Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50: Teams No. 31-50!

Today Ballislife.com tips off its 2022-23 high school basketball coverage with our first installment of the preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 National Team Rankings. We begin with teams No. 31-50.

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 (16-30) | 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. 31 / No. 32 / No. 33 / No. 34 / No. 35 / No. 36 / No. 37 / No. 38 / No. 39 / No. 40 / No. 41 / No. 42 / No. 43 / No. 44 / No. 45 / No. 46 / No. 47 / No. 48 / No. 49 / No. 50

31. (35) Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) 23-4
Key Players: PG Rob Wright III 6-0 2024 (No. 26 Rivals.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Baylor commit), PG Khaafiq Myers 5-11 2024, PF Sultan Adewale 6-8 2023, SF Amir Williams 6-6 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Saints crack the preseason FAB 50 for the first time since 2019-20 and the defending PIAA Class 4A champions have plenty of experience and weapons. Coach Carl Arrigale counts three returning starters and five lettermen back from a club that captured the 2021-22 Philadelphia Catholic League title after bouncing back from a two week shutdown in January due to COVID-19 protocols. It begins with Wright, a legitimate All-American candidate who averaged 19.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 4.3 apg and can beat teams as a set up man or by taking over down the stretch. Adewale (11.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg), originally from London, England, excelled in his first year in the PCL with his rebounding and shot-blocking and will make an even bigger impact this season. Myers (9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 apg) compliments Wright in the backcourt, while Williams will take on an expanded role. “Our strength is our defense, ball-handling and three point shooting,” Arrigale said.

The Skinny: The Saints are a solid No. 2 in Pennsylvania behind No. 10 Imhotep Charter and the favorites in the PCL over Roman Catholic and West Catholic after entering the playoffs as the No. 4 seed last season. The experience Neumann-Goretti gained last season will pay off and the team has added pieces that will contribute. Chester transfer Lorenzo Jerkins (6-5, 2024) will help on the boards with his relentless motor and is an improving offensive talent. Four-year veteran Bruce Smith (6-2, 2023) and Stephon Ashley-Wright (5-11, 2026), the younger brother of Wright III, adds depth to a team looking to capture the program’s 13th PCL title under Arrigale. If this team can be consistent on the boards against the ranked teams on its schedule, it will be a strong candidate to crack the Top 25. The Saints will participate in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii (Dec. 16-21) and play No. 20 Vashon (Jan. 15) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

32. (32) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 26-5 
Key Players: SG LeBron James Jr. 6-5 2023 (No. 35 ESPN.com), SG Isaiah Elohim 6-5 2024 (No. 13 247Sports.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SF Ashton Hardaway 6-6 2023 (No. 123 Rivals.com), PG Dylan Metoyer 6-0 2023, PF Jimmy Oladokun 6-9 2023, PF Noah Williams 6-6 2024
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Why This Ranking: The Trailblazers are preseason FAB 50 ranked for the eighth consecutive season, but for the first time in five years they do not open as the No. 1 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) club. In fact, Sierra Canyon comes in at No. 4 in California because of its heavy personnel losses and the quality of returnees to the state’s top teams. James (8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.9 spg) has been in the national spotlight since entering high school and has been a contributor to three FAB 50 ranked teams, but for the first time will be the leader and one of two go-to offensive players. The other is Elohim (10.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg in 17 games), one of the nation’s best juniors and an experienced player in pressure games. Metoyer (4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg) is a veteran at the lead guard position and is never afraid of the big moments. There is a fine line for this team between winning the CIF open crown and the uphill battle of trying to reclaim the title as a potential third-place team in its league.
The Skinny: The Trailblazers have the ingredients to move up from the spot they finished in the rankings last year, but the circumstances are much different. The program has joined the Mission League, which includes No. 15 Harvard-Westlake, the team it lost to in the CIFSS open playoffs, and No. 38 Notre Dame. Sierra Canyon did rebound to beat the Wolverines in the SoCal open playoffs, but Harvard-Westlake has more experienced personnel back so it does deserve to be ranked higher. Notre Dame has terrific personnel, but Sierra Canyon has accomplished more from a national perspective so it will start as the league’s No. 2 team. In order for Sierra Canyon to win CIF Southern Section open and state crowns, it will need James to double his production from last season and have consistent scoring performances. Elohim batted nagging injuries in the summer and fall; if he has a big junior season it should take some of the pressure off James and open up finishing lanes for transfers Hardaway (a reserve for 2022 FAB 50 champ Duncanville), Oladokun and Williams. Sierra Canyon will play in the Les Schwab Invitational (Dec. 27-30), where it could potentially face No. 16 Bishop Gorman in the semifinal and No. 8 Duncanville in the final. That’s the only tourney it will be involved in (besides the Mission League tourney) and has single games with No. 17 Christ the King, St. Vincent-St. Mary of Ohio and No. 18 Columbus.

