Preps Talk

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 2: Whitney Young

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 2: Whitney Young

School: Whitney Young

2018-19 record: 25-8 (8-1 Public League Red-North/West)

Postseason results: Lost to Curie in Class 4A sectional finals.

Players to watch: D.J. Steward is a co-Player of the Year favorite as the senior guard hopes to close an outstanding four-year career with a strong final season. The Duke commit will push for McDonald's All-American status. Backcourt running mate Tyler Beard has plenty to play for as one of the state's best uncommitted players. The frontcourt of senior Sangolay Njie and junior Grant Newell is also among the city's best.

Why they're in the power rankings: The Dolphins once again have the talent, coaching and depth to make a major push for a city and state title. Although Whitney Young came up short of Peoria last season, Njie and Steward both have state-title game experience. The backcourt of Beard and Steward is explosive enough to be one of the area's best. And, as always, Whitney Young has plenty of young talent that should emerge as freshman point guard Dalen Davis is one to watch.  

Did you know? Playing perhaps the toughest schedule of any team in the state, Whitney Young is scheduled to play in events in Florida (City of Palms Classic), Massachusetts (HoopHall), California (Nike Extravaganza) and Missouri (versus Vashon).

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: 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 basketball followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that 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. 

We're going with a "Chicago skyline" edition of the Viewers' Choice Game of the Week-- games that are within sight of the greatest landmarks in the country. Austin is leading the Chicago Public League Blue-West division. University High, who nearly knocked off Simeon this season, battles Public League Red-West/North newcomer Payton. They battle Prosser. And Hope Academy leads the Chicago Prep conference. They figure to get a challenge from Walther Christian. Which game should we cover?

Austin at Prosser, 6:30 p.m.

University High at Payton, 6:30 p.m.

Walther Christian at Hope Academy, 7:30 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 Friday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 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.

Curie #1, but major changes throughout NBC Sports Chicago Power Rankings

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NBC Sports Chicago

Curie #1, but major changes throughout NBC Sports Chicago Power Rankings

Some major shakeups in the latest NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings.

A busy Martin Luther King holiday weekend saw tournaments and shootouts all over the area that included many losses to top-25 teams. It means a lot of reshuffling in the rankings this week, along with three new teams entering the picture.

Conference play and another strong shootout at Glenbard East on Saturday highlights another busy week of basketball as we hit the home stretch of the regular season.

1. Curie (17-1, 7-0) (1) -- The Condors earned three double-digit wins as they made easy work of local competition. Curie will have some enticing matchups to follow this week when they travel to Corliss and also battle Missouri power Hazelwood Central. 

2. Evanston (18-0, 5-0) (2) -- Evanston won a test against Hillcrest as they're still undefeated on the season. This week will be the Wildkits' biggest test though as they play No. 3 Bloom at Glenbard East in a major top-three showdown.

3. Bloom (18-4, 7-1) (3) -- Two double-digit wins for Bloom in conference play as the Blazing Trojans remain in the Southland mix. This week sees the Blazing Trojans face No. 2 Evanston at Glenbard East. 

4. Whitney Young (12-6, 7-0) (4) -- Whitney Young is starting to round into form with multiple wins during the week. The win at HoopHall also opened the eyes of national scouts as D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard played well in a major showcase win.

5. Bogan (18-2, 7-1) (5) -- Surviving a scare from Kenwood, Bogan went through the week without a loss. The Bengals close out the Public League schedule with a road matchup at Hyde Park this week.

6. Notre Dame (20-2, 4-0) (6) -- The Dons made a strong impression once again with a takedown of Morgan Park at Fenwick. Notre Dame gets another big Public League test this week when they play Simeon at Glenbard East. 

7. Thornton (18-0, 7-0) (7) -- Monster home win for the Wildcats as they get past Homewood-Flossmoor for another signature win. Playing its biggest road game of the season to date this week at Kankakee, this Southland showdown will have major conference title implications. 

8. Lincoln Park (16-3, 6-1) (10) -- Impressive win over Joliet West for the Lions as they are quietly remaining in the top-10 picture. The Lions have three matchups this week as they make a push towards 20 wins.

