Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings


Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell

1 Simeon (23-1)

Results: Defeated Douglass 98-31, Hyde Park 65-44 and Marshall 73-62
This Week: Public League Semifinals vs. Orr, Saturday vs. De La Salle (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Kendrick Nunn, Jaleni Neely and Jaylon Tate didnt play Sunday (disciplinary reasons). Simeon might needs all hands on deck against Orr.

2 Proviso East (21-0)

Results: Defeated Morton 64-53 and Willowbrook 97-70
This Week: Tuesday vs. Leyden, Friday vs. Downers Grove South
Hoops Talk: The Pirates had four starters in double figures Saturday against Willowbrook: Paris Lee (18), Paris Burns (16), Sterling Brown (15) and Keith Carter (14).

3 Curie (23-1)

Results: Defeated Amundsen 90-34, Crane 68-29 and Morgan Park 65-35
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Bogan
Hoops Talk: So much is said about the Condors offense but the D has game too: 22 turnovers forced against Crane, 16 of them in the first half.

4 Warren (19-2)

Results: Defeated Zion-Benton 72-58 and Glenbrook North 41-32
This Week: Tuesday at Lake Zurich, Friday at Libertyville, Saturday vs. Proviso East (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Saturday tilt against Proviso East should be the crown jewel of the three-game City-Suburban Showdown at Proviso West.

5 Plainfield East (22-1)

Results: Defeated Plainfield North 76-48 and Romeoville 69-36
This Week: Tuesday at St. Charles East, Friday vs. Plainfield South
Hoops Talk: The Bengals have a chance to win their first Southwest Prairie conference title Friday night with a win against defending champion Plainfield South.

6 Andrew (19-1)

Results: Defeated Bradley 73-46 and Lincoln-Way North 60-34
This Week: Tuesday vs. Sandburg, Friday at Thornridge
Hoops Talk: Deep team with one of the more underrated centers in the area, Tyler Hook. Bolts cant look past this weeks games to the Thornwood clash on Feb. 21.
7 Bogan (23-2)

Results: Defeated Uplift 90-65, North Lawndale 83-67 and Taft 71-41
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Curie
Hoops Talk: Ronnell Bucker, DeVaughn Johnson, Luwane Pipkins and Devonte Smith will pose a serious threat to Curie.

8 Downers Grove South (19-4)

Results: Defeated Leyden 60-33
This Week: Friday at Proviso East
Hoops Talk: The Mustangs, who lost to the Pirates on January 19th at DGS, will be looking for revenge. The West Suburban Gold title will be on the line.

9 Huntley (21-2)

Results: Defeated Crystal Lake South 52-31 and Dundee-Crown 41-40
This Week: Tuesday at Jacobs, Friday at Cary-Grove
Hoops Talk: Bryce Onlys jumper with five seconds left gave the Red Raiders a thrilling win over Dundee-Crown, their third win over the Chargers this season.

10 Elgin (19-3)

Results: Defeated DeKalb 50-48, Batavia 65-51 and Larkin 64-51
This Week: Wednesday vs. Immaculate Conception, Friday at Streamwood
Hoops Talk: Huge gain for the Maroons, as senior Dennis Moore returns from a broken right hand. He had 14 points Friday at Larkin.

11 St. Ignatius (19-3)

Results: Defeated Brother Rice 59-51 and Gordon Tech 48-41
This Week: Friday at Loyola, Sunday vs. Notre Dame (at Gordon Tech)
Hoops Talk: Coach Rick Kehoe has benefitted from some great senior leadership this year, especially from guard Brian Howard.

12 Hillcrest (19-4)

Results: Defeated De La Salle 62-48
This Week: Tuesday vs. Tinley Park, Friday vs. T.F. South
Hoops Talk: Balance was the key as the Hawks takes down the Meteors. Jovan Morring, Jalen Loving, Kyle Oden and Jayone Troutman all reached double figures.

13 Bloom (21-3)

Results: Defeated Rich South 59-52
This Week: Friday at Crete-Monee
Hoops Talk: Donald Moore continues to impress, scoring 22 points against the Stars. Bloom will now look to beat C-M for the third time this season.

14 Orr (19-3)

Results: Defeated Power House 73-52, Farragut 54-43 and Foreman 62-60 (OT)
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. (SimeonMarshall)
Hoops Talk: Devante Jones hit a three to send Sundays game against Foreman to OT. The defense and free throw shooting were enough in the extra session.

15 Marshall (20-7)

Results: Defeated Lincoln Park 45-42 and Whitney Young 69-67; Lost to Simeon 73-62
This Week: No games scheduled this week
Hoops Talk: The Commandos could not dig themselves out of a 14-0 hole against Simeon. They should still be a force in the IHSA playoffs.

16 St. Rita (14-8)

Results: Defeated Providence 70-64 and Hales 71-69
This Week: Friday at St. Joseph, Saturday vs. New Trier (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Dont let the record fool you. The Mustangs losses have dominated in-state foes and have challenged talented teams from outside Illinois.

