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High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

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High School Lites Hoops Preview: Week 2

Whose side are you on? A classic south side-west side matchup will highlight this weeks episode of High School Lites on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Top-ranked Simeon, led by national talent Jabari Parker, takes on Farragut at North Park University. Can the Terrell brothers (Deonte and Alante) guide the Admirals to an upset?

We also spotlight a huge early-season game in the Catholic North as De La Salle travels to St. Joseph. Here is a snapshot of each game Comcast SportsNet will be covering this week on High School Lites. All rankings reflect the CSN Top 20:

THURSDAY GAMES

Uplift (0-6) @ 5 Curie (1-0), 5:30pm

Its a busy week for Curie, who will travel to the Assembly Hall Saturday for the Shootout At The Hall to take on Champaign Centennial. 6-9 sophomore Cliff Alexander and senior guard Devin Foster will get the most looks this season for the Condors. Foster scored 30 points in Curies 81-71 win over Bowman (IN) on Saturday. Uplifts record might stand at 0-6, but their schedule hasnt exactly been light. Theyve faced undefeated Mundelein, DuSable and took 5-2 Barrington to the games final moments.

Glenbrook South (2-5) @ 16 New Trier (6-1), 6:30pm

Dartmouth-bound Connor Boehm, a 6-8 forward, is looking to lead the Trevians far beyond last years pedestrian 15-12 finish. He scored 18 points and grabbed five boards in Tuesday nights 58-47 win over Niles West. New Triers only loss this season has been to 2 Warren. Glenbrook South is coming off a heartbreaking 52-49 loss to Waukegan Tuesday in the final seconds. Jamie Nikitas and Victor Levi will figure to make an impact for the Titans.

FRIDAY GAMES

Addison Trail (4-2) @ 4 Proviso East (5-0), 6:00pm

The fourth-ranked Pirates are not a one-man show. Their roster, with St. Louis recruit Keith Carter, Sterling Brown (Shannon Brown's brother), Trashaun Carroll and Paris Lee, could make a deep playoff run in March. They are coming off a 79-50 win over Raby on Saturday. The Blazers are also riding high off a 51-46 victory over Evergreen Park Monday night. Vince Beltrano tallied 15 points and Gunther Sauck added 14 more. Will they have the depth to match up with East?

Rich East (2-3) @ 11 Crete-Monee (3-1), 6:30pm

C-M features a couple of familiar names...for different reasons. Former Hillcrest coach Tom Cappel is now patrolling the sidelines for the Warriors. And LaQuon Treadwell, who was a force at wide receiver for the football team, is also one of the go-to guys on the court. The Warriors feature standout guards in Michael Orris and Marvie Keith. Rich East will contend this year, thanks to guard Raheem Jackson. Coach George Leonard should also get contributions from Anthony Perkins and Ron Lawton.

Stagg (5-1) @ 17 Andrew (4-0), 7:00pm

It's the home opener for the Thunderbolts, CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week. Their road resume has looked pretty good to this point. They have already defeated the aforementioned Crete-Monee Warriors and also went into Harvey to take down Thornton. Brothers Jawad and Jubril Adekoya lead the attack. Stagg figures to be another tough challenge, though. 6-6 junior Sean Dwyer is one of the more versatile players in the area. His height speaks for itself, but he can also hit threes.

10 De La Salle (5-1) @ 12 St. Joseph (3-2), 7:30pm

The 10th-ranked Meteors bounced back in a huge way Tuesday night, defeating 13 Farragut 62-50 after Friday's heartbreaking loss to St. Rita. Alvin Ellis, Gavin Schilling and Alex Foster all scored in double figures. However, De La Salle can't ease off the gas, as a formidable Catholic North opponent awaits. Gene Pingatore's crew has some height to match up against a tall Meteor squad, namely in 6-8 junior A.J. Patty. Look for Reggie Johnson to contribute for the Chargers as well.
1 Simeon (2-0) vs. 13 Farragut (2-2), 7:30pm at North Park University

The good news for Farragut? They should be battle-tested. And angry. Rashaun Stimage scored 19 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday night against 10th-ranked De La Salle, but it was not enough, as Farragut lost by 12. A much tougher test, though, awaits as the top-ranked Wolverines are lurking. Simeon has the deepest roster in the state, with forwards Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor and guard Kendrick Nunn running the show. They are 2-0 after a 73-53 win over Notre Dame on Sunday.

