depth. This team will find out where it stands in a showcase game with No. 3 Paul VI. The Quakers will participate along with Jackson-Reed, Chicago Whitney Young, and New York St. Raymond’s in the Gonzaga Classic (Dec. 9-11), and also will appear in the Sleepy Thompson Tournament and the King Cotton Classic (Dec. 27-30).

22. (NR) John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 22-4 
Key Players: SF Dennis Parker Jr. 6-6 2023 (No. 81 Rivals.com, N.C. State commit), PG Damon “Redd” Thompson Jr. 6-0 2024, SF Steve Stinson Jr. 6-5 2023, C Latrell Almond 6-8 2026.
Why This Ranking: After capturing its fourth Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 2A state title since 2013-14 last season, the Jayem Justices are heavy favorites to repeat and enter 2022-23 as the team to beat in the VHSL. There’s plenty to like about coach Ty White’s club with 10 lettermen returning, including its three leading scorers off a team that won 18 of its final 19 games in dominant fashion. It begins with Parker (19.5, 6.6 rpg), as the 2A Region and Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Metro Player of the Year is a versatile talent on both ends of the floor. He’s been a standout for John Marshall since his freshman season when averaged 14 ppg on a team that captured the 2020 state crown right before COVID-19 shut down other classifications of the state tournament. Thompson (11.4 ppg, 2.6 apg), whose father once coached John Marshall football team, is the team’s quarterback. He plays with a nice burst and pace, is a patient passer, and capable of big scoring outbursts. Stinson (12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) has a strong body and combined with his high-motor, makes an impact both defensively and with his downhill offensive game. All three were all-state choices a year ago. Tyler Mason (6-10, 2023) anchors the interior and should play a big role after appearing in nine games last season and Dominique Bailey (6-2, 2024) is an experienced guard who can mix it up defensively and score.
The Skinny: Class 6 champion Hayfield handed John Marshall its final loss of the 2021-22 season en route to a 32-0 season and No. 27 FAB 50 ranking, but we like the Jaime Justices just a bit more this preseason. Class 4 kingpin Varina will also be good once again, but John Marshall has a chance to be special. After the 2020 team won the state title, the 2020-21 John Marshall club opened up at No. 24 in the FAB 50 but was never able to defend its title because Richmond Public Schools decided not to play the season because of COVID-19. White feels that particular team could have been as good as any of his state title-winning clubs and we start this team higher than that one to begin with. Almond has a chance to be a special talent and if he proves to be as good as advertised, this team could be on the rise from this spot. The out-of-state contests will be key, and losing to another VHSL club could hurt unless that team has a special year as Hayfield did last season.

