High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Oak Hill Academy

Oak Hill Academy celebrates national title

May, 14, 2012

MOUTH OF WILSON, Va. -- When you've been running the same program for as long as Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith -- 27 years and counting -- you tend to build rituals that become part of maintaining excellence. Every year after the first three practices, Smith writes down what he expects of his team. He keeps the paper in his desk drawer in the basketball office alongside the numerous trophies and artifacts he's accumulated in winning 860 games against only 53 losses since the 1985-86 season.

"I felt like we'd probably lose a couple games because of our scheduling," Smith said. "I didn't tell that to the guys, of course, but they were 11 guys that bonded together and got it done."

In the end, the team exceeded expectations and set a school record with 44 victories. In a school assembly May 11, they were honored for that feat and for capturing their seventh FAB 50 national title. The Warriors’ received medals, special Jordan Brand shoes and the ultimate team prize, the 2011-12 POWERADE FAB 50 national championship trophy.

"This is awesome," said point guard Tyler Lewis of the 200-person assembly that included Oak Hill's student body, administration, longtime supporters and parents who make the trek from out of town to rural southwest Virginia. "Finishing No. 1 and winning a ring is the reason why you come to Oak Hill."

Lewis' season at Oak Hill embodied the makeup of this year's team. Traditionally, Oak Hill players transfer in from all over the world, usually just for a season or two. So when Smith's coaching brethren heard Lewis arrived from Statesville, N.C., they were a bit skeptical. Lewis, an N.C. State recruit, ended up being Oak Hill's 28th McDonald's All-American.

"I told them 'guys, I think this kid is a little better than you guys think,'" Smith said. "He helped ground the other players like D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. He knew what play to run, what side of the floor to run it on and knew what guy needed the ball."

In the spirit of this team-first oriented group, Smith named team tri-MVPs for the first time ever: Lewis, two guard Smith-Rivera (Georgetown) and wing Jordan Adams (UCLA).

Smith has named team co-MVPs twice in his tenure -- in 1992-93 with Jerry Stackhouse and Jeff McInnis and in 2003-04 with Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo. Not surprisingly, all four of those players made the NBA and both those unbeaten teams are not only considered Oak Hill's two best ever, but two of the best teams in high school basketball history.

This season Oak Hill's sum was greater than its individual parts and 7-foot center A.J. Hammons (Purdue), the team's best rebounder, put it best.

"If somebody wasn't playing well, there was always somebody willing to step up," Hammons said. "We weren't the most talented team [at Oak Hill], but we came together as a team and with 44 wins and zero losses we made a statement."

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

McDonald's Game to feature wild, wild West

March, 27, 2012
CHICAGO -- There is no doubt all 24 boys’ basketball players set to take the floor Wednesday at the United Center for the 35th McDonald’s All-American Game (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) are among the nation’s best.

The question is whether the East team can keep up with the scoring prowess of West ringleaders Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Archie Goodwin of Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, Ark.) and Marcus Smart of Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas).

Muhammad set the pace at the McDonald's practices with his work ethic, and many of his West teammates rose to the occasion as well. Smart in particular has been lauded for his ability to score in a variety of ways.

His physical presence at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds gives coach Gordon Kerkman of West Aurora (Aurora, Ill.) multiple lineup options. Smart can run the lead guard but will likely play on the wing on Wednesday, which should open up Goodwin for scoring opportunities. Goodwin is a volume shooter, so if gets hot the West should be in good shape.

The East team, coached by Billy Hicks of Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.), counters with a team that can pound it inside. The team will be extremely dangerous if the players stick to the team concept and balance the floor -- something easier said than done in all-star settings.

Alex Poythress of Northeast (Clarksville, Tenn.) will be a load for the West team to handle with his combination of size and athleticism around the basket. National scouts and even some NBA brass in attendance have been impressed with the 6-foot-7 Kentucky recruit in practice. DaJuan Coleman of Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.) also has a strength advantage down low on the West's pivots, so the amount of touches he receives could be key.

Winning Time

The East counters Smart's versatility with Kyle Anderson of defending POWERADE FAB 50 national champion St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.). The 6-foot-8 point guard is a huge matchup problem for any team he's up against and is the key to distributing the ball for the East. His unique feel for the game allows him to know when and where a teammate needs the ball and who hasn't gotten into the flow.

Anderson isn't used to losing. The UCLA pledge led St. Anthony to a 32-0 season and its 12th New Jersey Tournament of Champions title one week ago. He did not lose a game in his St. Anthony career, going 65-0. Counting his sophomore year at now-defunct Patterson Catholic (Patterson, N.J.), Anderson is 94-1, and he has no intention of losing Wednesday's game.

"Our coaches let us know right away they didn't intend to lose this game," Anderson said. "I want to win this game, but everybody else has got to take it just as seriously."

The West team's practices have been more intense with a focus on scrimmaging, while the East has focused on footwork and fundamentals in drills. The West was getting after it so hard on Tuesday that forward Devonta Pollard of Kemper County (Porterville, Miss.) took a hard blow to his head and guard Yogi Ferrell of Park Tudor (Indianapolis) took a hard spill and crashed into a cameraman.

The intensity level is something Anderson and his teammates didn't see, but definitely heard about.

"I was talking to (East teammates) Tony Parker and Rodney Purvis about what they were reading on blogs how the West was playing hard and they were going to kill us," Anderson said. "So we're going to shock the world a bit and sweep them off their feet."

He likes what he sees in his backcourt partner Tyler Lewis of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). Anderson feels the combination of their abilities should create positive momentum for the East team.

"Myself and Tyler are working well together," Anderson said. "Both of us are unselfish and will get the ball to the right people who will score."

Tough and Toothless

Lewis may have won the POWERADE Jam Fest skills competition title Monday night, but even more impressive was the toughness he showed just being on the court after having a tooth knocked loose during Monday’s practice.

During a live scrimmage, Anderson did a reverse dribble and caught Lewis right in his front tooth with an elbow.

“I knew it was loose enough that it was gonna have to come out,” Lewis said. “I knew it.”

After practice, Lewis went to a local dentist and had a false tooth put in.

“I’ve actually had that happen before to that same tooth,” Lewis said. “It hurt pretty bad when it happened, but I wasn’t gonna let it get me down. I’m having too much fun.”

When asked if he planned on wearing a mouthpiece from now on, Lewis replied, “No way. I’m a point guard and it’s hard to talk with a mouthpiece in my mouth.”

Practice Makes McPerfect?

On Tuesday morning, the East club went live for approximately 10 minutes in practice to conserve energy for Tuesday afternoon's scrimmage against the West. The West went live for roughly the same amount of time in each of the last two practices.

The performance in those scrimmages would point to the West club being a prohibitive favorite for Wednesday's game. At prior McDonald's Games, however, there have been instances when the apparent underdog has rallied to win after being inspired by talk of poor practices or after losing the official scrimmage.

Free McDonald’s?

When Tony Parker learned he’d been selected for the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game, he remembered something his friend Quinn Cook had told him after his McDonald’s All-American experience in 2011.

“Quinn said we get free McDonald’s for a year,” said Parker. “Is that true?”

When told he’d been duped by the current Duke freshman, Parker laughed and said, “Are you serious? He got me, he got me.”

Muhammad wins dunk contest in style

March, 26, 2012

CHICAGO -- There was a strong sense of anticipation for Monday's POWERADE Jam Fest, as the curious crowd wondered how the three female contestants would fare in the slam dunk contest.

One of the female dunkers -- 2012 Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Breanna Stewart of Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.) -- successfully threw it down. But in the end, it was her Wootten POY male counterpart -- Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) -- who ended up the winner.

Shabazz Muhammad
Henny Ray Abrams/McDonald'sShabazz Muhammad won the POWERADE Jam Fest Slam Dunk contest in style Monday.
The No. 2 recruit in the ESPNU 100 threw down four perfect dunks over two rounds of competition. In the championship round, he bested Archie Goodwin of Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, Ark.) by two points (140-138).

Muhammad got assists from North Carolina-bound point guard Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) on both of his final round dunks. First, Paige threw the ball off the backboard and Muhammad flushed it with two hands before doing his best Cam Newton imitation with the Clark Kent jersey rip to ignite the crowd. Needing a 69 on his second attempt to win the contest, Muhammad got a perfect pass thrown off the side of the backboard by Paige and dunked it with power.

“Just to be mentioned with names like (2003 winner) LeBron James and guys like that is an honor,” Muhammad said. “I was going to do the behind-the-back dunk, but Archie (Goodwin) did a really good job with that. I’m glad that I was able to come away with the win.”

Of the three female contestants, Stewart was the only one to advance to the finals. Looking to become the first female winner since Candace Parker in 2004, Stewart advanced by throwing down a two-handed dunk off a pass from Shaq Goodwin of Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, Ga.) who was the designated passer for the female contestants. Stewart, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, received a perfect 70 for her first dunk. The crowd appreciated her second effort even more when she threw one down with her left hand and received another 70. She couldn't repeat those performances in the finals, however, leaving Muhammad to raise the trophy.

Although Muhammad defeated three female and four males contestants, he's only considered the second-best dunker on his high school team. That title goes to UNLV recruit Demetris Morant.

"Not bad for the second best dunker on the team," Bishop Gorman coach Grant Rice said. "No matter what Shabazz does, he tries to go out and be the best and win. I think this is the first dunk contest he's ever been in and of course he won it."

Muhammad is considering Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, UCLA, USC and UNLV and is scheduled to make his college decision on April 11.

Rivalry Commences

Strake Jesuit (Houston) shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon wouldn’t have had it any other way.

When he saw that he’d be facing Paige in the finals of the POWERADE Jam Fest 3-point contest he couldn’t help but think about the potential for early bragging rights.

Sulaimon, a Duke signee, and Paige, a North Carolina signee, will be arch enemies next season on Tobacco Road. For now, Sulaimon can say that his score of 18 was good enough to be crowned 3-point champ over Paige.

“That made it even better,” Sulaimon said. “The Duke-UNC rivalry is big so I liked getting the win over him.”

Sulaimon also knocked off Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.) guard Morgan Tuck in the boys-vs-girls bonus round. Sulaimon scored 12, while Tuck scored 10.

No Place Like Home

Tyler Lewis may have won the Jam Fest Skills Competition, completing the course in just 31.2 seconds, but all he cared about was the fact that he was back in the United States.

Lewis and his Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) team played nine international games in China from March 7-19 and went 8-1. The Warriors finished their high school season No. 1 in the POWERADE FAB 50 with an unblemished 44-0 record.

“We lost the first game that we played over there, but it had a lot to do with our travel schedule,” said Lewis, an NC State signee. “We ended up playing that team again and beating them, so we got even. We had a good time.”

Just not when it was time to eat.

“Food was horrible,” said Lewis. “Even the places that we have over here like McDonald’s were bad. ... I’m just glad to be back and eating good ol' American food.”

More Than A Game

Long after the 2012 McDonald's game is complete and the players have returned home, they'll have some great memories of their time in Chicago.

The highlight of the event for many so far was Sunday's visit to a regional Ronald McDonald House. Amile Jefferson of Friends' Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) and a few other All-Americans were also able to visit the Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago across the street from the Ronald McDonald House and it's something he said he'll always remember.

At the hospital Jefferson met Jordan Chesney, an 18-year-old who has underdone multiple brain surgeries.

"They told us there was something wrong with his brain and we couldn't shake his hand too hard," Jefferson said. "I wanted to understand the issue and make him remember me because many of us were unprepared for that. The time I spent with him will always inspire me."

Jefferson, who competed in the 3-point contest and the skills competition at the Jam Fest, understands the unique opportunities his physical gifts have afforded him.

"It was a chance for us to give back," Jefferson said. "We come in and the kids light up and smile. To be able to give them that through the game of basketball is great."

Inside the FAB 50: Can Findlay be No. 1?

March, 8, 2012
With this year’s field of teams set for the National High School Invitational, a question on the minds of many is whether the final No. 1 ranking in the POWERADE FAB 50 has been locked away in a closet at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).

Oak Hill has been No. 1 since January and has done little to give the ESPNHS rankings compilers a reason to ponder moving any other team into that position. The Warriors wrapped up the best record they’ve ever had last week (44-0) with a 130-69 triumph over Body of Christ Academy (Raleigh, N.C.).

With Oak Hill not participating in the NHSI, there is the possibility that No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) could enhance its case by winning an event loaded with top-ranked teams.

Based on results already in the books, it’s a no-brainer to rank Oak Hill in front of Findlay Prep. This is because Oak Hill has a 77-59 win over La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) while the Pilots’ only loss was 67-66 to the same team.

So how could Findlay perhaps overcome the common opponent disadvantage with Oak Hill? Here’s the possibilities:

1. The Pilots get a chance to play No. 25 La Lumiere in the NHSI and avenge that one-point loss with a convincing win.

2. Findlay wins the NHSI over a field that also will include No. 10 St. Benedict’s (Newark, N.J.); No. 11 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.); No. 14 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.); No. 16 Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.); and La Lumiere.

3. The Pilots not only win the NHSI, but do it with their McDonald’s All-Americans -- Anthony Bennett along with 6-foot-8 Brandon Ashley -- both putting on a show. Bennett was not at 100 percent in the December game with La Lumiere.

4. The two best non-NHSI teams that Findlay has beaten this season -- current FAB 50 No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) and No. 6 Simeon (Chicago) -- both complete their seasons by winning state titles and thus assuring themselves of very high final rankings.