33. (NR) St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 15-13 
Key Players: PG Malik Mack 6-1 2023 (Harvard commit), PF Donnie Freeman 6-9 2024 (No. 26 ESPN.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SG Daquan Davis 6-1 2024 (No. 87 247Sports.com).
Why This Ranking: This year in the powerful Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), No. 3 Paul VI is the clear favorite and we go with the Cadets as the No. 2 team in a close call over Gonzaga of Washington, D.C., and DeMatha of Hyattsville, Md., with Bishop McNamara of Forestville, Md., and Bishop O’Connell of Arlington, Va., also in the mix. That quartet of teams is somewhat interchangeable and could knock each other off and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one jump into the rankings as Bishop McNamara did last season. Coach Pat Behan returns three starters and eight lettermen off a competitive WCAC team that was able to take Paul VI into three overtimes before losing one game and swept Gonzaga before falling to No. 21 Sidwell Friends in the District of Columbia Schools Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class AA semifinals. Mack is a crafty lefty with a good feel for the game and a high basketball IQ on the court to compliment his good grades off it. He was a first team all-WCAC choice last season and Freeman is one of the most talented players in the Conference. Freeman, who was born in the Bahamas, gained plenty of confidence this summer in leading Team Takeover to the Nike EYBL Peach Jam title game. Davis, who can excel both on and off the ball, comes over from Baltimore St. Frances Academy, where he was an all-DMV choice and a Peach Jam 16U champ for Team Takeover. “We have one of the best backcourts in the DMV and an experienced front court,” Behan said.
The Skinny: For now, we start off the Cadets in the FAB 50 for the second consecutive season (they were No. 44 last season) after they played only one sanctioned game during the COVID-19 season of 2020-21. Losing Christian Watson (Miami) to graduation hurts, but the experience the front court brings that Behan mentioned should ease some of that lost production. Anthony Davenport (6-7, 2023) and Tim Barton (6-5, 2023) get it done inside and Ray Watts (6-3, 2023) brings his football mentality to the hardwood. The future looks bright, too, as St. John’s welcomes a talented freshmen group that includes five players who should earn a varsity letter and push the veterans. The Cadets obviously have to cut down on the loss total to remain in this range in the rankings and will have to pull out WCAC road wins to remain near the top of the conference standings. They will also look to capture the title at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic in San Diego, Calif. (Dec. 26-30).

34. (NR) Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas) 32-5 
Key Players: SG Tre Johnson 6-6 2024 (No. 1 247Sports.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American), C Samson Aletan 6-10 2023 (Yale commit), SG Quinton Perkins 6-1 2023, PG Jaylen Washington 6-0 2024.
Why This Ranking: There has been an abundance of quality University Interscholastic (UIL) teams in the FAB 50 in recent seasons and that culminated in Duncanville capturing the 2021-22 FAB title. The Wildcats and No. 37 Beaumont United are two of the teams with a chance to end Duncanville’s five-year stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the Texas polls along with Class 6A teams such as Allen, San Antonio Brennan and Shadow Creek, 5A club Dallas Kimball, and defending Class 4A champ Oak Cliff Faith Family plus leading 4A contender Dallas Carter. With three returning starters and seven lettermen, including a potential superstar in Johnson, we like the Wildcats as the No. 2 UIL team to begin the season. Some respected evaluators feel Johnson (23.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is the best junior in the country and against the schedule coach Joe Duffield (183-112) has lined up, he’ll have a chance to prove he’s one of the best players in the country, period. This guard-oriented team spaces the floor well and can knock down the perimeter shot. Both Perkins and Washington are quick with the ball and move their feet on defense. The duo will make teams pay should they concentrate on Johnson too much. Elite teams usually have at least one above-the-rim interior presence and Aletan is that, as he rim protects and runs the floor well. “We have talented guards on the perimeter with ability to shoot the ball and Aletan moves his feet well on defense,” Duffield said.
The Skinny: The Wildcats are a talented team and also hungry after a season in which it was a UIL Class 6A regional semifinalist. They’ll obviously have to advance further in the UIL playoffs to maintain this ranking, but they’ll have plenty of big games to prepare for a playoff run and to potentially move into the Top 25. While there is depth on the perimeter with players such as Warren Hamilton (6-3, 2023), Khaleel Thomas (6-2, 2023) and Lewis Racine (6-3, 2025), it lacks in the interior. There isn’t much margin for error, so Aletan must stay healthy because Duffield feels his team could be vulnerable to teams with elite size. Lake Highlands also has to be ready out of the gate because there is a showdown with No. 8 Duncanville at The Matchup on Nov. 19. The Wildcats also play No. 19 Cardinal Hayes and Little Rock Parkview at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest and Red River Hoopfest. Lake Highlands then travels to Ft. Myers, Fla., to participate in the City of Palms Tournament (Dec. 16-21) and open with highly-regarded Newton (Ga.). Should it win that game a likely matchup with No. 3 Paul VI awaits.

