There are more than 18,000 high schools nationwide with boys’ hoops programs, but only 50 have the credentials to reside in the FAB 50 National Team Rankings powered by Ballislife.com.
The following steps can land your basketball team in the FAB 50 rankings:
Play the strongest schedule possible.
Teams which desire to be ranked in the FAB 50 play competitive schedules, including tournaments or showcases with opponents who could be ranked. The adage “If you want to be the best, beat the best” holds true.
Defeat a FAB 50-ranked team.
Upsets are common in boys’ hoops, but beating a ranked team — especially a winning team with a good track record — can make a huge statement.
Own significant head-to-head victories.
These results carry weight among the editors compiling the FAB 50. A non-ranked team has a strong argument if it defeats a ranked team — or previously ranked team. Sometimes in basketball, there are “fluke” wins, where a non-ranked team upsets a highly-ranked team, then goes back to playing at the level it did previously. That’s why a pattern of success or winning a tournament with multiple FAB 50-ranked teams is a sure way to move up or into the rankings.
Earn a high ranking in your state or region.
The FAB 50 takes into consideration credible state rankings. If a team wants to be nationally ranked, it must be a consensus top choice in its own state or local rankings.
Root for your rivals.
If an opponent you’ve defeated beats some highly ranked teams during its season, it makes a case for a ranking. This is especially true in basketball where top-ranked teams schedule non-league games against each other or meet down the line in the playoffs.
Come from one of the traditional hoops hotbeds.
A successful program’s location in a traditional hotbed for boys’ basketball such as New York City, Philadelphia, California, or Illinois certainly doesn’t hurt its chances to be ranked. This category has expanded and contracted over the years. For instance, high school basketball in Texas once lagged behind spring football. Memphis has long been a hoops stronghold and now receives long-deserved national recognition.
Dominate a non-power state.
Plenty of ranked teams fit into this category. That is why teams with extended and dominant in-state successes make the cut. They’ve earned their spot by setting standards in those states (multiple state title streaks, record victory streaks, etc.).
Have a top recruit on your team.
“Wait a minute,” you might say. “I thought the FAB 50 rankings were based on game results, not player rankings.” That is true, the FAB 50 is based on game results. But with the explosion of national events, holiday tournaments and intersectional competition, boys’ basketball has the most solid foundation to rank teams among the high school sports. That relates to individual talent because in basketball, one player can make a difference. Having a player near the top of the 247Sports, Rivals.com, ESPN.com or Hoop Scoop player rankings increases the likelihood of being invited to a tournament or showcase. That’s where the opportunity to defeat another ranked team lies.
Basketball rankings are the most pure of the national ratings since there are more measuring sticks and barometers to base judgments and team positioning.
FAB 50 Basketball Policy: We do not rank teams with players on the roster that have completed eight semesters of high school i.e. 5th-year players. We do not rank programs that don’t follow age cutoff guidelines of the state association in which the program resides or the recommended date outlined by the NFHS (19 before September 1). Programs also must be recognized by a high school athletics governing body or be an associate member of a state association. Generally, programs must be allowed to play members schools of the state association in which the program resides and, outside of recruiting, follow all other rules of the high school governing body in that particular state. If coaches intentionally provide false or misleading information about his/her program, it automatically disqualifies that particular program from inclusion in the FAB 50 this year and each subsequent year.