Blackhawks

CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

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CSN Top 20 IHSA basketball rankings

1 - Simeon
PrepsTalk: Jabari Parker surprises the masses, playing in the Wolveines' first game of the year. Parker, who has been nursing a foot injury, scored six points in a win over Milton (GA).

2 - Whitney Young
PrepsTalk: Jahlil Okafor had quite the 2012-13 debut Saturday night, scoring 34 points with nine rebounds as the Dolphins rolled past DeMatha (MD). LJ Peak scored 17 points.

3 - Morgan Park
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs pick up a huge win over Notre Dame, thanks to a 17-5 run in the fourth quarter. Kyle Davis scored 23 points in the victory.

4 - Hillcrest
PrepsTalk: Jovan Mooring scored 17 points in a victory over Reavis. The team will have Argo and Shepard this week. The Hawks will travel to Indianapolis later this month.

5 - North Chicago
PrepsTalk: JaVairius Amos-Mays scored a game-high 22 points as the Warhawks walloped Grant 92-47 on Friday. They have Antioch and Vernon Hills this week.

6 - Bolingbrook
PrepsTalk: Ben Moore tallied 23 points as the Raiders got past Lincoln-Way Central 57-49 Friday night. They will travel to Lockport on Tuesday, then host Sandburg Friday night.

7 - Benet
PrepsTalk: Huge win for the Redwings over Curie at the Cyrus McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase. Sean O'Mara scored 13 points in a marquee matchup against Cliff Alexander.

8 - Notre Dame
PrepsTalk: Justin Halloran led the Dons with 14 points against Morgan Park, but they could not overcome a late surge by the Mustangs. Another huge game awaits Friday against Marist.

9 - Proviso East
PrepsTalk: The Pirates have now lost two early season games, the latest a 84-46 trouncing at the hands of Lone Peak (Utah). Sterling Brown has sat out the last two games due to disciplinary reasons.

10 - St. Rita
PrepsTalk: The Mustangs are looking to bounce back after losing to St. Rita on their home floor Friday night, 42-38. Charles Matthews and company now face Gordon Tech on Friday.

11 - Seton
PrepsTalk: Mark Weems, Jr. scored 20 points against Gordon Tech Friday night as the Sting cruised to a 57-44 victory. Kamal Shasi added 15 points and seven rebounds.

12 - Homewood-Flossmoor
PrepsTalk: Rashaan Surles scored 14 points while Maurius Hill added 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Vikings get a huge win at Joliet West. They will host Lockport Friday night.

13 - Fenwick
PrepsTalk: Fenwick posted an impressive win over the weekend, taking down fellow village rival Oak Park 66-57. Luke Lattner scored 20 points. The Friars will face De La Salle on Tuesday.

14. Neuqua Valley
PrepsTalk: The Wildcats have stormed out of the gate with a 6-0 record, which includes Saturdays 59-46 win over rival Waubonsie Valley. Jared Brownridge was huge in the fourth quarter.

15 - Dundee-Crown
PrepsTalk: The Chargers bolt into the Top 20, thanks to a 49-40 win over St. Patrick. Brandon Rodriguez was a key player in a late 12-0 run that decided the game.

16 - Niles West
PrepsTalk: Keep an eye on the Wolves, who are off to a fine 5-0 start. They are coming off a 67-63 win over fellow Skokie foe Niles North. David McCoy had 18 points in the victory.

17 - Morton
PrepsTalk: Greg Carter and Waller Perez will be in the headlines a lot this year. They have led Morton to a 3-1 start, including a thrilling 63-62 victory over Larkin in Elgin.

18 - Warren
PrepsTalk: The Blue Devils have a new coach in Ryan Webber, who took over for Chuck Ramsey. Webber and company secured a fine victory over New Trier Saturday, 66-60.

19 - St. Charles East
PrepsTalk: Purdue recruit Kendall Stephens had 15 points against Larkin Thursday, but his Saints could not pull out the victory. East faces Geneva on Friday.

20 - West Aurora
PrepsTalk: West held Wheaton Warrenville South to zero field goals and forced 11 turnovers in the first half Friday night, en route to a 56-29 victory. Josh McAuley had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Looming and Lurking: St. Joseph, Curie, Bogan, Hyde Park, Glenbrook North, Schaumburg, Marist, Orr, Bloom, Providence-St. Mel, T.F. North, Larkin, De La Salle, Andrew, Oswego.

