High-SchoolNew-York: Isaiah Whitehead

New York Week 12 hoops rankings: Playoff time is here

February, 28, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The past week provided some outcomes that could be telling for the future, like Christ the King falling to an upstart Holy Cross team in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan tournament and St. Raymond avenging two earlier losses to Cardinal Hayes with a win in the Archdiocesan tournament.

But of course, while history has its place, come playoff time, it's all about the now. Thomas Jefferson is the hottest team in the state, Lincoln hopes to end its recent skid now that star sophomore Isaiah Whitehead is back, Mount Vernon is relying on its experience and Boys & Girls has been known to make its most noise in the postseason. Only time will tell.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 18-2 (1)
Knights overcame foul trouble with its two biggest stars (Isaiah Cousins and Jarrel Marshall) to down New Rochelle 74-59 in the Class AA quarterfinals. Next up: Clarkstown South on Friday.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 22-6 (3)
Top-seeded Orange Wave opens play in PSAL Class AA playoffs on Wednesday against Robeson.

3. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 20-6 (4)
As was the case the last two years when they won the city title, the Kangaroos are seeded second as they begin play in the PSAL Class AA playoffs against Gompers on Wednesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

NY Week 9 hoops rankings: Christ the King is new No. 1

February, 7, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

About two weeks ago, following a 38-point loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) in front of a national TV audience, some may have written off Christ the King, which had lost two of its last three. But in one swift weekend, the Royals reminded everyone of the potential surrounding last year's Federation runner-up.

UConn-bound Omar Calhoun put on a show, pouring in 33 points during a road victory against St. Raymond before dropping 27 in a win against Cardinal Hayes. The result was the top ranking in this week's state rankings and critical momentum as the playoffs loom. Led by Calhoun's 24.6 points per game, the Royals boast two other double-digit scorers in three-point specialist Jon Severe (12.8) and junior Isaiah Lewis (11.2).

While CTK is on the rise, Lincoln hopes it can avoid a great fall. The Railsplitters enter the Brooklyn Borough playoffs without their best player, Isaiah Whitehead, who is expected to sit out the tournament with an ankle injury. Lincoln showed it can excel without their super sophomore by securing a few wins while Whitehead sat out with injury and eligibility issues.

Meanwhile, Jefferson continues its rise, winning four games last week, including a 95-92 overtime decision against Boys & Girls to clinch its first ever Brooklyn Borough AA title. Thaddeus Hall went off in the win with 30 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Christ the King (Middle Village) 15-6 (9)
Royals vaulted up to No. 1 after Omar Calhoun dropped 33 points in a win against St. Raymond and 27 in a victory against No. 6 Cardinal Hayes. Next up: St. Francis Prep on Tuesday.

2. Jefferson (Brooklyn) 18-5 (5)
Thaddeus Hall scored a career-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds in a 95-92 overtime win against previous No. 1 Boys & Girls. Next up: Brooklyn borough playoffs.

3. Mount Vernon 14-2 (4)
Knights breezed past Mamaroneck to push win streak to four games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings.

Lots of movement in Week 6 NY hoops rankings

January, 18, 2012
After games of Tuesday, Jan. 17

It proved to be a tough week for many New York teams. Just days after Isaiah Whitehead proclaimed his team the best in NYC following a win against Boys & Girls, Lincoln lost its first league game to Jefferson, leading Railsplitter coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton to call his star guard "soft."

Jamesville-DeWitt lost to nationally ranked Milton (Ga.) by 41 points. Christ the King followed up a third-place showing over the weekend at the Bass Pro Tournament in Missouri with a 38-point loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) during Monday's Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts. Aquinas Institute fell just short of upsetting nationally ranked Chester (Pa.). And St. Raymond has now lost three straight games, dropping the Ravens out of this week's rankings.

After all the dust settled, Mount Vernon emerged unblemished, winning four games to move to 29th in the latest POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon (St. Ursula) 9-1 (1)
Knights capped a 4-0 week with a win against Cardozo. Next up is a test at the Montverde Invitational in Florida on Jan. 26.

2. Lincoln (Brooklyn) 15-3 (2)
The Railsplitters looked impressive in a Saturday win against No. 4 Boys & Girls before being stunned by Jefferson in league play on Tuesday.

3. Cardinal Hayes (Bronx) 14-1 (7)
The Cardinals showed they are for real by downing previously ranked St. Raymond behind Jalen Jenkins' 22 points.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York hoops rankings

Stock is rising for Whitehead, Shepard and Whelpley

January, 6, 2012
Each week, we'll take a look back at our New York preseason All-State basketball team and update you on how some of those players are faring this year. There will be a Prime-Time Player (PTP), an Other Top Player (OTP) and an Under the Radar (UTR) player who is making his case as one of the state's top ballers.

Here's who to keep an eye on after the first few weeks of the season:

PTP: Isaiah Whitehead, Lincoln, Sophomore
After being sideline by an injury and eligibility issues, Whitehead has come back strong for the Railsplitters. Over the holidays, Whitehead dropped 25 points in the semis to push the state's top-ranked team into the MaxPreps Holiday Classic Exhibition Division final before falling to nationally ranked Mater Dei (Calif.). Whitehead then stopped Lincoln before losing its first in-state contest by draining a 3-pointer in the final seconds of a 57-55 win against Robeson on Thursday. Another big output will be necessary for Lincoln to challenge Lone Peak (Utah) on Saturday in the Under Armour Brandon Jennings Classic in Wisconsin.

