Preps Talk

Word on the Street: Canadiens fan defends Turco

Word on the Street: Canadiens fan defends Turco

Thursday, April 7, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Canadiens fan defends Turco

The Canadian businessman who was thrust into the spotlight Tuesday night after he reportedly made an in-game bet with Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco is now coming out in support of the Hawks' net-minder. He says that Turco did not give him "wads" of cash as has been reported.

"I think it's gotten a little out of hand with people saying things online or the radio about me and what happened that just aren't true,'' said Robert Walter, the man with whom Turco made the bet. "When I called the radio station (Team 990) after the game from the car, I told them the story and said, 'Marty Turco gave me a wadded-up 5 bill,' and I think people heard that and thought he gave me 'wads,' or more than that.''

"To read anything into this is silly. Turco never lost focus during the game, we only talked during breaks and the only reason I made this public was to say pro sports need more guys like this.'' (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Dwight Howard out vs. Bulls

Dwight Howard picked up yet another technical foul on Wednesday night, giving him a league-high 18 on the season. The technical came after he was charged with a rare 10-second violation at the free throw line.

After the call, Howard tossed the ball away from the official out of frustration and was immediately called for the technical. After the NBA upheld the call, Howard will be forced to serve a one-game suspension when the Magic host the Bulls on Sunday. (ProBasketbalTalk.com)

Cards' La Russa lashes out at reports, quits presser

Tony La Russa wasn't very happy after the Cardinals' 3-1 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday and he took it out on some reporters during his postgame press conference.

La Russa ranted and raved at a reporter and then walked out. (HardballTalk.com)

LeBron's mother arrested

The mother of All-Star forward LeBron James was arrested early Thursday morning on a misdemeanor assault charge. According to police, Gloria James was arrested for assaulting a hotel parking attendant after the Heat's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

This is not her first brush with the law. In 2006 she was arrested on a drunken-driving charge in Ohio. (NBCMiami)

Pacers clinch 8th seed

The Indiana Pacers clinched the 8th seed in the East on Wednesday night with a victory over the Washington Wizards. This is significant for the Bulls because if they hold on to the top seed in the East, the Pacers would line up as their first-round opponents. (Yahoo! Sports)

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

1121_chicago_white_sox.jpg
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