White Sox

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Discussing 2020 White Sox expectations

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Discussing 2020 White Sox expectations

SportsTalk Live is on location at McCormick Place to preview SoxFest 2020. Chuck Garfien and David Haugh join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00 - White Sox manager Rick Renteria joins the guys to talk about the team's big offseason and the expectations for the 2020 season. He also talks about how the team with handle Michael Kopech (4:00) and what Dallas Keuchel brings to the rotation. (6:00) Plus, he explains how guys who turned the corner in 2019 like Lucas Giolito and Yoan Moncada can stay hot in 2020. (15:00)

17:00 - Steve Stone joins the guys to explain how the White Sox rebuild is going according to plan despite not landing one of the top free agents this winter. Plus, he updates his Twitter follower battle with Jason Benetti (23:00) and talks about how he would handle Michael Kopech's return. (25:30)

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox reward for winning the offseason: They get to talk playoffs ... or bust

White Sox reward for winning the offseason: They get to talk playoffs ... or bust

The White Sox know there is no trophy for winning the offseason.

Make no mistake, they did win the offseason, Rick Hahn’s front office adding enough veteran cache to vault the 89-loss South Siders from just another rebuilding team with a bright future to a team whose future is pulling into the station.

But there was no self-congratulating at Hahn’s pre-SoxFest press conference Thursday.

“Quite candidly, we haven't accomplished anything yet, we haven't won yet,” he said. “This whole process was about winning championships, was about finishing with a parade at the end of October down Michigan Avenue. Until that happens, I don't think any of us are really in a position to feel satisfied or feel like we've accomplished anything.

“We've had a nice winter. We've had, frankly, in our opinion, a real nice three years since we started (the rebuild) with the Chris Sale trade. We think very bright days are ahead of us, and we look forward to enjoying them. But in terms of feeling like we've accomplished something or feeling satisfied, ask me after the parade.”

Give me a second while I email that last bit over to our marketing department. They might be able to conjure up a few things with “ask me after the parade.”

But in all seriousness, Hahn is right. There is no trophy for winning the offseason. The act of signing free agents does not balance out all the losing over the last three seasons. Only winning can do that.

There has been, however, a reward for winning the offseason. Rick Renteria — and presumably all his players this weekend during SoxFest — get to talk about playoff expectations. Real ones.

“I would be disappointed if we don’t make the postseason,” Renteria said during his own session Thursday. “We want to break through. We want this to be an impactful season.”

As recently as a year ago, no matter how bright the future appeared to be, that comment would have raised eyebrows. It would not have been taken seriously. Now? It is the expectation.

Renteria has not been shy about the rebuilding White Sox turning the corner in 2020. He spent the last few weeks of the 2019 campaign making similar postseason proclamations. But now Hahn has backed his manager up with all this winter’s acquisitions.

The White Sox place in the standings by the end of September still figures to have a lot more to do with Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson and Luis Robert than any of the individual newcomers, even players as talented and accomplished as Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel. The core is that important. But the outsiders brought in this offseason have embodied the turning tide — and given Renteria the chance to talk seriously about these kinds of big expectations for the first time in his tenure as the South Side skipper.

“I think, man for man,” he said, “now we at least have a little bit more ammunition to be able to go out and compete hopefully on a consistent basis and put those victories on the board.

“I’m not afraid of talking about high expectations and winning. … If we do our job and we go about preparing and hopefully the actions and performances come to fruition, we should be on top of the victory column in terms of wins and losses. And there’s nothing beyond my thought that doesn’t say that I expect us to compete and be in conversation for postseason play.”

Hahn isn’t quite as willing to declare the 2020 season “playoffs or bust” because he’s still got his eye on the long term, the same place it’s been throughout this rebuilding process. That next parade down Michigan Avenue is supposed to be merely the first.

And so while the White Sox can reap the rewards of Hahn’s offseason work in the form of preseason talk, he’ll bask in nothing more than setting up his team for that long-term postseason success.

“I think the expectations are understandably high, at least when you talk to Ricky or the coaches or any of the players or anyone in uniform. Their expectation is that this team is in a position to win in the 2020 season, which is exactly where all of us in the front office would want them to be,” he said. “That said, whether you're talking Jerry (Reinsdorf) or Kenny (Williams) or myself, the entire purpose of this rebuild was to put ourselves in a multi-year position to win multiple championships.

“So the progress that we make in any given offseason has to be viewed not just about what's going to happen in that upcoming season, but what position that puts us in toward accomplishing that long-term goal. We want to make sure that we are well positioned, once that window opens, to win as many championships as possible.

“When that window opens, we're going to find out together. I certainly think the players in uniform think it's going to happen come Opening Day of this year. Whether we're blessed with good health and continued progress from our young players, we're going to find out together.

“But we look at it, in the front office, from a multi-year perspective. The guys in uniform are going to do everything in their power to make it about now, which you've got to appreciate.”

That’s going to be the theme of this weekend, as White Sox fans descend on SoxFest with more excitement than they have in years. This is a White Sox team expected to reach October, and that hasn’t exactly been common, as evidenced by the franchise’s more than decade-long postseason drought.

Hahn can talk about putting the team in good position for 2021 and 2022 and 2023 and beyond all he wants. The fans are finally — and with good reason — thinking playoffs or bust for the upcoming season.

And the manager agrees.

“I see our club, and I want to go into this season thinking I don't want to miss an opportunity,” Renteria said. “That's my goal right now, not to miss this opportunity. Expectations bread opportunities. I'm not afraid of expectations because it breads opportunity. I want to attain and complete those tasks that I think our club is going to have a chance to be able to do.

“I'm not afraid to say it.”

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