High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

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High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

The road to Peoria starts here.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is your home for high school basketball coverage. Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland hardwoods. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, we catch up with former college basketball standout Tom Kleinschmidt. The former DePaul and Gordon Tech star is now the head Duke on the sidelines at York. How has he adjusted to high school coaching? Our Gail Fischer has the story.

Here is a snapshot of each Friday night game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites:

Andrew at Thornton, 6:30 p.m.

Is this the year that Andrew finally busts through? The Thunderbolts (3-0) have a pair of brothers that could make waves come playoff time: Jawad Adekoya (6-3 Sr. F) and his younger brother Jubril (6-5, Jr. F). Thornton (0-3) will contend in the Southwest Suburban Red, but they face learning curves after losing eight seniors from last years team.

Reavis at Hillcrest, 6:30 p.m.

The visiting Rams (2-2) might have their hands full in Country Club Hills Friday night. But will Hillcrest be looking ahead to Saturdays clash with top-ranked Simeon? The Hawks (3-1) are loaded in the frontcourt, with Jayone Troutman (F) and Jalen Loving (F) leading the way for coach Don Houstons crew.

Joliet West at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m.

The 3-1 Tigers could end up pushing H-F for tops in the Southwest Suburban Blue conference. Center Marlon Johnson is the go to guy for West. Can they hang with a Vikings team considered to be one of the best in Chicagoland? H-F (3-1) is loaded, with football-turned-basketball star Tim Williams (F) leading the way.

St. Rita at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m.

Circle this game as the best matchup of the night. De La Salle (4-0) lost guard Jaylon Tate to Simeon, but the Meteors have more than enough gas in the tank with 6-9 Gavin Schilling, a transfer from Germany, being a true difference-maker. Same applies for Tony Hicks (G) and A.J. Avery (F) for the Mustangs (1-0), who opened their season with a win over Lake Forest Academy.
Huntley at Carmel, 7:30 p.m.

The Red Raiders (3-0) went 25-5 last season and could do some damage in March. Forward Amanze Egekeze and Guard Troy Miller are the go-to guys on offense. Huntley has already beaten Harper, St. Francis de Sales and Dundee Crown. Carmel (2-2) might face an uphill battle, but they can counter with Brandon Motzel at forward.

Lake Forest at Mundelein, 7:30 p.m.

Warren and Zion-Benton are the front-runners for a hotly-contested North Suburban Lake conference crown, but dont overlook the Scouts and Mustangs. Forward Thomas Durrett has provided a spark for Lake Forest (3-1) while Mundelein (5-0) has shot out of the gate with wins over, among others, Brooks. Keep an eye on junior guard Robert Knar.

We will also catch up with CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Broncos of Montini High School. Quarterback John Rhode, wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp and company reflect on their third consecutive state championship. Will a four-peat be in the cards? Well also show you celebrations from other football state champions, including Bolingbrook and Prairie Ridge.

High School Lites streams live every Friday at 10:30pm on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well by leaving comments below.

Bulls finalize training camp roster

Bulls finalize training camp roster

The Bulls finalized their training camp roster on Monday morning, in the lead-up to the start of the team's official media day.

The team will carry 19 players into the preseason before cutting that number down a maximum of 15 in late October.

No. 0 Isaiah Canaan, guard: Signed to a two-year, $2.2 million deal in July, Canaan will compete with Spencer Dinwiddie and Jerian Grant for minutes behind Rajon Rondo.

No. 2 Jerian Grant, guard: The combo guard will get a fresh start in Chicago after an inconsistent rookie season with the Knicks.

No. 3 Dwyane Wade, guard: The three-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer begins the next chapter of his famed career after 13 seasons in Miami.

No. 5 Bobby Portis, forward: After showing flashes of potential in his rookie season, the 6-foot-11 Portis will be in line for an extended role following Joakim Noah's and Pau Gasol's departures.

No. 6 Cristiano Felicio, center: The Brazilian impressed plenty in last season's final month, and he should see significant minutes behind Robin Lopez.

No. 7 D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, guard: The undrafted rookie averaged 14.8 points per game in his senior season at Georgetown.

No. 8 Robin Lopez, center: One of the league's most underrated centers, Lopez was one of five players to average 10 points, 7 rebounds and play in all 82 games a year ago.

No. 9 Rajon Rondo, guard: The veteran point guard led the NBA in assists last season, but playing on his fourth team in three seasons means his best days may be behind him.

No. 11 Doug McDermott, forward: The sharpshooter showed significant improvement from Year 1 to Year 2, finishing sixth in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage. Now about the defense...

No. 15 Thomas Walkup, guard: The All-American honorable mention went for 33 points in No. 14 Stephen F. Austin's opening-round upset win over No. 3 West Virginia.

No. 16 Paul Zipser, forward: The Bulls' 2016 second-round pick can do a bit of everything, and at 22 years old he could be ready to contribute sooner than later.

No. 20 Tony Snell, forward: It may be difficult for the former first-rounder to crack the rotation after a forgettable third season.

No. 21 Jimmy Butler, guard: An All-Star in each of the last two seasons, the 27-year-old Butler is poised for yet another career year.

No. 22 Taj Gibson, forward: The 31-year-old veteran is in a contract year, and should see an even more expanded role after starting 55 games last season - even if Nikola Mirotic replaces him in the starting lineup.

No. 24 Vince Hunter, forward: The 6-foot-8 Hunter averaged 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for the Reno Bighorns last season as rookie.

No. 25 Spencer Dinwiddie, guard: A casuality of the Pistons' crowded backcourt, Dinwiddie has a chance to carve out a role in Chicago behind Rajon Rondo.

No 31 J.J. Avila, forward: A standout at Colorado State who graduated in 2015, Avila appeared in four Summer League games for the Knicks, averaging 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds.

No. 44 Nikola Mirotic, forward: The Bulls will be relying on Mirotic's outside shot, which improved mightily in his second season from 31.6 percent to 39 percent.

No. 45 Denzel Valentine, guard: The jack-of-all-trades will need some time to find his role, but he's an apt passer and outside shooter with good size on the wing.

Five things to watch during Bulls’ training camp

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USA Today Sports Images

Five things to watch during Bulls’ training camp

All the new guys: Last October, the Bulls entered camp with essentially the same roster that lost to Cleveland in the second round of the 2015 playoffs, save for then-rookie Bobby Portis. This time, there’s no Derrick Rose, no Joakim Noah, no Pau Gasol, no Mike Dunleavy, and no E’Twaun Moore.

That’s four starters (essentially) whose performances or presence has been counted on in some way, even through some of the uncertainty that surrounded a few of these guys.

Conceivably, the Bulls can have around five new players in the actual rotation who weren’t thought of this time last year, although last year’s product left a lot to be desired.

The adjustment time and chemistry building starts Tuesday.

Who starts at power forward: All other positions in the first five are set, especially with the new faces. But the pivotal decision for Fred Hoiberg, if it hasn’t been made already, is who will start alongside Robin Lopez at center. It could be Nikola Mirotic, or Taj Gibson or even Bobby Portis, depending on Hoiberg’s sensibilities.

Smart money says it’ll probably be Mirotic considering he’s the best perimeter shooter of the three and actually a decent defensive rebounder. Gibson being a great screener, finisher and defender makes him intriguing as an option, but offensive space will be limited if he’s out there with Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. As for Portis, is he ready to take a step toward consistency in year 2?

The point guard: Rajon Rondo’s basketball intelligence is genius level, where he can master a gameplan and probably even devise one of his own that rivals his coaches. The man can counter a play before the opposing defense initiates an adjustment. That said, how will he and Hoiberg mesh this season? He clashed with Doc Rivers, had knock-down battles with Rick Carlisle in Dallas and George Karl didn’t have it in him to fight anybody in Sacramento, let alone Rondo.

Rondo likes playing the game at his speed, with his own feel and rhythm. Hoiberg will have to tailor his style for the new personnel he has, and luckily for him, isn’t a “my way or the highway” type of fellow that’s sure to rub Rondo the wrong way. Will Rondo embrace Hoiberg’s system and become an extension of the coach, or will Hoiberg give Rondo enough rope to explore Rondo’s intelligence to find a middle ground?

Will that even be enough?

The backup point guard: Just as intriguing as the starting power forward battle will be who backs up Rondo at point guard, although it’s likely that player won’t have to fill the traditional role of doing anything aside from walking the ball up and letting either Butler or Wade initiate the offense.

It’s likely Hoiberg will change his substitution patterns to have either Wade or Butler anchor second units in the second quarter, as a way to maximize the time he has with both while not having them invade each other’s space in the halfcourt. So who plays backup point could be more about who fits best next to the best player on the floor as opposed to who the best player is.

It seems to open the door for rookie Denzel Valentine since he can play three positions (although defense will be a task), along with Jerian Grant, Isaiah Canaan and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Grant was a first-rounder in 2015 who wants to show he’s worth that status, while Dinwiddie was projected as a lottery pick three years ago before tearing his ACL at Colorado.

It’s certainly not the most stressful decision Hoiberg will have to make, but a curious one.

Developing an identity: Does it happen in training camp? Who knows, but tones are often set as to what type of squad a team will be. Last season, Hoiberg believed he was building on a solid foundation after Tom Thibodeau’s defense first mentality, but signs of things crumbling began to show very early in the preseason.

This season, with so many new pieces, moving parts and overall uncertainty, there’s question as to what kind of team the Bulls will be. It’s intriguing, to say the least. But what will the Bulls hang their hats on come late October?