Blackhawks

High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

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High School Lites Preview: Basketball is back

The road to Peoria starts here.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago is your home for high school basketball coverage. Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland hardwoods. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, we catch up with former college basketball standout Tom Kleinschmidt. The former DePaul and Gordon Tech star is now the head Duke on the sidelines at York. How has he adjusted to high school coaching? Our Gail Fischer has the story.

Here is a snapshot of each Friday night game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites:

Andrew at Thornton, 6:30 p.m.

Is this the year that Andrew finally busts through? The Thunderbolts (3-0) have a pair of brothers that could make waves come playoff time: Jawad Adekoya (6-3 Sr. F) and his younger brother Jubril (6-5, Jr. F). Thornton (0-3) will contend in the Southwest Suburban Red, but they face learning curves after losing eight seniors from last years team.

Reavis at Hillcrest, 6:30 p.m.

The visiting Rams (2-2) might have their hands full in Country Club Hills Friday night. But will Hillcrest be looking ahead to Saturdays clash with top-ranked Simeon? The Hawks (3-1) are loaded in the frontcourt, with Jayone Troutman (F) and Jalen Loving (F) leading the way for coach Don Houstons crew.

Joliet West at Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:00 p.m.

The 3-1 Tigers could end up pushing H-F for tops in the Southwest Suburban Blue conference. Center Marlon Johnson is the go to guy for West. Can they hang with a Vikings team considered to be one of the best in Chicagoland? H-F (3-1) is loaded, with football-turned-basketball star Tim Williams (F) leading the way.

St. Rita at De La Salle, 7:30 p.m.

Circle this game as the best matchup of the night. De La Salle (4-0) lost guard Jaylon Tate to Simeon, but the Meteors have more than enough gas in the tank with 6-9 Gavin Schilling, a transfer from Germany, being a true difference-maker. Same applies for Tony Hicks (G) and A.J. Avery (F) for the Mustangs (1-0), who opened their season with a win over Lake Forest Academy.
Huntley at Carmel, 7:30 p.m.

The Red Raiders (3-0) went 25-5 last season and could do some damage in March. Forward Amanze Egekeze and Guard Troy Miller are the go-to guys on offense. Huntley has already beaten Harper, St. Francis de Sales and Dundee Crown. Carmel (2-2) might face an uphill battle, but they can counter with Brandon Motzel at forward.

Lake Forest at Mundelein, 7:30 p.m.

Warren and Zion-Benton are the front-runners for a hotly-contested North Suburban Lake conference crown, but dont overlook the Scouts and Mustangs. Forward Thomas Durrett has provided a spark for Lake Forest (3-1) while Mundelein (5-0) has shot out of the gate with wins over, among others, Brooks. Keep an eye on junior guard Robert Knar.

We will also catch up with CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Broncos of Montini High School. Quarterback John Rhode, wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp and company reflect on their third consecutive state championship. Will a four-peat be in the cards? Well also show you celebrations from other football state champions, including Bolingbrook and Prairie Ridge.

High School Lites streams live every Friday at 10:30pm on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well by leaving comments below.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

(Reminder: Use #AskEdzo on social media and your questions may be answered by Eddie Olczyk, who will be in studio along with Adam Burish, Brian Campbell and Pat Boyle).

1. Another fast start coming?

The Blackhawks had one of their best starts of the season Wednesday in Tampa Bay, and the numbers favor Chicago to dictate the pace of play early again.

The Panthers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the fewest goals scored in the first period (13), and have taken a lead into the second period only four times (3-1-0) in 21 games. They are 2-7-1 in the 10 games they've trailed after the opening frame.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are tied for fourth when it comes to first-period goals (22) — albeit, five of them came on Opening Night against Pittsburgh — but they are just 4-2-2 in eight games when leading after one period. In fact, they took a 2-0 lead into the second in their most recent game against the Lightning and lost in overtime 3-2.

So while a fast start could certainly be in the cards, the finish must also be there.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

The Panthers are one of two teams ranked among the bottom six in both power play percentage (26th at 16.0) and penalty kill percentage (30th at 73.2).

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are coming in hot in both areas. They're 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) on the man advantage in their last four games, and own the fourth-best penalty kill unit (84.8 percent).

This is the area to exploit for the Blackhawks going into the matchup, and it could decide the game.

3. Feed Lance Bouma!

In his seventh season, Bouma has faced every NHL team at least five times in his career, with the exception of Vegas (pointless in one game this season).

Bouma is not known for his offensive prowess (72 points in 325 career games), but it's a different story when he plays Florida.

In six career games against the Panthers, Bouma has one goal, six assists and a career-high plus-8 rating. That one goal also happens to be one of his six career game winners.

Florida is the only team Bouma is averaging at least a point-per-game against for his career, so you know what that means: Feed No. 17!

Did Steve Kerr troll the Bulls?

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AP

Did Steve Kerr troll the Bulls?

With Kevin Durant (ankle) and Draymond Green (rest) out, the Golden State Warriors had two starting forward positions open for Friday's game against the Bulls.

One of the two starters who replaced them? Jordan Bell. Does his name ring one, too?

Selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Bell was eventually traded to the Warriors in exchange for cash considerations.

The Oregon product hasn't played much this season for the defending champs, averaging just 3.2 points and 8.3 minutes in 12 games, but he made his first career start against ... his "former" team. Coincidence?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (jokingly) explained why he gave the 22-year-old rookie the nod in the lineup.

Prior to the game, Bell also had this to say about his trade:

Bell couldn't have played better in his first career start. In 26 minutes, he recorded seven points, six rebounds, six blocks and four assists in a 143-94 Warriors win over the Bulls at Oracle Arena.