35. (NR) Grovetown (Grovetown, Ga.) 29-3 
Key Players: SF Frankquon Sherman 6-7 2023 (Winthrop commit), SG Malik Ferguson 6-5 2023 (Georgia State commit), SF Derrion Reid 6-7 2024 (No. 33 Rivals.com), SG Markel Freeman 6-4 2023.
Why This Ranking: The Warriors make a splash into the FAB 50, returning their team en masse after capturing the program’s first ever GHSA title. Coach Darren Douglas (127-41) just doesn’t return his lineup, he’s got college-bound talents, including AAAAAA Player of the Year Sherman, who averaged 17.0 ppg and 7.9 rpg. He was nails in the playoffs, upping his averages to 22 ppg and 11 rpg. Reid (9.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.2 spg) also has all-state potential and is known for his versatile talents. Ferguson (12.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 apg) has terrific feel and I.Q. and can run a team at his size, while Khaleed Heywood (6-0, 2023) can also score (7.3 ppg) and distribute (3.6 apg). Douglas has a huge starting lineup rounded out by Freeman (11.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and veteran D.J. Douglas (6-9, 2023). “Not only do we have size, we are good in transition,” Douglas said.
The Skinny: Grovetown didn’t get much notoriety in 2021-22 preseason polls and many felt they were a year away. The timetable got moved up 12 months and now the Warriors are getting some deserved national acclaim. Just as the Warriors were hungry to show Peach State fans they could win the GHSA AAAAAA title, they are eager to show the ability to compete on a national level in 2022-23. Not only did Sherman have 23 points and 13 rebounds in the state title game win over Buford, E.J. Kency (5-10, 2023) had three 3-pointers in the second quarter to spark the team. He leads a bench that includes Aaron Nomel (6-8, 2023) and Kevin Curtis (6-11, 2026). Grovetown has to be ready to go coming out of the block, as it has a showdown with AAAAAAA power and No. 12 Wheeler at the Holiday Hoopsgiving (Nov. 26) in Atlanta. The Warriors also play at the Battle of the Bluff in Memphis and in the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament (Ocala, Fla.) which also includes No. 16 Pickerington Central, Dec. 27-30.

36. (11) La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 20-5

Key Players: SF Kaleb Glenn 6-6 2023 (No. 69 247Sports.com, Louisville commit), PG Tybo Bailey 6-3 2024 (No. 102 247Sports.com), PG Trenton Walters 5-6 2023 (Radford commit), SG Zaide Lowery 6-3 2023 (Marquette commit), C Gus Yalden 6-9 2023 (No. 93 247Sports.com, Wisconsin commit).
Why This Ranking: The Lakers have been a FAB 50 staple for a decade, capturing GEICO Nationals in 2016-17 and finishing as runner-up in 2018-19, finishing one win short of a FAB 50 title twice. Since then, LaLu hasn’t been back to that level but has rebounded nicely from its 10-10 mark during the shortened 2020-21 season. This group can move up from this spot if it stays-injury free and proves it can rebound with the upper-echelon teams in the NIBC. Glenn is a good athlete and physical, which makes him a go-to type scorer on this club. Walters is a quick guard who makes ball-handlers work the entire game while on the offensive end is a 40 percent 3-point shooter. Bailey can score, rebound and has plenty of experience in big games. Lowery moves well without the ball and excels in catch-and-shoot situations. “Our guys know how to play and in our motion-based offense, we want to let the ball find the right shot,” coach Pat Holmes said. “This group wants to get better.”
The Skinny: LaLu is the seventh and final of the 10 NIBC clubs in the preseason FAB 50, as Wasatch Academy of Utah, Legacy Early College of South Carolina and Bishop Walsh of Maryland have work to do in order to stay afloat in the conference standings and move up into the FAB 50. Coach Holmes knows exactly what it takes to win at the highest NIBC level and has a coachable group, but the top seven players from last season are gone, including two elite guards to transfer, so there is plenty to prove. Rebounding is what separated the 2017 and 2019 LaLu clubs from its competition and he’s counting on Yalden to be a key rebounder and for the guards to do their fair share, too. The two holdovers from last year are Christian Humphrey-Rembert (6-7, 2024) and Hampton Dauparas (6-6, 2023). Holmes knows the margin for error for a successful NIBC season is small, especially with two new teams and the fact the three teams his club has to play twice are No. 1 Montverde Academy, No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy and No. 30 Oak Hill Academy.

37. (29) Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 36-3 
Key Players: SG Wesley Yates III 6-4 2023 (No. 23 Rivals.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Washington commit), SF Trealyn Porchia 6-5 2023, PG Kayde Dotson 6-2 2024, SF Clarence Payia 6-5 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Timberwolves were one of the best stories of the 202-21 season, winning the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 5A state title on the strength of last-second heroics by Terrance Arceneaux (Houston). They opened up at No. 19 last season, and played to that level when it counted, capturing their second consecutive title as Arceneaux netted 10 of his 14 points in the final two minutes of the title game. Coach David Green Jr. loses an All-American, but has another potential one in Yates (19.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.8 spg), a physical specimen who can put the ball in the hole as well as any big guard in the country. Yates had a standout summer and is primed to lead this team on another deep playoff run. Porchia (12.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.4 spg) has quality offers in football as a wide receiver, but has worked hard to improve his basketball skills. Dotson (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.2 spg) is an experienced floor general who has been a key part of the past two state title-winning clubs. Payia (9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 spg) is cut out to be a D1 wing, and on this team his versatility is a big asset, as he can handle the ball or play a forward spot and work the boards.
The Skinny: A team’s classification has no bearing on its preseason positioning, but it could affect its final ranking because of the strength of the playoff division. Beaumont United is the two-time defending UIL Class 5A champs, but this year are in Class 6A, Region III. That affects the Timberwolves because No. 8 Duncanville has been the kingpin of Class 6A for the past four years and that classification contains a deeper field of quality teams in its post-season tournament than Class 5A. The loss of Arceneaux drops this team a few spots in the rankings, but the Timberwolves do have tremendous depth and get after it defensively to create easy scoring opportunities and make up for their lack of an elite big. Role players Paul Anderson (6-3, 2023), Mark Roach (5-10, 2023), Jacori Smith-Jackson (6-2, 2023), Cameron Mickles (5-10, 2023) and David Johnson (6-4, 2025) are all back more experienced and talented and that depth should pay off in the big games down the line. Beaumont United will have a chance to see where it stands right away at the RCS Season Opener vs. Cypress Falls (Nov. 12). It plays highly-regarded Dallas Carter at the RCS Hoopsgiving Classic (Nov. 23) and Fort Bend Marshall at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest (Nov. 26).

