Preseason 2023-24 FAB 50: Teams No. 16-30!

We continue our 2023-24 preseason FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by countdown with an in-depth look at teams No. 16-30.

Note: The FAB 50 powered by 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 24 years ago.

Preseason 2023-24 FAB 50 National
Team Rankings Powered by

By Ronnie Flores

(Final 2022-23 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 Tuesday, November 7 and for the preseason Mr. Basketball USA Tracker on Tuesday, November 21.)

RELATED: Preseason 2023-24 FAB 50 (1-15) | Preseason 2023-24 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 | 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. (9) AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) 23-7
Key Players:
PG Jeremiah Fears 6-3 2025 (No. 22, PG Del Jones 6-2 2024 (No. 66, Clemson commit), PF Sammie Yeanay 6-8 2024 (No. 91, C Luke Bamgboye 6-10 2024 (No. 123, C Ethan Lathan 6-11 2024 (No. 116, Old Dominion commit).
Why This Ranking: The Dragons joined the NIBC last season and were immediately pegged as a FAB 50 national title contender because of their talent level. The Dragons had an up-and-down regular season, but in the end made it to the GEICO Nationals title game where they fell to eventual FAB 50 champion Link Academy. This season, expectations are a bit more tempered because of roster turnover and a new coaching staff. Ed Gipson is now at San Jose St. after seven seasons at the helm of the program. New coach Pete Kaffey is a familiar face around the program, but he’s implementing plenty of new things. “Nothing can take away from the season we had last year, but what I’d like to see is more continuity,” Kaffey said. The Dragons defeated then No. 1 Montverde Academy early in the season and rose to No. 1 in the FAB 50 themselves, but lost four conference games to finish tied for third place with IMG Academy of Florida, two games behind second place Long Island Lutheran of New York and three behind first place MVA. Kaffey is quite satisfied with his lead guard situation, as he feels Fears is the best nationally in his class, while Jones brings that DMV toughness. AZ Compass has a reputation for getting after it on the defensive end and Bamgboye gives them an anchor in the middle, so the perimeter players can get after it knowing there is rim protection. Lathan is a traditional center and adds to that interior defense and helps keep Bamgboye on the floor when it matters down the stretch. Yeanay is versatile and even though he can hit the trial 3-pointer, Kaffey is stoked he can play and guard on the wing and interior should he decide to go to a smaller lineup.
The Skinny: Not only is there a new coach, but similar to NIBC member IMG Academy, the Dragons lost some players off last year’s roster with remaining high school eligibility, so we’ll take a wait and see approach before propping them up too high in the rankings. That turnover allowed Kaffey to construct the roster as he wants, and he’s glad his team has more interior size and will rely less on high percentage 3-point shooting. “We lost some scoring, but we didn’t have the interior depth. This year, we have five guys over 6-foot-8,” Kaffey said. The offense may also be a bit more free-flowing and most importantly, Kaffey hopes he doesn’t have to adjust his rotation much as the season wears on. Added depth is provided by forward Jayce Nathaniel (6-8, 2024), who plays with a high motor and can get after it on the glass or in transition. The coaching staff is also high on small forward Imarhi Wootten (6-5, 2026). The Dragons also get some rankings credit for their recent showings at GEICO Nationals, where they have a 3-3 (.500) record overall and will be a shoo-in to qualify for GEICO Nationals for the fourth consecutive season. The schedule includes an early test with defending FAB 50 champion Link Academy of Missouri on Nov. 21 as part of the Five For The Fight National Hoopfest (Pleasant Grove, Utah). The Dragons have an MLK Monday date at the Spalding Hoophall Classic with FAB 50 title contender Long Island Lutheran, in addition to the regular NIBC stops.

