Preps Talk

CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 4

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CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings: Week 4

The top six remain the same in this week's @CSNPreps Power Rankings as we begin two weeks of holiday tournament action.

The holiday tournaments of the next few weeks will give us a great glimpse at which teams are for real and which ones need to improve before the real tournament begins in March.

As a reminder, High School Lites will air on Saturday the next two weeks as we'll have plenty of holiday tournament highlights and some more player features.

1. Morgan Park (6-1, 3-0) (1) - The Mustangs had another impressive road win at No. 9 Bogan and now own conference road wins over their two biggest rivals. Proviso West will be a great test.

2. Simeon (4-1, 2-1) (2) - Nice week for the Wolverines as they knocked off No. 25 Vocational and also earned a nice national win over Washington powerhouse Rainier Beach.

3. Fenwick (7-0, 2-0) (3) - Fenwick had another slow start on the road against No. 23 De La Salle but ultimately pulled out the victory. Senior guard Mike Smith stepped up nicely in the win.

4. Curie (5-1, 4-0) (4) - Curie had to forfeit its win over Orangeville Prep in Kentucky, but they're still unbeaten in the area. Pontiac will be huge for them with talented teams like Simeon, Benet and Peoria Manual in the field.

5. St. Joseph (8-0, 3-0) (5) - The Chargers are still unbeaten and will definitely get tested at Proviso West. Hopefully senior center Nick Rakocevic (ankle) will be fully healthy by the time the tournament starts.

6. Kenwood (5-1, 4-0) (6) - Kenwood picked up two double-digit wins in the Red-Central this week as they await the chance to play Curie in January.

7. Riverside-Brookfield (8-1, 4-0) (8) - Two easy Metro Suburban West wins for the Bulldogs as they'll be the favorite to win the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.

8. Evanston (8-1, 3-0) (9) - Evanston earned some quality wins over New Trier and Miami Senior High School down in Kentucky. The Wildkits are playing the King of the Bluegrass tournament this week.

9. Bogan (7-2, 3-1) (7) - Bogan lost at home to No. 1 Morgan Park but earned an overtime win over Christian Brothers, a good program from Missouri. Proviso West will be a great test for the Bengals.

10. Glenbard West (8-0, 1-0) (13) - Another win for unbeaten Glenbard West, as they don't have many tough tests at their own holiday tournament.

11. Marian Catholic (7-3, 2-0) (15) - Huge ESCC home win for Marian Catholic as they knocked off No. 12 Benet in overtime. The Spartans will be one of the favorites at the Big Dipper.

12. Benet (8-1, 1-1) (11) - Benet dropped its first game of the season in a loss to No. 11 Marian Catholic but bounced back with a convincing win over Conant. Pontiac will be huge for Benet since they'll likely get a crack at one of the state's elite teams.

13. Mount Carmel (9-1, 3-0) (NR) - The Caravan enter the CSN Preps Power Rankings (probably a week too late) as they earned another three wins this week. Now alone atop the Catholic Blue, Mount Carmel looks like one of the city's best teams.

14. Notre Dame (7-2, 1-1) (12) - Tough loss for the Dons at the buzzer to rival St. Patrick. Now they'll try to win the Wheeling Hardwood Classic this week, in which they are the favorite.

15. Joliet West (7-1, 2-1) (17) - Joliet West picked up a SouthWest Suburban Blue win and will now get a potential second-round game with No. 12 Benet at Pontiac.

16. Oswego (7-1, 3-0) (18) - Oswego outlasted rival Oswego East as they played well without point guard Malique Ross. The Panthers will participate in the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York.

17. Stagg (6-1, 2-0) (19) - Stagg had the week off as they prepare for the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic.

18. West Chicago (8-1, 2-0) (23) - West Chicago junior guard Tai Bibbs is having a great season and the Wildcats will be a team to watch at the DeKalb Holiday Tournament.

19. Naperville Central (7-2, 4-0) (NR) - With only two losses on the season to No. 16 Oswego and No. 10 Glenbard West, the Redhawks are looking like a strong contender in the DuPage Valley Conference.

20. Thornton (5-1, 3-0) (NR) - New head coach Tai Streets has done a nice job early at his alma mater as the Wildcats will be one of the favorites at the Big Dipper.

21. Downers South (6-3, 3-0) (21) - It was an up-and-down week for talented Downers South as they came back to beat No. 22 Hinsdale South before falling to Downers North the next night.

22. Hinsdale South (6-2, 2-1) (14) - Hinsdale South fell to Downers South but senior center Barret Benson is looking like a very strong Player of the Year candidate with his early play.

