Bears

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

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CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins and Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (30-1)

Results: Defeated Whitney Young 52-42 and Marist 65-44

This Week: Tuesday vs. Evanston (4A Chicago State Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Kendrick Nunn ignited a 19-1 second quarter against Cinderella Marist. The Wolverines are three wins away from a three-peat.

More Simeon: Check out webisode 14 of DRIVE: Simeon Hoops

2 Proviso East (30-0)

Results: Defeated Lake Park 73-52 and Schaumburg 78-39

This Week: Tuesday vs. West Aurora (4A Hinsdale Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Pirates have defeated their playoff opponents by an average margin of 22 points. Sterling Brown scored 18 against Schaumburg.

3 Warren (26-3)

Results: Defeated Lake Forest 51-35 and Mundelein 87-52

This Week: Tuesday vs. Rockford-Auburn (4A NIU Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Two sectional games, two victories against fellow North Suburban-Lake foes. Now, a date with standout guard Fred Van Vleet and Auburn.

4 Bloom (28-3)

Results: Defeated Thornton 44-24 and Homewood-Flossmoor 43-32

This Week: Tuesday vs. Edwardsville (4A ISU Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: It pays to hit free throws. Donald Moore scored 18 of his 20 points from the charity stripe in the win against Homewood-Flossmoor.

5 Hillcrest (25-5)

Results: Defeated Providence 66-46 and Morgan Park 59-48

This Week: Tuesday vs. DuSable (3A Joliet Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Hawks, looking for their second state title in three years, had four players in double-figures against Morgan Park.

6 Marshall (24-7)

Results: Defeated St. Joseph 58-52 and St. Francis 45-41

This Week: Tuesday vs. North Chicago (3A Hoffman Estates Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: Milton Doyle and Korbin McClain both contributed with big games against St. Francis as the Commandos survived the upset scare.

7 North Chicago (23-6)

Results: Defeated Grayslake Central 77-62 and Lakes 69-59

This Week: Tuesday vs. Marshall (3A Hoffman Estates Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: ISU recruit Aaron Simpson tallied 27 points against Lakes; North Chicago won their fourth sectional title in five years.

8 West Aurora (25-5)

Results: Defeated Plainfield East 58-53 OT and Metea Valley 69-61

This Week: Tuesday vs. Proviso East (4A Hinsdale Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Blackhawks, backed by Jontrell Walkers 22 points and 18 more from Juwan Starks, shot 55 from the field against Metea Valley.

9 Plainfield East (27-2)

Results: Lost to West Aurora 58-53 OT

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Bengals could not hold a 12-point lead against the Blackhawks. Still, 27 wins for a new kid (school) on the block is more than impressive.
10 Marist (26-6)

Results: Defeated Bogan 67-63; Lost to Simeon 65-44

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Kudos to Maristtwo upsets over ranked foes (Curie & Bogan); the Curie win -- thanks to a spirited play-by-play guy -- vaulted them into the national spotlight.

11 Bogan (26-4)

Results: Lost to Marist 67-63

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: DeVaughn Johnson had 25 points against Marist, but the Bengals could not hold a 15 point lead with three minutes to go.

12 Elgin (26-4)

Results: Defeated McHenry 43-34; Lost to Rockford-Auburn 67-56

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown was stellar against Auburn (20 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks). But Fred Van Vleet (32 points) was too much.
13 Evanston (21-10)

Results: Defeated New Trier 65-49 and Niles North 62-42

This Week: Tuesday vs. Simeon (4A Chicago State Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: No team has enjoyed a better late season surge like the Wildkits. But can they play giant-killers against Jabari Parker and company?

14 Downers Grove South (23-6)

Results: Lost to Metea Valley 60-51

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: A nice season for the Mustangs, but replacing Jerron Wilbut, Jamall Millison, Kevin Honn and Greg Garro will be a challenge.
15 Huntley (26-4)

Results: Lost to Rockford-Auburn 62-48

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Red Raiders lose to Auburn in the sectional championship for the second straight year.

16 Curie (25-3)

Results: No games played

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Malcolm Hill-Bey and Devin Foster will not be there, but watch Cliff Alexander and Marcellus Davis next season.
17 Andrew (24-3)

Results: Lost to Homewood-Flossmoor 36-22

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The T-Bolts did not score for the first 10 minutes of the game against H-F. Andrew will reload with forward Jubril Adekoya in 2012-13.

18 Seton (27-5)

Results: Lost to Breese Central 57-47 and Rockford Lutheran 55-51

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: The Sting pick up fourth place honors at state. Guards Mark Weems, Jr. and Kamal Shasi will be some of the key contributors next season.

