Preps Talk

Parker's decision to Duke about more than basketball

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Parker's decision to Duke about more than basketball

Its official.Simeon basketball standout Jabari Parker, theNo. 2 ranked player in the nation, has decided to play basketball forMike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils next year.While Michigan State had long been considered a frontrunner Tom Izzo has been recruiting Parker the longest of any school Duke representedthe "best fit" for Parker, given his skillset, ability, personality and the BlueDevils' style of play. Parker chose Duke over Michigan State,Florida, BYU and Stanford.The high school senior said that the quality of education hewould receive in the classroom was just as important as the quality ofcompetition he would face on the basketball court.At Duke, hell receive both.Its been a blessing just to get an opportunity to be ableto go to school for free. Its a good thing for me as well as my family to beable to save them a couple of dollars in their pocket, said Parker during hisThursday afternoon press conference to announce his college decision.MORE: National recruiting expert Eric Bossi breaks down Parker's decisionParker said he was undecided up until the early afternoon onThursday when he finally made his decision. Despite the entire basketball worldwaiting on pins and needles to see which college he would be attending next fall,the Simeon senior wanted it to be just like any other day.Today, I was just focused on class and let everything elsehandle itself. I probably got my answer at 1 o'clock this afternoon. Everythingcame together and I was confident. You just feel that emotion in your heartthat tells you its time to decide and my heart gave me the right decision.What brought me to the decision was, of course, thehistory. Duke is always going to be a team in the tournament. You cant gowrong at that program. Also, most importantly, was the long-term investment. Ifeel like if I go there I can get a good degree.Parker said that ultimately his decision came down to the Blue Devils, the Spartans and the Florida Gators. Long known for his thoughtfulness andtendency to think of others before himself, Parker gave some insight into whyone of the schools didnt make the cut and his reasoning was something youdont often hear from elite athletes.Branden Dawson is the main reason why I didnt pickMichigan State today, remarked Parker. I dont want to mess up his thing his groove. Hes been there two years so me coming in there would be kind ofdisrespectful to him and the program. I just want Branden to do well. Hes alocal kid, from the area Gary, Ind. and me coming in at the last minutewould kind of ruin everything.Parker is the third top 100 recruit that Coach K has hassigned thus far, but hes also one of the best. He now joins a recruiting classfeaturing guard Matt Jones of DeSoto High in Texas (who beat Simeon last weekin a nationally televised contest) who is ranked No. 36nationally,and Semi Ojeleye of Ottawa High in Kansas who is ranked No. 42in thenation.Surprisingly enough, Parker said that out of all the college visits hetook, his trip to Duke was the one he least enjoyed.RELATED: Newspaper has its 'Dewey defeats Truman' momentTo tell you the truth, that was probably the worst on-campusvisit that I had, said Jabari of his trip to the Duke University campus inDurham, N.C. I didnt do what I wanted to do, and thats be a kid have fun.But I know that being in college is all business and thats what they wanted toshow me. I didnt have a good time, but they wanted to tell me and prepare meand give me a little taste of how its going to be in college.When asked howKrzyzewskiresponded to the phone call he madeon Thursday afternoon letting him know that he was coming to Duke, he said thecoach handled it with his typical cool demeanor.Coach K just said congratulations. He didnt sound like itover the phone but I know he was pretty excited in his mind even though Dukelands players like me all the time.

High School Lites Week 5 football capsules and picks

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High School Lites Week 5 football capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 5 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11 p.m. Can Cary-Grove beat Huntley in Huntley in one of the top Fox Valley Conference showdowns of the season? So who can get a leg up in the Interstate 8 Large conference race when Coal City visits Herscher? Can Lincoln-Way Central defeat the state's top ranked team when Lincoln-Way East comes down Route 30 on Friday night to take on Central in New Lenox? So who ya got: St. Rita or Mount Carmel?

Payton at Lindblom, 4:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Payton Prep (3-1), coached by George Klupchak, has an experienced team back this season. Keep an eye out for senior WR Eli Geleerd, who leads a deep group of skills along with senior OL/DL Ben Lohman. Lindblom (4-0) and head coach Justin Pressley also boast a speedy and explosive offense led by QB Bryce O'Walker plus senior WR CJ Rutherford (Indiana State). Can the Payton defense slow down the Eagles passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: Lindblom 31, Payton Prep 26

Bartlett at (2) Prairie Ridge, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Prairie Ridge (4-0) gets a rare non-conference opponent this week in hosting Bartlett (1-3). Prairie Ridge is starting to hit their midseason stride as QB Samson Evans ran for five touchdowns and passed for another in a 56-13 win last Friday over Crystal Lake South. Bartlett struggled in slowing down South Elgin in last week's 37-15 loss. Can the Hawks defense contain the Wolves option attack?

EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 45, Bartlett 14

(17) Cary-Grove at (20) Huntley, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This is easily one of the top games all season in the Fox Valley Conference. Huntley (3-1) will feature a one-two punch on offense with seniors Eric Mooney (QB) and Melvin Aninagyei-Bonsu (RB). Cary-Grove (3-1) counters with senior RB Max Skol and a big, physical offensive line. The Trojans defense is also a big strength this fall. Can Huntley's offense extend drives and finish with points against the Cary-Grove defense?

EDGY's Pick: Cary-Grove 31, Huntley 30

Coal City at Herscher, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: A huge Interstate 8 (large school) conference showdown this week -- the biggest test of the year for both schools. Both Coal City (4-0, 2-0) and Herscher (4-0, 2-0) want to run the football. Class 4A-ranked Herscher will get the ball into the hands of QB Tyler Sarnagin and RB/LB Anthony Koranda while Coal City counters with RB Danny Norton and QB Payton Hutchins. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Herscher 28, Coal City 20

Plainfield North at Oswego East, 7 p.m. 

EDGY's Take: Plainfield North (3-1) is looking to recover from its Week 4 loss to Minooka and will rely heavily on the arm of senior QB Brady Miller. Oswego East (4-0) has been impressive so far but the schedule ramps up big time beginning this week with Plainfield North. Keep an eye on Oswego East senior WR/DB Antwain Walker (Illinois) along with junior QB/S Justin Clark. Can the Wolves raise their game against one of the Southwest Prairie's best teams? 

EDGY's Pick: Plainfield North 20, Oswego East 17

(1) Lincoln-Way East at Lincoln-Way Central, 7:30 p.m. #SendEdgy

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (4-0) has been on a roll all season. They’re the state's top-ranked team and they rely on a balanced offense led by senior QB Brendan Morrissey. They also feature one of the state's top defensive lines, anchored by Northwestern verbal commit DE Devin O'Rourke. Lincoln-Way Central (4-0) has continued to improve every season under head coach Jeremy Cordell. The Knights are also balanced on offense and will look towards their run game led by senior RB Matt Pollack, junior RB Justin Ellis and a very effective play action passing attack led by QB Sam Pipiras. Can Central's offense run the football consistently against the East defense? Can the East offense run the football against the Central defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 24, Lincoln-Way Central 21

(15) Mt. Carmel at St. Rita, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel (3-1) and St. Rita (3-1) are both looking to get a leg up in the CCL Blue standings with a win on Friday night. The Caravan and Hall of Fame head coach Frank Lenti could have senior QB Alek Thomas (TCU) back in the lineup after missing the first four games of the regular season due to participating in the Team USA U18 baseball tournament. St. Rita and head coach Todd Kuska will look to senior RB Chris Childers (Indiana State), senior QB Jake Zlyman and a defense that has made key stops all season. Can Mount Carmel's offense add a spark with Alek Thomas back under center? Can the St. Rita offense keep moving the football again this week against the Mount Carmel defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 28, St. Rita 27

St. Joseph at St. Ignatius, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Joseph (2-2) will look to rebound this week after a 21-0 loss to Chicago Hope. The Chargers and head coach Rich Petroski are looking to get back into the state playoffs after the school's historic season a year ago. Keep an eye on senior WR/DB Zach Ford for St. Joseph. St. Ignatius (3-1) was off to a good start this season but then ran into a buzzsaw last Friday in losing to Providence Catholic 35-6. Can St. Ignatius and QB Quinn Donath get the Wolfpack offense back on track this week?  

EDGY's Pick: St. Ignatius 31, St. Joseph 27

(5) Lake Zurich at Warren, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lake Zurich (4-0) has relied on a quick hitting offense and a lights-out defense so far this season. The Bears will rely on senior RB/LB Joey Stutzman, senior QB Evan Lewandowski plus senior LB/RB Jack Sanborn (Wisconsin). Warren Township (4-0) and head coach Bryan McNulty have also played lights out defense. The Warren Township offense features WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame) and senior QB Ian Shilling. They have both been outstanding so far this season. Can the Lake Zurich offense dent the Warren Township defense? Can the Warren offense big play the stingy Lake Zurich defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Lake Zurich 21, Warren Township 14

VIEWERS' CHOICE: (24) Montini at Marmion Academy, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Montini Catholic (3-1) and first year head coach Mike Bukovsky has settled on senior Nick Orlando at quarterback. The Broncos have rolled ever since. That includes last week's come from behind, last-second win over Brother Rice 29-28. Marmion Academy (4-0) and head coach Dan Thorpe will look to multi-sport standout senior QB Brandon McPherson. The Cadets also had a thrilling 34-31 OT win last Friday over Bishop McNamara. Can the Montini defense contain the Cadets and QB Brandon McPherson? Can the Cadets ramp up its game with first place in the Chicago Catholic Green on the line?

EDGY's Pick: Montini Catholic 27, Marmion Academy 17

High School Lites Podcast: What is the greatest high school football rivalry in Illinois?

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High School Lites Podcast: What is the greatest high school football rivalry in Illinois?

Excellent teams. Tradition. Locality. Fan base animosity.

They’re the cornerstones of what make a great high school football rivalry. In this edition of CSN Chicago’s High School Lites podcast, Joe Collins, Jared Storck and “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran dive into this topic and discuss which ones stand out above the rest in Illinois.

The panel also breaks down the newly-released IHSA playoff outlook and discuss the early candidates for offensive player of the year. They’ll also look ahead to Friday’s matchups, which feature several teams jostling for playoff position.

Listen to the High School Lites Podcast below: