Cubs

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (12-0)

Results: Defeated Bloomington 70-31, United Twp. 71-33, Peoria Manual 48-47 and Curie 44-27.

This Week: Saturday vs. Miller Grove HS (GA) at Cancer Research Classic, Wheeling (WV)

Hoops Talk: Three days, four wins, and another title at Pontiac. Impressive. Jabari Parker won his second consecutive A.C. Williamson trophy (tournament MVP).

2 Proviso East (11-0)

Results: Defeated Brooks 93-76, Benet 49-41, Rockford Auburn 75-56 and New Trier 68-55.

This Week: Friday at Morton, Saturday vs. Batavia

Hoops Talk: The Pirates, behind tournament MVP Keith Carter, win their first Proviso West Holiday Tournament title since 1991.

3 Curie (11-1)

Results: Defeated Niles West 57-41, West Aurora 60-52 and Warren 77-68 (2 OT); Lost to Simeon 44-27

This Week: Saturday at Muskegon Heights (MI)

Hoops Talk: The Condors excelled in their double-overtime in over Warren. Devin Foster was solid in the victory, going for 27 points and 12 rebounds.

4 Warren (10-2)
Results: Defeated Plainfield North 71-42, Joliet West 60-29 and Peoria Manual 63-54; Lost to Curie 77-68.

This Week: Friday at Zion-Benton

Hoops Talk: Solid 3rd place finish in Pontiac. Darius Paul and Nathan Boothe will be a force down the stretch.

5 Bloom (13-0)

Results: Defeated Corliss 70-47, Marian Catholic 56-47, Rich South 69-51 and Crete-Monee 52-45.

This Week: Friday vs. Rich South, Saturday vs. Bogan (at TF NorthBob Hambric Shootout)

Hoops Talk: First tournament championship at Rich South since 1995, thanks in large part to MVP point guard Donald Moore.

6 Andrew (9-0)

Results: Defeated Carver 56-42, Kankakee 56-37 and Milwaukee South 45-44

This Week: Friday at Lincoln-Way North

Hoops Talk: The Thunderbolts continue to turn heads this season. Jubril Adekoya named tournament MVP in Kankakee.

7 Plainfield East (11-0)

Results: Defeated Thornridge 62-34, Peoria Richwoods 66-57, Morton (IL) 62-56 and Washington 54-50

This Week: Friday at Plainfield North

Hoops Talk: Look out for the Bengals. Austin Robinson, Jawan Straughter and Brian Bennett help guide East to a first place trophy in Pekin.

8 Elgin (12-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Thursday at Batavia

Hoops Talk: The Maroons return to Upstate Eight conference play after stellar play in their home holiday tournament.

9 St. Ignatius (11-1)

Results: Defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 56-41, Riverside-Brookfield 62-52, Downers Grove South 52-50 and De La Salle 47-44 (OT).

This Week: Friday at St. Rita

Hoops Talk: They dont have center Nnanna Egwu this year (Illinois), but they do have a talented guard in Brian Howard (tournament MVP at Jack Tosh).

10 Whitney Young (6-4)

Results: Defeated Lexington (SC) 78-62, Prestonwood (TX) 46-44; Lost to Lone Peak (UT) 46-44 and Bishop Gorman (LA) 84-51

This Week: Saturday at Gonzaga (WV)

Hoops Talk: The Dolphins split their four games in Myrtle Beach. Sophomore Jahlil Okafor will need to carry a team thats dealing with injuries.
11 Downers Grove South (10-2)

Results: Defeated Palatine 59-26, Maine South 69-52 and Naperville North 53-46; Lost to St. Ignatius 52-50

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Jamall Millison and Jerron Wilbut lead the Mustangs to a third place finish at the Tosh. Next game will be Monday January 9th vs. Fremd.
12 Bogan (11-1)
Results: Defeated St. Laurence 70-44, Alton 73-58 and Champaign Central 57-44; Lost to Belleville West 60-53

This Week: Saturday vs. Bloom (at TF NorthBob Hambric Shootout)Hoops Talk: Decent showing in Centralia, but could not hold 8-point lead with 1:49 to go against Belleville West. Team shot 70.5 vs. St. Laurence.

13 De La Salle (10-2)

Results: Defeated Perspectives 58-48, St. Francis 59-39, Naperville North 54-28; Lost to St. Ignatius 47-44 (OT)

This Week: Friday vs. Fenwick

Hoops Talk: Alvin Ellis, Alex Foster and Gavin Schilling had good games, but could not figure out fellow Cathlolic North foe St. Ignatius. Rematch January 20th.

14 Metea Valley (13-0)

Results: Defeated Eisenhower 100-79, Rolling Meadows 69-64, Sandburg 66-62 and Schaumburg 64-52

This Week: Saturday vs. Lake Park

Hoops Talk: Fun times at the Hinsdale South tourney: a 100-point game, two thrilling comebacks and then a 24-point effort from MVP Kenny Obendorf in the final.
15 New Trier (12-2)

Results: Defeated Fenwick 62-47, Homewood-Flossmoor 61-58, Morgan Park 50-41; Lost to Proviso East 68-55

This Week: Friday vs. Evanston

Hoops Talk: David Bragiel, Austin Angel, Connor Boehm and Jordan Thomas all contributed for the Trevians at the Proviso West tourney.

