CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings


CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell

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.

Cubs announce lineup for Game 1 of the World Series...and yes Kyle Schwarber is in it

Cubs announce lineup for Game 1 of the World Series...and yes Kyle Schwarber is in it

CLEVELAND - Kyle Schwarber is in the Cubs starting lineup for the first time since April 7.

It just so happens to also be the Cubs' first World Series starting lineup since 1945.

The Cubs released Joe Maddon's Game 1 lineup against Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians Tuesday afternoon ahead of a historic World Series matchup.

Schwarber is hitting fifth at DH:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Kyle Schwarber - DH
6. Javy Baez - 2B
7. Chris Coghlan - RF
8. Addison Russell - SS
9. David Ross - C

And Jon Lester is on the mound.

Schwarber is already the Cubs' all-time leader in postseason homers with five longballs in last season's playoff run.

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Coghlan in the lineup is also a surprise as defensive stalwart Jason Heyward gets the boot to the bench for the second straight game.

The Cubs put Albert Almora Jr. in right field at Wrigley Saturady night when they beat Clayton Kershaw and locked up the NLCs.

Heyward is hitting .071 with a .312 OPS in the postseason, collecting only two hits and a walk in 10 games.

Coghlan has appeared in five games - all as a pinch-hitter - and is 0-for-4 with a walk and a run. 

The Cubs have scored 23 runs in the last three games after being shut out in 21 straight innings prior to that.

2010 Blackhawks can relate to Cubs’ quest for elusive title

2010 Blackhawks can relate to Cubs’ quest for elusive title

A young team sits on the cusp of achieving something great. If it’s done, it will erase years of angst, erase decades of frustration and futility.

Six years ago, that was the 2010 Blackhawks with their Stanley Cup triumph. Now it’s the Cubs, who could snap a century-plus long World Series drought. Those who were on that 2010 Blackhawks team can relate to what the Cubs are going through right now: an entire city watching, waiting and hoping for that elusive title. For them, staying loose was the best way to deal with the pressures that come with it.

That Blackhawks squad was a young-up-and-coming group. Ditto for this year’s Cubs. From all outward appearances these Cubs look like a loose bunch. The Blackhawks were the same in 2010, when they were helping the franchise rebuild after a lot of lean years.

“I think there are a lot of similarities,” Brian Campbell said. “I’m not in the [Cubs’] room, but we had a lot of fun in the room with guys who supported each other and had a lot of fun and enjoyed it. It seems like they have a good time over there and they go to work hard every day but enjoy themselves and have some good events. That’s the only way to kind of keep it relaxed.

“There’s pressure in the situation and it had been a while for us. And it’s been a long time for them,” Campbell added. “So I think it’s a good job by a lot of the guys in the clubhouse just keeping it relaxed.”

Jonathan Toews said the Blackhawks that year knew what they could do, but they tried to focus on each game instead of the big picture.

“I wouldn’t say we went in blindly but it was relatively unknown for us. We were just playing and I think we were clicking at the right time. Obviously we had a lot of firepower,” Toews said. “We didn’t really realize how tough it is to get there and we just kind of knew that was our potential and we just kept playing, kept winning. And before we knew it, we were on top.”

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Maintaining that composure and relaxed atmosphere was key. But with young teams, coaches can also help in that regard. Coach Joel Quenneville gauged where his 2010 Blackhawks were and didn’t do anything to shake the players’ demeanor.

“We didn’t change our approach as we went along,” Quenneville said. “Guys were always together. They were very loose going into games and together between games and I think it was just a continuation from momentum that was gained as we progressed in the playoffs. As we went deeper and deeper it seemed like it was more enjoyable and the guys continued to have more fun.”

A postseason taste the previous season didn’t hurt. In the spring of 2009 the Blackhawks made their first postseason appearance since 2001-02, advancing to the Western Conference final. They lost to the defending Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in five games but the young Blackhawks took a lot out of getting that far. The next season, they were brimming with confidence.

“We were almost naïve enough to not know how well we were doing at the time and what we were setting up. The next season we had such confidence in ourselves that we knew nobody was going to beat us in the playoffs if we didn’t want them to,” said Troy Brouwer, who’s now with the Calgary Flames. “You go into every game with the mentality that you know you’re going to win and good things can happen.”

Certainly the Cubs have been waiting longer to end their World Series drought (108 years) compared to the Blackhawks (49 years). But a wait’s a wait, expectations are expectations, and pressure is pressure. The Blackhawks dealt with it all beautifully en route to that Cup six seasons ago, and they think the Cubs will do the same.

“They’re going to get more cracks at it, too. So obviously in the future that experience will be great, but it seems like they’re just going into it and playing well at the right time,” Toews said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch and great to see the buzz and excitement. Those guys are just focusing on the job. That’s the No. 1 thing.”