Chicago Cubs

CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

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CSN's final top 20 basketball rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (33-1)

Results: Defeated Evanston 59-34, Bloom 45-35 and Proviso East 50-48

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker and Steve Taylor help cement the 2011-12 Wolverines on the list of the best high school basketball teams in Illinois history.

2 Proviso East (32-1)

Results: Defeated West Aurora 62-51, Rockford Auburn 55-45; Lost to Simeon 50-48

Hoops Talk: The Pirates fall short in a state championship game that completely lived up to the hype. Guard Paris Lee and forward Sterling Brown return in 12-13.

3 North Chicago (25-7)

Results: Defeated Marshall 91-81, Springfield Lanphier 74-67; Lost to Peoria 72-64

Hoops Talk: It was a magical run for North Chicago, who now faces a future without prolific scorer -- and future ISU Redbird -- Aaron Simpson.

4 Bloom (30-4)

Results: Defeated Edwardsville 53-41; Lost to Simeon 45-35 and Rockford Auburn 57-46

Hoops Talk: Bloom reached state for the first time since 2000. Now the challenge will be replacing nine seniors, including guard Donald Moore.

5 Hillcrest (27-6)

Results: Defeated DuSable 47-44; Lost to Peoria 60-50; Defeated Springfield Lanphier 72-67

Hoops Talk: Jalen Loving had 17 points and 13 rebounds against Lanphier. Guard Jovan Mooring will be one of the key building blocks next season.

6 Warren (26-4)

Results: Lost to Rockford Auburn 49-43

Hoops Talk: What a career for Chuck Ramsey. The head coach accumulated 403 wins over 19 seasons.

7 Marshall (24-8)

Results: Lost to North Chicago 91-81

Hoops Talk: Korbin McClain and Milton Doyle depart, but keep an eye on guard Derrick Miles, along with forwards Tony Lewis and Citron Miller.

8 West Aurora (25-6)

Results: Lost to Proviso East 62-51

Hoops Talk: Juwan Starks and the Blackhawks gave East a run, but could not keep up in the closing minutes. Jontrell Walker will only be a junior in 12-13.

9 Plainfield East (27-2)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Ten seniors, including Brian Bennett, will move on. Roger Tating, Kentwan Steptore, Justin Kubal and Kevin Fervil will have to step up.
10 Marist (26-6)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: This year was only the beginning. Look for more heroics next season with L.J. McIntosh at the controls.
11 Bogan (26-4)
Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Six seniors should return for the Bengals, but Donrell Whitaker (class of 2014) and Luwane Pipkins (2015) could make bigger headlines.

12 Elgin (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: It will be guard Arie Williams team next season. The Maroons will graduate a gifted athlete in Kory Brown.

13 Evanston (21-11)

Results: Lost to Simeon 59-34

Hoops Talk: Great second half of the season for the Wildkits. Evanston will lose 10 seniors, including 6-foot-4 Leonard Garron and 5-foot-10 Josh Irving.

14 Downers Grove South (23-6)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Another 20 win season for the Mustangs. Who will step up in the absence of Jerron Wilbut and Jamall Millison?

15 Huntley (26-4)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: The sky is the limit for the Red Raiders. 6-foot-6 Amanze Egekeze will only be a junior next year.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Cliff Alexander and Marcellus Davis will help keep the competition at bay in Chicagos Red-Central conference.

17 Andrew (24-3)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: High expectations a rarity for this program -- will be in place for the Bolts next year. Forward Jubril Adekoya will be one of the areas best.

18 Seton (27-5)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: A fine season for the Sting, who will try to keep Brother Rice and Leo at bay in the Catholic South next year.

19 Whitney Young (16-10)

Results: No games played

Hoops Talk: Three potential D-I players could grace the Dolphins lineup next year: Tommy Hamilton, Jahlil Okafor and Paul White.

20 Du Sable (16-10)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 47-44

Hoops Talk: Cinderella almost made it to Peoria. They could make another run next year. Big man Chris Galbreath (class of 2013) can play.

Looming & Lurking: St. Ignatius, Metea Valley, New Trier, St. Joseph, Wheaton St. Francis, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Homewood-Flossmoor, Niles North, De La Salle, North Shore Country Day, Dunbar, Aurora Central Catholic, Providence-St. Mel, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Ridgewood, Orr, Farragut, Yorkville.

