Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (23-1)

Results: Defeated Douglass 98-31, Hyde Park 65-44 and Marshall 73-62
This Week: Public League Semifinals vs. Orr, Saturday vs. De La Salle (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Kendrick Nunn, Jaleni Neely and Jaylon Tate didnt play Sunday (disciplinary reasons). Simeon might needs all hands on deck against Orr.

2 Proviso East (21-0)

Results: Defeated Morton 64-53 and Willowbrook 97-70
This Week: Tuesday vs. Leyden, Friday vs. Downers Grove South
Hoops Talk: The Pirates had four starters in double figures Saturday against Willowbrook: Paris Lee (18), Paris Burns (16), Sterling Brown (15) and Keith Carter (14).

3 Curie (23-1)

Results: Defeated Amundsen 90-34, Crane 68-29 and Morgan Park 65-35
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Bogan
Hoops Talk: So much is said about the Condors offense but the D has game too: 22 turnovers forced against Crane, 16 of them in the first half.

4 Warren (19-2)

Results: Defeated Zion-Benton 72-58 and Glenbrook North 41-32
This Week: Tuesday at Lake Zurich, Friday at Libertyville, Saturday vs. Proviso East (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Saturday tilt against Proviso East should be the crown jewel of the three-game City-Suburban Showdown at Proviso West.

5 Plainfield East (22-1)

Results: Defeated Plainfield North 76-48 and Romeoville 69-36
This Week: Tuesday at St. Charles East, Friday vs. Plainfield South
Hoops Talk: The Bengals have a chance to win their first Southwest Prairie conference title Friday night with a win against defending champion Plainfield South.

6 Andrew (19-1)

Results: Defeated Bradley 73-46 and Lincoln-Way North 60-34
This Week: Tuesday vs. Sandburg, Friday at Thornridge
Hoops Talk: Deep team with one of the more underrated centers in the area, Tyler Hook. Bolts cant look past this weeks games to the Thornwood clash on Feb. 21.
7 Bogan (23-2)

Results: Defeated Uplift 90-65, North Lawndale 83-67 and Taft 71-41
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Curie
Hoops Talk: Ronnell Bucker, DeVaughn Johnson, Luwane Pipkins and Devonte Smith will pose a serious threat to Curie.

8 Downers Grove South (19-4)

Results: Defeated Leyden 60-33
This Week: Friday at Proviso East
Hoops Talk: The Mustangs, who lost to the Pirates on January 19th at DGS, will be looking for revenge. The West Suburban Gold title will be on the line.

9 Huntley (21-2)

Results: Defeated Crystal Lake South 52-31 and Dundee-Crown 41-40
This Week: Tuesday at Jacobs, Friday at Cary-Grove
Hoops Talk: Bryce Onlys jumper with five seconds left gave the Red Raiders a thrilling win over Dundee-Crown, their third win over the Chargers this season.

10 Elgin (19-3)

Results: Defeated DeKalb 50-48, Batavia 65-51 and Larkin 64-51
This Week: Wednesday vs. Immaculate Conception, Friday at Streamwood
Hoops Talk: Huge gain for the Maroons, as senior Dennis Moore returns from a broken right hand. He had 14 points Friday at Larkin.

11 St. Ignatius (19-3)

Results: Defeated Brother Rice 59-51 and Gordon Tech 48-41
This Week: Friday at Loyola, Sunday vs. Notre Dame (at Gordon Tech)
Hoops Talk: Coach Rick Kehoe has benefitted from some great senior leadership this year, especially from guard Brian Howard.

12 Hillcrest (19-4)

Results: Defeated De La Salle 62-48
This Week: Tuesday vs. Tinley Park, Friday vs. T.F. South
Hoops Talk: Balance was the key as the Hawks takes down the Meteors. Jovan Morring, Jalen Loving, Kyle Oden and Jayone Troutman all reached double figures.

13 Bloom (21-3)

Results: Defeated Rich South 59-52
This Week: Friday at Crete-Monee
Hoops Talk: Donald Moore continues to impress, scoring 22 points against the Stars. Bloom will now look to beat C-M for the third time this season.

14 Orr (19-3)

Results: Defeated Power House 73-52, Farragut 54-43 and Foreman 62-60 (OT)
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. (SimeonMarshall)
Hoops Talk: Devante Jones hit a three to send Sundays game against Foreman to OT. The defense and free throw shooting were enough in the extra session.

15 Marshall (20-7)

Results: Defeated Lincoln Park 45-42 and Whitney Young 69-67; Lost to Simeon 73-62
This Week: No games scheduled this week
Hoops Talk: The Commandos could not dig themselves out of a 14-0 hole against Simeon. They should still be a force in the IHSA playoffs.

