CSN's Top 20 basketball rankings

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CSN's Top 20 basketball rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (20-1)

Results: Defeated Bogan 68-57 and Harlan 81-59

This Week: TBA (Public League Playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Point guard Jaleni Neely, back from an ACL tear last summer, will be playing a major role for the Wolverines down the stretch.

The Drive: Watch the latest behind-the-scenes webisode on Simeon here.
2 Proviso East (17-0)

Results: Defeated Addison Trail 79-36

This Week: Friday vs. Hinsdale South, Saturday at Proviso West

Hoops Talk: Keith Carter sat out vs. A-T, but Sterling Browns efforts (17 points, 12 rebounds) pave the way to another easy conference victory.
3 Curie (20-1)

Results: Defeated Kenwood 49-46, Harper 82-30 and Leo 60-46

This Week: TBA (Public League Playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Behind Cliff Alexander and Devin Foster, the Condors could do serious damage in the playoffs, both Public League and IHSA.
4 Warren (15-2)

Results: Defeated Stevenson 64-38 and Mundelein 87-78

This Week: Friday at Lake Forest, Saturday at Zion-Benton

Hoops Talk: Two double-doubles for center Nathan Booth this week and Darius Paul netted a career-high 30 points Saturday against Mundelein

5 Andrew (16-0)

Results: Defeated Tinley Park 58-37, Lincoln-Way West 66-30 and Thornwood 48-45

This Week: Tuesday vs. Thornton, Friday at Stagg

Hoops Talk: Andrew was in need of another marquee win. They got it Sunday in South Holland and it now places them in control of the Southwest Suburban Red.
6 Plainfield East (17-1)
Results: Oswego East 56-55, Oswego 66-63 and Plainfield South 84-66

This Week: Tuesday at Plainfield Central, Friday vs. Minooka and Saturday vs. Naperville North

Hoops Talk: A couple of close calls this week, but the Bengals hold serve in the Southwest Prairie conference behind Dee Brown and Brian Bennett.

7 Bogan (19-2)

Results: Lost to Simeon 68-57

This Week: TBA (Public League Playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Nice second half comeback wasnt enough against the top-ranked Wolverines. They will still be a tough out in the playoffs.

8 New Trier (18-2)
Results: Defeated Glenbrook South 60-54

This Week: Friday vs. Waukegan, Saturday vs. St. Ignatius (at Loyola)

Hoops Talk: The Trevians will enjoy some home cooking before five straight away from Winnetka. Saturdays game against the Wolfpack will be one to watch.
9 Elgin (16-2)

Results: Lost to St. Charles North 55-53

This Week: Friday at St. Charles East

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown scored 23 points but it was not enough as the Maroons have their 12-game winning streak snapped.
10 De La Salle (14-3)

Results: Lost to St. Joseph 68-61; Defeated Loyola 52-33

This Week: Friday at St. Rita

Hoops Talk: Interesting finish to the regular season for the Meteors, whose last five games include three against teams currently ranked in the CSN Top 20.
11 Downers Grove South (15-4)

Results: Defeated Hinsdale South 55-52 and Morton 57-46

This Week: Tuesday vs. Addison Trail, Friday at Willowbrook, Saturday vs. Downers Grove North

Hoops Talk: Jordan Cannon and Kevin Honn came up big in Jerron Wilbuts absence (two-game suspension).

12 Huntley (17-2)
Results: Defeated Cary-Grove 41-32 and Dundee-Crown 45-40

This Week: Tuesday at Prairie Ridge, Friday at McHenry

Hoops Talk: The Red Raiders are now in the drivers seat in the Fox Valley Valley conference after Saturdays triumph over Dundee-Crown.

13 St. Ignatius (15-2)

Results: Defeated Hales 56-43

This Week: Tuesday at Leo, Friday vs. Fenwick, Saturday vs. New Trier (at Loyola)

Hoops Talk: Marty McClure and Peter Ryckbosch each tallied 12 points against Hales. The Wolfpack will face a battle in all three games this week.

14 Whitney Young (10-7)

Results: Defeated Collins 93-31 and Soldan International Studies MO 53-46

This Week: Tuesday at North Lawndale, Thursday vs. Crane

Hoops Talk: The Dolphins continue to roll behind sophomore phenom Jahlil Okafor. He had 15 points against Soldan.
15 Metea Valley (18-1)

Results: Defeated Bartlett 90-53 and South Elgin 58-53

This Week: Wednesday vs. Neuqua Valley, Saturday at Hinsdale Central

Hoops Talk: The Mustangs compiled a 28-0 run against Bartlett. Kenny Obendorf and Milan Bojanic continue to impress in the Upstate Eight.

16 Hillcrest (17-4)

Results: Defeated Crete-Monee 70-60 and T.F. North 74-41

This Week: Friday at Oak Forest

Hoops Talk: The Hawks duo of Jalen Loving and Jovan Mooring have been giving opponents fits this season.

17 Bloom (17-3)
Results: Defeated Homewood-Flossmoor 63-56, Rich Central 69-41

This Week: Tuesday at Kankakee, Friday vs. Rich East

Hoops Talk: Johnny Griffin, Lejavious Johnson and Donald Moore help keep the Blazing Trojans motoring in the south suburbs.

18 Orr (16-3)
Results: Defeated Marshall 68-50, Hales 51-37

This Week: vs. Westinghouse, then Public League Playoffs

Hoops Talk: Marquise Pryor and Deshawn King are two of the reasons that the high-flying Spartans have stood out in the mighty Red-West conference.

19 Hope Academy (19-2)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest Academy 77-71 2 OT, Chicagoland Jewish 72-46 and St. Benedict 75-70

This Week: No games scheduled this week

Hoops Talk: No Jalen James? No problem. Alex Houston, Torrance Johnson and Tyrone Smith could help blaze a trail downstate.