6 Downers Grove South (5-1) @ 20 Morton (4-0), 7:30pm

Jerron Wilbut, Downers Grove Souths dynamic guard, did not play in the teams last game against Oak Park-River Forest. Head coach Jay Baum said he will play this Friday against a Morton team who has posted quality wins against Centennial, Fenwick, Lyons and Willowbrook. Senior center Rocco Belcaster is their go-to guy. Downers Grove South and Morton will need to keep pace with Proviso East in the West Suburban Gold conference race.
Girls: Niles West (10-0) @ Maine South (9-1), 7:30pm

The visiting Wolves are coming off a huge win check that, routof a talented New Trier team. Notre Dame-bound Jewell Lloyd is the key to Wests attack. She scored 25 points and pulled in 15 rebounds in the 45-23 victory. Maine South did one better than Niles West Tuesday nightliterally. They scored a 46-23 victory over Evanston. Michelle Maher had 11 points.

Girls: Proviso East (7-1) @ Whitney Young (4-0), 8:00pm

It should be a good battle between two teams who have potential to go deep into the state playoffs. Youngs Janee Thompson has quite a story. The Kentucky-bound point guard spent most of the 2010-11 season on the sidelines with a torn ACL. She will be relied on quite a bit this season, but Virginia Tech-bound guard Alexis Lloyd and junior guard Linnae Harper are certain to help out as well. Proviso East, coming off a 65-40 win over Willowbrook, has scorers in Jakeisha Wells, Kalea Parks and Jalairia Wells.

Every Friday night at 10:30, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from the Chicagoland basketball courts. We'll also have in-depth feature stories and take a look back down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment.

This week, be sure to check out CSN's Muscle Milk Team of the Week, the Andrew High School Thunderbolts. As mentioned above, an underrated duo is helping transform this Tinley Park school into a consistent basketball power. Could a deep playoff run be in the mix for the Bolts?

High School Lites streams live every Friday at 10:30pm on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well by leaving comments below the story.

Bulls finally getting with the times, putting together versatile roster

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USA TODAY

Bulls finally getting with the times, putting together versatile roster

Position-less basketball is the hot new buzzword in NBA circles, but it's also an important one.

Consider what the 2016-17 Bulls rolled out the same year the Golden State Warriors Death Lineup'd their way to an NBA title. Led by the Three Alphas of Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, here's how the minutes shook out, per Basketball Reference.

Rondo played 100% of his minutes at point guard despite having played 42% of his minutes at shooting guard the year earlier for the Kings (a year in which he shot 36.5% from deep). Wade played 84% of his minutes at shooting guard. The following seasons, the last two of his career, he played 31% at point guard, 54% at shooting guard and 15% at small forward.

Butler played 93% of his minutes at small forward. The next two seasons, in Minnesota and Philadelphia, his minutes were split up at 45% shooting guard, 48% small forward and 7% power forward.

Taj Gibson played 96% of his minutes at power forward and Robin Lopez played 100% of his minutes at center. Nikola Mirotic played 88% of his minutes at power forward. Over the last two seasons, he's played 74% of his minutes at power forward and 23% at center (and 3% at small forward).

Sensing a theme here?

While the NBA zigged toward position-less basketball, the Bulls...didn't do anything. They had traditional roles, had little depth that allowed them to tinker with lineups despite that being the best way to utilize Fred Hoiberg's philosophies, and they failed. Yes, they led 2-0 on the Celtics in the first round of the postseason. No, that didn't make that entire season any less of a mess.

Fast forward two years and one rebuild later, and the Bulls enter Year 3 of the post-Jimmy Buckets era with some serious versatility.

The latest signal that this franchise is ready to move forward came on Thursday when the Bulls drafted North Carolina guard Coby White. He's not a traditional point guard, and the Bulls don't want him to be. In fact, the Bulls' entire offseason feels like it could be more about finding the right players instead of the right positional needs.

"John (Paxson) and I have had great conversations about our team during the year, at the end of the season, about what we thought we needed, where we thought we needed to go, and today is a product of that, of those meetings, those discussions, and his view," Jim Boylen said Monday. "We talked about positional size a lot, we talked about speed, quickness, athleticism. Those are the things we thought we needed with the group of guys we had, to add to them. Whether it’s vertical spacing, speed, making defenses chase people over, all those kinds of things, we discussed. And as we went into the draft process we were hoping to find players to help us with that. Thankfully we have."

Of White specifically, Boylen said the Bulls won't "put him in this box where he just has to play this way," Boylen added. For the first time arguably since Nate Robinson in 2013, the Bulls have a legitimate shooting threat at point guard. What's more, the 6-foot-5 White can play off the ball and spot up for perimeter jumpers, something that makes Zach LaVine more valuable and the offense more versatile.

