Preps Talk

Golson's growth now a series-to-series process

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Golson's growth now a series-to-series process

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Everett Golson has shown his youth plenty of times this year, with that inexperience materializing into fumbles, interceptions, missed reads or bad decisions.

But he's also shown his ceiling, with that talent showing up in the form of a touchdown pass he threw to tight end Tyler Eifert on Saturday.

Down seven and facing a third-and-18 from Stanford's 24, Golson found Eifert just outside the end zone for a touchdown. He put the ball high, and Eifert skied over both Stanford defenders -- neither of whom could've got a hand on the ball thanks to Eifert's size and athleticism.

"It was a great read and a great throw," Eifert said. "It was a great play."

It's also one Golson's coach doesn't think he could've made earlier in the year. Brian Kelly said Tuesday Golson probably wouldn't have made the read to put enough air under the ball after only a few weeks of game experience.

"That's something that he has worked hard at developing," Kelly said. "He would have not made that throw in Week 1 or Week 2. He would have thrown a line drive level one ball and it would either have been deflected by the corner who was sinking or Tyler would not have gotten his hands on it."

But Kelly went on to go even further, saying Golson may not have even made that throw earlier in Saturday's game. Kelly referenced a Golson pass to T.J. Jones in the end zone that was broken up as something the young quarterback learned from, and showed that growth on the strike to Eifert.

"That learning curve is taking place, series by series," Kelly said. "That throw is something that he's developed into by being out there."

Despite Golson's growing pains, Kelly has maintained throughout the year the first-time starter will keep the No. 1 quarterback role. Rumbles of a quarterback controversy perhaps had some legs after Week 2, but now, it's Golson's gig. Tommy Rees is a safety net, and a luxury few teams attempting to develop a young quarterback have.

When Golson looks off his game, instead of continuing to throw him to the wolves, Notre Dame can insert a guy who has more experience reading defense and knows the ins and outs of the Irish offense. That system hasn't failed Notre Dame yet. But if it does, Kelly doesn't sound like someone who's going to change the course.

"That's the value and the benefit of him playing this year with four seasons of competition," Kelly explained of Golson, again referencing the touchdown to Eifert. "That's what I see and those are the things that keep me moving towards seeing the positive things.

"I know there's others -- he's got to take care of the football, he's got to set his feet. He plays sloppy at times but boy, he competed his butt off (against Stanford). I couldn't be more proud of the guy and the way he competed."

Five unranked boys basketball teams to watch for

Five unranked boys basketball teams to watch for

The first week of the preseason Preps Power Rankings is always difficult to assess. There are plenty of teams who just missed the cut of the initial top 25. Below are a group of talented teams who should do enough to make their way into the Power Rankings at some point during the season.

Most of these teams have experience and star power, so watch for them in the next few weeks to see if they have strong starts to the season. 

DePaul Prep -- The Rams remain one of the major threats in the Catholic League this season as they return plenty of talent from a sectional finals team. Junior guard Perry Cowan and junior big man Pavle Pantovic make up a very solid one-two punch and sophomore guard Lance Mosley had some flashes of strong play during the summer. Seniors Spencer Cody and Anthony Papaioanou are steady contributors as well. The move up to Class 3A will be something to watch for with this team. Since the local Class 2A draw features Orr and Uplift, DePaul Prep might actually have an easier state tournament draw in the higher class.

St. Joseph -- There isn't one true star for the Chargers this season. Head coach Gene Pingatore has a lot of balance and experience but finding a go-to player could be the difference for St. Joseph this season. Senior Ahmad Muhammad will be asked to do a lot with the ball. Other returning seniors like Jalen and Jordan Boyd and Joffari Brown also have plenty of varsity experience. Losing junior point guard Marquise Walker to Curie definitely hurts. But not many teams in the state have four seniors who have already played in Peoria.

Geneva -- It was tough to leave the Vikings out of the preseason Power Rankings as they once again look like a major factor in the Upstate Eight River this season. New head coach Scott Hennig, a former assistant at Geneva, takes over for Phil Ralston (Glenbrook South) as he inherits a solid group of talent. Junior point guard Jack McDonald is an All-Area threat after a standout sophomore season. Another junior, guard Mitch Mascari, was one of the area's best three-point shooters last season. And Geneva also returns plenty of size, including 6-foot-6 senior Will Courter and promising 6-foot-7 sophomore Nate Santos. With the right blend of size and perimeter firepower, Geneva is a team to keep an eye on.

St. Viator -- Making the leap up to Class 4A this season, the Lions return some talented players from a team that made a surprising postseason run last season. St. Viator returns a Division I prospect in talented junior forward Jeremiah Hernandez while senior forward Peter Lambesis is also back. Finding stability at point guard could be the key to this season for the Lions as they have to replace J.R. Cison, who transferred to Lake Zurich. If junior Trey Calvin can step up, then St. Viator shouldn't miss much of a beat. The Lions already started the season with a solid win over Libertyville.

New Trier -- The most intriguing part about New Trier this season is the size on the interior as two junior big men have college aspirations. Ciaran Brayboy, a 6-foot-9 big man and Spencer Boehm a 6-foot-7 forward create one of the area's more talented frontcourts for the Trevians. The frontcourt is a plus and the backcourt, a senior-laden group, is also better and more experienced than last season. New Trier should crack the top 25 at some point this season. 

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

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USA TODAY

After baseball punishes Braves, one ranker says White Sox have game's best farm system

The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.

In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.

Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.

Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.

But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.

While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:

4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen