'Other' Hornets rookie Rivers has ties to Thibodeau, Chicago

931865.png

'Other' Hornets rookie Rivers has ties to Thibodeau, Chicago

If nothing else can be said about Tom Thibodeau, the man is consistent. Prior to the Bulls loss Saturday night to the Hornets, the coach was asked if hed take it easy on New Orleans rookie Austin Rivers, the son of his friend and former boss, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

Shoot, Thibodeau responded, dragging out the word with a wry smile creeping onto his face. Hes a very gifted player and actually, his floor game has been very, very impressive. Hes dangerous with the ball, gives them a second guy that can break you down off the pick-and-roll.

Hes a great kid, the coach continued. In Boston, he was around the team a lot and he had a lot of confidence and poise, and very comfortable being on the floor against pros, even when he was in high school. So, hes been around the pro game his whole life. I think hes going to be a terrific player.

The younger Rivers was considered a top high-school prospect from an early age, then went on to have a lead role at Duke in his lone college season before being picked by the Hornets in the lottery. Despite being overshadowed by top overall pick Anthony Davis, the scoring combo guard has attracted plenty of attention.

Doc starred for Proviso East High School in nearby Maywood, Ill., before going to Marquette, then having a stellar NBA career and moving on to the coaching ranks. While Austin was raised in Orlando, where Doc coached the Magic, he still has plenty of ties to Chicago, just like teammate and Windy City native Davis, who missed Saturdays contest after suffering a concussion Friday.

It was amazing. I was here a couple years ago, for the McDonalds high school All-American game and Ive just been around here all my life because this is where my familys fromI had like eight relatives in the stands tonightso it was good to come out here and play well, and more importantly, get a win. This was a back-to-back game, on the road versus the Bulls. That shows what were capable of and how good we can be, Rivers said afterwards. Its tough, but we dont have Eric Gordon, the Hornets injured shooting guard, who was on the bench in street clothes after visiting a Chicago knee specialist or Ant. When you dont have two guys like that with you, it makes it tough.

I knew it was going to be tough and every point that I got tonight was tough. I had to work for it, continued the rookie, who scored nine points against Thibodeaus defense, something hes watched from afar for years. I thought we won the game today with our defense. To hold the Bulls, who execute really good in Chicago, to 82 points, thats pretty good.

Its getting better and better. If you look at my first game to my second game to tonight, I think Im getting better and better, and Ill continue to do that just because Ill be smarter. Its been a blast, he went on to say. For us to hold the Bulls to 82 points in Chicago off a back-to-back game, it shows our defensive capability and when we play that way, our offense will always be fine. We could be having an off night, but if we play defense like that, we still can win.

Its an adjustment and tonight I didnt shoot it my bestI havent shot the ball well, but its only been three games.

92 Days to Kickoff: Plano

planoslide.png

92 Days to Kickoff: Plano

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Plano

Head coach: Brad Kunz

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (4-1 Interstate 8 Large), lost to Manteno in the 4A  opening round action.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – Johnsburg

Sept. 1 – @ Harvard

Sept. 8 – Herscher

Sept. 15 - @ Sandwich

Sept. 22 - Manteno

Sept. 29 – @ Coal City

Oct. 6 - Streator

Oct. 13 - Reed-Custer

Oct. 20 - @ Westmont

Biggest storyline: Can the Reapers reload?

Names to watch this season: Senior DB Mauricio Perez Senior DB Alec Chavez

Biggest holes to fill: The Reapers will need to replace 20 graduated starters from a season ago, and that group also included several multi-year starters for Plano.

EDGY's Early Take: The Reapers no question have work to do this summer, yet head coach Brad Kunz and staff always finds a way for Plano to compete in the Interstate 8 conference and beyond.

Lyons Township's Ben Bryant leads list of top 5 uncommitted Illinois recruits

Lyons Township's Ben Bryant leads list of top 5 uncommitted Illinois recruits

With the end of the college football recruiting spring evaluation period this week, focus for college programs will turn towards uncommitted recruits in the 2018 class. While the Illinois class already has 16 of the top 25 names already verbally committed, many top names still remain available.

Here are my top five uncommitted names still available in the 2018 Illinois class.

Lyons Township QB Ben Bryant: Bryant (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), a three-star recruit, originally committed to Wisconsin in December but was dropped by the Badgers a few weeks ago. Bryant recently has added offers from Georgia, Western Michigan, Temple, Bowling Green and Cincinnati.

Bolingbrook DT Dashaun Mallory: Three-star Mallory (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) has been very impressive this winter and spring on the camp circuit. Mallory has eight offers so far from various FBS and FCS schools. Several Power 5 programs, including Michigan State and Purdue, are waiting on Mallory's test score and spring semester grades before they extend him a scholarship offer. Mallory could see his recruiting stock soar this summer and early fall.

Marist DL Gavin McCabe: McCabe is currently touting nearly 30 scholarship offers and hasn't yet narrowed down any list of favorite schools. However, McCabe (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) was planning to camp at a handful of schools this summer, including Wisconsin and a recent offer from Navy. McCabe was considering making a summer unofficial visit to the Naval Academy.

Bolingbrook WR I'Shawn Stewart: Stewart was originally planning to be verbally committed by now, yet increased college looks this spring made him hold off on a decision. Stewart, who currently has offers form the likes of Illinois, Iowa, Syracuse and NIU is planning to camp in early June with both Michigan State and Wisconsin. Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) is planning to narrow down his list of favorite schools after his camps and is also looking towards making a late June decision.

Marist TE T.J. Ivy: Ivy recently narrowed down his favorite schools to a top 4 (Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia). Ivy (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) is still open to other schools and is also planning to make his college decision before the start of his senior year.