The Bulls are finally looking to look like a versatile group. Otto Porter's defensive ability will give the Bulls the option of playing small, something that prior to his arrival just meant Chandler Hutchison getting abused in the post. Lauri Markkanen is a work-in-progress as a center, though his limited minutes and skill set give optimism that it's something he can do in spurts going forward. LaVine was never going to take on a full-time point guard role, but he was more than comfortable with the ball in his hands acting as an offensive initiator last season. maybe Kris Dunn, LaVine and White all share the floor together.

We could even see second round pick Daniel Gafford and Wendell Carter Jr. together in massive frontline spurts if the opposition calls for it. That's more fantasy than reality, but having the option is something they didn't have in the past.

The next step is free agency. With the Bulls, in theory, having starters at all five positions - White could move to the bench if Paxson goes after a veteran free agent - the Bulls can again get versatile and hone in on particular skill sets instead of simply trying to round out the depth chart. It doesn't feel like the Bulls will make a major splash - either giving Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon a gigantic offer sheet or finding room to sign Brooklyn's D'Angelo Russell - but they'll be aggressive with their more than $22 million in cap space. They need point guard depth, more shooters on the wing and a locker room presence (Cris Felicio is a month younger than Otto Porter, the oldest player on the Bulls).

"We have a very good idea of what we want. But we’re going to have to wait until the 30th to go at it. But we know we need to add some veterans," Paxson said. "Definitely, we’re looking for a couple veteran guys that fit well with this young group – be pros, show these guys every day what it means to be a professional. Most guys that last a long time in this league, they last because they’ve been pros. They take care of themselves, they’ve played well, they’ve done all the right things. And that’s always best example for young players.”

The roster is far from a finished product. Injuries aside, the Bulls still won just 22 games a year ago, don't have max cap space, and White isn't Zion Williamson.

There's work to do. But for the first time during the rebuild, the Bulls are going to have options. The roster is beginning to look like what an group of NBA players in 2019 should look like. The Bulls are getting versatile, and it's an important step forward.

Calvin de Haan on unexpected trade to Blackhawks and what he brings to the table

Calvin de Haan on unexpected trade to Blackhawks and what he brings to the table

Calvin de Haan knew that the Carolina Hurricanes had a logjam on defense going into this summer and that somebody was going to be dealt to create a spot. The move was also driven by financial reasons as the Hurricanes look to re-sign a handful of players, most notably Sebastian Aho.

He just wasn't expecting it to be his name on the move.

"I'm still kind of in shock, to be honest," de Haan said on Tuesday's conference call. "I didn’t think it was going to be me. After Carolina signed me last summer my fiancée and I thought we were going to have some roots there, but I get it, it’s a business. Looking back on it now, it’s only been 16 hours or whatever, but it’s been a whirlwind. I’m really looking forward to it now. Obviously Stan [Bowman] and the Blackhawks made a deal for me and I feel like I’m wanted and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity with this organization."

De Haan, who signed a four-year, $18.2 million contract with Carolina last offseason, admitted that the Blackhawks didn't show any interest in him when he was an unrestricted free agent. But he's excited about being in an organization that values his services, and the feeling is mutual because he's filling an immediate need on the back end for the Blackhawks: a player who can log big minutes, is a sound stay-at-home defenseman and can play an effective role on the penalty kill.

Jeremy Colliton, who was the captain for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers during de Haan's rookie season in the pros from 2011-12, will certainly appreciate what his former teammate brings to the table.

"I just like to think my position’s good," de Haan said of his game. "I like to think I move well on the ice. I’ve always tried to play a simple game. I saw some tweets yesterday that I might be the next best thing to Nik Hjalmarsson that the Blackhawks have had in a while, so that’s a compliment. That guy’s had a great career and that’s a player I like to play like. Nothing flashy, just kind of get the job done and I hope Blackhawk fans will really appreciate my game. It’s something I’m really looking forward to this season."  

De Haan underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in May — exactly five weeks from Tuesday — and was given a four-to-six month timeline, putting his availability for training camp and the season opener in jeopardy. But he's hoping to be cleared by the time training camp rolls around in September and be ready to go for the season opener on Oct. 4 in Prague.

"Things are progressing well," de Haan said. "I like to think I’m ahead of schedule. I’ve had shoulder surgeries in the past as well where I know how this goes and I’m gonna make sure I’m ready for camp. Then it’s going to be up to the training staff and the doctors whether they want me to play or take a few weeks here and there and just progress slowly. But my main goal is to be ready for camp. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines. I want to be on the ice with the guys and out there grinding away and try to get the team back in the playoffs."

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