Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50: Prime 15 Groups!

We conclude our 2022-23 preseason FAB 50 Nationwide Staff Rankings powered by with an in-depth take a look at the nation’s high 15 groups. We started with groups No. 31-50, continued with groups No. 16-30 and that is an in-depth take a look at the nation’s 15 greatest groups. Montverde Academy of Florida is the nation’s preseason No. 1 group for the eighth time because it seeks its seventh FAB 50 title in eleven seasons.  

All 50 groups are written up with explanations for why they’re positioned in these positions. Montverde Academy is within the pole place to start the season for the eighth time, one in need of the all-time FAB 50 period file of 9 held by Oak Hill Academy of Virginia. Solely twice has Montverde Academy completed decrease than No. 1 when beginning out No. 1. In 2019, the Eagles completed No. 4 after dropping within the GEICO Nationals semifinals to eventual nationwide champ IMG Academy and in 2022 they completed No. 2 after dropping on the buzzer to eventual nationwide champ Duncanville of Texas. Academy-type packages that at the moment are a part of the Nationwide Interscholastic Basketball Convention (NIBC) proceed to dominate the FAB 50 whereas the COVID-19 Pandemic shouldn’t be the primary matter of debate within the preseason for the primary time in three years.   

RELATED: Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (16-30) | Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (31-50) | Preseason East Area Prime 20 | Preseason Southeast Area Prime 20  | Preseason Midwest Area Prime 20 | Preseason Southwest Area Prime 20 | Preseason West Area Prime 20

GO TO: No. 1 / No. 2 / No. 3 / No. 4 / No. 5 / No. 6 / No. 7 / No. 8 / No. 9 / No. 10 / No. 11 / No. 12 / No. 13 / No. 14 / No. 15

2022-23 Excessive Faculty Basketball: The Future Has Arrived
As highschool basketball strikes previous the grip COVID-19 had on the game for 3 seasons, a brand new period for the game is right here. The pandemic fueled a migration of gifted gamers away from conventional public and parochial faculties that play for state titles to impartial, academy-type packages with looser scheduling and follow time restrictions that have been useful to many gamers in the course of the pandemic. Many mother and father of D1 prospects felt that route was greatest for his or her sons and nonetheless do. Through the pandemic, mother and father and gamers noticed the formation of the Nationwide Interscholastic Basketball Convention (NIBC) and it continues to develop in scope and attraction. D1 prospects from all around the nation know concerning the convention and aspire to play for one in every of them, or knock its member groups off if their very own group will get a golden alternative to. 

In 2020-21, Montverde Academy of Florida captured the inaugural NIBC title sport and went on to seize the FAB 50 nationwide crown by ending No. 1 within the FAB 50 Nationwide Staff Rankings powered by Final season, Dawn Christian of Kansas received the NIBC title within the first 12 months of a full convention schedule, however completed No. 3 within the last FAB 50 after an upset loss within the first spherical on the end-of-season GEICO Nationals match. This 12 months, the NIBC expanded to 10 groups with the addition of FAB 50 mainstay Lengthy Island Lutheran (Glen Head, N.Y.) and AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.), the latter which is now eligible for the FAB 50 as a NIBC member (CLICK HERE for NIBC bylaws).

Along with the NIBC’s creation, a second main occurring reworked the highschool panorama in the course of the pandemic. On July 1, 2021, laws in a number of states went into impact inexperienced lighting Title, Picture, and Likeness (NIL) freedoms for collegiate scholar athletes, which compelled the NCAA to rapidly implement NIL coverage for its member faculties throughout all 50 states. To this point 29 states have handed NIL laws modeled after California’s “Honest Pay to Play Act”. 

The monetary freedom to be compensated on account of the brand new income streams NIL gives for student-athletes has modified newbie sports activities endlessly. As legal guidelines have been handed, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to grasp NIL would make an influence on the star-driven elite highschool basketball circuit. At present, 9 state associations sanction NIL freedoms for scholar athletes that fall below their jurisdiction (Alaska, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Utah) and extra will doubtless observe, contemplating state regulation supersedes state affiliation bylaws. Some well-known highschool standouts akin to Duke-bound Jared McCain of Centennial (Corona, Calif.) and Mikey Williams of San Ysidro (Calif.), have reputable endorsement offers in place getting into their senior season and stake-holders, along with mother and father, in the highschool basketball area are paying shut consideration.

It’s been 20 years since LeBron James led his group at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) to the 2002-03 FAB 50 title. LeBron’s lasting influence at the highschool degree was the monetary windfall occasion operators and different stake-holders skilled throughout his last two seasons of highschool. Media entities and occasion operators realized there was critical cash to be made in monetizing elite particular person gamers and ranked groups going ahead. NIL has raised expectations throughout the board and affected decision-making in terms of selecting each a highschool program and the trail to professional basketball. There are extra choices and extra money available than ever earlier than.

After James moved on to the NBA from highschool 20 years in the past, many highschool consultants and scribes felt the event of younger American gamers was damage by the fixed seek for the subsequent celebrity by way of the largely unregulated grassroots basketball ecosystem. Many felt the European mannequin of basketball academies superior the worldwide sport at a extra speedy price than the developmental fashions utilized in the US throughout that point. Growth within the U.S. has at all times been tied to schooling and the formation and progress of the NIBC is principally what was envisioned for elite highschool basketball expertise 20 years in the past. The longer term is right here for highschool basketball and there’s no turning again.

Montverde Academy: No. 1 Once more

The NIBC has elevated highschool basketball’s competitors degree and NIL has elevated expectations on this new period. Highschool basketball’s elite skills are family names and its greatest groups spend loads of time on nationwide tv broadcasts. 

What hasn’t modified as we depart the COVID-19 years behind is the dominance of Kevin Boyle’s program at Montverde Academy of Florida. Since he took over this system’s reins for the 2011-12 season, the Eagles have been the nation’s dominant program. The truth is, their dominance has not solely introduced Montverde Academy’s model to a world degree of recognition, it has elevated the competitors degree and play of the packages that ultimately fashioned the NIBC. Montverde Academy’s success has actually raised the bar to compete within the NIBC and for different packages to have a legit shot on the FAB 50 title.

In a 12 months wherein there isn’t a consensus No. 1 participant within the nation, it’s solely becoming there isn’t a overwhelming favourite to seize the 2022-23 FAB 50 nationwide title. Lots of the nation’s high packages misplaced expertise to commencement and a few determined to hitch Additional time Elite (OTE). The Atlanta-based group prided itself on being a viable league for younger, aspiring skilled gamers when launched in March 2021. OTE pivoted when NIL laws went into impact in July 2021, rapidly realizing elite highschool gamers didn’t wish to quit the collegiate basketball possibility and, predictably, started signing gamers with the intent to fulfill their monetary objectives and exceptions with NIL offers.

No matter OTE’s standing as a professional league (it has since introduced the growth of its league to incorporate three academy-type highschool packages enjoying in opposition to three in-house groups containing a combination of gamers with reference to NCAA eligibility), there are some gifted gamers on its roster. 

Making an allowance for the plethora of motion amongst elite gamers, Montverde Academy of Florida is the protected decide to open up because the preseason No. 1 group within the FAB 50 Nationwide Staff Rankings powered by due to its capacity to reload its roster after heavy commencement losses and its current observe file. 

After graduating all however one starter off its historic 2019-20 group that included 2021 No. 1 NBA Draft decide Cade Cunningham and 2022 NBA Rookie of the Yr Scottie Barnes, Montverde Academy repeated as FAB 50 champ in 2020-21. That group was led by Jalen Duren, the Nationwide Junior Participant of the Yr who went on to Memphis and was taken No. 13 general within the 2022 NBA Draft. Regardless of dropping Duren a 12 months early to school, the Eagles opened up final 12 months as preseason FAB 50 No. 1 and completed No. 2. 

With many underclass gamers dotting NIBC rosters, MVA is within the pole place with its good mix of senior expertise and gifted underclassmen.

1. (2) Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 22-4 

Key Gamers: PF Kwame Evans 6-9 2023 (No. 11, Oregon commit), SF Cooper Flagg 6-8 2025 (No. 2, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SG Marvel Allen 6-4 2023 (No. 52, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Georgetown commit), PF Sean Stewart 6-8 2023 (No. 7, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Duke commit), PF Asa Newell 6-9 2024 (No. 6, PG Chris Johnson 6-4 2023 (No. 33, Kansas commit). 

Why This Rating: In a 12 months the place there isn’t a dominant group with its lineup returning en masse or a highly-regarded group with a critical Mr. Basketball USA candidate main the cost, the Eagles are the logical selection to start because the preseason No. 1 within the business’s longest operating weekly rankings (since 1987-88). Regardless that the Eagles misplaced 2022 Mr. Basketball USA Dariq Whitehead (Duke) and three different highly-regarded starters to commencement, their mixture of expertise and skilled teaching is difficult to beat. Montverde Academy is now 288-23 in Kevin Boyle’s 11 seasons as head coach. This system’s 26-5 (.839) all-time file at GEICO Nationals dwarfs the successful share of some other group that could be a staple of that season-ending occasion. Evans is the lone returning starter and flexibility is his best asset. The gifted ahead hit some big-time photographs in lots of clutch moments final season and he’ll be counted on for his manufacturing and management if MVA is to seize GEICO Nationwide for the third consecutive season. Within the backcourt, Johnson has taken on a management function and is sort of vocal in follow, the place the hunt for taking part in time is at an all-time excessive in this system. Johnson has a deft pull-up sport that he makes use of within the large moments. Illinois-bound Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn (6-0, 2023) is an efficient defender who has proven progress and picked up what the teaching workers expects of him at a speedy tempo, whereas Curtis Givens (6-2, 2024) is pushing onerous for taking part in time. Allen can wreak havoc all around the court docket and with Stewart in a position to guard the three all the best way to the 5, this group can function numerous lineups with equal efficiency. Newell hasn’t obtained tons of nationwide publicity, however he’s a gifted expertise who brings a novel mix of athleticism and talent to this group. Flagg, who can rating in a wide range of methods, is a superb passer, shot-blocker and versatile defender within the mildew of former NBA All-Star Bobby Jones, represents this group’s make-up: limitless upside and solely going to get higher because the season wears alongside. 

The Skinny: There isn’t any debating this program misplaced loads of firepower off a 2021-22 group that got here inside one-buzzer beater of ending No. 1, but it surely’s not an unprecedented state of affairs for Boyle and workers. The 2020-21 unit needed to substitute 4 starters off the most effective group in program historical past and probably the greatest all-time within the annals of highschool basketball and was in a position to start and end No. 1. Certain, Montverde Academy and the opposite NIBC groups have an abundance of expertise on their roster, however so have another academy-type packages and virtually none of them have been near as profitable as this program over the previous decade. Flagg might turn into one of many program’s most particular gamers by the point it’s all stated and finished. With skills such because the a lot improved Derik Queen (6-8, 2024) and Liam McNeeley (6-7, 2025) additionally within the fold, that is the deepest Montverde Academy group ever assembled. There’s at all times an opportunity for dissension, however the spirit in follow is pushing the person gamers and group to the subsequent degree. “That is one in every of our extra gifted teams of men,” Miller stated. “They’re coachable and hard-working and this group has some guys that try to reside as much as the requirements set earlier than them.” That is the eighth time MVA has began No. 1, one off the file of 9 occasions by Oak Hill Academy within the FAB 50 period. The highway to complete No. 1 is tougher than it’s ever been with the creation and growth of the NIBC and this program relishes within the problem. With a 25-game common season restrict that each MVA and IMG Academy adhere to in accordance with FHSAA bylaws, the schedule is jam full of FAB 50 ranked groups and there’s little to no break when it comes to a cupcake matchup. MVA will play No. 4 AZ Compass Prep on the Frank Jackson Nationwide Hoopfest in Utah on Nov. 22, host No. 6 IMG Academy on Dec. 1 on the Sunshine Basic and face No. 25 Lengthy Island Lutheran the subsequent day. On the Bob Kirk Invitational, the Eagles will face host Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) on Dec. 8 and tackle No. 30 Oak Hill Academy the next night time. Earlier than Christmas, MVA will probably be in Hawaii for the Iolani Basic and after the New Yr’s face No. 2 Dawn Christian Academy and Wasatch Academy on the La Porte Invitational (Ind.) earlier than heading to the Spalding Hoophall Basic. In Springfield, Mass., MVA will face No. 36 La Lumiere (Jan. 14) and have a return match with Dawn Christian Academy on MLK Monday earlier than internet hosting highly-regarded Calvary Christian Academy and Central Pointe Christian Academy of Florida at residence. The Montverde Academy Invitational Match (Jan. 26-28) will embrace No. 18 Columbus and a second sport with IMG Academy will shut out the common season in early February. Boyle’s second win early this season would be the 800th of his profession (798-155 together with his time at St. Patrick of Elizabeth, N.J.) and there’s no cause this group can’t carry his program its seventh No. 1 FAB 50 end. Ought to it occur, Boyle would tie simply retired Steve Smith of Oak Hill Academy because the coach with essentially the most all-time FAB 50 No. 1 groups.

2. (3) Dawn Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kan.) 25-2 
Key Gamers: SF Scotty Middleton 6-7 2023 (No. 18, Ohio State commit), PG Layden Blocker 6-2 2023 (No. 22, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Arkansas commit), SF Matas Buzelis 6-9 2023 (No. 11, Ballislife Underclass All-American, NBA G League Ignite commit), C John Bol 7-1 2024 (No. 20, SG Miro Little 6-4 2023 (No. 25, Baylor commit), PG Mikel Brown Jr. 5-11 2025 (No. 8 

Why This Rating: The Buffaloes have a pleasant mix of veteran expertise and newcomers to associate with a confirmed observe file of success to warrant this spot. Much like No. 1 Montverde Academy, Dawn Christian Academy misplaced tons of firepower off its 2020-21 group and was nonetheless in a position to rise to the highest of the FAB 50 final season behind a gifted senior class led by NIBC Participant of the Yr Gradey Dick (Kansas). As soon as once more a robust senior class strikes on, however there’s a lot to love about an upper-echelon NIBC group with a returning level guard like Blocker and a confirmed veteran like Middleton. With different higher echelon NIBC groups younger at key spots, having a veteran lead guard is essential in large video games. “Laden is aware of what I need and what it takes to achieve success,” Dawn Christian coach Luke Barnwell stated. “He had an excellent week at Peach Jam and confirmed flashes of getting to be that man. He’s going to must be that for us with the intention to achieve success.” Middleton is a flexible expertise who provides the Buffaloes the power to run with a smaller lineup or go large and slide the Ohio St. decide to backcourt duties. Barnwell is okay with that as a result of this 12 months’s group is a little more cellular with faster ft than final 12 months’s membership and can excel enjoying at a quicker tempo. Buzelis is the most effective of the newcomers and Barnwell feels he’s probably the greatest athletes ever to undergo this system. Little is a bodily guard who’s as robust as he’s fast. Bol, a local of South Sudan, can run in addition to anybody on the group and Barnwell loves his mobility. Merely put, there’s lots to love about this group and it’ll know straight away the place it stands within the nationwide pecking order.

The Skinny: After beginning at No. 3 within the preseason final 12 months, this group excelled in the course of the common season, splitting video games with Montverde Academy solely to lose within the first spherical of GEICO Nationals to Prolific Prep of Napa, Calif. For a group that entered the end-of-season occasion ranked No. 1 within the FAB 50, it was a bitter tablet to swallow however previous to the occasion we said it was a wide-open area. That offers this 12 months’s group loads of motivation though there are many new faces. “We give it some thought every single day; it provides us one thing to anchor our conversations and work in the direction of,” Barnwell stated. This 12 months the race for No. 1 is as huge open because it has been in 5 years and Dawn is a strong decide for this place due to its motivation and the expertise available. With its front-loaded schedule and the elevated talent-level of the NIBC, the Buffaloes have to develop their depth and have the items in place to do exactly that. Barnwell labels Brown his “baby-faced murderer” and his improvement permits Blocker to be the bodily defender he’s minimize out to be. Almar Atlason (6-9, 2023), a local of Iceland, is a talented participant off the bench and might want to produce if the Buffaloes are going to return near matching the common season success of final season. The schedule has three key parts. Dawn Christian will face No. 4 and NIBC newcomer AZ Compass Prep on Nov. 23 on the Frank Jackson Hoopfest in Utah. This 12 months, every NIBC group will play three groups twice and everybody else within the 10-team league as soon as and for the Buffaloes, one of many groups it performs twice in top-ranked Montverde Academy. The primary matchup with happen Jan. 5 and the second will come on MLK Monday on the again finish of the “Springfield Double” after the Buffaloes take part on the Bass Professional Match of Champions in Springfield, Mo., (Jan. 12-14) in opposition to the likes of No. 11 Hyperlink Academy, No. 17 Christ the King and No. 49 Bartlett. That’s the second key element with the third coming with NIBC video games March 2-3 vs. No. 25 Lengthy Island Lutheran and No. 36 La Lumiere. Final 12 months, the Buffaloes completed their season on Feb. 19 and Barnwell feels closing robust at a more in-depth later date to GEICO Nationals will assist maintain his group in tune. This system is 2-3 all-time on the occasion, with a championship sport look in 2021 sandwiched in between two first spherical losses in 2019 and 2022 (the occasion was canceled in 2020 with SCA holding the No. 3 seed).

3. (16) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 31-5 
Key Gamers: SG DeShawn Harris-Smith 6-5 2023 (No. 39, Maryland commit), SF Darren Harris 6-5 2024 (No. 39, Duke commit), SF Isaiah Abraham 6-6 2024 (No. 64, C Patrick Ngongba 6-10 2024 (No. 97 

Why This Rating: The Panthers have been a FAB 50 mainstay for the previous decade and deserve this spot because the No. 1 group from the highly effective Washington Catholic Athletic Convention (WCAC). The convention favorites return 4 starters and eight lettermen off a group that captured this system’s first WCAC match crown since 2013-14. It begins with Harris-Smith, a second group all-Met selection who excels at rim-attacking and is understood for his defensive versatility. Harris is a knock-down shooter and is understood for taking part in successful basketball. Abraham, a switch from Highland (Warrenton, Va.) is a giant guard who can slide right down to a ahead spot and be productive for this group. He could not even attain his sophomore averages (14.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg), however his influence will probably be enormous and provides coach Glenn Farello (518-203) the power to go deep into his bench and make the most of numerous mismatches. With this roster, there will probably be loads of them.
The Skinny: Paul VI has been preseason FAB 50 ranked 9 occasions previously 11 seasons and final 12 months it was on the bubble after beginning out because the No. 4 group within the WCAC. On reflection, that was a giant oversight although the shortened 2020-21 season performed a task within the choice. The Panthers began out No. 4 for 2 consecutive seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21) however this 12 months they’ve earned this system’s highest rating ever due to their expertise degree, expertise, velocity, depth and size. This group shouldn’t be solely ok to brush by way of the WCAC common season and match, it’s a 12 months wherein the Panthers will probably be a troublesome matchups for NIBC groups and different high packages. Dug McDaniel (Michigan) had a terrific four-year run at level guard, however Farello is assured changing him received’t be a problem. “DeShawn and Ben (Hammond) performed important minutes on the level final 12 months and we’re very assured in these two main us,” Farello stated. Hammond (5-11, 2024) provides the backcourt wonderful depth and Jordan Smith Jr. (6-2, 2026), Jordan Hunter (6-0, 2026) and Anthony Brown Jr. (6-0, 2026) will push the veterans in follow. A critical FAB 50 title contender should rebound and the Panthers are robust on the inside as nicely with skills akin to Ngongba, Garrett Sundra (6-10, 2024) and Christian Gurdak (6-9, 2025). Farello charges every of the trio as excessive main prospects. This could possibly be a memorable season for Paul VI to observe up on final 12 months’s WCAC crown, however successful convention video games on the highway isn’t simple and the schedule is demanding. The Panthers head to London, England (Dec. 2-3) to play in Hoophall Worldwide vs. No. 17 Christ the King with the winner going through Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) or Tempo Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) the subsequent day. After participating within the D.C. Hoopfest, the Panthers will enter the Metropolis of Palms Match (Dec. 16-21), together with 9 different FAB 50 ranked foes, as the highest seed. If the seeds go to kind they’d face No. 18 Columbus within the tourney semifinals and can be in robust FAB 50 title competition by successful the match. After the New Yr’s, one other sport that might have main FAB 50 title implications is the Jan. 15 matchup with No. 5 Roselle Catholic on the Spalding Hoophall Basic. Whatever the end result of that sport, Paul VI can’t get too up with a win or down with a loss due to the character of its convention video games the place there will probably be at the very least two different ranked groups at any time in the course of the season.

4. (NA) AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) 25-5
Key Gamers: SF Marquis Cook dinner 6-7 2023 (No. 10, Oregon commit), PG Vyctorius Miller 6-6 2024 (No. 14, Ballislife Underclass All-American), SF Rayvon Griffith 6-6 2023 (No. 40, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Cincinnati commit), SG Tru Washington 6-5 2023 (No. 86, SF Marcus Allen 6-7 2024 (No. 35, Ballislife Underclass All-American). 

