CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (8-0)

Results: Defeated Perspectives-Calumet 82-42 (Mon.), Corliss 79-51 (Wed.) and Whitney Young 62-55 (Thu.)

This Week: Pontiac Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Will Simeon and Warren meet again in the finals at Pontiac? Jabari Parker and company open with Bloomington on Wednesday.

2 Proviso East (7-0)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Proviso West Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: The Pirates will be the team to beat in Hillside this week. Proviso East finished in third place in the tournament last season.

3 Warren (7-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Pontiac Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Warren will be the No. 2 seed in Pontiac. They battle Plainfield North in Wednesdays opening round.
4 Curie (8-0)

Results: Defeated Robeson 70-18 (Tue.) and DuSable 65-33 (Thu.)

This Week: Pontiac Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Forward Cliff Alexander and the Condors could meet West Aurora in the second round in Pontiac, provided they survive Niles West on Wednesday.

5 Downers Grove South (7-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament (York HS)

Hoops Talk: Jerron Wilbut and the Mustangs look to defend their title in Elmhurst this week. They open against Palatine on Tuesday.

6 Bogan (8-0)

Results: Defeated Urban Prep-Englewood 79-18 (Mon.) and Perspectives-Calumet 80-69 (Wed.)

This Week: Centralia Holiday Tourney

Hoops Talk: The Bengals will be the No. 1 seed in Centralia. Other Chicago teams participating include Marist, St. Laurence and Richards.

7 De La Salle (7-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament (York HS)

Hoops Talk: Gavin Schilling and Alex Foster should give Downers South a run for the title. The Meteors open tourney play against Perspectives on Wednesday.
8 New Trier (9-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Proviso West Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Connor Boehm and Austin Angel give the Trevians hope for a title this week. They will face Fenwick on Tuesday in the first round.
9 Whitney Young (4-2)

Results: Defeated Westinghouse 62-45 (Mon.) and Manley 81-38 (Wed); Lost to Simeon 62-55 (Thu.)

This Week: Beach Ball Classic, Myrtle Beach SC

Hoops Talk: Gabriel Snider and Jahlil Okafor are picking up the slack in the wake of injury losses to Tommie Hamilton and Jermaine Morgan.

10 Andrew (6-0)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Kankakee Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: The Thunderbolts look to be the favorites in Kankakee, a tournament that features a 3A4A and 1A2A bracket. They face Carver Wednesday.

11 Bloom (9-0)

Results: Defeated Rich East 59-50 (Tue.)

This Week: McDipper Tournament at Rich South

Hoops Talk: The Blazing Trojans, who open against Corliss on Monday, are favorites to win in Richton Park this week. Seton and Crete-Monee could challenge.

12 Plainfield East (7-0)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Pekin Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: The Bengals, No. 2 seed in Pekin, will battle Thornridge in Tuesdays opening round. Senior guard Dee Brown will be tough to contain.
13 Seton (11-0)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: McDipper Tournament at Rich South

Hoops Talk: Undefeated record will be challenged by a talented field at the McDipper. The Sting will open against Rich Central on Monday.

14 Homewood-Flossmoor (7-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Proviso West Tournament

Hoops Talk: A potential second round matchup of H-F and New Trier could be a nice holiday treat. The Vikings will take on Von Steuben in the first round.
15 West Aurora (8-1)
Results: Defeated York 67-42 (Fri.)

This Week: Pontiac Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Look for Juwan Starks to turn some heads in Peoria. Could they be the sleeper team in the tournament?

16 Elgin (12-1)
Results: Defeated Holy Trinity 54-30 (Mon.), Glenbard North 57-51 (Tue.), Neuqua Valley 52-48 (Wed.) and La Lumiere IN 40-34 (Thu.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Huge week for the Maroons, who beat national power La Lumiere to win the Elgin Tourney. Kory Brown was deadly from beyond the arc.
17 Notre Dame (9-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wheeling Hardwood Classic

Hoops Talk: The Dons, along with Stevenson, look solid in this tourney. ND opens against Vernon Hills. If the Dons win, theyll battle the Lake Park-Deerfield winner.

18 North Chicago (6-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: State Farm Holiday Classic (Bloomington-Normal)

Hoops Talk: Aaron Simpson and the Warhawks look to tame the field in Bloomington. First up: Culver Academy (IN) on Tuesday.
19 Metea Valley (9-0)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Hinsdale South Tournament

Hoops Talk: New-kid-on-the-block Metea a perfect fit for the inaugural Hinsdale South tourney. Their opener against Eisenhowers Grinnell offense could be fun.
20 Huntley (10-1)
Results: Defeated Lake Zurich 38-26 (Tue.), Hope Academy 66-60 (Thu.) and Crystal Lake Central 55-49 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Look out for the Red Raiders. Sophomore forward Amanze Egekeze scored 21 points in the title game.
Looming & Lurking: Benet, Morton, Marshall, Farragut, Glenbrook North, Stevenson, Libertyville, Harlan, St. Ignatius, St. Viator, Hope, St. Rita, Oak Park, Foreman, Crystal Lake Central and Crane.