19 Whitney Young (16-10)

Results: Lost To Simeon 52-42

This Week: Season Over

Hoops Talk: Sophomore Miles Leonard scored a team-high 13 points against Simeon. Hell be part of a dominant lineup in Chicago hoops next year.

20 Du Sable (16-9)

Results: Defeated St. Ignatius 51-44 and Dunbar 57-55

This Week: Tuesday vs. Hillcrest (3A Joliet Central Super-Sectional)

Hoops Talk: The Panthers won their first sectional championship in school history. Chris Galbreath and Evance Gayles reached double-figures against Dunbar.
Looming & Lurking: St. Ignatius, Metea Valley, New Trier, St. Joseph, Wheaton St. Francis, Mundelein, St. Viator, Oak Park, Homewood-Flossmoor, Niles North, De La Salle, North Shore Country Day, Dunbar, Aurora Central Catholic, Providence-St. Mel, Lakes, Grayslake Central, Ridgewood, Orr, De La Salle, Farragut, Yorkville.

Projecting what the Bears' 53-man roster will look like

Projecting what the Bears' 53-man roster will look like

The Bears will begin training camp next week without many significant position battles — outside of kicker, of course — which stands as an indicator of how strong a roster Ryan Pace has built. But that doesn’t mean there won't be some intriguing decisions to be made in a month and a half, especially involving depth at some critical positions. 

So here’s a pre-training camp stab at projecting what the Bear’s 53-man roster will look like on the night of Sept. 5:

QUARTERBACKS (2): Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniel
Missing the cut: Tyler Bray

These two guys are locked in, leaving Tyler Bray to likely return to the practice squad for another season. 

RUNNING BACKS (4): Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, David Montgomery, Kerrith Whyte Jr. 
Missing the cut: Ryan Nall

Cohen, Davis and Montgomery are roster locks, leaving Whyte and Nall to compete for, likely, just one spot on the roster. Matt Nagy praised Nall during OTAs, and he could become a versatile option with the ability to play some fullback, but we’ll give the last spot to Whyte given his speed and the Bears’ focus on that trait in the offseason. 

WIDE RECEIVERS (6): Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Marvin Hall
Missing the cut: Javon Wims, Emanuel Hall, Taquan Mizzell, Tanner Gentry, Jordan Williams-Lambert, Thomas Ives

Robinson, Gabriel and Miller are locks, while Patterson’s contract structure ($5 million guaranteed, all in 2019) and Ridley’s draft slot (fourth round) easily get them on the team, too. That leaves Javon Wims, Marvin Hall, Emanuel Hall and a handful of others to compete for what probably is only one more spot on the 53-man roster. There’s not much separating those three heading into training camp, though Emanuel Hall’s sports hernia surgery sidelined him during OTAs, putting him a little behind the curve. Wims is the incumbent here but didn’t get on the field much in 2018, while Marvin Hall played a little with the Atlanta Falcons over the last two years. We’ll give the edge to Marvin Hall for now based on his speed and meager experience, but also with the knowledge that the Bears’ sixth receiver likely won’t be active on game days unless of an injury. 

TIGHT ENDS (5): Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Bradley Sowell, Dax Raymond
Missing the cut: Ian Bunting, Jesper Horsted, Ellis Richardson

If Burton has to begin training camp on the PUP list, will he be ready for Week 1? Can Shaheen stay healthy for a full season? Those are perhaps the two biggest questions needing answers not only for this unit, but for the Bears’ offense as a whole. Burton’s 11th-hour injury prior to the Bears’ playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles limited how dynamic Nagy’s offense could be, while Shaheen’s preseason injury meant the Bears were ineffective when using 12 personnel during the regular season. The Bears need better depth behind Burton and Shaheen — Braunecker is a reliable special teamer with flexibility to play both the “U” and the “Y” spots, but can more much-needed depth emerge from a converted offensive lineman (Sowell) and a handful of undrafted free agents (Raymond, Bunting, Horsted, Richardson)? We’ll give Sowell (at the “Y” behind Shaheen) and Raymond (at the “U” behind Burton) the spots for now, but both will have to earn their way onto the roster during training camp. 

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Charles Leno, James Daniels, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, Bobby Massie, Rashaad Coward, Ted Larsen, Alex Bars
Missing the cut: Cornelius Lucas, Joe Lowery, T.J. Clemmings, Blake Blackmar, Marquez Tucker, Jordan McCray, Sam Mustipher

The Bears moved Sowell to tight end thanks, in part, to their confidence in the development of Coward — a converted defensive lineman — to take over as their swing tackle in 2019. He’s still under construction as an NFL offensive lineman and will have to beat out a handful of challengers, including a five-year NFL reserve in Lucas, but Coward has the edge for a roster spot. The interior reserves are less clear, though: Larsen was brought back in free agency but only has $90,000 guaranteed on his one-year deal, while Bars played for O-line coach Harry Hiestand in college but is coming off an ACL/MCL injury that led to him going undrafted in April. Any of the other reserves could make a push, or the Bears could look to add interior depth on cut-down weekend. For now, though, Larsen, Bars and Coward make the most sense to slide behind the same starting five the Bears had to end 2018. 