38. (NR) Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) 21-8 
Key Players: PG Caleb Foster 6-3 2023 (No. 9 247Sports.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Duke commit), SG Dusty Stromer 6-6 2023 (No. 40 Rivals.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Gonzaga commit), SG Mercy Miller 6-3 2024 (No. 34 247Sports.com, Houston commit), PF Jayden Harper 6-7 2024.
Why This Ranking: When it was announced No. 32 Sierra Canyon would join the Mission League for 2022-23, it was quickly evident the games between the Trailblazers, No. 15 Harvard-Westlake and the Knights would have major FAB 50 implications after Foster and Miller transferred over from Oak Hill Academy. The Wolverines are clearly in the Mission League driver’s seat as the four-time defending champions and No. 2 ranked team overall from the CIF Southern Section, but it’s a close call between Sierra Canyon and Notre Dame. There’s plenty to like about the Knights because Foster and Stromer, the latter an all-CIFSS open choice last season, are two of the best perimeter players in the country. Foster excels at getting to the free throw line while Stromer is a confident talent who makes an impact at both ends of the floor. When you add Miller, who can heat up from the outside at any given moment, you have a potential juggernaut. There will be plenty of opportunities to move up from this position in the rankings.
The Skinny: It can be argued Notre Dame has better personnel than Sierra Canyon. From a national perspective, however, the Trailblazers have the edge in championship experience and dealing with the expectations of a national schedule. From a statewide perceptive, the 2021-22 Notre Dame played at the level expected of them with some quality wins, but the Knights went 0-3 in CIF Southern Section open pool play. The expectations are much greater this season and coach Matt Sergeant does have other quality veterans in Dante Ogbu (6-2, 2023), Angelino Mark (6-1, 2025). Rebounding will be key in the big games, so the production of Harper and Zach White (6-5, 2026) will play a role in how well this team does in the post-season. The Knights will have a big game on Nov. 26 at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic vs. No. 27 Modesto Christian, face highly-regarded DeMatha Catholic of Maryland in SoCal on Dec. 3, face No. 8 Duncanville on Dec. 10, and play No. 9 Centennial on Jan. 7. The two Mission League contests with Harvard-Westlake and Sierra Canyon will take place at home.

39. (NR) Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.) 25-9 
Key Players: PG Darrin “Dai Dai” Ames 6-3 2023 (No. 56 Rivals.com, Kansas State commit), SF Chris Riddle 6-5 2024 (No. 123 Rivals.com), C Jaden Smith 6-10 2024 (No. 121 Rivals.com), PF Calvin Robins Jr. 6-5 2024.
Why This Ranking: With two returning starters and six lettermen back, the Broncos begin in exactly the same rankings position they did in 2021-22. It begins with Ames, a talented southpaw lead guard who could be the state’s Mr. Basketball if Kenwood plays up to expectations. He averaged 19.3 ppg, 4.7 apg and 2.4 spg as a junior and is coming off a big summer playing for the Mac Irvin Fire on the Nike EYBL circuit. Smith (3.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) has plenty of potential and will need to double his production to make up for the transfer loss of Davis Loury to Donda Academy in California. Robins (3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) made quick strides last season and can impact the game with his quick leaps and defensive ability. The loss of Loury is also offset by the addition of Riddle from AZ Compass Prep in Arizona. Riddle is capable of 20-point outings and gives coach Mike Irvin lineup options to exploit weaknesses because of the interchangeable parts with little to no falloff.
The Skinny: Last year’s ranking was finalized before Ballislife Underclass All-American J.J. Taylor left for Donda Academy, where Loury was set to join him this season before the program flamed out following recent public comments by founder Kanye West. This team also lost talented sophomore Bryce Heard to Montverde Academy, but Irvin is not one to look at the glass half empty. He has a deep cupboard at his disposal with the likes of Tyler Smith (6-1, 2023), Isaiah Green (6-1, 2024) and talent moving up from a 25-1 JayVee Chicago Public League championship team. Aleks Alston (6-9, 2025) is one of the top sophomore big man prospects in the Midwest Region and big things are expected in the future from Noah Mister (5-10, 2026). Kenwood Academy has its work cut out for it in pursuit of its second appearance in the CPL title game (the first came in 2016) and its first Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 4A state crown. No. 29 Simeon is the leader in the clubhouse, while Whitney Young of Chicago (which beat Kenwood twice last season), St. Rita of Chicago and Joliet West also look to be serious FAB 50 contenders. Joliet West and Kenwood will battle at the Chicago Elite Classic (Dec. 3). The Broncos host Simeon on Dec. 15, with the return CPL matchup on Jan. 11. Irvin’s crew must have a good showing during the holiday tournament season to maintain its ranking position and would love to enter the holidays with the positive momentum a victory over Simeon would bring.

