2007 Boys Basketball Rankings: Jan. 15
Seems there is a revolving door atop the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 boys basketball rankings. For the fourth time in as many ranking periods, a new team has assumed the No. 1 position: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.).
Apparently, national parity is alive and kicking.
The Monarchs moved up a slot after pushing their record to 18-0. Mater Dei, under coach Gary McKnight, is one of the nation's storied programs. Last season, Mater Dei won California's Division II title, beating Archbishop Mitty 69-64 in overtime. This week, McKnight's club plays twice, against St. John Bosco (Bellflower) on Wednesday and Orange Lutheran on Friday.
Mater Dei has New Jersey's Holy Trinity nipping at its heels, featuring No. 2 St. Anthony (Jersey City), No. 3 St. Patrick (Elizabeth) and No. 4 St. Benedict's (Newark).
St. Benedict's slipped three spots after losing to Academy of the New Church (Bryn Athlyn, Pa.) 53-50 on Jan. 8, but the Gray Bees knocked off No. 9 Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.) 56-53 Sunday to help atone for the setback.
St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) fell twice last week after rattling off 13 straight wins. The No. 12 Ravens dropped nine slots after those losses to St. Patrick and Rice.
No. 19 Saginaw (Michigan) took the biggest hit, dropping 11 spots after losing to archrival Arthur Hill (Saginaw), but should rebound.
For the first time this season, no teams dropped out of the ESPN HIGH Elite 25 rankings. That should change next week, with multiple tournaments and events scheduled for the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. The events with the most impact are: Spalding Hoophall Classic (Springfield, Mass.); Bass Pro Tournament of Champions (Springfield, Mo.); McDonald's Classic (Erie, Pa.); Battle on the Boardwalk (Asbury Park, N.J.); MLK Dream Classic Shootout (Hillside, Ill.); and Prime Time Shootout Tour II (Atlanta).
This weekend is one of the two final weekends of the regular season -- Feb. 8-10, with the Prime Time Shootout in New Jersey, being the other -- in which the rankings could see multiple shifts (barring numerous upsets). -- Christopher Lawlor
|ESPN HIGH Elite 25 High School Boys Basketball Rankings|
|RANK (PREV. RANK)||TEAM||RECORD||COMMENT|
|1 (2)||Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif.||18-0||Recap: Defeated then-No. 18 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) 74-61. Sophomore David Wear scored 21 points, making nine of 14 shots. Wear's twin brother, Travis, will miss a month with a torn muscle in his left shin. Defeated JSerra (San Capistrano) 85-70 as Gary Franklin dropped a career-high 31 points, nailing eight 3-pointers.|
|2 (4)||St. Anthony, Jersey City, N.J.||11-0||Recap: Defeated Life Center (Burlington) 72-43. Mike Rosario, a Rutgers recruit, and junior Dominic Cheek scored 16 points apiece as the Friars built a 25-5 lead after one quarter. The Friars gear up for Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.), the defending state champion, Monday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.|
|3 (5)||St. Patrick, Elizabeth , N.J.||12-1||Recap: The Celtics won four games last week, highlighted by a 64-56 victory over then-No. 3 St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) at the Nike Super Six Invitational in New York. Quintrell Thomas earned game MVP honors with 25 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard Dexter Strickland had 11 points and seven assists on the day he announced he will attend North Carolina. Defeated previously unbeaten Trenton Catholic 71-53. Michael Gilchrist, one of the nation's top freshmen, scored 10 points.|
|4 (1)||St. Benedict's, Newark, N.J.||14-1||Recap: Defeated No. 9 Rice (Manhattan, N.Y.) 55-52 at the Nike Super Six Invitational. Game MVP Samardo Samuels, an ESPN 150 player, collected 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Tamir Jackson and Greg Echenique each scored 15 points. Samuels' 3-point play in final minute gave the Gray Bees a 52-49 lead. Lost to Academy of the New Church (Bryn Athlyn, Pa.) 53-50.|
|5 (6)||Duncanville, Texas||23-1||Recap: The Panthers won their ninth straight game, defeating DeSoto 64-61 in an overtime thriller. Junior Roger Franklin drilled a 28-foot jump shot at the buzzer for the winning points. Franklin scored his team's final 12 points, including all eight in overtime.|
