1. Simeon (20-2)
#PrepsTalk: The Wolverines are only getting stronger and that could mean trouble for Public League Playoff foes. Simeon blew out Coronado (NV) 80-33 at the Las Vegas Hoops Fest Saturday.
2. Morgan Park (22-2)
#PrepsTalk: Getting the sixth seed for the Public League tournament should make the Mustangs more focused. Morgan Park, who impressed in a win over Bogan, will open up Tuesday against Perspectives-Calumet.
3. Proviso East (18-3)
#PrepsTalk: Two double-doubles (Sterling Brown: 16 points, 15 rebounds and Paris McCullum: 22 points, 10 rebounds) gave the Pirates the edge in Saturday’s tilt against Proviso West.
4. Oswego (22-2)
#PrepsTalk: Two big runs, 21-6 in the second quarter and 24-2 in the third, gave a jolt to Oswego in a 75-52 victory over Yorkville Saturday. Elliott McGaughy had a game-high 19 points.
5. Orr (18-2)
#PrepsTalk: The week couldn’t have gone much better for the Spartans. They shock Whitney Young on the Dolphins’ home floor, 50-47 on a last-second three by Jamal McDowell. Then they land the top seed in the Public League Playoffs.
6. Whitney Young (18-3)
#PrepsTalk: Could the intense early-season travel schedule be catching up with the Dolphins? Two recent losses (albeit close ones) raise questions as Whitney Young enters the Public League tournament as a #5 seed.
7. North Chicago (22-2)
#PrepsTalk: How will the suspension of five players, including leading scorer JaVairius Amos-Mays, impact the Warhawks the rest of the season? Some of the players will reportedly be penalized until the IHSA playoffs.
8. Bloom (19-3)
#PrepsTalk: After a narrow escape at Rich East, Bloom wallops Leo Saturday 67-31 behing 16 points from Dejahown Freeman. Another conference game awaits on Friday: home versus Rich South.
9. Marian Catholic (22-3)
#PrepsTalk: Two big showdowns await Marian Catholic: Friday at Marist and then February 15th against Notre Dame. The East Suburban Catholic Conference race is one of the best in the state.
10. Benet (20-4)
#PrepsTalk: A nice bounce-back win for Benet on Saturday, 62-50 against a ranked West Aurora team. Jack Euritt, Sean O’Mara and Pat McInerney all scored in double-figures, helping to ease the sting of Friday’s loss to St. Viator.
11. Neuqua Valley (24-2)
PrepsTalk: The Wildcats survived the first trap game against East Aurora (54-30 win Saturday), now they need to hold serve against South Elgin Friday night. A February 15th date with Larkin is on the horizon.
12. Niles North (20-3)
#PrepsTalk: Phew. The Vikings escape against Maine West Friday night, winning 56-54. Malachi Nix picked up 21 points. North earns their third-straight 20-win season and the CS North title.
13. Stevenson (17-4)
#PrepsTalk: The Patriots had four in double-figures in a 75-59 win over Libertyville Friday. They’ll have a challenge this week with three games: Tuesday vs. Waukegan, Friday vs. Lake Forest and Saturday at Lake Zurich.
14. Maine South (23-3)
#PrepsTalk: The Hawks did a little soaring north of the border this weekend. Danny Quinn’s 15 points, with 14 more from John Solari, helped propel Maine South to a 58-44 victory over Addison Trail at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.
15. West Aurora (18-4)
#PrepsTalk: Josh McAuley and Chandler Thomas each scored 16 points, but the Blackhawks could not figure out Benet at the Batavia Night of Hoops. They look to rebound Friday against Wheaton North.
16. Notre Dame (18-4)
#PrepsTalk: Lil’ help? The Dons have lost two straight. First, a 48-42 shocker against Carmel on Friday. Then, a 63-54 overtime loss against Loyola at Saturday’s War on the Shore.
17. Larkin (20-3)
#PrepsTalk: The Royals defeated crosstown Elgin for the third time this season. In Friday’s 68-66 win, Quentin Ruff scored 21 points and Kendale McCullum notched five steals. Larkin is at Geneva Friday.
18. Brother Rice (19-3)
#PrepsTalk: The Crusaders bounced back from a 69-67 loss at Marian Catholic Tuesday with a 71-53 win over St. Francis de Sales Friday. They’ll host De La Salle on Friday night.
19. Curie (15-6)
#PrepsTalk: Is Curie the proverbial “team that nobody wants to play” in the Public League tournament? Cliff Alexander and the #3-seed Condors will look to make a statement in Chicago, starting Tuesday against Englewood.
20. Lemont (19-2)
#PrepsTalk: How good has Juozas Balciunas been this year? He scored another 30 points Friday night with six assists and four steals in an 80-63 win at Tinley Park. The Indians face T.F. North in Calumet City Friday.
Looming and Lurking: New Trier, Providence-St. Mel, Hillcrest, Waubonsie Valley, Bolingbrook, Loyola, Stagg, Huntley, Seton, Homewood-Flossmoor, Seneca, Dundee-Crown, T.F. North, York, St. Viator, Crystal Lake Central, Hinsdale Central, Immaculate Conception, Glenbard East.
Programming Note: Comcast SportsNet’s High School Lites, sponsored by Discount Tire, will air on a special night this week: Saturday at 10:30pm. The show will re-air Sunday morning at 7:30 and 8:30.
As always, High School Lites will stream live at csnchicago.com.
Be sure to follow @JoeCSN for prep basketball coverage.