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard, Nick Williams
Missing the cut: Abdullah Anderson, Jalen Dalton, Daryle Banfield, Jonathan Harris

This is the Bears’ deepest unit, with the only battle to see who will make the roster and wind up inactive on game days, as Williams was for all but two games in 2018. 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5): Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, Isaiah Irving, Chuck Harris
Cut: Kylie Fitts, Mathieu Betts, James Vaughters

Irving flashed during 2017’s and 2018’s preseasons, and might need to do so again to secure his spot on the Bears’ 2019 roster. But consider this an open battle for reserve roles behind Mack/Floyd/Lynch: Irving has the inside track to one spot but will have to earn it; while whoever flashes the most from the Harris/Fitts/Betts/Vaughters group should get another. We’ll go with Harris here — maybe Mack can take his fellow Buffalo alum under his wing during training camp. 

INSIDE LINEBACKER (4): Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Nick Kwiatkoski, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
Cut: Josh Woods, Jameer Thurman, Kevin Pierre-Louis

Woods might be as close to the bubble as anyone on defense, and could force his way on to the roster with a strong preseason and a commitment to special teams. But with Kwiatkoski a reliable backup and he and Iyiegbuniwe being core special teamers, it’s hard to see Woods beating out any of those four for a spot right now. 

CORNERBACK (6): Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Buster Skrine, Kevin Toliver II, Duke Shelley, Sherrick McManis
Cut: Stephen Denmark, John Franklin III, Michael Joseph, Josh Simmons, Clifton Duck, Jonathon Mincy

There should be a strong competition among the reserve outside corners on this roster, with Toliver having the best shot but needing to fend off the raw athleticism of Denmark and Franklin as well as the talent of Joseph, who stuck on the practice squad last year after going undrafted out of Division III Dubuque. Shelley flashed during OTAs and minicamp during the spring and looks likely to wind up on the 53-man roster. While McManis worked at safety some during the spring, we’ll include him among the cornerbacks for now. 

SAFETY (4): Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson
Cut: Doyin Jibowu

Barring injury and a more permanent move to safety for McManis, there’s little that’ll change in this unit between now and Week 1.

SPECIALISTS (3): Greg Joseph (PK), Pat O’Donnell (P), Patrick Scales (LS)
Cut: Elliott Fry, Eddy Pineiro, John Wirtel

Surprise! While the battle between Fry and Pineiro will dominate the headlines in Bourbonnais, the “winner” isn’t guaranteed to be the Bears’ Week 1 kicker. So not only are those two competing against each other, they’re competing against the field, too. In this scenario, the Cleveland Browns keep fifth-round pick Austin Seibert and cut Joseph, who made 17 of 20 field goals (with a long of 51 yards) for them in 2018. The Bears could try to swing a trade for Baltimore’s Kaare Vedvik here, too. The larger point, though, is this: Pace may have to look outside the organization for his Week 1 kicker, and there will be some talent — like Joseph — available if he does. 

45 Days to Kickoff: Joliet West

45 Days to Kickoff: Joliet West

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Joliet West

Head coach: Bill Lech

Assistant coaches: Harry Hessling, Seandell Davis, Patrick Lauer, Terry Clarke, Diondrey Hood, Kevin Kusnik, Jeff Peterson, Nick Davis, Peter Nackovic, Dan Tito and Brett Gould

How they fared in 2018: 3-6 (3-6 Southwest Prairie Conference). Joliet West failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Minooka

Sept. 6 vs Oswego

Sept. 13 @ Oswego East

Sept. 20 vs Yorkville

Sept. 27 @ Romeoville

Oct. 4 @ Plainfield East

Oct. 11 vs Joliet Central

Oct. 18 vs Plainfield South

Oct. 25 @ Plainfield Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Tigers make more positive steps as a program as they embark on the newly-realigned Southwest Prairie conference?

Names to watch this season: OL Hunter Brooks (Sr.) and FB/LB Tom Luedke (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers graduated nearly their entire starting offensive skills group from a season ago. Junior RB Trent Howland is the lone returning starter back this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Joliet West posted just a 3-6 record in 2018 but that record was a bit misleading on several levels. The Tigers, under then-first year head coach Bill Lech, turned the program around on a lot of levels. Joliet West came within a few plays of potentially winning four of those six losses. If the Tigers can get their offense on track early this season (against a front-loaded schedule against four Southwest Prairie West crossover opponents) they will again challenge for an IHSA state football playoff spot.