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February 27, 2008

Updated Rivals.com FAB 50 Rankings


Compiled by Doug Huff & Mark Tennis of Student Sports

Contributing: Ronnie Flores, Brad Eye and members of the
Student Sports/Rivals.com National High School Network.

(Listed with won-loss record and previous rank in parentheses; After games of Saturday, Feb. 23)

Before some of the best state playoffs and tournaments get underway around the nation, you'll find the best action in big cities steeped with basketball tradition.

Perhaps the best example of that is the Chicago Public League tournament. Top teams from the city still advance to the state association playoffs, but getting bragging rights in a city like Chicago is a major accomplishment no matter what happens later on.

This year's Chicago Public League title was won last Sunday by Marshall with a 55-51 triumph over Farragut Academy. It marked the first city title for the Commandos since 1991 when they were led by Arthur Agee in a season that was one of the highlights of the legendary 1994 documentary film "Hoop Dreams," which followed Agee and another young Chicago player, William Gates from Westchester St. Joseph's, as they grew up.

Marshall had to get past a Farragut team that earlier in the city tournament knocked off FAB 50-ranked and two-time defending champion Simeon. Darius Smith had 16 points to lead the Commandos, who started the season slowly due to a coaching controversy but who are now in the FAB 50 themselves, moving up to No. 34 this week just in front of Simeon.

In addition to the Chicago Public League tourney, last week also saw New York crown its parochial champion while the CIF Los Angeles City Section playoffs featured a semifinal matchup of FAB 50-ranked rivals.

Perennial power Rice won the New York championship, 55-51, over St. Raymond's. It was the third win this year by the Raiders over St. Ray's and keeps them at No. 11 in this week's national rankings. The New York city public school championships still have yet to be played.

The L.A. City playoffs, meanwhile, will conclude this Saturday with FAB 50-ranked Taft of Woodland Hills meeting FAB 50-ranked Fairfax. In last week's semifinals, Fairfax received a memorable 32-point, 10-rebound effort from junior center Renardo Sidney in a 55-53 win over Westchester, which also is in the FAB 50. Sidney scored the game-winning basket with just two seconds left.

This week's FAB 50 also is highlighted by the appearance of four other new schools in addition to Chicago Marshall. Two of those - Lexington Catholic and Bryan Station - are from Kentucky, while the other two are undefeated Palo Duro of Texas and Davis of Utah.

Read on for this week's Rivals.com FAB 50 national rankings:

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) 26-0 (1)
The Friars tuned up for the playoffs as they rolled past Kearny, 95-24, with everyone on the roster scoring, led by junior Dominic Cheek's 18 points. In another game last week that was seen on ESPN, Cheek was more impressive with 20 points to lead St. Anthony past prep school power and EA SPORTS National Player of the Year candidate Tyreke Evans and American Christian, 65-53.

2. Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 35-1 (2)
The Panthers continue to roll in the Lone Star State and haven't tasted defeat in the last 62 in-state outings. They opened defense of their University Interscholastic League's (UIL) Class 5A state title with a 101-62 win over Hurst L.D. Bell. Junior Shawn Williams led the way with 29 points as four Duncanville players scored in double figures. The FAB 50 preseason No. 1 team also kept its hopes alive for a mythical national title with a 86-69 Region I-5A playoff win over Richland. On Tuesday night, Duncanville faced 27-7 Lewisville in the Region I quarterfinals and a FAB 50 showdown looms with No. 21 North Crowley in the regional semifinals if both teams won Tuesday night.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) 24-1 (3)
Louisville recruit Samardo Samuels scored 19 points and outdueled North Carolina recruit Ed Davis of Benedictine, Va., in a 58-44 win that was the season finale for the Gray Bees. St. Benedict's does not play in the New Jersey state playoffs (like St. Anthony), but head coach Dan Hurley's team clearly has stamped itself as a national title contender. In golf terms, the Gray Bees are now the leaders in the clubhouse.

4. Yates (Houston, Texas) 24-2 (4)
The District 20-4A champs breezed through its first game in the Class 4A-Region III playoffs and it would be a major upset if they did not reach the state tournament at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. After a first round bye, Yates rolled past Austin McCallum, 100-67, after taking a 28-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. Emmanuel Kirby led the way with 25 points and Baylor recruit Anthony Jones added 20. The state's top ranked Class 4A club took on Huntsville Tuesday night in a Region III quarterfinal game.

5. Chester (Chester, Pa.) 28-1 (5)
Make it seven straight PIAA District I Class AAAA championships for Chester, which wrapped up that title with a 61-47 win over Norristown. Karon Burton was the game's high scorer with 20 points while Pittsburgh recruit Nasir Robinson chipped in with 18 points. Burton also had 22 points last week in a 74-52 victory over Penn Wood.

6. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 30-0 (6)
Getting 30 wins in a season has become the norm for the Monarchs, who reached that total last week with CIF Southern Section Div. I-AA playoff wins vs. Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood (84-59) and Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo (76-43). They played a semifinal game on Tuesday night vs. upstart Wilson of Long Beach and won so they will be playing FAB 50-ranked Dominguez of Compton in Saturday's championship.

7. LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) 30-2 (7)
The defending state Class 6A champion Rattlers returned to the state tournament by winning the South Region crown with wins over Dothan, 67-53. and Baldwin County, 74-45. Tournament MVP Nick Williams had 21 points and 11 rebounds and 6-foot-10 junior DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the final vs. Baldwin County. It was the fourth season win over the Tigers. LeFlore faces Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the state semifinals.

8. Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) 21-1 (8)
The defending state Division 1 champion Crusaders scored two easy sectional tournament wins last week. Moeller defeated Walnut Hills, 72-34, and Englewood, 45-16. Moeller, playing without injured top scorer Quinn McDowell, was led by Daniel Wulker with 13 points vs. Englewood. Tony Harris scored 17 vs. Walnut Hills. Moeller advances to the district title game vs. Trotwood Madison.

9. Saginaw (Saginaw, Mich.) 19-1 (9)
The defending state Class A champion Trojans won their fourth straight Saginaw Valley League title with a 77-57 rout of Bay City Western. Saginaw was led by Mike Green with 24 points. The Trojans opened district tournament play Monday night against city rival Arthur Hill, which split two regular season games with the Trojans.

10. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 31-4 (10)
Point guard Brandon Jennings scored a school record 63 points as the Warriors rolled past Bonner Academy, 123-58, in one of last week's game. Jennings also topped the 40-point plateau in the Warriors' 95-74 win vs. Eduard Mont Petit (Quebec). Jennings has set a season school record for points, passing former Warrior and current Atlanta Hawks player Josh Smith's 980 points. Oak Hill plays Montrose Christian on Saturday at the Bobcat Arena in Charlotte, N.C., in what will be the team's final outing of the season. The Warriors are not members of a state association and don't play in any other tournaments to close their season.

11. Rice (New York, N.Y.) 21-3
The Raiders defeated former FAB 50 ranked St. Raymond's, 78-59, to win the New York Archdiocesan title as Durand Scott scored 19 points. Earlier in the week, McDonald's All-American Kemba Walker had 20 points as the Raiders defeated St. Peter's in the semifinals.

12. Norcross (Norcross, Ga.) 25-2 (12)
The two-time defending state Class AAAAA champion Blue Devils coasted to a one-sided 72-49 win over Harrison in the first round of the state playoffs. Al-Farouq Aminu, a 6-foot-9 Wake Forest recruit, led the way with 30 points. Denzail Jones contributed 22 points, including four three-pointers. Norcross advances to play Centennial in this week's second-round.

13. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) 27-1 (13)
Colin Chiverton popped in 17 points as the Monarchs cruised past Mills of Millbrae, 70-43, in their first CIF Central Coast Section Div. II playoff game. They play Westmont of Campbell in the semifinals on Wednesday and are heavily favored to win the title over the weekend and then secure the No. 1 seed in the Northern California regional playoffs.

14. Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 28-2 (14)
The Wildcats opened Class AAAAA state tournament play with a 92-72 romp over Parkview of Lilburn. Phil Taylor converted four three-point shots and scored 16 points to match Ari Stewart. Richard Howell led the way with 18 points and collected 14 rebounds. Six players scored in double figures in all. Wheeler advances to play McEachern this week.

15. Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 24-3 (15)
Eugene Phelps connected on 11 of 12 shots from the field and had 27 points as the Toreadors defeated Fremont of Los Angeles, 77-51, in the CIF L.A. City Section semifinals. Taft moves on to this weekend's L.A. City championship against FAB 50-ranked and defending Div. I state champ Fairfax.

16. St. Patrick's (Elizabeth, N.J.) 23-4 (16)
The Celtics won their 11th Union County Tournament title in 16 years with a 67-56 win against Linden as junior Dexter Strickland scored 24 points while Kansas recruit Quintrell Thomas added 17 points. In the semifinals, St. Pat's defeated Rahway, 79-66, as Strickland was huge with 33 points and nine assists.