40. (37) St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) 35-7 
Key Players: SG Jahnathan Lamothe 6-4 2023 (No. 85 Rivals.com, Maryland commit), SG Carlton Carrington 6-3 2023 (No. 94 Rivals.com, Pittsburgh commit), PG Tyler Jackson 6-2 2025 (No. 37 Rivals.com).
Why This Ranking: The Panthers have the track record and talent to once again challenge No. 28 Mt. St. Joseph for the Baltimore Catholic League title. Veteran coach Nick Myles counts three starters and five lettermen back from a team that won the BCL regular season title. Lamothe (11 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg) is a four-year veteran and good enough to be the BCL Player of the Year this season. He displayed his versatility on the Nike EYBL circuit and is a true combo guard with strength and basketball I.Q. Carrington (13.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.9 apg) is a terrific mid-range shooter and play-maker whose best basketball is ahead of him. Jackson is a player Myles is high on and playing against the perimeter players in this program he’s going to get better at a rapid pace. “We have high major guard play and I am excited about this team,” Myles said.
The Skinny: Last year, St. Frances Academy was just outside the preseason FAB 50. For the second consecutive season we begin Mt. St. Joseph higher and the Panthers want to prove our preseason forecast incorrect. Last season, St. Joseph did capture the BCL tourney title, but it was the Panthers that won or shared the regular season title for a record fifth consecutive year. In 2020-21, we began this program No. 7 and it was unbeaten until losing in the BCL title game, in overtime, to a five-loss John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) team it defeated earlier in the season to finish ranked No. 38 at 15-1. We begin the Panthers right in the range the last two teams finished and they have the talent and coaching experience to win the league crown for the sixth straight season. Coach Myles is obviously concerned about the lack of experienced size, so he is hoping young talents such as Gage Howard (6-6, 2026) and Almani Aw (6-9, 2024) develop sooner rather than later. St. Frances Academy will travel to Southern California to play in the inaugural SoCal vs. DMV Tip-Off Showcase (Dec. 3-4), where it takes on SoCal Academy and No. 45 Jackson-Reed. The Panthers will play in the City of Palms Signature Series, where they face No. 11 Link Academy in the semifinal, and have a game scheduled against highly-regarded Archbishop Stepinac of New York.

41. (NR) Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.) 25-6 
Key Players: SG Taison Chatman 6-4 2023 (No. 31 247Sports.com, Ohio State commit), SF Tommy Humphries 6-5 2023 (Furman commit), C Patrick Bath 6-9 2023, SF Isaiah Johnson-Arigu 6-7 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Eagles rate as the preseason Minnesota High School League (MHSL) No. 1 team off the strength of three returning starters and nine lettermen off a unit that captured the program’s first state crown with a 50-44 victory over De La Salle of Minneapolis. It’s not just the quantity for coach Nick Carroll, but the quality. Chatman, who led a balanced attack in the state title game with 15 points, averaged 13.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 6 apg as a junior and played well enough this summer for D1 Minnesota on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit to rate as a legitimate McDonald’s All-American candidate. Humphries (10.4 ppg) can score in the big games, but does whatever it takes necessary to win. Bath is capable of a double-double on any given night and uses his mobility to impact both ends of the court. “We are the defending state champs and have good size at each position; everyone can shoot and we can really defend,” Carroll said.
The Skinny: The Eagles lose two big time players to graduation of its AAA championship team in Demarion Watson (Iowa State) and Ahjany Lee (University of St. Thomas), but Johnson-Arigu is a big addition to help offset some of that lost interior production. The transfer from Osseo Senior is an athletic wing that can handle the ball, has a terrific face up game and can make the spectacular play. Chace Watley (5-11, 2025) and Tyler Wagner (6-4, 2025) are two of Minnesota’s best sophomore prospects and there is depth coming up from a 24-2 JayVee team. Also helping to make Totino-Grace formidable is Tian Chatman (6-3, 2026), a smooth point guard who plays beyond his years. Last season, the Eagles were no match for No. 9 Centennial (66-35) and lost to Whitney Young of Chicago (which beat No. 39 Kenwood Academy twice), so there is work to do to move up in the rankings. Totino- Grace certainly will have opportunities to as it will face Waukee, Iowa’s No. 1 team and a FAB 50 contender from the Midwest Region, No. 47 Pewaukee at the Breakdown Border Battle, independent academy Dream City Christian of Arizona and Park Center, the MHSL’s No. 1 AAAA team.

42. (44) Carmel Christian (Matthews, N.C.) 26-3 
Key Players: SF Jaeden Mustaf 6-6 2024 (No. 35 247Sports.com), SF Bryce Cash 6-6 2023, C Kaleb Siler 6-9 2023, PF Michael Marcus Jr. 6-9 2024.
Why This Ranking: There are many talent-laden teams in North Carolina in both the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) for public schools and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). No. 26 Myers Park is the clear cut preseason No. 1 NCHSAA club, while the Cougars and Providence Day rate as the top NCISAA clubs, with Winston-Salem Christian and Combine Academy major FAB 50 contenders as freelance clubs. As the defending Class 4A state champs, we begin the Cougars as preseason NCISAA No. 1, although it will be a dogfight to maintain their ranking with the abundance of quality teams on the schedule. Two players with starting experience return, and four lettermen total, but it’s the newcomers that make this team the early favorite to repeat as state champ. Mustaf comes over from DeMatha Catholic in Maryland after being named MVP of the Adidas 3SSB Circuit after leading New World to the championship. Cash comes over from Charlotte Christian and is another versatile wing-type, while Marcus Jr. doesn’t mind doing the dirty work in the post. “We are a big, strong and physical team,” said coach Joe Badgett (103-13).
The Skinny: Not much separates the top-rated independent clubs, but Carmel Christian will be tough to beat with its blend of talent and championship pedigree. It downed annual FAB 50 contender Greensboro Day for the state crown last season to erase the memory of the 2021 state title loss to Cannon. Siler and Boston Smith (6-3, 2023) are holdovers from last year’s club, while Khamani Wertz (6-1, 2023) comes over from Providence Day with plenty of talent and experience at the lead guard position. Brett Freeman (6-4, 2025) is a potential high major guard and has a bright future as well. Carmel Christian’s ranking will be decided by its on-court results rather than the talented personnel, and there are plenty of tests. The Cougars take on No. 30 Oak Hill Academy in their third game (Nov. 18), have a nice test against highly-rated Gonzaga of Washington, D.C. on Nov. 25 and get their crack at Myers Park on Jan. 14.

