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.
A slew of tournaments and events highlight the Martin Luther King weekend as teams from the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings will get after it.
Some of the top events this weekend include: Spalding Hoophall Classic (Springfield, Mass.); McDonald's Classic (Erie, Pa.); Bass Pro Tournament of Champions (Springfield, Mo.); the Hoop Group's Battle on the Boardwalk (Asbury Park, N.J.); Flyin' to the Hoop (Kettering, Ohio); MLK Dream Classic Shootout (Hillside, Ill.); Big Apple Basketball Invitational (Manhattan, N.Y.) and King Holiday Classic (Seattle).
Four new teams join the ESPN RISE rankings, with No. 38 Chester (Pa.) making the biggest splash after beating rival No. 40 Penn Wood (Lansdowne, Pa.). Chester is Pennsylvania's defending Class AAAA champion and may meet the Patriots up to three more times this season.
No. 27 Winter Park (Fla.) has flopped 12 spots after a 72-64 loss to West Orange (Orlando, Fla.). The Wildcats had more than two weeks between games. "We must have been reading our own press clippings," coach David Bailey said. Winter Park plays No. 14 Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET in the Martin Luther King Classic at Jones High in Orlando.
Records for the ESPN RISE boys' rankings are through Jan. 11.
Game Ball: Tristan Thompson had a career week for No. 3 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), earning ESPN RISE national player of the week honors. Thompson, a 6-foot-9 junior (and one of the nation's best, according to ESPNU), registered a career high with 25 points and added seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists as the Gray Bees crushed Trinity (Camp Hill, Pa.) at the Harrisburg (Pa.) Hoops Festival. He then matched his high with 25 points during an 84-43 victory over Life Center (Burlington, N.J.). Thompson, a Canadian citizen, will sign with Texas in November.
Game of the Week: No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) plays No. 8 Christ School (Arden, N.C.) Monday (4:30 p.m. ET) at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum in a game pitting two national powers. Oak Hill features point guard Lamont Jones, Keith Gallon (Oklahoma) and Moussa Keita (Syracuse), while the Greenies boast center Mason Plumlee, a Duke recruit.
Hall of an event: The eighth annual Spalding Hoophall Classic is a midwinter dream for hoop junkies in New England. The event extends Friday through Monday at Springfield (Mass.) College's Blake Arena.
More than 40 teams -- representing 16 states and the District of Columbia -- will be competing this year, including five of the top 10 schools from this week's ESPN RISE national rankings. Four games on Monday will be broadcast on ESPNU.
ESPN RISE teams participating include: Mater Dei. (Santa Ana, Calif.), Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), St. Benedict's, LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.), South Atlanta (Atlanta), DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.), St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) and Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia).
Also in attendance will be American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.), Hillhouse (New Haven, Conn.), Hotchkiss School (Conn.), Montverde (Fla.) Academy, Mount Vernon (N.Y.), Patterson (N.C.) School, Putnam City (Oklahoma City), St. Andrew's (Barrington, R.I.), Tilton (N.H.) School and Whitney Young (Chicago).
The 2009 event will feature numerous ESPNU 100 players, including No. 1 Xavier Henry (Putnam City); No. 2 Derrick Favors (South Atlanta); No. 4 DeMarcus Cousins (LeFlore); No. 7 Lance Stephenson (Lincoln); No. 11 Dominic Cheek (St. Anthony) and No. 13 Kenny Boynton (American Heritage).
1. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Previous rank: 1
The Monarchs opened up Trinity League play with an easy 101-71 victory over Servite (Anaheim, Calif.). The top starting five in the nation all scored in double figures. David Wear hit for 22, his brother Travis 22, junior Tyler Lamb 14, Gary Franklin 14 and Stanford-bound Andy Brown 11.
2. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Previous rank: 2
After a 23-day layoff, the Warriors are back on the court Thursday against Veritas Christian (Fletcher, N.C.). The schedule intensifies with games against nationally ranked South Atlanta (Atlanta) and Christ School (Arden, N.C.) on Saturday and Monday, respectively. Prior to the Christmas break, the Warriors won the Iolani Prep Classic in Honolulu.
