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High School Lites: Basketball season has begun

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High School Lites: Basketball season has begun

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
6:48 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

It's basketball season on High School Lites! The best hoops action across Chicagoland can be seen right here on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com. We are your source for scores, highlights and more from this Friday night all the way up to state championship time in March. We are covering numerous games featuring Super 25-ranked schools, which includes our Team of the Week: Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills. They are looking to repeat as class 3A champs. We will also take a look at Maine South and Wheaton Warrenville South as they celebrate their respective football championships. Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover Friday night. All rankings courtesy of YourSeason.com:
Glenbard West @ (4) Proviso West, 6:00pm

The Proviso West basketball program has been on the rise for a few years now. This year is no exception. The Panthers took first place in the New TrierLoyola tournament, defeating Harlan in the championship game. Nicholas Frazier leads a well-balanced attack. As for Glenbard West, twins Michael and Matthew Mache (both 6-6) look to cause fits for the opposition.
Argo @ (7) Hillcrest, 6:30pm

It's never too early for a trap game, right? The 3A state champion Hawks of Hillcrest battle 4A champ Simeon on Sunday. But first, they have to take care of business against Argo. Point guard Julius "Juice" Brown is the one to watch for Hillcrest. Kadeem Thornton, LeBarron Hull and Cassell James are highlight-worthy as well.

Conant @ Schaumburg, 6:30pm

It could be a showcase of guards in this always-entertaining Mid-Suburban West rivalry game. The host Saxons feature Javon McDonald and Mark Bielanski, while the Cougars' Inko "London" Dokubo will prove to be a challenge for Schaumburg.

(13) Downers Grove South @ Hinsdale South, 7:30pm

The visiting Mustangs are coming off a third place finish in the prestigious St. Charles East Thanksgiving tournament, defeating Ryan Boatright's East Aurora squad along the way. Jerron Wilbut and Jamal Millison set the pace for DGS. Watch out for a much-improved Hinsdale South team. The Hornets' Brock Benson is one of the top centers in the West Suburban Gold conference.
(4) Benet @ St. Patrick, 7:30pm

Care for an early glimpse into the future of the Big 10? Take a look at Benet. The Redwings feature Northwestern-bound point guard David Sobolewski and 6-10 Wisconsin recruit Frank Kaminsky. St. Patrick figures to challenge Benet for East Suburban Catholic supremacy, with senior forward Jacob Williams at the controls.

Joliet Central @ (9) Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30pm

Competition in the SW Suburban Blue conference is underway. Central's Darius Norris will be coming off a big night (11 points, 12 rebounds) against Plainfield South. But the Vikings should prove to be difficult hosts. Julian Lewis and a talented crop of juniors lead the way for H-F. Could this be another trap game? HF hopes to avoid looking ahead to showdown with 2 ranked Morgan Park on Sunday.

(5) De La Salle @ St. Rita, 7:30pm

De La Salle's Illinois-bound Mike Shaw has received a lot of the local headlines, but keep an eye on Dre Henley. The 6-6 junior will be a great complement to the Meteors' offense. Resurgent St. Rita lost a heartbreaker in the championship game of the McGovern Classic last week against Tinley Park.

St. Joseph @ (8) Hales Franciscan, 7:30pm

Hales should be one of the favorites in class 2A this year. Aaron and Aaric Armstead anchor the backcourt for the Spartans, who already have an impressive win over Proviso East to their credit. But fellow Catholic League Central foe and Gene Pingatore-coached St. Joseph figure to be tough, with senior GF Joe Edwards leading the attack.

Check us out this Friday night just after our Bulls and Blackhawks games. High School Lites streams live at CSNChicago.com.

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen celebrates 21st birthday with a spot on the NBA's All-Rookie First Team

Lauri Markkanen’s celebration for his 21st birthday coincided with another major honor, being selected to the All-Rookie First team.

Markkanen received 76 of 100 possible first-team votes to join Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma on the first team. Mitchell and Simmons were unanimous selections and Tatum was one vote short of joining Mitchell and Simmons.

Markkanen, acquired on draft night in the package of players for Jimmy Butler, showed he was far more advanced than many expected. His 15.2 points per game ranked third among rookies and his 7.5 rebounds were first.

Markkanen was a constant in a topsy-turvy season for the Bulls, scoring 30-plus twice and hitting the 25-point plateau another three times. As a perfect fit in Fred Hoiberg’s offensive system, Markkanen had eight games where he hit four triples or more, including a game in New York where he drilled eight 3-pointers against the Knicks.

Only 15 rookies have hit more than 140 triples in NBA history, with Markkanen accomplishing the feat in 68 games—he was joined by Mitchell and Kuzma from this year’s star-studded class.

As the season progressed and Markkanen took hold of the power forward position, the Bulls began maneuvering personnel around him, trading disgruntled forward Nikola Mirotic and making a concerted effort to put Bobby Portis at center to pair Portis with Markkanen as a spread-shooting duo.

As the most impressive rookie the Bulls have employed since Derrick Rose, he’s also the first rookie since Taj Gibson in 2010 to make All-Rookie First Team.

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

Bears backfield ranked fourth-best in NFL

The Chicago Bears have a really good problem in their backfield. Both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will demand touches in 2018 and are each starting-quality running backs. Howard is the more traditional first and second-down back while Cohen offers top-tier playmaking ability.

The duo is so talented that they were recently ranked the fourth-best backfield in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears' Jordan Howard has emerged as one of the NFL's top rushers. He finished his rookie season with 1,313 yards, second-most in the NFL. Last season, he rushed for 1,122 yards and 4.1 yards per carry even though Chicago had the league's least threatening passing attack (175.7 yards per game).

Howard isn't the only standout back on the roster, though. Tarik Cohen is a supremely talented runner and receiver and a perfect complement to Howard. Last season, he amassed 370 rushing yards, 53 receptions and 353 receiving yards.

The Bears' backfield was behind only the Rams, Saints and Chiefs.

Howard set Chicago's rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016 and became the first Bears running back to start his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He should be the Bears' primary back, but coach Matt Nagy expressed genuine excitement over Cohen's skill set which suggests he plans on getting him the ball quite a bit this season.

Regardless of how the touches play out, the Bears will present opposing defenses with one of the most challenging ground games in the NFL.