Jose Quintana’s ‘career-altering’ game has Cubs planning clinch party in St. Louis

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USA TODAY

Jose Quintana’s ‘career-altering’ game has Cubs planning clinch party in St. Louis

MILWAUKEE – The Cubs are going to destroy Busch Stadium’s visiting clubhouse. The rivalry has fundamentally shifted to the point where the St. Louis Cardinals are hanging around the National League’s wild-card race in a transition year and it would have been a massive failure if the defending World Series champs didn’t win this division. But there will be some symbolism to popping champagne bottles and spraying beer all over that room.

“We intend to clinch there,” Ben Zobrist said after Jose Quintana’s complete-game masterpiece in Sunday’s 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. “And I think for a lot of the guys that have been around here for a long time, it’s going to be very satisfying.”

Quintana has only been a Cub since the Brewers failed to close a deal with the White Sox and team president Theo Epstein swooped in to make a signature trade during the All-Star break. Quintana hasn’t yet pitched in the playoffs, but this is close enough, the Cubs winning back-to-back 10-inning games against the Brewers and shaking off a walk-off loss before the lefty faced off against Chase Anderson in front of a sellout crowd of 42,212.

Quintana gave the Cubs more data points to consider as they prepare for a probable first-round series against the Washington Nationals. The magic number to eliminate both the Brewers and Cardinals is two, with Milwaukee off on Monday and the Cubs playing a rivalry game in St. Louis that night, meaning the party goggles won’t come out until Tuesday at the earliest.

“It’s the playoffs already for this team,” said Zobrist, who again looked like a World Series MVP in the seventh inning of a 1-0 game when he launched Anderson’s first-pitch fastball into the second deck in right field for a two-run, breathing-room homer. “We’re already thinking that way.

“We’re in postseason mode right now. And we intend to continue that for the next month.”

While there are valid concerns about Jon Lester’s nosedive in performance since coming off the disabled list and the state of Jake Arrieta’s right hamstring, the focus should also be on how Quintana (7-3, 3.50 ERA in 13 starts as a Cub) could be an October game-changer for this rotation.

“Once he got over here, he was really jacked up about having a chance to play in the playoffs,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s showing you that right now. Games like that, to me, could be kind of career-altering for a pitcher.

“When you pitch a complete-game shutout on the road under these circumstances, that definitely does something for your interior. It definitely fluffs it up a little bit.”

“It’s exciting to be here,” said Quintana, who allowed only three singles, piled up 10 strikeouts against one walk and hit 93 mph on his 116th and final pitch in the ninth inning. “I just try to help my team and it’s really special when you get that opportunity. It’s about winning and I have a huge opportunity here.”

In all phases of the game – dominant starting pitching, an offense that created different ways to score runs, multiple bullpen contributors and an airtight defense that committed zero errors in 39 innings – Maddon saw what he was looking for: “We reacted in a playoff manner for these four games. Our mental intensity could not be beat.”

That drifting, in-and-out focus had been part of the background when the Cubs shocked the baseball world with the Quintana trade in the middle of July. Concentration won’t be an issue at Busch Stadium. And this hangover will be real.

“It will be nice to do it there, I’ll just say that,” said Zobrist, who understands the Cubs-Cardinals dynamic as someone who grew up in downstate Illinois. “But we got to win the games.

“As John Lackey said it before (this) series: ‘This is not a small series, boys.’ We knew it was a big one here in Milwaukee. And it will be another big one in St. Louis.”

Bulls reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Bulls reach buyout agreement with Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade's Bulls career is set to end just over a year after it began.

According to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, the Bulls and Wade have reached an agreement on a buyout.

CSN Chicago's Vincent Goodwill confirmed the report.

Wade signed a two-year, $47.5 million deal with the Bulls last July and averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 60 games with the Bulls. This summer, Wade exercised his player option for the second year of the contract, worth $23.8 million.

Wade picked up his option just two days before the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler on draft night and went into rebuild mode. According to Goodwill, Dwyane Wade is giving back $8.5 million.

The Bulls will go into next year without any of the 'Three Alphas' the team had last year Wade, Butler and Rajon Rondo.

The news comes a day before Bulls Media Day, which will be live on CSN at 2:30 p.m., and on the same day the team agreed to a two-year deal with Nikolia Mirotic.

Wojnarowski also reported Cleveland, San Antonio, Miami and Oklahoma City are the contenders to sign Wade.