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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

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High School Lites: Weekly Hoops Preview

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Posted 10:56 p.m.

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Comcast SportsNet is your number one source for high school basketball in Chicagoland. Fridays edition of High School Lites will feature budding rivalries and conference showdowns, which includes an intriguing matchup between St. Ignatius and Hales Franciscan. Also, David Kaplan has the story of Proviso Easts Sterling Brown. The talented sophomore, who is the younger brother of the Lakers Shannon Brown, will talk about what kind of legacy he would like to create in Maywood. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night:

Jacobs @ Dundee-Crown, 7:00pm

The Dundee-Crown staff is projecting a huge crowd Friday night in Carpentersville with two teams that have developed quite a rivalry over the years. The last four contests have been decided by eight points or less; the road team has won the last two. Jacobs (11-8, 3-0) sits atop the Fox Valley Valley conference thanks in part to last weeks double overtime victory over Cary-Grove. Nick Hoffman scored 31 of Jacobs 59 points. Dundee-Crown (10-7, 2-3) is led by senior forwards Jamel Kimbrough and Ryan Smith.

Plainfield South @ Plainfield Central, 7:00pm

The Southwest Prairie conference is one race that could go right down to the last night in league play. South (12-6, 5-2) sits in second, coming off a heartbreaking 73-70 loss to conference leader Oswego. Junior guard Ed Presniakovas and senior forward Zach Snowden figure to lead the Cougars offense against a Central team (14-5, 4-3) that is also right in the thick of the Prairie race. The Wildcats attack revolves around shooting guard Derrick Marks, who is headed to play at Boise State next year.

Wheaton Academy @ Immaculate Conception, 7:00pm

Wheaton Academy (17-1, 4-0) is looking down on their competitors in the Suburban Christian Goldliterally and figuratively. The Warriors have a 6-9 center in Luke Johnson and two 6-6 forwards on the roster. Theyre coming off a 53-36 nonconference win over West Chicago Tuesday night. I-C is on a roll, having won four straight by an average of over 14 points per game. Senior forward Demetrius Mobley will lead the Knights (9-10, 2-3) into action Friday in Elmhurst.

Loyola @ (5) De La Salle, 7:30pm

On paper it might look like a mismatch when the 5th ranked Meteors (15-2, 5-1) host the Ramblers (9-10, 2-4) Friday night on Chicagos south side. But the Ramblers have secured victories over Glenbrook North and Evanston, and will be hungry after losing a close battle against Brother Rice Tuesday night. But De La Salle has a ton of weapons, including Illinois-bound Mike Shaw, Dre Henley and Alex Foster. Theyre also coming off a huge 49-44 victory over St. Ignatius last week.

St. Ignatius @ (6) Hales Franciscan, 7:30pm

As mentioned previously, St. Ignatius will be looking to bounce back after that tough De La Salle loss. They also suffered a setback against Brooks on Saturday. The Wolfpack (12-5, 5-1) currently sit in a three-way tie for first in the Catholic North with De La Salle and Hales (15-2, 5-1). St. Ignatius will need a big game from their Illinois-bound 6-10 center Nnanna Egwu. Hales got a signature victory over Whitney Young last week, 64-61. Brothers Aaron and Aaric Armstead, along with forward Dominque Walls cause fits for the opposition.

Lincoln-Way East @ (23) Lockport, 7:30pm

Keep an eye on the 23rd ranked Porters. Although they are newcomers to the Super 25 rankings, they have arguably one of the toughest schedules in the state. Theyve already had to face Simeon, Benet and Homewood-Flossmoor. Lockport (14-5, 5-1) has a talented senior forward in Karrington Ward. Lincoln-Way East (10-7, 3-3) is coming off a nice 55-40 victory over Lincoln-Way Central. The Griffins are surprising some people after many picked the team to finish near the bottom of the Southwest Suburban Red conference.

Waukegan @ Evanston, 7:30pm

Has there ever been a battle for first place between two teams with such strikingly different nonconference records? Waukegan (8-8, 5-1) and Evanston (16-5, 5-1) lock horns on the Wildkits home floor with the top spot in the Central Suburban South at stake. The Kits are coming off a 51-43 win over Maine South last Friday, while the Bulldogs tipped Glenbrook South 55-47. In their first meeting, Evanston took a 73-68 decision in overtime. Itll be a showcase of guards as Waukegans Akeem Springs Evanstons Garrett Jones square off.

Schaumburg @ Fremd, 7:30pm

2011 has been very kind to the Vikings of Fremd (13-6, 5-1) so far, as they have scored victories over the likes of Palatine, McHenry and Hoffman Estates. Despite graduating four of their top six players last year, they sit atop the Mid Suburban West thanks to South Dakota State recruit Zach Monaghan. He had 13 points and eight steals in last weeks victory over Palatine. Schaumburg (8-9, 4-2) will be trying to bounce back from Saturdays loss to Lockport. Javon McDonald hopes to provide a spark for the visiting Saxons.

