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 (20-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Douglass (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor, Kendrick Nunn and company are sure to treat the Public League playoffs like they would for the IHSAs in March.
2 Proviso East (19-0)

Results: Defeated Hinsdale South 71-59 and Proviso West 100-65

This Week: Friday vs. Morton, Saturday at Willowbrook

Hoops Talk: The French Connection (Paris Lee and Paris Burns) help fuel weekend victories by the Pirates on both sides of the floor.

3 Curie (20-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Amundsen (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Will Curie get their rematch vs. the top-ranked Wolverines in the Public League playoffs? Sophomore center Cliff Alexander will be tough to stop.

4 Warren (17-2)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest 50-38 and Zion-Benton 70-52

This Week: Friday vs. Zion-Benton, Saturday vs. Glenbrook North

Hoops Talk: Nathan Booth went 12-17 from the field and matched his career high in points (28) Saturday at Z-B.

5 Plainfield East (20-1)

Results: Defeated Plainfield Central 64-37, Minooka 48-41 (OT) and Naperville North 70-48.

This Week: Tuesday vs. Plainfield North, Friday at Romeoville

Hoops Talk: Talk about making a statement. The Bengals put the clamps on Minooka (2nd in SW Prairie) and then wallop a good DuPage Valley team by 22.

6 Andrew (17-1)

Results: Lost to Thornton 47-45; Defeated Stagg 51-40

This Week: Tuesday at Bradley, Friday vs. Lincoln-Way North

Hoops Talk: Jubril Adekoya and Glorind Lisha help Andrew rebound from their first defeat on the season.

7 Bogan (19-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Uplift (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Devonte Smith and Devaughn Johnson will look to prove theres more to Public League hoops than just Simeon and Curie.

8 Downers Grove South (18-4)

Results: Defeated Addison Trail 66-52, Willowbrook 68-55 and Downers Grove North 66-35

This Week: Saturday vs. Leyden

Hoops Talk: Kevin Honn and Jamall Millison are two key players stepping up in the wake of Jerron Wilbuts absence (suspension).

9 Huntley (19-2)

Results: Defeated Prairie Ridge 56-43 and McHenry 34-29

This Week: Wednesday vs. Crystal Lake South, Saturday vs. Dundee-Crown

Hoops Talk: Its not just the Amanze Egekeze show at Huntley. Guard Troy Miller has stepped up nicely this season as well.

10 Elgin (16-3)

Results: Lost to St. Charles East 65-63

This Week: Tuesday at DeKalb, Wednesday vs. Batavia, Friday at Larkin

Hoops Talk: The Maroons have now lost two straight. Kory Brown still impressive, though: 27 points and 13 boards against the Saints.

11 Whitney Young (12-8)

Results: Defeated North Lawndale 48-47, Crane 45-29; Lost to Bishop Gorman 69-50.

This Week: Wednesday vs. DuSable (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: The Dolphins finished in a four-way tie for first in the Red-West, with Orr, Marshall and Farragut.

12 De La Salle (14-4)

Results: Lost to St. Rita 60-46

This Week: Tuesday vs. Hillcrest

Hoops Talk: Tough closing stretch for the Meteors. Three of their last four opponents are ranked in the CSN Top 20 (Hillcrest, St. Ignatius and Simeon).
13 St. Ignatius (17-3)

Results: Lost to Leo 58-54; Defeated Fenwick 59-38 and New Trier 49-42

This Week: Tuesday vs. Brother Rice, Friday vs. Gordon Tech

Hoops Talk: Brian Howard helped the Wolfpack bounce back in a big way. His game-high 18 points fueled his team against fellow CSN Top 20-foe New Trier.

14 New Trier (18-4)

Results: Lost to Waukegan 54-51 and St. Ignatius 49-42

This Week: Friday vs. Evanston (at Welsh-Ryan Arena)

Hoops Talk: Rough week for the Trevians, who now tune up for a big rivalry game in a large venue.

15 Hillcrest (18-4)

Results: Defeated Oak Forest 64-29

This Week: Tuesday at De La Salle

Hoops Talk: The Hawks hit five three pointers in the first quarter Friday night against the Bengals. A huge measuring-stick game awaits on Tuesday.

16 Bloom (19-3)

Results: Defeated Kankakee 77-27 and Rich South 64-44

This Week: Friday at Rich South

Hoops Talk: This weeks game against the Stars will mark the rubber game between the two teams. Bloom won at the McDipper, South beat Bloom 16.

17 Metea Valley (19-2)

Results: Defeated Neuqua Valley 71-67 (OT); Lost to Hinsdale Central 73-72 (OT)

This Week: Wednesday at Lake Park, Saturday vs. Waubonsie Valley

Hoops Talk: Ryan Solomon carried the Mustangs this week, but M-V could not figure out sophomore Chase Hamilton and the upstart Red Devils.

18 Orr (16-3)

Results: Defeated Crane 70-45

This Week: Wednesday vs. Powerhouse (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Marquise Pryor and Jamal McDowell will prove that Orr will not go away easily in the Public League playoffs.

