Other Sports

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

642912.png

CSN's Top 20 Basketball Rankings

By Joe Collins & Taylor Bell
CSNChicago.com

1 Simeon (15-0)

Results: Defeated Brooks 95-61, Morgan Park 57-44

This Week: Monday vs. Findlay Prep NV (at Springfield, MA), Wednesday vs. Urban Prep, Friday vs. CVCA and Saturday vs. Southwind TN (at Memphis, TN)

Hoops Talk: The Wolverines can put a lock on their elite national status with a win against an equally distinguished Findlay Prep team with seven D-1 prospects.
2 Proviso East (14-0)

Results: Defeated Willowbrook 78-37

This Week: Thursday at Downers Grove South, Saturday at Leyden

Hoops Talk: The tilt against Downers South should go a long way in deciding the fate of the West Suburban Gold conference.

3 Curie (13-1)

Results: Defeated King 88-43

This Week: Monday vs. North Chicago (at MLK Shootout), Tuesday vs. Lindblom, Thursday at Dunbar

Hoops Talk: Look for a lot of offense in Mondays game against North Chicago, who features Illinois State-bound Aaron Simpson.

4 Warren (12-2)

Results: Defeated Libertyville 72-53 and Lakes 77-47

This Week: Friday at Lake Zurich, Saturday vs. Downers Grove South (at Sears Centre)

Hoops Talk: Nathan Booth, Darius Paul and the Blue Devils dont miss a beat after a two-week stretch of without games.

5 Andrew (13-0)

Results: Defeated Lincoln-Way East 61-46, Thornridge 66-50 and Illiana Christian 59-34

This Week: Friday at Thornwood

Hoops Talk: Adekoya brothers get most of the headlines, but credit is also due for players like Glorind Lisha, Alex Zappavigna and Tyler Hook.

6 Plainfield East (13-0)

Results: Defeated Romeoville 75-41

This Week: Tuesday vs. Naperville Central, Friday at Plainfield South, Saturday vs. Larkin (at Railway Classic Shootout)

Hoops Talk: 6-9 Brian Bennett is a perfect complement to talented guards Jawan Straughter and Dee Brown.

7 Elgin (13-1)

Results: Defeated Larkin 59-52 (OT), Streamwood 64-37

This Week: Friday vs. Geneva, Saturday vs. Huntley (at Sears Centre)

Hoops Talk: 11 straight wins and 1,000 career points for Kory Brown. Arie Williams came was clutch in the extra session against Larkin.

8 Bogan (17-1)

Results: Defeated Corliss 99-38, Brooks 101-60 and St. Francis 76-58

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

Hoops Talk: The Bengals are averaging over 93 points per game in their last four contests. Devonte Smith and DeVaughn Johnson continue to dominate.

9 De La Salle (13-2)

Results: Defeated Brooks 58-46 and Gordon Tech 68-40

This Week: Friday vs. St. Ignatius

Hoops Talk: Alex Foster, Alvin Ellis and Gavin Schilling continue their solid run. Fridays game should be a battle.

10 Downers Grove South (13-2)

Results: Defeated Fremd 66-55, Leyden 67-57 and Glenbard North 66-60

This Week: Thursday vs. Proviso East, Saturday vs. Warren (at Sears Centre)

Hoops Talk: Jerron Wilbut hit five threes en route to a career-high 33 points against Glenbard North. The Mustangs now face a grueling week of competition.

11 New Trier (13-2)

Results: Defeated Maine South 41-39

This Week: Monday vs. Buffalo Grove, Friday at Niles West, Saturday vs. Taft

Hoops Talk: Connor Boehms clutch play down the stretch and Reid Bermans layup with 1.6 seconds to go saves the day for the Trevians against South.

12 Huntley (12-1)
Results: Defeated Crystal Lake South 43-33 and Prairie Ridge 63-29

This Week: Wednesday vs. Jacobs, Saturday vs. Elgin (at Sears Centre)

Hoops Talk: Saturdays performance against Elgin could vault the Red Raiders into special company in Chicagoland prep hoops. They cant overlook Jacobs, though.

13 Bloom (14-2)

Results: Defeated Crete-Monee 43-38

This Week: Monday vs. Sandburg (MLK Day of HoopsJoliet Central), Friday at Kankakee

Hoops Talk: An emphatic statement win on Friday night against C-M, as the Blazing Trojans have now regained their balance after two tough losses.
14 Hillcrest (13-3)

Results: Defeated Eisenhower 86-62

This Week: Wednesday at Richards, Friday at Bremen

Hoops Talk: The Hawks are away from the nest for their next four games. Their next home game is January 27th against T.F. South.

15 Whitney Young (8-5)

Results: Defeated Raby 78-60 and Farragut 47-43

This Week: Wednesday vs. Marshall, Friday at North Lawndale

Hoops Talk: Three straight 3s in the fourth (one by Gabe Snider and two by Scott Kingsley) helped jump-start the Dolphins at Farragut. Jahlil Okafor hits GW layup.
16 St. Ignatius (13-2)

Results: Defeated St. Joseph 57-53 and Farragut 54-37

This Week: Friday at De La Salle, Saturday vs. Brooks (CPS Shootout)

Hoops Talk: Brian Howard helped save the Wolfpack at St. Joseph. They trailed by 13 at halftime and took the lead for good with 1:42 to play.

17 Metea Valley (15-1)
Results: Lost to Waubonsie Valley 62-61 (OT); Defeated St. Charles North 70-54

This Week: Monday vs. Rich Central (MLK Day of HoopsJoliet Central), Friday at East Aurora

Hoops Talk: The Mustangs 28-2 run in the first quarter against North helped erase the sting of Wednesdays defeat.

18 Marshall (16-4)

Results: Defeated Crane 57-54 and Aurora Central 80-54

This Week: Wednesday at Whitney Young

Hoops Talk: Dont look now, but the Commandos are the only undefeated team in conference play in the mighty Red West.

19 Notre Dame (14-4)

Results: Defeated Brother Rice 63-44, Loyola 50-45 and Nazareth 65-54

This Week: Friday vs. St. Patrick

Hoops Talk: Here come the Donsthree straight wins going into Fridays rivalry tilt vs. the Shamrocks. Junior Matt Mooney has played well.
20 Mundelein (17-3)

Results: Defeated Stevenson 59-51 and Antioch 51-39

This Week: Friday at Lake Forest

Hoops Talk: Junior guard Robert Knar leads the Mustangs into the Top 20 for the first time. Circle January 28th on your calendar: Mundelein at 4 Warren.
Looming & Lurking: Dunbar, Harlan, Crane, Farragut, Waubonsie Valley, Naperville North, West Aurora, Glenbrook North, Foreman, Herscher, St. Viator, Lemont, Homewood-Flossmoor, Seton, St. Rita, Joliet West, Rich South, North Chicago, Hope Academy.

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

icymi_post_oct_22.jpg
USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

It was a busy weekend for Chicago sports fans, from the Bulls' home-opener, to two Blackhawks games and a shootout at Soldier Field between the Bears and Patriots.

Bears

The Bears came a yard away on a Hail Mary pass from forcing overtime, ultimately losing a 38-31 shootout to the Patriots and showing they still have much to prove. Mitchell Trubisky said that there is a new standard and that coming up short is not good enough anymore.

While Trubisky's accuracy was uneven Sunday, he showed continued development, throwing for 300+ yards for the third straight game. He also scored on a nifty eight-yard rushing touchdown in which he covered 71.9 yards of distance.

While the Bears struggled to contain the Patriots' offense and recorded just one sack, the defense is still confident in the unit and team overall. 

Bulls

Off the court, Denzel Valentine suffered a setback on his injured left ankle and will be reevaluated in two weeks. On the court, the Bulls' defense cost them Saturday against the Pistons, but especially late on Ish Smith's game-winning basket for the Pistons.

With Kris Dunn on paternity leave, the Bulls signed guard Shaquille Harrison and waived center Omer Asik. The move comes on the heels of Fred Hoiberg saying potential lineup changes are "still up in the air." 

The Bulls also announced three broadcasters that will call the first five road games minus-longtime play-by-play man Neil Funk. Funk is cutting 20 road games from his schedule this season.

Blackhawks

Corey Crawford picked up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017, leading the Blackhawks to victory in vintage fashion. The Blackhawks were outshot 28-15 through two periods, and Crawford stood tall en route to a 4-1 Blackhawks' win.

Following his return from a major injury, the Blackhawks will monitor Crawford's workload moving forward. 

Meanwhile, in Columbus, Blue Jackets forward Anthony Duclair regrets not making the most of his stint with the Blackhawks last season. Also, the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks are both experiencing challenges as a result of the Brandon Saad-Artemi Panarin trade from last summer.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they set an NHL record and tied a franchise record (confusing, we know) by allowing 33 shots on goal during the second period Sunday. The Blackhawks ultimately fell 6-3, though Alexandre Fortin scored his first career NHL goal in the process.

Glanville: Fall to Spring - A player’s offseason changes meaning with each changing season

glanville_oct_21.jpg
USA TODAY

Glanville: Fall to Spring - A player’s offseason changes meaning with each changing season

A few weeks after the we (the Cubs) were eliminated from the 2003 playoffs, I got a phone call from my college professor. Since it was officially the off-season, I was in the early stages of a break from following a pocket schedule to tell me where to be every day for nearly eight months.

But this was a man I could not refuse. I chose my college major to go into his field of transportation engineering and he was calling because he needed a teaching assistant to accompany him on his trip to South Africa.

One minute I could barely move off of my couch in my Chicago apartment after losing Game 7 against the Marlins. The next minute, I would be standing within miles of the Southern most point in Africa at the Cape of Good Hope. Why not? I needed the distraction so I agreed to go.

The offseason is its own transition. Leaving the regimen of routine, of batting practice and bus times, to an open ended world that you have to re-learn again. When I finished my first full major league season in 1997, I lived in Streeterville at the Navy Pier Apartments.

That offseason, I decided to stay an extra month in Chicago only to wake up panicked for the first two weeks because I thought I was missing stretch time for a home day game. A major league schedule becomes etched in your DNA after a while.

It is also a time that you get to reflect. The regular season does not give you a moment to really get perspective on what was just accomplished, what it all means, what you would change. I always joked about the T-shirt I wanted to a sell that listed all of the things a major league player figures out during the off-season. From the perfect swing to the ex-girlfriend you need to un-break-up with next week.

It all becomes so clear when a 96 MPH fastball isn’t coming at you.

For years, I would arrange a training program to follow, but I quickly learned that I had to mix it up. There was only so much repetition I could stand in the off-season. So some years, I moved to the site of spring training and worked out early with the staff, other years I found a spot at home where I grew up or wherever I played during the season, to train.

I was single when I played, but now with a family, I have a better understanding of the challenges my teammates would express as they were re-engaging as a daily father again after this long absentee existence.

To keep it fresh and spicy, when I got older in the game, I enrolled in a dance studio and took a winter of dance lessons. Salsa, Foxtrot, Rumba, you name it. On Thursdays we had to dance for an hour straight, changing partners in the room every song change. Dancing with the Stars had nothing on me.

Of course, not every offseason is fun and games. There were years when I wasn’t sure I would have a job the next year, or I was in the throes of a trade rumor. In 1997, I was traded from the Cubs to the Phillies two days before Christmas. In 2002, my father passed away on the last game of the season, leading the offseason to be a time of mourning.

By my final season in 2005, I thought I was officially on my couch forever. I was going to fade away into oblivion like many players do. No fanfare, the phone just would stop ringing and I would just let the silence wash over me. The Yankees had called earlier in that off-season, acting like they were doing me a favor which I turned down, then they called back later with a more open tone, seeing me as a potential key piece in their outfield with Bernie Williams slowing down quite a bit at that point.

I did get off that couch for that call, only to get released the last week of camp, so I was back on the couch, with a fiancé and some extra salt in the wounds after that final meeting with Brian Cashman and Joe Torre, who boxed me into the coaches office to tell me I was released. Released? Come on. Never had that happen before.

The Cubs players will go through all of this if they have the good fortune of playing a long time. The wave of uncertainty, the meaning of age in this game spares no one. Each offseason is a time to reset, a period where you get away, seemingly adrift from the game, then as spring gets closer, the shoreline comes up in the horizon once again, magnetically drawing you to its shores for another season.

Amazingly, you don’t always know your age and what it has done to your body. 34 can’t be that old, right? I can still run, or throw 95. Then those 23-year-olds in camp are the wake up call, or maybe you are that 23-year-old and can’t believe your locker is next to Ryne Sandberg’s.

Then you blink, and you are advising Jimmy Rollins about etiquette and realize you have become that guy, the seasoned vet, preaching about locker room respect.

For the 2018 Cubs, they fell short of their goal to repeat their 2016 magic. Failed to meet their singular destination that meant success over all else. Yet, those who come back for 2019, will not be the same player, the same person, that left the locker room at the close this season. They will have grown, changed, aged, wizened up, rehabbed, hardened. All of which means that new perspective is the inevitable part of this time off, whether you like it or not.

Baseball is a game that has this unique dynamic. The highest intensity rhythm of any sport. Every day you are tested. You are pushed to the brink by sheer attrition. According to my teammate Ed Smith, who was playing third base at the time when Michael Jordan reached third, Jordan, after playing well over 100 games in a row, said to him “Man, I have never been this tired in my entire life.”

The grind.

Then it stops on a dime. Season over. Only on baseball’s terms.

But you may be granted another spring. Another crack at it. Until one day, the baseball winter never ends and its time for you to plant your own spring.