Why This Rating: This program has made a major influence on the FAB 50 previously two seasons and carried out nicely at GEICO Nationals. Now that the Dragons have joined the NIBC (together with No. 25 Lengthy Island Lutheran of New York) for the 2022-23 season, they’ll be capable to take their shot on the FAB 50 crown and never simply play spoiler. Your complete teaching workers and administration has finished a wonderful job of constructing this system’s status as prep faculties have exploded within the West and Southwest Area in recent times. Coach Ed Gipson and his workers have already got loads of large sport expertise and practical expectations to seize the NIBC title and GEICO Nationals championship. There isn’t one celebrity on this roster that may carry the load, however there’s a couple of difference-maker to win large NIBC video games. Cook dinner is an explosive athlete who can dominate video games along with his all-around offensive capacity. He had the expertise, now simply wants the consistency to assist his group to maneuver up from this spot. Miller is a big-time guard expertise who can distribute and rating and will ease the reclassification lack of guard Kylan Boswell (Arizona). Griffith was a 20 ppg scorer for a state title group at Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) and performs with the vitality and take-no-prisoners model of play AZ Compass is understood for in a brief time frame.
The Skinny: This group shouldn’t be fairly to the extent of the 2020-21 group that misplaced to eventual champ Montverde Academy in extra time and once more within the GEICO Nationals semifinals in a one possession sport, but it surely additionally doesn’t must be in opposition to this 12 months’s crop of ranked groups. No group appears to be like head-and-shoulders above the NIBC area, so AZ Compass loves its probabilities to seize its first FAB 50 title. The X-factor could possibly be Washington, the uncle of 2021 AZ Compass first group All-American Ty Ty Washington (Houston Rockets), who provides the group a activate the bench or can take a lead function. He’s a downhill scorer and provides this group the sting it likes to play the large video games with. “Now we have senior-driven management with a mixture of expertise, dimension, size and an general tenacity that represents our tradition at AZ Compass,” Gipson stated. The Dragons can’t price any increased due to considerations surrounding their rebounding prowess and entrance court docket depth. North Carolina-bound Zayden Excessive (6-9, 2023) is a high 50 nationwide prospect and was a difference-maker in fall league video games for the Dragons. Excessive should be productive and keep out of foul bother for AZ Compass Prep to achieve its objectives. Pharaoh Compton (6-8, 2024) is a strong athlete across the basket, however should present extra consistency and develop his general sport with the intention to make the influence the Dragons need. This system is utilizing a plethora of fall league video games to construct continuity and work on weaknesses as a result of the season will begin with a splash. AZ Compass Prep faces top-ranked Montverde Academy and No. 2 Dawn Christian Academy on back-to-back nights (Nov. 22-23) in Nice Grove, Utah. That may let this group know the place it stands straight away. The Dragons then face Wasatch Academy of Utah two occasions early in December earlier than assembly highly-regarded Whitney Younger on Dec. 17. AZ Compass takes on highly-regarded Newton (Ga.) and No. 35 Grovetown proper earlier than the New Yr and meet No. 30 Oak Hill Academy and No. 6 IMG Academy on the Spalding Hoophall Basic after enjoying highly-regarded Mix Academy on Jan. 13 on the Flyin’ To the Hoop in Dayton, Ohio. The final NIBC cease on March 3-4 will pit the Dragons vs. No. 36 La Lumiere and No. 25 Lengthy Island Lutheran.

5. (9) Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 29-2 
Key Gamers: PG Simeon Wilcher 6-3 2023 (No. 14, Ballislife Second Staff All-American, North Carolina commit), SF Mackenzie Mgbako 6-8 2023 (No. 4, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Duke commit), PF Wealthy Brisco 6-8 2024, SF Akil Watson 6-8 2023 (No. 97, Arizona State commit), PG Christian Pierre-Louis 6-2 2023.
Why This Rating: Much like No. 3 Paul VI, the Lions have 4 returning gamers with beginning expertise (seven lettermen complete) and an exemplary FAB 50 observe file to warrant this spot. It’s ironic that final season was the ultimate 12 months of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Affiliation’s Match of Champions as a result of the 2022-23 Lions might conceivably be higher than their 2021-22 title-winning membership. Coach Dave Boff’s membership has depth and good dimension and a go-to participant Wilcher, solely one in every of three returning Elite Staff All-Individuals from final season. Wilcher, who had 22 factors, seven rebounds and 5 assists within the TOC title sport win over Camden, averaged 17.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and seven.1 apg and will problem for Mr. Basketball USA honors if the Lions play to par. Watson is a rugged ahead who provides this group the grit it wants in opposition to its greatest foes. He averaged 11.9 ppg and 6.4 rpg as a junior. Brisco is one other wonderful rebounder and may block photographs (1.6 bpg) as nicely. All people’s numbers might fluctuate due to the switch of Sebastian Robinson (6-3, 2023) from Elizabeth, however that doesn’t imply they are going to be much less efficient. Robinson averaged 21.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 4.2 apg and earned all-state acclaim. Pierre-Louis can also be receiving D1 curiosity and will be counted on in crunch time.
The Skinny: The Lions have been ranked within the preseason FAB 50 yearly since 2013-14. Solely as soon as throughout that timeframe (when the NJSIAA had an entire season) was Roselle Catholic not ranked within the last FAB 50. It captured the ultimate TOC and price because the Backyard State’s No. 1 group getting into the season over TOC runner-up Camden. With its returnees alone, Roselle Catholic would price as a strong state No. 1, however with Robinson and Mgbako within the lineup coach Boff might have one thing particular. Mgbako averaged 19.5 ppg as a junior at Gill St. Bernard’s, averaged 16 ppg during the last two years on the Nike EYBL and is arguably the most effective ahead within the senior class. The depth essential to survive its schedule is offered by gamers akin to Tarik Watson (6-8, 2024) and Jalen Grant (5-11, 2026). Final season, Roselle misplaced its opener to Camden and this 12 months on Dec. 16-17 the Lions have main early exams versus No. 2 Dawn Christian Academy and No. 8 Duncanville on the Hoopfest in Paradise on the island of the Bahamas. The opposite monster common season sport will happen Jan. 14 vs. No. 3 Paul VI on the Spalding Hoophall Basic. Boff’s membership additionally faces highly-regarded Calvary Christian Academy of Florida and NIBC member Bishop Walsh of Maryland on the Metro Basic (Feb. 2-3), along with having to navigate its method by way of the always-tough NJSIAA Non-Public B playoffs. Simply because the NJSIAA ended the TOC doesn’t imply it will probably’t be a historic season for this program. 

6. (6) IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 21-5 
Key Gamers: SG Jacoi Hutchinson 6-3 2023, SG Bryson Tucker 6-7 2024 (No. 4, Ballislife Underclass All-American), C Jayden Hastings 6-10 2023 (No. 120, Boston Faculty commit), SF Amier Ali 6-8 2024 (No. 13, SF Jamie Kaiser Jr. 6-5 2023 (No. 49, Maryland commit), PF Khani Rooths 6-8 2024 (No. 29, SF Jamier Jones 6-5 2025 (No. 5, Ballislife Underclass All-American). 

Why This Rating: The Ascenders have a wonderful assortment of expertise and love the place they’re in. Coach Sean McAloon has an unselfish roster and guys that wish to purchase into his system and, most significantly, play with a chip on their shoulder. A veteran guard is critical to navigate NIBC play and Hutchinson is simply what the physician ordered for this group. He’s a consummate 10-5-5 participant and likewise units the tone defensively. “Jacoi makes successful performs and takes on the most effective guard on the opposing group,” McAloon stated. “I feel he’s been nice and it’s been enjoyable to observe his improvement. IMG Academy additionally has the providers of a real submit participant in Hastings. “He’s expert to go over his shoulder and rating, has a motor and embodies being a 5 man,” McAloon stated. The sixth-year coach feels Kaiser is extraordinarily underrated, strikes nicely with the ball and has a pleasant pull-up sport. One of many principal strengths of this group is its capacity to shoot the ball and the flexibility of the guards. With their perimeter dimension, there could also be occasions when the Ascenders have 5 guards on the ground and power the opposition to attempt to match up. 

The Skinny: This program has appeared within the preseason FAB 50 for seven consecutive seasons, however for the primary time in 5 seasons is in an unfamiliar spot. Since 2018-19 when it began No. 4 and captured GEICO Nationals and the FAB 50 crown, this program has been in nationwide title competition. It began No. 1 in a detailed name over Montverde Academy in 2020, and was No. 2 behind the Eagles in 2021 and 2022. This season our preseason rankings standards dictates IMG start a notch decrease, however McAloon and his workers just like the place the group is in. With a roster made up of 4 seniors and 6 underclassmen (together with one freshman), this group has loads of rising to do and McAloon is worked up for its potential. Tucker is among the greatest juniors within the nation and may play a degree ahead spot, whereas Ali and Rooths can guard a number of positions. Amari Allen (6-6, 2025) is understood for his capturing and basketball I.Q., whereas Jones has earned the moniker “D.Ok. Metcalf” for his bodily nature and downhill enjoying model. McAloon feels the panorama has modified a lot in 5 years with “extra faculties like us”, however admittedly doesn’t know the make-up of all the opposite NIBC rosters and among the groups on the schedule. The youth, depth and the unknown has created spirited practices amongst a gaggle that has one thing to show. With the expanded NIBC schedule, every program performs three of the groups twice and for the Ascenders that’s No. 1 Montverde Academy, No. 2 Dawn Christian and No. 4 AZ Compass Prep. IMG has a home-and-home with the Eagles and will get MVA on Dec. 1 at Montverde. Along with these six towering NIBC video games in opposition to high 5 foes, IMG Academy will take part within the Chick-fil-a Basic in South Carolina (Dec. 27-30) in opposition to the likes of No. 24 The Rock Faculty, No. 30 Oak Hill Academy and highly-regarded Windfall Day Faculty. In opposition to that schedule, this group will probably be compelled to develop up in a rush and will create the outcomes Ascenders followers are on the lookout for. 

7. (12) Camden (Camden, N.J.) 31-3 
Key Gamers: PG D.J. Wagner 6-3 2023 (No. 1, Ballislife First Staff All-American, Ballislife Nationwide Junior Participant of the Yr), PG Cian Medley 5-11 2023 (St. Louis commit), C Aaron Bradshaw 7-0 2023 (No. 4, Kentucky commit), SF Cornelius Robinson 6-4 2023 (Albany commit), PF Desear Haskins 6-6 2023. 

Why This Rating: The Panthers are simply as gifted, and much more skilled than final season after they began out No. 4 within the FAB 50. They’ve to start a notch decrease within the rankings, nonetheless, due to a training change and eligibility questions regarding among the personnel on their gifted roster. In line with a report, 5 of the highest six scorers off the 2021-22 group that received the Group 2 state title and superior to the TOC title sport, didn’t reside in Camden. In line with the web site, solely basketball gamers have been enrolled in magnet faculties and paid a steep tuition low cost from what it could usually price. The NJSIAA has but to make an announcement or ruling on the problem, so we’ll rank the group in line with its expertise degree and outlook. With coach Rick Brunson transferring on to the New York Knicks after three seasons, 31-year outdated Maalik Wyans is the brand new coach at The Excessive. The previous Villanova standout and Philly Catholic league standout (Roman Catholic) coached the group in the course of the summer time and fall. The expertise degree out there at Wyans disposal will make the transition simpler and can be a lot much less of a detriment than any drawn out eligibility points. In opposition to a nationwide schedule and in his first full highschool season due to COVID-19, Wagner averaged 19.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.3 apg and three.5 spg. If Wagner earns Mr. Basketball USA honors, he’ll be the primary class participant of the 12 months in every of 4 seasons since former NBA guard O.J. Mayo (2004-07). Bradshaw averaged 8.9 ppg and seven.4 rpg and this previous summer time proved to be probably the greatest prospects within the nation. There have been summer time rumors of Bradshaw transferring out, however so long as Camden’s inside-outside duo is undamaged this group will probably be formidable.
The Skinny: Sure, the teaching change and potential off-court turmoil might trigger this group to drop a notch within the rankings, but it surely’s not as if this system shouldn’t be used to enjoying below a microscope. Wagner and Bradshaw should not the one gifted gamers, both, as there’s legit D1 expertise throughout the board whereas Wagner has performed within the highlight since he stepped on campus because the son and grandson of Camden legends. Wagner has led this system to 73 wins within the 77 video games he’s performed, so if any elite participant can put apart distractions, it’s him. As a junior, Medley averaged 10.2 ppg and three.9 apg and was one of many high distributors (5.1 apg) on the Nike EYBL circuit. Robinson, generally known as “Boog”, got here off the bench and was a giant contributor along with his physicality and toughness. Wayns will probably be thrown right into a pressure-cooker and it stays to be seen what the NJSIAA’s investigation yields. Camden will probably be ranked based mostly on its on-court outcomes, but it surely received’t be simple for The Excessive to maneuver up within the FAB 50 from right here. The NJSIAA doesn’t host the TOC anymore and there’s no common season sport scheduled with No. 4 Roselle Catholic, both. Presuming the group stays intact and Camden will get off to a robust begin, the telling video games of the common season will come on the Spalding Hoophall Basic when The Excessive takes on No. 9 Centennial (Jan. 14) and No. 16 Bishop Gorman (Jan. 16).

8. (1) Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) 35-1 
Key Gamers: PF Ronald Holland 6-8 2023 (No. 10, Ballislife First Staff All-American), C Cameron Barnes 6-10 2023 (No. 128, SF Ok.J. Lewis 6-4 2023 (No. 43, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Arizona commit), PG Aric Demings 6-0 2023, PG Evan Phelps 6-0 2023. 

Why This Rating: When you could have a terrific expertise base and tradition you deserve a excessive rating coming off a historic season. The Panthers have a pleasant mix of returning expertise and newcomers to start one spot decrease than it did final season when it began No. 7 and wound up No. 1 to turn into the primary College Interscholastic League (UIL) group to complete as FAB 50 champs since Houston Yates in 2009-2010. Fact be informed, some key video games went Yates’ method throughout that season and Duncanville performed a a lot more durable schedule to place itself in place to problem for No. 1. With the creation of the NIBC, it’s by no means been tougher for a public faculty that performs for a state title to win a FAB 50 title however coach David Peavy’s program is at that degree. It begins with the return of Holland, final 12 months’s District 11-6A Offensive Participant of the Yr (15 ppg, 60 % FG, 8 rpg, 2 spg) who could possibly be a critical Mr. Basketball USA candidate if the Panthers win their large video games. Barnes (6.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg) didn’t put up large numbers, however that’s partially as a result of he performed 17.6 mpg. He can defend the rim and has expertise within the large moments, in order Barnes’ minutes improve he’ll turn into extra constantly productive. Lewis comes over from El Paso Chapin and has an opportunity to be particular along with his explosive sport across the rim and flexibility. He provides Peavy the power to go together with a giant lineup or a extra glossy one by sliding him right down to the ability ahead with no fall off. Even with Anthony Black (Arkansas) transferring on, this group has the substances to win its fourth consecutive UIL Class 6A crown and be particular as soon as once more.
The Skinny: This program is preseason FAB 50 ranked for the fourth consecutive season and it was a gradual buildup to the head of highschool basketball. The Panthers barely missed in 2018-19, have been No. 28 in 2019-20, No. 20 in 2020-21 and No. 7 final November. That ascension now comes with an asterisk, because the UIL not too long ago introduced its stripping of Duncanville’s 2021-22 Class 6A state title after ruling the group forfeits all video games wherein an ineligible participant (Black) participated in. The FAB 50 relies on the on-court outcomes, but it surely’s nonetheless a giant blow to a faculty and neighborhood that takes satisfaction within the group’s success. Final season, Demings hit the large shot on the buzzer to down then No. 1 Montverde Academy, however how the Panthers received in place to win that sport wasn’t a fluke or luck. That was Duncanville’s tenth sport of the season and by that time MVA was its sixth FAB 50 foe. Demings (11.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg), who’s fast with the ball and a tenacious defender, stepped up all season lengthy as Northern Arizona-bound level guard C.J. Ford missed the season with damage. Phelps is one other succesful guard with expertise and large issues are anticipated of Kayden Edwards (6-2, 2025), a gifted lefty who’s a touted shooter. It’s essential to have the expertise and play the schedule to have the breaks go your method, however there isn’t a assure the bounces or breaks will go a group’s method two seasons in a row. The bounces did go Duncanville’s method final season, however the timing of the UIL’s announcement could possibly be a rankings issue this season as a result of Peavy has been suspended for a 12 months and there will probably be off-court distractions for the second straight season. It needs to be famous that the Duncanville Unbiased Faculty District disagrees that it or this system violated UIL guidelines. The lack of Peavy means the gamers must stay centered and belief this system’s system and tradition as Duncanville goals to be the UIL’s greatest group for the fifth consecutive 12 months. As of now, the group continues to be eligible for the 2022-23 UIL playoffs and will probably be ranked in line with the on-court outcomes. As soon as once more the schedule is front-loaded, with matchups vs. No. 18 Columbus and No. 9 Centennial on the Thanksgiving Hoopfest. On the Crimson River Hoopfest (Dec. 2-3), the Panthers tackle No. 49 Bartlett and highly-regarded Newton (Ga.) and tackle No. 19 Cardinal Hayes at Hoophall West on Dec. 8. Two nights later, the Panthers play No. 38 Notre Dame after which journey to the Bahamas Dec. 16-17 for the Hoopfest in Paradise the place they may meet No. 4 Roselle Catholic and highly-regarded Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.).

