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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
State championships reshape FAB 50

Editor's note: The ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, Ronnie Flores, Ryan Canner-O'Mealy and Doug Huff. They will be released each Tuesday throughout the season.

Click here for regional rankings.

Coaches say the basketball season is a marathon not a sprint, but finally the finish line is in sight. Last weekend, key states such as Texas, Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, Georgia and Maryland concluded their seasons; the results helped reshape the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings.

The biggest shake-up occurred in Texas' Class 5A, where No. 29 DeSoto (33-8) took home the title. No. 31 Strake Jesuit (Houston) dropped 26 slots after seeing its 37-game win streak snapped in the semifinals. No. 13 Yates (Houston) won its 17th straight game to annex the Class 4A title.

No. 3 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) won the Non-Public B title but need two wins this week to close out the New Jersey State Tournament of Champions. No. 7 Rice (Manhattan) won the New York CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship, but must wait nearly two weeks for the start of the New York State Federation Class AA tournament to tip. Kudos to Rice Maurice Hicks who became the first coach to win six CHSAA AA interdivisional titles.

No. 14 South Atlanta (Atlanta) and No. 21 Lake Clifton (Baltimore) closed out their season winning state titles in Georgia and Maryland, respectively.

Three teams join the ESPN RISE rankings, DeSoto (Texas), No. 38 King's Fork (Suffolk, Va.) and No. 46 Ames (Iowa) on the heels of state championships.

This weekend tournaments in New York, New Jersey and California wind down and should impact the rankings. The 49th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational opens Thursday with No. 6 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 9 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), a pair of Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powers, vying in the quarterfinals. Gonzaga, the defending champion, is 1-2 vs. DeMatha this season, including a buzzer-beating loss to the Stags in the WCAC final.

Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes earned player of the week honors for his performance in leading his team to an undefeated record and state title.

Three-point play

Game ball: Harrison Barnes of No. 46 Ames (Iowa) saved his best for final week of the season, earning him ESPN RISE player of the week honors. Ames, which became Iowa's first Class 4A team to finish unbeaten since 2006, won its first state title in 18 years and seventh overall during a 55-45 win over Linn-Mar (Marion) before 12,000 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Barnes, a 6-foot-6 junior forward and ESPNU 60 player, had 24 points, including six dunks on 9-of-17 shooting, and eight rebounds as the Little Cyclones (26-0) pulled away in the fourth quarter of finals.

He also scored 23 points (making 7-of-12 shots and 7-of-8 free throws) against Johnston in the semifinals and despite foul trouble dropped 11 points in the quarterfinals against Iowa City West. Barnes is considering schools such as Iowa State, Iowa, Duke and Kansas.

Games of the week: Friday and Saturday true aficionados will flock in droves to Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., for one of the nation's top basketball weekends. The California Interscholastic Federation rolls out 10 boys' and girls' title games during the two-day run. The weekend is headlined by Saturday's donnybrook between No. 5 Westchester (Los Angeles) and No. 10 McClymonds (Oakland) for the Division I crown at 11 p.m. ET.

McClymonds is playing in its third straight title tilt, winning it all in 2008, while Westchester looks to annex its fifth championship under coach Ed Azzam. Overall six of the 10 top-seeds from each region advanced to the state capital venue. Here's the remainder of the boys' pairings (All times Eastern): Friday, St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda)-Windward School (Los Angeles) in Division V, 4:30 p.m.; and Eisenhower (Rialto)-Rocklin in Division II, 11 p.m. Saturday, Salesian (Richmond)-Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) in Division IV, 2:15 p.m. Ocean View (Huntington Beach)-Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco in Division III, 5:45 p.m.

Updates: Derrick Favors, a 6-9 center from South Atlanta High in Atlanta, Ga., was named as the 2009 Naismith National High School Boys' Basketball Player of the Year, by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

He was selected by the club's Board of Selectors, a collection of leading basketball journalists and administrators from around the country, based on performances over the course of the season. Favors, who guided South Atlanta to Georgia's Class AAA championship last weekend, will be honored at an awards banquet on March 23 in Atlanta.

Elsewhere, USA Basketball announced that 6-10, 270-pound prep standout Renardo Sidney of No. 26 Fairfax (Los Angeles) will join the 2009 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select Team roster following the withdrawal of the Georgia Tech-bound Favors. The USA squad will take on the World Select Team in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 11at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. "It's a big responsibility to put on a U-S-A jersey and represent your country, and I'm excited," Sidney said.

The World Select Team roster, which is expected to be announced this month, will consist of 11 players, age 19-years-old or younger from FIBA's five geographic zones.

Records are through March 15.

Rankings: Preseason / Week 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 14 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / Final

Rank Team Record Previous Note
1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 38-0 1 The Warriors will regroup in a few weeks for the National High School Invitational from April 3-5 in North Bethesda, Md. They open with regionally-ranked and four-time South Carolina Independent AAA champion, Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.) on ESPNU, 2 p.m. ET. Coach Steve Smith recently was named the Naismith Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 30-0 2 The Pilots are idle until the National High School Invitational on April 3-5. They open with Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.) in the quarterfinals on ESPNU, 4 p.m. ET.
3 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) 28-3 4 The Celtics beat Trenton Catholic,76-62, in the Non-Public B final. North Carolina-bound Dexter Strickland popped in 20 points, Paris Bennett had 16, sophomore Michael Gilchrist had 15 and junior Kyrie Irving 11. They also drilled Paterson Catholic, 77-52, in the North B final. St. Patrick, the top seed in the New Jersey Tournament of Champions, plays Lenape (Medford) or Neptune Friday at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton in the semifinals, 7:30 p.m. ET. The final is March 23 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, 8 p.m.
4 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) 23-2 6 The Gray Bees are idle until the National High School Invitational which tips on April 3 when they face No. 36 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) in the quarterfinals on ESPNU, 6 p.m. ET.
5 Westchester (Los Angeles) 34-2 7 The Comets won the CIF-Southern California Region Division I title, stopping No. 18 Martin Luther King (Riverside), 53-39. Dominique O'Connor, the City Section player of the year, had 14 points and Jordin Mayes added 12. In the semifinals, they defeated No. 26 Fairfax (Los Angeles), 55-54, as Dwayne Polee (10 points) scored the winning basket with four seconds remaining. Next up is defending champion No. 10 McClymonds (Oakland) Saturday for the Division I title at Sacramento's Arco Arena, 11 p.m. ET.
6 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) 29-3 8 The Stags won the City Title game, defeating Ballou (Washington), 55-48, before 5,000.Naji Hibbert had 20 points and Marcus Rouse added 12. Next up is the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament quarterfinal against Bishop Walsh (Cumberland, Md.) Thursday at 9:15 p.m. ET in Frostburg, Md. The semifinals are Friday at 7:30 and 9:15 p.m. and the final is Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
7 Rice (Manhattan) 23-3 10 The Raiders won the New York Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA intersectional crown, beating No. 12 Christ the King (Middle Village), 67-58. Miami-bound Durand Scott canned 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Maurice Hicks became the first coach to win six AA intersectional titles. In the semifinals, the Raiders needed a 12-0 spurt for a 56-52 lead en route to a 67-58 win over All Hallows (Bronx). Jermaine Sanders struck for 19 points and James Stukes added 13. Next up is the New York City Public School Athletic League AA champion on March 28 in New York State Federation tournament semifinals at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The federation final is March 29 at 2 p.m. ET.
8 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 20-2 9 Idle. Next up is the National High School Invitational on April 3 against Friends Central (Wynnewood, Pa.).
9 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 26-5 11 Idle. The Purple Eagles open their title defense of the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament Thursday against Cathedral (Hamilton, Ont., Canada), 4 p.m. ET, in Frostburg, Md.
10 McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) 29-1 18 Mack is back in the CIF Division I title game for the third straight year. Justin Standley scored all eight of his points in the final two minutes as Mack edged regionally-ranked Monte Vista (Danville), 46-43, in the CIF-Northern California, Division I final. Mack also defeated Newark Memorial, 58-53, in the semifinals and Franklin (Elk Grove), 63-55, in the quarterfinals. Standley struck for 16 points in the semis. Next up is No. 5 Westchester (Los Angeles) Saturday for the Division I title in Sacramento.
11 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 25-4 12 The Royals fell short in the New York CHSAA Class AA final, losing to No. 7 Rice (Manhattan), 67-58. Sean Johnson, the CHSAA AA player of the year, scored 15 points. In the semifinals, Johnson dropped in a game-high 28 points in a 77-69 win over Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn). Season complete.
12 Christ School (Arden, N.C.) 36-2 13 The Greenies won their third straight North Carolina Independent Schools 3A title. Season complete.
13 Yates (Houston) 34-1 27 Game MVP Joseph Young scored 29 points, making 7-of-15 3-pointers, during a 94-78 win over Kimball (Dallas) in the Class 4A final before 15,521 in Austin. Juniors Darius Garner added 20 points and nine assists and Brandon Peters had 18 points and eight boards. In the semifinals, Yates beat Timberview (Mansfield), 76-51. Peters and Garner each had 12 points, topping four players in double figures. The Lions closed on a 17-game win streak. Season complete.
14 South Atlanta (Atlanta) 29-3 19 The Hornets rule Georgia's Class AAA, pounding Westover (Albany), 81-62, in the final. Georgia Tech-bound center Derrick Favors concluded his South Atlanta career with 38 points, 15 rebounds, eight blocks and four assists and Derrick Watkins contributed 16 points. The Hornets toppled Columbia (Decatur),62-53, in the semifinals as Favors scored 26 points. Season complete.
15 Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.) 24-0 15 The Panthers pocketed a Class 4A regional title with wins over Terre Haute South and unbeaten, regionally-ranked New Albany. They routed THS, 66-39, in the finals as guards Jordan Hulls (17 points), an Indiana recruit, and Dee Davis (16 points) combined to score 33 points. South advances to Saturday's Semi-state vs. Franklin Central (Indianapolis).
16 Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 27-0 16 The Royals continue to dominate Class 4A opponents, totaling 196 points in two lopsided playoff wins.
17 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) 22-1 17 The Yellowjackets opened Class B playoffs with three wins. Country Day routed Lahser (Bloomfield Hills), 95-63, and Cranbrook Kingswood, 81-43. They also beat Madison (Madison Heights), 84-60, in the district finals. Against Madison, junior guard Ray McCallum scored 30 points while DaShonte Riley tallied 18 points and 17 rebounds.
18 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) 30-3 21 The Wolves lost to No. 5 Westchester (Los Angeles), 53-39, in the CIF Southern California Region, Division I final. San Diego State-bound forward Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and 12 rebounds. They beat No. 22 Taft (Woodland Hills), 58-46, in the semifinals. Season complete.
19 Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) 27-5 22 The Toreadors lost to previous-No. 21Martin Luther King (Riverside), 58-48, in the CIF Southern California Region, Division I semifinals. Senior guard Justin Hawkins scored 16 points and senior forward Terran Carter added 13 in their final high school games. Season complete.
20 Butler (Huntsville, Ala.) 34-3 25 The Rebels won their second straight Class 5A championship. Season complete.
21 Lake Clifton (Baltimore) 38-0 34 The Lakers captured their first state championship in a decade, defeating Friendly (Fort Washington), 75-50, in the Class 3A final. Will Barton dropped in 14 of his 20 points in the first half. Cleveland Melvin added 17 points and Antonio Barton had 16. Season complete.
22 Thornton (Harvey, Ill.) 28-1 23 The Wildcats extended their win streak to 28 games capturing a Class 4A sectional title, defeating Bloom (Chicago Heights), 53-40, and Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights), 55-39. They play Tuesday in the Super-sectional against Belleville East.
23 Northland (Columbus, Ohio) 23-1 24 The Vikings captured a Division 1district title, beating Westerville North, 59-56. Junior Jared Sullinger, an Ohio State recruit, had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
24 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 31-2 3 After rattling off 30 straight wins to open the season, the Monarchs bowed out of the CIF-Southern California Region, Division I playoffs in a 79-64 decision to No. 26 Fairfax (Los Angeles). David Wear and junior Tyler Lamb each scored 19 points. The Monarchs topped Chino Hills, 88-55, in the first round. Lamb and Travis Wear had 19 points apiece. Season complete.
25 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 26-3 14 The Saints were shocked by Archbishop Carroll (Radnor), 70-65, in the Class AAA quarterfinals. In the second-round, they beat Susquehanna Township, 65-51, as junior Tyreek Duren popped in 20 points. Season complete.

Rank Team Record Previous
26 Fairfax (Los Angeles) 27-5 26
27 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) 29-3 28
28 Bearden (Knoxville, Tenn.) 35-2 29
29 DeSoto (Texas) 33-8 NR
30 Pershing (Detroit) 20-1 31
31 Strake Jesuit (Houston) 37-1 5
32 Franklin (Seattle) 28-1 39
33 Fayetteville (Ark.) 30-0 33
34 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) 26-2 35
35 Cedar Hill (Texas) 34-0 30
36 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) 31-3 36
37 Princeton (Cincinnati) 21-1 38
38 King's Fork (Suffolk, Va.) 31-1 NR
39 Holmes (Covington, Ky.) 32-2 40
40 Jamesville-Dewitt (Dewitt, N.Y.) 24-1 42
41 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) 25-7 44
42 Friends Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) 28-2 46
43 Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 27-3 47
44 Mount Vernon (N.Y.) 25-4 NR
45 Centennial (Champaign, Ill.) 30-1 48
46 Ames (Iowa) 26-0 NR
47 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) 26-7 36
48 Norcross (Ga.) 27-3 50
49 Petersburg (Va.) 30-1 20
50 Paterson Catholic (Paterson, N.J.) 26-5 41

Dropped out: No. 32 Lawrence North (Indianapolis); No. 43 Mount Vernon (N.Y.); No. 45 Jenks (Okla.); No. 49 Hall (Little Rock, Ark.).