9. Homewood-Flossmoor (15-2, 1-0) (9) -- A busy week for Homewood-Flossmoor as they lost on the road to unbeaten Thornton but also gave Loyola its first Illinois loss of the season. A key conference matchup on the road at Lincoln-Way East this week as Southwest Suburban Blue action continues. 

10. DePaul Prep (17-2, 8-0) (11) -- The Rams took down two conference opponents this week-- St. Francis de Sales and Montini. They remain in the chase for the Catholic League Blue title. The Rams have a conference matchup at St. Laurence on Friday.

11. Loyola (19-2, 8-0) (6) -- Loyola finally lost to an Illinois opponent with a tight loss to No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor. The Ramblers are still in the midst of a crowded Catholic League Blue race as they travel to St. Joe's this week. 

12. Stevenson (15-3, 6-0) (15) -- The Patriots are rolling since the holidays as they picked up wins over Libertyville, Waukegan and West Aurora. Stevenson still is trying to hold off Mundelein in the North Suburban as the Patriots play Warren this week.

13. Marian Catholic (14-5, 3-1) (12) -- Marian Catholic suffered a setback against Bolingbrook as their brutal schedule continues. The difficult schedule continues with two games at Quincy this week against out-of-state competition.

14. Morgan Park (12-7, 5-1) (13) -- Falling to Notre Dame at Fenwick, the Mustangs continue their up-and-down season. Morgan Park still has the talent to beat anyone in the state but they lack a cohesiveness that other elite teams have at this point in the season.

15. Bolingbrook (15-4, 1-0) (NR) -- Bolingbrook rockets back into the Power Rankings behind three massive wins (Marian Catholic, Romeoville and Lincoln-Way East). Over the past month, Bolingbrook has played one of the toughest schedules in the area. 

16. York (20-2, 5-0) (17) -- Since falling to Bolingbrook in the Jack Tosh title game, York has run off eight straight wins. Winning the WW South MLK event was notable as the Dukes have been very strong in tournament play this season.

17. Kankakee (14-1, 5-1) (18) -- The Kays haven't lost since Dec. 3 but that could be tested when they host undefeated Thornton during the week. Kankakee has some major tests coming up with additional games against Bloom and the Wildcats later in the season.

18. Cary-Grove (18-2, 8-0) (NR) -- Returning to the Power Rankings for the first time since the preseason is Cary-Grove. The Trojans won the event at Lake Zurich, including a notable title-game win over No. 23 Glenbrook South. Their only losses this season have come to ranked teams (York and Waubonsie Valley).

19. Glenbrook South (17-3, 5-0) (19) -- The Titans dropped the title game at Lake Zurich to Cary-Grove. A win over Mundelein, however, was very impressive as Dom Martinelli and company continue to pile up quality wins.

20. Mundelein (16-3, 4-1) (16) -- Up and down week for the Mustangs. They stayed with Stevenson in the North Suburban race with a solid win over Libertyville. But Mundelein fell short of expectations at Lake Zurich by falling to Glenbrook South in the semifinals. 

21. Niles North (17-3, 5-0) (21) -- The Vikings cruised to some easy wins hosting their own event during the weekend. Niles North has two more winnable home games before playing Clark at the Orr Shootout this weekend. 

22. Oak Forest (17-1, 8-0) (23) -- Oak Forest continues to quietly pile up wins. The leaders of the South Suburban Blue head to the road for two winnable games during the week (Bremen, Southland). 

23. Waubonsie Valley (19-2, 3-1) (14) -- The Warriors drop after a surprising upset loss to Lyons in the Burlington Central MLK event. Waubonsie Valley has a chance to climb back up the Power Rankings with a winnable schedule until mid-February.

24. Joliet West (17-3, 10-0) (20) -- Losing a close game to Lincoln Park, the Tigers drop a few spots. The Southwest Prairie's best team goes on the road for two games this week as they should be able to beat Lockport and West Aurora.  

25. Hinsdale South (17-2, 6-0) (NR) -- Perhaps no team in the area had a better week than Hinsdale South. With six wins over the past week -- including two that included a buzzer-beater to either win or force overtime -- and the Hornets had a memorable week. Hinsdale South capped it off by winning the MLK event at Sterling with four double-digit wins.