CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

1 - Simeon
PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker surprises the masses, playing in the Wolveines' first game of the year. Parker, who has been nursing a foot injury, scored six points in a win over Milton (GA).

2 - Whitney Young
PrepsTalk: Jahlil Okafor had quite the 2012-13 debut Saturday night, scoring 34 points with nine rebounds as the Dolphins rolled past DeMatha (MD). LJ Peak scored 17 points.

3 - Morgan Park
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs pick up a huge win over Notre Dame, thanks to a 17-5 run in the fourth quarter. Kyle Davis scored 23 points in the victory.

4 - Hillcrest
PrepsTalk: Jovan Mooring scored 17 points in a victory over Reavis. The team will have Argo and Shepard this week. The Hawks will travel to Indianapolis later this month.

5 - North Chicago
PrepsTalk: JaVairius Amos-Mays scored a game-high 22 points as the Warhawks walloped Grant 92-47 on Friday. They have Antioch and Vernon Hills this week.

6 - Bolingbrook
PrepsTalk: Ben Moore tallied 23 points as the Raiders got past Lincoln-Way Central 57-49 Friday night. They will travel to Lockport on Tuesday, then host Sandburg Friday night.

7 - Benet
PrepsTalk: Huge win for the Redwings over Curie at the Cyrus McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase. Sean O'Mara scored 13 points in a marquee matchup against Cliff Alexander.

8 - Notre Dame
PrepsTalk: Justin Halloran led the Dons with 14 points against Morgan Park, but they could not overcome a late surge by the Mustangs. Another huge game awaits Friday against Marist.

9 - Proviso East
PrepsTalk: The Pirates have now lost two early season games, the latest a 84-46 trouncing at the hands of Lone Peak (Utah). Sterling Brown has sat out the last two games due to disciplinary reasons.

10 - St. Rita
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs are looking to bounce back after losing to St. Rita on their home floor Friday night, 42-38. Charles Matthews and company now face Gordon Tech on Friday.

11 - Seton
PrepsTalk: Mark Weems, Jr. scored 20 points against Gordon Tech Friday night as the Sting cruised to a 57-44 victory. Kamal Shasi added 15 points and seven rebounds.

12 - Homewood-Flossmoor
PrepsTalk: Rashaan Surles scored 14 points while Maurius Hill added 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Vikings get a huge win at Joliet West. They will host Lockport Friday night.

13 - Fenwick
PrepsTalk: Fenwick posted an impressive win over the weekend, taking down fellow village rival Oak Park 66-57. Luke Lattner scored 20 points. The Friars will face De La Salle on Tuesday.

14. Neuqua Valley
PrepsTalk: The Wildcats have stormed out of the gate with a 6-0 record, which includes Saturdays 59-46 win over rival Waubonsie Valley. Jared Brownridge was huge in the fourth quarter.

15 - Dundee-Crown
PrepsTalk: The Chargers bolt into the Top 20, thanks to a 49-40 win over St. Patrick. Brandon Rodriguez was a key player in a late 12-0 run that decided the game.

16 - Niles West
PrepsTalk: Keep an eye on the Wolves, who are off to a fine 5-0 start. They are coming off a 67-63 win over fellow Skokie foe Niles North. David McCoy had 18 points in the victory.

17 - Morton
PrepsTalk: Greg Carter and Waller Perez will be in the headlines a lot this year. They have led Morton to a 3-1 start, including a thrilling 63-62 victory over Larkin in Elgin.

18 - Warren
PrepsTalk: The Blue Devils have a new coach in Ryan Webber, who took over for Chuck Ramsey. Webber and company secured a fine victory over New Trier Saturday, 66-60.

19 - St. Charles East
PrepsTalk: Purdue recruit Kendall Stephens had 15 points against Larkin Thursday, but his Saints could not pull out the victory. East faces Geneva on Friday.

20 - West Aurora
PrepsTalk: West held Wheaton Warrenville South to zero field goals and forced 11 turnovers in the first half Friday night, en route to a 56-29 victory. Josh McAuley had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Looming and Lurking: St. Joseph, Curie, Bogan, Hyde Park, Glenbrook North, Schaumburg, Marist, Orr, Bloom, Providence-St. Mel, T.F. North, Larkin, De La Salle, Andrew, Oswego.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN and @PrepsTalkCSN for prep basketball coverage.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Mark Grote (670 The Score) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) join Kap on the panel. Jonathan Toews is still not back at practice. Is it time to panic?

Meanwhile, the Bulls beat the Spurs. And Rajon Rondo compliments the coaches? Is all well in Bulls-town?

Plus, Dexter Fowler is Cardinal. Should Cubs fans be angry?

And finally, is it good idea for Jordan Howard to get the ball less for the rest of the season?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: 

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

At one point, it was looking like Lucas Giolito could be headed to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale.

But when Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, Giolito's name was in the clear of rumors — until 29 hours later, when the Nationals' top prospect would be headed to Chicago in a different trade, which sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington.

“It’s kind of like the world we live in now. Social media is always out there and everything is on Twitter,” Giolito said in a conference call Friday. “I saw my name being mentioned on Twitter for Chris Sale. I know with the winter meetings all sorts of stuff being thrown around. I was just trying to focus on what I’m doing in this offseason which is lifting and all my workouts. Kind of just whatever happens, happens. 

“It’s funny that Sale ended up going to the Red Sox and something else happens that I’m going to the White Sox now with a couple teammates. It’s really interesting stuff but I’m super excited.”

The move for Rick Hahn & Co. to acquire Giolito was the second major trade to begin the White Sox rebuilding process. But Giolito didn't come alone.

In addition, the White Sox received Reynaldo Lopez — who Giolito has played with since 2014 — and the Nationals' 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

"I definitely think it’s amazing to be coming over to the White Sox with a bunch of young talent," Giolito said. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to all develop and get better and hopefully put a really good team together in Chicago. Definitely excited to be coming over with a couple guys from my previous organization."

[MORE: Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right]

Giolito went 6-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across three minor-league levels this past season. He admitted his mechanics weren't quite in sync and is looking to improve on that.

"Sometimes things get out of whack. I believe I let too much get out of whack last year," Giolito said. "So this year with my training program I have in this offseason — lifting and Pilates and everything — I’m just trying to make sure that I can stay as athletic as possible so I’m able to repeat the right delivery more often. Once I start playing catch and doing bullpens and everything these next few weeks, right before spring training, I’m going to make sure I put that all together so I can repeat my delivery as best as possible."

His struggles continued when he got to The Show.

In his major-league debut on June 28, Giolito held the New York Mets to just one hit over four scoreless innings before a rain delay cut his night short. That turned out to be his most effective outing of the season as he finished the year with an 0-1 record, 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in six games with the Nationals, four of them being starts.

"(My MLB debut) didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked it to go, obviously, as you look at the numbers and everything," he said, "but I feel that with the White Sox now (and) getting traded and everything, it’s kind of like a fresh opportunity and a new start to get up to the big leagues again and contribute and do everything I can to stay there as well."

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Despite his low numbers, the 22-year-old Giolito believes he's ready to play on the White Sox main roster as soon as next season.

"I’ve had some experience in the big leagues last year," Giolito said. "Especially last year, I took a lot positives away because I did experience such a good amount of failure in a lot of I’d say like hardship when I made it up and didn’t perform up to what I believe is my best capabilities.

"I’ve pitched a good amount of innings in the minor leagues and I’ve had a little experience in the big leagues so I’m just really looking forward to making it up in the big leagues with the White Sox and contributing as soon as possible."