New No. 1 in preps basketball power rankings

New No. 1 in preps basketball power rankings
January 6, 2014, 8:15 am
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There wasn't much movement in the latest edition of the CSN Preps Basketball Power Rankings, but a few of top-25 teams did play over the weekend -- post holiday tournaments -- and we have a new No. 1 team in Stevenson.

The only newcomer to the latest Power Rankings are the Evanston Wildkits, who played well for a third-place finish at Pekin and are playing much better ball as the season rolls along.

1. Stevenson (13-0) (2)

The Patriots are the new No. 1 team after Curie's loss in Michigan. Stevenson is one of two remaining unbeatens in the area and they'll be tested when they travel to No. 8 Zion-Benton on Friday in a North Suburban Lake showdown.

2. Marian Catholic (11-1) (3)

Tyler Ulis had 26 points, six assists, six steals and five rebounds to lead Marian Catholic past Detroit Country Day on Saturday at the Muskegon Showcase Classic in Michigan. The Spartans will be tested Friday when they host No. 17 St. Viator in an East Suburban Catholic Conference clash.

3. Curie (10-1) (1)

The Condors losing at the Muskegon Showcase Classic without Cliff Alexander on Saturday is not a big deal, but the Curie guards squandering a six-point lead in the game's final 1:30 is a big deal. Is Curie's guard play reliable enough to maintain the Condors' elite status?

4. Morgan Park (10-2) (4)

Now that sophomore point guard Charlie Moore and senior wing Lamont Walker have returned from injury, can the Mustangs go on a run in the Red-South?

5. North Chicago (11-1) (5)

North Chicago is clearly the class of the North Suburban Prairie. Can the high-scoring Warhawks maintain their focus and intensity during conference play?

6. Orr (7-1) (6)

One of the greater unknowns in the area, Orr has only faced two opponents from the state of Illinois so far this season, going 2-0. The Spartans are long, athletic and talented, but can they wrestle the Red-West away from Jahlil Okafor and Whitney Young?

7. Simeon (9-2) (7)

It's disappointing for Simeon that they weren't able to travel to West Virginia for the two games they were scheduled to play in a national showcase this weekend, but the Wolverines should be more prepared for the Red-South with the rest.

[DRIVE: Whitney Young -- Paul White perseveres despite the odds]

8. Zion-Benton (12-1) (8)

The Zee-Bees will face a big test when they face No. 1 Stevenson at home on Friday in a North Suburban Lake clash. Can senior Milik Yarbrough and junior Admiral Schofield lead Zion-Benton to the upset.

9. Bogan (13-2) (9)

Junior point guard Luwane Pipkins described Bogan as being a "grimey team" to me at Proviso West. I love that characterization of the Bengals by Pipkins and this group is a lot of fun to watch. Can they stay with the familiar Red-South juggernauts of Morgan Park and Simeon?

10. Fremd (13-0) (10)

Fremd is one of two unbeatens left in the area and they're clearly the class of the Mid-Suburban League. Cornell commit and senior guard Riley Glassman is off to a tremendous start and he's surrounded by a tough group that is willing to defend, rebound and do whatever it takes to win.

11. Loyola (10-2) (11)

The Ramblers have yet to lose a game against an Illinois opponent and seniors Jack Morrissey and Kevin Kucera might be the most underrated backcourt in the area. They'll be tested frequently in the Catholic North.

12. St. Joseph (11-2) (12)

Speaking of the Catholic North, St. Joseph is also a major competitor in the loaded conference as their junior guard duo of Glynn Watson and Jordan Ash is off to a stellar start. Sophomore big man Nick Rakocevic is also giving the Chargers a big boost on the interior and also with his ability to stretch the floor with his jumper.

13. Lake Forest (12-2) (13)

The Scouts are a bit of a surprise and junior Evan Boudreaux is a very likely All-Area player since he's a threat for a double-double nearly every time out. Lake Forest is a week away from its shot at No. 1 Stevenson, but the North Suburban Lake is very deep. 

14. Whitney Young (8-4) (15)

Big win for the Dolphins in West Virginia over Prime Prep (Tx.) and elite guard Emmanuel Mudiay. That Whitney Young held Mudiay to 16 points and also came back from an 18-point third quarter deficit is a testament to the Dolphins' improved perimeter defense since the start of the season.

15. Proviso East (10-3) (14)

Proviso East lost to a really good Bowman Academy team from Indiana and they have a tough week of West Suburban Gold games as they face Hinsdale South and No. 24 Morton this week.

[MUSCLE MILK TEAM OF THE WEEK: Marian Catholic Spartans]

16. Larkin (13-2) (16)

Larkin has played a very difficult schedule so far this season and while guards Derrick Streety and Kendale McCullum have received a lot of publicity, the continually improving play of freshman Christian Negron makes Larkin a really good team.

17. St. Viator (11-2) (17)

The Lions will have a chance to show how good they are when they face No. 20 Hinsdale Central and No. 2 Marian Catholic this week. Can St. Viator find consistent scoring behind the duo of Ore Arogundade and junior Roosevelt Smart?

18. York (13-1) (18)

The West Suburban Silver race will be an intriguing one as York, No. 20 Hinsdale Central and No. 21 Oak Park-River Forest will clash until the end. After losing to Lake Forest in the championship game at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic, York bounced back with a nice road win at Quincy on Friday.

19. West Aurora (8-3) (20)

Jontrell Walker was expected to be a big contributor for the Blackhawks, but head coach Gordie Kerkman has to be pleased at the development of junior Roland Griffin and sophomore big man Carleton Williams.

20. Hinsdale Central (10-3) (21)

The Red Devils have an interesting contest at No. 17 St. Viator on Tuesday and they're starting to work forwards Ian Bunting and George Kiernan back into the rotation after both missed time earlier in the year. 

21. Oak Park-River Forest (10-3) (22)

Did the Huskies turn the corner with their solid finish at Pontiac? Simmie Cobbs is a warrior and senior Erick Locke is one of the most experienced guards in the state. The difference-maker for OPRF could be the play of senior forward Jovanni Harrell.

22. Fenwick (11-4) (23)

Sophomore point guard Mike Smith is making tremendous strides in running a team as the season progresses and he's been aided by good interior play from seniors Tom Planek and Dan Dwyer. It'll be interesting to see how senior Scott Lindsey, a Northwestern commit, meshes into the lineup when he returns from a broken leg sometime in January.

23. Maine South (8-3) (24)

The favorites in the Central Suburban South, head coach Tony Lavorato -- once again -- has the Hawks playing great team ball. With the emergence of junior forward George Sargeant, Maine South is a really dangerous ballclub.

24. Morton (7-3) (25)

The Mustangs had their weekend contest against Waukesha West cancelled and they'll face Leyden later this week. The duo of senior guard Greg Carter and junior forward Weisner Perez can really fill it up.

25. Evanston (11-4) (NR) 

The Wildkits have given Zion-Benton their only loss on the season and have respectable losses to No. 23 Maine South, No. 11 Loyola and undefeated Springfield Lanphier. Evanston was losing by 16 at halftime against St. Charles East over the weekend and came roaring back for a home win.

Previously ranked: No. 19 St. Rita (5-4)