16 St. Rita (14-8)

Results: Defeated Providence 70-64 and Hales 71-69
This Week: Friday at St. Joseph, Saturday vs. New Trier (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Dont let the record fool you. The Mustangs losses have dominated in-state foes and have challenged talented teams from outside Illinois.

17 New Trier (18-5)

Results: Lost to Evanston 55-52 (OT)
This Week: Friday at Maine South, Saturday vs. St. Rita (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Trevians have lost three straight. The slate doesnt get much easier this week, especially with Saturdays City-Suburban tilt on the horizon.

18 De La Salle (14-5)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 62-48
This Week: Friday at Hales, Saturday vs. Simeon (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Meteors are currently in a five-game stretch where four of those opponents are ranked in the CSN Top 20.

19 Hope Academy (21-2)

Results: Defeated Ida Crown 72-59 and Northside Prep 58-48
This Week: Tuesday at Seton, Thursday vs. Raby, Friday at Holy Trinity
Hoops Talk: Torrance Johnson and company continue to keep the Eagles on the upswing. Tuesdays game at Seton should be entertaining.

20 Lemont (20-2)

Results: Defeated T.F. North 47-42
This Week: Tuesday at T.F. South, Friday vs. Reavis
Hoops Talk: Mike Wisz came off the bench to hit six three-pointers in the Indians victory over T.F. North

Looming & Lurking: Whitney Young, Metea Valley, Farragut, West Aurora, Naperville North, Seton, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, York

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott's return boosts Bulls' bench

Doug McDermott wasn’t exactly hunting for his first shot, but the first time he touched the ball in an NBA game in nearly a month wasn’t the optimal situation for him to let one fly.

It wasn’t in transition where he runs to an opening behind the 3-point line, nor was it a drive-and-kick situation where the help defense collapsed and left him open. It was a regular, simple, pass to the perimeter and McDermott’s defender was in reasonable proximity with 3:23 left in the first quarter.

He launched and the crowd soon roared its approval as his sweet jumper was sorely missed by the Bulls bench brigade—and moments later when he ran the floor for a fearless layup that caused Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout, McDermott showed he missed the United Center crowd too, calling for more noise on his way to the bench.

“Anytime you have a guy like Doug, he comes back and makes his first 3, that’s hard to do,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He stepped up with confidence on that first shot. I’m sure he had a lot of nerves getting back out there.”

Missing 12 games and suffering two concussions, McDermott looked right at home in 25 minutes of run Thursday as the Bulls were able to rely on their reserves in some form in their 95-91 win over the previously perfect road warriors known as the Spurs.

“We defended and kept them off the foul line,” McDermott said. “Coach (Jim) Boylen was with them, so we feel we know them and I think all this time they were missing my defense.”

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The last statement was certainly tongue-in-cheek, but the Bulls’ bench production was certainly missing in action while he was out with the concussion protocol. So much so that his return prompted the Bulls’ coaching staff to call out the reserves in the morning shootaround, demanding more.

“It’s definitely Dwyane (Wade) and Jimmy (Butler) and (Rajon) Rondo (but) the coaching staff kinda called out our bench like, we gotta have you tonight, bench,” McDermott said. “We took that to heart, we were really locked in.”

Seemingly his presence aided the Bulls’ spirits and production, as the Bulls’ bench had the least effective scoring bench in the NBA since Nov. 13, the day after McDermott hit the unforgiving floor against the Wizards for his second concussion this season.

Their net rating ranks ahead of only the Wizards, Mavericks and Nets, who are a combined 17-45 this season. Their effective field goal percentage, which takes into account 3-pointers, is worst in the league in that span (42.3 percent).

When McDermott was healthy for that smaller sample size, the Bulls’ bench ranked fifth in offensive efficiency, seventh in net rating, and fifth in efficient field goal percentage. Whether McDermott – and his absence – was directly related to those numbers, it’s clear the Bulls are better when they have their best reserve – and only true floor spacers on the second unit – on the court.

“We’re all professionals and we want to help the guys who are busting their butts in the first unit to get us the leads,” McDermott said. “Tonight we did a great job of sustaining it. We take it personal when teams come back on us.”

[MORE: Pau Gasol relishes consistency with Spurs he couldn't find with Bulls]

Nikola Mirotic was four of eight from the field, and Cristiano Felicio seems to be back in Fred Hoiberg’s good graces as he’s carved out a rotation spot for himself with nine points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes.

It seems as if Hoiberg will stick with this rotation of players, at least for a little while until Michael Carter-Williams returns from his injuries. If McDermott is the mark of the Bulls’ bench going from bottom feeder to adequate, it should show this month.

“When he’s out there on the floor and we get him coming off screens, it forces the defense to shift as another person they need to be aware of,” Hoiberg said. “It opens up driving lanes for our guys. It was great to have Doug back with us.”

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

Morning Update: Bulls beat Spurs in Pau Gasol's return to Chicago

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