CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

1 Simeon (1-0)
PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker and the Wolverines will now be road warriors. They travel to Dallas to take on Prestonwood High School (Thursday) and then the Penny Hardaway Classic in Memphis (Saturday).

2 - Whitney Young (1-0)
PrepsTalk: The Dolphins will play four Chicago teams in eight daysat Douglass (Wednesday), vs. Westinghouse (Friday), at Powerhourse (next Monday) and then vs. Orr (next Wednesday).

3 - Morgan Park (3-0)
PrepsTalk: Josh Cunningham tallied 14 points and eight rebounds as the Mustangs cruise to a 76-43 win over Hales Sunday. Morgan Park now faces Larry Hawkins HS (Wednesday) and CVCA (Friday).

4 - Homewood-Flossmoor (7-0)
PrepsTalk: The Vikings struggled late, but managed to notch a key victory Sunday against Curie at the Team Rose Shootout. Marius Hill scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

5 Benet (6-1)
PrepsTalk: Itll be a challenging week for Sean OMara, Pat McInerney and company. They will face Plainfield North, Lincoln-Way North and Lockport at the Plainfield North tournament.

6 - Marian Catholic (7-1)
PrepsTalk: Marian already has eye-catching wins over Hillcrest, Lanphier and Joliet West. Tyler Ulis has been solid so far this season. The Spartans travel to Nazareth for an ESCC game on Friday.

7 - Notre Dame (8-1)
PrepsTalk: Matt Mooney hit four three pointers (20 points overall) as Notre Dame beat Crane 61-48 on Saturday. The Dons travel to Leo this Saturday.

8 - Proviso East (4-2)
PrepsTalk: The Pirates get back on the winning track, defeating Leyden 84-65 on Saturday. Sterling Brown scored 22 points. Branden Jenkins added another 16. East hosts Addison Trail Friday.

9 - North Chicago (4-2)
PrepsTalk: Providence-St. Mel proved they are for real Sunday, taking down high-flying North Chicago 78-63. JaVairius Amos-Mays paced the Warhawks with 19 points.

10 - St. Joseph (5-2)
PrepsTalk: Loren Horton scored 14 points, Paul Turner and AJ Patty also played key roles as the Chargers get a key Catholic League victory over De La Salle Friday, 62-52.

11 Seton (5-4)
PrepsTalk: Alex Foster scored 16 points with nine rebounds; Mark Weems tallied 17 points as the Sting beat St. Francis-St. Mary (Ohio) 48-45 on Saturday.

12 Hillcrest (5-2)
PrepsTalk: Back-to-back games for the Hawks this week, as they host Oak Lawn Friday then travel to Thornton the following night. The Proviso West Tourney is also on the horizon.

13 Fenwick (5-1)
PrepsTalk: The Friars defeated St. Francis de Sales Friday night, 61-44. Luke Lattner had 18 points. Thomas Planek added 10 points and 12 rebounds for Fenwick, who will travel to Brother Rice Friday.

14. Neuqua Valley (8-0)
PrepsTalk: The Wildcats have stormed out of the gate with an 8-0 start, the latest victory a 48-38 win over Lake Park. They now hit the road for two games this week: Bartlett (Thursday) and South Elgin (Saturday).

15 - St. Rita (5-2)
PrepsTalk: Have the Mustangs bounced back from some early-season jitters? A huge second half from Dominique Matthews and Victor Law was the difference in a 59-50 victory over Hyde Park Sunday.

16 - St. Charles East (5-1)
PrepsTalk: The Saints forced 20 turnovers in handing Geneva their first loss, 55-39 Friday night. More Upstate Eight play for East, as they host Metea Valley (Thursday) and go to Batavia (Saturday).

17 - West Aurora (5-1)
PrepsTalk: The Blackhawks ended Fridays game at Naperville Central on an 8-0 run as they pulled away to a 63-53 victory. Jontrell Walker had a game-high 24 points. West hosts Glenbard North Friday.

18 - Zion-Benton (7-1)
PrepsTalk: The Zee-Bees, off to a 7-1 start, got a nice victory Saturday at Lake Forest. Forward Milik Yarbrough paved the way, scoring 23 points in a 53-50 victory.