16 West Aurora (11-2)

Results: Defeated Danville 71-51, Joliet West 50-46, United Twp. 50-35; Lost to Curie 60-52

This Week: Saturday at Naperville North

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Juwan Starks paced the Blackhawks to a fifth place finish in Pontiac.

17 Huntley (10-1)

Results: No games played this week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Crystal Lake Central, Saturday vs. McHenry

Hoops Talk: 6-6 sophomore Amanze Egekeze is attracting attention from several Big Ten schools.

18 Crane (8-3)

Results: Defeated Harper (forfeit), Ridgewood 67-62, Lemont 58-54 and Plainfield Central 51-35.

This Week: TBA

Hoops Talk: The Cougars sweep through the Romeoville Christmas Classic behind tournament MVP Willie Connor.

19 Glenbard West (10-0)

Results: Defeated West Chicago 60-48, Fenton 48-30, Leyden 56-35 and Wheaton Academy 67-48.

This Week: Wednesday at Bolingbrook, Friday at York

Hoops Talk: The Hilltoppers, winners of their own holiday tournament last week, are off to their best start in school history.
20 Crystal Lake Central (11-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday at Huntley, Saturday at Hampshire

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Chase Cane and the Tigers are on the prowl and will fight to defend their Fox Valley Fox title.

Looming & Lurking: Benet, Marshall, Harlan, Farragut, Stevenson, Naperville Central, Herscher, Libertyville, Foreman, Seton, Notre Dame, North Chicago, St. Viator, Homewood-Flossmoor, Farragut, Hillcrest.

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

MESA, Ariz. — The first thing Kyle Schwarber told his new hitting coach?

"His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.'"

The Cubs hired Chili Davis as the team's new hitting coach for myriad reasons. He's got a great track record from years working with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and that .274/.360/.451 slash line during an illustrious 19-year big league career certainly helps.

But Davis' main immediate task in his new gig will be to help several of the Cubs' key hitters prove Schwarber's assessment correct.

Schwarber had a much-publicized tough go of things in 2017. After he set the world on fire with his rookie campaign in 2015 and returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending knee injury in time to be one of the Cubs' World Series heroes in 2016, he hit just .211 last season, getting sent down to Triple-A Iowa for a stint in the middle of the season. Schwarber still hit 30 home runs, but his 2017 campaign was seen as a failure by a lot of people.

Enter Davis, who now counts Schwarber as one of his most important pupils.

"He's a worker," Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Schwarbs, he knows he's a good player. His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.' He said last year was just a fluke year. He said, 'I've never failed in my life.' And he said, 'I'm going to get back to the player that I was.'

"I think he may have — and this is my thought, he didn't say this to me — I think it may have been, he had a big World Series, hit some homers, and I think he tried to focus on being more of a home run type guy as opposed to being a good hitter.

"His focus has changed. I had nothing to do with that, he came in here with that focus that he wants to be a good hitter first and let whatever happens happen. And he's worked on that. The main thing with Kyle is going to be is just maintaining focus."

The physically transformed Schwarber mentioned last week that he's established a good relationship with Davis, in no small part because Schwarber can relate to what Davis went through when he was a player. And to hear Davis tell it, it sounds like he's describing Schwarber's first three years as a big leaguer to a T.

"Telling him my story was important because it was similar," Davis said. "I was a catcher, got to big league camp, and I was thrown in the outfield. And I hated the outfield. ... But I took on the challenge. I made the adjustment, I had a nice first year, then my second year I started spiraling. I started spiraling down, and I remember one of my coaches saying, 'I'm going to have to throw you a parachute just so you can land softly.' I got sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break for 15 days.

"When I got sent down, I was disappointed, but I was also really happy. I needed to get away from the big league pressure and kind of find myself again. I went home and refocused myself and thought to myself, 'I'm going to come back as Chili.' Because I tried to change, something changed about me the second year.

"And when I did that, I came back the next year and someone tried to change me and I said, 'Pump the breaks a little bit, let me fail my way, and then I'll come to you if I'm failing.' And they understood that, and I had a nice year, a big year and my career took off.

"I'm telling him, 'Hey, let last year go. It happened, it's in the past. Keep working hard, maintain your focus, and you'll be fine.'"

Getting Schwarber right isn't Davis' only task, of course. Despite the Cubs being one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball last season, they had plenty of guys go through subpar seasons. Jason Heyward still has yet to find his offensive game since coming to Chicago as a high-priced free agent. Ben Zobrist was bothered by a wrist injury last season and put up the worst numbers of his career. Addison Russell had trouble staying healthy, as well, and saw his numbers dip from what they were during the World Series season in 2016.

So Davis has plenty of charges to work with. But he likes what he's seen so far.

"They work," Davis said. "They come here to work. I had a group of guys in Boston that were the same last year, and it makes my job easier. They want to get better, they come out every day, they show up, they want to work. They're excited, and I'm excited to be around them.

And what have the Cubs found out about Davis? Just about everyone answers that question the same way: He likes to talk.

"I'm not going to stop talking," he said. "If I stop talking, something's wrong."

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: