Thursday, November 12, 2009

ESPN Rise Preseason Fab 50 Ranking

from ESPN Rise website

1. St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) Last Season's Record: 31-3, CIF Division III state champion
Key Players: G Afure Jemerigbe (5-11, Sr.); G Chelsea Gray (5-10, Sr.); G Alle Moreno (5-4, Sr.)

Outlook: Gray (who will play at Duke) and Jemerigbe (Cal) form perhaps the best backcourt in all the land. The Rams don't have much size, but they never do. What St. Mary's uses to make up for the lack of a real post is all-out, all-over-the-court presssure and no-conscience long-range shooting. The Rams also play a tougher schedule than the other contender for No. 1, so for now, they're here.

2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Last Season's Record: 32-1, CIF Division II Southern Regional finalist
Key Players: G Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (6-0, Jr.); G Jordan Adams (6-1, Soph.); Alexyz Vaioletama (6-1, Jr.)

Outlook: The Monarchs lost just once last season, to sister SoCal power Brea Olinda, and despite losing two Division I players to graduation might be even better in '09-10. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis committed to UConn, and Jordan Adams is one of the premier young guards in the country -- and they're just the tip of the talent iceberg.

3. Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Last Season's Record: 30-0, Class 4A state champion
Key Players: G Dorothy Williams (6-0, Sr.); G Bria Goss (5-10, Jr.)

Outlook: Losing Alex Bentley to Penn State is a big blow, and the Giants may struggle offensively in the early going. Sophomores Brionna Arnold and Shawnece Teague could join Williams and Goss as elite talents. Ben Davis was No. 1 in last year's final FAB 50.

4. St. Michael Academy (New York, N.Y.)
Last Season's Record: 25-3, N.Y. Federation AA state champion
Key Players: G Jennifer O'Neal (5-6, Sr.); Brittany Webb (6-3, Sr.); G Allysia Rohlehr (5-10, Jr.)

Outlook: The Eagles have moved ahead of Murry Bergtraum in the always-brutal New York pecking order, thanks to a horde of major-college-level players. Two concerns: St. Michael never quite seems to put all that talent together, and the Eagles don't travel much, making it hard to compare them to other top-10 teams.

5. MacArthur (Irving, Texas)
Last Season's Record: 35-4, Class 5A regional semifinalist
Key Players: G Odyssey Sims (5-8, Sr.); G Alexis Jones (5-9 Soph.)

Outlook: Some Texans might argue that Sims and Jones are every bit as good as St. Mary's Gray and Jemerigbe, but because the Cardinals don't get out of state, it's going to be pretty hard to tell. Of course, Texans might argue that Texas girls' basketball is so good there's nothing to prove by traveling.

6. Brea Olinda (Brea, Calif.)
Last Season's Record: 33-2, CIF Division II state champion
Key Players: G Kelsey Harris (5-9, Sr.); C Justine Hartman (6-3, Jr.); F Jeanier Olukemi (5-11, Soph.)

Outlook: Coach Jeff Sink's squad is loaded again, despite losing two Division I players to graduation. Look for junior Alexis Perry, who has been hampered by injuries throughout her career, to be a difference-maker.
Bria Goss

7. Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Last Season's Record: 27-2, Class 5A regional semifinalist
Key Players: G Dawnn Maye (5-8, Sr.); G 5-10 Lauren McGraw (5-10, Jr.)

Outlook: The Panthers return four starters from a good team and add 6-2 junior transfer T'Keyah Williams to the mix. Coach Marcia Pinder has been at Dillard for 32 years and has won four state titles. It might be five come March.

8. Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Last Season's Record: 26-4, Class 4A state champion
Key Players: F Morgan Tuck (6-2, Soph.); G Ariel Massengale (5-6, Jr.)

Outlook: How healthy is Morgan Tuck? Bolingbrook's top player tore an ACL in May, but she's back on the court and expected to play in the Nike TOC. If she's anywhere near 100 percent, look out.

9. Regina (South Euclid, Ohio)
Last Season's Record: 27-0, Division III state champion
Key Players: G Tay'ler Mingo (5-7, Sr.); F Pa'sonna Hope (6-2, Sr.); C Therany Dunnigan (6-2, Jr.)

Outlook: The Royals lost three Division I players to graduation but coach Pat Diulus, in his 25th year, doesn't expect much of a dropoff. If the Royals stay healthy, state championship number 10 is well within reach.

10. Redan (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Last Season's Record: 27-0, Class 5A state champion
Key Players: F Nia Evans (6-0, Sr.); G Kierra Paige (5-6, Jr.)

Outlook: The Raiders will put on more pressure this season, but they're going to need another shooter to join Paige to reach last year's heights. They'll be tested at the Crescent Bank Invitational in Myrtle Beach after Christmas, their only foray out of state.

Click here for FAb 50 Preseason 11-25

Click here for FAb 50 Preseason 26-50

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