Preps Talk

CSN Preps Basketball Player of the Year Power Rankings

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CSN Preps Basketball Player of the Year Power Rankings

Nearly two months into the season it's time to examine some of the names who are in the race for the @CSNPreps Basketball Player of the Year. To this point, there are six names who are firmly in the discussion for the award and there could be names that enter or leave the picture in the next few months.

We'll examine this race over the next few months, but here are the six seniors who have played themselves into the Player of the Year conversation. 

6. Devin Gage (PG), Curie - The MVP of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, Gage has hit game-winning jumpers in multiple games this season. He had a winner in a national showcase against Thon Maker and Athlete's Institute and also beat Simeon at Pontiac with another game-winner. The DePaul commit has been tremendous when healthy.

5. Barret Benson (C), Hinsdale South - The Northwestern commit was the leading scorer and rebounder over five games at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York as he averaged 22.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Benson has faced double (and even triple) teams this season and still been a double-double player nearly every game.

4. Justin Pierce (W), Glenbard West - The surprise name on this list, Pierce is putting up over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for a Glenbard West team that is 14-0. The William & Mary commit is a threat to score from all over the floor and has a good-looking perimeter jumper.

[MORE PREPS: High School Lites preview - Week 7]

3. Zach Norvell (G), Simeon - Simeon hasn't been able to get over the hump against Morgan Park, but the Wolverines still have city and state title aspirations and it starts with the play of the Gonzaga commit. A tremendous two-way guard, Norvell has been great in big games all season.

2. Nick Rakocevic (C), St. Joseph - After a slow summer, Rakocevic has vaulted himself back into the Player of the Year discussion. As the only senior on an overachieving Chargers team, Rakocevic deserves credit for being a leader and putting up big numbers. Averaged 18.5 points, 15.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Rakocevic is also the best uncommitted senior left in Illinois.

1. Charlie Moore (PG), Morgan Park - The preseason favorite to win Player of the Year, Moore has matched all expectations so far this season. He was the MVP as Morgan Park won the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and the Mustangs are clearly the best team in the area to this point. The Memphis commit is slick with the ball, finds teammates and hits deep three-pointers. 

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

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: Lincoln Park

Head coach: Vince DeFrancesco

Assistant coaches: Steve Karoff, Grant Magnuson, Tyler Clark, Brandon Randolph, Alex Green and Tom Dellota

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (7-0 Chicago Public League Chicago Big Shoulders Conference). Lincoln Park made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Lions lost to Alton in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ IWT Speer

Sept. 1 vs. Kenwood

Sept. 7 vs. Hubbard

Sept. 14 @ Phillips

Sept. 21 vs. Lane Tech

Sept. 28 vs. Taft

Oct. 5 vs. Westinghouse

Oct. 12 vs. Raby

Oct. 19 vs. Morgan Park

Biggest storyline: The Lions' new conference. Can Lincoln Park keep its winning ways when they start playing in the CPL/Illini Land of Lincoln this fall?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Dane Romberger and DB Jalen Jenkins

Biggest holes to fill: The Lions will need to reload on the offensive side of the football this summer with just three starters back this fall.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Vince DeFrancesco's Lions have been on a nice roll, getting to the IHSA state playoffs in each of his past three seasons (four straight for the school overall). However, the price for the Lions' success is extremely high. The CPL Illini Land of Lincoln is loaded. The schedule includes the likes of Kenwood, Hubbard, Phillips, Raby and Morgan Park...just to name a few. If the Lions can develop their less experienced offense this summer, all the better for them.

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

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: Shepard

Head coach: John Rone

Assistant coaches: Andrew Porter, Ron Rivera, Chris Lewis, Ryan McGuire and Clint Connelly

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (5-1 South Suburban Red Conference). Shepard made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Astros lost to Marmion Academy in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Leyden

Sept. 1 @ Stagg

Sept 7 vs Hillcrest

Sept. 14 vs Eisenhower

Sept. 21 @ Richards

Sept. 28 @ Oak Lawn

Oct. 5 vs Reavis

Oct. 12 vs Evergreen Park

Oct. 19 @ Argo

Biggest storyline: First-year head coach John Rone. Can the Astros challenge once again for the South Suburban Red conference title under a new head coach?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Chris Harrison and TE/DE Kevin Graham

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros bring back 10 returning starters (five offense, five defense). Overall depth could also be a concern.  

EDGY's Early Take: Shepard will be led by former Eisenhower assistant Rone, who was able to retain an experienced staff at Shepard. It will help ease the transition from former head coach Dominic Passolano this summer. If the Astros can get off to a good early start they have the overall talent to again make a state playoff appearance in 2018. Can they challenge conference power Richards in the South Suburban Red race?