Cubs

Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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Comcast SportsNet's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (23-1)

Results: Defeated Douglass 98-31, Hyde Park 65-44 and Marshall 73-62
This Week: Public League Semifinals vs. Orr, Saturday vs. De La Salle (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Kendrick Nunn, Jaleni Neely and Jaylon Tate didnt play Sunday (disciplinary reasons). Simeon might needs all hands on deck against Orr.

2 Proviso East (21-0)

Results: Defeated Morton 64-53 and Willowbrook 97-70
This Week: Tuesday vs. Leyden, Friday vs. Downers Grove South
Hoops Talk: The Pirates had four starters in double figures Saturday against Willowbrook: Paris Lee (18), Paris Burns (16), Sterling Brown (15) and Keith Carter (14).

3 Curie (23-1)

Results: Defeated Amundsen 90-34, Crane 68-29 and Morgan Park 65-35
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Bogan
Hoops Talk: So much is said about the Condors offense but the D has game too: 22 turnovers forced against Crane, 16 of them in the first half.

4 Warren (19-2)

Results: Defeated Zion-Benton 72-58 and Glenbrook North 41-32
This Week: Tuesday at Lake Zurich, Friday at Libertyville, Saturday vs. Proviso East (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Saturday tilt against Proviso East should be the crown jewel of the three-game City-Suburban Showdown at Proviso West.

5 Plainfield East (22-1)

Results: Defeated Plainfield North 76-48 and Romeoville 69-36
This Week: Tuesday at St. Charles East, Friday vs. Plainfield South
Hoops Talk: The Bengals have a chance to win their first Southwest Prairie conference title Friday night with a win against defending champion Plainfield South.

6 Andrew (19-1)

Results: Defeated Bradley 73-46 and Lincoln-Way North 60-34
This Week: Tuesday vs. Sandburg, Friday at Thornridge
Hoops Talk: Deep team with one of the more underrated centers in the area, Tyler Hook. Bolts cant look past this weeks games to the Thornwood clash on Feb. 21.
7 Bogan (23-2)

Results: Defeated Uplift 90-65, North Lawndale 83-67 and Taft 71-41
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. Curie
Hoops Talk: Ronnell Bucker, DeVaughn Johnson, Luwane Pipkins and Devonte Smith will pose a serious threat to Curie.

8 Downers Grove South (19-4)

Results: Defeated Leyden 60-33
This Week: Friday at Proviso East
Hoops Talk: The Mustangs, who lost to the Pirates on January 19th at DGS, will be looking for revenge. The West Suburban Gold title will be on the line.

9 Huntley (21-2)

Results: Defeated Crystal Lake South 52-31 and Dundee-Crown 41-40
This Week: Tuesday at Jacobs, Friday at Cary-Grove
Hoops Talk: Bryce Onlys jumper with five seconds left gave the Red Raiders a thrilling win over Dundee-Crown, their third win over the Chargers this season.

10 Elgin (19-3)

Results: Defeated DeKalb 50-48, Batavia 65-51 and Larkin 64-51
This Week: Wednesday vs. Immaculate Conception, Friday at Streamwood
Hoops Talk: Huge gain for the Maroons, as senior Dennis Moore returns from a broken right hand. He had 14 points Friday at Larkin.

11 St. Ignatius (19-3)

Results: Defeated Brother Rice 59-51 and Gordon Tech 48-41
This Week: Friday at Loyola, Sunday vs. Notre Dame (at Gordon Tech)
Hoops Talk: Coach Rick Kehoe has benefitted from some great senior leadership this year, especially from guard Brian Howard.

12 Hillcrest (19-4)

Results: Defeated De La Salle 62-48
This Week: Tuesday vs. Tinley Park, Friday vs. T.F. South
Hoops Talk: Balance was the key as the Hawks takes down the Meteors. Jovan Morring, Jalen Loving, Kyle Oden and Jayone Troutman all reached double figures.

13 Bloom (21-3)

Results: Defeated Rich South 59-52
This Week: Friday at Crete-Monee
Hoops Talk: Donald Moore continues to impress, scoring 22 points against the Stars. Bloom will now look to beat C-M for the third time this season.

14 Orr (19-3)

Results: Defeated Power House 73-52, Farragut 54-43 and Foreman 62-60 (OT)
This Week: Wednesdays Public League semifinals vs. (SimeonMarshall)
Hoops Talk: Devante Jones hit a three to send Sundays game against Foreman to OT. The defense and free throw shooting were enough in the extra session.

15 Marshall (20-7)

Results: Defeated Lincoln Park 45-42 and Whitney Young 69-67; Lost to Simeon 73-62
This Week: No games scheduled this week
Hoops Talk: The Commandos could not dig themselves out of a 14-0 hole against Simeon. They should still be a force in the IHSA playoffs.

16 St. Rita (14-8)

Results: Defeated Providence 70-64 and Hales 71-69
This Week: Friday at St. Joseph, Saturday vs. New Trier (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: Dont let the record fool you. The Mustangs losses have dominated in-state foes and have challenged talented teams from outside Illinois.

