Preps Talk

Jabari Parker: The Next Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce

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Jabari Parker: The Next Carmelo Anthony or Paul Pierce

When Jabari Parker held his nationally televised press conference on where hed be attending college next fall, after deciding that playing for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University was the best thing for him, there werent many questions asked of him afterward on how he thinks hell fit in with the Blue Devils.

Instead, many of the queries directed at the Simeon senior focused on the 2014 NBA Draft and if Parker had any intentions of making himself available for it. Although many pundits predict him to be a one-and-done college player, it still seems strange to ask a kid who hasnt even finished his senior year of high school, questions about the NBA.

However, given Parker's status as one of the countrys most elite prep players, those kinds of questions come with the territory.

The Simeon star, of course, is used to it, but when talking to him about basketball and the topic switches to the NBA and his thoughts on his own pro prospects, Parker likes to casually and gracefully sidestep the question, preferring to focus on the moment and not get too far ahead of himself. But that doesnt mean he doesnt think about playing ball at the highest level.

And just as hes an excellent student in the classroom, he takes that same focus and attention to detail when watching NBA basketball as he studies players and tries to incorporate things from their game into his.

When I watch the NBA, I just try and study individuals, not so much the team game, explains Parker, whose approach is a sound one considering his makeup as a player.

At 6-foot-8 with a sweet shooting stroke, Parker is a matchup problem on most nights for guys guarding him on the perimeter. But he also has a rapidly improving low-post game as well. Hes able to effectively use his size, strength, and craftiness around the basket, making him a tough cover on the blocks.

This is why hes projected to be a top pick whenever he does decide to declare for the draft. And like most players of his ilk, when he watches NBA basketball, it not for enjoyment. He watches to learn, so he studies the best because steel sharpens steel.

I like to watch a lot of Michael Jordan and how he switches directions; how he stops and changes speeds, explains Parker. I watch Kobe Bryant and his footwork and back-to-the-basket game. I like LeBron James and how he plays in transition. I also like Carmelo Anthony too.

Because of his skills and abilities, many people have compared Parker to New York Knicks star, Carmelo Anthony, and its a comparison the high school All-American is comfortable with.

Melo and I are about the same height; probably about the same skill level, too, says Parker. We have kind of the same moves, so yeah, I pattern my game after him a lot.

Pattering your game after a guy like Anthony isnt necessarily a bad thing, either. Hes been one of the NBAs premier scorers for nearly a decade and has the New York Knicks in first place in the Eastern Conference, making him an early season MVP candidate.

But theres another current NBA player and future Hall of Famer that tends to remind people of Jabari as well.

I think Carmelo is a little bit quicker; he moves better laterally, said teammate Kendrick Nunn. So if I have to say anybody, I think its Paul Pierce. Hes the closest one to Jabari right now.

Point guard Jaylon Tate thinks its much tougher to pinpoint the NBA player that most resembles Parker right now, but considers him a combination of both Anthony and Pierce.

Its tough because he has a good combination as a player hes a guard and a forward, said Tate in his analysis. He can handle the ball like a guard and he can get in the post and score. But I see him being a combination of Carmelo and Paul Pierce. Pierce can really score on the outside like Jabari can, and Carmelo is really good in the post. But in a way, hes really just his own special type of player.

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

High School Lites Week 9 football capsules and picks

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High School Lites Week 9 football capsules and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites Friday night at 11 p.m. Can Lincoln-Way East win the outright Southwest Suburban conference on the road at Bolingbrook?  Who wins — and goes to the IHSA state playoffs — between Wheaton Academy and St. Edward? And who wins the final Upstate 8 River conference crown when undefeated Batavia travels to take on St. Charles North?

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East at No. 19 Bolingbrook, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (8-0) will take on Southwest Suburban rival Bolingbrook (7-1) in this annual rivalry game. East will rely on its running game behind senior QB Brendan Morrissey and sophomore WR/RB AJ Henning, plus one of the state's top defensive lines anchored by senior Devin O'Rourke (Northwestern). Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow will look towards a more balanced offense behind QB Anthony Vespo, junior RBs Anthony Williams Jr. and Quentin Pringle, plus senior WR I'Shawn Stewart. The defense has talent including senior DT Dashawn Mallory and a young but very skilled secondary. Can Bolingbrook's defense take away the Lincoln-Way East running game? Can the Bolingbrook offense win time of possession this week? 

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 28, Bolingbrook 20

Wheaton Academy at St. Edward, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Bombs away on Friday? Both Wheaton Academy (4-4) and St. Edward (4-4) feature strong quarterback play and both will need a win to qualify for the IHSA state playoff field. Wheaton Academy will rely on junior QB Ben Thorson while St. Edward will look towards senior QB Dylan Mlinarich. Last possession wins? 

EDGY's Pick: Wheaton Academy 34, St. Edward 33

Dundee-Crown at No. 2 Prairie Ridge, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Dundee-Crown (1-7) will look to slow down Prairie Ridge (8-0) this week. The Chargers will look to run the football behind junior RB Ricky Ibarra. Prairie Ridge head coach Chris Schremp will look to post a win and get ready for the state playoffs next weekend behind senior QB Samson Evans (Iowa).

EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 46, Dundee-Crown 7

T.F. South at Oak Forest, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Head coach Bob Padjen will have TF South (5-3) back in the state playoffs with or without a win over Oak Forest (4-4), yet the Rebels would also like to lock in a sixth win this week. Oak Forest is in a must-win scenario. Veteran head coach Brian McDonough and company have lost three out of its last four games. 

EDGY's Pick: T.F. South 27, Oak Forest 14

St. Patrick at Marian Central Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Patrick (2-6) has lost four straight games and will look to derail Marian Central Catholic's (4-4) season with a win. The Hurricanes will need to win to get into the IHSA state playoff field. 

EDGY's Pick: Marian Central Catholic 27, St. Patrick 14

No. 14 Batavia at No. 24 St. Charles North, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Batavia (8-0) and St. Charles North (7-1) will play for the final Upstate 8 River conference title. Under head coach Dennis Piron, Batavia features are one of the state's top defenses led by juniors in ILB Luke Weerts and LB Michael Jansey Jr. St. Charles North has a potent offense led by senior QB Michael Hohensee. One of his main targets is junior WR/DB Tyler Nubin. Can the Batavia defense lock down the North Stars offense?  

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 21, St. Charles North 20

Glenbard North at Neuqua Valley, 7:30 p.m. **#SendEdgy**

EDGY's Take: The playoffs begin a week early for both Glenbard North (4-4) and Neuqua Valley (5-3) as both teams need to win to qualify for the IHSA state playoff field. Glenbard North head coach Ryan Wilkins will look to run the football behind a big offensive line led by senior OL Jose Vazquez. They also have one of the state's top secondaries led by Tyrik Henderson (Minnesota). Neuqua Valley head coach Bill Ellinghaus will counter with senior QB Jake Eskoff and senior RB Cameron Raupach. Can the Neuqua Valley defense stop the Glenbard North running game? Also can the Panthers defense contain the Neuqua Valley balanced offensive attack?

EDGY's Pick: Neuqua Valley 20, Glenbard North 14

VIEWERS' CHOICE: Evergreen Park at Tinley Park, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The playoffs begin this week for Tinley Park (4-4) and head coach Nick Johnston as the Titans need to win this week against Evergreen Park (3-5). Tinley Park will look towards senior QB Ryan Zientara. He has been a big key this fall for the Titans offense. 

EDGY's Pick: Tinley Park 34, Evergreen Park 20