(2) Benet @ Nazareth, 7:30pm

The Redwings grip on the number two ranking in Chicagoland continued last weekend. Benet (21-0, 7-0) secured victories over Marist and Glenbard East. Will Benets Northwestern-bound guard David Sobolewski get a lot of minutes? He has been limited of late with a nagging back injury. Nazareth (15-4, 5-2), an accomplished team, will still need to play a perfect game to pull off the upsetregardless of Sobolewskis status. The Roadrunners have momentum after last weeks 50-43 victory over St. Patrick. Ryan Powers will get a lot of looks for the home team.

THURSDAY GAMES:

(1)Simeon 69 (21) Bogan 60

The top-ranked Wolverines (18-0, 9-0) went wire-to-wire in Chicagos brutally tough Red South conference, escaping without a defeat after Thursdays 69-60 win over Bogan. Simeon, ranked fourth in the nation by USA Today, got help from Jabari Parker during a pivotal stretch in the 3rd quarter. He scored seven of his game-high 17 points in the period and Simeon never looked back after that. Darien Walker chipped in 13 points. Ronnell Buckner and DeVaughn Johnson tallied 16 for the Bengals. We will hear from Simeon head coach Robert Smith after the victory.

Check us out this Friday night at 10:30. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

Where do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews rank among NHL jersey sales in 2017-18?

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USA TODAY

Where do Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews rank among NHL jersey sales in 2017-18?

The NHL announced their final jersey sales from the 2017-18 regular season, and there's a new name at No. 1.

Reigning Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews edged out last season's winner Sidney Crosby as the top-selling jersey after finishing fourth in 2016-17.

The Blackhawks may have missed the playoffs for the first time since Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were rookies, but that's not stopping fans from purchasing their merchandise.

Each of them stayed inside the top 10, although it's a drop-off from a year ago when Kane was second and Toews was third.

Here what the rest of the Top 15 looked like:

What should we make of Kevin White's minicamp?

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Associated Press

What should we make of Kevin White's minicamp?

The report on Kevin White from this week’s voluntary veteran minicamp was that Matt Nagy thought he looked “sharp,” played “fast” and, most importantly, was healthy. But that doesn’t mean the Bears will no longer have some difficult conversations with, and about, their 2015 first-round pick. 

The Bears have until May 3 to decide whether or not to pick up White’s fifth-year option, which would be worth $13.9 million, according to CBS Sports. If Ryan Pace wasn’t willing to commit $9.6 million over two years for Cameron Meredith over concerns about his 2017 knee injury, chances are he won’t be willing to commit more money than that for a guy in White who’s only played in five games over three pro seasons. The prudent thing for Pace to do would be to decline to pick up White’s option, setting him up for unrestricted free agency 11 months from now. 

Depending on what transpires in next week’s NFL Draft and then through OTAs and training camp, White still may have to earn his way on to the Bears’ 53-man roster, too. But that's looking too far into the future for a guy who’s suffered three serious injuries and has struggled to stack good practices when he's been healthy. 

“Sometimes you’re going to take a step backwards to go two steps forward — that’s kind of where he’s at,” Nagy said. “He’s a kid (whose) confidence hasn’t been where it needs to be. But what I can tell you is that from what I’ve seen so far, if I was somebody that was coming into this building and facility that didn’t know anything about him, you’d never in a million years know it from what we’ve seen recently.”

White made a handful of good plays during this week’s non-padded practices, for what it’s worth. The Bears need to see White continue to flash here and there on a regular basis, and then build up to having consistently solid practices throughout the offseason program and into the summer. The fresh start he’s afforded with a new coaching staff and new offense could benefit him, especially from a mental standpoint.

“His confidence is there,” linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who’s been a teammate of White’s since their days at West Virginia, said. “He’s ready to get back on the field.”

This sort simmering positivity about White around Halas Hall is fine, but it’s only April, and nobody is — or should be — getting ahead of themselves. Yes, the prospect of a healthy and effective White is mouth-watering, and would be tantamount to the Bears having two first-round picks this year (running back Tarik Cohen said the offense could be “dominant” with White and Robinson as outside threats). 

But Nagy is taking a narrow view of White’s outlook, one that won’t expand to the bigger picture until — for better or for worse — sometime during training camp, most likely. This is going to be a long process for the Bears to get the most they can out of White, and then they’ll have to hope the 25-year-old doesn’t suffer another cruelly-unlucky injury. 

“If any of us were in that situation and you have a fresh start — forget about the whys of what happened, forget about that,” Nagy said. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is about right now. He’s young. He has a big ceiling. 

“Now, we can try to do it as much as we can as coaches and try to pull it out of him, but he’s got to work hard. He’s got to put time in the playbook. He’s got to put in the extra work after practice when he can. And then when the game comes, he’s got to make plays. When you do that, his confidence will slowly get better and better. 

“The physical tools, forget about it. He’s got all that. It’s just a matter of him mentally, right now, seeing it happen and stacking them play by play in each practice.”