3. St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.)
Previous rank: 3
Tristan Thompson showed why he's one of the nation's top juniors. Thompson, a 6-foot-9 Texas recruit, scored 25 points each in victories over Life Center (Burlington) and Trinity (Camp Hill, Pa.).
4. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Previous rank: 5
The Pilots defeated Eldorado (Las Vegas) 90-48, with all four seniors scoring in double figures. They also defeated Canyon Springs 85-51, recording a season-high 26 assists and connected on 34 of 56 shots (60 percent) and 10-of-16 from beyond the arc (62.5 percent). Illinois commit D.J. Richardson had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Avery Bradley had 16 points and eight assists.
5. St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.)
Previous rank: 4
After winning the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over the holidays, the Celtics had a rude awakening back home, losing to Life Center (Burlington) 59-57. They rebounded by defeating Trenton Catholic 58-48, as George Mason-bound forward Paris Bennett scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. The Celts closed the final seven minutes with a 25-4 run. Also beat St. Augustine (Richland) 58-38.
6. Madison (San Antonio)
Previous rank: 6
The Mavericks are burying their District 26-5A competition with a margin of victory of 31.2 points. Coppin State-bound Jonathan Landry contributed 23 points and eight rebounds in an 87-61 victory over Lee (San Antonio). Cameron Catlett scored 16 in a 71-43 win over Churchill (San Antonio).
7. LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.)
The Rattlers defeated St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.) 74-44. They are 4-0 in Class 5A, Area 1, and are averaging nearly 80 points per game. Thursday's showdown with No. 9 South Atlanta (Atlanta) will be played in Birmingham.
8. Christ School (Arden, N.C.)
The Greenies, who won two national-caliber tournaments in late December, continue their torrid streak, beating Charlotte Latin 75-38 and Cannon School (Charlotte, N.C.) 82-60. Duke-bound center Mason Plumlee averaged 20 points in the wins and recorded a double-double against Cannon (21 points, 13 boards). The Greenies jumped to a quick 8-1 lead and made 11 of 23 3-pointers (47 percent).
9. South Atlanta (Atlanta)
The Hornets' offense kicked in this week, averaging 94 points. Georgia's top-ranked Class 3A team throttled Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) 88-35 and Jackson 100-63. The Hornets have a busy week against No. 7 LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.) on Thursday, and then it's No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) on Saturday.
10. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
Montrose Christian notched wins over T.C. Williams (Alexandria, Va.) 70-53 and KIMA (Washington, D.C.) 64-47. Villanova-bound center Mouphtaou Yarou totaled 53 points in two games, including 23 points, eight rebounds and four blocks against Williams. The Mustangs play twice this weekend at Flyin' to the Hoop in Dayton, Ohio.
11. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
Tennessee-bound junior guard Josh Selby had 18 points in a key 62-53 victory over Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.). The Stags play Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.) Tuesday, but they know Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) comes to town Friday (7:30 p.m. ET) in a game that decides first place in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
12. Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.)
Rice Defeated nationally ranked Christ the King (Middle Village) 71-58, as James Stukes scored 18 points and Durand Scott added 11. The Raiders, who trailed 48-45 after three quarters, opened the fourth with a 9-1 run.
13. Strake Jesuit (Houston)
The Crusaders pushed their win streak to 21 games with a 62-34 victory over Elsik (Alief, Texas). Joey Brooks, a Notre Dame recruit, pumped in a game-high 23 points and Tim Frazier added 19. Brooks had 15 points to pace a balanced attack in a 67-40 win over Northbrook (Houston).
14. Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.)
The Cobras are perfect through 17 games after knocking off Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka, Fla.) 59-52, as Martavious Irving (14 points) and Bryan Byrnes (19) combined for 33 points at the Martin Luther King Classic. In three games last week, Byrnes averaged 19.7 points and Irving 19.
