Cubs

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (5-0)

Results: Defeated Carver 79-23 (Wed.), Brighton,TN 87-57 (Sat.)

This Week: Monday vs. Perspectives-Calumet, Wednesday vs. Corliss, Thursday vs. Whitney Young

Hoops Talk: College coaches Roy Williams, Johnny Dawkins and Buzz Williams were in attendance at Wednesdays game.

2 Proviso East (7-0)
Results: Defeated Hinsdale South 74-58 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Could Curie transfer Paris Burns transform the Pirates fab four (Brown, Carroll, Carter and Lee) into a fab five?

3 Warren (7-1)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest 58-47

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Could the Blue Devils give Simeon a run at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament?

4 Curie (6-0)

Results: Defeated Hyde Park 65-61 (Tue.), Hope 78-42 (Thu.)

This Week: Tuesday vs. Robeson

Hoops Talk: Devin Foster stepped up Tuesday (23 points) in one of the biggest and most hyped Public League games of the year so far.

5 Downers Grove South (7-1)

Results: Defeated Willowbrook 86-41

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Sophomore PG Danny Spinuzza starting to make some noise. Mustangs now focus on defending the title at Yorks Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament.

6 Bogan (8-0)

Results: Defeated Vocational 68-38 (Wed.), Carver 75-42 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Center Devonte Smith and guard Juwan Henry have come up big for the Bengals.

7 De La Salle (7-1)

Results: Defeated Hales 73-60 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: 6-9 junior center Gavin Schilling scored 19 points Friday night, 14 points via dunks. Alex Foster added 20 points and 11 boards.

8 New Trier (9-1)

Results: Defeated Waukegan 54-53 (Fri.), Prosser 48-32 (Sat.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Austin Angels clutch shooting on Friday and Connor Boehms dominance Saturday have the Trevians cruising into the Proviso West tourney.

9 Whitney Young (2-1)

Results: Lost to Orr 45-29 (Wed.), defeated Milbrook, NC 51-35 (Sat.)

This Week: Monday at Westinghouse, Wednesday at Manley, Thursday vs. Simeon

Hoops Talk: No rest for a Dolphins team that is battling injuries. Thursdays tilt against the top-ranked Wolverines will be played at the UIC Pavilion.

10 Andrew (6-0)

Results: Defeated Bradley-Bourbonnais 55-30 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Focus now shifts to the Kankakee Holiday Tournament.

11 Bloom (8-0)

Results: Defeated Leo 54-42 (Sat.)

This Week: Tuesday at Rich East

Hoops Talk: Donald Moore continues to impress. He leads all scorers with 23 Saturday night. LJ Johnson added 13.

12 Plainfield East (7-0)

Results: Defeated Minooka 54-53 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: DesNique Harris scored 14 points in a pivotal 21-4 run to give the Bengals momentum Friday. Harris finished with 22.

13 Seton (11-0)

Results: Defeated St. Francis de Sales, 99-72 (Fri.)

This Week: Friday at Morton (IN)

Hoops Talk: The Sting forced 20 steals against the Pioneers Saturday while Mark Weems (24 points) carried the load on the offensive side of the court.

14 Crane (3-2)

Results: Defeated North Lawndale 65-64 OT (Wed.)

This Week: Monday at Raby, Wednesday at Farragut

Hoops Talk: Markee Williams hit the game winner Wednesday. It was only the second lead of the game for the Cougars.

15 Homewood-Flossmoor (7-2)

Results: Defeated Lincoln-Way East 60-45 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Call it revenge? Tim Williams (as H-F QB) couldnt get past the Griffins on the football field. He dropped 19 points on them Friday.

16 West Aurora (7-1)

Results: Defeated Glenbard North 66-52 (Fri.), East Aurora 73-42 (Sat.)

This Week: Friday at Alexis (United)

Hoops Talk: 215th meeting of West vs. East goes to the Blackhawks, who now lead the series 128-87. Jayquan Lee and Joshua McAuley each scored 11.

17 Elgin (8-1)

Results: Defeated Burlington Central 73-41 (Tue.), St. Charles East 55-39 (Fri.)

This Week: Elgin Holiday Tournament

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown and Arie Williams have the Maroons thinking big. Elgin tourney includes Batavia, Neuqua Valley & Buffalo Grove, among others.

18 Notre Dame (9-2)

Results: Defeated Niles West 60-49 (Tue.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: The bench came up big for Tom Les and company Tuesday night. The Wheeling Hardwood Classic awaits.

19 North Chicago (6-1)

Results: Defeated Lakes 90-86 2OT (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled

Hoops Talk: Fridays double overtime thriller goes to the Warhawks, who got 31 points from Aaron Simpson.

20 Metea Valley (9-0)

Results: Defeated Neuqua Valley 67-61 (Fri.)

This Week: No games scheduled.

Hoops Talk: Another game, another landmark win on a rivals home floor for the Mustangs. The skys the limit for them in the new year.

Looming & Lurking: Morton, Farragut, Glenbrook North, Stevenson, Libertyville, Harlan, St. Ignatius, St. Viator, Hope, St. Rita, Oak Park, Mundelein, Crystal Lake Central, Foreman.

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

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They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

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Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

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Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

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