5. One or two of the best teams that Oak Hill has beaten this season -- led by current No. 9 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) and including No. 44 Science Hill (Johnson City, Tenn.) -- do not complete their season by winning championships and thus slightly diminish Oak Hill’s strength of schedule. It should be noted that coach Steve Smith’s team will already own big wins over the two top Texas Association of Private Prep Schools champions: No. 12 Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) and No. 24 Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas).

It would definitely take a lot for Findlay Prep to have a strong enough case to move into No. 1. We also wouldn’t want such a move to be viewed in any way as a knock against the Warriors for going on their exhibition tour in China. That’s an opportunity that the players will remember the rest of their lives.

Still, with rankings that are based on criteria such as strength of schedule, it is possible that Findlay can put together a resume that could in the end be superior to Oak Hill’s.

Oak Hill's tour of China

Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) closed its season at a historic 44-0, which earned them the top spot in the POWERADE FAB 50.

But the Warriors won't participate at the ESPNHS National High School Invitational on March 29-31. Oak Hill is sitting out for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2009 due, in large part, to its basketball tour of China, which runs from March 7-19.

“If we weren’t going to China we’d definitely play in the NHSI,” said Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, whose Warriors will play nine games against international competition. “But this is something that will be very special for the kids and very special for the school. I wanted them to experience this.”

The Warriors have never won the NHSI and have lost twice in the finals, including last year’s double-overtime thriller to Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.).

Smith said he never felt the Warriors played their best ball at the NHSI because of the timing of the event.

“We usually have about 17 days off then have to turn right around and play in that big a tournament,” Smith said. “We finish our season in February and play in late March, early April and that’s just tough to do. You can’t find teams to scrimmage because their seasons are over and then we wouldn’t have our point guard because right when we get back Tyler’s (Lewis) headed off to the McDonald’s game. It’s just a tight squeeze with all that we have going on this season.”

ESPNHS NHSI set for March 29-31

March, 1, 2012
The ESPNHS National High School Invitational tournament will invade Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md., on March 29-31.

In all, 10 games featuring some of the country’s top boys’ and girls’ teams will air live from the Hanley Center on ESPNU, ESPN2 and ESPN. All telecasts will also be available online through ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

The girls’ championship game will commence at noon on March 31 (ESPNU) with the boys’ championship following at 2 p.m. (ESPN).

Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) coach Mike Peck won the inaugural NHSI back in 2009, and likened the tournament to “a smaller scale Big Dance.”

“That’s basically what it is, the NCAA Tournament, but it’s just on the high school level,” said Peck whose Pilots are ranked No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50. “We feel very fortunate to have been a part of this in the past. It’s such a great, competitive tournament that can give you some type of closure to your season. Now sometimes that’s not so good, but that’s what March is all about anyway.”

Last year, Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) won a double-overtime thriller over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) to claim the boys’ title, while Dr. Phillips (Orlando), the girls’ tournament’s lowest seed, knocked off Murry Bergtraum (Manhattan, N.Y.) in the finals.

Participating teams for this year’s tournament will be announced at a later date.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Oak Hill's Smith named Coach of the Year

February, 25, 2012
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) coach Steve Smith was named Naismith Boys' High School Coach of the Year Friday marking the second time Smith has taken home the prestigious award in the last four years.

Steve Smith
Courtesy of Oak HillSteve Smith has won the Naismith Coach of the Year award twice in the last four years.
Smith will be recognized at the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith Awards Banquet at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta on March 22.

“Obviously this is a great honor, but this doesn’t happen without having great players and a great season,” Smith said. “So I give a lot of credit to my players. I love my guys. We’ve challenged them all year in practice and they’ve responded. Getting the Coach of the Year award is just the icing on the cake for the season we’ve had.”

Smith beat out St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.) Bob Hurley Sr., Gonzaga College’s (Washington, D.C.) Steve Turner, Simeon’s (Chicago) Robert Smith, Wichita Heights’ (Wichita, Kan.) Joe Auer and Marcus’ (Flower Mound, Texas) Danny Henderson.

“Steve is definitely deserving of this because he’s been very consistent,” said Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) coach Stu Vetter. “He doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves because he’s won so much, but this is a great achievement for him. I think he does an outstanding job.”

Smith last won Naismith Coach of the Year in 2009 when the Warriors finished 40-1. This year, the Warriors (43-0) have eclipsed 40 wins for the first time in the school’s history.

Oak Hill is the top-ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50.

“Coach Smith definitely deserves the Coach of the Year award,” said Warriors’ point guard Tyler Lewis. “He’s undefeated and gets the most out of his players day in and day out. He just knows the game really well, and even though we don’t have the best talent he always gets us to play as a team.”

The Warriors will host Body of Christ (Raleigh, N.C.) on Feb. 28 in their regular season finale before heading to China where they will play nine games against international competition.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

Brewster sweeps Tilton; Oak Hill makes history

February, 23, 2012
Wayne SeldenLori Young/ESPNHSWayne Selden is Tilton's best guard, but the Rams aren't sure when he'll return from his sprained ankle injury.
Aaron Thomas scored 19 points and Jakarr Sampson added 11 points and 14 rebounds to help Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) escape with a 60-56 win over Tilton (N.H.) on Feb. 20.

With the win, the Bobcats (28-0) completed the regular season sweep (3-0) of rival Tilton (25-6).

Georges Niang did all he could to keep the Rams close, scoring 32 points and grabbing eight rebounds, but he didn’t get much help. Nerlens Noel got held to just eight points in the loss.

Still, Noel, the top ranked player in the ESPNU 100, can sense that there will be a chance for payback in the coming weeks.

“I think we’ll play them again,” Noel said. “They’re a great team and we’re a great team. I think we’ll see them again in the tournament championship.”

If they do face Brewster again, it likely will be without sophomore shooting guard Wayne Selden, who severely sprained his ankle during practice three weeks ago.

Selden has yet to return and is currently on crutches with a walking boot.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” said Selden, who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPNU 25. “Hopefully soon.”

Warriors make history

With its 73-51 win over Flora Macdonald (Red Springs, N.C.) on Feb. 18, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) broke a school record for wins in a season with 41. After knocking off Shenandoah Valley Christian (Stephens City, Va.) on Feb. 21, the Warriors are now 42-0.

The Warriors, the top ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50, have posted 40 wins three times (2006, 2007 and 2009). The 2006 and 2007 unit lost its final game while the 2007 unit finished No. 1 in the FAB 50.

“It feels amazing to be 42-0,” said Warriors’ point guard Tyler Lewis, a McDonald’s All-American who is committed to North Carolina State. “It feels great to break records especially at Oak Hill. We’ve made history and hopefully we can win another championship. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point. Now we’re hoping we can achieve our goal by getting a ring.”

Oak Hill has two regular-season games left before heading to China where they will play nine games against international competition.

NBPA Camp Has New Personnel Director

Former NBA player and coach John Lucas II is the new director of player personnel for the National Basketball Players Association's Top 100 camp.

