Preps Talk

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with WWS kicker Jack Olsen

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with WWS kicker Jack Olsen

Wheaton Warrenville South junior kicker/wide receiver Jack Olsen (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) is an IHSA state record-setting kicker for the Tigers and head coach Ron Muhitch. Olsen, who is holding an early scholarship offer from Miami (OH), continues to draw attention from multiple Power Five-level college football programs. Does that make him act like a big timer? Hardly. Olsen is as low key and humble as any kid you'll find in the Class of 2020.

Olsen also made teamed up with his fellow Tigers at the recently held Franklin Middle School charity dodgeball tournament which raised funds for several worthy charities. He took a few minutes to recap his record breaking 2018 season, his latest recruiting news along with giving up a very early preview of the 2019 Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers. 
 

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with West Aurora's Denver Warren

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with West Aurora's Denver Warren

Is it just me or does it seem like West Aurora's Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 300 pounds), a junior three star-ranked defensive tackle, has been on the recruiting radar screen for several years?

In some regards Warren, who added his first scholarship offer before the start of his sophomore season at West Aurora, has indeed been on the front of the recruiting world for a long time. Warren gave Michigan his verbal commitment last year but has since backed off of it. He has returned to the open market. 

Warren takes a few minutes to talk recruiting as he participated in the recently held Franklin Middle School Dodgeball tournament in Wheaton. He discusses his recruiting travels, the latest offers and what's in store for him and the West Aurora Blackhawks for the upcoming 2019 season. 

NBC Sports Chicago Boys Basketball Preps Power Rankings: Final Rankings

NBC Sports Chicago Boys Basketball Preps Power Rankings: Final Rankings

The final edition of the NBC Sports Boys Basketball Preps Power Rankings is here for the 2018-19 season. While some final rankings place more of an emphasis on the regular season, we like to take postseason accomplishments first while also accounting for things that happened during the regular season -- similar to how the AP poll treats the NCAA tournament and college basketball's final rankings.

Listed beside each team is the final record for the season as well as the preseason ranking we gave them as we take a look at some of the big accomplishments for each program during the season. With no area team winning a Class 3A or 4A state title for the first time in the four-class era, it made for an interesting final ranking as a lot of things were considered for the top spots.

1. Curie (35-2) (8) -- The Condors close the season at No. 1 in the area after a memorable season that defied expectations. Many other Public League teams had significantly more preseason hype, but a balanced Curie team beat every team they faced in Illinois except for Class 4A champion Belleville West. Curie had a remarkable 10 wins over IHSA teams with sectional titles this season -- and that doesn't even include wins over Whitney Young, Bloom, New Trier, two wins over Morgan Park and numerous quality out-of-state wins. Public League Playoff champions and winners of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, this is one of the best IHSA teams of the past decade that didn't win a state title. DaJuan Gordon had a tremendous senior season as he was flanked by strong senior leadership from Trevon Hamilton, Justin Harmon and Damari Nixon. Head coach Mike Oliver should be mentioned among the city's elite coaches for the job he did this season.   

2. Evanston (32-5) (5) -- Making Peoria for a second straight season, Evanston lived up to enormous preseason expectations. The Wildkits placed second in Class 4A after pushing Belleville West to the limit as their only other in-states losses came to Glenbrook South, Bolingbrook and Alton. The senior trio of Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost is one of the most accomplished perimeter trio of the decade as they made two state appearances while beating a high number of quality teams. The Wildkits beat New Trier, Maine South and Loyola twice and also knocked off St. Viator, Stevenson, OPRF and Uplift during the season. The future also looks bright for Evanston as a slew of quality sophomores and juniors return for next season.

3. Bogan (30-4) (4) -- Falling just short of a Class 3A state title, Bogan had a season worth remembering. The Bengals won the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and Rock Island Thanksgiving Tournament, beating Whitney Young, Leo, Simeon, Morgan Park, Proviso East, Corliss, Farragut and St. Laurence during the season. Senior Rashaun Agee was the best big man in the area this season as his dunks and double-doubles came on a near-nightly basis. Guards Jordan Booker and Antoine Bloxton were two of the city's premier perimter threats. The Bengals don't get as much local or national publicity as some of their Public League counterparts but head coach Arthur Goodwin has built a steady top-25 mainstay who is always a major threat in Class 3A. 

