Preps Talk

2016 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

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2016 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

With the conclusion of the 2015-16 IHSA boys basketball season, it's time to hand out the third annual @CSNPreps All-Area Team.

This year's 15-man, three-team group is led by Player of the Year Charlie Moore, as the Morgan Park senior point guard was the easy choice after his outstanding season. Moore is joined on the first team by four other seniors, including three players who recently went to Peoria for the Class 3A and Class 4A state tournament.

The other two teams of players in the All-Area team were much tougher to decide, as the list of viable candidates was longer than ever this season. Selections for the @CSNPreps All-Area team are based both on regular season and postseason accomplishments, since many players are remembered by what they did in the playoffs.

THIRD TEAM

Antonio Williams, Proviso East senior guard: After missing the first part of the season while dealing with eligibility issues, the 6-foot-0 Williams burst into the season with a strong performance at Proviso West. Williams ended up as an All-Conference selection in the West Suburban as he put up 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals per game. 
 
Sam Taylor III, Thornton senior guard: The most surprising inclusion on this year's All-Area team, the 5-foot-11 Taylor was a first-year starter with minimal fanfare entering the season. Taylor emerged into a force for one of the area's best teams, averaging 19 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. 
 
Nojel Eastern, Evanston junior guard: One of the area's best juniors, Eastern returned from an offseason ankle injury to average 14.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, four assists and two steals per game. The 6-foot-5 Eastern can play both guard spots and has multiple Division I high-major scholarship offers. 
 
[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Basketball Final Power Rankings]
 
Micah Bradford, Bradley-Bourbonnais senior guard: A Valparaiso commit, the 6-foot-0 guard averaged 19.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3 steals per game. Bradley-Bourbonnais' all-time leading scorer, Bradford was a two-time SouthWest Suburban All-Conference selection.
 
Justin Smith, Stevenson junior forward: Taking over for Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw as the go-to guy at Stevenson wasn't easy, but the high-flying 6-foot-6 junior made a smooth transition into the spotlight. Smith came on strong at the end of the season as he averaged 17 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 52.2 percent shooting.
 

SECOND TEAM
 
Barret Benson, Hinsdale South senior center: A 6-foot-10 center heading to Northwestern, Benson has been one of the area's best post players the last three seasons. Benson averaged 20.1 points, 11 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Hinsdale South's career leader in scoring, rebounding and blocks, Benson was an All-Tournament selection at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.
 
Lorenzo Edwards, Lake Forest senior forward: After playing in the shadow of former CSN All-Area selection Evan Boudreaux, the 6-foot-7 Edwards had a monster senior season. The unsigned forward put up 19.1 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game while shooting 56 percent from the field. In Lake Forest's 26 games this season, Edwards had double-doubles in 20 of them.
 
Justin Pierce, Glenbard West senior forward: Pierce was one of the area's breakout stars as a senior as he averaged 24.7 points, 11 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game on 50 percent shooting. The 6-foot-6 William & Mary commit helped Glenbard West win their first conference title in 43 years as he became Glenbard West's all-time leading scorer. 
 
James Jones, Bogan senior guard: One of the area's most electric players, the 6-foot-3 Jones is headed to Buffalo next season. As a senior, Jones averaged 19.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as he's been one of the city's best players the last two seasons. Jones helped Bogan capture the Public League Playoffs as a junior when he teamed with former CSN All-Area selection Luwane Pipkins. 
 
Nick Robinson, Kenwood senior forward: Over the past few years the 6-foot-6 Robinson has helped put Kenwood on the city basketball map as he averaged 17 points, 9.3 rebounds and three assists as a senior. One of the area's best unsigned seniors, Robinson was previously committed to Indiana State and will be a big target for colleges this spring. 
 
FIRST TEAM
 
Player of the Year: Charlie Moore, Morgan Park senior guard: The Memphis commit averaged 28 points, seven assists and five steals per game for one of the area's best teams. A four-year varsity player, the 5-foot-11 Moore reached Peoria three times and won two state titles during his career. Moore earned the MVP of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament this season and was the area's toughest player to stop. Two-time CSN All-Area selection after making the second team last season.
 
Mike Smith, Fenwick senior guard: A recent commit for Columbia, the 5-foot-9 Smith was sensational in his senior season for the Friars, averaging 19 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals per game while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range. The Chicago Catholic League Player of the Year, Smith was an All-Tournament selection at Proviso West. Smith was at his best against the area's best as he had 38 in a win over Simeon as his signature performance.
 
Devin Gage, Curie senior guard: A strong postseason and Class 4A state title catapulted the DePaul commit onto the first team as the 6-foot-2 Gage averaged 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals per game for the Condors. Also the A.C. Williamson Award winner at Pontiac, Gage was one the area's most clutch players this season, making multiple game-winning shots. 
 
Zach Norvell, Simeon senior guard: Headed to Gonzaga next season, the 6-foot-5 Norvell was one of the toughest covers in the area as he put up 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game. Norvell helped Simeon make it down to Peoria this March and he was an All-Tournament selection at Pontiac in December. Also won the Public League Playoffs as a senior and a Class 4A state title as a freshman.
 
Nick Rakocevic, St. Joseph senior center: The only senior on St. Joseph this season, Rakocevic and the Chargers returned to Peoria this season after last season's Class 3A state title. Uncommitted for next season, the 6-foot-11 Rakocevic averaged 19.8 points, 15.1 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game this season. Rakocevic is now a two-time CSN All-Area selection after making the third team last season.

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Waubonsie Valley

Head coach: Paul Murphy

Assistant coaches: Ron Griffin, Tom Baumgarnter, Chris Genslinger, Brad Caldwell, Josh Cuttone, Noel Soto, Ryan Voitik, Duane Butts and Ken Anderson

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Waubonsie Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Oak Park-River Forest

Aug. 31 vs Libertyville

Sept 7 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept. 14 @ Edwardsville

Sept. 21 vs Naperville North

Sept. 28 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 5 vs Prairie Ridge

Oct. 12 @ Naperville Central

Oct. 19 @ Metea Valley

[MORE: 96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs]

Biggest storyline: It's all about the schedule. Can the Warriors survive a challenging lineup --which includes playing Neuqua Valley twice-- and make the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR Julian Cain and DL Avante Rogers

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will have several new faces on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2018. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's not often that veteran head coach Paul Murphy and his Warriors view the playoffs from home. But that's what happened last year. They were the first Waubonsie team since 2006 to do just that. Look for the Warriors to rely on a strong group of receivers to bounce back this fall. They also feature a good group of underclassmen ready to step up. Also, they will need to get used to life in the newly-realigned DuPage Valley Conference. The 2018 schedule includes two games against big district rival Neuqua Valley and a loaded non-conference slate which includes some heavy hitters. 

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time.