19 Hope Academy (19-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday @ Ida Crown, Friday vs. Northside College Prep

Hoops Talk: Hope needs to focus on these two games, which includes Fridays senior night, and not look ahead to Tuesdays tilt against Seton.
20 Lemont (19-2)

Results: Defeated Tinley Park 75-66

This Week: Thursday vs. T.F. North

Hoops Talk: Lemonts 27-0 run erased a 21-3 lead for Tinley Park Friday night. Juozas Balciunas had a career-high 31 points.

Looming & Lurking: St. Rita, Marshall, Crane, Farragut, West Aurora, Naperville North, Seton, Foreman, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, York.

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

Monday on CSN, CSNChicago.com: Bulls introduce Denzel Valentine

The Bulls will introduce first round draft pick Denzel Valentine on Monday at the Advocate Center, and CSN has you covered all the way.

Tune in to CSN Chicago or catch a live stream on CSNChicago.com at 11 a.m. as GM Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg introduce Valentine, the Michigan State senior whom the Bulls selected 14th overall in last week's NBA Draft.

Valentine, last year's AP Player of the Year, became the first player in NCAA history to average at least 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a single season. The shooting guard's versatility and ability to shoot from the perimeter will make him a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg's system, and his passing will help in the wake of the Bulls dealing Derrick Rose to the Knicks.

Check out our coverage of Valentine and the rest of the Bulls draft:

Bulls 'absolutely thrilled' to land Denzel Valentine

Gar Forman shoots down Jimmy Butler trade talk

How the NBA cap spike will affect the Bulls

Bulls get 'a well-rounded player' in Paul Zipser

How the Bulls' Central Division foes fared in the 2016 NBA Draft

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

White Sox Road Ahead: Heating up on the South Side

CSN's JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos discuss the struggles of James Shields while also going over a difficult upcoming series for the White Sox in this week's Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.

On the back of Chris Sale and his 13th win, the White Sox are back to .500 after taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays.

The South Siders have now won five of their last seven games, and won back-to-back series for the first time in nearly two months. They're now 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot and are playing much better baseball as they head toward the All-Star break.

Hear what JJ Stankevitz and Siera Santos had to say about their big week, as well as their upcoming three-game series against the Twins, in this week's Honda Road Ahead video above.

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

White Sox win consecutive series for first time since late April

The White Sox have been adamant the baseball they’ve played the past six weeks isn’t far removed from their torrid start to the season.

Now they have something to show for it.

Courtesy of a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox have back-to-back series victories for the first time since they swept the Texas Rangers and Toronto two months ago. With five wins in their last seven tries, the White Sox improved to 38-38 as they head into a much-needed day off.

“It’s huge,” said outfielder J.B. Shuck, whose second homer in as many days provided an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. “You feel kind of a weight lifted off the shoulders in the clubhouse. We’ve been grinding. Even some of our losses, we’ve been in games. We’ve come back, we’ve given ourselves a chance and one thing here or there kind of led us to losing and now it’s starting to work for us a little bit.”

A week ago the White Sox were coming off yet another demoralizing road sweep against an AL Central opponent. They had played well in two of three contests against the Cleveland Indians but came up empty. That sweep followed one at the Detroit Tigers earlier in the month and another previous one during a hellish May weekend in Kansas City.

But starting with an extra-innings win at the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the White Sox have started to put things together more consistently than they had of late.

They capitalized on good pitching in the first two victories over the Red Sox and then the offense did the heavy lifting in an 8-6 win on Wednesday. Though they didn’t close out a sweep of Boston, the White Sox carried it over to their home series against Toronto.

“We need some of those,” said closer David Robertson, who retired the side on 10 pitches in the ninth to convert his 20th save. “When you get your butt kicked and you get swept in places, you gotta come home and win some games. We’re playing a lot better baseball. We’re pitching better. Hopefully it continues and we stay strong.”

Sunday’s victory was full of quality play in all aspects for the White Sox.

-- Chris Sale was dominant for seven of eight innings and earned his 13th victory in 15 decisions.

-- Robertson’s inning aside, Sale gave the bullpen another critical day of rest.

“It’s kind of relaxing,” reliever Zach Duke said.

-- Beginning with Adam Eaton’s major-league leading 10th outfield assist in the first inning, the defense turned in several big plays behind Sale, including double plays in the fourth and seventh.

-- The offense provided several timely hits, whether Melky Cabrera’s two-out RBI single in the third or Shuck’s solo homer to increase the lead back to three runs in the eighth.

Now the White Sox have a day to rest before they continue their homestand on Tuesday with the first of three against the Minnesota Twins.

“I like the way we're playing,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think offensively, we're swinging it a little bit, doing some things, and playing defense along with it. That's a good sign for us to be able to continue to do that. Pitchers are getting back to being healthy and getting after it. I like the way this is headed. I like the fire that these guys have shown and bouncing back in some tough situations.”