20 Lemont (18-2)

Results: Defeated Providence 70-65, Bremen 56-34 and Oak Forest 69-62

This Week: Friday vs. Tinley Park

Hoops Talk: Yes, another basketball power resides in the South Suburban-Blue besides Hillcrest. Junior guard Juozas Balciunnas is having a fine season.
Looming & Lurking: Marshall, Crane, Farragut, Naperville North, West Aurora, Seton, Foreman, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Glenbard West, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, Joliet West, York

Sick bay: White Sox not worried about Zach Putnam, Melky Cabrera back in lineup

Sick bay: White Sox not worried about Zach Putnam, Melky Cabrera back in lineup

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Zach Putnam theoretically is available to pitch in Sunday’s series finale against the Cleveland Indians, but he’s unlikely to use him after the right-hander left Saturday’s game with right elbow tenderness. 

Putnam was initially listed as being day-to-day, and nothing changed on that overnight.

“He’s available but would I use him? Probably not,” Renteria said. 

Melky Cabrera, who jammed his wrist chasing down a foul ball Saturday night, was back in the White Sox lineup at designated hitter on Sunday. 

Left-hander Carlos Rodon was spotted saying hi to teammates in the White Sox clubhouse before Sunday’s game, and is being evaluated as the team figures out what the next step in his recovery process from bursitis in his left biceps. 

Right-hander Jake Petricka was around the clubhouse on Sunday, too, as he works his way back from a strained right lat. 

“He’s been getting worked on inside there,” Renteria said. “We still have to see where he’s at. I don’t know what he’s going to do on the field yet. That’s to be assessed.”

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Franchise-QB search expected to continue sooner rather than later

Bears NFL Draft Preview: Franchise-QB search expected to continue sooner rather than later

CSNChicago.com Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2017 Draft, taking a look at what the Bears have, what they might need and what draft day could have in store. Sixth in a series.

Bears pre-draft situation

Jay Cutler lasted through two years under the John Fox coaching staff while his 2014 contract still contained some guaranteed money. The new regime under GM Ryan Pace was given the option by Chairman George McCaskey of cutting ties earlier regardless of financial commitment but Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains as coordinators made a go of it before Cutler's injuries (shoulder and thumb last season) and mediocre play regardless of supporting cast made the organization's decision for it.

Resolving a now-decades-old problem position has been goal No. 1 of Pace, with all indications that the process will be ongoing, vs. the Cutler's-fine approach of the past eight years. Step one was signing Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup Mike Glennon to a three-year deal but with $16 million of the $18.5 million guaranteed coming in 2017. The situation establishes Glennon as the starter, with a chance to put a hold on the job beyond this season with a breakout year.

"It's a leap of faith to some degree," Fox acknowledged during the NFL owners meetings. "But I think you do that in a lot of different positions and evaluations of personnel and people. The big thing with him is that he has been in NFL football games. He has been in a lot of systems and around different players and personalities and, I think, handled it well."

The decision was made to move on from Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as backups, signing Mark Sanchez, 30, to a one-year pact worth $1 million guaranteed plus a per-game bonus that allows the deal to top out at $2 million. Connor Shaw showed promise before going down for the year with a broken leg suffered in preseason.

Pre-draft depth chart
 
Starter: Mike Glennon
Reserves: Mark Sanchez, Connor Shaw

Bears draft priority: High

The Glennon and Sanchez signings were modest financial and time commitments by NFL standards. Their depth chart has no "elite" in place and does not need another mid-range quarterback; they had that for eight years in Cutler and know what limitations a limited quarterback brings to a franchise.

Using Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints experience as the template, Pace has been clear that he is seeking a quarterback with the intangibles to do more than post statistics, going further to lift the collective team mojo, something too often painfully lacking during the Cutler tenure.

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All of which makes the quarterback draft options a level more interesting than the basic talent/traits assessments and evaluations that have circulated. The Bears have done extensive research on the quarterback prospects, and few envision scenarios where the Bears do not strike for one within the first several rounds.

The overarching No. 1 question: Will the Bears disregard draft slot (No. 3) and land a quarterback perhaps not graded that highly but with the intangibles the organization craves?

Question No. 2: Could quarterbacks go a surprising 1-2 with the Cleveland Browns tapping Mitchell Trubisky and San Francisco 49ers snatching Deshaun Watson?

As far as this year's class, "I'm not banging the table for any of them," said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who tapped Clemson's Deshaun Watson as the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 draft class.

Keep an eye on:

DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame — The Bears sent a task force to South Bend for Kizer's Pro Day, in addition to a Combine interview and private meeting. Athletic but INT rate (2.7 percent), accuracy (60.7 completion percentage) and W-L record (14-11) nothing special.
 
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech — Has been likened to both Cutler and Brett Favre for big-play predispositions, mobility and arm abilities. May have widest hit-miss potential, with major upside but also weaknesses in decision-making that concern some. "I just think his fundamentals break down too many times," Mayock said.
 
Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh — Bears coaches worked with him at Senior Bowl. Not as highly touted as others in the class but among most pro-ready and rates as possible nugget in mid-rounds — if left on the board that long.
 
Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina — Bears were scouting him intently early last college season and invested a Combine interview and private workout in additional time with what some rate as the best-available at his position in a class short on "elite" talents. But opinions vary widely, with Trubisky being mentioned for Cleveland at No. 1 or for No. 12, for example.
 
Deshaun Watson, Clemson — Unquestioned intangibles leader with curious "negatives:" accuracy (67.4 career completion percentage) and turnovers (2.7 INT percentage). Two full years as starter, two appearances in national championship game.