Bears

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 (20-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Douglass (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor, Kendrick Nunn and company are sure to treat the Public League playoffs like they would for the IHSAs in March.
2 Proviso East (19-0)

Results: Defeated Hinsdale South 71-59 and Proviso West 100-65

This Week: Friday vs. Morton, Saturday at Willowbrook

Hoops Talk: The French Connection (Paris Lee and Paris Burns) help fuel weekend victories by the Pirates on both sides of the floor.

3 Curie (20-1)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Amundsen (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Will Curie get their rematch vs. the top-ranked Wolverines in the Public League playoffs? Sophomore center Cliff Alexander will be tough to stop.

4 Warren (17-2)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest 50-38 and Zion-Benton 70-52

This Week: Friday vs. Zion-Benton, Saturday vs. Glenbrook North

Hoops Talk: Nathan Booth went 12-17 from the field and matched his career high in points (28) Saturday at Z-B.

5 Plainfield East (20-1)

Results: Defeated Plainfield Central 64-37, Minooka 48-41 (OT) and Naperville North 70-48.

This Week: Tuesday vs. Plainfield North, Friday at Romeoville

Hoops Talk: Talk about making a statement. The Bengals put the clamps on Minooka (2nd in SW Prairie) and then wallop a good DuPage Valley team by 22.

6 Andrew (17-1)

Results: Lost to Thornton 47-45; Defeated Stagg 51-40

This Week: Tuesday at Bradley, Friday vs. Lincoln-Way North

Hoops Talk: Jubril Adekoya and Glorind Lisha help Andrew rebound from their first defeat on the season.

7 Bogan (19-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday vs. Uplift (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Devonte Smith and Devaughn Johnson will look to prove theres more to Public League hoops than just Simeon and Curie.

8 Downers Grove South (18-4)

Results: Defeated Addison Trail 66-52, Willowbrook 68-55 and Downers Grove North 66-35

This Week: Saturday vs. Leyden

Hoops Talk: Kevin Honn and Jamall Millison are two key players stepping up in the wake of Jerron Wilbuts absence (suspension).

9 Huntley (19-2)

Results: Defeated Prairie Ridge 56-43 and McHenry 34-29

This Week: Wednesday vs. Crystal Lake South, Saturday vs. Dundee-Crown

Hoops Talk: Its not just the Amanze Egekeze show at Huntley. Guard Troy Miller has stepped up nicely this season as well.

10 Elgin (16-3)

Results: Lost to St. Charles East 65-63

This Week: Tuesday at DeKalb, Wednesday vs. Batavia, Friday at Larkin

Hoops Talk: The Maroons have now lost two straight. Kory Brown still impressive, though: 27 points and 13 boards against the Saints.

11 Whitney Young (12-8)

Results: Defeated North Lawndale 48-47, Crane 45-29; Lost to Bishop Gorman 69-50.

This Week: Wednesday vs. DuSable (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: The Dolphins finished in a four-way tie for first in the Red-West, with Orr, Marshall and Farragut.

12 De La Salle (14-4)

Results: Lost to St. Rita 60-46

This Week: Tuesday vs. Hillcrest

Hoops Talk: Tough closing stretch for the Meteors. Three of their last four opponents are ranked in the CSN Top 20 (Hillcrest, St. Ignatius and Simeon).
13 St. Ignatius (17-3)

Results: Lost to Leo 58-54; Defeated Fenwick 59-38 and New Trier 49-42

This Week: Tuesday vs. Brother Rice, Friday vs. Gordon Tech

Hoops Talk: Brian Howard helped the Wolfpack bounce back in a big way. His game-high 18 points fueled his team against fellow CSN Top 20-foe New Trier.

14 New Trier (18-4)

Results: Lost to Waukegan 54-51 and St. Ignatius 49-42

This Week: Friday vs. Evanston (at Welsh-Ryan Arena)

Hoops Talk: Rough week for the Trevians, who now tune up for a big rivalry game in a large venue.

15 Hillcrest (18-4)

Results: Defeated Oak Forest 64-29

This Week: Tuesday at De La Salle

Hoops Talk: The Hawks hit five three pointers in the first quarter Friday night against the Bengals. A huge measuring-stick game awaits on Tuesday.

16 Bloom (19-3)

Results: Defeated Kankakee 77-27 and Rich South 64-44

This Week: Friday at Rich South

Hoops Talk: This weeks game against the Stars will mark the rubber game between the two teams. Bloom won at the McDipper, South beat Bloom 16.