43. (40) George Rogers Clark (Winchester, Ky.) 37-1 
Key Players: SG Jerone Morton 6-4 2023, PG Sam Parrish 6-0 2023, SF Trent Edwards 6-8 2023, PG Reshaun Hampton 5-11 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Kentucky High School Athletics Association (KHSAA) Sweet 16 is a special event because it’s the only state association with a one-class, winner-take-all format. The team left standing in 2021-22 was the Cardinals, which won their first state title since 1951 with a 43-42 victory over Warren Central (Bowling Green, Ky.). The Cardinals have 10 lettermen returning, including three starters and the Sweet 16 MVP in Morton. He averaged 18.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2.4 spg, and 1.0 bpg, so his production will obviously be key. Parrish (13.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.5 spg) returns and for coach Joshua Cook he’s like having a coach on the floor with his leadership and intangibles. Edwards (13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.3 bpg) is the third top scorer returning and mans the paint although he slashes and runs the floor well enough to be a college wing.
The Skinny: It was a difficult choice between George Rogers Clark and Sweet 16 contender North Laurel, but we decided to go with the Cardinals a spot higher. After all they are the defending state champions, have plenty of their roster back and a game-changer at the high school level in Morton. The experience of last season is key, as George Rogers Clark won its final three playoff games by nine points total. The Cardinals play quality team defense, but are going to have to develop more bench play as last year’s starters played all but eight of a possible 160 minutes of the Sweet 16 title game. Hampton can man both guard spots and should slide into a starting position. The Cardinals went unbeaten in-state last year and a duplication of that would bode well for their ranking. The last repeat Sweet 16 state champ was Fairdale in 1990 and 1991 with the teams finishing No. 16 and No. 25, respectively, in the final National Prep Poll (FAB 50 precursor).

44. (NR) North Laurel (London, Ky.) 28-6 
Key Players: SG Reed Sheppard 6-2 2023 (No. 22 Rivals.com, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Kentucky commit), SF Ryan Davidson 6-4 2023, PG Brody Brock 6-0 2023.
Why This Ranking: The Jaguars advanced to the KHSAA Sweet 16, falling in the first round to Pikeville, 59-51. North Laurel has the motivation, and more importantly, the talent to capture the program’s first state title and plenty of opportunity to prove its rankings worth. Coach Nate Valentine (185-70) counts three returning starters, including Sheppard, the son of former two-time NCAA champ Jeff Sheppard of Kentucky. The Bluegrass State’s biggest recruit in recent memory averaged 25.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 7.6 apg, and 4.4 spg while shooting over 54 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range. Sheppard is the returning Gatorade State Player of the Year and has scored 2,931 career points with one season to go. Davidson, who scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss to Pikeville, is an excellent student and versatile player who can beat teams inside and out. He’s a 20 ppg scorer and averaged over 6 rpg as a junior. The third returning starter is Brock (8.2 ppg), who quarterbacks the club and is deft at making sure the Jaguars get a quality shot.
The Skinny: The Jaguars not only have a talented base, they excel because of familiarity, as a majority of the players on this small town roster have been playing together since elementary school. This helps make them extremely efficient and a FAB 50 worthy team despite the overall lack of height with Davidson the tallest player on the roster. “Were among the state’s leaders in points per game, field goal, 3-point and free throw percentage,” Valentine said. That efficiently and lack of height will be put to the test more than ever this season. North Laurel will play No. 10 Imhotep Charter in the Kentucky Play-By-Play Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville on Dec. 11. The Jaguars will then travel to the prestigious City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla., where they open against Charlotte (Punta Gorda, Fla.) and will meet No. 26 Myers Park should they win that opener. North Laurel will also play at the Spalding Hoophall Classic against No. 28 Mt. St. Joseph on Jan. 15.

