CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (12-0)

Results: Defeated Bloomington 70-31, United Twp. 71-33, Peoria Manual 48-47 and Curie 44-27.

This Week: Saturday vs. Miller Grove HS (GA) at Cancer Research Classic, Wheeling (WV)

Hoops Talk: Three days, four wins, and another title at Pontiac. Impressive. Jabari Parker won his second consecutive A.C. Williamson trophy (tournament MVP).

2 Proviso East (11-0)

Results: Defeated Brooks 93-76, Benet 49-41, Rockford Auburn 75-56 and New Trier 68-55.

This Week: Friday at Morton, Saturday vs. Batavia

Hoops Talk: The Pirates, behind tournament MVP Keith Carter, win their first Proviso West Holiday Tournament title since 1991.

3 Curie (11-1)

Results: Defeated Niles West 57-41, West Aurora 60-52 and Warren 77-68 (2 OT); Lost to Simeon 44-27

This Week: Saturday at Muskegon Heights (MI)

Hoops Talk: The Condors excelled in their double-overtime in over Warren. Devin Foster was solid in the victory, going for 27 points and 12 rebounds.

4 Warren (10-2)
Results: Defeated Plainfield North 71-42, Joliet West 60-29 and Peoria Manual 63-54; Lost to Curie 77-68.

This Week: Friday at Zion-Benton

Hoops Talk: Solid 3rd place finish in Pontiac. Darius Paul and Nathan Boothe will be a force down the stretch.

5 Bloom (13-0)

Results: Defeated Corliss 70-47, Marian Catholic 56-47, Rich South 69-51 and Crete-Monee 52-45.

This Week: Friday vs. Rich South, Saturday vs. Bogan (at TF NorthBob Hambric Shootout)

Hoops Talk: First tournament championship at Rich South since 1995, thanks in large part to MVP point guard Donald Moore.

6 Andrew (9-0)

Results: Defeated Carver 56-42, Kankakee 56-37 and Milwaukee South 45-44

This Week: Friday at Lincoln-Way North

Hoops Talk: The Thunderbolts continue to turn heads this season. Jubril Adekoya named tournament MVP in Kankakee.

7 Plainfield East (11-0)

Results: Defeated Thornridge 62-34, Peoria Richwoods 66-57, Morton (IL) 62-56 and Washington 54-50

This Week: Friday at Plainfield North

Hoops Talk: Look out for the Bengals. Austin Robinson, Jawan Straughter and Brian Bennett help guide East to a first place trophy in Pekin.

8 Elgin (12-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Thursday at Batavia

Hoops Talk: The Maroons return to Upstate Eight conference play after stellar play in their home holiday tournament.

9 St. Ignatius (11-1)

Results: Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 56-41, Riverside-Brookfield 62-52, Downers Grove South 52-50 and De La Salle 47-44 (OT).

This Week: Friday at St. Rita

Hoops Talk: They dont have center Nnanna Egwu this year (Illinois), but they do have a talented guard in Brian Howard (tournament MVP at Jack Tosh).

10 Whitney Young (6-4)

Results: Defeated Lexington (SC) 78-62, Prestonwood (TX) 46-44; Lost to Lone Peak (UT) 46-44 and Bishop Gorman (LA) 84-51

This Week: Saturday at Gonzaga (WV)

Hoops Talk: The Dolphins split their four games in Myrtle Beach. Sophomore Jahlil Okafor will need to carry a team thats dealing with injuries.
11 Downers Grove South (10-2)

Results: Defeated Palatine 59-26, Maine South 69-52 and Naperville North 53-46; Lost to St. Ignatius 52-50

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Jamall Millison and Jerron Wilbut lead the Mustangs to a third place finish at the Tosh. Next game will be Monday January 9th vs. Fremd.
12 Bogan (11-1)
Results: Defeated St. Laurence 70-44, Alton 73-58 and Champaign Central 57-44; Lost to Belleville West 60-53

This Week: Saturday vs. Bloom (at TF NorthBob Hambric Shootout)Hoops Talk: Decent showing in Centralia, but could not hold 8-point lead with 1:49 to go against Belleville West. Team shot 70.5 vs. St. Laurence.

13 De La Salle (10-2)

Results: Defeated Perspectives 58-48, St. Francis 59-39, Naperville North 54-28; Lost to St. Ignatius 47-44 (OT)

This Week: Friday vs. Fenwick

Hoops Talk: Alvin Ellis, Alex Foster and Gavin Schilling had good games, but could not figure out fellow Cathlolic North foe St. Ignatius. Rematch January 20th.

14 Metea Valley (13-0)

Results: Defeated Eisenhower 100-79, Rolling Meadows 69-64, Sandburg 66-62 and Schaumburg 64-52

This Week: Saturday vs. Lake Park

Hoops Talk: Fun times at the Hinsdale South tourney: a 100-point game, two thrilling comebacks and then a 24-point effort from MVP Kenny Obendorf in the final.
15 New Trier (12-2)

Results: Defeated Fenwick 62-47, Homewood-Flossmoor 61-58, Morgan Park 50-41; Lost to Proviso East 68-55

This Week: Friday vs. Evanston

Hoops Talk: David Bragiel, Austin Angel, Connor Boehm and Jordan Thomas all contributed for the Trevians at the Proviso West tourney.

16 West Aurora (11-2)

Results: Defeated Danville 71-51, Joliet West 50-46, United Twp. 50-35; Lost to Curie 60-52

This Week: Saturday at Naperville North

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Juwan Starks paced the Blackhawks to a fifth place finish in Pontiac.

17 Huntley (10-1)

Results: No games played this week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Crystal Lake Central, Saturday vs. McHenry

Hoops Talk: 6-6 sophomore Amanze Egekeze is attracting attention from several Big Ten schools.

18 Crane (8-3)

Results: Defeated Harper (forfeit), Ridgewood 67-62, Lemont 58-54 and Plainfield Central 51-35.

This Week: TBA

Hoops Talk: The Cougars sweep through the Romeoville Christmas Classic behind tournament MVP Willie Connor.

19 Glenbard West (10-0)

Results: Defeated West Chicago 60-48, Fenton 48-30, Leyden 56-35 and Wheaton Academy 67-48.

This Week: Wednesday at Bolingbrook, Friday at York

Hoops Talk: The Hilltoppers, winners of their own holiday tournament last week, are off to their best start in school history.
20 Crystal Lake Central (11-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday at Huntley, Saturday at Hampshire

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Chase Cane and the Tigers are on the prowl and will fight to defend their Fox Valley Fox title.

Looming & Lurking: Benet, Marshall, Harlan, Farragut, Stevenson, Naperville Central, Herscher, Libertyville, Foreman, Seton, Notre Dame, North Chicago, St. Viator, Homewood-Flossmoor, Farragut, Hillcrest.

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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