Bears OL Nate Chandler has retired

Bears OL Nate Chandler has retired

Less than two months after Nate Chandler signed with the Bears, the team announced on Saturday that the offensive lineman has retired.

Chandler, 27, signed with the Bears on June 2. He is the second offensive linemen the Bears have signed this offseason that has retired. Manny Ramirez retired in June after signing in March.

Chandler was expected to push Charles Leno for playing time at left tackle. 

Amini Silatolu was signed by the Bears earlier this week to add more depth to the offensive line, but was thought to be more of a replacement for Ramirez at guard.

Chandler played collegiately at UCLA. He went undrafted, but signed with the Carolina Panthers and played in 37 games, with 19 starts, from 2012-2014. Due to a knee injury he was placed on injured reserve in 2015 and did not play.

34 Days to Kickoff: Bremen

34 Days to Kickoff: Bremen

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26. You can view Edgy Tim's other football previews here.

School: Bremen

Head coach: Dan Stell

Assistant Coaches: Pete Luby, Matt Verble, Amir Ross, Derek Hitt, Rey Lang, Kevin Donegan, Mike Cline, Kevin O'Sullivan, Joe DeLarme, Andy French, Brad Johnson, Jeremy Cline

How they fared in 2015: 1-8 (0-6) South Suburban Blue Conference. Bremen failed to qualify for the 2015 IHSA state football playoffs.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Braves get back to it's winning ways in the always rugged South Suburban Blue?

Names to watch this season: OL Chris Clark, DL Shane London

Biggest holes to fill: The Braves welcome back 18 starters for this season, yet overall depth is always needed in the South Suburban Blue.

EDGY's Early Take: It's been a rough few years for the Braves and head coach Dan Stell (2-7 in 2014 and 1-8 last season) after winning the conference title in 2013. The good news is that Bremen welcomes back a ton of experience including a very good junior class this fall. I expect Bremen to compete hard for a state playoff spot this season.

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

After wild seventh, Carson Fulmer wants another big-time opportunity for White Sox

The White Sox called up Carson Fulmer from Double-A Birmingham a week ago with the expectation he could add a strong, powerful arm to the back end of a bullpen that’s been taxed quite a bit this season. 

After he struggled in his first high-leverage appearance in the majors, though, the White Sox remain confident their 2015 first-round pick will be an important part of the team’s bullpen down the stretch this summer. 

Fulmer only threw 12 of 30 pitches for strikes and allowed three game-deciding runs in seventh inning of the White Sox 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 22,611 at U.S. Cellular Field Friday night. The leverage indexes of Fulmer’s first two appearances on the West Coast — which spanned 2 2/3 scoreless innings — were .01 and .05 (a leverage index of 1 is average), with those coming in a 8-1 loss and a 6-1 win. On Friday, Fulmer’s leverage index was 2.98. 

Fulmer said nerves weren’t behind his erratic outing, in which plenty of those 18 balls weren’t close to the strike zone. 

“I want to be in those situations,” the 22-year-old Fulmer said. “When you go out there and don’t do your job, it’s obviously frustrating. But you have to have a quick memory and throw it over your shoulder and prepare yourself for tomorrow.”

Fulmer’s electric mid-90’s fastball and wipeout curveball were rendered ineffective by his inability to command them in his two-thirds of an inning. He walked Justin Upton, gave up a single to Tyler Collins and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to load the bases with nobody out, and after a pair of groundouts brought a run in, he walked Cameron Maybin to re-load the bases.

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After that walk, Fulmer was pulled in favor of Nate Jones, who surrendered a go-ahead, ultimately game-winning two-run single to Tigers All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera. 

At some point, the White Sox were going to have to test Fulmer. With starter Jacob Turner only lasting 3 1/3 innings, and Fulmer looking comfortable in his first two appearances in the majors, manager Robin Ventura calculated that the seventh inning Friday was a prime opportunity. 

“He’s going to have to have it sooner or later,” Ventura said. “From the way the first (two) went, we felt comfortable he was going to come in there and be able to do that. But tonight, that doesn’t happen. But you have the confidence he can come back from this and be very effective in that spot.”

Morneau, who’s provided offense for bullpens over 14 major league seasons, agreed with his manager’s confidence in Fulmer. 

“We see a lot of good things in him,” Morneau said. “It’s obviously not up to me, but hopefully we get him back out there quick and let him settle back down and get comfortable, because he can really help this team.” 

White Sox relievers entered Friday with the fifth-highest leverage index in baseball, a product of the high volume of one-, two- and three-run games this team has found itself in this season. All those stressful innings — as well as Jake Petricka’s season-ending injury and Zach Putnam’s elbow issue from which he isn’t likely to return anytime soon — have put a considerable strain on Jones, Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and David Robertson.

Fulmer, by virtue of being in the White Sox bullpen, will get another opportunity at a high-leverage inning. And while his first foray into a pressure-packed relief appearance didn’t go well, he hopes to quickly get a chance to put Friday in the rearview mirror. 

“I can’t ever use the excuse of it being my first big-time experience, especially for me being put in that situation,” Fulmer said. “Hopefully I get the opportunity to do it again. I’ll continue to stay prepared, just like I was tonight, and hopefully the odds turn in my favor. That’s all I can control.”