<
>

Mater Dei takes over top spot in Week 3

11/26/2008

Editor's note: The ESPN RISE top 50 boys' basketball rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, Ronnie Flores, Ryan Canner-O'Mealy and Jon Mahoney. They will be released each Tuesday throughout the season. Click here for the regional rankings.

This just in: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) ascends to the top spot in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings without having played a game. That's because preseason No. 1 Duncanville (Texas) was upended by Madison (San Antonio) at the McDonald's Texas Invitational near Houston.

The win vaults the No. 19 Mavericks from the regional rankings into the national scene. The Mavs are no stranger to big games, having reached Texas' Class 5A Final Four the last two seasons. Coach John Valenzuela's club relies on Coppin State-bound forward Jonathan Landry, 6-7 junior Stephen Baird, 6-0 Jamal Johnson, 6-6 Travis Smith and 6-3 Cameron Catlett (MVP of the McDonald's Invitational).

Madison plays in two of Texas' top tournaments -- Lone Star Invitational (San Antonio) and Dallas ISD/Coca-Cola -- December.

The majority of the nation tips off in the next two weeks, joining states that get an early jump. Mater Dei opens Monday in the Loara Tournament. Last season the Monarchs went 35-1, capturing their second straight Division II state crown.

Three-point play
Player of the week: Guard Avery Bradley of No. 5 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) totaled 37 points and seven steals against New England prep school competition last weekend in Smithfield, R.I. Avery, a Texas recruit, had 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting and five steals against St. Andrew's (Barrington, R.I.). He followed that effort with 28 points (making 12 of 17 shots), three rebounds and two steals in a key 82-76 win over St. mark's (Southborough, Mass.).

Game of the week: Wednesday, No. 19 Madison (San Antonio) at Pflugerville (Texas), 2:30 p.m. ET. Two of the state's top Class 5A teams meet in an early season clash. The Madison Mavs are hot following a big win over preseason top-ranked Duncanville. Pflugerville, coached by Mike Murphy, reached the Class 5A regional quarterfinals last season and features point guard Jonathan Garza and 6-foot-8 Osas Ebomwonyi (both Lamar recruits).

Update: Duane Cooper was hired as the head coach on an interim basis at No. 14 Dominguez (Compton, Calif.). Cooper, who played in the NBA and at Southern California, takes over for Russell Otis who is currently on paid administrative leave. Most recently Cooper worked with a grassroots basketball organization in southern California.

Records through Nov. 23..

Dropped out: No. 34. Hightower (Missouri City, Texas), No. 35. North Crowley (Fort Worth), No. 36 Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.).