Preps Talk

Friday on CSN: Inside Look: Gene Pingatore

Friday on CSN: Inside Look: Gene Pingatore

On Friday night, Inside Look premieres at 9:30 p.m. with a profile on legendary St. Joseph's high school head coach Gene Pingatore.

The replay of this edition of Inside Look will also air at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night on CSN right before an all-new edition of High School Lites at 10 p.m. on CSN. 

St. Joseph head coach Gene Pingatore has won over 1,000 games during his career as he's helped the Chargers capture two state championships during that time. Through it all, Pingatore insists that the most important part of everything was the people involved in everything as he went along.

"It's relationships and all the people that helped bring about those 1,000 wins," Pingatore said.

"All the people involved. When you talk players and all the coaches, even administrators. You look back and great memories."

While Pingatore is famous for producing talented players like Isiah Thomas, Evan Turner and recent players like Glynn Watson and Nick Rakocevic. But he's also happy about his other players who have moved on to do other things outside of basketball.

"It's the thrill of putting together the group and becoming a family and sending them to the next level," Pingatore said. "Watching them perform or become the doctors and the lawyers and whatever, that's what it's all at, that's what it's all about. There's no pressure to win." 

Listening to basketball philosophy from a coach with 1,000 wins would probably be wise and Pingatore has advice about one thing: always making sure a team at any level has a point guard.

"I feel, and it doesn't matter what level. Pro, college, high school. To be successful, you need a point guard. I feel if you have point guards you'll really be competitive," Pingatore said.

You can hear Pingatore go more in-depth on each of these subjects and more during Inside Look. 


Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

School: Simeon

2016-17 record: 30-4, 8-2 Public League Red-South

Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A Title Game

Players to watch: Senior Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State) is one of the area's premier two-way players. Senior forward Messiah Jones (Drake) is an elite leaper and rebounder. Talented junior guard KeJuan Clements is also back. The Wolverines also added some intriguing transfers in Xavier Pinson (St. Pat's) and Northwest Indiana native Zion Young. Both Pinson and Young have Division I interest and add even more perimeter firepower. 

Why they're in the power rankings: On paper, you could argue that Simeon is the most talented team in the state this season. The Wolverines have proven veterans who have won city titles and Division I transfers at multiple positions. But how will all of the pieces fit together? This is a fascinating group with a high ceiling.

Did you know? Making it back to Peoria last season, Simeon has now made 13 state finals appearances.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

2016-17 record: 23-5, 8-2 Public League Red-West

Postseason results: Won Class 2A State Championship.

Players to watch: Seniors Dannie Smith and Raekwon Drake are both major All-Area threats after strong junior seasons. Another senior, Ty Mosley, might actually be the best long-term college prospect of the group as he's pledged to Milwaukee for next season. Sharpshooter Brian Hernandez is another seasoned veteran who has a knack for making big plays.

Why they're in the power rankings: The Spartans return most of last season's Class 2A title team and they also added some key transfers in former Marian Catholic point guard Chase Adams and former Clark wing Demarius Splunge. While the Spartans should be the heavy favorites to repeat in Class 2A, they haven't made as much noise in the Public League Playoffs, which is why they're still behind some of the other schools in the preseason Power Rankings.

Did you know? Orr was absolutely dominant during its Class 2A title run last March as the Spartans won by an average of 21 points. Only one team, Uplift, even played Orr to within single digits and that was still a nine-point margin of victory.