45. (NR) Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.) 27-5 
Key Players: SF Rob Dockery 6-6 2024 (No. 61 Rivals.com), PG Marvin Brimage 6-2 2023.
Why This Ranking: There are plenty of deserving FAB 50 teams in the DMV, and we looked strongly at a host of them for the final spot from the East Region, including longtime FAB 50 powers Gonzaga and DeMatha Catholic from the WCAC. Bishop McNamara and Bishop O’Connell will also give ranked teams fits and were hearing good things about Rosedale Christian in Baltimore, but we couldn’t leave out the Tigers. Coach David “Tee” Johnson (a Gonzaga graduate) has three returning starters and seven lettermen off a club that captured the DC Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) title for the fourth time in five seasons with a 59-47 victory over Coolidge of D.C. The big gun is Dockery, a returning All-Met selection who averaged 14 ppg and 5 rpg. Brimage (11.5 ppg, 2.0 apg) is another honors candidate while Joseph McRae (5-11, 2024) is a clutch performer and had some big moments in the Tigers’ 2021-22 playoff run. “We are a good defensive ball club,” Johnson said.
The Skinny: Not much separates Wilson from the No. 3 team from the WCAC and we could easily have Gonzaga or DeMatha in the rankings. After all, for the ten seasons prior to this one, we had three WCAC teams ranked in the preseason nine times. Jackson-Reed (which was known as Wilson last school year) defeated Gonzaga in the District of Columbia Schools Athletic Association (DCSAA) Class AA semifinals and were favored in the title game before falling at the buzzer to No. 21 Sidwell Friends. The loss of All-Met Player of the Year Darren Buchanan Jr. (Virginia Tech) does drop the Tigers a notch or two, but this team will be hungry to atone for that loss and the roster is bolstered by three newcomers. Justin Gilmore (6-0, 2024) is a speedy guard who transferred in from Gonzaga, Kai Settles (6-7, 2024), a transfer from St. John’s, and Jayden Fort (6-7, 2025) add needed size and depth. In Southern California at the inaugural SoCal vs. DMV Tip-Off Showcase (Dec. 3-4), the Tigers will play Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, Calif.) and No. 40 St. Frances Academy. They also have a showdown with No. 22 John Marshall and tangle with Sidwell Friends on Jan. 19.

46. (NR) Isidore Newman (New Orleans, La.) 28-5 
Key Players: SG Chris Lockett 6-5 2023 (No. 150 Rivals.com), PG Canin Jefferson 6-1 2023, PF Todd Jones 6-8 2024 (No. 112 247Sports.com), SF Chris Leman 6-7 2024.
Why This Ranking: There are some quality Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) teams such as Port Allen, Archbishop Hannan and Madison Prep, but we tab the Greenies as the team to beat from the Pelican State. Coach Randy Livingston (a two time first team All-American at Newman in 1992-93) welcomes back four starters and seven lettermen off a team that captured the LHSAA Division III state crown. Lockett (16 ppg, 6 rpg, 5 apg) has been a nationally-known player since middle school, has been all-state twice and was named 2021-22 state player of the year by Louisiana sportswriters. Jefferson (17 ppg, 4 apg) was named second team all-state and is a clutch performer who Livingston relies on to initiate offense. Jones (10 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 bpg) not only patrols the paint, but is a good enough athlete to make an impact in transition while Leman (9 ppg, 4 rpg) gives the lineup plenty of versatility. “The strength of our team is our senior guards and our defensive ability up front,” Livingston said.
The Skinny: This is not only a talented team, but one with plenty of size and shot-blocking ability that will be tough to beat if all the pieces come together. Newcomers Chris Cenac Jr. (6-8, 2025), Chris Birden (6-7, 2025) and Kobe Butler (6-4, 2025) will be counted on at some point during a national schedule, especially Cenac with his interior ability. Livingston (who led Newman to three of its 10 state titles) said last year’s club was the best team the school has ever produced. This team has a chance to be better, but from a national perspective still has plenty to prove. Newman will get its opportunity to do just that. The Greenies will play Frisco Memorial at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas and will also participate in the City of Palms Tournament before Christmas. In arguably the best first round game of the loaded bracket, Newman faces No. 10 Imhotep Charter.

47. (NR) Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 27-3 
Key Players: PF Milan Momcilovic 6-9 2023 (No. 31 ESPN.com, Iowa State commit), SG Nick Janowski 6-3 2024 (No. 89 247Sports.com).
Why This Ranking: The Pirates rate as No. 1 among Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) clubs and for good reason. Pewaukee captured the Division 2 state crown with a dominant 67-48 win over La Crosse Central. Both clubs lost firepower off last year’s units, but the Pirates returnees include two of the best players in the country in their respective class, so it’s not a hard call to go with coach David Burkemper’s club as state preseason No. 1. Momcilovic is one of the best shooting forwards in the country, coming off a junior season in which he averaged 18.1 ppg 7.7 rpg and 2.6 apg, in addition to having a standout summer on the Nike EYBL circuit for Team Herro. Janowski, who netted 19 points in the state title game as Momcilovic did, averaged 17 ppg, 4 rpg, and 3 apg. He’s a left-hand sharpshooter that makes teams pay from the outside, canning 85-of-188 (45.2 percent) of his 3-point attempts.
The Skinny: Pewaukee is more than just two players and it is actually the two-time defending state champs. The team returns eight lettermen from last year’s club even though Kaeden Osterman (6-3, 2024) is the only other returnee to get significant time in the state title game. The Pirates are going to need to develop the reserves and hope the two big guns stay healthy in their quest for a 3-peat. The game vs. No. 41 Totino-Grace at the Breakdown Border Battle will be big from a national perspective and the loss count must remain low in order for this club to move up in the FAB 50. The Pirates are the final team from the Midwest Region to crack the rankings, as Ben Davis of Indianapolis, and Chicago clubs Whitney Young, St. Rita and Curie were also strongly considered.