23. (25) Centerville (Centerville, Ohio) 29-1 
Key Players: PG Gabe Cupps 6-2 2023 (No. 88 ESPN.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Indiana commit), SF Jonathan Powell 6-6 2024 (No. 98 247Sports.com), SF Emmanuel Deng 6-2 2023 (Penn commit football), SG Collin O’Connor 6-0 2023.
Why This Ranking: Last season the Elks got the nod as the No. 1 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) team and were one game away from repeating as D1 state champions with a top 10 FAB 50 finish before falling to preseason No. 16 Pickerington Central, 55-48. The result of that game is a small factor in Pick Central coming into the season as Ohio No. 1, as the bigger factors are the Tigers’ abundance of returnees and having more size at their disposal. Still, there is plenty to like about the Elks’ chances of getting back to the winner’s circle, beginning with Cupp, the son of coach Brook Cupps who was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball as a junior after averaging 14.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 6.8 apg and 2.0 spg and leading his team to a 45-game winning streak over two years. The younger Cupps has little wasted motion on the court, knows how to get to his spots to knock down shots and could be a Mr. Basketball USA candidate if things go Centerville’s way. Deng is an intelligent and tough player who will make a big impact once football season is over. He takes good shots, is capable of double-digit scoring and is an active defender. Powell and O’Connor are transfers who will make a difference in the big games. Powell, who averaged 16.8 ppg at Chaminade Julienne, is a versatile talent who can play like a big guard, while O’Connor comes over from Tecumseh where he averaged 22 ppg. He’s also played with Cupps going back to grade school. “Our strengths are our team play, discipline and basketball I.Q,” Brook Cupps said.
The Skinny: The Elks know what it takes to win in the always-tough OHSAA D1 playoffs and have motivation after last year’s finish. Centerville also wants to peak at the right time so it doesn’t get tripped up when it matters. Against the schedule Centerville has lined up, an early loss won’t hurt it in the rankings if it does end up winning a second state title in three years. Coach Cupps does have concerns about the overall size and front court depth because of the graduation loss of forwards Tom House (Florida St.) and Rich Rolf (Drexel), but Dulguun Gankhuyag (6-8, 2023), a native of Mongolia with some international experience, should help ease those losses. If he can step in and provide a quality interior presence, Centerville should be able to take down some ranked teams because of its discipline. “We have a chance to be really good if we can get everyone acclimated to how we do things,” coach Cupps said. On Dec. 3, the Elks will take on No. 13 Cathedral at the Shoes for Santa in Brownsburg (Ind.), and have a chance to take down No. 16 Pickerington Central on Dec. 17 at the Scholastic Play By Play Classic at Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio). The Elks also have games versus Huntington Prep (W.V.) and No. 36 La Lumiere and for the second consecutive season, take on talented SoCal Academy of California at the Flyin’ To The Hoop Showcase, Jan. 15. OHSAA members are able to play non-members from other states.

24. (NR) The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.) 25-8 
Key Players: PF Sammie Yeanay 6-8 2024 (No. 49 ESPN.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), PF R.J. Jones 6-9 2024 (No. 38 247Sports.com), SG Kam Wright 6-6 2024, SG Dallas Jones 6-4 2023.
Why This Ranking: Last season the talent-laden Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA) had two preseason FAB 50 ranked teams (No. 35 Central Pointe Christian and No. 36 West Oak Academy), but it was the Lions that captured the conference title despite some injuries. Coach Justin Harden not only returns eight players from his championship team, but the leaders in every statistical category as well. Yeaney (15 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg) had a breakout sophomore campaign and was named MVP of the SIAA playoffs. He is a terrific shot blocker and is eager to prove he’s among the best juniors in the country. Dallas Jones (13 ppg, 4 rpg) was a second team all-SIAA choice known for his downhill play, good perimeter shot and tenacious rebounding. Wright (11 ppg, 5 rpg, 43 percent 3-point) is a big guard with a terrific shooting stroke and is a nightmare matchup for nearly every team on the Lions’ schedule.
The Skinny: It’s never easy to win the SIAA title, but The Rock is as good a bet as any team in recent memory. After all, last year’s title was the fourth in nine years for the program. There is a good balance in the backcourt and up front, as lead guard Evan Sterck (6-2, 2025) learned on the job, still put up impressive numbers (7 ppg, 7 apg) and will have more weapons at his disposal this year. Talented Josh Hayes (6-9, 2024) just never found his groove in the rotation because of injury. The same thing holds true for R.J. Jones, but it wasn’t for lack of talent. In fact, he was tracking as a Top 10 prospect in this class until a season ending injury after seven games. He was averaging 15 ppg and shooting nearly 50 percent from 3-point range so it will be scary to see what he’s capable of, and what this team is capable of, should it stay injury free. The Rock will play in the City of Palms Signature Series, where the Lions face highly-touted Patrick School of New Jersey in the semifinals with the winner taking on the Link Academy-St. Frances Academy winner. The Lions will also participate in the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina (Dec. 27-30), where a potential matchup with No. 6 IMG Academy awaits.