OTP: Shamiek Shepard, South Shore, Junior
With NYC pitted against Philly in the Villa Classic, the junior forward helped chalk up a win for NYC and the Vikings by scoring 21 points in a 58-52 victory against Imhotep, the defending Philadelphia Public League city champs.

UTR: Ryan Whelpley, Archbishop Walsh, Senior
The senior forward tallied 27 points and eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career on Wednesday. Whelpley also grabbed 19 rebounds, pushing his season averages to 20.6 points and 14.9 boards. He now ranks 15th all time on the state list.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Lincoln moves up in Week 3 New York hoops rankings

December, 27, 2011
After games ending Dec. 26

Christ the King, Boys & Girls, Jamesville-DeWitt have all had their star players but haven't been able to avoid losses this year. On the other hand, Lincoln has played two games without star Isaiah Whitehead and still boasts a 7-0 record. For that, the Railsplitters have shot up to the state's No. 2 spot and into the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Just ahead of them is Mount Vernon, which started 2-0 to take over the No. 1 ranking in light of Boys & Girls' loss to South Shore. Still, the Knights face a tough test in nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) this week.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mount Vernon 2-0 (1)
After two blowout wins, Knights face big test in national No. 22 Neumann-Goretti this week.

2. Lincoln 7-0 (5)
Railsplitters move up and debut at No. 26 in POWERADE FAB 50 after knocking off Baltimore power Patterson. The tough road continues in a California holiday tournament this week.

3. Boys & Girls 6-1 (1)
Kangaroos suffered first loss against South Shore, will look to bounce back against Vaux (Pa.) this week.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

Boys & Girls is new No. 1 after knocking off Christ the King

December, 14, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

When Leroy Fludd lined up against Christ the King star Omar Calhoun, the Boys & Girls senior had one thing in mind: to prove he was the top player in NYC.

Such a claim can't be settled in just one game, but Fludd certainly gained people's attention by dropping 23 points and leading the Kangaroos to a 64-59 upset of the state's then-top ranked team. Calhoun finished with 18 points.

As a result, the defending PSAL champs are the new No. 1 this week, overtaking idle Mount Vernon and debuting in the POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 24

Jamesville-DeWitt also dropped a few spots after losing its opener to DeMatha (Md.), the nation's No. 10 team. The Red Rams hung tough in the National High School Hoops Fest until Dajuan Coleman was sent to the bench with his third foul, sparking an 18-0 run by DeMatha. Such tough games should pay huge dividends down the line, though.

Lastly, Lincoln looked impressive, going 2-0 without star Isaiah Whitehead, who was out with academic problems and a knee injury. The sophomore is expected to be back for Friday's game against Grady. Likewise, Cardinal Hayes debuts after an undefeated start, backing up the belief by many local coaches that the Cardinals are a team to watch.

Here are this week's state rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Boys & Girls (Brooklyn) 5-0 (5)
The Kangaroos jump into the top spot after upsetting nationally ranked Christ the King behind Leroy Fludd's 23 points.

2. Mount Vernon 0-0 (2)
Isaiah Cousins leads the nation's No. 26 team when the season opens next Monday against Gompers.

3. Christ the King (Middle Village) 1-1 (1)
The Royals drop a couple spots after falling to an emerging Boys a Girls squad, but will look to recover during the holiday tournament season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings.

Five Days of List-Mas: NY's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in New York? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Justin Combs (SR), Iona Prep, Football
Credentials: son of Diddy, UCLA recruit, played three positions at Iona Prep

4. Isaiah Whitehead (SO), Lincoln, Basketball
Credentials: No. 20 in ESPNU 25, primed to follow former Lincoln stars Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair into NBA

3. Chad Kelly, St. Joe's Collegiate Football
Credentials: Elite 11 finalist, Clemson recruit, Under Armour All-American, only QB in state to ever pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards, nephew of former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly

2. Omar Calhoun (SR), Christ the King, Basketball
Credentials: No. 27 in ESPNU 100, UConn recruit, led Royals to 2010 state Federation Class AA title

1. Dajuan Coleman (SR), Jamesville-DeWitt, Basketball
Credentials: No. 14 in ESPNU 100, Syracuse recruit, led Red Rams to three straight Class A state titles, three-time Elite 24 participant

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Christ the King holds top spot, awaits No. 5 Boys & Girls

December, 8, 2011
Only a few games have gotten underway in the Empire State, making for minimal movement in the first batch of weekly rankings. But that could all change with some big matchups looming this weekend.

Top-ranked Christ the King, which opened with a tough road win against Jefferson, will face No. 5 Boys Girls on Saturday. That same day, No. 6 Lincoln and super sophomore Isaiah Whitehead will battle No. 10 South Shore, which debuts in the rankings after a 3-0 start.

Nationally, Christ the King moved up two spots to No. 22 while idle Mount Vernon benefited from the losses of others and rose to 29th in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Here's how the first weekly rankings shake out (preseason rankings in parentheses):

1. Christ the King (Middle Village) 1-0 (1)
The Royals opened with a tough road against Jefferson. Next up: No. 5 Boys & Girls on Saturday.

2. Mount Vernon 0-0 (2)
The defending state Federation champs will open the season Dec. 19 against Gorton.

3. Jamesville-DeWitt 0-0 (3)
The four-time defending Class A champs open the season Thursday against Henninger.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New York basketball rankings