Only one new team cracks this week’s GrassrootsHoops.net FAB 50 national rankings. It’s longtime NYC power Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.), but it came at the expense of another Big Apple squad. Read along for our explanation and understand why local consensus is so important — and why as veteran pollsters we sometimes have to go against it.
By Ronnie Flores
Contributing: Mark Tennis
This week we wish we could rank 51 teams. Tough decisions had to be made and the odd squad out is a team that was actually in last week’s Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 — previous No. 35 Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Jeff is now 21-3 entering this week after losing on the road 82-77 to Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in a key win for first-year Railsplitters coach Kenny Pretlow. The Orange Wave were looking to go unbeaten in the PSAL’s ultra competitive Brooklyn AA division, but it wasn’t to be as senior Jahlil Tripp recorded 19 points and 16 rebounds while senior post Greg Poleon came up huge with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Lincoln in its five-point win.
Lincoln has produced high school and Grassroots greats such as two-time prep All-American Stephon Marbury, 2004 Mr. Basketball USA Sebastian Telfair and current NBA wing Lance Stephenson. All three of them were coached by Dwayne “Tiny” Morton, who is now at Seton Hall. Nobody was sure if Lincoln was going to remain a PSAL power, but entering this week Lincoln is 21-2 and now back on the national scene as the only newcomer to this week’s FAB 50. The Railsplitters check in at No. 44.
Going Against Local Consensus
Since we’ve began doing weekly polls in the 1987-88 season — and studying the results of seasons well before that — we factor in credible state and regional rankings produced by local newspapers or prep websites. We usually go with the local consensus but unfortunately for Jefferson we can’t this week.
Lincoln lost early to Jeff 98-86, but there simply isn’t room for four NYC teams in the FAB 50 this week. We had to make a decision to either leave Jeff ranked ahead of Lincoln because of the split, place the Orange Wave behind No. 39 Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.), or drop them from the rankings.
NYCHoops.net now has Lincoln No. 1 in the Big Apple followed by Jefferson, Cardozo and Wing’s Academy (Bronx, N.Y.), but our decision was to drop Jefferson, reward Lincoln and not punish the other two.
Cardozo, which has only lost to Christ the King (Queens, N.Y.), remained put, as did Wing’s Academy at No. 46. Both Jeff and Lincoln have lost to Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) , which has been FAB 50 ranked at some point this season along with CTK. Lincoln has one less loss (a factor) while Jeff’s third loss is to No. 16 Fairfax (Los Angeles). Other than having one less loss, when a team loses also plays a factor and for the Orange Wave the second loss came at the wrong time because no other team deserved to drop from the FAB 50.
We made room for Lincoln in front of Wing’s Academy, which has lost to Cardozo and No. 31 Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.), but just couldn’t drop any of the five unbeatens ranked behind Lincoln at this point in the season.
We have a feeling the rankings in NYC will continue to shuffle as the PSAL playoffs and Federation Tournament bring more key results to analyze. It wouldn’t surprise us to see Jefferson climb right back in the FAB 50 mix as it’s definitely worthy of national recognition.
Some times going against local consensus does work as the recent Nike Extravaganza proved. Local pollsters and credible national outlets had Fairfax higher than Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), but the Monarchs held serve at home to record a 47-34 victory. As a result, Mater Dei cracked the top 10 of the FAB 50, moving up one spot. Fairfax didn’t deserve to be penalized much, if at all, and check in at No. 16, one spot lower than last week.