15. Westchester (Los Angeles)
The Comets did not play last week after a successful pre-league that saw them drop only one game, to FAB 50-ranked Winter Park (Fla.). The underclassmen-dominated Comets will have a busy week with three Western League games, including their first showdown No. 17 Fairfax (Los Angeles).
16. Rainier Beach (Seattle)
After a light holiday schedule, the Vikings had no trouble shaking off the rust, rolling to an 83-48 victory over Bishop Blanchet (Seattle). The Vikings should continue to roll in Metro League play, but showdowns with Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) at the 2009 Holiday Hoopfest and Franklin (Seattle) loom. Aaron Dotson, an LSU recruit, is expected to be fully healthy by the key stretch.
17. Fairfax (Los Angeles)
After dropping a two-point game to Dominguez in the finals of the Les Schwab Invitational in Oregon, the Lions were idle last week in a "dead period" within the Los Angeles City Section. Later this week, the Lions host crosstown rival Westchester before what should be a standing-room only crowd.
18. Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.)
The Yellowjackets continue to impress against in-state opponents. County Day routed Davison 91-47 and handed Gabriel Richard (Ann Arbor, Mich.) its first home setback since the 2005-06 season with a 67-54 decision. Bennie Fowler scored 16 and Ray McCallum 12 for the Yellowjackets. Country Day visits Ohio next weekend for a pair of games in the Canton area against GlenOak and Poland Seminary.
19. Lawrence North (Indianapolis)
The Wildcats rebounded from a 31-27 halftime deficit with a 27-10 third quarter run en route to a 76-63 victory over East Chicago Central. Dominique Ferguson, a 6-foot-9 Kentucky recruit, led the way with 14 of his game-high 22 points after halftime and led North with 13 rebounds. He also had two emphatic transition dunks in the third-quarter spurt. North opens the Marion County Tournament Tuesday against rival Ben Davis (Indianapolis).
20. Northland (Columbus, Ohio)
Junior Jared Sullinger, an Ohio State recruit, scored 23 points and collected 12 rebounds as the Vikings dominated Cincinnati Aiken 71-45. Earlier in the week, Northland defeated Columbus East 73-49 and Columbus Whetstone 86-38. The Vikings have two more games next week versus city rivals before facing San Diego (Calif.) High, led by touted junior Jeremy Tyler, in the Flyin' To The Hoop.
21. Olympia (Orlando, Fla.)
Olympia defeated Orlando schools Dr. Phillips 65-61 and West Orange 84-62. Dexter Fields, a UAB recruit, totaled 41 points in two outings. The Titans are off to Springfield, Mo., this weekend for the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions at Missouri State University.
22. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
St. Anthony defeated Colonia 62-52 and Rumson-Fair Haven 44-29. Quinnipiac-bound Jamee Jackson netted 11 of his game-high 19 points in the opening quarter against Rumson. The Friars play three times this week, including an in-state showdown against Plainfield at the Dan Finn Classic at Jersey City's Armory.
23. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
The Royals, ranked No. 1 in the state Class 4A, visited No. 2-ranked Sibley at Mendota Heights and left with a convincing 77-66 victory. All five Royals starters scored in double figures, with Mike Broghammer, a Notre Dame recruit, leading the way with 17 points.
24. McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.)
The defending CIF Division I state champions upped their winning streak to 47 games with two nonleague victories. The first was a 55-39 pasting of Hogan (Vallejo, Calif.), and the second a 66-45 thumping of Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.). Against Jesuit, senior Damon Powell started with a resounding dunk that highlighted a 22-8 first-quarter run. Powell led Mack with 17 points. The team opens league play this week and faces regional powerhouse De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) on Jan. 19.
25. Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.)
The Royals lost to No. 12 Rice (Manhattan) 71-58. Sean Johnson scored 18 points against the Royals' archrival. Rice and CTK are favored to play for the New York City Catholic High School Athletic Association AA championship in March.
Dropped out: No. 28 Wheatley (Houston); No. 38 Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.); No. 46 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.); and No. 50 Etiwanda (Calif.).