17. (25) De Pere (De Pere, Wis.) 29-0 
Key Players: PF Will Hornseth 6-9 2024 (Northern Iowa commit), SG Zach Kinziger 6-3 2025 (No. 121, Wisconsin commit), PF Ben Willihnganz 6-8 2024, SF Pryce Gregoire 6-5 2025.
Why This Ranking: It wasn’t so much that the Redbirds won their first Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) state crown since 1934, it was the manner in which they did that propelled them into the 2022-23 Top 25. Coach Brian Winchester’s club defeated preseason FAB 50 ranked and defending D2 champ Pewaukee en route to setting a WIAA record for most wins in an undefeated season. Winchester counts three starters and 10 lettermen returning led by Hornseth (16.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.5 apg) and Kinziger (15.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg). Hornseth is a terrific athlete and all-around talent, while Kinziger went for 19 points in the state title game victory over Arrowhead of Hartland. Willihnganz (5.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg) is the third returnee, and his stats are a bit deceiving because he missed most of the season with a knee injury. Expect his production to go up along with Grgoire’s (6.2 ppg), who could develop into a D1 prospect with a big year. “We have very good length and athleticism,” Winchester said. “Our core are all talented, college level players who play both ends of the floor at a high level.”
The Skinny: Kinziger did have a big state title game, but it was his brother, 2023 Wisconsin Mr. Basketball John Kinzinger (Illinois St.), who had 24 points and was the catalyst. De Pere has to replace his production, not to mention the leadership of a great senior class, but it should be able to and is deserving of this spot. Collin Wicker (6-5, 2024) is primed for a big senior season and depth and shooting comes in the form of Roan Demovsky (6-0, 2025) and Connor Hutjens (6-2, 2025). The program’s 21-1 JayVee team will also help the Redbirds get after it defensively to the level they want. “With our returning varsity players and additions from a good JayVee team, we’ll have multiple players who can space the floor with their shooting,” Winchester said. The Redbirds won’t venture too far from home, so they are going to have to play up to expectations and avoid any in-state slip ups to move up from this position.

18. (NR) Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 26-3 
Key Players: SG Dylan Harper 6-6 2024 (No. 2, Ballislife Second Team All-American), C Keiner Asprilla 7-0 2026 (No. 18, PG Isaiah Brown 6-0 2024.
Why This Ranking: There is plenty of talent and even more incentive for a club that had a terrific 2022-23 regular season campaign, but saw it all come crashing down in the New Jersey Schools Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Non-Public A semifinals. The Ironmen faced Bergen Catholic and were upset by that club after easily downing them in the Bergen County title game, 71-49. Coach Kevin Diverio’s club gets the nod as the top preseason NJSIAA club over No. 36 Hudson Catholic, as it has one of the best players in the country in the fold. Harper averaged 24.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 3.0 apg as a junior and had a terrific summer on the EYBL circuit and with USA Basketball’s 19U Team in Hungary. Some feel he’s the second best player in the senior class after Montverde Academy’s Cooper Flagg and with a big season could develop into a Mr. Basketball USA candidate. Brown is a four-year contributor and a tough customer who is capable of double-digit performances with assists. Asprilla is oozing with talent and potential and could be the difference-maker in the big contests because of his strength and skill inside.
The Skinny: The Ironmen didn’t finish FAB 50 ranked last season because of the upset playoff loss, but looking over their resume it was quite a season. Don Bosco Prep defeated FAB 50 No. 23 Centennial of California on its way to winning the John Wall Holiday Invitational and only lost to No. 12 Camden and to No. 21 and Non-Public B state champ Roselle Catholic before the loss to a Bergen Catholic team it had already defeated three times. In addition to Harper, Brown and Asprilla, Diverio returns six other lettermen, including Brady Longhlin (6-5, 2025), a quality shooting guard who is rapidly picking up D1 offers while Will Mensah (6-5, 2024) adds interior depth. Don Bosco Prep has to obviously close strong, but also must show well in national events to move up in the rankings. It will get its opportunity at the City of Palms Classic, where the Ironmen open with No. 21 McEachern and could face FAB 50 title contender Long Island Lutheran in the quarterfinals if they get past that pick’em first round game.

19. (31) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 26-7 
Key Players: PG Elzie Harrington 6-5 2025 (No. 10, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SG Brandon McCoy Jr. 6-4 2026 (No. 2, SG Jack Turner 6-3 2024 (Loyola-Chicago commit), PF Kade Bonam 6-8 2025.
Why This Ranking: It was a breakthrough season for coach Matt Dunn’s program and it rates as a solid preseason No. 2 among California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) clubs behind defending CIF open champ Harvard-Westlake. The Braves not only ended the 34-year run of league titles by perennial FAB 50 contender Mater Dei of Santa Ana, they recorded a victory over Harvard-Westlake. Dunn (447-183) played on a FAB 50 ranked outfit at Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.) that twice came up just one game short of a CIF major division crown (in 1993 and 1994) and he’d love nothing more to feel that moment as a coach with this group. Four starters and 11 lettermen return led by Harrington (15.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.8 spg), an all-state selection and Trinity League Player of the Year as a sophomore. Turner (13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.3 apg) had big scoring outings in many of Bosco’s big games and is a fiery competitor who isn’t afraid of the big moment. Bonam (13.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg) is key to Bosco’s interior play and excels in high-low situations. McCoy (8.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.6 spg) is as good a fast-twitch athlete as there is on the West Coast and he nearly led Bosco over Corona Centennial in the CIF Southern Section open title game.
The Skinny: The Braves have all the ingredients to win their first section and state open crown, as long as the interior players gain the necessary experience along the way against a challenging schedule. With a full season under his belt, the country is going to learn just how special a talent McCoy is, as he is on par talent-wise with any 2026 player in the country. “We have one of the best backcourts in the country and although still young, we’re very experienced,” Dunn said. “Our size is upcoming, but not very experienced.” Rebounding and toughness will be key against a national schedule and if Howie Wu (7-0, 2026) makes a big impact this team could be quickly moving up in the rankings. Jaison Joyce (6-7, 2025) is another key cog, while Gavin Dean-Moss (6-0, 2026) is a shot in the arm off the bench with added depth provided by fellow JayVee move-ups Dominic Perfetti (6-7, 2026) and Chris Komin (6-0, 2025). The Braves will take on highly-regarded Sunnyslope of Arizona at Hoophall West in Arizona (Dec. 2) and will travel to Hawaii for the Iolani Classic (Dec. 15-20) to compete against a field that includes No. 28 Oak Ridge, and highly-regarded clubs Vashon of Missouri, DeMatha Catholic of Maryland, Pace Academy of Georgia and Christ the King of New York. After Christmas, it’s The Classic at Damien with the likes of No. 44 Roosevelt, No. 50 Owyhee, and Sunnyslope. Before the playoffs, Bosco will test itself at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. (Jan. 11-13) along with FAB 50 title contender Paul VI of Virginia, No. 21 McEachern, and No. 34 Edmond North.

20. (BB) Kokomo (Kokomo, Ind.) 24-5
Key Players: C Flory Bidunga 6-9 2024 (No. 5, Ballislife First Team All-American, Kansas commit), PG Reis Beard 5-8 2024, PF Karson Rogers 6-6 2024.
Why This Ranking: Two starters and 10 lettermen return from a club that came up just a game short of capturing its first Indiana High School State Athletic Association (IHSAA) state crown since 1961. Kokomo has reached the state final four 10 other times, and its rabid fan base is hoping this is the club that can make history after last year’s group fell short against an unbeaten Ben Davis club that finished No. 4 in the FAB 50. It begins with Bidunga, a marvelous team oriented player who dominates around the basket on both ends of the floor, is disciplined and can move his feet good enough to keep up with a guard. The Kansas-bound big man averaged 20.2 ppg, 13.8 rpg and 4.5 bpg while converting an incredible 81 percent (207-263) of his shots from the field as a junior. He recorded 27 double-doubles in 29 outings and was the second-leading vote-getter on the Indiana A.P. All-State team. Obviously, it takes more than one talent to win a Class 4A state crown in Indiana and coach John Peckingpaugh has enough complimentary pieces to get the job done. Beard (4.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg) is a floor general in every sense of the word and is also the quarterback on Kokomo’s football team. How valuable is he? In last year’s state title game he didn’t convert a field goal but was on the floor for 31 of the 32 minutes of the game.
The Skinny: The city of Kokomo (with a population of approximately 60,000) defines Hoosier Hysteria. The town loves its Wildkats (which have won a state record 76 sectional titles) and those around to see the legendary 1961 unit feverishly followed last year’s club. It won’t be easy to get there again, but if last year’s reserves step up as Rogers did last season, this team could make history. Rogers (4.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg) stepped up with multiple double-doubles when it counted most late in the season, averaging 16 ppg and 6 rpg in the final nine games and should help keep defenses honest in guarding Budinga. The Wildkats will miss Zavion Bellamy, but his younger brother Zion Bellamy (5-9, 2025) is ready to take on a bigger role. He’s another Grid-Hooper who should improve his 6.8 ppg average. Kokomo can’t afford too many losses to stay in this range of the FAB 50, but if it wins its final game of the season, any losses while the team jells and awaits its football players won’t matter.

21. (BB) McEachern (Power Springs, Ga.) 23-7 
Key Players: SF Ace Bailey 6-8 2024 (No. 3, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Rutgers commit), PG Jeremiah Wilkinson 6-1 2024 (California commit), PG Jaye Nash 6-2 2024 (No. 103, SG Moses Hipps 6-4 2024, C J.D. Palm 6-10 2025 (No. 62
Why This Ranking: Hard to not like the Indians blend of returning talent and newcomers, led by a potential superstar in Bailey. He averaged 22 ppg, 14 rpg, 3 apg and 4 bpg for a club that advanced to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals. It’s the transfers, however, that could take coach and former Southern Cal player Tremaine Anchrum’s club to the next level and allow for a move up in the rankings. Wilkinson easily could average 20 ppg for a lesser program, Nash was the lead guard on a Briarcrest (Memphis, Tenn.) club that made a state final and John McQueen (6-5, 2024), a transfer from Langston Hughes of Atlanta, is a versatile talent that will provide good outside shooting and defense. Hipps, underrated nationally, returns and is another sniper from the outside who has D1 offers from all over the country.
The Skinny: The Indians are trying to get back to the level they were when future NBA players Sharife Cooper and Isaac Okoro led them to the City of Palms championship and a Class AAAAAAA state crown in 2018-19. That team finished No. 2 in the FAB 50 and if this club can survive its schedule it has a shot to get in that range in the final rankings. McEachern would be a few spots higher if the availability of Palm was not in question. The talented big man has been in need of a kidney transplant since last season ended and even if he does return to the court this season, it could be in a limited role. This team has plenty of offensive firepower on the perimeter and the ability to get after it defensively. Bailey is the most heralded Rutgers recruit since 1972 All-American Phil Sellers out of Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Sellers (who led the Scarlet Knights to the 1976 NCAA Final Four) was a national player of the year finalist and Bailey also could become a Mr. Basketball USA candidate with a monster year versus a loaded schedule. Not only do the Indians play at the Naismith Tip-Off Classic and Holiday Hoopsgiving versus FAB 50 title contender Columbus of Miami, they will venture to the City of Palms Classic (Dec. 18-23) in Ft. Myers, Fla., where they open with No. 18 Don Bosco Prep. In January, the Indians will do the vaunted “Springfield Double”, taking on No. 11 Harvard-Westlake on MLK Monday in Massachusetts after participating in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Missouri (Jan. 11-13) against the likes of FAB 50 power Paul VI of Virginia, No. 19 St. John Bosco and No. 34 Edmond North.

22. (50) Lincoln Park (Midland, Pa.) 30-1 
Key Players: SG Meleek Thomas 6-5 2025 (No. 5, Ballislife First Team All-American), SG Brandin “Beebah” Cummings 6-3 2024 (No. 122, Pittsburgh commit), SG Dorian McGhee 6-0 2024, PF Dontay Green 6-5 2024.

Why This Ranking: The Leopards are deserving of this spot with four returning starters and seven lettermen from an outstanding club that captured the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class 4A state crown. It’s not just the amount of veterans, but the talent level, as Thomas (24.9 ppg) is one of the best players in the country regardless of class. His driving 12-foot runner clinched the Leopards’ state title game victory over then No. 24 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.). The WPIAL champs got 23.1 ppg from Cummings, a physical scorer who shot 39 percent from 3-point range last season and has made 186 career 3-pointers with one season to go. Coach Mike Bariski (249-47) is quick to point out this is far from a two-man team, as the roster contains four other college level players.
The Skinny: This team has a chance to be dominant in-state and are favorites to once again capture Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) and PIAA titles. As good as Lincoln Park’s core is, Bariski is a bit concerned about his team’s overall size when it ventures to play in big showcases games or tournaments. “Our strengths are our quickness, scoring ability and team oriented defense, but we don’t have size at all five positions,” he said. Green, a Grid-Hoop stud, does most of the dirty work inside so he’ll need to be ready to go and healthy after football season. McGhee also plays football and will join a team that lost only seven of the 62 points off last season’s state title game win that was the first loss for Neumann-Goretti in 11 title appearances. Vinnie DePalma (5-11, 2024) and Rashan Russell (5-11, 2024) should be much improved and alleviate pressure for the two big scoring guns. The Leopards will participate in the Burger King Classic in Erie, Pa., and venture to the West Region to play in the Capital City Classic in Salem, Ore.

