UPDATED FAB 50: Calm Before The Storm!

UPDATED FAB 50: Calm Before The Storm!


After two weeks of heavy movement and newcomers, there is relative calmness in this week’s edition of the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com. There are three newcomers, a few teams that lost but didn’t drop out, while most won in league/conference play. There are some big games on the horizon that could change things next week. 

By Ronnie Flores

Much of the focus since the turn of the New Year has been on teams at high powered events, but the focus this week will be on individual, elite talent. That’s because the rosters for the 2024 McDonald’s All-American Game will be unveiled on January 23 on ESPN’s “NBA Today” broadcast between 3-4 pm ET. We’ll have our breakdown and reactions to the team following its announcement on the latest episode of the “In The Paint” podcast.

Meanwhile, the latest FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com is defined by its relative calmness, as most of the nation’s elite teams returned to league/conference/district play and predictably won. In fact, there are only three new teams in this week’s FAB 50 and all join in at the bottom of the nation’s most well-researched poll.

Unbeaten Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.) breaks in at No. 48 one week after knocking off previously unbeaten and then No. 12 De Pere (De Pere, Wis.), 70-68, as the Redbirds saw their 42-game win streak snapped. The defending WIAA D1 state champs couldn’t slow down Duke commit Kon Knueppel of Lutheran, who netted 38 points.

After one week on the bubble, one-loss De Pere is back in the rankings at No. 50, one spot ahead of new No. 49 Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.). That club will have its eye on this Tuesday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) showdown between No. 21 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and No. 4 Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.). Homewood Flossmor has only lost to visiting Gonzaga, so it will be a swoon for Illinois teams (such as No. 47 Curie of Chicago) should the Purple Eagles pull off the WCAC road victory.

The only top ten FAB 50 team to lose last week was previous No. 6 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.), which fell twice in Mission League play. The Wolverines first fell to still unbeaten Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), 59-54, as Houston-bound All-American candidate Mercy Miller scored 29 points and got plenty of help from his teammates with big rebounds and timely putbacks. Harvard-Westlake actually lost again later in the week to then No. 18 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), 74-68. The Wolverines got done in by a 18-0 run in the fourth quarter as the Trailblazers were trialing, 58-50, with six minutes remaining before taking complete control of the game. The catalyst in this game, and for the season for a team that has only lost in overtime to Desert Mountain (Phoenix, Ariz.) in November, was Justin Pippen, the son of NBA great Scottie Pippen and one of the best unsigned seniors in the country. He nailed six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points, including 21 in the second half.

With the win, Notre Dame moved up 10 spots to No. 11 and Sierra Canyon moved up to No. 2 in the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings and to No. 18 in the FAB 50. There are three Mission League teams in the FAB 50 and they make up three of the top four teams in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) ranks, which currently has seven of its member schools in the FAB 50. This Friday in a nationally-televised game, Notre Dame will visit Sierra Canyon in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the state showdown.

One of Harvard-Westlake’s losses is a close one-point setback to No. 2 Columbus (Miami, Fla.), which is No. 2 in the FAB 50 behind top-ranked Montverde Academy. MVA will host its annual Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (MAIT) beginning Thursday and it includes No. 3 Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and No. 31 Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.).

Another showdown will take place on Sunday at Holy Family University when fast-rising No. 24 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.) and No. 33 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.) meet with first place on the line in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Similarly to the top teams in the Mission League, which will likely meet once again in the league and sectional playoffs, Goretti and Roman could meet once again in the Philly Catholic League playoffs come February.

FAB 50 ranked teams usually win in league play, so the ones that participate in tough leagues will always get rewarded. For the ones that don’t play in such strong ones, the competition will heat up once the playoffs roll around next month.

RELATED:  Preseason 2023-24 Mr. Basketball USA Tracker | “In The Paint” Podcast (Spotify) |  “In The Paint” Podcast (YouTube) 

Updated FAB 50 National Team RankingsPowered by Ballislife.com

(5th poll of 2023-24 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, January 21; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included; **Indicates forfeits and defaults not included)

No. Prev. High School (City)Record

11Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)19-0

22Columbus (Miami, Fla.)16-4

33Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.)21-3

44Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)15-2

55Link Academy (Branson, Mo.)17-4

67Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.)11-3

78Plano East (Plano, Texas)26-0

89Fishers (Fishers, Ind.)15-0

913Lawrence North (Indianapolis, Ind.)15-0

1010Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)25-1

1121Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)23-0

1212Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.)16-1

1314Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.)15-2

1415St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.)15-1

1516AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)17-5

1617Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)12-3

1718Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)12-3

1826Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)22-1

1922Central Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.)17-0

2019Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)22-1

2120Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.)15-2

2227Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.)14-0

236Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)20-3

2428Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, Pa.)13-0

2523Huntsville (Huntsville (Ala.)23-1

2624Combine Academy (Lincolnton, N.C.) 19-2

2725McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)15-5

2829Roosevelt (Eastvale, Calif.)22-2

2930Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.)14-3

3031Great Crossing (Georgetown, Ky.)19-1

3132Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.)19-2

3234St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)20-4

3350Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.)14-0

3440Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)21-1

3541Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)10-2

3636North Mecklenburg (Huntersville, N.C.)14-3

3711Ridge View (Columbia, S.C.)17-1

3837Millennium (Goodyear, Ariz.)15-4

3939Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)17-2

4042Kell (Marietta, Ga.)15-3

4143Jackson-Reed (Washington, D.C.)21-2

4244Bullis (Potomac, Md.)14-2

4345Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)12-3

4446La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)12-3

4547IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)12-3

4648Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)13-4

4749Curie (Chicago, Ill.)21-1

48NRWisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wis.)14-0

49NRHomewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.)19-1

50NRDe Pere (De Pere, Wis.)13-1

Dropped Out: Previous No. 33 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), No. 35 Camden (Camden, N.J.), No. 38 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.).

Bubble Teams:  Alexander (Douglasville, Ga.) 17-2; Allen (Allen, Texas) 24-4; Alta (Sandy, Utah) 17-1; Atascocita (Humble, Texas) 27-2**; Bartlett (Bartlett, Tenn.) 18-2; Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas) 24-1; Bellevue West (Bellevue, Neb.) 13-1; Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) 16-3; Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) 11-1; Brennan (San Antonio, Texas) 22-4; Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) 16-3; Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 13-2; Cordova (Cordova, Tenn.) 16-1; DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 15-4; De Pere (De Pere, Wis.) 13-1; East Lansing (East Lansing, Mich.) 11-0; Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas) 23-0; Garfield Heights (Garfield Heights, Ohio) 14-0; Homewood Flossmor (Flossmor, Ill.) 19-1;Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) 12-3; John Marshall (Richmond, Va.) 14-3; Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va.) 13-0; Lexington (Lexington, S.C.) 18-2; Lexington Catholic (Lexington, Ky.) 18-1; Liberty Magnet (Baton Rouge, La.) 21-2; Lyon County (Eddyville, Ky.) 18-1; Madison Prep (Baton Rouge, La.) 15-2; Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) 12-2; North Crowley (Ft. Worth, Texas) 23-3; North Farmington (Farmington Hills, Mich.) 10-0; Northwest (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) 11-0; Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 15-3; Oak Park (Kansas City, Mo.) 14-1; Olentangy Orange (Lewis Center, Ohio) 14-0; Owasso (Owasso, Okla.) 14-2; Park Center (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 16-1; Pascagoula (Pascagoula, Miss.) 21-1; Pewaukee (Pewaukee, Wis.) 11-1; Reidsville (Reidsville, N.C.) 13-0; Roosevelt (Portland, Ore.) 11-1; Southern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 15-1; Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.) 14-1; St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) 12-3; St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) 15-3; St. Joseph (Santa Maria, Calif.) 19-2; St. Mary’s (St. Louis, Mo.) 19-1; St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.) 10-1; St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) 14-1; St. Raymond’s (Bronx, N.Y.) 14-3; Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 18-2; Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.) 12-3; Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 17-1; Waubonsie Valley (Aurora, Ill.) 20-0; Winter Haven (Winter Haven, Fla.) 18-1.

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 24 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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