25. (NR) Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) 19-7 
Key Players: PG Jayden Reid 5-11 2023 (No. 149 Rivals.com), SF Jayden Ross 6-6 2023 (No. 106 Rivals.com, UConn commit), SG V.J. Edgecombe 6-5 2024, SF Jacob Ross 6-5 2025 (No. 57 247Sports.com), PF Godswill Erheriene 6-9 2024 (No. 84 Rivals.com).
Why This Ranking: LuHi is preseason FAB 50 ranked for the sixth consecutive season and has the talent level to move up. There is only one returning starter and it’s Reid, a big-time talent with blow by ability, a quality outside shot and a play-maker in transition. Despite the lack of experience together (three returning lettermen), coach John Buck (267-56) really is high on this group after last year’s unit didn’t live up to preseason expectations. Kayden Mingo (6-2, 2025) is one of the returnees and is joined by his younger brother Dylan Mingo (6-3, 2026), who led the varsity in scoring as an eighth grader at Farmington (N.Y.) and is highly-regarded. Edgecombe and Ross are capable wings and are complemented inside by Erheriene and Amdy Ndiaye (6-9, 2023), the third veteran who can step outside and knock down the perimeter shot. “We have players with the ability to contribute in big ways on any given night,” Buck said. “Our team is full of selfless players willing to do what is needed to win.”
The Skinny: LuHi’s coaching staff hopes its team keeps the unselfish attitude all season long because it will be necessary with the stakes a bit higher. The Crusaders started out No. 13 in 2020-21, but were only able to play three sanctioned games because of COVID-19 and started out at No. 16 last season, but didn’t quite live up to that preseason positioning. The motivation is there to move up from this spot and the staff feels the team is better, but joining the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) means a tougher schedule and a tougher road to climb from this spot in the FAB 50. In addition to their loaded NIBC schedule, the Crusaders will play No. 5 Roselle Catholic at the Metro Classic in early Feb. In order to come out on top versus that schedule, the depth provided by players such as talented Ben Michaels (6-8, 2024) and explosive Keenan Emmanuel (5-11, 2024) will be key. The New York Federation Tournament is reportedly back and LuHi will challenge teams such as No. 19 Cardinal Hayes and No. 17 Christ the King out of the CHSAA while South Shore of Brooklyn once again rates as the early PSAL title favorite.

26. (NR) Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) 17-9
Key Players: SF Sir Mohammed 6-6 2024 (No. 54 Rivals.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), PG Bishop Boswell 6-4 2024 (No. 64 247Sports.com), PF Elijah Strong 6-8 2023 (Wofford commit), SF Sadiq “A.J.” White Jr. 6-7 2025 (No. 20 247Sports.com).
Why This Ranking: The Mustangs were a North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Class 4A quarterfinalist last season, but they are the consensus preseason No. 1 public school in the state for more than one reason. Coach Scott Taylor’s club has all of its starters, and eight lettermen total, returning with terrific size and talent at each position. On top of the veterans, Boswell comes in from South Mecklenburg (Charlotte, N.C.) highly-regarded and ready to step in and make a huge impact as a lead guard. He was a Grid-Hoop standout and has decided to give up football to concentrate on where hoops can take him and Myers Park is better off for it. Mohammed (17.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.8 apg), the son of former Kentucky NCAA champ Nazr Muhammed, is developing into a big guard who loves to pass and can guard multiple positions. Strong comes in right behind Mohammed in the scoring department (17.0 ppg) and is a hellacious rebounder (9.6 rpg) who thrives with traditional post moves. White Jr. made an impact as a freshman and should see his numbers greatly improve (6.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) in 2022-23.