23. (NR) Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 19-10 
Key Players: SG Isiah Harwell 6-5 2025 (No. 6, SG John Mobley Jr. 6-0 2024 (No. 43, Ohio St. commit), SF Taj Degourville 6-5 2024 (No. 137, San Diego St. commit), PF Chris Nuwuli 6-7 2025 (No.17, C Malick Diallo 6-10 2024 (No. 127, TCU commit).
Why This Ranking: After starting off FAB 50 ranked for five consecutive seasons (2018-22), the Tigers were not ranked in the 2022-23 preseason and actually did solid in NIBC play, finishing tied for fifth place with Sunrise Christian Academy at 7-5. Coach Paul Peterson’s team has more firepower this season and comes in as the No. 7 team from the most talent-laden conference in the country. It begins with Harwell, a terrific talent who had a fine summer on the grassroots circuit and should be primed for a big junior season. Mobley can play on the ball, but is also one of the best catch-and-shoot threats in the country. When he’s on, this team will be a tough out against any conference foe. He is joined by former Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) teammate Nuwuli, who is hoping the change of scenery helps him reach his vast potential. When focused, Nuwuli is a hellacious defender and can change the complexion of a game with a big play. Mobley was joined on the Nevada all-state team by Degourville of 2022-23 state champ Durango, a versatile talent who can punish smaller defenders and is too skilled for most bigger ones. There is plenty of firepower at Peterson’s disposal, but consistency is a concern and depth is a big question mark.
The Skinny: Wasatch is one of the middle-of-the pack NIBC clubs that can rise with some key wins or also fall back if the losses mount. It’s not easy to put together NIBC winning streaks, but Peterson knows how to grind out victories, so if the roster’s scoring potency is consistent, this will be a dangerous club that can finish in the upper echelon of the NIBC standings. The lone returnee who logged major minutes is Diallo, the second leading rebounder and shot blocker on the team behind first team all-NIBC choice Collin Murray-Boyles (South Carolina). Diallo has plenty of experience and will need to stay on the floor and increase his production in order for Wasatch Academy to have a chance to move up in the rankings. The Tigers are looking to get back to the level they were when they began No. 11 and No. 15, respectively, in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 FAB 50, and this team will have plenty of opportunity to do just that. We’ll take a cautious approach, however, because of their mark at GEICO Nationals. The Tigers are 0-4 at the event all-time and have not made the cut the last two seasons, including when expectations were high in 2021-22. The program’s No. 2 FAB 50 finish in 2020 came when GEICO Nationals was canceled because of the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

24. (NR) Winston-Salem Christian (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 39-5
Key Players: C Chol Machot 7-0 2024, PF Lewis Walker 6-6 2024, PF Brayden Crump 6-9 2024 (Elon commit), PG Jordan Lowery 6-1 2025 (No. 110, SG Tyler “Tybo” Bailey 6-3 2024 (No. 118
Why This Ranking: The Lions were on the FAB 50 bubble last season as a freelance-independent club, but could be better this year with three returning starters and a new backcourt. Coach Antonio Lowe (214-53) has a team he feels is good enough to navigate a national schedule and capture the Grind Session Final Four, set for March 15-17 in Chicago. The backcourt is led by Lowery, one of the better junior lead guards in the country who is quickly racking up P5 offers. Bailey returns home to the Hoop State after spending time at La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) and brings a wealth of experience and versatile scoring options to a team that already had plenty. Wing guard Isaiah Washington (6-5, 2024) can score points in bunches and combines athleticism with a good I.Q. for the game. Machot is a Melbourne, Australia native who college coaches are quickly realizing can play at a high level. Crump is recovering from two ACL surgeries and is an intriguing face-up four with deep range. Machot’s improvement and Crump’s presence will be key against the level of competition Winston Salem Christian will face in 2023-24.
The Skinny: This team’s profile took an uptick rankings-wise by joining the Power 10 Conference, a 12-team conglomerate of the best programs on the Grind Session that must adhere to its bylaws. Winston-Salem Christian, whose program is sanctioned to play both North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) public schools and schools within the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA), has big games right away so all the pieces will have to mesh in order to move up in the rankings. Lowe loves his team’s depth and defense, but has some reservations about its lack of height besides Machot. The front court is a load, as Walker is a physical downhill scoring option and Maykel Petit Canny (6-7, 2024) is a quick jumper with a physical presence on both ends of the floor. Another reason we like this club to start is because many of its individual pieces feel they are underrated nationally, so they want to get off to a strong start. An early big test will take place in Ft. Erie, Canada on Nov. 11 when the Lions face FAB 50 title contender Prolific Prep at the Maple Showcase.

