Blackhawks

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 (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.

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

Blackhawks trade Artem Anisimov to Senators for Zack Smith

The Blackhawks are spending the next week focusing on their prospects at development camp, but GM Stan Bowman took care of some housekeeping items on the big club on Tuesday when he traded forward Artem Anisimov to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Zack Smith.

"First off, Arty was a great Blackhawk," Bowman said on Tuesday. "We wish him well. I think stylistically they play different games. Both veterans, both have played in the league for a long time. I think Zack brings a different skill set to the table, something that we probably need a little bit more of. He certainly plays with a competitive side to him, plays with an edge. He's had some years in the past where he's scored a lot but I think the thing we like about his game is the versatility and you notice him. He's tough to play against out there."

Anisimov had two years left on his contract that carries a $4.55 million cap hit, but his modified no-trade clause was removed on July 1, which opened up more trade possibilities. He was also owed a $2 million signing bonus when the new calendar year opened and his actual salary over the next two years dropped to $5 million total, giving a rebuilding team like the Senators a chance to add a depth forward for a lower price.

Couple that with the fact Anisimov's role with the Blackhawks has diminished over the years and you can see why this traded was made from Chicago's point of view.

Smith compiled 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in 70 games for the Senators last season, and served as the alternate captain during the 2017-18 campaign. He's known to be a power forward, can play a heavy game and has experience playing center or wing. The 31-year-old has two years left on his contract that carries a cap hit of $3.25 million. 

With the trade, the Blackhawks opened up $1.3 million in cap space, which gives them some financial breathing room to make transactions throughout the season and potentially re-sign Brendan Perlini, who remains an unsigned restricted free agent.

"I think that was part of the deal as well," Bowman said." A benefit. We do save a little bit on the cap. We still have a little bit of work to do there, but we're looking better now than we were yesterday."

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Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

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USA Today

Pro Football Focus: Bears have NFL’s best run defense entering 2019

Pro Football Focus doesn’t seem to expect much regression for the Bears defense, at least when it comes to run defense.

PFF analyst Mike Renner ranked every team’s ability to stop the ground game, heading into 2019, and Chicago remains on top.

The team retained its entire front seven, top-to-bottom, with the exception of Sam Acho, who spent most of last season on injured reserve anyway.

One of the biggest keys, in Renner’s analysis, is Akiem Hicks, who was among Pro Football Focus’ top performers in the running game.

“The former Saint is proving himself one of the best free agent additions in recent memory,” Renner wrote. “His 13.3 run-stop percentage was the second-highest figure of any interior defender in the NFL last season.”

The Bears allowed the fewest rushing yards and rushing touchdowns of any defense last season, and the 3.8 yards per attempt they gave up was fourth best.

With the whole gang back together for 2019, the team is in a great spot to run it back under Chuck Pagano.