48. (NR) Grissom (Huntsville, Ala.) 24-5 
Key Players: PG R.J. Johnson 6-3 2023 (No. 149 247Sports.com, Alabama commit), SG Izzy Miles 6-2 2023, SG D.J. Thompson 6-2 2023.
Why This Ranking: The Tigers are the team to beat among Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) clubs. Grissom counts four returning starters and seven lettermen back from a club that fell in the Class 7 Area 7 semifinals to Sparkman of Harvest, 65-58. Legendary coach Jack Doss has coached five state Mr. Basketball winners and Johnson is talented enough to be the sixth. He was a third team Class 7A all-state honoree as a junior after averaging 16 ppg, 6 rpg and 2.4 apg while collecting 67 steals. Miles is an aggressive offensive player with a quality mid-range game, while Thompson excels both on and off the ball. “We have a solid all-around team and play great team defense,” Doss said.
The Skinny: Grissom is not only talented, it is motivated after entering the 2021-22 post-season as the No. 2 ranked team in Class 7A. This team is also bolstered by two newcomers: Bren Martin (6-5, 2024), who has a nice blend of athleticism and skill, and Justin McCall (6-2, 2024), a player who uses his physicality on both ends of the floor to impact the game. Doss has captured an AHSAA record 10 state titles as a coach, so he knows what it takes to win and his team has positive momentum entering the season after playing well during the NCAA June Scholastic Live period against Georgia clubs. The Tigers will play in the King Cotton Classic in Pine Bluff, Ark., Dec. 27-30. Coach Doss’ club also will meet highly-regarded Starkville, one of two Mississippi clubs considered for the FAB 50 along with Tupelo.

49. (NR) Bartlett (Bartlett, Tenn.) 33-7** 
Key Players: SF Christian Alston 6-5 2024, PG K.J. Neville 6-2 2025, PF Matthew Stokes 6-9 2023, C Javar Daniel 6-10 2023.
Why This Ranking: The Southeast Region has been the deepest in recent years and there are a host of clubs we considered for this spot. Georgia clubs such as McEachern, Grayson and Newton are deserving and it won’t surprise us if a couple of those clubs join No. 12 Wheeler and No. 35 Grovetown in the rankings. We wanted to get the No. 1 Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) club in the mix and the Panthers are deserving. Alston is a big-time shooter and can play inside if coach Dion Real goes with a smaller and quicker lineup. Stokes and Daniel give this club a formidable inside presence, and Stokes in particular, is eager to prove he’s one of the most underrated prospects in the country after missing the 2021-22 regular season due to injury.
The Skinny: This club has plenty of talent and size to play with ranked clubs and also has plenty of motivation. Bartlett qualified for the state tournament last season for the first time since 2000-01 and advanced to the TSSAA Class 4A semifinals before losing by one point in overtime on a buzzer-beater to Dobyns-Bennett. Guards Amarr Knox (Alabama State) and J.R. Jacobs were the heart and soul of the club, but there is talent and firepower in the backcourt. Regale Moore (6-2, 2023) is expected to step up and is beginning to get noticed by college recruiters, while Neville has a chance to be a big-time player. Rashad Williams (6-6, 2024) is another player who’ll make this team tough to beat and already has D1 offers. Bartlett has to keep the loss count fairly low and hope the bounces go its way this year in order to maintain its position and potentially move up in the FAB 50.

50. (NR) Owyhee (Meridian, Idaho) 24-3 
Key Players: SG Liam Campbell 6-5 2024 (No. 73 Rivals.com), PF Jackson Rasmussen 6-7 2025, SF Titus Bailey 6-2 2023.
Why This Ranking: We wanted to make a slash with the final team in this year’s preseason rankings and having the Storm occupy the final spot in the industry’s longest-running weekly rankings accomplishes that. Owyhee narrowly edged Arizona Interscholastic Association club Perry and Brophy Prep and Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association clubs Liberty and Durango in the West Region pecking order. Led by top-notch junior guard Dedan Thomas Jr., Liberty has a chance to be terrific but Owyhee has a talented junior of its own in Campbell and more experienced interior players than the two Vegas clubs. Rasmussen, a future D1 player at the mid-major plus level, will be joined up front by two players moving from the JayVee in Reece Sasser-Gunson (6-6, 2023) and Daniel Paskewitz (6-8, 2024). Bailey is going to play beyond high school and Jayce Allen (6-0, 2025) is going to help this club at some point during the season in a key moment. “We have lots of experience and tons of shooting surrounding our playmakers, but we need to do a better job with our interior defense,” coach Andy Harrington said.
The Skinny: Ranking Owyhee is definitely going to turn heads, as no Idaho team has ever been preseason ranked in the FAB 50 or National Prep Poll in 36 years of forecasting the nation’s best teams. In fact, the highest ranked team ever from the state was Meridian in 1991-92, when it finished No. 7 in the Midlands Region. Owyhee is more than deserving, however, based on its talent level, track record and the national schedule it has lined up. The Storm will face highly-regarded Rainier Beach at the Nike Northwest Invitational (Dec. 10) and for the second consecutive season play in The Classic as Damien in Southern California (Dec. 26-30) where they’ll have an opportunity to knock off some of the West Region’s better teams. They’ll also travel to Florida to participate in the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (MAIT) Jan. 27-29 against the likes of the top-ranked Eagles, No. 18 Columbus, St. Rita of Chicago and Durango.

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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