Preps Talk

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings


CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell

1 Simeon (26-1)

Results: No games played last week
This Week: Tuesday vs. Oak Lawn or Argo (4A Oak Lawn Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Argo sectional is loaded this year. Teams include Simeon, Bogan, Brother Rice, Curie, De La Salle, Marist, St. Rita and Whitney Young.

2 Proviso East (26-0)

Results: Defeated Oak Park-River Forest 63-48 and Marquette, WI 72-52
This Week: Tuesday vs. Wheaton North or Hoffman Estates (4A Proviso East Regional)
Hoops Talk: If the Pirates are victorious Tuesday, they would play either Glenbard North or Glenbard East in Maywood on Friday.

3 Curie (24-2)
Results: No games played last week
This Week: Tuesday vs. Reavis or Kennedy (4A Marist Regional)
Hoops Talk: Cliff Alexander, Devin Foster and company are thinking state. The Argo Sectional might as well be a state tournament (see above).
4 Warren (22-3)

Results: Defeated North Chicago 84-80
This Week: Wednesday vs. Hersey or Buffalo Grove (4A Stevenson Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Blue Devils soar into the playoffs after Wednesdays North Suburban conference championship. Darius Paul: 28 points, 16 rebounds.

5 Plainfield East (25-1)

Results: Defeated Oswego East 74-46
This Week: Tuesday vs. Wheaton Warrenville South or Plainfield North (4A Neuqua Valley Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Bengals, top seed in the East Aurora Sectional, could make some noise. Senior Brian Bennett (26 points, 15 rebounds vs. OE) is a force.

6 Bogan (24-3)

Results: Defeated Dunbar 76-61
This Week: Tuesday vs. Mt. Carmel or Juarez (4A Mt. Carmel Regional)
Hoops Talk: It could be an entertaining regional final on Friday nightif Bogan and De La Salle win their games this week.

7 Andrew (22-2)

Results: Lost to Thornwood 57-55; Defeated Lincoln-Way West 49-42
This Week: Tuesday vs. Lincoln-Way Central or Eisenhower (4A Andrew Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Thunderbolts will shoot for their first regional championship since the 1989-90 season.

8 Elgin (23-3)

Results: Defeated Geneva 43-30 and Metea Valley 59-50
This Week: Tuesday vs. South Elgin or Streamwood (4A St. Charles North Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Maroons are back-to-back Upstate Valley champs for the first time since 1987, but Kory Brown and company are thinking bigger.

9 Downers Grove South (19-5)

Results: No games played
This Week: Tuesday vs. Oswego East or Romeoville (4A Downers Grove South Regional)
Hoops Talk: If the Mustangs win Tuesday, they would play the Hinsdale Central-Waubonsie Valley winner on Friday night.
10 Huntley (24-3)

Results: Lost to Grayslake Central 52-47
This Week: Tuesday vs. Rockford Jefferson or DeKalb (4A Huntley Regional)
Hoops Talk: The loss to G-C in the Fox Valley title game is a blip on an otherwise impressive season. Auburn and Elgin could be lurking at sectionals.

11 Bloom (24-3)

Results: Defeated Kankakee 70-28
This Week: Tuesday vs. Joliet Central or T.F. North (4A Joliet Central Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Blazing Trojans won the Southland conference on Friday. They could end up facing fellow Southland foe Crete-Monee in sectionals.

12 Lemont (24-2)

Results: Defeated Glenbard South 63-50 and Hillcrest 58-57
This Week: Tuesday vs. Corliss or Bremen (3A Providence Regional)
Hoops Talk: Talk about entering the playoffs on a high note. The win over Hillcrest gave the Indians a share of the conference title (first since 1991).

13 Hillcrest (21-5)

Results: Lost to Lemont 58-57
This Week: Tuesday vs. Evergreen Park or Joliet Catholic (3A Evergreen Park regional)
Hoops Talk: The Hawks couldnt hold a 12-point lead against Lemont. Jayone Troutman and company will still be a tough draw in the playoffs.

14 St. Ignatius (21-5)

Results: Lost to De La Salle 56-48; Defeated Mount Carmel 66-39
This Week: Tuesday vs. Noble Street CharterComer or Hope (3A St. Ignatius Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Wolfpack have a few injuries, but a relatively tame sectional - at least on paper -- could help them out.

