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 (13-0)

Results: Defeated Miller Grove (GA) 59-56

This Week: Wednesday at Brooks, Friday vs. Morgan Park

Hoops Talk: The Wolverines dealt with business out of state. Now the scene shifts back to the Red-South where long-time rival Morgan Park awaits.
2 Proviso East (13-0)

Results: Defeated Morton 87-51 and Batavia 90-44

This Week: Friday vs. Willowbrook

Hoops Talk: The Pirates have a multitude of offensive weapons but take note of their defense. They forced 33 turnovers against Batavia Saturday night.

3 Curie (12-1)

Results: Defeated Muskegon Heights (MI) 70-58

This Week: Tuesday at King, Wednesday at Kenwood

Hoops Talk: Another dominant performance for Cliff Alexander (20 points, 16 rebounds). Devin Foster added 17 in Saturdays victory.

4 Warren (10-2)

Results: No games played this week (Fridays game vs. Zion-Benton was postponed)

This Week: Friday vs. Libertyville, Saturday vs. Lakes

Hoops Talk: Solid season thus far for the North Suburban Lake conferenceWarren, Mundelein, Stevenson, Libertyville and Lake Zurich all have at least 10 wins.

5 Andrew (10-0)

Results: Defeated Lincoln-Way North 42-35

This Week: Tuesday at Lincoln-Way East, Friday vs. Thornridge

Hoops Talk: Jubril Adekoya was huge down the stretch against the Phoenix, ending with a game-high 17. A 12-3 run in the second half proved to be the difference.

6 Plainfield East (12-0)

Results: Defeated Plainfield North 60-55

This Week: Friday vs. Romeoville

Hoops Talk: Dee Brown had 25 points for the Bengals, but they needed Brian Bennetts free throws in the final seconds to ice the game against North.
7 Elgin (13-1)
Results: Defeated Batavia 49-43

This Week: Wednesday vs. Larkin, Friday vs. Streamwood

Hoops Talk: Kory Brown needs two more points to reach a career total of 1,000.
8 Bogan (12-1)

Results: Defeated Bloom 76-64

This Week: Wednesday at Corliss, Friday vs. Brooks

Hoops Talk: Huge win for the Bogan program Saturday night against a ranked Bloom team, with Kendall Wesley scoring 18 of his 22 points in the fourth.
9 De La Salle (11-2)

Results: Defeated Fenwick 57-35

This Week: Tuesday at Brooks, Friday at Gordon Tech

Hoops Talk: The Meteors bounce back from the loss to St. Ignatius, as Alvin Ellis (19 points) and Gavin Schilling (14 points, 9 rebounds) lead the way.
10 Metea Valley (14-0)

Results: Defeated Lake Park 61-45

This Week: Wednesday at Waubonsie Valley, Saturday vs. St. Charles North

Hoops Talk: Sean Davis provided the spark in the third quarter against L-P, scoring six points with three steals. Statement game upcoming at Waubonsie?
11 Downers Grove South (10-2)

Results: No games played last week.

This Week: Monday vs. Fremd, Friday at Leyden, Saturday at Glenbard North

Hoops Talk: Busy week for the Mustangs, who need to keep pace with Proviso East in the West Suburban Gold.

12 New Trier (13-2)

Results: Defeated Evanston 58-48

This Week: Thursday vs. Maine South

Hoops Talk: Dartmouth-bound forward Connor Boehm was huge in a huge rivalry game. The 6-7 senior finished with 26 points and kept the Wildkits at bay.

13 Huntley (12-1)

Results: Defeated Crystal Lake Central 56-35 and McHenry 55-36.

This Week: Tuesday at Crystal Lake South, Friday vs. Prairie Ridge

Hoops Talk: The Red Raiders were impressive on the boards against C-L Central. They had a 32-14 advantage. Center Amanze Egekeze had a double-double.
14 Bloom (13-2)

Results: Lost to Rich South 47-46 and Bogan 76-64

This Week: Friday vs. Crete-Monee

Hoops Talk: Rough week for the Blazing Trojans, but Donald Moore continues to shine. He scored 19 points against Bogan.

15 Hillcrest (12-3)

Results: Defeated Evergreen Park 58-40 and Thornton 68-53

This Week: Wednesday vs. Eisenhower

Hoops Talk: Jovan Mooring ignited a 12-0 run in the second quarter against Thornton to hold off the Wildcats in Harvey. He finished with 25 points.

16 Whitney Young (6-5)

Results: Lost to Wheeling Jesuit University 55-44

This Week: Wednesday vs. Raby, Friday @ Farragut

Hoops Talk: Sophomore center Jahlil Okafor and company return to ChicagolandRed-West competition. Fridays battle against the Admirals will be intriguing.

17 St. Rita (7-5)

Results: Defeated St. Ignatius 50-42

This Week: Tournament of Champions, Springfield MO

Hoops Talk: Senior guard Tony Hicks put the Mustangs on his back in the second half against Ignatius, where he scored 15 of his 22 points.

18 St. Ignatius (11-2)

Results: Lost to St. Rita 50-42

This Week: Friday vs. St. Joseph, Sunday vs. Farragut (MLK Shootout)

Hoops Talk: Brian Howard scored 12 points Friday night against St. Rita, but could not contain Tony Hicks down the stretch.

19 Crane (8-3)

Results: No games played this week.

This Week: Wednesday vs. Westinghouse, Friday at Marshall

Hoops Talk: Marshall, Farragut, Young and the Willie Conner-led Cougars figure to all be in the running for the Red-West title chase.
20 Rich South (14-4)

Results: Defeated Bloom 47-46

This Week: Friday vs. Rich East

Hoops Talk: A dramatic victory over Bloom gives the Stars their first taste of the Top 20. Marquell Smalls buzzer-beating layup was the difference.