9. (5) Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 33-1
Key Gamers: PG Jared McCain 6-2 2023 (No. 16, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Duke commit), PF Aaron McBride 6-8 2023 (LMU commit), SF Devin Williams 6-10 2023 (No. 41, UCLA commit), SF Eric Freeny 6-4 2024, SG Mike Worth 6-2 2023. 

Why This Rating: With a younger nucleus, this program wasn’t FAB 50 ranked in 2020-21, however made waves throughout California’s 2021 spring season by defeating FAB 50 energy Sierra Canyon for the CIF Southern Part open division title. Final season, Centennial started at No. 14 and with the CIF state championships again on the desk was in a position to repeat on the part degree and seize this system’s first ever CIF title. The nucleus is now seniors and a simple selection to start at No. 1 in California and the favourite to complete because the Cal-Hello Sports activities State Staff of the Yr for the third consecutive season. It begins with McCain, final 12 months’s state junior of the 12 months who led the group in scoring (16.8 ppg) whereas including 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg and 1.4 spg. Much more than his numbers, McCain’s aggressive nature and clutch play (41 % from 3-point, 90 % from foul line) makes the distinction in large video games. Williams matured final 12 months right into a dynamic play-maker on each ends of the court docket and continues to be undervalued nationally. He averaged 11.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 1.5 bpg whereas capturing 60 % from the sphere, together with 44 % from 3-point vary. McBride is one other 3-year starter who does loads of the soiled work and he’s beginning to get credit score for it, incomes occasion MVP honors on the Part 7 NCAA June reside scholastic occasion. This group is unselfish, takes good photographs, performs with unimaginable tempo and doesn’t fear about who will get the credit score.
The Skinny: Final season, the Huskies returned 4 starters and would have begun in entrance of CIF energy Sierra Canyon had fifth starter Kylan Boswell not transferred to AZ Compass Prep. The Huskies didn’t miss a beat with out him, dropping solely to No. 8 Duncanville and dominating CIF post-season play. With as a lot firepower as Duncanville has again, the Huskies should begin behind that membership and in fall leagues it didn’t appear the commencement lack of California Mr. Basketball Donovan Dent (New Mexico) can be as large an element because it might need appeared final March. Worth comes over from Sierra Canyon the place he has proven flashes of brilliance as a highschool participant and Freeny is rapidly creating into one of many high underclass gamers on the West Coast along with his bodily strategy to the sport. B.J. Taylor (5-11, 2023) is a starting-caliber guard and depth is offered by the likes of Santana Huff (6-2, 2024) and a unbelievable freshman class. So long as Williams and McBride are on the ground, this group has an opportunity in opposition to any nationwide degree foe and there are many them on the docket. The Huskies will get their rematch with No. 8 Duncanville on the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, tackle NorCal No. 1 and FAB 50 No. 27 Modesto Christian on Dec. 3 at The Proving Grounds in Sacramento, face No. 16 Bishop Gorman at Hoophall West (Dec. 10) and face No. 38 Notre Dame on Jan. 7. The Huskies will enterprise to the Metropolis of Palms Match in Florida for the primary time the place they open because the No. 2 seed. The Huskies will doubtless face No. 10 Imhotep Constitution within the semifinals ought to they get previous No. 12 Wheeler within the quarterfinals.

10. (18) Imhotep Constitution (Philadelphia, Pa.) 27-4** 
Key Gamers: SF Justin Edwards 6-8 2023 (No. 2, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Kentucky commit), PG Rahmir Barno 6-0 2023 (Florida Gulf Coast commit), PG Ahmad Nowell 6-1 2024 (No. 31, Ballislife Underclass All-American), PF Jeremiah White 6-6 2024. 

Why This Rating: There’s lots to love off a group that received each the Philadelphia Public League and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Affiliation (PIAA) Class 5A state crown and has a majority of its large weapons again. Not solely does coach Andre Noble (442-96) return 4 starters and 7 lettermen, he has a Mr. Basketball USA candidate in Edwards, the Metropolis and Class 5A state participant of the 12 months as a junior. He averaged 18.3 ppg and eight.3 rpg to associate with 43 3-pointers and is among the hardest matchup issues within the nation. Barno (11.2 ppg, 5.3 apg, 2.2 spg) doesn’t get the nationwide acclaim, however just like Edwards is a four-year letter-winner and can doubtless be a three-time all-state selection. Nowell got here in highly-acclaimed final season, and earned second group all-state honors after averaging 12.3 ppg and three.1 apg whereas nailing 54 3-pointers. With this core, the group has expectations to be as profitable because the 2016-17 group that completed No. 4 and surpass the 2018-19 senior-oriented unit that started at No. 7, however misplaced six general video games.
The Skinny: The Panthers can’t have a couple of in-state journey up as they did final 12 months in the event that they wish to preserve or transfer up from this spot within the rankings. They fell to IMG Academy and Paul VI (two increased ranked groups) but additionally fell to Studying and Lincoln, the group Imhotep ultimately defeated within the Philly Public League title sport. Noble’s program has received 5 of the previous six public league titles (and a file 10 general), however might want to substitute the manufacturing of Mo Abdullah (Rider) and present it has the inside punch to compete with the nation’s greatest groups. Baasil Saunders (6-4, 2023), a D1 expertise who is sort of athletic, and Yahmir Satterfield (6-2, 2023), a group captain and high quality shooter, will group as much as fill that void on the wing. White was purported to be Imhotep’s beginning pivot final season earlier than a foot damage shelved him within the second quarter of the primary sport of the season. Noble is assured a wholesome White and Ma’Kye Taylor (6-7, 2024), who gained beginning expertise in his absence, will do the job in opposition to the highest foes on the Panthers’ nationwide schedule. Each are robust and bodily and will take among the strain of Edwards. R.J. Smith (5-8, 2026) and Milak Myatt (6-3, 2026) present expertise and depth within the backcourt and on the wing, respectively. Imhotep Constitution will play No. 44 North Laurel within the Kentucky Play-By-Play Basic at Freedom Corridor in Louisville on Dec. 11. The Panthers have dates with No. 29 Simeon and No. 22 John Marshall and can face No. 19 Cardinal Hayes on the Spalding Hoophall Basic (Jan. 15). They’re the No. 3 seed on the Metropolis of Palms Basic in Ft. Myers, Fla. (the place they completed as runner-ups in Dec. 2018), and must defeat two FAB 50 ranked foes to arrange a monster semifinal matchup that may doubtless contain No. 9 Centennial or No. 12 Wheeler.