A three-time All-American at the University of Maryland, Lucas was the No. 1 pick of the 1976 NBA Draft and played in the league for 14 years. He's also been the head coach of three NBA teams and has experience executing summer camps for high school and middle school-aged players.

He will be responsible for securing players for the 19th annual camp, a key summer evaluation stop held June 13-17 at the University of Virginia.

Lucas takes over the player personnel role previously held by Dave Telep, the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. Telep was in that role for three years after taking over for Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports.

Inside the FAB 50: Scaling new Heights

February, 15, 2012
There’s been documented high school basketball games in Kansas for 101 years, and one of the state’s most hallowed records fell Tuesday night after POWERADE FAB 50 No. 10 Heights (Wichita, Kan.) defeated Bishop Carroll (Wichita, Kan.) 54-42.

With McDonald’s All-American and Kansas signee Perry Ellis scoring 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, Heights won its 60th straight game to break the previous state mark of 59 set in 1994 by Moundridge.

Ellis and teammate Terrence Moore have been involved in all of the 60 wins.

Coach Joe Auer’s team will now focus on trying to extend another streak by winning a fourth consecutive Class 6A state championship.

Winning streak notes on other FAB 50 teams

1. The 39-game win streak by No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), which includes Monday's 75-69 victory over Quality Education (Winston-Salem, N.C.), is not a school record. The Warrior school record of 65 in a row was set from 2000-02, including a 33-0 mark by the 2001 national title team.

2. The 53-game win streak by No. 3 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) is not a school record, either. The Friars won 65 in a row from 1995-97, including a 31-0 mark in 1996 when they were crowned national champ. Both marks are far short of the state and national record of 159 consecutive wins posted by Passaic (N.J.) from 1919-25.

3. The 48-game win streak by No. 4 Chester (Pa.) is a school record, but is still 20 wins shy of the state mark of 68 posted by West Philadelphia (Pa.) from 1976-78. That included the 30-0 record that the 1977 team piled up on its way to being a mythical national champion.

McDonald's All-Americans lead FAB 50 teams

Nine FAB 50-ranked teams are anchored by McDonald's All-American Game selections.

No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) -- Tyler Lewis, a 5-foot-11 point guard and North Carolina State recruit.

No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) -- Brandon Ashley, a 6-foot-9 power forward and Arizona recruit plus Anthony Bennett, a 6-foot-7 uncommitted wing forward.

No. 3 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) -- Kyle Anderson, a 6-foot-8 guard and UCLA recruit.

No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) -- Marcus Smart, a 6-foot-4 guard and Oklahoma State recruit.

No. 10 Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) -- Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 power forward and Kansas recruit.

No. 14 Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas) -- Isaiah Austin, a 7-foot center and Baylor recruit.

No. 18 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) -- Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 uncommitted forward.

No. 31 Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) -- Gary Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard and Michigan State recruit.

2013 McDonald’s All-Americans on FAB 50 teams?

Not all the top teams are led by seniors, of course. Some juniors appear primed to star in the contest next year. Here’s some top Class of 2013 players representing FAB 50 ranked teams:

No. 4 Chester (Pa.)Rondae Jefferson, a 6-foot-6 forward

No. 6 Simeon (Chicago)Jabari Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward who is No. 1 in the ESPNU Super 60.

No. 13 Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)Julius Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward

No. 28 Olympic (Charlotte)Allerik Freeman, a 6-foot-4 guard

No. 29 Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)Jabari Bird, a 6-foot-6 guard

No. 40 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)Andrew Harrison, a 6-foot-5 point guard, and his twin brother, Aaron Harrison, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard

Spotlight Player of the Week
Coleman Johnson, Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)

The 6-foot-6 senior forward had a game to remember in a thrill-packed 85-83 double-overtime victory over Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.).

Johnson, a Fairfield University recruit who averages 11.8 points game, scored a career-high 33 points and collected 16 rebounds to power the Panthers. He nailed his first career 3-pointer, which tied the game with six seconds left in the first overtime, then added the go-ahead basket in the second extra frame.

Johnson's 33-point effort also boosted his career total past the 1,000-point mark. He was named the team’s MVP last season as a junior.

The victory was the 11th straight for the Panthers and helped keep them at No. 9 in this week’s rankings.

Inside the FAB 50: PrimeTime primer

February, 8, 2012
Nate Britt IIKelly Kline/ESPNHSJunior guard and North Carolina recruit Nate Britt II will lead No. 14 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) against No. 29 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) on Friday night on ESPN2.

The New Jersey-based PrimeTime Shootout has been around since 1976 and in recent years the event has served as the last major showcase for some FAB 50 teams before postseason playoffs and tournaments.

The 10-game, two-day event Saturday and Sunday at Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) features four top 20 teams, including all three New Jersey teams in the FAB 50 -- No. 3 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), No. 20 Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone, N.J.) and No. 24 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.). The other ranked team playing is No. 4 Chester (Pa.).

Last season, PrimeTime Shootout results had a major impact on crowning the FAB 50 national poll champion. Eventual No. 1 St. Anthony didn’t take part, but Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) did and lost its only game of the season 57-53 to Linden (N.J.). Montrose later ended at No. 2 and would have been ahead of St. Anthony if it hadn’t lost that game.

This weekend, St. Anthony, riding a 48-game win streak entering the week, faces a major Shootout challenge from once-loss Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.), a private academy ineligible for the rankings that has already handed one FAB 50 ranked team its only loss -- No. 35 Northland (Columbus, Ohio).

Another long win streak is also on the line in the Shootout. Chester entered the week with a 45-game run and will face Neptune (N.J.).

Gill St. Bernard will be tested by East Region-ranked Plainfield (N.J.), while St. Benedict's, which lost its only game this season by one point to St. Anthony, plays two Shootout games. The Gray Bees go up against Lakewood (N.J.) Saturday, then meet St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) Sunday.

No. 14 Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) at No. 29 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
7:30 p.m. ET, Friday on ESPN2

This Washington Catholic Athletic Conference showdown is a rematch of a Jan. 21 game won by a shorthanded Gonzaga team 76-74.

Gonzaga’s Nate Britt II, a 6-foot-1 junior guard who has committed to North Carolina, missed that game after injuring his left calf on Jan. 14 at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., and was sidelined until last week's 75-48 win over Bishop Ireton (Alexandria, Va.). Britt came off the bench and scored 11 points with five assists.

Britt continued his comeback Tuesday night with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win by the Eagles over Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.). In Britt's absence, 6-6 junior forward Kris Jenkins has picked up the scoring slack.

DeMatha improved to 20-3 Tuesday with a 64-37 win over Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) and faces Bishop Ireton on Thursday before the Gonzaga showdown. The balanced Stags have five players with double-figure point averages, including 6-foot-9 junior BeeJay Anya, 6-foot-8 senior Jerami Grant and 6-foot-3 senior James Robinson. Grant is a Syracuse recruit, while Robinson has committed to Pittsburgh.

