CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

1 Simeon

PrepsTalk: The Wolverines quest for a four-peat will share as much intrigue as Jabari Parkers eventual college decision. Simeon also features standouts in Jaylon Tate, Kendrick Nunn and many others.

2 Whitney Young

PrepsTalk: All eyes will be on 6-10 Jahlil Okafor this season for the Dolphins. But their size doesnt end there. 6-8 Paul White should make big contributions for coach Tyrone Slaughters team.

3 Proviso East

PrepsTalk: The Pirates finished second to Simeon last year and could go deep into March again. Forwards Sterling Brown and Brandon Jenkins, along with guard Paris Lee will bring excitement to Maywood.

4 Morgan Park

PrepsTalk: The Mustangs have three senior guards who could cause trouble for opponentsKyle Davis, Markee Williams and Billy Garrett Jr. They will challenge Simeon and Young for city supremacy.

5 St. Rita

PrepsTalk: Brothers Charles and Dominique Matthews provide a good 1-2 punch for the Mustangs. Charles is a sophomore, as is 6-8 Myles Carter. 6-7 Vic Law should also give St. Rita balance.

6 St. Joseph

PrepsTalk: The last time Gene Pingatores Chargers advanced to state was 1999. They could get back there again with sophomore guard Jordan Ash and junior forward Paul Turner leading the way.

7 Curie

PrepsTalk: As was the case last year, the team revolves around 6-9 Cliff Alexander, now a junior. Keep an eye on Demarcus Richardson, a transfer from De La Salle, to help the Condors.

8 Hillcrest

PrepsTalk: Jalen Loving and Jayone Troutman are gone, but Jovan Mooring is back looking to get Hillcrest back to state. Kyle Oden and Taylor Adway also look to step up.

9 Bogan

PrepsTalk: Four south side Public League powers are in the top 10. The Bengals have a couple of fine guards in Juwan Henry and Luwane Pipkins. Theyre also big up front.

10 Seton

PrepsTalk: Guards Kamal Shashi and Mark Weems were lights-out at times last year. But theyll get a boost in 2012-13, with 6-8 senior forward --and De La Salle transfer-- Alex Foster joining the squad.

11 Benet

PrepsTalk: From the front line to the frontcourtSean OMara helped Benets offensive line make a good playoff run in football. Hes once again the Redwings go-to in the post.

12 Bloom

PrepsTalk: The Blazing Trojans finished fourth in class 4A last year. Theyll try to get back to Peoria with help from seniors Johnny Griffin (F) and 6-2 guard DeJahown Freeman.

13 Orr

PrepsTalk: Its a family affair on the west side, with sophomore Louis Adams (son of coach Lou Adams) helping lead the Spartans. But this team belongs to Tyquone Greer and Marlon Jones.

14 North Chicago

PrepsTalk: Aaron Simpson is gone, so itll be up to the likes of Javairius Amos-Mays and Kurt Hall. The Warhawks have played in Peoria the last two years (finished fourth, then second)

15 Bolingbrook

PrepsTalk: The Raiders will run a lot of their offense through 6-8 senior forward Ben Moore. Expect Brook, Joliet West and Homewood-Flossmoor to duke it out in the SW Suburban Blue.

16 Glenbrook North

PrepsTalk: The Spartans have one of the best big men in the area with 6-8 senior Andrew McAuliffe. The Davidson recruit will battle with the likes of Niles North in the Central Suburban conference.

17 Notre Dame

PrepsTalk: The Dons finished first at the Lane Thanksgiving tournament. MVP Matt Mooney and Jake Maestranzi will look to bring more hardware to the trophy case in Niles this season.

18 Marist

PrepsTalk: Like Notre Dame and Benet, Marist should also make a run in the East Suburban Catholic. Keep an eye on senior guard Lexus Williams for the RedHawks.

19 West Aurora

PrepsTalk: The Blackhawks look to continue a long tradition of basketball excellence, with Jontrell Walker, Chandler Thomas and Spencer Thomas setting the pace.

20 Schaumburg

PrepsTalk: Seniors Kyle Bolger and Jimmy Lundquist look to take the Saxons deep into the playoffs this season. Keep an eye on sophomore guard Brendan Parker.

Looming and Lurking: Andrew, Evanston, Marshall, St. Charles East, Waubonsie Valley, Homewood-Flossmoor, Lake Forest, Oswego, Niles North, Mundelein, Stevenson, Zion-Benton, Marian Catholic, De La Salle, Hyde Park.