Be sure to follow @JoeCSN and @PrepsTalkCSN for prep basketball coverage.

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Patrick Kane hits milestone, but Blackhawks get blown out by Islanders

Probably not the way the Blackhawks wanted to start their second half of the season.

After a five-day break, the Blackhawks suffered a brutal 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night at the United Center. This coming after a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice last Sunday.

"It was a game we had to win," Quenneville said after Saturday's loss. "Disappointing in a lot of ways."

The Blackhawks needed both goaltenders to get through 60 minutes. Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass combined for 39 saves on 46 shots.

On the offensive side of things, Patrick Kane hit a milestone.

The 29-year-old had two goals and an assist and recorded his 800th career point, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach 800 points.

The Blackhawks are now 22-18-6 on the season with 50 points and rank last in the Central Division, five points behind the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks' schedule doesn't get any easier when the Tampa Bay Lightning — the league-leader in points — come to town on Monday.

See what Quenneville and Kane had to say about Saturday's loss in the video above.

One MLB executive thinks Kyle Schwarber can emerge as Cubs' best hitter in 2018

One MLB executive thinks Kyle Schwarber can emerge as Cubs' best hitter in 2018

When the 2017 season ended, Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber looked in the mirror and didn't like what he saw.

He was stocky, slower than he wanted to be and he had just finished a very difficult season that saw him spend time back in the minor leagues at Triple-A after he struggled mightily through the first three months of the season.

Schwarber still put up solid power numbers despite his overall struggles. He slammed 30 home runs, putting him among the Top 15 hitters in the National League and among the Top 35 in all of baseball. But, Schwarber was honest with himself. He knew he could achieve so much more if he was in better shape and improved his mobility, his overall approach at the plate and his defense.

Schwarber was drafted by the Cubs out of Indiana University as a catcher. However, many scouts around baseball had serious doubts about his ability to catch at the big league level. The Cubs were in love with Schwarber the person and Schwarber the overall hitter and felt they would give him a chance to prove he could catch for them. If he couldn't, then they believed he could play left field adequately enough to keep his powerful bat in the lineup.

However, a serious knee injury early in the 2016 season knocked Schwarber out of action for six months and his return to the Cubs in time to assist in their World Series run raised expectations for a tremendous 2017 season. In fact, the expectations for Schwarber were wildly unrealistic when the team broke camp last spring. Manager Joe Maddon had Schwarber in the everyday lineup batting leadoff and playing left field.

But Schwarber's offseason after the World Series consisted of more rehab on his still-healing injured left knee. That kept him from working on his outfield play, his approach at the plate and his overall baseball training. 

Add in all of the opportunities and commitments that come with winning a World Series and it doesn't take much detective work to understand why Schwarber struggled so much when the 2017 season began. This offseason, though, has been radically different. A season-ending meeting with Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer led to a decision to take weight off of Schwarber's frame. It also included a decision to change his training program so that he improved his quickness, lateral movement and his overall baseball skills.

"I took two weeks off after the season ended and then I went to work," Schwarber said. "We put a plan together to take weight off and to improve my quickness. I have my meals delivered and I feel great. My baseball work combined with a lot of strength and conditioning has me in the best shape that I have ever been in."

Schwarber disagrees with the pundits who felt manager Maddon's decision to put him in the leadoff spot in the Cubs' loaded lineup contributed to his struggles.

"I have no problem hitting wherever Joe wants to put me," Schwarber said. "I didn't feel any more pressure because I was batting leadoff. I just needed to get back to training for a baseball season as opposed to rehabbing from my knee injury. I'm probably 20-25 pounds lighter and I'm ready to get back to Arizona with the boys and to get ready for the season."

Many around the game were shocked when the Cubs drafted Schwarber with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft, but a rival executive who was not surprised by the pick believes that Schwarber can indeed return to the form that made him such a feared hitter during his rookie season as well as his excellent postseason resume.

"Everyone who doubted this kid may end up way off on their evaluation because he is a great hitter and now that he is almost two years removed from his knee injury," the executive said. "He knows what playing at the major-league level is all about I expect him to be a real force in the Cubs lineup.

"Theo and Jed do not want to trade this kid and they are going to give him every opportunity to succeed. I think he has a chance to be as good a hitter as they have in their order."

Watch the full 1-on-1 interview with Kyle Schwarber Sunday night on NBC Sports Chicago.