FAB 50 Spotlight Player of the Week
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior shooting guard is making the most of his only year on the Warrior roster. A Georgetown recruit, he has been a consistent scoring threat as the FAB 50 No. 1 ranked Warriors have posted a 35-0 record entering the week.

Last weekend, Smith-Rivera scored 37 points to help the Warriors hold off Christ School (Arden, N.C.) 71-63 in overtime after netting 29 points in a 93-73 romp past previously unbeaten West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.).

Smith-Rivera transferred to Oak Hill last summer after starting the last two seasons for Indiana power North Central (Indianapolis). He was a sophomore starter on an underclass-led Class 4A state title team and helped the Panthers advance to the 2011 state semifinals before bowing to eventual champion Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.).

Without Smith-Rivera, North Central is 16-4 this season and is ranked No. 3 in Indiana.

Highest-Ranked Newcomer
Trinity Christian (Lubbock, Texas)

Whether the Lions get another upset or get dumped in Saturday’s matchup in Lubbock against FAB 50 No. 2 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), they have certainly put themselves on the map this season.

Last week’s 57-56 win against previous FAB 50 No. 3 Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas) improved Trinity Christian’s record to 34-1 and avenged an earlier 68-55 loss to Grace Prep.

Senior guard Parker Wentz netted a game-winning shot with 3.5 seconds left and finished with 31 points. The team’s leading scorer is senior guard Dave Miller at 11.5 points per game.

Just a few years ago, it seemed impossible that a Texas school not part of the massive University Interscholastic League could be in the national rankings. With Trinity Christian going in this week, the Texas Association of Private Prep Schools (TAPPS) now has four schools in the FAB 50. The UIL has two.

Inside the FAB 50: Streaking along

January, 26, 2012
Four of the nation's five longest win streaks belong to teams ranked in the top 11 of the POWERADE FAB 50.

Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.), No. 11 in the FAB 50, has won its last 55 games while seeking a fourth straight Class 6A state championship. The Falcons' last loss was on Dec. 19, 2009, when Rock Bridge (Columbia, Mo.) prevailed, 75-70. Heights ended that season with 19 straight wins before recording a 25-0 record in the 2010-11 campaign. The Falcons are off to an 11-0 record this season.

The next-longest win streak in the nation is claimed by No. 4 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.). The Friars captured last season's FAB 50 national crown with a 33-0 record and have extended the two-season run to 45 wins in a row. The Friars' last setback was on March 13, 2010, in the state tournament when Trenton Catholic (Trenton, N.J.) registered a 57-56 decision.

The defending Pennsylvania Class 4A champion, Chester (Pa.), holds the fourth longest streak. The Clippers, No. 7 in the FAB 50, took a 41-game streak into this week. Chester's last loss, its only one last year, was on Dec. 30, 2010 to Sanford (Hockissen, Del.), 62-57.

The FAB 50’s top-ranked team, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), is off to a 30-0 start after losing in last season's finale. Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) defeated the Warriors, 71-64, in the finals of the ESPNHS National High School Invitational.

Oak Hill Academy also could make national rankings history if it runs the table with a record that could reach 47-0. At the start of this week, the Warriors have 14 scheduled regular season games on tap and three more wins in the NHSI would result in an unmatched 47-0 mark for a national title team.

The best unbeaten record posted by a No. 1 team in the nation was 46-0 in 1975 by Kashmere (Houston). Since then, the best perfect mark was 40-0 for another Texas team, Lincoln (Dallas) back in 2002. That squad was led by current Miami Heat star Chris Bosh. Oak Hill’s best record of 38-0 was achieved in 2004.

While Wichita Heights, St. Anthony, Chester and Oak Hill are piling up impressive streaks, they all have to take a back seat to a Missouri private school team that doesn't compete for a state championship. True Divine Word Academy (St. Louis) hasn't lost in the 96 games during its three years of existence. True Divine Word was sitting at 19-0 to start this week after going 41-0 and 36-0 in its first two seasons.

FAB 50 Spotlight Player of the Week:
Tony Cochran, Vianney (Kirkwood, Mo.)

Speaking of perfection, Cochran’s near-perfect shooting from the free throw line and strong overall play has helped the No. 41 Golden Griffins to a 17-0 start this season.

In a 69-48 win last week over Chaminade (St. Louis), Cochran poured in 30 points as Vianney set a school record for consecutive wins in a season, breaking a mark that was set during the 1997-98 season.

On the year, the 5-foot-11 senior guard already has made 52 shots from behind the 3-point line while averaging 17.2 points per game. He averaged 16 points per game last season and has pushed his career 3-point total to nearly 300.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cochran also leads the St. Louis region by making 94.9 percent of his free throws. In 59 attempts heading into this week, Cochran has only missed three.

Highest-Ranked Newcomer: No. 45 Etiwanda (Etiwanda, Calif.)

After a pair of league wins last week, the Eagles improved their winning streak to 16 games and jumped into this week’s FAB 50.

Etiwanda’s lone loss came in early December at the Rose City Classic in Pasadena to defending CIF Division III state champ La Verne Lutheran. After that, the Eagles won three other tournaments they entered. Twelve of the teams Etiwanda has beaten so far this season also have won at least 13 games, which shows a better-than-average strength of schedule.

Sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin has been the top player for coach Dave Kleckner with 16.9 points per game.

Kleckner has had nationally ranked teams before, such as in 2005 when the Eagles featured point guard Darren Collison and power forward Jeff Pendergraph. Those two former prep teammates are now playing together with the Indiana Pacers.

War-themed mascots prevail in this week’s rankings

In the same week in which the movie “War Horse” was nominated for six Academy Awards, the FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings saw big gains for the War Eagles and Warhawks. It’s just too bad the Warhorses aren’t still in the mix.

The War Eagles from Wayne County (Waynesboro, Miss.) debuted at No. 49 after winning for the 53rd time in their last 54 games. The Warhawks from Germantown (Wis.) are new as well, checking in at No. 50.

It’s very possible that the Warhorses from Peabody (La.) will go back into the rankings. Peabody was No. 35 until a loss knocked them from the list.

Other war-themed mascots in this week’s FAB 50 include the No. 1 Oak Hill Academy Warriors (Mouth of Wilson, Va.); the No. 25 Pershing Doughboys (Detroit); the No. 39 Orlando Christian Prep Warriors (Fla.) and the No. 42 Rufus King Generals (Milwaukee).

Soldiers serving in World War I were commonly referred to as Doughboys, and bore little resemblance to an animated character in TV commercials.