|6 (7)||LeFlore, Mobile, Ala.||19-1||Recap: Defeated Satsuma 89-33 as D.J. Woods scored 17 points and Marquette-bound Nick Williams added 16. Also defeated Mary Montgomery 73-38 behind 14 points from James Buford and 11 apiece from Woods and Williams.|
|7 (9)||Archbishop Mitty, San Jose, Calif.||14-0||Recap: The Lions won three games without UCLA-bound center Drew Gordon, an ESPN 150 player. Gordon will miss at least another week with a sprained right foot. He should return for Monday's game against nationally ranked Holy Cross (Queens, N.Y.) at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. The biggest scare came in a 50-43 victory over St. Ignatius (San Francisco). The Lions needed a 20-10 fourth-quarter showing to erase a 33-30 deficit.|
|8 (10)||Gonzaga, Washington, D.C.||17-0||Recap: Defeated Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.) 69-54, Paul IV (Fairfax, Va.) 53-43 and Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.) 61-48. The Eagles are 8-0 in the rugged Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. |
|9 (11)||Rice, Manhattan, N.Y.||11-2||Recap: Defeated then-No. 3 St. Raymond (Bronx) 81-74 in overtime. Kemba Walker scored 29 points, and Dorvell Carter added 14. Lost to No. 4 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.) 56-53 at the Nike Super Six Invitational at Madison Square Garden. The Connecticut-bound Walker led all scorers with 18 points. The Raiders play this weekend at the McDonald's Classic in Erie, Pa., where they might face No. 3 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) in the title game.|
|10 (12)||Yates, Houston||13-2||Recap: Defeated Waltrip (Houston) 72-57 as four players hit double figures. E.J. Kirby and Darius Gardiner each scored 15 points.|
|11 (13)||Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.||17-3||Recap: After a two-week layoff, the Warriors returned to action with a 72-53 win over William Fleming (Roanoke) and a 101-61 win over Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.). Brandon Jennings, No. 1 in the ESPN 150 player rankings, totaled 79 points in the two wins, including 41 against Mountain State. Junior center Tiny Gallon added 24 points and 13 rebounds in the same game. Coach Steve Smith collected his 700th victory in the win over William Fleming and is 701-34 since the 1984-85 season.|
|12 (3)||St. Raymond, Bronx, N.Y.||13-2||Recap: Lost to league rival Rice (Manhattan) 81-74 in overtime. West Virginia-bound guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant's 17 points weren't enough in another loss, 64-56 to St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) at the Nike Super Six at Madison Square Garden. The Ravens play No. 13 Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) Monday at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.|
|13 (14)||Taft, Woodland Hills, Calif.||12-2||Recap: The offense averaged more than 90 points in two East Valley League wins. North Carolina-bound guard Larry Drew had a rare triple-double -- 10 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists -- in a 95-44 win over Granada Hills. Defeated El Camino Real (Woodland Hills) 86-36. Justin Hawkins poured in a game-high 24 points.|
|14 (15)||Mount St. Joseph, Baltimore||14-1||Recap: The defense squeezed its opponents in a 50-42 win over Loyola (Baltimore), a 52-27 victory over Spaulding (Baltimore) and a 62-37 triumph over McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.). The Gaels allowed 32 points per game and will need that defense Sunday against No. 11 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).|
|15 (16)||Westchester, Los Angeles||16-2||Recap: Defeated Los Angeles schools LACES 81-36 and Hamilton 90-62.|
|16 (17)||Norcross, Ga.||13-1||Recap: The Blue Devils delighted a national television audience Thursday, beating Helen Cox (Harvey, La.) 59-48. Wake Forest-bound forward Al-Farouq Aminu totaled 29 points and 13 rebounds. Also defeated Duluth 88-34 and twice defeated North Gwinnett (Suwanee), 61-50 and 83-54.|
|17 (19)||Dominguez, Compton, Calif.||13-2||Recap: Defeated Gahr (Cerritos) 67-63. The junior backcourt of Darrell Espy (24 points, six 3-pointers) and Jordan Hamilton (22 points, 16 rebounds) was the difference for the Dons. Sophomore guard Kevin Smith contributed 18 points, 10 rebound and five steals in a 75-35 victory over Downey. The Dons play three games this week, including Saturday's tilt against powerhouse Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) in the Dream Classic at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. Hargrave, a prep school, annually features several Division I players.|