25. (NR) La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 19-10 
Key Players: SG Jalen Haralson 6-7 2025 (No. 7, Ballislife Underclass All-American), PG Jerry Easter II 6-4 2025 (No. 21, PG Ace Buckner 6-1 2024 (Clemson commit), SG Darius Adams 6-4 2025 (No. 20, SF Chuck Love III 6-7 2025 (No. 55, SG Melvin Bell Jr. 6-4 2024 (No. 104, C Steve Solano 6-11 2024.
Why This Ranking: The Lakers have a talent uptick from last year when they came in sixth place in the NIBC with a 5-7 conference mark and fell out of the rankings after beginning at No. 36. It was a fine line between success and moving up in the rankings, as LaLu led or was tied with two minutes to go in six of its 10 losses and was down by two with two minutes to go in two other losses. “That falls back to us as coaches; we had three guys we just couldn’t take out of the game,” coach Patrick Holmes said. “We’re focusing on playing a 32-minute game.” Holmes likes his depth and versatility to finish games strong and the team has a better inside-outside balance than last season. Bucker has shined in open gyms, Easter can get in the paint with ease and Adams has some wiggle to his game and can really stroke it. Haralson brings a dimension that LaLu hasn’t had in years, with elite size for a ball-handler who can pass over the defense and make the right play. Love is a catch and shoot threat who relishes defense and coming up with steals and deflections. Solano is an active big with an impressive wingspan who can switch on screens, while Jonas Muya (6-9, 2026) is a 250-pound space eater as a back-up big.
The Skinny: With two true interior players, LaLu will be aggressive on the perimeter and will look to play fast. If Haralson and Easter live up to their advanced billing and Bell is fully healthy and can show what he can do, the Lakers will pull out some of those close games and have a terrific opportunity to move up in the rankings. “We should be a very strong defensive team, plus we have versatile perimeter players which allows us to attack at a high level or space the floor with our shooting,” Holmes said. LaLu only has two players back from last year’s roster and a core of the newcomers are juniors. With seven newcomers in the rotation, Holmes’ club has to avoid a slow start to have an opportunity to climb in the NIBC standings and qualify for GEICO Nationals. The Lakers, the No. 8 team in the NIBC preseason pecking order, are 7-8 (.467) all-time at the event, but haven’t advanced past the first round since advancing to the title game in 2018-2019.

26. (NR) North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 29-3 
Key Players: SF Isaiah Evans 6-7 2024 (No. 8, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Duke commit), SG Trey Maxwell 6-4 2024, PG Chadlyn Traylor 6-2 2025.
Why This Ranking: Hopes are high for this season after the Vikings fell to Myers Park in the 2022-23 Class 4A Western Regional Final. North Meck returns one of the nation’s finest players and enough surrounding talent to warrant this spot in the rankings. North Meck begins as North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) No. 2 behind the Myers Park team it lost to in the playoffs and in front of the Chambers club it beat in overtime a round earlier. Evans is a do-it-all performer who averaged 26.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.5 apg and was even better in five state tourney games. Evans upped his scoring average to 38.6 ppg, including a 62-point outburst in the memorable victory over Chambers, and is physically more imposing heading into his senior campaign. Maxwell, the son of former NBA guard Vernon Maxwell, is similar to dad in the sense he can shoot and put up points in a hurry. This team’s returning core is terrific and has shown marked improvement over the summer evaluation periods.
The Skinny: After winning the state title in 2020, the Vikings opened up 2020-21 No. 34 in the FAB 50, but because of the NCHSAA’s COVID-19 restrictions were only able to play 12 games and lost in the state semifinals when they were No. 17 in the FAB 50. This team can get to that level and will have the benefit of a complete season. Last season, in many respects, North Meck went how Evans went, but this season the Vikings are more talented and aren’t as reliant on his individual abilities. Traylor could be a difference maker. He comes over from West Charlotte after averaging 15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 3.0 assists, but more importantly he’s a complete guard and gives this team a shot in the arm. Carson Evans (6-3, 2025) was terrific off the bench last season for coach Duane Lewis (505–158) and plays hellacious defense. Zion Williams (6-3, 2025) is improved and expected to have an expanded role. Ashton Pierce (6-3, 2026) is a future star and will only get better backing the veteran backcourt. With the pieces in place, Lewis will test his club against a strong schedule, including an appearance at the City of Palms Classic in Florida (Dec. 18-23). North Meck opens up with defending FAB 50 national champ Link Academy of Missouri. The Vikings will face highly-regarded Camden of New Jersey at the Spalding Hoophall Classic (Jan. 13).

27. (32) Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas) 31-3** 
Key Players: C Doryan Onwuchekwa 6-10 2024 (No. 83, Colorado commit), SG Isaac Williams IV 6-2 2024, PG Jazz Henderson 5-10 2024, PF Davion Adkins 6-6 2026.
Why This Ranking: For the past two seasons, the Eagles have been on the preseason FAB 50 cusp in the Southwest Region, only to climb to No. 32 and No. 30, respectively, in the final rankings. This time around we’re not going to play the waiting game with the Eagles, as they have more than enough returning firepower to capture a third consecutive University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 4A crown. With no overwhelming favorite in Class 6A (Texas’ top public school division), Faith Family gets the nod as the No. 1 UIL club. It starts with Onwuchekwa, a TABC All-State choice who is primed for a big senior campaign now that he got his college recruitment out of the way. Onwuchekwa can bang when he’s motivated to, step away from the basket with a timely jumper and defend ball screens better than one might suspect. Williams is a D1 point guard who can play on or off the ball because of the presence of Henderson. The team’s catalyst, Henderson is a smart student that is a ball-hawk on defense and not afraid of the big moment or taking the clutch shot. This team won’t be an easy out for anyone because of its experience and ability to grind out wins when the going gets tough.
The Skinny: Faith Family has shown it has the track record to begin in this rankings position, but must be consistent in close games and show it can consistently stroke the deep perimeter shot to move up from here. The loss of J.T. Toppin (New Mexico) won’t be easy to overcome, but coach Brandon Thomas (331-86) feels this year’s team is even deeper, albeit with some unproven pieces coming off the bench. Lekenrick Taylor Jr. (6-7, 2024) is a bouncy forward who could help take this team to the next level if he plays up to par. Adkins is a budding superstar who can rim run and block shots with authority. Depth is provided by Anthony Spencer III (6-6, 2026) and Kingston Willis (5-11, 2026). All three were standouts at the recent Pangos All-South Fr./So. Camp, plus others moving up from a 25-0 JayVee team will contribute down the line. Thomas will need that depth because the schedule is national in scope, as the Eagles face highly-regarded Lancaster on Nov. 11. They will also play in the San Antonio Alamo City Classic (Nov. 16-18), the Thanksgiving Hoopfest (Nov. 24-25), the Marshall County Hoopfest vs. Combine Academy of North Carolina (Dec. 2), the Iverson Classic (Dec. 8-9), the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic (Dec. 27-30), the Flyin’ To The Hoop in Dayton, Ohio (Jan. 12-13) and the Quincy Shootout in Illinois (Jan. 19-20). FAB 50 power Montverde Academy of Florida is on the docket at the Hoopfest (Nov. 24).

28. (NR) Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.) 19-10 
Key Players: SF Jamier Jones 6-6 2025 (No. 13, PG Jalen Reece 5-11 2025 (No. 59, SG Elijah Elliott 6-3 2024 (Florida Atlantic commit), SF Cameron Simpson 6-6 2024 (Central Florida commit), Tyler Johnson 6-5 2024 (Virginia Tech commit).
Why This Ranking: With their talent level and experience, the Pioneers rate as the No. 2 team among Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) clubs behind FAB 50 title contender Columbus of Miami. Coach Steve Reece’s club returns en masse plus adds Jones, who played at IMG Academy last season and excelled at summer camps this year. The powerful wing has a college-ready body now and can easily average upwards of 20 ppg. He won’t on this team, as meshing in with the available talent will only make him a better player and Oak Ridge a more dangerous unit. Reece, the coach’s son, is one of the best shooters in his class nationally and is a pure lead guard who will get the ball to the right spots on the floor. This team only graduated one senior who made contributions and the returnees are motivated to win after losing in last year’s FHSAA Class 7A semifinals on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The Skinny: There are plenty of quality teams from Florida after perennial FAB 50 title contenders Montverde Academy and IMG Academy. Columbus rates as a strong Class 7A favorite with the Pioneers and Winter Haven (the team that knocked Oak Ridge out) also contenders. The Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA) always has two or three teams to consider and Mater Lakes looks strong in Class 4A with Windermere Prep and Westminster Academy leading the way in Class 3A. Among the Oak Ridge seniors, Elliott can play both guard spots, as he is a good scorer but can also facilitate. Simpson is a good 3-point shooter with vertical pop while Johnson plays with a take-no-prisoners edge and is a difficult matchup because of his physical nature. Johnson gets rebounds out of his area well and is a versatile defender. On paper, Oak Ridge looks like the clear No. 4 in the state, but must get over the hump in the playoffs and cut down the overall loss total. The Pioneers captured the championship of the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association (GBCA) Southeast Regional during the June Scholastic live period, but did not fare as well at the Section 7 Team Camp in Arizona a week later. They face No. 43 Bishop O'Connell at the Holiday Hoopsgiving in Atlanta (Nov. 24-25), travel to Hawaii for the Iolani Classic and will play No. 37 St. Ignatius at the Flyin’ To The Hoop in Dayton, Ohio (Jan. 14).