Hoophall Classic: Five burning questions

January, 13, 2012
Related: Watch the Hoophall Classic on ESPN family of networks

ESPNHS' Ronnie Flores answers the most pressing questions about this year's Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Which team has the most to prove at Hoophall?
That would be POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 Simeon (Chicago). The Wolverines do have some quality victories so far this season, but they haven't faced a team with the talent level and big-game experience of No. 6 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Simeon beat local rival Whitney Young (Chicago), 62-55, on Dec. 22 and No. 34 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), 59-56, at the Cancer Research Classic, but it was expected to beat those teams. With Dominic Artis, Nigel Williams-Goss and Amedeo Della Valle, Findlay Prep will put tremendous pressure on Simeon's backcourt when the teams meet on Monday (ESPNU, 3 p.m. ET). Simeon junior guard Kendrick Nunn had 19 points against Miller Grove and we'll put Nunn's magic number at 24 in order for the Wolverines to win this game.

Which player will have a breakout performance?
Six-foot-2 junior Jairus Lyles of No. 5 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.). He is a big-time scorer for the Stags who is well known in the D.C. area, but isn't as well known nationally as some of his teammates. Lyles made a huge impact for the Stags when they captured the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic earlier this year and his play will be key against Northwest Catholic (West Hartford, Conn.) tomorrow and No. 24 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Monday (ESPNU, 1 p.m. ET). According to DeMatha coach Mike Jones, he was the Stags' leading scorer halfway through last season before injuries curtailed him. Now healthy, Lyles is the X-factor in DeMatha's run for the program's sixth mythical national title.

Which team can make a big move up in the FAB 50?
No. 19 Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas), if the Lions are on their game when they take on No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) tomorrow. We know Julius Randle and company can play with the nation's best teams (they won the City of Palms tournament), but they've been a bit inconsistent against national-level competition. Which Prestonwood team will show up? The one that won the City of Palms or the one soundly defeated by No. 3 Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas) on Dec. 15? The Lions will need big performances from complementary players Zach Peters and Mickey Mitchell because Oak Hill is probably the most complete team in high school basketball.

Which FAB 50 team is most ripe to be upset?
No. 4 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.). Coach Bob Hurley's team nearly stumbled against No. 28 St. Benedict's (Newark, N.J.), but pulled out a 51-50 victory after trailing by six points entering the fourth quarter. One thing is clear -- the Friars don't have as much firepower as last season, but on Monday they could make a statement against a hungry Miller Grove team (ESPNU, 11 a.m. ET). Last season, St. Anthony's 50-point win over DeMatha Catholic at Hoophall springboarded the Friars to the program’s fourth mythical national title, but they'll be facing a dangerous opponent that desperately doesn't want to go 0-3 in nationally televised games this season.

Can the West Region's top teams compete nationally?
Yes, they can compete against the nation's top-ranked teams, but only at full strength. No. 6 Findlay Prep needs Anthony Bennett to contribute when it faces top-ranked Simeon. According to associate head coach Todd Simon, Bennett will suit up against the Wolverines, but is likely to sit out Friday against Thurgood Marshall (Dayton, Ohio) at the Flyin' To The Hoop Invitational in Kettering, Ohio. No. 24 Bishop Gorman hasn't played at a national championship level without Ben Carter and Ronnie Stanley, but both should be in the lineup when the Gaels face DeMatha Catholic. Without Carter making a double-digit scoring contribution and Stanley earning his keep down low against DeMatha's BeeJay Anya, Gorman will be hard pressed to pull off the upset.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

No. 3 Oak Hill squeaks past No. 2 Miller Grove

December, 15, 2011

This year more than any other, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) coach Steve Smith firmly believes in the saying “never judge a book by its cover.” Smith said his point guard, Tyler Lewis, was “the only player I’ve ever coached that wouldn’t get picked up in an open-gym setting.”

Good thing Smith and the Warriors knew better.

Lewis scored 18 points and dished out eight assists to lead POWERADE FAB 50 No. 3 Oak Hill past No. 2 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), 82-78, Thursday in a nationally televised game at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera led Oak Hill (17-0) with 20 points while Tony Parker led Miller Grove (6-1) with 29 points and 10 rebounds.

The frantic pace to start favored Oak Hill and its high-octane transition offense, which has averaged 94 points per game this season.

Lewis picked the usually suffocating Miller Grove defense apart, finding Jordan Adams for three 3-pointers in the first quarter. That helped Oak Hill claim a 23-20 lead early on.

The Wolverines switched to a match-up zone in the second quarter and fed Parker in the paint to keep it close. Parker dominated the Warriors’ big men with 15 points in the first half, but Lewis paced Oak Hill to a 42-36 lead at the half. Miller Grove shot a scorching 69 percent from the field before the break, but Oak Hill drained three more 3-pointers than the Wolverines.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines pulled to within one after Justin Colvin drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing with 47 seconds left. After two free throws from Lewis, Miller Grove forward Brandon Morris went 1-for-2 at the free-throw line, got his own rebound and got fouled again on the putback, putting him at the line with a chance to tie the game.

But Morris failed to convert on both free throws and the Warriors went 5-for-6 from the line down the stretch to secure the win.

The road doesn’t get any easier for either team.

Oak Hill heads to Evelyn Mack Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) on Saturday before heading off to the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C. Miller Grove leaves Friday for Fort Myers, Fla., where it will compete in the City of Palms Classic.

Elsewhere in the POWERADE FAB 50

The Oak Hill-Miller Grove game was one of three games televised on ESPN networks Thursday night with FAB 50 ramifications.

With its 79-64 setback to No. 15 Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas), No. 42 Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, Texas) will need a big performance at the upcoming City of Palms Tournament to remain in the next set of rankings due for Dec. 27. Prestonwood (5-1) opens the loaded tournament against Constitution (Philadelphia) and the winner is likely to take on No. 6 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) in the second round.

Also last night, No. 11 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) upped its record to 14-1 with its 42-40 victory over No. 4 Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), and the victory bodes well for No. 7 Findlay Prep (Henderson. Nev.). The Pilots beat Marcus 47-39 on Dec. 3 to snap a 42-game winning streak. Since Findlay Prep won't compete at the City of Palms and plays two winnable games this upcoming weekend, there is a chance the Pilots could climb to as high as No. 3 in the next FAB 50 depending who wins the City of Palms. In addition to Bishop Gorman, No. 5 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and No. 2 Miller Grove will be in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Miller Grove's loss Thursday night to Oak Hill bodes well for Grace Prep since its only loss so far came in a 68-59 setback to Oak Hill. Grace Prep opens at the City of Palms with No. 35 Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) and could meet Mater Dei in the second round.

Ronnie Flores contributed to this report

Oak Hill begins brutal 30-day stretch

December, 6, 2011
It’s hard to imagine that there’s unchartered territory for Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) Steve Smith. Not for a guy who’s led a program to a 65-game winning streak, who’s had a team score 4,296 points in a season and who’s produced 23 NBA Draft picks.

But last weekend marked the beginning of a grueling 30-day period that will have the Warriors on the hardwood every other day on average.

