It's crunch time for the nation's top teams and players, as various section and state playoffs are set to kick off around the country.
"It doesn't matter what teams you are playing, having an undefeated record at this point in the season is a hard thing to do," said ESPN RISE FAB 50 girls ranking expert Clay Kallam.
The same holds true on the boys' side, and one player beginning to get individual recognition for leading his team to a stellar record is Tobias Harris from Half Hollow Hills West of Dix Hills, N.Y. The No. 5 player in the ESPNU 100 is one of those rare talents that will get to showcase his package of skills at both the 2010 McDonald's and Jordan Brand All-American (April 17, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) games.
The results of his hard work have not only landed him a spot in the nation's most prestigious national all-stars games, but recognition as a true national player of the year contender. In this week's ESPN RISE Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, Harris finished in the top seven of the weekly balloting with 32 points. He not only saw his point total double from the previous week (16 to 32), he also appeared on double the amount of ballots (six, up from three).
That's what happens when you're coming off a week with two triple-doubles and a four-point win for your Long Island-based team over perennial New York City power Christ the King.
"We're 18-0 and playing great basketball," Harris said as HHHW currently sits at No. 15 in the East Regional Rankings and on the cusp of the FAB 50. "As we keep winning, more people are noticing us right now. My team is doing a great job."
Harris, a Tennessee recruit, didn't have the fanfare of some of the top player-of-the-year candidates heading into the season and has a humble attitude about his competition.
"You can't say they are not deserving," he said. "Guys like Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger are having a great season. They are doing something. Kyrie Irving is also playing really good basketball. I don't know him, but Deshaun Thomas is also doing well."
Harris is grateful for the opportunity to get to know and compete with, and against, guys like Thomas in Columbus, Ohio, and New York City at the conclusion of his senior season.
"My goal is to play a good game, and win the (Jordan) game," Harris said. "I'm going to have fun. This opportunity doesn't come along for many people."
Read below for the complete 2010 Jordan Brand All-American rosters and to see the voting results of the ninth 2009-10 ESPN RISE Mr. Basketball Tracker.
WEST TEAM -- Harrison Barnes (Ames, Ames, Iowa); Will Barton (Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H.); Tobias Harris (Half Hollow Hills West, Dix Hills, N.Y.); Terrence Jones (Jefferson, Portland, Ore.); Cory Joseph (Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.); Doron Lamb (Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.); Kendall Marshall (Bishop O'Connell, Arlington, Va.); Josh Selby (Lake Clifton, Baltimore, Md.); Josh Smith (Kentwood, Covington, Wash.); Tristan Thompson (Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.).
EAST TEAM -- Reggie Bullock (Kinston, N.C.); Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick, Elizabeth, N. J.); Perry Jones (Duncanville, Texas); Jelan Kendrick (Wheeler, Marietta, Ga.); Brandon Knight (Pine Crest, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); C.J. Leslie (Word of God Academy, Raleigh, N.C.); Roscoe Smith (Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.); Jared Sullinger (Northland, Columbus, Ohio); Deshaun Thomas (Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne, Ind.); Dion Waiters (Life Center Academy, Philadelphia, Pa.).
Others Receiving Votes:
Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick, Elizabeth, N.J.) 18 pts. (3)
Quincy Miller (Quality Education, Winston-Salem, N. C.) 18 pts. (2)
Doron Lamb (Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 12 pts. (2)
Austin Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) 10 pts. (2)
Joe Jackson (White Station, Memphis, Tenn.) 9 pts. (2)
Dion Waiters (Life Center Academy, Philadelphia, Pa.) 7 pts. (1)
Chris Jones (Melrose, Memphis, Tenn.) 6 pts. (1)
Deshaun Thomas (Bishop Luers, Ft. Wayne, Ind.) 6 pts. (1)
Jayvaughn Pinkston (Bishop Loughlin, Brooklyn, N.Y.) 5 pts. (1)
Joseph Young (Yates, Houston, Texas) 5 pts. (1)
Reggie Bullock (Kinston, N.C.) 4 pts. (1)
Fuquan Edwin (Paterson Catholic, Paterson, N.J.) 4 pts. (1)
Perry Jones (Duncanville, Texas) 4 pts. (1)