CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings: Week 8

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings: Week 8

1.Whitney Young (13-1)

PrepsTalk: Jahlil Okafor earned MVP honors in Saturdays win against White Station (TN) at the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest in Memphis. It'll be a busy week for the Dolphins: Monday at Crane, Wednesday at Marshall, then home Friday vs. Farragut.

2. Morgan Park (16-1)

PrepsTalk: Two more wins for the Mustangs, who look to put an exclamation point on south side supremacy. Billy Garrett Jr, Kyle Davis and company will have a golden chance for just that on Wednesday.

3. Simeon (11-2)

PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker scored 21 points and grabbed six boards as the Wolverines beat Memphis Southwind 55-53 in Tennessee Saturday night. Three games this week, with the Battle of Vincennes (at Morgan Park) Wednesday.

4. Marian Catholic (16-1)

PrepsTalk: M-C won their 14th straight game Saturday --a school record-- as they took down Quincy, 60-39. Thursdays road game at Benet could be a must-see East Suburban Catholic duel.

5. North Chicago (16-1)

PrepsTalk: JaVairius Amos-Mays, JayQuan McCloud (18 and 8) and Big Kurt Hall helped overwhelm Wauconda and Libertyville this week. Up next: a Friday tilt against North Suburban foe Grant.

6. Proviso East (12-3)

PrepsTalk: The Pirates defeated Morton Friday 68-43, but a late-game skirmish between the two teams could leave Proviso East with a thin lineup Friday against Willowbrook.

7. Oswego (13-2)

PrepsTalk: The Panthers made an emphatic statement on the Southwest Prairie conference race Friday with a road win at Minooka. Darion Reddick was impressive, scoring 23 points.

8. Benet (17-3)

PrepsTalk: The Redwings walloped Joliet Catholic 47-18 Friday night behind Eddie Eshoos 11 points. Can they slow down Tyler Ulis and Marian Catholic? The winner seizes first place in the ESCC.

9. Notre Dame (15-2)

PrepsTalk: Two wins in back-to-back games. The first victory was a 63-53 decision Friday over Nazareth. Then Saturday, Matt Mooney and Eddie Serrano (12 points apiece) paced the Dons against Conant, 46-32.

10. West Aurora (13-2)

PrepsTalk: Saturday's 59-19 win over Lockport marked the first of four true road games for the Blackhawks. The fun continues Friday in what should be a fine matchup at Glenbard East.

11. Orr (11-2)

PrepsTalk: Tyquone Greer scored 12 points as the Spartans defeated Shiloh (GA) 50-43 at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee on Saturday. They face Ford Power Houses elite scorer Elliot Cole on Wednesday.

12. Bloom (12-3)

PrepsTalk: Johnny Griffin tallied 22 points as Bloom took down 12-win Crete-Monee 61-45 on Friday. Two home games for the Blazing Trojans this week: Tuesday vs. Joliet Central, Friday vs. Kankakee.

13. Niles North (12-3)

PrepsTalk: Malachi Nix scored 18 points, JJ Myles and BJ Beckford scored 14 apiece as the Vikings dispatched Deerfield 67-55 Friday. Niles North faces Prospect Tuesday. Friday's game vs. Glenbrook North should be entertaining.

14. Neuqua Valley (15-1)

PrepsTalk: The undefeated streak is over for the Wildcats. Jabari Sandifer scored 19 points but Neuqua could not contain Sean Davis and Metea Valley, falling 55-49 Saturday.

15. Larkin (15-2)

PrepsTalk: The Royals won their 10th straight game Thursday night as they rolled St. Charles East 67-53. Quantice Hunter scored 21 points to lead Larkin, who faces Streamwood Friday.

16. Providence-St. Mel (13-3)

PrepsTalk: St. Mel overwhelmed Christ The King 79-29 this week. It figures to be a good matchup Tuesday as Tevin King and company face Seton Academy on the west side.

17. Stevenson (12-4)

PrepsTalk: Jalen Brunsons 21 points led the Patriots in a 73-55 win Saturday over Vernon Hills. Pecking order in the North Suburban Lake is up-for-grabs Friday as Zion-Benton comes to town.

18. Brother Rice (15-2)

PrepsTalk: Alex Majewski scored 27 points to lead his team past Hales 53-38 on Friday. It was the first Brother Rice victory over Hales since 2004. Road games at Nazareth (Tuesday) and St. Rita (Friday) await.

19. Curie (9-5)

PrepsTalk: Curie earned our Muscle Milk Team of the Week honors last week. Cliff Alexander showed some muscle indeed Thursday in a win against Robeson: 23 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

20. Zion-Benton (14-3)

PrepsTalk: A Tuesday out-of-state match against Tremper (WI) and a potential statement game at Stevenson Friday night. Milik Yarborough (30 points against Lakes on Saturday) has been nothing short of unstoppable.

Looming and Lurking: Lemont, St. Patrick, St. Viator, Maine South, Marist, St. Benedict, Riverside-Brookfield, Montini, Oak Park-River Forest, Bolingbrook, Lake Forest, Woodstock, Crystal Lake Central, Leyden, St. Edward, St. Rita, Dundee-Crown

You can catch High School Lites, sponsored by Discount Tire, every Friday night at 10:30 p.m. We stream the show live at CSNChicago.com.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.

Chicago native Brandon McCoy returns home for McDonald's All-American Game

Chicago native Brandon McCoy returns home for McDonald's All-American Game

The 2017 McDonald's All-American Game will be without an Illinois high school basketball player for the second consecutive year.

While the local drought for elite IHSA talent continues, this year's McDonald's game at least has a Chicago native in the mix as 7-foot big man Brandon McCoy is returning home to participate in the game. McCoy is considered the No. 15 prospect in the country according to Rivals.com.

A native of the West Side of the city, McCoy moved to San Diego during his middle school years, but he still has a lot of family and friends in Chicago supporting him.

A five-star prospect who is deciding between Arizona, Michigan State, Oregon and UNLV, McCoy has already been back to Chicago once during his high school career to compete at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament as a junior.

McCoy will take the floor with the West Team at the United Center tonight as he's one of six uncommitted prospects in the game.

Why Illinois football players are making verbal commitments so early

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Rivals

Why Illinois football players are making verbal commitments so early

How early is the State of Illinois Class of 2018 already starting to fill up and make verbal commitments?

According to the early Rivals.com Class of 2018 Top 25 recruit rankings, 10 out of the Top 15 names are already verbally committed. I fully expect nearly the entire State of Illinois Class of 2018 Top 25 to be verbally committed by the end of the upcoming spring evaluation period, which would easily be the earliest I can remember any State of Illinois football recruiting class being "locked up" in the over 20 years over covering recruiting in this state.

Marist junior three-star ranked tight end TJ Ivy (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) has 20 scholarship offers so far this early spring. So has Ivy begun to feel any added pressure to make an early verbal commitment since so many other names are committing earlier and earlier?

"I know that more and more kids are committing early," Ivy said. "I think I might be one of the last top ranked tight ends in state that hasn't committed yet. I'm looking at all of my options a bit harder now. I'll come up eventually with a top schools listing then I'll move froward from that point and get closer to a decision."

Ivy hopes to make spring unofficial visits to Iowa and West Virginia. 

Palatine junior outside linebacker recruit Cortez Hogans (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock take off over the past month. Hogans made a Tuesday unofficial campus visit to Northern Illinois University and came away with an offer from the Huskies. 

"I visited NIU (Tuesday) and they offered me," according to Hogans. "NIU was a really nice visit. I was able to watch a spring practice and also talk to the coaches at NIU. NIU offered me as an outside linebacker recruit."

Cortez, who now is holding offers from NIU, North Dakota State, Illinois State, SIU, WIU, Wyoming and South Dakota State has also drawn recruiting contact from several new schools.

"Syracuse, Boston College, Central Michigan and Wofford. Syracuse said they are going to visit my school in April. I'm going to visit Central Michigan soon and I'm going to talk to Boston College on Wednesday."

Fenwick junior wide receiver recruit Mike O'Laughlin (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) just wrapped up his basketball season as a key contributor to the Class 3A state runner up Friars. McLaughlin will now focus on his remaining school year along with his football recruiting.

"I have offers now from Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Wyoming, Ball State, Toledo and Cincinnati," according to O'Laughlin. "I've stayed in touch with all of those coaches along with North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Several schools are still showing interest. Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Ball State, Penn State, Western Kentucky and Central Florida all have remained in touch. Almost every one of those schools are planning to visit my school this spring."

O'Laughlin is planning to visit Iowa on April 15th along with visiting Miami of Ohio and Cincinnati in April.