“That’s 15 games in 30 days and that’s definitely going to be difficult,” said Smith, whose Warriors are ranked No. 3 in the preseason POWERADE FAB 50. “There’s no doubt about it, but we wanted to really challenge this group. The next month will really determine how successful we’re gonna be as a team this year.”

Currently, the Warriors are 14-0 with wins this past weekend over Hales Franciscan (Chicago) and La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) at the Marshall County Hoopfest (Benton, Ky.). This weekend the Warriors will face Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas), No. 16 in the Fab 50. Then on Dec. 15, they meet No. 2 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) before a nationally televised (ESPN, 8 p.m.) audience.

Later this month Oak Hill will play in the Chick-fil-A Classic (Columbia, S.C.) and the Les Schwab Invitational (Portland), two of the most competitive tournaments of the season.

“Well, the thing that helps is that we’ve got a lot of depth,” Smith said. “In my opinion, we’ve got 10 Division I players on our team counting the juniors so in the games that we’re able to play a lot of guys we’ll absolutely do that. I’m not too worried about these guys getting tired.”

Neither is Warriors’ point guard Tyler Lewis, a senior who is signed to North Carolina State. He likened the high volume of games to the AAU season where players are used to playing three games a day.

“Sometimes it can be more,” said Lewis, who attends extra study halls with his teammates throughout the week and weekend to stay on top of schoolwork. “We’ll all be prepared physically for this next 30 days, but it will definitely be different. At my high school last year we only played two games a week. Still, I think physically we’ll be fine.”

It’s the mental aspect that concerns Jordan Adams, a senior shooting guard who is signed to UCLA.

“With that many games in that little amount of time sometimes you can get drained a little,” said Adams, who broke Oak Hill's free-throw record Saturday night with 32-consecutive makes this season. “As a senior I know I’ll have to be more vocal and we’ll just have to work together even more than we have been. We’ll just have to help each other and that won’t be a problem because we all like playing with one another. We can’t afford to have any letdowns.”

That’s largely because Oak Hill will get everyone’s best shot. Smith knows that comes with the territory.

“Our kids know what it means for our competition to play against us,” Smith said. “Outside of their state championship game, it’s probably the biggest game on their schedule and they’re gonna do everything that they possibly can to win. We’ll have to be ready.”

Added Lewis: “Having to play 15 games in 30 days sounds like a lot, but honestly we’re all really excited to be playing this much. We know that we’ll have to be focused, but we’re gonna have fun out there too. And winning is one of the most fun things that you can do. We don’t plan on losing over this stretch.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

Early signing period: The first 24 hours

November, 10, 2011
Early signing period for high school seniors began Wednesday. Here is a look at the first 24 hectic hours of this weeklong period for boys' hoops.

2 -- Number of recruits who signed with the University of Arizona, the No. 1-ranked class by ESPNU Recruiting: ESPNU 100 No. 4 Brandon Ashley of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); No. 36 Gabe York of Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.). No. 6 Kaleb Tarczewski of St. Mark's School (Southborough, Mass.) is going to wait until his parents, who live in Claremont, N.H., are able to be in attendance with him on Friday. No. 9 Grant Jerrett of La Verne Lutheran (La Verne, Calif.) is not expected to sign until Monday, according to La Verne Lutheran coach Eric Cooper Sr.

4 -- Number of text messages received by Amile Jefferson of Friends’ Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) from reporters looking to do a story on the first day of the early signing period.

4.4 -- Number of miles from the home of DaJuan Coleman to the Carrier Dome, the home arena for Syracuse University. The No. 14 prospect in the ESPNU 100, the Jamesville-DeWitt (Dewitt, N.Y) product signed with the Orangemen.

5 -- Number of early signees from Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), the most from a single high school level program: W Jordan Adams to UCLA; C A.J. Hammons to Purdue; PG Tyler Lewis to NC. State; G D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera to Georgetown; W Damien Wilson to Memphis. Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) and Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) are also expected to have five signees. For the Express, four will sign in the fall and one player (Evan Payne) is expected to sign in the spring. Three players for the Pilots will ink in the spring (Anthony Bennett, Winston Shepard, Amedeo Della Valle).

7 -- Number of committed prospects in the ESPNU 100 who did not yet sign their letter of intent agreement.

Amile Jefferson
Jeff WattsAmile Jefferson (left) will visit Stanford this weekend. He will take all five of his official visits and also is considering Villanova.
10 -- Number of 2011 Boost Mobile Elite 24 participants who inked with colleges on the first day of the early signing period: Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) to Virginia; Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.) to UCLA; Brandon Ashley of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) to Arizona; DaJuan Coleman of Jamesville-DeWitt (Dewitt, N.Y) to Syracuse; Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights (Wichita, Kan.) to Kansas; Shaquille Johnson of Milton (Milton, Ga.) to Auburn; Mitch McGary of Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) to Michigan; Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) to North Carolina; Rodney Purvis of Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) to North Carolina State; Rasheed Sulaimon of Strake Jesuit (Houston, Texas) to Duke; Gabe York of Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) to Arizona.

14 -- Number of phone calls received on the first day of the early signing period by Amile Jefferson. His father, Malcolm Musgrove, handles many of the phone calls for his son.

15 -- Number of uncommitted prospects in the ESPNU 100.

26 -- Number of total text messages received on the first day of the early signing period by Amile Jefferson. The No. 24 recruit in the ESPNU 100 did not sign. He is going to take his last official visit to Stanford this weekend. Jefferson also took officials to UConn, Kentucky, NC State, Ohio State. The other school still in the running for his services is hometown Villanova.

30 -- Number of ESPNU 100 signees who inked with an in-state program.

48 -- Number of ESPNU 100 signees who inked with an out-of-state program.

78 -- Number of ESPNU 100 prospects who signed their letter of intent agreement.

120 -- Number of minutes of the ESPNU Basketball Signing Day Special on Nov. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. ET.

1,978 -- Number of Twitter followers for Anthony Bennett of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) as of Friday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. PT. Bennett (@ABennett24) is the second-highest ranked uncommitted and unsigned prospect in the ESPNU 100 (No. 7).

2,058 -- Number of Twitter followers for Anthony Bennett as of Thursday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. PT. Bennett (@ABennett24) will sign in the spring, according to Pilots associate head coach Todd Simon.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

Johnny Curren and Andrew Knepper contributed to this report.

Quick Shots: Post-Season Ban For UFCA

November, 7, 2011
Last week the program at United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.), ranked No. 30 in the preseason POWERADE FAB 50, was banned from the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) playoffs this season and next because of a violation of the NCISAA's rules on recruiting. The basketball program was also placed on probation for two years, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The violation stemmed from an email sent out in September by school headmaster Dr. Joe Siragusa, a NCISAA Board of Directors member, to guardians of the basketball program's international basketball players. The email was intended to inform its recipients the program was still going to compete at the national level in light of former NBA guard Muggsy Bogues replacing Shaun Wiseman as coach in the off-season.

