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.
As expected, the Midwest Region of the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings has a new look, with No. 15 Bloomington (Ind.) South knocking out No. 21 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.) in a battle for supremacy.
Now that DCD has dropped two spots in the Midwest, it appears Bloomington South and No. 16 Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) are favorites to run the table. Winning Class 4A and 5A titles (large school classes) in Indiana and Minnesota, respectively, won't come easy, but with tough tests down the stretch, the postseason already abounds.
Texas and California also join the postseason fray. To win a state title in Texas, teams need to embark on a seven-game win streak. In other words, the slate has been wiped clean and single elimination is the format. In California, teams must go through layers before reaching the state final in Sacramento. Team can absorb a loss during the sectional tournaments and still qualify for regional tournaments.
New Jersey wraps up its regular season this week, with several county tournaments playing out this week. Kevin Boyle of No. 4 St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) will coach with a heavy heart after the death of his older brother, Neil, early Sunday. In a classy gesture, Linden coach Phil Colicchio requested that officials to push back the date of the Union County Tournament semifinal against St. Patrick from Tuesday to Thursday. Boyle said Sunday night he would miss the game with Linden. Colicchio's act defines sportsmanship.
Game Ball: Point guard Jordan Hulls of No. 15 Bloomington (Ind.) South engineered the offense in a pair of victories, earning him player of the week honors. His most impressive of the two outings came during a hard-earned 73-67 win over previous-No. 15 Detroit Country Day (Beverly Hills, Mich.). Hulls, an Indiana University recruit, scored nine of his game-high 27 points as the Panthers won a key interstate battle among Midwest powerhouses. He also scored 14 points when the undefeated Panthers clinched the Conference Indiana championship, thrashing Perry Meridian (Indianapolis), 91-46. Hulls averages 17.6 points and 5.5 assists for Indiana's top-ranked Class 4A club.
Games of the week: The City of Philadelphia is arguably the best basketball city in the nation. On Saturday, the best of the best from the Catholic and Public leagues will clash for city championships at Temple University's Liacouras Center. In the Class AA, West Catholic-Imhotep Prep, 1 p.m. ET while the Class AAA game is No. 20 Neumann-Goretti-Franklin Learning Center (7 p.m.). Roman Catholic meets Southern on Sunday (1 p.m.) for the Class AAAA crown. Girls' games are also on the docket.
America's Team: USA Basketball announced the 10-player roster for the 2009 USA Men's Junior National Select Team that will compete in the 12th Annual Nike Hoop Summit on April 11 (10 p.m. ET) at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
Here's the complete roster: DeMarcus Cousins of LeFlore (Mobile, Ala.); Leslie McDonald of Briarcrest (Memphis); Mason Plumlee of Christ School (Arden, N.C.); Avery Bradley of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); Derrick Favors of South Atlanta (Atlanta); Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.); Xavier Henry of Putnam City (Oklahoma City); John Henson of Sickles (Tampa, Fla.); Mike Moser of Grant (Portland, Ore.); and John Wall of Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.).
John Olive of Torrey Pines (San Diego) was named head coach of the USA Team. The World Select Team roster, announced in March, will consist of 11 players, age 19 or younger from FIBA's five geographic zones.
Additionally, The Atlanta Tipoff Club Monday announced finalists for the 2009 Naismith Boys' High School Player of the Year awards. The lists were determined by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists and administrators, which based its criteria on player performances this season.
Four of the five finalists are playing in the Nike Hoop Summit for the USA Men's Junior National Select Team. They are Kenny Boynton of American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Cousins, Favors, Sidney and Wall. The winner will be announced March 23 at an awards banquet.
Records are through Feb. 22.
Dropped out: No. 21 Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.); No. 37 Atlantic Shores Christian (Chesapeake, Va.); and No. 47 Rock Bridge (Columbia, Mo.).