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. 

Hersey ATH Jordan Hansen pledges to NIU

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Hersey ATH Jordan Hansen pledges to NIU

Hersey senior QB/S Jordan Hansen (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) has decided to give NIU his verbal commitment. 

"I'm really excited about it (commitment to NIU)," Hansen said. "NIU started really recruiting me harder around the beginning of the season. The NIU coaches saw me earlier in the summer at one of the North Central College one day camps and we've been in regular contact ever since then."

Hansen, who was drawing fall recruiting attention from Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota State, Eastern Illinois, and Illinois State felt that NIU was the best overall fit for him.

"NIU has a lot to offer. They recruited me as a safety and I'm more of an athlete recruit for them. I really like all of the coaches at NIU. They are just great guys and they have a plan in place to keep the football program on top. NIU also has nice facilities and really everything at NIU is impressive. NIU is also close to home which is a plus. Distance from home was not a huge factor for me but it definitely works out great for my family."

Hansen is also happy and relieved to have made his college choice.

"It's a big relief for sure. I can just stay focused on my team and on my season without having to worry about recruiting."

Jordan Hansen is the 17th known verbal commitment to the NIU Huskies Class of 2020 and the 3rd known in-state pledge. Hansen joins Oswego OL Jack Hugunin and West Aurora DE Matt Johnson in the NIU 2020 in-state class.

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school sports followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Thursday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on Friday night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

This week, for the first time ever, our Wintrust “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week” will be a boys soccer match—and we have some pretty nice local rivalries on deck. Which game is the most worthy of coverage?

Plainfield Central at Plainfield North, 4:30 p.m.

Fenwick at Oak Park-River Forest, 5:30 p.m.

Mundelein at Carmel, 6:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Thursday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 3 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.