23. De La Salle (6-3, 1-1) (16) - Rough week for the Meteors as they lost at home to No. 3 Fenwick before falling to Thornwood at the Crete-Monee Shootout.

24. Hillcrest (7-2, 4-0) (NR) - Hillcrest joins the CSN Preps Power Rankings after a very strong start. They open the Proviso West Holiday Tournament with a tough test in Larkin.

25. Vocational (7-2, 1-2) (24) - Vocational fell to No. 2 Simeon but the Cavaliers still look like one of the premier teams in the Public League. They play next at the Kankakee Holiday Tournament.

Motivated Markese Jacobs seeks national acclaim before senior year at Uplift

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USA TODAY

Motivated Markese Jacobs seeks national acclaim before senior year at Uplift

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC. -- Markese Jacobs doesn't have to impress college coaches during the July live evaluation period since he's already committed to Kansas. But the Uplift rising senior point guard is still motivated to make a strong impression during his final summer on the grassroots circuit.

Playing with a healthy and rejuvenated Mac Irvin Fire roster that includes Morgan Park's Adam Miller and former city players like Terrance Shannon (Lincoln Park) and Kahlil Whitney (Solorio), Jacobs is running an offense with a lot of talent around him the next few weeks. His ultimate goal is to make waves with national talent evaluators to improve his stock and overall ranking.

"We're extra motivated because we didn't get to play with each other fully healthy. We were missing guys some sessions. Some players weren't playing. Now our thing is, now that we're healthy, let's finish strong and accomplish what we want to accomplish," Jacobs said.

"My goal is to at least get top 50. They've got me in the 90s and 100s and I feel disrespected. My whole thing is coming out strong and breaking the top 50."

Since Jacobs doesn't have to worry about collecting scholarship offers since he's been pledged to the Jayhawks for over a year, he is focused instead of making sure that his point guard ability continues to grow. Jacobs also wants to continue to improve his perimeter shooting since defenses will collapse on him regularly next season.

"I have to show that I'm not only an athlete. I can play defense, score the ball and get the ball to my teammates," Jacobs said.

"Over these next couple months, my whole thing is getting off the dribble and hitting open shots. Going into my high school season, pretty much everybody in Chicago is going to be gunning for me. I'm going to get double teamed and stuff like that. So the opportunities that I get, I have to make the best of them."

Jacobs is encouraged by how things are going at Uplift entering next season -- especially now that he is a team leader. In the past, Markese could rely on leadership from his older brother Demarius, or Toraze Dobbs. Now, those guys have graduated and it's his time to shine as a team leader for the Titans.

"It's actually very different. I have to be the one talking now. I can't take a couple plays off like I normally can. So now, it's just, I have to come with it every game," Jacobs said.

Uplift will continue to develop its Class 2A rivalry with conference opponent Orr as both teams always feel like they're on a collision course during the postseason. This season, Jacobs has made it clear that a state title is his goal as he feels as though Class 2A is underrated in Illinois. 

"I'm trying to win state. That's my only goal. City is going to be what city is going to be. But my whole thing is winning state,' Jacobs said.

"Two A is actually pretty tough because it's the same two teams every time: us and Orr. For us, it's about finishing once we get to that game. We do pretty good up until that game, and then we fold. So my thing is just finishing and playing all the way through." 


 

38 Days to Kickoff - Glenbrook North

38 Days to Kickoff - Glenbrook North

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: Glenbrook North

Head coach: Bob Pieper

Assistant coaches: Matt Purdy, Dom Savino, Justin Weiner, Justin Georgacakis, Matt Miller, Brad Hokin, Ernie Brandt and Mike Nabolotny

How they fared in 2017: 5-4 (2-3 Central Suburban North Conference). Glenbrook North failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Wheeling

Sept. 1 vs Grant

Sept. 7 vs Hoffman Estates

Sept. 14 @ Elk Grove

Sept. 21 @ Maine West

Sept. 28 vs Highland Park

Oct. 5 @ Maine East

Oct. 12 vs Deerfield

Oct. 19 vs Vernon Hills

[MORE: 61 Days to Kickoff - Maine West]

Biggest storyline: Will the Spartans' growing pains from last season pay off come August?

Names to watch this season: DB Ben Kieffer and OL Nick Mantas

Biggest holes to fill: The Spartans welcome back an impressive 15 starters (eight offense, seven defense) this season. That said, who will be the main ball carrier this season for the Spartans?

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbrook North posted a winning record in 2017, but a low playoff point total kept the Spartans watching the playoffs at home. Look for a much more experienced team on both sides of the football this fall that will contend for the Central Suburban North conference title and a state playoff spot.