Programming Note: The first basketball episode of High School Lites will air this Friday night at 10:30pm on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The show streams live at csnchicago.com. And stay with us all season long, as well profile the Simeon Wolverines in our Drive segment. Can Jabari Parker lead the Wolverines to another state title? Well also catch up with the Montini Broncos in our Muscle Milk Team of the Week segment. This football powerhouse in Lombard has won four consecutive 5A state championships. Well have scores, highlights and much more.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.

Ryan Hartman returns for Blackhawks vs. Penguins

Ryan Hartman returns for Blackhawks vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH — Ryan Hartman has played on the right side of that line for most of this season. Now back in the lineup, he knows he has to stay on it.

Hartman will play after missing Monday's game as a healthy scratch when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Hartman took a few bad penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct, against the Florida Panthers last weekend, so he sat vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning. The rookie knows he has to get back to the more disciplined hockey he's played most of the season. 

"I don't change my game. I think you take the message and deliver the message," Hartman said. "Obviously, no one likes to not play, everyone wants to play games and no one likes to sit out games. It's definitely something that I took to heart. I'm just going to go out there and just try to play like I've been playing and get on the scoresheet. Just stay off it for the wrong reasons."

Coach Joel Quenneville said Hartman has to stay on the right side of the line.

[VIVID SEATS: Buy Blackhawks tickets]

"Know there are boundaries and sometimes you get watched a little bit more," Quenneville said. "The way they're calling the game, the way it's being officiated, be respectful. You still have to be hard to play against and find that limit, how far you can push it but you get a good feel on that early in games."

The Penguins are on a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) and are dealing with some injuries. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that, while Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) is close to returning, he won't play against the Blackhawks.

Broadcast information

Time: 7 p.m.
TV: NBCSN
Live stream: NBC Sports app
Radio: WGN 720 AM

Blackhawks lines

Nick Schmaltz-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik
Artemi Panarin-Tanner Kero-Patrick Kane
Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa
John Hayden-Dennis Rasmussen-Tomas Jurco

Defensive pairs 

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Johnny Oduya-Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries 

Artem Anisimov (left leg)

Penguins lines

Conor-Sheary-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust
Chris Kunitz-Nick Bonino-Patric Hornqvist
Scott Wilson-Carter Rowney-Phil Kessel
Tom Kuhnhackl-Oskar Sundqvist-Josh Archibald

Defensive pairs

Brian Dumoulin-Justin Schultz
Ian Cole-Chad Ruhwedel
Cameron Gaunce-Mark Streit

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injuries

Evgeni Malkin (shoulder), Trevor Daley (knee), Daniel Sprong (shoulder), Jake Guentzel (concussion), Olli Maatta (hand), Kris Letang (upper body), Carl Hagelin (foot), Ron Hainsey (upper body)

Cubs finalize Opening Day 25-man roster

Cubs finalize Opening Day 25-man roster

Matt Szczur or Tommy La Stella on the Cubs Opening Day roster?

How about both?

Theo Epstein said Wednesday morning the Cubs plan to keep both Szczur and La Stella on the Opening Day 25-man roster with relief pitcher Brian Duensing headed to the disabled list.

Duensing, 34, has been hampered by a back issue this spring.

Szczur is out of minor-league options, meaning the Cubs would have had to either keep him on the 25-man roster or place him on waivers, which would almost assuredly mean they'd lose him to another team.

La Stella has options left and already told manager Joe Maddon this spring he would head down to the minors if asked (something La Stella was unwilling to do in August last year when he refused assignment).

The move makes the most sense for the Cubs, as the need for eight relief pitchers is not as imperative in April when the team has five off-days in the first month of the season.

Of course, the Cubs still have four days left of exhibition action, but assuming nothing else changes, here's how the Cubs roster will look Opening Night in St. Louis Sunday:

Catchers

Willson Contreras
Miguel Montero

Infielders

Anthony Rizzo
Ben Zobrist
Javy Baez
Addison Russell
Kris Bryant
Tommy La Stella

Outfielders

Jason Heyward
Albert Almora
Jon Jay
Kyle Schwarber
Matt Szczur

Starting pitchers

Jon Lester
Jake Arrieta
John Lackey
Brett Anderson
Kyle Hendricks

Relief pitchers

Mike Montgomery
Justin Grimm
Carl Edwards Jr.
Pedro Strop
Hector Rondon
Koji Uehara
Wade Davis

The Cubs figure to eventually make room for Duensing on the roster as the bullpen could use another left-handed pitcher, but those decisions often take care of themselves with either health problems or trade options, etc.

Remember, there is a 10-day disabled list this year in the MLB, so placing a guy on the DL doesn't guarantee losing him for more than two weeks anymore.