17 Metea Valley (19-2)

Results: Defeated Neuqua Valley 71-67 (OT); Lost to Hinsdale Central 73-72 (OT)

This Week: Wednesday at Lake Park, Saturday vs. Waubonsie Valley

Hoops Talk: Ryan Solomon carried the Mustangs this week, but M-V could not figure out sophomore Chase Hamilton and the upstart Red Devils.

18 Orr (16-3)

Results: Defeated Crane 70-45

This Week: Wednesday vs. Powerhouse (Public League playoffs)

Hoops Talk: Marquise Pryor and Jamal McDowell will prove that Orr will not go away easily in the Public League playoffs.

19 Hope Academy (19-2)

Results: No games played last week

This Week: Wednesday @ Ida Crown, Friday vs. Northside College Prep

Hoops Talk: Hope needs to focus on these two games, which includes Fridays senior night, and not look ahead to Tuesdays tilt against Seton.
20 Lemont (19-2)

Results: Defeated Tinley Park 75-66

This Week: Thursday vs. T.F. North

Hoops Talk: Lemonts 27-0 run erased a 21-3 lead for Tinley Park Friday night. Juozas Balciunas had a career-high 31 points.

Looming & Lurking: St. Rita, Marshall, Crane, Farragut, West Aurora, Naperville North, Seton, Foreman, Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, York.

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Can the Bears make enough plays to beat the Carolina Panthers?

Everything changed for the Bears after going up 17-3 last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Mitchell Trubisky’s 27-yard touchdown to Dion Sims was immediately followed by Bobby Rainey running a kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown, then the offense was bogged down with three fumbles (two lost) on three consecutive possessions. 

But Adrian Amos seemed to seal the game with his 90-yard pick six — that is, until Michael Campanaro ran Pat O’Donnell’s punt back 77 yards for what wound up being a game-tying touchdown after a two-point conversion.

The point is the Bears should’ve cruised to a comfortable win last week; a few critical mistakes didn’t allow that to happen. The Bears haven’t led at the end of the fourth quarter this year, a pretty strong indicator they haven’t played a complete game yet despite having two wins. 

The Carolina Panthers have road wins over the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots this year, and only lost to the Philadelphia Eagles by five points last week (despite Cam Newton throwing three interceptions). The bet here is the Bears keep things close on the backs of a strong defense, but either can’t make enough plays or make too many mistakes to win. 

Prediction: Panthers 20, Bears 16

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

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USA TODAY

Offseason of change begins with Cubs firing pitching coach Chris Bosio

"Of course," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said in the middle of the National League Championship — he would like his coaches back in 2018. Pitching coach Chris Bosio told the team's flagship radio station this week that the staff expected to return next year. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein didn't go that far during Friday afternoon's end-of-season news conference at Wrigley Field, but he did say: "Rest assured, Joe will have every coach back that he wants back."

That's Cub: USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale first reported Saturday morning that Bosio had been fired, the team declining a club contract option for next year and making a major influence on the Wrigleyville rebuild a free agent. Epstein and Bosio did not immediately respond to text messages and the club has not officially outlined the shape of the 2018 coaching staff.

Those exit meetings on Friday at Wrigley Field are just the beginning of an offseason that could lead to sweeping changes, with the Cubs looking to replace 40 percent of their rotation, identify an established closer (whether or not that's Wade Davis), find another leadoff option and maybe break up their World Series core of hitters to acquire pitching. 

The obvious candidate to replace Bosio is Jim Hickey, Maddon's longtime pitching coach with the Tampa Bay Rays who has Chicago roots and recently parted ways with the small-market franchise that stayed competitive by consistently developing young arms like David Price and Chris Archer.

Of course, Maddon denied that speculation during an NLCS where the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs in every phase of the game and the manager's bullpen decisions kept getting second-guessed.

Bosio has a big personality and strong opinions that rocked the boat at times, but he brought instant credibility as an accomplished big-league pitcher who helped implement the team's sophisticated game-planning system.

Originally a Dale Sveum hire for the 2012 season/Epstein regime Year 1 where the Cubs lost 101 games, Bosio helped coach up and market short-term assets like Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. 

Those win-later trades combined with Bosio's expertise led to a 2016 major-league ERA leader (Kyle Hendricks) and a 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner (Jake Arrieta) plus setup guys Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell.

Bosio helped set the foundation for the group that won last year's World Series and has made three consecutive trips to the NLCS. But as the Cubs are going to find out this winter, there is a shelf life to everything, even for those who made their mark during a golden age of baseball on the North Side.