The Skinny: There is no questioning the Mustangs’ talent and they’ll look to cut down on the losses by at least two-thirds to keep pace with the teams in this rankings range. This team not only has size, but good depth as Taylor counts six college level players. Providing depth and experience is Sam Walters (6-3, 2023), a hard-nosed guard, and Santana Lynch (6-4, 2024), a knockdown shooter who had a great summer. Similar to No. 23 Centerville, the Mustangs played great during the NCAA June Scholastic Live period, going unbeaten in two weekend events in North Carolina and Georgia with players such as White Jr. and Lynch upping their stock. Myers Park will be able to up its ranking stock with a good showing at the prestigious City of Palms Tournament in Ft. Myers, Fla., where it’ll likely face No. 44 North Laurel in its first game with the winner facing No. 18 Columbus. Myers Park is also in the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tenn. (Dec. 27-31), where they must defeat a host of regionally-ranked teams in order to enter the New Year with a formidable ranking.

27. (NR) Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 28-6** 
Key Players: SG Jamari Phillips 6-3 2024 (No. 20 ESPN.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), PG B.J. Davis 6-1 2023 (No. 137 247Sports.com, San Diego St. commit), C Prince Oseya 6-10 2023, SG Darius Smith 6-3 2023.
Why This Ranking: After No. 9 Centennial ran roughshod through the SoCal open playoffs, the Crusaders gave the Huskies all they could handle in the CIF open title game, falling 59-50. The game was in the balance until Centennial pulled away in the last three minutes. The entire team returns, sans starting guard Alex Argandar, and the veterans are improved and three talented newcomers makes this team the best bet for NorCal to win the CIF open crown since Oakland Bishop O’Dowd started No. 7 and won it all in 2014-15. Phillips (23.5 ppg, 115 3-pointers, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) is one of the best scoring guards in the country and is capable of taking over games with his confidence and play-making. Davis (17.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, 2.8 spg) had a breakout junior season and can break down defenders as well as any guard in the West Region. Smith has battled injuries for much of his career, but he’s eager to show recruiters he a bonafide player for the next level. Oseya mans the middle and strongman Manasse Itete (6-6, 2024), who made an impact in the state title game, has a future in football but is a key cog and complements the other pieces well. It’s hard to find a weakness on this team, so it will just be a matter of avoiding complacency, injury and jelling at the right time.
The Skinny: The Crusaders are a simple choice as preseason NorCal No. 1, but still have plenty of unfinished business to be satisfied with their preseason goals. Since the advent of CIF open division in 2012-13, Bishop O’Dowd has been the only NorCal team to win the CIF’s top prize, so Modesto Christian still has to prove it can get by No. 15 Harvard-Westlake, No. 10 Centennial or whomever else represents SoCal. From a national perspective, this might be the best Crusaders team ever on paper, but keep in mind the Chuck Hayes-led 2001 team finished ranked No. 14 in the FAB 50 after losing in the D1 state title game. There are five other returning lettermen for coach Brice Fantazia (142-38) plus newcomers Jalen Brown (6-3, 2023) and Kodey Weary (6-7, 2023) will play key roles. Rashad Cotton Jr. (6-0, 2026) is so talented he’ll push for playing time, too. Modesto Christian has to be locked in right away because its first three games will tell the story. It faces No. 16 Bishop Gorman on Nov. 25 at the O’Dowd Thanksgiving Showcase, faces No. 38 Notre Dame at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic the next evening and then travels to Sacramento Dec. 3 to face No. 9 Centennial. Modesto Christian also participates in the Capital City Classic in Portland, Ore., (Dec. 16-21), hosts its own Holiday Hoops Classic (Dec. 27-30) and will prepare for its playoff run by taking on highly-regarded Chicago St. Rita and No. 20 Vashon at the Quincy Shootout in Illinois (Jan. 20-21).

28. (34) Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) 32-7 
Key Players: PF Amani Hansberry 6-8 2023 (No. 52 247Sports.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Illinois commit), PG Ace Valentine 6-3 2023 (UMBC commit), SG Austin Abrams 6-4 2023, SF Tyonne Farrell 6-6 2024. 
Why This Ranking: The Gaels rate as the top team from the Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) for the second consecutive season over No. 40 St. Frances Academy. In the greater DMV region, we have Mt. St. Joseph as the No. 3 team behind FAB 50 No. 3 Paul VI and No. 21 Sidwell Friends and in front of WCAC No. 2 club St. John’s. Last season, St. Frances Academy captured the regular season BCL title by two games, but the Gaels came back to win the 51st BCL tournament with a 66-56 victory. Veteran coach Pat Clatchey (754-241) has four players with starting experience and seven lettermen back, including BCL Tourney and Alhambra Catholic Invitational MVP Hansberry (21 ppg, 11 rpg). He’s one of the most talented forwards in the country and is complemented nicely up front by Farrell, who averaged 8 ppg and 5 rpg per game off the bench and should see a significant uptick in production. Clatchey is in good hands at the lead guard position with Valentine (14 ppg, 6 apg), a veteran who not only sets the table, but excels defensively. Abrams (11 ppg, 4 rpg) is a good shooter and ball-handler that gives this team plenty of options when it comes to its offensive attack. “We’re a mature team with versatile guys who can play multiple positions,” Clatchey said.
The Skinny: Mt. St. Joseph seems to reload each season despite its personnel losses. Last season Hansberry came over from WCAC contender No. 33 St. John’s and this year lost standout junior Bryson Tucker to No. 6 IMG Academy. Losing Tucker does cost the Gaels a few spots, but doesn’t change their status as the team to beat in the BCL. Tucker’s absence is eased by the arrival of Brashawn Galloway (6-5, 2023) of Baltimore Poly, a capable shooter and terrific defender with all-league potential. Mt. St. Joseph is athletic, quick and has good shooters, but hopes its bench can mature enough to run the gauntlet through the BCL regular season and its playoffs, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) A Conference and Alhambra Catholic Tournament. In 2021-22, Mt. St. Joseph captured three of those titles and its extremely difficult to win all four. The young players, including Brandon Holmes (6-8, 2025), Joe Green (6-2, 2025) and Paul Frazier (6-3, 2025) will gain valuable experience against a loaded schedule that includes a trip to the Iolani Tournament in Hawaii (Dec. 16-21) and a game with No. 44 North Laurel at the Spalding Hoophall Classic (Jan. 15).

29. (NR) Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 28-7 
Key Players: PF Wesley Rubin 6-8 2023 (Northern Iowa commit), C Miles Rubin 6-9 2023 (No. 142 247Sports.com, Loyola-Chicago commit), PG Jalen Griffith 5-10 2023.
Why This Ranking: The Wolverines return to the preseason FAB 50 after a one-year hiatus and open as the favorites to win the Chicago Public League title. They were preseason No. 25 in 2020-21, when the team finished 8-1 during a shortened season due to COVID-19 and last season lost in the CPL semifinals. Simeon is in the driver’s seat thanks to three returning starters and seven lettermen. Wesley Rubin is a versatile talent who has displayed marked improvement in his perimeter game. His twin brother Miles Rubin is more of a defensive-minded post player who was named all-state last season. Simeon did lose some backcourt firepower, but Griffith is a shifty guard who can find the open man on the break or off the dribble and can knock down the open shot. “Our strengths is we have a veteran team with six seniors and two D1 transfers,” coach Robert Smith (480-73) said.
The Skinny: This proud program has captured seven Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state titles, including six under Smith. Not only is this team talented, it has plenty of motivation as Smith is retiring after 19 seasons at the helm and the Wolverines players and alumni would love to send him out a winner. The transfers that will bolster the lineup are Toledo-bound Sam Lewis (6-5, 2023) and Stony Brook-bound Kaiden Space (5-11, 2023). Lewis was the second leading scorer at Oak Park River Forest and Space was a standout for Chicago St. Rita. Depth is provided by Michael Ratliff (6-2, 2023), Steve Turner (6-8, 2023) and Rashad McKinnie (6-2, 2024). No. 39 Kenwood Academy and always-tough Whitney Young will challenge the Wolverines for the CPL title, which Smith has won seven of. The Wolverines were the last public school to begin preseason No. 1 in the FAB 50 (in 2011-12) and finished No. 6 with one loss. In order for Simeon to finish anywhere in the range of that Jabari Parker-led team, the Wolverines would only be able to lose one game against a loaded schedule. A big national television game with No. 13 Cathedral awaits and the Wolverines face St. Rita in a cross-town showdown at the Chicago Elite Classic (Dec. 3). Simeon travels to Arizona to play Coronado of Henderson, Nev. at Hoophall West (Dec. 10), to Hoophall South to face Little Rock Central (Dec. 16) and No. 4 AZ Compass Prep (Dec. 17), and faces highly-regarded Archbishop Stepinac of New York at the Spalding Hoophall Classic (Jan. 15). The Wolverines will also participate in the Highland Shootout (Feb. 3-4) and face No. 20 Vashon at the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout (Feb. 10-11).

30. (8) Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 33-8
Key Players: PG Zion Pipkin 6-1 2024 (No. 107 247Sports.com), SF Micah Robinson 6-5 2024 (No. 85 Rivals.com), SG Dontae Russo-Nance 6-4 2024, SF A.J. Swinton 6-5 2024 (No. 78 Rivals.com).
Why This Ranking: After 37 incredible seasons under the tutelage of legendary coach Steve Smith, Oak Hill Academy is entering a new era. Yerrick Stoneman, an assistant coach under Smith for 11 years and four FAB 50 titles who more recently won four state titles at Ridgeview (Columbia, S.C.), takes over and hopes to keep the Warriors’ winning tradition alive while putting his own stamp on the program. There is plenty of talent overall, but we’re taking a cautious approach with the Warriors because it’s an unproven group with a new identity. Pipkin comes in highly-regarded after averaging 14 ppg, 5 rpg, 5 apg and 4 spg at Houston Westfield and is actually a proven commodity after leading Cooz Elite to the UAA Next Circuit 16U title. Robinson comes over from Greenhill School in Texas and is a versatile talent, while Russo-Nance is from New Zealand where he played in a professional basketball situation at 16-years old. Stoneman is really high on his overall ability and is an all-NIBC honors candidate. Swinton comes over from another renowned program (DeMatha of Maryland) and is known for tough defense and his outside shooting. “We are young, but we have a good chance of making GEICO Nationals,” Stoneman said.
The Skinny: In Steve Smith’s last two seasons, Oak Hill started off No. 9 in 2020-21 and No. 6 in 2021-22. The Warriors lost five NIBC games with eight teams in the league last season and now AZ Compass Prep and Long Island Lutheran are added to the mix, so Stoneman has his work cut out for him. Under Smith, Oak Hill captured seven FAB 50 titles and finished No. 2 eight times, and from a rankings perspective, there is no expectation for this team to reach anywhere near those heights. There is not a lot of pressure on this team, only the expectations Stoneman and his group have internally. Stoneman likes his group and is particularly counting on his strong junior class, which includes Nick Book (6-8, 2024), Bronson Schmidt-Uili (6-11, 2024) and Jamie Vinson IV (6-9, 2024). Additional interior depth is provided by Drayton Jones (6-10, 2023). The Warriors have the luxury of extended practice time and will have played three regular season games by the time most read these rankings. In addition to the NIBC slate, Oak Hill will participate at the Chick-Fil-A Classic in South Carolina (Dec. 27-30).

RELATED: Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (16-30) | Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (31-50) | Preseason East Region Top 20 | Preseason Southeast Region Top 20  | Preseason Midwest Region Top 20 | Preseason Southwest Region Top 20 | Preseason West Region Top 20 | Preseason FAB 50 Show (REPLAY) |  Ballislife Podcast Network | FAB 50 Rankings Criteria | NIBC Bylaws | History of High School Team Rankings

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 23 years ago.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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