Updated FAB 50 National Rankings

FAB 50 576 2

Curie of Chicago remains No. 1 as it prepares for the Chicago Public Schools tournament but there is some shakeup elsewhere in the top 10 as previous No. 6 Whitney Young of Chicago and No. 7 Oak Hill Academy of Virginia and No. 8 Providence of Jacksonville go down. We also continue to agonize about Mater Dei and Rainier Beach in the West.    

By Ronnie Flores & Mark Tennis
Contributing: Doug Huff

As nationally-ranked teams across the country gear up for the rapidly approaching post-season, one of the last major showcases created some shaking and baking to the latest Student Sports FAB 50 national rankings.

The marquee game of the Nike Extravaganza in Southern California pitted No. 4 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) against then No. 6 Whitney Young (Chicago) and it was the hosts that came away with a 69-57 victory.

Mr. Basketball USA candidate Stanley Johnson, an Arizona-bound forward, had another big game on a big stage with 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and five steals. Mater Dei also got invaluable contributions from sophomore center M.J. Cage, who tried to make Duke-bound center Jahlil Okafor work on defense while beating him up the floor on a few occasions for big rebounds or tip-in baskets. Cage finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.

Not only was Mater Dei’s victory over Whitney Young a good comparative against No. 3 Rainier Beach (which beat the Dolphins 89-82), it helps fellow California clubs make upward ticks in the rankings.

Loyola (Los Angeles) is now up to No. 8 following a 54-41 victory over Mission League foe Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.). The clubs had split two previous meetings this season and now Loyola can say it beat the only club to hand it a defeat so far this season not once, but twice. Mater Dei’s victory over Whitney Young also looks good for No. 27 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), which took Mater Dei to overtime in the title game of the Tarkanian Classic after defeating rising Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) in the semifinals.

Mater Dei vs. Rainier Beach

The baking aspect of this week’s rankings is the scenario between unbeaten Mater Dei and unbeaten Rainier Beach. With Mater Dei’s win over Whitney Young and looming California open division battles with a bevy of other top-ranked squads (including possibly Loyola twice), it looks like only a matter of time before those two flip and Mater Dei is the higher of the two. Strength of schedule is just going to demand it.

The debate is when that should happen. This week seems like a good time, but we also won’t wait until the CIF Southern California Open Division regional championship, either. We’ll let it simmer in the oven at least a little while longer, perhaps for Mater Dei to beat at least one more FAB 50 ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.

Shaking came mostly due to Florida teams

Previous No. 7 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) fell to Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.) 62-53 at the Big Atlantic Classic in Beckley, W. Va. and the big victory helps ACD move into the top 10. It’s been a big couple of weeks for the Apaches as veteran coach Rex Morgan battles cancer. The previous weekend, ACD defeated No. 48 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) and the recent results allow the Apaches to overcome a loss to No. 49 Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.), which lost last week to No. 47 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia). ACD’s other losses are to No. 7 Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) and No. 13 Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.).

Providence remains in the top 15 despite losing its second game of the season last week by two points to crosstown Potter’s House Christian. Providence owns wins over Arlington Country Day, Neumann-Goretti, No. 16 Moeller (Cincinnati) with two of its losses coming against No. 2 Montverde Academy, which won its own invitational this past weekend.

A tough overall schedule also keeps Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) in the top 10 despite a loss to fast-rising St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.). The two clubs have actually split games in WCAC play and Paul VI will have an opportunity to avenge one of its losses this week against McDonald’s All-American Romello Trimble and Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.). Paul VI also has two contests remaining against No. 34 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.).

Updated Student Sports FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings

(Sixth poll of the 2013-14 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, Febuary 2; Previous ranking in parentheses)

[table id=30 /]

Dropped Out: Previous No. 20 Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.); No. 39 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.); No. 44 Garfield (Seattle, Wash.).

Bubble Teams:
Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 10-2; Bullis (Potomac, Md.) 17-3; Cape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, Va.) 14-0; Capital Christian (Sacramento, Calif.) 19-3; Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 12-1; Central (Omaha, Neb.) 16-1; Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) 18-1; Chino Hills (Chino Hills, Calif.) 19-4; Denver East (Denver, Colo.) 15-3; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 21-3; Eastside (Paterson, N.J.) 15-1; Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins, Colo.) 17-0; Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 17-1; Hamilton (Memphis, Tenn.) 12-4; Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.) 17-1; Johnson (St. Paul, Minn.) 17-2; Linden (Linden, N.J.) 15-2; Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 14-2; Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) 17-2; Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) 10-1; New Castle (New Castle, Pa.) 19-0; North Little Rock (North Little Rock, Ark.) 17-1; O’Connell (Arlington, Va.) 13-7; Parkview (Little Rock, Ark.) 17-1; Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 11-5; Potomac (Dumfries, Va.) 19-0; Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 16-4; St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) 12-3; St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) 15-1; Washington (Charles Town, W. Va.) 13-0; Westchester (Los Angeles, Calif.) 19-5; Zanesville (Zanesville, Ohio) 16-0.

Note: The STUDENT SPORTS FAB 50 is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and they were compiled by the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 14 years ago.

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