15 Orr (19-4)
Results: No games played
This Week: Tuesday vs. Noble Street CharterC. Bulls or Clark (3A Wheaton Academy Regional)
Hoops Talk: The Spartans, along with North Lawndale, Marshall and Farragut are all in the Glenbard South Sectional.

16 Marshall (20-7)

Results: No games played
This Week: Tuesday vs. Montini or Clemente (3A Marshall Regional)
Hoops Talk: Home court advantage should come in handy for the Commandos, who could end up playing rival North Lawndale in the regional final.

17 New Trier (21-5)

Results: Defeated Niles North 93-84 OT
This Week: Tuesday vs. Niles West or Amundsen (4A Niles West Regional)
Hoops Talk: Connor Boehm tallied 32 points and 14 rebounds in a wild victory over Niles North. NT gets the top seed at the Glenbrook South Sectional.

18 De La Salle (16-6)

Results: Defeated St. Ignatius 56-48
This Week: Tuesday vs. Kenwood (4A Mt. Carmel Regional)
Hoops Talk: De La Salle has battled injuries this season, the latest is with Gavin Schilling (ankle sprain). Alvin Ellis and Alex Foster will lead the Meteors.

19 Seton (25-4)

Results: Defeated University 72-64 2-OT and Hales 62-55
This Week: Wednesday vs. Herscher (2A Herscher Sectional)
Hoops Talk: The Sting escape a huge upset in the semis. They respond with a win over the defending state champs and now face a 26-win Herscher team.

20 Thornwood (20-6)

Results: Defeated Andrew 57-55 and Thornton 61-58
This Week: Tuesday vs. T.F. South (4A Homewood-Flossmoor Regional)
Hoops Talk: Huge week for the Thunderbirds, knocking off first place Andrew and then beating rival Thornton to capture the SW Suburban-Red title.

Looming & Lurking: Hope Academy, St. Rita, Whitney Young, Metea Valley, Farragut, Mundelein, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, St. Viator, Oak Park-River Forest, Herscher, York, Marist, St. Joseph, Crete-Monee, Grayslake Central, Yorkville, Homewood-Flossmoor, St. Patrick, Ridgewood, Grant, Niles North

Stagg's Kyle Neputy leads through action during offseason

Stagg's Kyle Neputy leads through action during offseason

While many athletes talk about leadership and the importance of being a leader, others let their actions do the talking. One of them is Stagg senior quarterback Kyle Neputy (6-foot-4, 234 pounds).

Neputy, who is signed and will play this fall at Cornell, participated in last year's annual Franklin Middle School Charity Dodgeball tournament. The tournament had such a positive impact on Neputy and his fellow Charger teammates that they decided to rally together and support a worthwhile cause for a second straight year. 

I had a chance to catch up with the Kyle Neputy at the sixth annual Franklin Middle School Dodgeball Tournament in Wheaton. Proceeds from the event benefited the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Cammy Can, Jack’s Army and Franklin Middle School. 

Neputy shares why he and his Stagg teammates decided to support the event. He also had a chance to reflect on making the move to Cornell later this year.

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

Life was a lot different last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs

For the first time in a decade, the Blackhawks officially will not be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at the United Center, the Blackhawks will be sitting at home mid-April instead of looking to add to their trophy case.

Exactly 366 days before, the Blackhawks actually became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth, also the result of a game against the Avs:

The last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs, Denis Savard was the coach and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were just 19 years old in the midst of their rookie seasons.

The next year, Joel Quenneville took over as coach after four games and led the Blackhawks all the way to the Conference Finals.

Of course, the following year (2009-10 season) brought the first of three Stanley Cups.

For perspective on how incredible this stretch has been for the Blackhawks, here's how the other professional Chicago sports teams spent 2008:

—The Bears finished 9-7 in Matt Forte's rookie year (he's since retired) with Kyle Orton as the starting quarterback and Lovie Smith as head coach.

—The Cubs led the National League in runs scored en route to a 97-win regular season...before falling flat against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Lou Piniella was still the manager and Theo Epstein was still three years away from coming to Chicago.

—The Bulls found some incredible luck, pulling the No. 1 overall pick and selecting Chicago native Derrick Rose. He helped the Bulls to a 41-41 season as a rookie under coach Vinny Del Negro.

—The White Sox lost to Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS after winning the AL Central under manager Ozzie Guillen. Carlos Quentin enjoyed a breakout season (36 HR, 100 RBI) while Gavin Floyd won 17 games. 

The Blackhawks still have eight games left before the 2017-18 season ends April 7.