Updated Grassroots Hoops FAB 50
Boys Basketball National Team Rankings
(Eighth poll of the 2014-15 regular season; Through games played on Sunday, February 8; Previous ranking in listed in second column under “Prev.”; *Indicates forfeit wins, forfeit losses not included)
|1||1||Montverde Academy||(Montverde, Fla.)||26-1|
|3||3||Oak Hill Academy||(Mouth of Wilson, Va.)||37-1*|
|4||4||Cape Henry Collegiate||(Virginia Beach, Va.)||23-2|
|5||8||DeMatha Catholic||(Hyattsville, Md.)||24-1|
|6||9||St. Vincent-St. Mary||(Akron, Ohio)||17-0|
|7||5||Bishop O'Dowd||(Oakland, Calif.)||17-4|
|9||10||Wesleyan Christian Academy||(High Point, N.C.)||27-4|
|10||11||Mater Dei||(Santa Ana, Calif.)||22-3|
|12||13||Bishop Montgomery||(Torrance, Calif.)||24-1|
|13||20||Roselle Catholic||(Roselle, N.J.)||17-2|
|15||16||St. Rita||(Chicago, Ill.)||19-2|
|16||15||Fairfax||(Los Angeles, Calif.)||25-1|
|17||17||Sierra Canyon||(Chatsworth, Calif.)||18-3|
|18||18||Corona del Sol||(Tempe, Ariz.)||25-1|
|19||22||Chaminade||(St. Louis, Mo.)||17-3|
|20||23||St. Anthony||(Jersey City, N.J.)||16-1|
|21||24||La Lumiere||(LaPorte, Ind.)||19-2|
|22||19||Greensboro Day||(Greensboro, N.C.)||28-2|
|25||29||Ely||(Pompano Beach, Fla.)||23-0|
|27||28||Villa Angela-St. Joseph||(Cleveland, Ohio)||14-2|
|28||30||Wayne||(Huber Heights, Ohio)||15-3|
|29||7||Findlay Prep||(Henderson, Nev.)||20-2|
|31||21||Roman Catholic||(Philadelphia, Pa.)||20-2|
|32||32||Dominican||(Whitefish Bay, Wis.)||14-1|
|33||33||Archbishop Carroll||(Wayne, Pa.)||17-5|
|35||36||Cardinal Gibbons||(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)||27-1|
|36||37||East Kentwood||(Kentwood, Mich.)||15-0|
|37||38||Champlin Park||(Champlin, Minn.)||22-0|
|40||43||Bishop Gorman||(Las Vegas, Nev.)||20-6|
|41||41||Parkview||(Little Rock, Ark.)||18-1|
|42||42||Plano West||(Plano, Texas)||24-2|
|45||45||South||(Blue Springs, Mo.)||19-0|
|46||46||Wing's Academy||(Bronx, N.Y.)||21-2|
|47||47||Regis Jesuit||(Denver, Colo.)||19-0|
|48||48||Iowa City West||(Iowa City, Iowa)||17-0|
|50||50||Sacred Heart||(Waterbury, Conn.)||16-0|
Dropped Out: Previous No. 35 Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Bubble Teams: Ballard (Louisville, Ky.) 24-2; Bel Air (El Paso, Texas) 27-0; Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, Texas) 23-2; Centennial (Corona, Calif.) 19-4; Central (Beaumont, Texas) 25-3; Damien (La Verne, Calif.) 21-3; De Soto (De Soto, Texas) 25-4; Franklin (Franklin, Ohio) 17-1; Germantown (Germantown, Wis.) 17-0; Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) 18-4; Lancaster (Lancaster, Texas) 23-4; Laney (Augusta, Ga.) 24-1; Lake Forest (Lake Forest, Ill.) 21-1; Linden (Linden, N.J.) 15-4; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 19-3; Norfolk (Norfolk, Neb.) 19-0; Oldsmar Christian (Oldsmar, Fla.) 28-4*; Ozen (Beaumont, Texas) 24-3; Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) 20-5; Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) 21-3; Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.) 28-1; Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 16-2; Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 18-4; Rainier Beach (Seattle, Wash.) 17-3; Reitz (Evansville, Ind.) 20-0; Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 25-3; Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) 17-1; St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.) 20-4; St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.) 22-3; Thomas Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 21-3; Tift County (Tifton, Ga.) 24-1; Velma Jackson (Camden, Miss.) 25-2; Western International (Detroit, Mich.) 14-0; Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 23-3.
Note: The Grassroots Hoops FAB 50 is a continuation of the National Sports News Service ratings that began in 1952. These were the first national high school rankings and they were compiled by the late Art Johlfs of Minnesota. They were compiled for many years by the late Barry Sollenberger of Phoenix, who merged them into the FAB 50 15 years ago.