Hello, Rivals? are you paying attention?In its latest evaluation of the top 150 high school basketball players in the class of 2013, Rivals didn't rank Proviso East's Sterling Brown. In the wake of Brown's outstanding performance in the Class 4A finals, where by all accounts the 6-foot-4 junior outplayed everyone else on the floor, including Simeon's Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn, Rivals apparently wasn't impressed.Asked to explain its rationale for snubbing Brown, Rivals declined to respond. He likely will make a dramatic climb into the top 50 after Rivals "re-evaluates" the nation's top players during the spring and summer.Aside from that turnover, Rivals got it right. Parker is their choice as the No. 1 player in the class of 2013, agreeing with every other recruiting service on the planet. He ranks ahead of Andrew Harrison of Fort Bend, Texas, and Julius Randle of Plano, Texas.Other Illinois products on Rivals' elite list are Kendrick Nunn (22), Whitney Young's Thomas Hamilton (45), St. Charles East's Purdue-bound Kendall Stephens (50), Belleville East's Illinois-bound Malcolm Hill (52), Morgan Park's DePaul-bound Billy Garrett Jr. (75), East St. Louis' Deshawn Munson (96) and Simeon's Jaylon Tate (112).Don't forget Illinois-bound Jalen James (89), a native Chicagoan who attended Hope Academy for two years, then transferred to La Lumiere, a prep school in La Porte, Indiana.It would appear Rivals has some catching up to do. It has a history of not doing a very comprehensive job of covering Illinois in general, the Chicago area in particular.Local evaluators generally agreed that Hamilton and Stephens had disappointing junior years, Hamilton largely because he was injured for much of the season. De La Salle's Gabe Schilling and Alvin Ellis are rated ahead of Hamilton and Stephens in some up-to-date surveys.Rivals isn't alone on the up-tick. ESPN doesn't list Brown among its top 60 in the class of 2013 while rating Parker No. 1 and including Hamilton, Garrett, Hill and Nunn on its list."All the national sites like ESPN, Rivals and Scout are jokes," said recruiting analysts Roy and Harv Schmidt of Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye. "They don't know how to evaluate. They are all what we call 'big event' guys who rank kids only on how they play at big high-profile events."Last year, Brown wasn't that visible on the travel club and AAU circuits. So everyone is clueless. They do not and never go watch regular season games, only big tournaments which are often awful and set up like NBA all-star games."Guys like Dave Telep and Clark Francis are clueless. They are 'big event' or 'one game' guys. Rankings change by the hour. Scout is more concerned with who is in the building and schmoozing with college coaches. The fact that most college coaches fall for it tells you all you need to know about the product of college basketball and the scouting profession."How good is Brown? The Schmidt brothers predict that he will push the top 75 nationally. At the same time, they believe Whitney Young's Tommy Hamilton, once a highly rated prospect, has slipped dramatically. "Not even a top 10 player in 2013, no more than a high mid-major prospect," they said.After attending a major AAU event in Minneapolis, in which Simeon's Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn stood out, they also were impressed with 6-foot-5 Kendall Pollard of Simeon and 6-foot-9 Sean O'Mara of Benet.
The Bears dipped into the Division II ranks with their second round pick, selecting Ashland University tight end Adam Shaheen with the 45th pick in the NFL Draft Friday night.
The 6-foot-6, 278 pound Shaheen began his collegiate career as a basketball player with Division II Pittsburgh-Johnstown, then transferred to Ashland to play football. Shaheen caugh 16 touchdowns in 2016.
Shaheen earned the nickname "Baby Gronk" and said he went from being a 6-foot-4, 195 pound college freshman to his current size by eating a lot of Chipotle burritos.
Shaheen's size would make him the second-largest tight end in the NFL, behind only the Detroit Lions Darren Fells (6-foot-7, 281 pounds).
On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel previews Game 6 between the Bulls and Celtics.
Later, the guys analyze the Bears' selecting Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: