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High School Lites Preview

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High School Lites Preview

March Madness is officially here! High School Lites on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com are the only places where you will get highlights from regional, sectional and state semifinal highlights on Friday night. Which boys teams will take home regional or sectional plaques? And which girls teams will move on for a chance to take home a state championship? Here is a snapshot of each game that we will cover on this Fridays edition of High School Lites. All rankings reflect the CSN Top 20, sponsored by The Marines:

BOYS
Providence-St. Mel (22-7) vs. Tilden (16-13), 2A Lisle Sectional Championship, 7:30pm

The Lisle sectional will get two number-one seeds squaring off for the right to advance to Tuesdays super-sectional at Joliet Central (vs. either Seton or Leo). Providence-St.Mel advanced by defeating Latin, 61-45. Khalil Small was impressive, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 boards. Tilden is two wins away from advancing downstate for the first time since 1950, when Johnny Red Kerr guided the team to a city championship and the state quarterfinals.
No. 16 Marshall (21-7) vs. Westinghouse (11-9), 3A Marshall Regional Championship, 6:00pm

It was destined to be a Red-West matchup no matter what, but Westinghouse wasnt the expected team to face Marshall. Instead, the Warriors upset North Lawndale 51-48 in Wednesdays semifinal. Marshalls backcourt is one of the best in the city, with Milton Doyle and Korbin McClain running the show. Westinghouse senior Ricky Battles missed a few weeks earlier in the season with an injury, but the standout guard has come back to lead the team down the stretch.

St. Joseph (19-8) vs. Farragut (13-8), 3A Nazareth Regional Championship, 7:30pm

Two programs steeped in tradition will go head-to-head in LaGrange Park. Legendary head coach Gene Pingatore's Chargers advanced by beating Glenbard South Tuesday night. Senior Reggie Johnson scored 30 for the victors. They will now face a Farragut team anchored by one of the top big-men in the area, 6-7 senior power forward Rashaun Stimage. The Admirals defeated the host school 74-47 Tuesday behind 21 points from Stimage.

Glenbrook North (20-6) vs. Niles North (19-8), 4A Niles North Regional Championship, 7:30pm

It will be the rubber game between two talented Central Suburban North squads. The 20-6 Spartans blew past the Vikings on December 6th in Northbrook, 67-39, while North stormed back on January 20th, winning 56-54 in Skokie. How much will home-court advantage play a role in this one? North has a talented and quickguard in Malachi Nix. North will counter with a pair of juniors, guard Kurt Karis and forward Andrew McAuliffe.

Metea Valley (23-4) vs. Benet (21-6), 4A Metea Valley Regional Championship, 7:30pm

Can Benet recapture some of the magic of the last two seasons? They have quietly won 21 games and feature one of the top up-and-coming players in Chicagoland, 6-8 Sean OMara. Pat McInerney is one of the leading seniors. Metea Valley stormed out of the gates this season and hung on in the regional semis, defeating Geneva by three. Kenny Obendorf and Ryan Soloman have played very well for the Mustangs this year.

No. 1 Simeon (27-1) vs. Vocational (18-8), 4A Oak Lawn Regional Championship, 7:30pm

It wasn't the prettiest game by Simeon standards, but the Wolverines won their playoff opener Tuesday night by defeating Oak Lawn 64-25 in the regional semis. Steve Taylor (16 points, 10 rebounds) made up for a little bit of rusty play by the rest of the starters. They now face a Vocational team who is coming off a 57-53 win over Hyde Park. The Wolverines defeated Vocational 63-42 back on January 20th.
St. Rita (16-10) vs. Whitney Young (15-9), 4A Whitney Young Regional Championship, 7:30pm

Although Young is still without the services of junior forward Tommy Hamilton (torn patella tendon), they received good news when Paul White returned to action Tuesday after sitting out a month with a toe injury. These two teams have one unique bond: they have played grueling schedules against out-of-state foes. St. Rita, who is paced by Western Michigan-bound A.J. Avery and Penn recruit Tony Hicks, is coming off a 56-47 win over Stagg.

No. 3 Curie (25-2) vs. Marist (24-5), 4A Marist Regional Championship, 7:30pm

It'll be interesting to see how far home-court advantage will take the Marist Redhawks. Junior guard L.J. McIntosh scored 30 points for Marist en route to a 77-61 victory over Brother Rice in Tuesday's semifinal. Could an upset be in the cards? Not if Devin Foster, Cliff Alexander and the rest of the Condors have their way. Curie rolled to a 76-42 victory over Reavis on Tuesday. Alexander, a 6-9 sophomore power forward, scored 16.

No. 6 Bogan (25-3) vs. No. 18 De La Salle (17-6), 4A Mount Carmel Regional Championship, 7:30pm

This will be the only game pitting two ranked teams against one another. Ironically, both teams are fortunate to be playing for a regional title. Bogan survived a major upset scare Tuesday, nipping Mount Carmel 65-64. Devonte Smith scored 26 points against the Caravan and will pose a threat to De La Salle. The Meteors advanced by beating Kenwood; however, they will once again be without 6-8 forward Gavin Schilling on Friday (ankle injury).

GIRLS

Springfield (29-4) vs. Vernon Hills (26-5), 3A State Semifinal, 12:00pm
Vernon Hills will be making their first trip to the state tournament. Sophomore Lauren Webb has been a catalyst. She tallied a double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) in her team's victory over Belvidere North in the super-sectional. As for the Senators, they're going to state for the fourth consecutive season. They defeated Saled 77-50 to advance. Zahna Medley scored 33 points in the victory.

Montini (31-5) vs. Hillcrest (27-3), 3A State Semifinal, 2:00pm

Going downstate has become a common theme for both the Montini and Hillcrest girls basketball programs. Two-time defending 3A champ Montini features 6-4 junior Malayna Johnson, a Wisconsin recruit. The Broncos have a deep team, but they will get a big challenge from a Hillcrest team who defeated Morton (IL) in the super-sectional behind 12 points from Shannise Heady. Montini has defeated Hillcrest in the last two state championship games.

Bartlett (31-1) vs. Whitney Young (32-0), 4A State Semifinal, 6:30pm

Will Whitney Young have anything left in the tank? The Dolphins survived an epic four-overtime battle with three-time defending state champion Bolingbrook on Monday. The key for Bartlett has to be containing Kentucky recruit Janee Thompson, who scored 34 points in the win over the Raiders. Bartlett, who has a star of their own in Haley Videckis, advanced to state by defeating DeKalb 48-30.

Edwardsville (33-1) vs. Loyola (26-7), 4A State Semifinal, 8:15pm

Loyola doesn't necessarily have height (their tallest starter is 5-10), but they're one of the toughest defending teams in the state. Loyola limited their first four playoff opponents to an average of 27 points before this week's 43-41 win over Wheeling in the super-sectional. Senior Lauren Kriz guided her team to an upset of top-seeded Maine South in the sectional semis. Edwardsville, led by Emmonnie Henderson, advanced by beating Marist.

Every Friday night, High School Lites will bring you scores and highlights from around Chicagoland. This weeks episode will air at 10:30pm, just after our Bulls and Blackhawks coverage. Just as teams go dancing in March, we are doing the same with our Muscle Milk Team of the Week. Well introduce you to Maine Souths Hawkettes, a nationally-ranked dance team that is Luvabull. Plus, well take a drive down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment, and well have in-depth coverage of the Simeon Wolverines, who will be featured in our Drive segment, sponsored by Greater Than.

High School Lites streams live every Friday on CSNChicago.com.

We invite you to share your story ideas as well. Check us out at: csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

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AP

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

A former Bulls point guard will soon be back on a basketball court near Chicago.

Illinois State head coach Dan Muller announced the hiring of Chris Duhon earlier today. Duhon has been added to the coaching staff for the 2018-19 season.

Duhon, a former McDonald’s All-American, NCAA national champion and a nine-year NBA veteran, comes back into the coaching role after three years as an assistant coach at Marshall University. The Thundering Herd made a NCAA tournament appearance in March for the first time in 33 years.

"Chris brings a high level of on-the-court experience and success to our program," Muller said in a press release. "His playing career speaks for itself. He is a leader, a teammate, a worker, and a winner. As a coach, Chris helped a tremendous amount with the turnaround at Marshall under Coach D'Antoni, and is eager to continue to grow here with us."

Duhon was drafted in the second round in the NBA draft by the Bulls in 2004. Duhon averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 assists before leaving the Bulls in free agency, joining the New York Knicks on a two-year $12 million dollar contract.

He also played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before entering Duke University, Duhon was named Mr. Basketball of Louisiana. And the year to follow, Duhon was no stranger to success at Duke.

Duhon finished as Duke's all-time leader in steals (300), minutes (4,813), and second in assists (819). Duhon was the only player in ACC history to record 1,200 points, 800 assists, 475 rebounds, 300 steals, and 125 3-point field goals.

He was also part of the 2001 National Championship team his sophomore season.

"I'm very thankful to Coach Dan Muller and the University for giving me the opportunity to be an assistant basketball coach," Duhon said. "I'm excited to be working for a University as prestigious as Illinois State, and I'm looking forward to coaching and working with a great group of student-athletes."

Duhon joins an Illinois State team that is returning multiple top scoring threats, and 88 percent of the team’s scoring from a year ago.