17. Ferris (Spokane, Wash.) 26-0 (17)
Continuing their quest for a second straight perfect season and Class 4A state title, the Saxons won their district title with victories over University of Spokane (78-50) and Shadle Park (79-74). Ferris opens the Class 4A state tourney this week against Garfield of Seattle and it's no breather as Garfield lost by just 58-55 last week to FAB 50-ranked Franklin and is led by guard Tony Wroten, who some think is the best freshman in the nation.

18. Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) 26-2 (18)
Coach Russell Otis' team did its part to set up the titanic matchup in this Saturday's CIF Southern Section Div. I-AA championship against FAB 50-ranked Mater Dei. The Dons' wins were 65-60 over La Mirada and 72-65 over JSerra of San Juan Capistrano. They defeated a tough semifinal foe in Tuesday's semifinals in FAB 50-ranked Santa Margarita and probably are the best team Mater Dei will face this season so far.

19. Eisenhower (Decatur, Ill.) 25-0 (19)
Lewis Jackson, a Purdue University recruit, scored 26 points to lead the top-ranked Illinois team to an 89-52 victory over Urbana to cap an unbeaten regular season. Jeremy Robinson contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers open state Class AAA regional playoffs this week.

20. Homewood-Flossmoor (Flossmoor, Ill.) 25-1 (21)
The No. 1 ranked team in the Chicago metro area coasted past Lincoln-Way East by 64-45 last week as Supo Sanni led the way with a game-high 27 points. The Vikings also bested Bradley by 77-42 as Kevin Dillard netted 24 points. Up next this week is Class AAA regional tournament play.

21. North Crowley (Fort Worth, Texas) 33-1 (22)
State No. 1 and FAB 50 No. 2 Duncanville and North Crowley are set to meet in a Region I-5A semifinal showdown provided they win on Thursday night. The Panthers out of Ft. Worth had no trouble last week as they opened the postseason with a 101-63 victory over Odessa Permian of Friday Night Lights fame. In the second round, McDonald's All-American Willie Warren hit a 24-foot three-pointer to force overtime against El Paso Montwood as North Crowley went on to post a 57-54 win to avoid yet another early playoff exit. Warren finished the game with 30 points, seven rebounds and six steals and hopes to keep up the positive momentum, yet not look ahead to Duncanville, against 25-10 El Paso Americas in Tuesday's quarterfinal.

22. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 29-1 (25)
Ian Hummer scored a season-high 27 points to led the Purple Eagles to a 68-57 win against Carroll in the semifinals of the WCAC tournament. In the quarterfinals, Virginia football recruit Cameron Johnson scored a season-high 27 points as the Purple Eagles defeated St. John's, 65-60. Gonzaga played regionally-ranked O'Connell on Monday for the championship.

23. Oregon City (Oregon City, Ore.) 23-1 (23)
The Pioneers remained undefeated against teams from Oregon and have now won 13 staight games after defeating Lake Oswego and Putnam last week. Hosting Lake Oswego for senior night, Brad Tinsley scored 23 points in the 63-43 win. Tinsley then had 24 in a 79-61 win vs. Putnam. The Three Rivers League champ will play Milwaukie in its final league game this week before the playoffs.

24. Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 20-2 (24)
The defending Class 5A champs from the Bee Hive State had little trouble in wrapping up their Region 4 championship as they trailed just once at 4-2 before going on to defeat Timpanogos 93-53. Bracken Funk scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half for the Knights, who went on a 16-2 run in the early to open up a lead that would remain in double figures the rest of the game. Lone Peak opens up the state tournament on Friday against Alta of Sandy, a team it defeated earlier in the year by a narrow 53-49 score.

25. Santa Margarita (Rancho SM, Calif.) 26-4 (26)
The biggest game in the CIF Southern Section playoffs on Tuesday was a matchup between the Eagles and FAB 50-ranked Dominguez of Compton and the Eagles came just short, 58-52, but that result won't be factored into our rankings until next week. Coach Jerry DeBusk's team advanced into that game by topping Compton, 62-55, behind Washington State-bound Klay Thompson's 27 points.

26. Fairfax (Los Angeles, Calif.) 25-4 (27)
With the Lions trailing by seven points with two and a half minutes left of their L.A. City Section semifinal against arch-rival Westchester, 6-10 junior center Renardo Sidney took over with 11 points, including a go-ahead basket with two seconds remaining in a 55-53 victory. Sidney ended with 32 points and 10 rebounds for Fairfax, which now plays FAB 50-ranked Taft in Saturday's L.A. City championship.

27. Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) 27-4 (20)
Even though the Comets lost in the L.A. City Section semifinals to Fairfax, they will still play in the CIF Southern California Div. I playoffs as one of four teams advancing out of the L.A. City. And who knows, with a 1-2 record against the Lions so far this season, it wouldn't be a surprise for Westchester to get another shot at them in that bracket.

28. Peabody (Alexandria, La.) 37-0 (30)
The Warhorses continued as the state's only unbeaten team by opening the Class 4A playoffs with an 80-41 Bi-District rout of Lake Charles LaGrange. Peabody advances to play Morgan City (24-10) this week in the regional eliminations.

29. McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) 27-0 (28)
It took two overtimes, but the Warriors completed their school's seventh all-time unbeaten regular season with a 74-72 win over Skyline of Oakland. Mack's seven unbeaten regular seasons is a state record and is, in fact, three more than any other school in state history, according to the CalHiSports.com record book. Up next for the Warriors is the Oakland Section playoffs where they must be beaten twice to be denied the section's No. 1 position in the CIF Northern California Div. I playoffs.

30. New Albany (New Albany, Ind.) 22-0 (32)
Putting the final touch on an undefeated regular season, the Bulldogs went on the road and defeated Bloomington North, 77-65. Braydon Hobbs led the Bulldogs with 24 points while Donnie Hale scored 19. The last time the Bulldogs finished the regular season undefeated was back in 1980, a year in which they lost in the state championship game to Broad Ripple.

31. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 22-0 (34)
Robbinsdale Armstrong wouldn't provide much of a scare to the Royals and their undefeated season as they picked up a 88-53 win in their lone game of last week. Marcus Williams and Raymond Cowles each scored a team-high 19 points in the win. Hopkins plays two of its remaining four league games this week at Edina before coming back home and facing Wayzata.

32. Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 22-1 (35)
The Pirates continue to pick up double digit victories as they defeated Yukon and Mustang in games last week. After defeating Yukon for the third time this year, the latest by 83-59, they went on to beat Mustang, 61-51.

33. Boyd Anderson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 29-1 (36)
The Cobras advanced to the state Class 6A semifinals with a 52-50 quarterfinal win over Santaluces. Martavious Irving led the 24th straight victory with a game-high 20 points. Ivan Aska collected 13 rebounds. The Cobras will play Orlando Evans (24-7) this week in the semifinals.

34. Marshall (Chicago, Ill.) 25-4 (nr)
First-year head coach Courtney Hargrays guided the Commandos to the Chicago Public League title in a year that began with the controversial firing of previous head coach Lamont Bryant. Marshall will now try to add a state championship to the city crown.

35. Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 23-3 (31)
This team had won the previous two Chicago Public League titles behind current Memphis University standout Derrick Rose and was favored to win a third before being derailed in an upset by Farragut Academy. Simeon can still make a run in the state playoffs, so there's no reason to drop the team from the FAB 50.

36. Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 24-4 (39)
The Railsplitters didn't play at all last week while the New York parochial schools took center stage. Lincoln will now try to win the New York public schools championship.

37. Franklin (Seattle, Wash.) 22-2 (45)
Peyton Siva knocked down 20 points while Chris Holmes and Lavell White each scored 11 as the Quakers won the Sea-King 4A District title with a 58-55 triumph over Garfield of Seattle. Franklin, which lost in the Class 4A state final last year to Ferris of Spokane, could play the same team in this year's title game. The team's first game in this year's state tournament is against Federal Way.

38. Klein Collins (Spring, Texas) 31-4 (42)
The Tigers, who hail from the same District 16 as No. 39 Klein Forest, could meet the Eagles in the Region 2 final on March 1 but have to get by 28-10 TW College Park in the quarterfinals and the regional semifinals on February 29. Last week, the Tigers took a 22-6 lead on Conroe in the opening round of the Region II-5A playoffs and rolled to a 71-45 victory. Gonzaga commit Demetri Goodson led the way with 21 points. Jared Holzworth led four players in double figures with 15 points as Klein Collins recorded a 57-49 second round win over Bryan.

39. Klein Forest (Houston, Texas) 30-3 (43)
The Eagles, who split with No. 38 Klein Collins during the regular season, opened the Region II-5A playoffs with a 83-60 victory over the Woodlands as Darrius Campbell scored a team-high 24 points. Toure Murry added 19 points for the victors in the 23-point win. In a 77-64 second round win over Killeen Ellison, Gabe Rogers led four players in double figures with 16 points. The Eagles battled 27-7 Pflugerville in the quarterfinals and will play the winner of the Mesquite-Carter game in the semifinals if they were victorious Tuesday night.

40. Raytown (Raytown, Mo.) 26-0 (44)
Missouri's No. 1 team advanced to the Class 5 sectional game but had a scare as they edged Lee's Summit West, 71-66, in overtime. After a much easier 64-46 victory vs. Lee's Summit, the Bluejays led Lee's Summit West by as many as 12 in the first half, but the Titans caught on fire from beyond the arc and took a two-point lead with under a minute remaining. Aldon Smith was able to force overtime with a basket in the final seconds and once in overtime the Bluejays would never trail again. Raytown will now face Oak Park of Kansas City on Wednesday evening in the sectional final.

41. Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 27-2 (47)
The Panthers advanced to the state Class 5A semifinals with a 74-56 quarterfinal victory over Martin County (25-2). Robert Burger led the way with 18 points and six assists. Dillard will play Gainesville (22-8) in the semifinals this week.

42. Reading (Reading, Pa.) 30-0 (48)
The Red Knights defeated CD East 63-51 to win the District 3 Class AAAA championship as Rider recruit Jermaine Jackson had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Earlier in the week, Reading rolled past Elizabethtown, 61-38, in the semifinals of those district playoffs.

43. Highland Springs (Highland Springs, Va.) 23-1 (49)
The Springers defeated Henrico, 78-47, to win the Capital District Tournament as Harry Lee Daniel scored 16 points. In another game last week, Highland Springs defeated Armstrong, 71-39

44. Lexington Catholic (Lexington, Ky.) 24-3 (nr)
Kentucky's top-ranked team ended its regular season with a 76-37 rout of Wayne County. The Knights, who have defeated FAB 50 ranked Simeon (Ill.) and have lost three games by a total of six points, including a two-point setback to FAB 50 ranked Boyd Anderson (Fla.), open district tournament play this week vs. Lexington Christian Academy.

45. Ridgeway (Memphis, Tenn.) 26-3 (33)
The Roadrunners ended the regular season on a down note with a loss to Kirby, 63-59, but they had already wrapped up everything they needed to do for the upcoming state playoffs and are still considered the No. 1 team in Memphis.

46. Bryan Station (Lexington, Ky.) 27-2 (nr)
The Defenders avenged one of their two season losses last week with a 65-54 victory over Mason County. The other loss was in a season split with FAB 50 ranked Lexington Catholic. The Defenders open district tournament play this week against Sayre.

47. Palo Duro (Palo Duro, Texas) 28-0 (nr)
The Amarillo area school now cracks the FAB 50 and hopes to challenge for a UIL Class 4A state title. If the Dons were to defeat No. 4 Yates on their way to an undefeated season, that would secure a high finish in the FAB 50 but that scenario is still ways off. The Dons are the first Amarillo ISD team to go undefeated during the regular season, but they really didn't beat anyone of national significance earlier in the season so are only cracking our national rankings now. At this point, an unbeaten season in a large class in a large state like Texas is too hard to ignore. A balanced lineup led by 6-foot-5 Melvin Baker (15.4 ppg) will took on El Paso Andress in the Region II-4A quarterfinals Tuesday night.

48. Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.) 21-1 (50)
The Junior Jays have already dropped a game early this week to Benson of Omaha, so they will likely fall out of next week's FAB 50. They won their only game last week, 67-47, over North Star of Lincoln.

49. Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 20-0 (nr)
Many in Utah have the Darts as the No. 1 team and not Lone Peak (see above) and since the two could play in the Class 5A state tournament this is a good week to get them into the FAB 50 as well. Connor Van Brocklin had 18 points in a 63-54 win last week over Timpanogos. The Darts face Alta of Sandy on Wednesday night in a state tournament contest.

50. Starkville (Starkville, Miss.) 27-3 (46)
Mississippi's top-ranked team won two of three Class 5A playoff games last week and advanced to the state tournament. The Yellowjackets defeated Olive Branch, 17-12, in overtime in a slowdown game which Starkville led 4-0 after three quarters and was tied 10-10 in regulation. Starkville also bested Horn Lake, 67-49, and lost to Provine, 65-49. Latavious Williams scored 59 in the three games.

Dropped Out: Previous No. 29 Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.); No. 37 St. Raymond's (Bronx, N.Y.); No. 38 Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.); No. 40 Mason County (Maysville, Ky.); No. 41 Simi Valley (Simi Valley, Calif.).

About Doug Huff & Mark Tennis
Huff is one of only three journalists who've been inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame. He's known as the founder of the national record book, originated the prestigious Street&Smith's preseason All-American teams and still updates football and boys basketball national records regularly for Student Sports. Huff is beginning his 21st consecutive season of compiling national high school football rankings. No one has done this type of work for more years. Tennis has been executive editor of Student Sports for 13 years and has been compiling California state rankings for 27 years. Huff and Tennis have worked together on the FAB 50 rankings since 1999.

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