|18 (20)||Christ the King, Queens, N.Y.||9-2||Recap: Defeated King's Fork (Suffolk, Va.) 76-65 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Roundball Classic. George Mason-bound forward Ryan Pearson scored a game-high 27 points, and Erving Walker added 14 as the Royals won their fifth straight.|
|19 (8)||Saginaw, Mich.||10-1||Recap: Defeated Flint Central 82-55 and Romulus 77-64. Lost to Arthur Hill (Saginaw) 63-56.|
|20 (21)||Fairfax, Los Angeles||12-2||Recap: Defeated Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 57-53. Josh Gilmore scored 18 points, sinking four 3-pointers.|
|21 (22)||Word of God Christian Academy, Raleigh, N.C.||16-0||Recap: Won twice, setting up for a big week. Defeated Flora Macdonald (Red Springs) 74-35 as Lance Beckwith scored 15 points. Beat Trinity Christian (Fayetteville) 67-62 behind Milton Chavis' 20 points. This week, the Holy Rams play Ravenscroft (Raleigh), starring 6-10 Ryan Kelly (24.4 ppg), on Wednesday and archrival Mount Zion (Durham) on Saturday. The Holy Rams average 77.4 points per game, with four players scoring in double figures, led by junior Jonathan Wall (14.2).|
|22 (18)||Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.||17-2||Recap: Lost to then-No. 2 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 74-61. Jaime Serna scored 20 points, and Klay Thompson added 15. Defeated Servite (Anaheim) 74-55. Thompson had a double-double, 24 points and 10 assists.|
|23 (23)||Holy Cross, Flushing, N.Y.||10-2||Recap: Defeated Xaverian (Brooklyn) 66-49. Plays league games against Archbishop Molloy (Flushing) and Bishop Loughlin (Brooklyn) this week before heading to Springfield, Mass., for a matchup with No. 7 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) on Monday in the Hoophall Classic.|
|24 (24)||Montrose Christian, Rockville, Md.||9-2||Recap: Defeated KIMA (Washington, D. C.) 65-40 and T.C. Williams (Alexandria, Va.) 64-58 in double overtime. Against T.C. Williams, Isaiah Armwood (17 points) and Terrell Vinson (16) combined to score 33 points.|
|25 (25)||Moeller, Cincinnati||12-1||Recap: Recorded its 12th victory, defeating McNicholas (Cincinnati) 73-28. Brent Suter paced a balanced scoring attack with 12 points, making all five shots from the floor. Mike Stamper collected 13 rebounds. |
1. St. Anthony, Jersey City, N.J. (11-0) 2. St. Patrick, Elizabeth, N.J. (12-1) 3. St. Benedict's, Newark, N.J. (14-1) 4. Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (17-0) 5. Rice, Manhattan, N.Y. (11-2) 6. St. Raymond, Bronx, N.Y. (13-2) 7. Mount St. Joseph, Baltimore (14-1) 8. Christ the King, Queens, N.Y. (9-2) 9. Holy Cross, Flushing, N.Y. (10-2) 10. Montrose Christian, Rockville, Md. (9-2)
1. Saginaw, Mich. (10-1) 2. Moeller, Cincinnati (12-1) 3. Arthur Hill, Saginaw, Mich. (10-1) 4. Simeon, Chicago (13-2) 5. New Albany, Ind. (12-0) 6. Farragut Academy, Chicago (10-1) 7. Homewood-Flossmoor, Ill. (12-1) 8. Washington, Milwaukee (10-0) 9. Minnetonka, Minn. (10-1) 10. Pioneer, Ann Arbor, Mich. (8-0)
1. Duncanville, Texas (23-1) 2. LeFlore, Mobile, Ala. (19-1) 3. Yates, Houston (13-2) 4. Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. (17-3) 5. Norcross, Ga. (13-1) 6. Word of God Christian Academy, Raleigh, N.C. (16-0) 7. Cy Springs, Cypress, Texas (19-3) 8. Wheeler, Marietta, Ga. (13-2) 9. Lexington Catholic, Ky. (15-2) 10. Bishop O'Connell, Arlington, Va. (14-3)
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (18-0) 2. Archbishop Mitty, San Jose (14-0) 3. Taft, Woodland Hills, Calif. (12-2) 4. Westchester, Los Angeles (16-2) 5. Dominguez, Compton, Calif. (13-2) 6. Fairfax, Los Angeles (12-2) 7. Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (17-2) 8. Ferris, Spokane, Wash. (12-0) 9. Oregon City, Ore. (12-1) 10. Rainier Beach, Seattle (12-1)
Records through Jan. 13.
About the rankings: The ESPN High Elite 25 high school boys basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor of ESPN.com, who consults with a national network of sports writers, Scouts Inc. analysts and high school coaches. Criteria considered are a team's strength of schedule with emphasis on national games; the superiority of competition in its state, district or league; the program's history and tradition; and the quality of its personnel.