4. Simeon (20-15) (3) -- Despite a high number of losses, Simeon figured things out in time to finish as one of the state's best teams this season. Navigating a ridiculous national schedule, the new rotation of Wolverines took awhile to figure things out with so many new pieces. But seniors Antonio Reeves and KeJuan Clements stepped up late in the season while younger players like Ahamad Bynum and A.J. Casey showed how bright the future is for Simeon. The Wolverines beat Homewood-Flossmoor twice while also earning wins over Whitney Young, Marian Catholic and Bolingbrook. Simeon also pushed Curie to the limit in supersectionals -- nearly ending the Condors' season in Evanston. 

5. Orr (26-11) (16) -- Class 2A champions for a third consecutive season, the Spartans replaced a senior nucleus with new players and still found a way to win another state title. Head coach Lou Adams deserves recognition for getting a team of inexperienced varsity players and transfers to come together for another run. Seniors Tujaute Williams and Greg Outlaw Jr. are both great college prospects while the emergence of transfer Sherif Kenney took Orr to another level. Besides for the Class 2A title, the Spartans knocked off Bogan, Lincoln Park and Farragut. In the 2A playoffs, Orr won every game by double-digits during another dominating postseason run. 

6. Morgan Park (29-5) (2) -- The Mustangs fell short of another trip to Peoria but they still had a strong season. Champions at the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament and making the finals of the Public League Playoffs, the Mustangs had wins over Simeon, DePaul Prep, Bolingbrook, Corliss and Lincoln Park. Junior guard Adam Miller is the area's most talented player as the Mustangs have a lot to look forward to for next season. 

7. Whitney Young (25-8) (1) -- Playing another tough national schedule, Whitney Young came very close to knocking out Curie in the Class 4A sectional finals. The Dolphins had quality local wins over York, Orr, Uplift and Farragut as the junior backcourt of D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard was one of the best in the area. Senior Myles Baker also had some big games during the season as he remains an intriguing college prospect entering the spring. Whitney Young could find itself at No. 1 next preseason if all the pieces return. 

8. Geneva (32-2) (NR) -- Setting a school record for wins, Geneva fell just short of making it to Peoria in Class 4A with a loss to Rockford East. The senior duo of point guard Jack McDonald and sharpshooter Mitch Mascari was one of the area's strongest one-two combos as the Vikings only lost to Lake Park and the E-Rabs during the season. Winning the DuKane Conference, Geneva has become one of the state's more consistent programs over the last five years. 

9. Bolingbrook (23-8) (9) -- Bolingbrook started the season on a high note by winning the Decatur Thanksgiving Tournament before rolling to another good season. The Raiders dealt with some injuries but the backcourt of Joseph Yesufu and Tyler Cochran were as strong as any in the state when healthy the past few seasons. During the season, Bolingbrook swept Homewood-Flossmoor while also beating Oswego East, Evanston, West Aurora and Springfield Southeast. The Raiders were only stopped by eventual Class 4A champions Belleville West in supersectionals. 

10. DePaul Prep (25-10) (13) -- DePaul Prep reached Peoria as they hoped as the Rams figured out a mid-season slump to make a run to finish third in Class 3A. Senior Perry Cowan is one of the state's most accomplished players in this class and he had other solid players around him like Raheem Anthony, Lance Mosley and Pavle Pantovic. The future also looks solid at DePaul Prep as sophomores TY Johnson and Brian Matthews are both promising prospects. 

11. Providence-St. Mel (30-6) (25) -- State champions in Class 1A, the Knights had a target on their back and still delivered. Even though Providence-St. Mel played in the state's smallest class, they made a huge impression on the Catholic League by beating bigger schools during most of the season. Tyriel Nelson, Deion Jackson and Eric Jordan II all had strong scoring seasons while center Taeyon Neal and point guard T.J Ervin also deserve recognition.  

12. Stevenson (27-6) (NR) -- Surprising many with its strong season a year ahead of schedule, Stevenson scared Evanston in 4A supersectionals before losing. The Patriots won the North Suburban Conference and had a 14-game winning streak in 2019 as they beat Waukegan three times during the season. Next season looks very promising for the Patriots as nearly the entire core should be back. 

13. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-8) (12) -- Making a strong push in the Class 4A state playoffs, the Vikings played their best basketball at the end of the season. Knocking out Bloom and St. Rita in the state playoffs, Homewood-Flossmoor had a very balanced team led by Isaac Stanbeck, Trace Williams and R.J. Ogom -- to name a few. 

14. St. Viator (26-7) (6) -- One of the best Class 3A teams in Illinois this season, the Lions were built around two great seniors in Jeremiah Hernandez (Kent State) and Trey Calvin (Wright State). Although St. Viator lost to DePaul Prep in the sectional finals, they had quality wins over Marian Catholic, Loyola and Oswego East. 

15. Waukegan (28-6) (24) -- Waukegan had a great season in which they ultimately couldn't get past Stevenson. The Bulldogs lost three times to the Patriots during the season -- going 28-3 against the rest of the schedule and only losing to Providence St. Mel, Marian Catholic and Fremd. Senior Bryant Brown closed out a historic career with the Bulldogs by scoring over 2,000 career points and becoming the program's all-time leading scorer in the process. 

16. Bloom (26-4) (10) -- The junior-laden Blazing Trojans ultimately fell short of the enormous expectations but they still had a great season. Only falling to Homewood-Flossmoor (after beating them twice), Curie, Kankakee and Urbana, Bloom has a team that could compete for No. 1 in the state next season. The junior group of Keshawn Williams, Martice Mitchell, Donovan Newby and Dante Maddox Jr. will be one of the state's most talented groups. 

17. Marian Catholic (27-5) (14) -- Moving up to 4A after making Peoria in Class 3A last season, it was another strong season for Marian Catholic. The Spartans were led by senior forward Chris White and junior point guard Ahron Ulis as they fell short to Simeon in the sectional finals. Marian Catholic beat Homewood-Flossmoor, DePaul Prep, Benet and Thornton during the season. 

18. Loyola (22-13) (19) -- The Ramblers finally got healthy and rolling in the postseason as they lived up to preseason expectations. Winning the Hoopfest in Naples yet again, Loyola also beat DePaul Prep, Maine South and Marian Catholic. Senior Connor Barrett getting healthy was key for this team and the junior duo of twins Bennett and Jordan Kwiecinski should lead a promising group for next season. 

19. York (29-5) (NR) -- One of the area's most balanced teams, York had an incredible season. The Dukes only lost to OPRF (twice), Stevenson, Rockford East and Whitney Young as they gained revenge on the conference-rival Huskies by beating them for a 4A regional title. Nick Kosich, Erik Cohn and Sam Walsh all played tons of varsity minutes during their careers at York and it showed with how in-sync this team was during the season. 

20. Oswego East (24-8) (21) -- Strong season for Oswego East as they matched preseason expectations with an appearance in the sectional finals. Senior guard Ray J Dennis, a Boise State commit, was one of the area's best players this season as his clutch shooting in the state playoffs helped save the season for the Wolves. Oswego East won the season-opening Hoops for Healing Tournament with wins over Naperville North and West Aurora while also picking off quality teams like St. Rita, DePaul Prep and Waubonsie Valley during the season. 

21. Downers North (23-12) (NR) -- Reaching sectional finals for the first time since 1999, the Trojans peaked at the right time behind a great backcourt of Semaj Henderson and Trey Boston. Although Downers North had an up-and-down season, they pushed Geneva to the limit during supersectionals while also earning a notable win over Lake Park during the sectional semifinals. 

22. South Elgin (25-9) (NR) -- Quietly setting a school record for wins, South Elgin was one of the most surprising sectional finalists in Class 4A. The Storm were led by an underrated senior forward in Vince Miszkiewicz as the double-double machine had some big games against great competition. South Elgin gave Rockford East a good run in the sectional finals while also knocking off Proviso East, Oswego East and Cary-Grove.

23. Glenbard South (25-7) (NR) -- Class 3A's biggest surprise, Glenbard South peaked at the right time as they completed a strong season in both boys and girls (Class 3A second-place finish) basketball. Winning 10 of their last 11 games before falling to Peoria Manual in supersectionals (with the only loss coming to South Elgin) the Raiders closed out the season on a major hot streak. Glenbard South only lost two games all season to teams who didn't at least 20 games -- one of those being Peoria Manual. 

24. Corliss (20-10) (NR) -- Surprising many with its play this season, the Trojans defied expectations by placing fourth in Class 2A -- despite losing one of the area's best players last season in big man George Conditt IV (Iowa State). Besides for the deep postseason run, Corliss earned a great win over Simeon in conference play while also blowing out Class 1A finalist Central A&M. Senior Dhason Dyson was fun to watch and one of the city's more underrated guards. 

25. Farragut (20-7) (NR) -- One of the city's best teams this season, Farragut's season was cut short due to the unfortunate circumstances at North Lawndale. The Admirals were set to claim a Class 3A sectional title while also earning notable wins this season over Riverside-Brookfield, Lane Tech, Thornton and a full-strength Uplift before Markese Jacobs was injured. Senior Aaron Strong also deserves recognition for an outstanding season as he's a fascinating Division I prospect to track this spring.