Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Chicago Elite Classic

High School Lites Preview: Chicago Elite Classic

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school basketball games across Chicagoland on the first basketball edition of High School Lites.

It's the debut show for basketball on High School Lites this week as we transition to the hardwood for the rest of the season.

The first basketball edition of High School Lites has plenty of intriguing matchups, including the Chicago Elite Classic, which brings three great games to the UIC Pavilion.

This week also includes some conference and non-conference clashes and we get to know Curie shooting guard Elijah Joiner, as the defending 4A champion Condors face East St. Louis and Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon on Friday.

We'll have highlights of that one and plenty more on this week's show.

Niles North at No. 3 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Central Suburban South meet early in the season as Niles North (3-1) faces No. 3 Evanston (5-0). The Vikings fell to DePaul Prep but own three double-digit wins in their other games. Evanston is coming off of a big win at St. Viator as they beat No. 14 Conant handily. Wildkit senior Nojel Eastern is committed to Purdue and he's joined by a talented cast of teammates.

Lincoln-Way Central at No. 6 Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. -- This one could be intriguing in the SouthWest Suburban as Lincoln-Way Central (1-3) travels to No. 6 Bolingbrook. The Raiders are coming off of an impressive stretch in Decatur and senior Nana Akenten, a Nebraska commit, is playing very well to start the season. One of the state's deepest teams, Bolingbrook can go 10 or 11 deep. Lincoln-Way Central is off to a 1-3 start with two, two-point losses, including one to No. 6 Joliet West.

No. 18 St. Charles East at West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- Not many teams had a better opening week than No. 18 St. Charles East (4-0) as they knocked off St. Joe's and rival St. Charles North by one point each. Junior Justin Hardy is off to a great start and his buzzer-beater over St. Charles North was epic. West Aurora (3-1) will counter with high-scoring junior Cameron Donatlan.

No. 14 Conant at Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. -- The Mid-Suburban West gets going early as No. 14 Conant (4-1) travels to Schaumburg (2-2). Senior guard Jimmy Sotos is off to a very good start for the Cougars as the Bucknell commit has some solid big men in 6-foot-8 junior Ryan Davis and 6-foot-7 senior Michael Downing. Schaumburg picked up a few wins at the St. Charles East event, but fell by double-digits to the two ranked teams they faced.

Chicago Hope Academy at Holy Trinity, 7:30 p.m. -- The Chicago Prep Red opens play as well as Hope Academy (3-2) heads to Holy Trinity (0-4). Hope Academy proved to be tough at Fenwick the first week as they had close losses to the Friars and Westinghouse as well as a win over Morton. Holy Trinity tries to improve from a winless start at West Chicago.

Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion

Loyola vs. No. 14 Notre Dame, 6:00 p.m. -- The Chicago Elite Classic opens with two quality programs as Loyola (2-2) faces No. 14 Notre Dame (4-0). The Ramblers have a quality senior guard in Ramar Evans as they've lost to New Trier and Benet to start the season. Notre Dame won the Battle of the Bridge as forward Jeameril Wilson and guard Matt Stritzel both played very well.

No. 1 Curie vs. East St. Louis, 7:30 p.m. -- The area's No. 1 team gets its first major test as Curie (2-0) faces Mr. Basketball candidate and Illinois commit Jeremiah Tilmon and East St. Louis. The 6-foot-9 Tilmon should be a daunting opponent for the Condors as they counter with talented seniors like Elijah Joiner, Allante Pickens and Terry Smith. Juniors Traevon and Tyree Martin will also be tested in this one.

No. 11 Fenwick vs. No. 24 Oak Park-River Forest, 9:00 p.m. -- The Oak Park crosstown rivalry should be fun this year as both teams enter this one unbeaten on the season. The No. 11 Friars are led by senior Jamal Nixon and senior Jacob Keller. They'll have to get past the pressure defense of the Huskies as they've won all four of their games by double digits. Jared Scott and Cameron Gross are off to good starts while sophomore Dashown Enoch is one to watch.

Viewer's Choice Game of the Week

No. 19 St. Joseph at De La Salle, 7:00 p.m. -- This week's Viewer's Choice is an intriguing on in the Catholic League North as the Chargers (3-1) go on the road to De La Salle (4-0). St. Joseph dropped a close one to No. 18 St. Charles East last week as they have talented sophomore guard Marquise Walker and senior guard Jason Towers to lead a balanced attack. De La Salle is coming off of a title at the Glenbrook North/St. Patrick tournament as the Meteors took three out of four games by double-figures. This figures to be a much tougher test for head coach Tom White's team in this one.

89 Days to Kickoff: St. Charles East

89 Days to Kickoff: St. Charles East

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: St. Charles East

Head coach: Bryce Farquhar

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-2 Upstate 8 River Conference), St. Charles East made the 2017 IHSA state Class 8A playoff field. The Saints defeated Oswego East then lost to eventual 8A state champion Lincoln-Way East in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Rock Island

Aug. 31 @ Carmel

Sept. 7 vs Glenbard North

Sept. 14 @ Wheaton South

Sept. 21 vs Geneva

Sept. 28 @ St. Charles North

Oct. 5 vs Batavia

Oct. 12 @ Wheaton North

Oct. 19 vs Lake Park

[MORE: 90 Days to Kickoff - Warren]

Biggest storyline: The Saints have had impressive campaigns the last two seasons. Can they continue to prosper in the newly-formed DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Justin Jett and OL Dylan Barrett

Biggest holes to fill: The Saints will look to reload at a few key spots including at quarterback, as Clayton Isbell has moved on to Illinois State. Replacing RB/LB Nick Garlisch (South Dakota St.) will be key as well.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Bryce Farquhar's Saints have produced playoff seasons in back-to-back years. Now, their regular season ramps up a bit with the newly-formed DuKane Conference. The new league features some former Upstate Eight conference foes in St. Charles North, Batavia and Geneva, plus former DuPage Valley members Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Glenbard North and Lake Park. Look for the Saints to rely on some experience up front. Three starters are back on the offensive line, including junior OG Dylan Barrett. He has already added several FBS level scholarship offers. 

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

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: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant coaches: Jim Voutiritsas, Brandon Schild, Justin Van Schaik, Tayler Erbach and Mark Mika

How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Warren Township made the IHSA 8A playoff field. The Blue Devils defeated Bolingbrook then lost to Maine South in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule

Aug. 24 vs Barrington

Aug. 31 @ Glenbard North

Sept. 7 vs Waukegan

Sept. 14 vs Libertyville

Sept. 21 @ Lake Forest

Sept. 28 @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 5 vs Lake Zurich

Oct. 12 vs Stevenson

Oct. 19 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can The Blue Devils make it back-to-back postseason appearances and challenge for the North Suburban Conference title?

Names to watch this season: DL Zack Pelland, DT Willis Singleton and RB Martin Walker

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils will need to find a new pass/catch tandem to replace graduated QB Ian Schilling and a strong group in the skills department, led by WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame).  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blue Devils had a nice 2017 season. After starting seven sophomores on the varsity level a year ago, head coach Bryan McNulty has the rare combination of youth and experience this fall. The defense will be a definite strength going into the season. The offense will rely on the running game, which features four starting offensive linemen back in the fold along with senior RB Martin Walker. If the passing game can come along, this team can once again challenge in the North Suburban Conference race and also in the overall 8A picture.