17 New Trier (18-5)

Results: Lost to Evanston 55-52 (OT)
This Week: Friday at Maine South, Saturday vs. St. Rita (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Trevians have lost three straight. The slate doesnt get much easier this week, especially with Saturdays City-Suburban tilt on the horizon.

18 De La Salle (14-5)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 62-48
This Week: Friday at Hales, Saturday vs. Simeon (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Meteors are currently in a five-game stretch where four of those opponents are ranked in the CSN Top 20.

19 Hope Academy (21-2)

Results: Defeated Ida Crown 72-59 and Northside Prep 58-48
This Week: Tuesday at Seton, Thursday vs. Raby, Friday at Holy Trinity
Hoops Talk: Torrance Johnson and company continue to keep the Eagles on the upswing. Tuesdays game at Seton should be entertaining.

20 Lemont (20-2)

Results: Defeated T.F. North 47-42
This Week: Tuesday at T.F. South, Friday vs. Reavis
Hoops Talk: Mike Wisz came off the bench to hit six three-pointers in the Indians victory over T.F. North

Looming & Lurking: Whitney Young, Metea Valley, Farragut, West Aurora, Naperville North, Seton, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, York

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?


Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?

Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down where the Bears go at QB following Brian Hoyer’s injury and evaluate the defense’s gutsy performance on Thursday night against the Packers despite numerous injuries. Plus, a look at the big picture and who can help the Bears down the road.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here:

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

LOS ANGELES – Within minutes of the last out on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, ESPN’s @SportsCenter account sent out a photo of Moises Alou at the Wrigley Field wall to more than 30 million Twitter followers: “The last time the Cubs were up 3-2 in an NLCS was Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS vs. the Marlins. Most remember it as ‘the Bartman Game.’”

As Kerry Wood once said: “Irrelevant, dude.”
Look, the Cubs still need to find a way to beat either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill this weekend, with Kenley Jansen resting and waiting for the multiple-inning saves. The obligatory description for Kershaw is “the best pitcher on the planet.” Hill’s lefty curveball – and “the perceptual velocity” of his fastball – freezes hitters. Jansen has a mystical cutter reminiscent of the great Mariano Rivera. The top-heavy part of this Los Angeles playoff pitching staff has held the Cubs to zero runs in 16.1 innings.

But until proven otherwise, forget about this idea of a Cubs team weighed down by the history of a franchise that hasn’t played in the World Series since 1945.

Just look at Javier Baez getting in Anthony Rizzo’s airspace during Game 5, the human-highlight-film second baseman standing right next to the All-Star first baseman as he caught a Kike Hernandez pop-up for the second out of the third inning.

It didn’t matter that this was a 1-0 game and MVP-ballot players Justin Turner and Corey Seager were coming up. This is what the 2016 Cubs do. Rizzo caught the ball, quickly flipped it underhand and it bounced off Baez’s chest – in front of a sellout crowd of 54,449 and a national Fox Sports 1 audience.

“We always mess around,” Rizzo said at his locker inside a tight clubhouse jammed with media after an 8-4 win. “So I’m screaming: ‘Javy! Javy! I got it! I got it, Javy, I got it!’

“And usually he’ll yell at me: ‘Don’t miss it!’ Or I’ll yell at him: ‘Don’t miss it!’

“We do that a lot. If it’s a pop-up to him, I’ll go right behind him. It’s just little ways of slowing the game down and having fun, too.”

Rizzo is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman for a team that led the majors in defensive efficiency this year. As a super-utility guy, Baez got credit for 11 defensive runs saved in 383 innings at second base, or one less than co-leaders Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler, who each did it in almost 1,300 innings.

“Sometimes when I call (Rizzo) off to get a fly ball, he starts talking to me,” Baez said. “I tell him: ‘Hey, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t move my head. You can touch me if you want. Just don’t move my head.’

“And I told him to be ready for it, because I was going to do the same thing. You just got to be focused on the fly ball. No matter what’s happening around you, you just got to catch it.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

This isn’t about Bartman. It’s about a group of young, confident players who are growing up together and absolutely expect to be in this position. It’s manager Joe Maddon designing “Embrace The Target” T-shirts and telling them to show up to the ballpark whenever they want and then blow off batting practice.

“For sure, we’re relaxed,” said Baez, who’s gone viral during these playoffs, the rest of the country witnessing his amazing instincts and flashy personality. “I’m relaxed when I play defense.”

The thing is, Rizzo and Baez could be playing next to each other for the next five years, the same way Kris Bryant and Addison Russell will be anchoring the left side of the infield.

This is how Rizzo introduced Russell to The Show when a natural shortstop tried to learn second base on the fly last year and track pop-ups in front of 40,000 people: “Hey, watch out for that skateboard behind you! Don’t trip!”

“Oh yeah, we yell at each other all the time,” Rizzo said. “It’s just one of those things where you got to stay loose.”