11. (4) Hyperlink Academy (Branson, Mo.) 34-2 
Key Gamers: SG Ja’Kobe Walter 6-5 2023 (No. 17, Ballislife Underclass All-American, Baylor commit), PG Elliot Cadeau 6-1 2024 (No. 8, PF Tyler McKinley 6-9 2024 (No. 42, PF Corey Chest 6-8 2023 (No. 76, LSU commit), SF Jacolb Cole 6-6 2023 (No. 69, Oklahoma commit), PF Cade Phillips 6-9 2023 (No. 105, Tennessee commit).

Why This Rating: Final season was the primary time the Lions have been FAB 50 eligible, and so they made a giant splash by advancing to the GEICO Nationals title sport of their first look within the occasion. Hyperlink Academy’s expertise degree stays excessive and count on them to as soon as once more problem for a GEICO Nationals berth. New coach Billy Armstrong (a former affiliate head coach at LSU) has loads of expertise at every place, led by Walter, who averaged 23.3 ppg and seven.6 rpg in main McKinney (Texas) to the Texas Class 6A state title sport. He’s complimented properly within the backcourt by Cadeau, one of many high gamers nationally in his class since center faculty. Cadeau missed nearly all of his sophomore season, so he’ll be desperate to make a splash on a giant stage. Chest is an efficient shot-blocker whereas Cole, who beforehand attended Bellaire (Texas), is able to double-doubles every night time even on a group as gifted as this one. McKinley and Phillips, one other wonderful shot blocker and state champion final season at Jacksonville (Ark.), give Armstrong unimaginable entrance court docket depth. “We’re quick, lengthy, athletic and have loads of depth,” Armstrong stated. 

The Skinny: The Lions’ preseason rating final season (No. 40) was not indicative of their expertise degree. This season their preseason positioning is a little more in keeping with the expertise available. The group did take a blow when Omaha Biliew returned to Waukee (Iowa) for his senior season and whereas a training change at all times is an element on the elite degree of highschool basketball this program shouldn’t miss a beat. Hyperlink Academy, which is sanctioned to play Missouri State Excessive Faculty Actions Affiliation (MSHSAA) faculties, has made a optimistic impression with the best way they dealt with their affairs as an impartial, academy-type program and plan on sticking round on the nationwide scene. B.J. Davis-Ray (6-5, 2025) is among the greatest skills nationally in his class and will probably be counted on to offer a activate the bench in opposition to a loaded nationwide schedule. Hyperlink Academy has two high quality video games on the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Texas (Nov. 25-26), and can play within the Metropolis of Palms Basic Signature Sequence, the place the Lions face No. 40 St. Frances Academy within the semifinals. After the New Yr’s, the Lions will take part within the Bass Professional Match of Champions (Jan. 12-14) in Springfield, Mo., in opposition to the likes of No. 2 Dawn Christian Academy, No. 17 Christ the King, No. 49 Bartlett and highly-regarded St. Rita of Chicago and Calvary Christian Academy of Florida. The Lions may even take part within the Quincy Shootout (Jan. 21-22), the place they may face Wasatch Academy and Oak Cliff Religion Household (Texas), and on the Metro Basic in New Jersey.

12. (NR) Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 25-5 
Key Gamers: PG Isaiah Collier 6-3 2023 (No. 1, Ballislife Underclass All-American), C Arrinten Web page 6-10 2023 (No. 56, USC commit), SG Jelani Hamilton 6-5 2023 (No. 96, Iowa State commit), PF Cameron Brown 6-9 2023. 

Why This Rating: There’s lots to love off a group that’s two-deep at every place and motivated to get again within the winner’s circle after dropping within the Georgia Excessive Faculty Affiliation (GHSA) Class AAAAAA state quarterfinals to eventual champ Grovetown. GHSA golf equipment have finished pretty nicely nationally in current seasons, with a slight dip final season (No. 48 Norcross was the one ranked membership), and 4 groups have been strongly thought of for the FAB 50. Grayson needs to be powerful, Newton and McEachern simply missed and we determined to go together with the Wildcats as GHSA No. 1 over Grovetown due to the returning expertise degree and having a participant akin to Collier. Some recruiting consultants really feel the highly effective guard who averaged 18 ppg, 7 rpg and 5 apg as a junior is the most effective participant within the nation after some standout play within the spring and summer time. Web page is the right praise inside and excels with each his again to the basket and within the face up sport. Brown compliments Web page inside, whereas Hamilton comes over from Cumberland Academy and is able to 20 plus factors on any given night time. Josh Hill (6-10, 2024) has numerous potential up entrance, D.J. Mitchell (6-5, 2023) is a succesful scorer and defender, Julian Ormond (6-4, 2024) and Ricky McKenzie (6-4, 2024) can play a number of positions, whereas Kota Suttle Jr. (6-3, 2026) is a standout athlete. “Now we have tons of expertise, good guard play and plenty of dimension up entrance,” stated coach Larry Thompson. 

The Skinny: The Wildcats may be ranked forward of No. 35 Grovetown to start the season, however this 12 months there received’t be a playoff showdown between the 2 golf equipment. Wheeler has moved as much as AAAAAAA whereas Grovetown stays in AAAAAA. Peach State followers received’t have to attend lengthy to marvel if the preseason pecking order is on the cash as a bit greater than bragging rights will probably be at stake when Thompson’s boys tackle Grovetown on the Vacation Hoopsgiving in Atlanta (Nov. 26). Wheeler shouldn’t be solely gunning for its second state crown in three years (it received the AAAAAA crown in 2020-21), it is going to be a main candidate for the second annual State Champions Invitational ought to it win the state crown. If the Wildcats solely undergo one common season loss in opposition to their nationwide schedule, it needs to be proper within the thick of the FAB 50 title race. Along with the early showdown with Grovetown, Wheeler can also be enjoying within the Metropolis of Palms Match and will face a monster quarterfinal matchup with No. 9 Centennial if it will get by Tampa Catholic. The Wildcats head to the Chick-fil-A Basic in South Carolina after Christmas the place their bracket will embrace a number of FAB 50 groups, and tackle No. 16 Bishop Gorman on the Spalding Hoophall Basic (Jan. 14).

13. (42) Cathedral (Indianapolis, Ind.) 26-6 
Key Gamers: C Xavier Booker 6-10 2023 (No. 1, Michigan State commit), PF Jake Davis 6-7 2023 (Mercer commit), SG Honest Germany 6-2 2023, SF Jaron Tibbs 6-4 2023 (Purdue commit soccer). 

Why This Rating: Occasionally when a ranked group has a terrific participant that results in an improve if its schedule, it leads us to present that group a nudge up within the rankings. This 12 months that membership is the Combating Irish, which confirmed it was merely on one other degree than the remainder of the Indiana Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation (IHSAA) groups in 2021-22 and will probably be higher this 12 months. The Irish return 4 starters and eight lettermen and the most effective of the lot simply may be the most effective participant within the nation. Booker, named the MOP of the 2022 Pangos All-American Camp, had 13 factors, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked photographs within the state title sport and averaged 12.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg and a pair of.3 bpg as a junior. Tibbs is a Grid-Hoop stud who merely is just too athletic and highly effective for a lot of the opposition, as he averaged 13.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 apg and a pair of.0 spg. Davis is the third double-digit scorer returning (10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.0 apg) and what he does greatest doesn’t at all times present up within the field rating. He’s not solely the group’s greatest 3-pointer shooter (47 %), he’s identified for his toughness and knack for taking fees. This group is aware of what it takes to win and has a superb likelihood to stay on this vary of the rankings. “We’re extraordinarily enthusiastic about this group as a result of they play for one another,” stated coach Jason Delaney, the primary IHSAA coach to win state titles at three completely different packages. 

The Skinny: This group misplaced a key cog with the commencement of Tayshawn Tomer (Jap Kentucky), however there are many younger gamers able to step up and assist in the important thing video games. Germany (4.7 ppg) will see a serious uptick in enjoying time and manufacturing, whereas Lebron Gough (5-10, 2025) gained main expertise on the Nike EYBL final summer time and will probably be a difference-maker along with his play-making capacity. Deric Cannady (5-11, 2025) is one other succesful level guard, Kamari Slaughter (6-4, 2023) will probably be an influence switch who gives scoring punch, whereas Brady Koehler (6-6, 2025) gives depth up entrance. Final season, Chesterton entered the state last unbeaten and No. 18 within the FAB 50. Cathedral blew that group away, 65-31, and may conceivably be higher this 12 months. “We solely misplaced two video games this summer time versus among the greatest groups within the Midwest,” Delaney (292-140) stated. Cathedral’s rating can also be predicated by its loaded schedule, because it performs No. 23 Centerville on Dec. 3, takes on Indianapolis Ben Davis in an in-state showdown on the Discussion board Tip-Off Basic (Dec. 10) and tussles with highly-regarded Chicago St. Rita on Dec. 23 at Credit score 1 Union Enviornment in Chicago. Cathedral will make a nationwide tv look versus No. 29 Simeon on Jan. 6 and tackle No. 14 Pickerington Central on the Flyin’ To The Hoop in Dayton, Ohio (Jan. 16). The Irish may even play Joliet West on the Financial institution of O’Fallon Shootout (Feb. 4).

14. (22) Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio) 26-2 
Key Gamers: PF Devin Royal 6-7 2023 (No. 46, Ohio State commit), SF Gavin Headings 6-7 2023, PG Juwan Turner 5-10 2024. 

Why This Rating: This group entered final 12 months’s Ohio Excessive Faculty Athletic Affiliation (OHSAA) Division I state title sport fairly assured although Centerville was 29-0 and ranked No. 11 within the FAB 50. The Tigers used a giant fourth quarter and received, 55-48, to seize their first state crown since 2011-12. Decide Central and Centerville are Ohio’s high two groups within the preseason as soon as once more, however we give the nod to the Tigers as a result of they’ve extra lettermen returning and extra inside dimension. It begins with Royal, who scored 20 factors within the state title sport, and averaged 19.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and 1.6 apg. Headings (8.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) is an underrated shooter who made an enormous soar final season and will see manufacturing take off this 12 months. Turner (6.4 ppg) gained precious expertise as a starter and will take extra of a management function this 12 months after coming by way of in key moments final 12 months. The group did lose Grid-Hoop stud Alex Kinds to early enrollment to play soccer at Ohio State, however veteran coach Eric Krueger (177-47) is assured his group can repeat. “We’re attempting to re-create that chemistry and it’s not a simple factor to do, however we now have good items and a superb core and needs to be actually good once more,” Krueger stated.
The Skinny: It received’t be simple to repeat as Ohio D1 champs, however regardless of the early lack of Kinds and the commencement of guard Josh Harland, this group is deserving of a excessive rating as a result of it performs onerous always, rebounds nicely and executes nicely. Markell Johnson (6-1, 2023) performed a giant function off the bench and is a flexible expertise, whereas Grid-Hoop stud Rasheem Biles (6-3, 2023) is a giant guard who can present some scoring punch for a group that should discover some knock-down capturing. If Braylin Wells (6-7, 2024), a switch from Akron Buchtel who performed in this system as a freshman, finds his area of interest, this group will probably be rolling come playoff time as a result of he’s expert and athletic. On Dec. 17, the Tigers and No. 23 Centerville will sq. off in a state title rematch sport on the Scholastic Play By Play Basic at Nationwide Enviornment (Columbus, Ohio). The Tigers will then play within the Kingdom of the Solar Match (Ocala, Fla.) Dec. 27-30 and have a monster sport with No. 13 Cathedral on the Flyin’ to the Hoop Match (Kettering, Ohio) on Jan. 16.

15. (43) Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) 25-4
Key Gamers: SF Brady Dunlap 6-6 2023 (No. 82, Notre Dame commit), SG Trent Perry 6-3 2024 (No. 82, SG Robert Hinton 6-4 2024 (No. 107, Harvard commit), PF Jacob Huggins 6-8 2023 (Princeton commit), SF Nikolas Khamenia 6-5 2025 (No. 65
Why This Rating: This group’s core tasted what a big-time win over a FAB 50 playoff foe felt like when it downed CIF energy Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth on the highway, 63-60, to advance to its first ever CIF Southern Part open title sport. The nucleus of the group is again and is hungry to point out it will probably take the subsequent step and problem No. 9 Centennial for CIF part and state open crowns. There’s lots to love as veteran coach Dave Rebibo has one of the balanced fives on the West Coast and a pleasant mix of expertise, youth and dimension. Dunlap (16.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 4 apg) is the main returning scorer and a serious matchup downside along with his inside-out capacity and versatile scoring. Guards Perry and Hinton can’t be labeled when it comes to place and there’s not one facet of the sport both is especially weak in. Khamenia could have a breakout season and the nation will get to know this Slovenian transplant. He’s an murderer on the court docket who can defend a number of positions, deal with, shoot and rating in a varsity of the way. It says lots that Rebibo has terrific particular person expertise at his disposal, however that his beginning lineup is bigger than the sum of its particular person gamers. 

The Skinny: The Wolverines misplaced to Centennial by 20 factors within the CIFSS open title sport and misplaced the rematch to Sierra Canyon within the SoCal open regional playoffs, so there’s work to do with the intention to transfer up from this place. However, that is the Wolverines’ greatest alternative to complete because the Cal-Hello Sports activities State Staff of the Yr since their Jason and Jarron Collins-led 1996-97 unit was No. 1 within the state and No. 4 within the Nationwide Prep Ballot (FAB 50 precursor). Rebibo’s unit goes eight deep and Dominique Bentho (6-8, 2026) provides this membership a bodily presence inside alongside the improved veteran Huggins. “It is a powerful, battle-tested group that may go, deal with and shoot,” Rebibo stated. Harvard-Westlake has received 4 consecutive league Mission League titles, however the stakes to win the league crown simply went up a notch when Sierra Canyon moved in starting this season. The Wolverines get No. 32 Sierra Canyon and residential (Jan. 20) and far improved No. 38 Notre Dame, whom they cut up with final 12 months in league play, on the highway two days earlier. The Wolverines have two powerful video games versus Texas golf equipment Denton Guyer and Prestonwood Christian Academy on the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Dallas, tackle gifted Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) on the Pac Shores Showcase (Dec. 3), play at Hoophall South (Dec. 16-17) versus always-tough Whitney Younger of Chicago and host Bentonville (Ark.). After Christmas, the Wolverines will take part within the always-tough Basic at Damien for the primary time.

RELATED: Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (16-30) | Preseason 2022-23 FAB 50 (31-50) | Preseason East Area Prime 20 | Preseason Southeast Area Prime 20  | Preseason Midwest Area Prime 20 | Preseason Southwest Area Prime 20 | Preseason West Area Prime 20

Notice: The FAB 50 powered by is a continuation of the Nationwide Sports activities Information Service rankings that started in 1952. These have been the primary nationwide highschool rankings and the late Artwork Johlfs of Minnesota compiled them. They have been compiled for a few years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 23 years in the past.

Ronnie Flores is the nationwide Grassroots editor of He will be reached at Don’t neglect to observe him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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