"I never would have thought ...that my email would have waded into the area of recruitment," Siragusa told the newspaper. "They still will play a decent schedule. I feel terrible for the juniors and seniors who this directly affects."

The Falcons are still FAB 50 eligible. The playoff ban stems from a ruling determined to be an act of recruiting potential student-athletes. As we interpret it, the violation had nothing to do with player eligibility issues regarding UFCA's current roster.

The Falcons' 2011-12 season is going to end sooner than it normally would otherwise, hence they will play fewer games and see less quality opponents. At some point as other teams advance in the post-season in their respective state, the playoff ban will effect their national ranking.

"Unguarded" Uncut

“Unguarded,” the ESPN documentary about the trials and tribulations of former NBA, Fresno State and Durfee (Fall River, Mass.) standout Chris Herren, premiered last week and made a strong impact in the basketball community. Current NBA and college players quickly hit their Twitter accounts to express respect for Herren’s courage to speak publicly about the drug addiction that nearly took his life.

“Man this Chris Herren story really hit me. One of the strongest people I've ever seen. Made it through all he has been through,” said Duke freshman guard Quinn Cook (@QCook323).

“This story on Chris Herren on ESPN is amazing!!!!!! Drugs will tear a family down. He might of lost millions but he MADE it,” said Phoenix suns forward Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619).

ESPN Films

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The documentary centered on Herren detailing his story in various public settings. He’s spoken at correctional facilities to recovering addicts and shared his gripping experiences at last summer’s Boost Mobile Elite 24 with the event participants. What viewers didn’t see, however, was any interviews or commentary from Herren’s former teammates.

"How can Chris' story be told without Dominick Young? I'm the one who kept him eligible to play and stayed up night after night,” said former Fresno State teammate Dominick Young. “Chris is one of my best friends, but he was a wreck, a mess and only I can explain that because we lived together the whole time. But that's why we parted over the years because my battle with trying to get him to shake drugs."

In Jerry Tarkanian’s first year coaching at his alma mater in 1995-96, Herren sat out the season as a transfer from Boston College. That team was made up of holdovers from the Gary Colson era -- guards DeAndre Austin and Young, forward Darnell McCulloch and center Khary Stanley. They blended in with late JUCO signees James "Gumby" Gray and Kendric Brooks to form one of Tark’s Bulldog teams that actually played up to expectations with a 22-11 record.

The next season Herren, former prep All-American Terrance Roberson and JUCO All-American Daymond Forney joined the fold with Young, McCulloch, Brooks and Stanley, but the team finished with two less wins than the year before. In 1997-98, an ultra-talented team that lost the core from 1995-96 was replaced by playground legend Rafer Alston, 1994-95 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Tremaine Fowlkes, and former prep All-Americans Winfred Walton and Avondre Jones. That unit limped to a second place finish in the WAC’s Pacific Division before a late run landed them in the NIT semifinals.

As documented in “Unguarded,” the team lost Herren for a few weeks when he left for drug rehab. Forney, Fowlkes and Roberson were also suspended for failed drug tests. Alston was out at the beginning of the season because of a domestic incident and Jones was kicked off the team during the Bulldogs’ NIT run for famously brandishing a samurai sword during an argument with an acquaintance at Jones’ apartment.

“Every guy they brought in was a pro, but they didn't put the work in the gym,” Young (@iceneeko) said. “It was crazy, there was always a suspension, an injury, or someone who could only play a certain amount of minutes.”

Amazingly, many of the stories surrounding the team were chronicled by a production crew that followed the players throughout the 97-98 season. The final product, “Between the Madness” was an eye-opening look at a dozen or so scholarship student-athletes who were as unfocused as they were talented.

The documentary not only foreshadowed Herren’s troubles, but was a prelude to today’s popular sports reality shows such as HBO’s “24/7”.

Herren, Roberson, Fowlkes and Alston eventually made it to the NBA, but only Alston enjoyed prolonged success.

“They were great guys, but they didn’t work on their game and get better,” Alston said.

Dorial Green-Beckham Bucks Trend

ESPNHS has honored the nation’s best football-basketball combo athletes for over two decades, names such as Ron Curry of Hampton (Hampton, Va.), Greg Paulus of Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Terrelle Pryor of Jeannette (Jeannette, Pa.). A majority of the nation’s top Grid-Hoop athletes have aspirations to play both sports at the Division I level, but the reality is most end up focusing on one sport and the sport that materializes into a pro career more often than not is football.
Dorial Green-Beckham, Grid-Hoop
Tracy BeckhamDorial Green-Beckham is arguably the nation's top Grid-Hoop athlete.

With the competition so fierce to earn an athletic scholarship, there are less great Grid-Hoop athletes than ever before. Many top football recruits graduate mid-term and skip basketball in order to participate in spring drills in what would normally be their spring semester of high school. Others simply drop basketball to prepare for their freshman season in college.

A recent example of the trend is quarterback Cody Kessler of Centennial (Bakersfield, Calif.), the 2010 Gatorade State Player of the Year in football who entered his senior year with a school record 1,771 points, but did not play basketball in order to participate in spring football practice at USC.

Record-setting wide receiver/forward Dorial Green-Beckham of Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.), the No. 3 prospect in the ESPNU 150 for football, confirmed to ESPNHS he will play basketball for the Hornets in his senior year. On October 27, Green-Beckham set a reported national career record for receiving yards, becoming the first gridder ever to surpass the 6,000 yard-mark.

Last season on the hardwood, the 6-foot-6 forward earned ESPNHS second team Underclass All-American and Ozark Conference Player of the Year honors for a team that reached the state Class 4 quarterfinals. As a sophomore, he led Hillcrest to the Class 5 state title while averaging 20 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Green-Beckham has a solid chance to earn All-American honors in both sports this year. He’ll be hard-pressed to earn ESPNHS Mr. Basketball USA honors, but look for him on our early season watch list next week.

Oak Hill Academy Now 4-0

On November 1, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), the No. 3 ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50, had an early road test against Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and came away with a 84-69 victory.

Jordan Adams, a first team ESPNHS Underclass All-American last year headed for UCLA, led the Warriors with 22 points. Point guard Tyler Lewis, a transfer from Forsyth Country Day (Lewisville, N.C.), dished out 14 assists and had 19 points. Guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, a newcomer from North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.), added 18 points.

If early results are any indication, Lewis might challenge Rajon Rondo's single-season school record of 494 assists set in 2003-04. That season, Rondo and forward Josh Smith led the Warriors to the No. 1 ranking in the FAB 50 with a 38-0 mark.

In their latest game on Saturday, the Warriors defeated Stoneridge Prep (Tarzana, Calif.), a non-member of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) whose program is ineligible for the POWERADE FAB 50. In the 80-64 victory, Adams finished with 29 points and eight rebounds while Lewis also has 20 points, dished out six assists and reportedly had zero turnovers.

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN