UPDATED FAB 50: Looking Up & Ahead!

After a holiday tournament season that led to the most volatile changes in years, this week is a bit more calm but there is still movement and five newcomers to the new FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. Paul VI of Virginia remains No. 1 and six-time FAB 50 champ Montverde Academy of Florida is up to No. 2. Newcomers are led by No. 43 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.).

By Ronnie Flores

After a majority of the nation's top teams traveled to holiday events in late December to test their wares against top competition, those same clubs returned home and stayed local to begin league, conference and/or district play. Predictably, they won most of those games and there isn't as much volatility in this week's FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com.

That could change in next week's special FAB 50 MLK edition as a plethora of ranked teams participate in showcase events centered around Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, particularly the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., and the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. No. 13 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) is actually doing the "Springfield Double", playing No. 2 Montverde Academy on MLK Monday (3 pm ET, ESPNU) after traveling from Missouri on Sunday. The Buffaloes will look to capture the Bass Pro TOC title over the likes of No. 3 Link Academy (Branson, Mo.), No. 40 Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) and No. 43 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.).

Link Academy has a perfect opportunity in this year's TOC to propel itself into serious FAB 50 title contention after advancing to the championship game of GEICO Nationals last season. Unbeaten Staley also has a great opportunity to prove its rankings worth on a national scale, opening the prestigious tournament with battle-tested bubble club Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). As for Christ the King, the Royals' two losses to Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.) and Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) are not looking bad at all. Paul VI, of course, is the No. 1 team in the FAB 50 and the Trailblazers took down previous No. 13 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), 66-55, in front of approximately 2,500 fans at the Chosen 1’s Invitational in Southern California. Senior sharp-shooter Ashton Hardaway, the son of former NBA player and current Memphis coach Penny Hardaway who will play for his father in college, nailed four 3-pointers and had 18 points to lead the comeback win, while uncommitted senior guard Bronny James also played well with 22 points. With its big Saturday win over Wheeler, Sierra Canyon is up to No. 32 in this week's rankings. Sierra Canyon will make the trek to the Hoophall Classic to take on No. 9 Columbus (Miami, Fla.) on MLK Monday (1 pm ET, ESPN).

While most of the country was at home this past week, previous No. 2 Camden (N.J.) made the trek down to Miami to take on battle-tested Columbus in what was its first major test of the season. Camden couldn't overcome a slow offensive start and couldn't slow down sophomore forward and Mr. Basketball USA candidate Cam Boozer down the stretch, as he finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds in the 75-66 victory. The loss drops Camden eight spots to No. 10, while Columbus moves up two spots No. 9. The Explorers have three overall losses and have now done enough to hop in front of No. 15 Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.). Columbus' other two losses are to No. 4 Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) and to No. 6 John Marshall (Richmond, Va.).

Camden, who bounced back from the loss with a 83-68 win over No. 26 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) at the Iverson Classic in New Jersey, has two big games at the Hoophall Classic. The Panthers will take on No. 16 Centennial (Corona, Calif.) on Jan. 14 (6 pm ET, ESPN) and take on No. 38 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) on MLK Monday (11 am ET, ESPN).

The three teams right in front of Columbus in the rankings are all unbeaten with tough games coming up in either a tournament or conference play. We are at the point in the season where we must begin to reward unbeaten clubs, as No. 11 Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) and No. 12 West Linn (West Linn, Ore.) also get nice bumps up in the rankings. There are now 15 unbeaten clubs in the FAB 50, including the three newcomers who occupy spots No. 48-50 in the nations' longest running weekly national high school basketball rankings.

As is customary after MLK weekend in a tradition we started nearly 20 years ago and has been followed by other national pollsters, next week's FAB 50 will be pushed back a day to account for all the Monday MLK results.

Can Link Academy remain unbeaten, or will Sunrise Christian Academy successfully pull off the "Springfield Double"? How many unbeaten clubs will remain after this upcoming special weekend for high school basketball?

RELATED:  Preseason 2022-23 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker | "In The Paint" Podcast (Spotify) |  "In The Paint" Podcast (YouTube) 

Updated FAB 50 National Team Rankings
Powered by Ballislife.com

(4th poll of 2022-23 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, Jan. 8; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No.Prev.High School (City)Record
11Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)12-1
23Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)11-2
36Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)15-0
410Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas)17-1
54AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)12-3
67John Marshall (Richmond, Va.)11-0
78St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)15-0
89Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)14-0
911Columbus (Miami, Fla.)13-3
102Camden (Camden, N.J.)8-1
1118Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.)14-0
1219West Linn (West Linn, Ore.)12-0
1312Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)10-3
1428Simeon (Chicago, Ill.)14-0
155Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.)10-2
1614Centennial (Corona, Calif.)14-3
1715Lake Highlands (Dallas, Texas)17-3
1817Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)9-1
1916Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.)13-2
2025Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)9-2
2130Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas)19-1
2221Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)18-1
2326Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.)3-3
2422Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.)8-2
2524Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)11-1
2620Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)9-1
2727IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)8-4
2829Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.)18-1
2923Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.)16-1
3032West Ranch (Valencia, Calif.)18-1
3131DME Academy (Daytona Beach, Fla.)12-4**
3238Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)15-3
3313Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)8-5
3434Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) 11-5
3539Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)15-0
3637The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.)20-5
3741Christ School (Arden, N.C.)19-1
3840Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)8-4
3947Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.)16-0
4045Staley (Kansas City, Mo.)9-0
4150Garfield (Seattle, Wash.)7-0
4243La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)8-4
43NRChrist the King (Middle Village, N.Y.)8-2
4444Oak Cliff Faith Family (Dallas, Texas)16-2**
4548Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.)6-0
46NRWinter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.)13-2
4749Lake City (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)10-0
48NRCarter (Dallas, Texas)18-2
49NRBellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.)12-0
50NRCass Tech (Detroit, Mich.)9-0

Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 Kell (Marietta, Ga.), No. 35 Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), No. 36 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 42 Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), No. 46 Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.).

Bubble Teams:  Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) 7-4; Baldwin (Baldwin, N.Y.) 9-0; Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) 18-1; Bentonville West (Centerton, Ark.) 15-1; Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.) 20-1; Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 8-0; Brooklyn Collegiate (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 9-1; Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) 8-1; Brownsburg (Brownsburg, Ind.) 13-1; Bullis (Potomac, Md.) 13-1; Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 5-7; Cass Tech (Detroit, Mich.) 9-0; Chambers (Charlotte, N.C.) 11-4; Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 7-6; Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah) 11-2; Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) 15-2; Dougherty Valley (San Ramon, Calif.) 15-1; Durango (Las Vegas, Nev.) 7-3; Eagle’s Landing (McDonough, Ga.) 16-0; Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.) 10-2; Ellison (Killeen, Texas) 21-3; Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) 9-3; Hayfield (Alexandria, Va.) 8-1; Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.) 15-3; Joliet West (Joliet, Ill.) 14-4; Jonesboro (Jonesboro, Ark.) 14-2; Kell (Marietta, Ga.) 14-2; Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Ill.) 13-2; Kimball (Kimball, Texas) 16-2; Lancaster (Lancaster, S.C.) 14-1; Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) 8-6; MacArthur (Decatur, Ill.) 15-1; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 15-0; Modesto Christian (Modesto, Calif.) 11-4; Muskegon (Muskegon, Mich.) 5-0; Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) 11-3; Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 13-2; North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.) 14-1; Northern Nash (Rocky Mount, N.C.) 14-0; Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 13-9; Oak Park (Kansas City, Mo.) 11-1; O’Dea (Seattle, Wash.) 9-3; Olympia (Orlando, Fla.)14-1; Penn (Wishawaka, Ind.) 8-1; Pinson Valley (Pinson, Ala.) 16-0; Putnam City North (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 11-0; Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) 11-1; Sacred Heart Griffin (Springfield, Ill.) 14-0; Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.) 12-3; St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) 14-3; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 4-2; Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.) 4-2; UOD Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.) 7-1; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 15-0; Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah) 8-6; Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) 13-4.

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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