Top ranking not important to Parker

819993.png

Top ranking not important to Parker

Jabari Parker will have an MRI on his right heel this week, and it will most likely keep him out of the upcoming July evaluation period. It could also mean the 6-foot-8 forward loses his top spot at the No. 1 recruit in the 2013 class.
Parker's father, Sonny, told ESPN Chicago his son is more worried about getting healthy and winning a fourth straight state championship for Simeon than he is about subjective rankings from recruiting experts.
And if recent major talent from Chicago has proven anything, it's that having the top spot does not mean all that much.
Rivals.com had Rose ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2007 recruiting class, behind Michael Beasley and Eric Gordon. All Rose has done since then is lead the Memphis Tigers to the national championship game, earn Rookie of the Year honors and be named MVP two years ago in the NBA.
Chicago native Anthony Davis was not the consensus No. 1 overall prospect, either. Winter Park, Fla.'s Austin Rivers was ranked No. 1 by some recruiting services, including Rivals. The next year, Davis led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national championship, Davis was named National Player of the Year and, in June, was selected No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Hornets.
So when Parker says he does not care about the No. 1 overall ranking, he's not only genuine about it, he's right.
Julius Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward from Texas, is currently ranked No. 2 by most recruiting outlets. He'll choose where he attends school, holding scholarship offers from just about every blue blood school in the country.
Where Parker is more fundamentally sound and rounded out as a player, Randle may be more athletic and has a flair for the dramatic. That alone should put him over the top as the No. 1 ranked recruit, given the free-flowing, open style of AAU basketball.
Point guard Andrew Harrison or his brother, Aaron, also have chances to take over the top spot should Parker lose it.
But whoever goes into the fall season with the top spot, Parker doesn't mind.
"Right now, he's not caught up in the rankings. He's so concerned about winning that state championship for a fourth year," Sonny told ESPN Chicago. "That's more important than the ranking stuff. People are putting it out there because they want something to talk about."

34 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian

chicagochristianhighschoollogo.jpg

34 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Chicago Christian

Head coach: Nick Cook

Assistant coaches: Dan Chiarito (OC), Tom O'Connor (ST), Sean O'Connor (OL/DL and sophomore head coach), Zach Kuipers (RB/DL), Andy Boss (WR/DB)

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-3 Metro Suburban Red Conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoff field.

[MORE: 35 Days to Kickoff - Grayslake North]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Chicago Bulls Prep

Sept. 2 @ Crossroads Christian Academy

Sept. 8 @ Wheaton Academy

Sept. 15 vs. IC Catholic Prep

Sept. 23 @ Walther Christian

Sept. 29 vs. Ridgewood

Oct. 6 @ Elmwood Park

Oct. 13 vs. Aurora Central Catholic

Oct. 20 vs. Guerin Prep

Biggest storyline: Can the Knights land a state playoff bid in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior QB/DB Henry Light, junior WR/DB Jonathan Griffin

Biggest holes to fill: The Knights will need to reload on both the offensive and defensive line with just one starter back in senior Izaak Tanis (6-foot-2, 245 pounds).

EDGY's early take: The Knights bring back a nice core of returning starters this season and is a group with experience in the skills department. If Chicago Christian can get its line play to develop sooner, rather than later, they could find themselves battling for a state playoff spot in 2017.

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”