17 New Trier (18-5)

Results: Lost to Evanston 55-52 (OT)
This Week: Friday at Maine South, Saturday vs. St. Rita (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Trevians have lost three straight. The slate doesnt get much easier this week, especially with Saturdays City-Suburban tilt on the horizon.

18 De La Salle (14-5)

Results: Lost to Hillcrest 62-48
This Week: Friday at Hales, Saturday vs. Simeon (City-Suburban Showdown)
Hoops Talk: The Meteors are currently in a five-game stretch where four of those opponents are ranked in the CSN Top 20.

19 Hope Academy (21-2)

Results: Defeated Ida Crown 72-59 and Northside Prep 58-48
This Week: Tuesday at Seton, Thursday vs. Raby, Friday at Holy Trinity
Hoops Talk: Torrance Johnson and company continue to keep the Eagles on the upswing. Tuesdays game at Seton should be entertaining.

20 Lemont (20-2)

Results: Defeated T.F. North 47-42
This Week: Tuesday at T.F. South, Friday vs. Reavis
Hoops Talk: Mike Wisz came off the bench to hit six three-pointers in the Indians victory over T.F. North

Looming & Lurking: Whitney Young, Metea Valley, Farragut, West Aurora, Naperville North, Seton, Mundelein, Homewood-Flossmoor, Notre Dame, North Chicago, Riverside-Brookfield, Crete-Monee, St. Viator, Oak Park, Herscher, Immaculate Conception, York

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

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USA TODAY

Could Bears improve and still lose ground? The MMQB's Albert Breer weighs in on tough NFC North

NBC Sports Chicago’s John "Moon" Mullin talked with The MMQB's Albert Breer, who shared his thoughts on where the Bears stand — and if they’ll be able to compete — in a highly competitive NFC North.

Moon: The Bears have made upgrades, but they’re in the NFC North and not many divisions are tougher, given the strength at quarterbacks.

Breer: Yes. You look at the other three teams, and they all very much believe they’re in a window for winning a championship. The Packers are going through some changes, but they’ve gotten Mike Pettine in there as defensive coordinator and a new general manager who was aggressive on draft day. I know that internally they feel that’s going to give them a boost, and bringing Aaron Rodgers back obviously is the biggest thing of all.

Minnesota, all the things they did this offseason, signing (quarterback) Kirk Cousins, (defensive lineman) Sheldon Richardson, and they were knocking on the door last year.

The Lions have been building for two years under (general manager) Bob Quinn and (new coach) Matt Patricia, who lines right up with the general manager — the two of them worked together in New England. They really believe that Matthew Stafford is ready to take the sort of jump that Matt Ryan made in Atlanta a few years ago, where you see that mid-career breakthrough from a quarterback that we see sometimes now.

It’s one of the toughest divisions in football, and every team in the division believes that it’s in the position to contend right now.

Moon: We didn’t see a lot of Mitch Trubisky — 12 games — so it sounds possible that the Bears could improve and still lose ground.

Breer: The Lions were pretty good last year. The Vikings were in the NFC Championship game. And who knows where the Packers would’ve been if Rodgers hadn’t broken his collarbone. The biggest change is that Aaron Rodgers will be back, and that’s the best player in the league. It was a really good division last year, and you’re adding back in a Hall of Fame quarterback.

As far as the Bears, there’s going to be questions where the organization is going. It’s been seven years since they were in the playoffs. I think they certainly got the coach hire right. This is a guy who I know other organizations liked quite a bit and was going to be a head coach sooner or later.

And I think he matches up well with Mitch. I think the Bears are in a good spot, but as you said, they’re competing in a difficult environment, so it may not show up in their record.

Moon: A lot of love for the Vikings after they get to the NFC Championship and then add Kirk Cousins.

Breer: A lot of people look at Minnesota and think Kirk Cousins’ll be a huge improvement. And maybe he will be. I think he’s a very good quarterback, top dozen in the league. But Case Keenum played really, really well last year, so it wasn’t like they weren’t getting anything out of that position last year.

The NFC right now is clearly the strength of the league. If you picked the top 10 teams in the league, you could make a case that seven or eight of them are in the NFC. I think there will be NFC teams that miss the playoffs who could be in the Super Bowl coming out of the AFC. There’s a little bit of an imbalance there.

Moon: Trubisky projects as part of a wave of new quarterbacks league-wide, a sea change in the NFL.

Breer: The interesting thing is that this is probably as stable as the league has been at quarterback in a long time. There’ve been questions where the next great quarterbacks will come from, but I don’t know that there’s a team right now in the NFL like you looked at the Jets or Browns last year, where you say that team is definitely drafting a quarterback in 2019.

Everyone either has a big-money veteran or former first-round pick on their roster. One team that doesn’t is the Cowboys, but they’ve got Dak Prescott who’s played really well. Every team in the league has some stability at the position. I think the position is as healthy as it’s been in a long time, and you’ve got a lot of good young prospects.