High-SchoolIndiana: Alan Huss

NHSI preview: La Lumiere

March, 22, 2012
Team: No. 6 seed La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)
Record, FAB 50 Rank: 25-2, No. 23 (No. 4 in the Midwest)
Head Coach: Alan Huss (48-11 at La Lumiere, 109-49 career record)

Key Players:

Raphael Davis
The 6-foot-5 wing makes La Lumiere go on the perimeter. A Purdue recruit ranked No. 90 in the ESPNU 100, Davis is averaging 22.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Huss mentioned Davis as the team's rock; they struggle when he's not in the lineup. When La Lumiere needs a bucket, they look for Davis. He plays well in transition and also excels in the half court game La Lumiere prefers.

Hanner Perea
The Columbia native has improved by leaps and bounds since he first arrived at Culver Academics (Culver, Ind.) to get an American education and learn the game. Perea, ranked No. 70 in the ESPNU 100, is 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and especially tough to knock off his base defensively. His offensive skills are coming along, but he's still enough of a scoring threat to put down 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds per game. Perea's scoring numbers were 2-3 points higher two-thirds of the way through the season, but he battled nagging injuries down the stretch. The time off might be a hindrance, but a healthy Perea could be the difference if La Lumiere advances past the first game.

Antonio Drummond
This two-year starting guard is the quarterback for La Lumiere's offense. In a lineup that changed more than once during the season, this Southern Illinois recruit was the steady performer. Drummond is not the most athletic guard around, but he tends to make clutch plays when La Lumiere is in need. Averaging 13 points per game, Drummond could be the catalyst to get the Lakers over the hump in that all-important first game.

Road to NHSI:

The Lakers successfully beefed up their schedule in their quest to take the program to a national level. In early December, La Lumiere took on Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky and lost 77-59. Davis wasn't 100 percent in that game. He attempted two field goals and finished with zero points.

Huss makes no excuses for the loss: "They were better than us that day, they didn't turn the ball over."

Right before Christmas the Lakers lost to Elgin (Elgin, Ill.) 40-34 after opening the game completely flat. La Lumiere fell behind 15-2, Elgin slowed the game down and the Lakers never recovered. At that point, they weren't on the FAB 50 map, but that changed when they defeated top seed Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in their next game, 67-66.

La Lumiere hasn't lost since, ending the season with 20 consecutive wins, including victories over Farragut (Chicago) and Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.). La Lumiere's resume looks even better when you consider Findlay Prep hasn't lost since and Elgin advanced to the Illinois Class 4A sectional championship.

Inside Scoop:

La Lumiere is typical Midwest-Big Ten type basketball team. They like to grind it out inside with 6-foot-7 Jay Simpson, a Purdue recruit, and 6-foot-10 sophomore Johnathon Wilkins, the son of former NBA player Jeff Wilkins. The Lakers go eight deep, but rely heavily on Davis to score. "If we lose him, we don't score well and if he struggles we don't play well," Huss said.

The one thing consistent is La Lumiere's defense, especially on the interior with Perea. "He played well against Anthony Bennett (of Findlay Prep) and we match up well with big teams," Huss said.

La Lumiere like their chances to make an impact in this tournament if they can keep turnovers to a minimum. "When it gets to a point where you have to win three games in three days, it comes down to guts, toughness and execution. We like to think we can execute well," Huss said.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

Inside the FAB 50: La Lumiere makes debut

February, 22, 2012
This week’s highest-ranked newcomer to the FAB 50 is No. 32 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.).

The Lakers created national headlines on Dec. 29 when they defeated current FAB 50 No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 67-66 at the Mike Miller Classic event in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Since the 200-student, 47-year-old private co-ed boarding school had no previous comparable wins over an elite prep program, observers couldn't help but wonder if the northern Indiana school was a "one-hit wonder."

After that holiday contest, neither team has lost a game.