29. (NR) Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 24-6 
Key Players: SG Gicarri Harris 6-4 2024 (No. 70, SF Jacob Wilkins 6-9 2025 (No. 16, PF Amir Taylor 6-7 2025, PG C.J. Hyland 6-0 2024 (Western Carolina commit), SG Anthony Alston 6-2 2024 (Appalachian St. commit).
Why This Ranking: The Rams are chomping at the bit to get to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) winner’s circle after falling to eventual champion Wheeler of Marietta in the GHSA Class AAAAAAA semifinals last season. Wheeler is a contender once again as is No. 21 McEachern, but coach Geoffrey Pierce (236-81) likes his team’s chances as much as anybody with four returning starters, nine lettermen and a key transfer. Harris (17 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg, 51-40-87 splits) is the returning Gwinnett County Player of the Year. He was joined on the all-state team by Taylor (12 ppg, 6 rpg, 1 bpg), a serious student of the game who can pass inside-out and handle it well enough to create mismatches. Hyland (11 ppg, 3 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg) pushes the ball, creates for others and is a clutch defender. Alston (10 ppg, 4 rpg) is a defensive menace and doesn’t take bad shots. With Wilkins in the mix, the veterans will be even more dangerous once the group jells.
The Skinny: Wilkins played at The Skill Factory last season and could help take this team two steps further than last season. The son of NBA great and two-time high school All-American Dominique Wilkins (Washington, N.C.), Jacob is naturally gifted and can stroke the outside shot in addition to blocking shots. “We are not big in the backcourt and our depth is unproven, but I like our defense, shooting and experience,” Pierce said. Ahmad Clark (6-7, 2024) is another newcomer who will come off the bench to guard nearly any position Pierce asks of him. If the team jells, it could be as good as the 2019-20 unit that got up to No. 4 in the FAB 50 before falling in an upset to Wheeler by a point in the state title game. For Pierce, the ranking won’t matter as long as the team plays its best at the end of the season. Another reason it won’t matter much is the Rams will meet McEachern on Nov. 11 in the Georgia Elite 8 Tip-Off Classic at McEachern. The schedule also includes games at the Holiday Hoopsgiving (Nov. 24-25), the Naismith Tip-Off Showcase and a game versus No. 33 Perry at the Spalding Hoophall Classic (Jan. 13). The Rams play in the American Division at the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina with FAB 50 title contender John Marshall of Virginia.

30. (NR) Brennan (San Antonio, Texas) 32-8 
Key Players: PG Kingston Flemings 6-2 2025 (No. 69, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SG Isaiah Ward 6-6 2026 (No. 37, SG Camden Cowgill 6-2 2025, PG Talon Todd 6-0 2026.
Why This Ranking: There is plenty to like with four returning starters and 10 lettermen from a team that advanced to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 6A semifinals before falling to runner-up Beaumont United, 70-68, after trailing by as much as 16 points. Coach Koty Cowgill (275-106) has a team that’s been eyeing this season and 2024-25 for quite some time. Duncanville has been the UIL’s best team five years running, but with heavy graduation losses, we go with the Bears as the No. 2 Texas team behind No. 27 Faith Family and the slight 6A favorite in front of the Panthers and contenders such as No. 45 South Grand Prairie, Plano East, Round Rock Stony Point and Dallas W.T. White. Flemings and Cowgill have been starters since ninth grade and their chemistry is uncanny, as Flemings is one of the nation’s best set-up men and Cowgill, the son of the head coach, is a dead-eye shooter. Ward made an impact as a freshman, and is a terrific two-player player who can create mismatches. Todd keeps the defense honest with his perimeter shooting. “I love our versatility and depth at the guard position, but with one senior in our top eight, we’re still incredibly young,” coach Cowgill said.
The Skinny: It’s been 21 years since a San Antonio program captured the UIL’s highest classification title on the court, so Brennan has its work cut out for it. In 2001-02, Jay upset Kimball, 54-53, in the Class 5A title game (the top classification then) on a half court desperation heave by Chris Ross. Ironically, it was Chris Bosh-led Class 4A champ Dallas Lincoln that captured the FAB 50 title with an unblemished record. It wouldn’t be much of an upset should the Bears win the Class 6A crown this season since there is no overwhelming favorite. Brennan is still relatively young, so it has to show consistency and keep the loss count to half of last year’s total in order to move up in the rankings. JaVonte Johnson (6-5, 2025) and Donovan Criss (6-4, 2026) are future D1 players with experience, while newcomers Delano Tarpley (6-10, 2026) and Amoni Francis (6-6, 2027) will be counted on to strengthen the interior during a long season. Cowgill’s crew will play in the McDonald’s Invitational in Pasadena, Texas and has big matchups with highly-regarded Isidore Newman of Louisiana (Nov. 24) and defending FAB 50 champ Link Academy of Missouri (Nov. 25) at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest.

RELATED: Preseason 2023-24 FAB 50 (1-15) | Preseason 2023-24 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 | History of High School Team Rankings

Note: The FAB 50 powered by 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 24 years ago.

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


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