Looming & Lurking: Seton, Marshall, Dunbar, Harlan, Notre Dame, Waubonsie Valley, Naperville North, West Aurora, Glenbrook North, Farragut, Foreman, Herscher, St. Viator, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mundelein.

With trade deadline approaching, Cubs know they can't rely on Yu Darvish

With trade deadline approaching, Cubs know they can't rely on Yu Darvish

Sunday began like most days have around the Cubs recently: No update on Yu Darvish.

But while the skies opened up over Wrigley Field about 90 minutes before game time, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein sat in the third-base dugout and spoke candidly about where Darvish is at currently and how much the Cubs can count on him during the stretch run.

Darvish threw from flat ground — 135 feet — Sunday morning and Epstein said it was "his best day in a long time. He threw really well and felt really good."

Still, there is no specific timetable for when Darvish may be back on the Wrigley Field mound, facing live hitters in a game that matters.

The next step for Darvish will be throwing off a mound, but the Cubs aren't yet talking about where or when the 31-year-old pitcher will go on a rehab assignment.

With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching in just over a week, Epstein and the Cubs know they can't simply project Darvish into the September — or October — rotation.

"I think just making an educated guess," Epstein said. "You can't be overly reliant on somebody who hasn't been able to stay healthy and perform this year. At the same time, you track the rehab closely because you know you have to try to anticipate what he might be able to give you.

"...If you put yourself in a position where you're overly reliant on something that hasn't been dependable up to this point and then it doesn't come through, it's probably more on you than on the fates."

Darvish has accounted for only 40 innings for the Cubs this season and hasn't pitched since May 20. He made it through 5 innings just three times in his eight starts on the campaign.

This is the second DL stint for Darvish this season. He had a bout of the flu in early May and then initially went back on the shelf over Memorial Day Weekend with a triceps issue. The triceps strain has morphed into an elbow impingement after Darvish made a rehab start with Class-A South Bend and he received a cortisone shot in the elbow in late June.

Mike Montgomery has taken Darvish's place in the Cubs rotation and the southpaw has had a lot of success in the role with a 3.02 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 10 starts, averaging nearly 6 innings a start.

Of course, Montgomery's insertion into the rotation has left a bit of a hole in the bullpen as the Cubs have been without their top long man and down one reliable left-handed option.

The long relief role was filled last week with the trade for Jesse Chavez, but the Cubs could probably still use another lefty in the bullpen with Justin Wilson's control issues, Brian Duensing's struggles and Randy Rosario's relative inexperience and worrisome peripheral numbers.

Whether the Cubs will acquire another starting pitcher before the trade deadline is unknown. Epstein's front office knows they need more pitching and understands it's much harder to acquire arms after July 31 than before.

But with Montgomery already filling the last spot in the rotation, Drew Smyly on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery while being stretched out as a starter and now Chavez in town, the Cubs have some veteran starting pitching depth beyond the inexperienced Luke Farrell and Duane Underwood Jr.

The starting pitching market is relatively thin at the moment in terms of arms a team like the Cubs could acquire and plug into a potential playoff rotation. And that's saying nothing of the pieces it would require to pull off such a move, as the Cubs don't have the elite-level prospects they once had to acquire Aroldis Chapman and Jose Quintana the past two summers.

But with Darvish's status unknown and Tyler Chatwood currently boasting more walks than strikeouts through 18 starts, the Cubs aren't exactly sleeping easy at night trying to project their October rotation.

Epstein acknowledged the front office is focused primarily on pitching ahead of the deadline and though it may be tougher to make those big-name deals compared to years past, that doesn't necessarily take the Cubs out of the running on the impact guys.

Still, don't expect Jacob deGrom or Chris Archer to be walking through that door anytime soon.

"I think we're in a more difficult position to do so. I don't think it's impossible," Epstein said. "But certain years lend themselves to being able to participate in more hands. Other years, because of the way your prospects are performing or because of your desire to keep growing the farm system or just the nature of what's available and how much you need, you have to be more selective.

"I think we're hopefully pursuing a lot of different things, but I think in terms of what's realistic for us, we have to be a little bit more targeted, more selective and a little more opportunistic. And that's fine. Sometimes those end up being the best deals. The Chavez deal is an example of that. He's probably not a name anyone had mentioned at all. We think he's a really good fit for us.

"So that's [an example of] the kind of stuff we're looking to do. While participating in everything else, but knowing that most of the stuff we talked about we won't be able to get done."

Aaron Lynch misses Bears practice with hamstring injury

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USA Today

Aaron Lynch misses Bears practice with hamstring injury

The Chicago Bears are thin at outside linebacker after only signing Aaron Lynch to provide a pass rush opposite Leonard Floyd this season. 

Lynch was considered a risky signing in March because of his injury history. He's appeared in only 28 games over the last three years and he's already off to an injured start with the Bears.

Lynch was one of several players to miss Sunday's practice with a hamstring injury, a list that includes fellow starter, Danny Trevathan.

Lynch and Trevathan missed Saturday's practice, too.

Other Bears who sat out on Sunday were Sherrick McManis (hamstring), Daniel Brown (ankle) and Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder). First-round pick Roquan Smith remains a holdout.

Lynch is in a training camp battle with Sam Acho for a starting job and will have to hold off Kylie Fitts and Isaiah Irving as well. The more time he loses to injury, the less and less likely the chances are that he'll become an impact player on defense.

It's still early, and the Bears have an extra week of training camp because of the Hall of Fame game. There's plenty of time for Lynch to get healthy and put this hamstring issue behind him.