Findlay has won 13 in a row, including wins over three top-ranked foes -- No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), No. 6 Simeon (Chicago) and No. 15 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) -- and it is a solid No. 2 in the FAB 50 behind unbeaten Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). The Lakers, meanwhile, are now riding an 18-game win streak with a 24-2 overall record and moved into the FAB 50 for the first time.

To become eligible for the FAB 50, La Lumiere needed to show it does not accept fifth-year seniors and can play schools from its home state high school association. Once the Indiana State High School Association confirmed that the Lakers are in good standing, the only reason they couldn’t be ranked was if their on-the-court resume was not strong enough.

Until a few years ago, La Lumiere was noted mostly for its academics and college prep curriculum. With graduates like Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, the reputation was well-earned.

In 2005, the school, in an effort to improve its athletic program, hired former Indiana high school basketball All-American Delray Brooks as basketball coach. The Lakers improved their talent level under Brooks before he departed after a five-year stint.

Enter current coach Alan Huss in 2010, who had coached at Culver Academics (Culver, Ind.). Beefing up the schedule and talent base even more, the Lakers currently have five college scholarship players on the roster, including 6-foot-5 Raphael Davis (Purdue), 6-foot-8 Hanner Perea (Indiana) and point guard Andre Drummond (Southern Illinois). A touted sophomore is 6-foot-10 Johnathon Wilkins.

Newcomer Mitty familiar with Jeremy Lin

This week’s other newcomer to the FAB 50 is No. 50 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.). And since Jeremy Lin connections are sought wherever possible, we can bring it to the FAB 50 through the Monarchs.

When Lin was a senior at Palo Alto (Calif.) in the 2006 season, Archbishop Mitty stood in the way of Lin’s team as it was going for the CIF Division II state title. Palo Alto had to beat Mitty to win the Central Coast Section crown and then had to get past the Monarchs again in the Northern California championship. Palo Alto won both times (the second time it took a last-second 3-pointer by one of Lin’s teammates) and eventually won the state title.

Mitty’s team that season was led by sophomore Drew Gordon, the older brother of current Monarchs’ sensation Aaron Gordon. Drew is now starring at the University of New Mexico. Aaron still has one more year left of high school.

It’s more of a reach, but two other current FAB 50 schools with ties to Lin would be No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and No. 17 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.). Oak Hill is the alma-mater of Lin’s New York teammate, Carmelo Anthony, while St. Benedict’s is the alma-mater of another teammate, the newly acquired J.R. Smith.

FAB 50 Spotlight Player of the Week
Cleveland “Pancake” Thomas, Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)

The 6-foot-3 senior guard helped the Hornets advance to last year's Class 5A state title game before they lost to St. Augustine (New Orleans).

This year, the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajun recruit wants to close the deal as his team has been seeded No. 1 in the state playoffs that start this week.

Earlier in the season, Thomas led the Hornets to a 54-53 revenge win over St. Augustine.

Last week, in a tune-up game for the playoffs, Thomas scored a game-high 28 points to pace the Hornets to an 86-41 victory over Walker (La.) and push the team's record to 31-2 and up to No. 18 in the FAB 50.

At Louisiana-Lafayette, Thomas will join brother J.J. on the Ragin' Cajun roster.

Looking Ahead: Bishop Gorman season to end

Several teams in this week’s rankings have just two weeks left before hopefully wrapping up their seasons with a state championship.

For No. 15 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), though, its attempt at finishing off its year with a state crown will take place this weekend.

The Gaels, led by Mr. Basketball USA front-runner Shabazz Muhammad, open the Class 4A state tourney Friday night at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno against Douglas (Minden, Nev.).

If Bishop Gorman wins, its state championship opponent will be either Proctor Hug (Reno, Nev.) or Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.).

Last year, just like this year, the Gaels (26-4) were a huge favorite to win their state title, but they were upset in the semifinals by Bishop Manogue (Reno, Nev.).

Of the teams potentially finishing in two weeks, No. 36 Wayne County (Waynesboro, Miss.) already knows it will be in the Class 5A state semifinals on Feb. 28 with a matchup against Starkville (Miss.). The War Eagles are the defending champions and have won 62 of their last 63 games.