19 York (6-1)
PrepsTalk: Colorado State-bound guard David Cohn was impressive against Lyons, leading all scorers with 17 points. Up next for the Dukes: a tilt with fellow West Suburban Silver foe Glenbard West.

20 - St. Ignatius (5-0)
PrepsTalk: The Wolfpack already have a marquee win on their resume (at St. Rita). But the schedule doesnt get any easier with Seton Academy and Benet on the horizon.

Looming and Lurking: Andrew, Montini, Foreman, Maine South, St. Benedict, Providence-St. Mel, Morton, Westinghouse, Geneva, St. Viator, Lemont, Oswego, Marist, Joliet West, Lake Forest, De La Salle, Orr, Bolingbrook, Glenbard East.

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

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Pittsburgh RB James Conner

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Pittsburgh RB James Conner

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

6'1" | 233 lbs.

2016 stats:

216 CAR, 1,092 YDS, 16 TD | 21 REC, 302 YDS, 4 TD

Projection:

Fourth-to-fifth round

Scouting Report:

"Physical, battering-ram style runner who makes the hitting a two-way affair. Conner's lack of speed and reactive quickness could limit his role as a pro, but his heart, work ethic and ability to keep the chains moving could make him a red-zone specialist with the ability to handle some third down duties as well." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Reports: New contract extensions for Chris Collins, Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern

Reports: New contract extensions for Chris Collins, Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern

It's not difficult to argue that Northwestern's highest-profile programs are in the best shape they've ever been in.

So it should come with little surprise that both head basketball coach Chris Collins and head football coach Pat Fitzgerald are reportedly receiving new contract extensions. Big ones.

A pair of separate ESPN reports Monday evening describe that the Cats' coaches have agreed to extensions that will keep them in Evanston for quite some time.

According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, Collins and Northwestern have agreed to what Goodman describes as a "lengthy" contract extension, one impressive enough that the reporter suggests only an "elite" head-coaching job could pry Collins away from the Wildcats.

"Northwestern's Chris Collins has agreed to a lengthy contract extension, source told ESPN," Goodman reported Monday afternoon. "Would likely take an elite college or NBA job for him to leave Evanston."

Then there's the tweet from ESPN's Brett McMurphy, reporting that Fitzgerald will be sticking with the Cats for the next decade.

In basketball, a contract bump is no shock considering Collins just accomplished what no one before him ever did in getting Northwestern to the NCAA tournament. The Cats recorded a program-record 24 wins, scored big wins at Wisconsin and at home against Michigan, reached the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament and defeated Vanderbilt for the school's first-ever NCAA tournament victory.

Collins' work in his four seasons has been nothing short of remarkable, taking a perennial Big Ten basement-dweller of a program, bringing in the highest-rated recruits the school has ever seen and turning the Cats into a winning program in the league.

And that ascension could very well reach more new highs next season. Four of the team's five starters from this past season are returning — senior guard Bryant McIntosh, senior guard Scottie Lindsey, junior forward Vic Law and junior center Dererk Pardon — plus the team gets back an injured starter from the 2015-16 campaign in sharpshooter Aaron Falzon, not to mention several returning reserves.

On the gridiron, Fitzgerald has enjoyed perhaps more success than any Northwestern head football coach ever has, the head man for two of the four 10-win seasons in school history. In his 11 seasons, he's won 77 games and taken the Cats to seven bowl games, winning two of the last three of those postseason appearances, two of the three bowl wins Northwestern has ever had.

And just like Collins, Fitzgerald could be on the cusp of one of his most successful seasons. Running back Justin Jackson returns for his senior season this fall after leading the Big Ten in rushing last year, and junior-to-be Clayton Thorson looked much improved in his second season. The Cats are riding high this offseason after scoring a big 31-24 win over Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl and could be one of the top teams in the Big Ten West in 2017.

Both programs are also getting brand-new facilities, with football getting a sparkling new facility on the lakefront and basketball getting a completely renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena.

These are big times for Northwestern athletics.