Preps Talk

Top 25 games in Catholic League, Public League headline High School Lites

Top 25 games in Catholic League, Public League headline High School Lites

High School Lites has a loaded lineup for this week's show as we feature a number of top 25 teams. 

The highlights include major matchups in the Public League Red South/Central and the Catholic League Blue as well as a clash of unbeatens in the Southwest Prairie and the four top teams in the MSL West facing each other.

High School Lites airs this Friday at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago.

Thursday

No. 3 Curie at No. 1 Simeon, 5:00 p.m. -- A huge matchup in the Public League Red South/Central as the league's two unbeatens collide. While the Wolverines won the first matchup between these two teams to win the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, both of these teams remain 8-0 in the conference standings. Simeon (18-3, 8-0) still hasn't lost to a team from Illinois this season while the Condors have only fallen to the Wolverines among Illinois opponents. 

Friday

Fremd at Conant, 6:00 p.m. -- An important night in the Mid-Suburban League West starts here as Conant goes for the season sweep of Fremd to stay in the conference race. The Cougars (14-6, 3-3) won at Fremd, 48-41, on Dec. 15 as they're currently fourth in the league and one game behind three teams ahead of them. The Vikings (12-7, 4-2) have won three straight games as they're starting to pick it up for the stretch run.

Palatine at Barrington, 6:00 p.m. -- Another important game in the Mid-Suburban League West puts two of the top teams against each other. Barrington (15-4, 4-2) has won three straight games as they try to avenge a road loss to the Pirates on Dec. 15. Palatine (14-9, 4-2) already has the win over Barrington and they also earned a key overtime road win at Conant in conference play last week.

Romeoville at No. 20 Joliet Central, 6:30 p.m. -- The two best teams in the Southwest Prairie meet in this one. The Steelmen (15-3, 8-0) is unbeaten in league play as they took down rival Joliet West after losing a non-conference clash with Bolingbrook. Romeoville (16-4, 8-0) is also unbeaten in the Southwest Prairie as they lost to West Aurora last week. 

No. 8 Fenwick at No. 11 DePaul Prep, 7:00 p.m. -- This is a crucial game in the Catholic League Blue as the Friars maintain the conference lead. DePaul Prep (18-4, 3-1) has played one of the tougher schedules in the area as junior Perry Cowan has had a big season. Fenwick (14-6, 5-0) has played an even tougher schedule as they remain unbeaten in the Catholic League. Before the game, DePaul Prep coach Tom Kleinschmidt will have his jersey number retired by the school.

Lincoln-Way East at No. 5 Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. -- Red-hot Bolingbrook hosts Lincoln-Way East as the SouthWest Suburban Blue is showcased here. The Raiders (16-2, 4-0) have won five straight since falling to St. Rita in the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic title game as they've recently defeated Morgan Park and Joliet Central. Lincoln-Way East (14-3, 3-1) was able to take down Bolingbrook last season as they're led by Southern Illinois commit Sam Shafer. 

Proviso East at Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m. -- The West Suburban Gold race has been a close one this season as this will be a key game for this race. Willowbrook (17-3, 4-2) has won seven straight games, including a quality win over Larkin earlier this week. Proviso East (12-4, 5-1) already has an overtime home win over the Warriors back on Dec. 1 as they try to avoid another loss after falling to Hinsdale South in conference play last week. 

Lisle vs. Streator, 7 p.m. -- The Interstate Eight Tournament title game features two surprising teams. Streator (14-6, 4-2) had a blowout win over a talented Westmont team earlier this week to get to the title game. Lisle (12-9, 4-2) also managed a win over Herscher as they've been playing significantly better since 2018 started. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Crystal Lake South at McHenry, 7 p.m. -- Clawing back to win the vote, we head to the Fox Valley for our Viewers Choice Game of the Week. The Warriors (14-6, 6-2) are still trying to compete with Jacobs for the top spot in the crowd. Crystal Lake South (8-11, 4-4) beat McHenry at home on Dec. 2 earlier this season as they try to earn another win over the Warriors.

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Morgan Park

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Preseason Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 2 Morgan Park

Morgan Park

2017-18 record: 25-9, 7-2 Public League Red-South/Central

Postseason results: Won Class 3A state title for second consecutive season.

Players to watch: Junior guard Adam Miller returns after a promising sophomore season. After a solid summer, Miller is viewed as a consensus top-75 national prospect in his class. Another junior guard, Marcus Watson, also returns after getting extended run last season as he's another major threat in the Morgan Park backcourt. And Lincoln Park point guard Chris Roberts transferred in to give the Mustangs another quality ball-handler and scorer.

Why they're in the power rankings: Coming off of back-to-back state titles for the second time this decade, Morgan Park will attempt its first three-peat this season. With a dynamic backcourt that includes big-name players like Miller, Watson and Roberts, this should be another season in which Morgan Park is a big favorite to make noise in Class 3A. Frontcourt stability and depth will be the key for Morgan Park's season as they have to find complementary pieces for the stars.

Did you know? Morgan Park has some of the most impressive postseason streaks in the state. The Mustangs have been a state qualifier in five of the last six seasons, a sectional champion in six straight seasons and a regional champion in eight straight seasons. 

50 Chicagoland Boys Basketball Players to Watch

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

50 Chicagoland Boys Basketball Players to Watch

The IHSA boys basketball season begins Thanksgiving week as the state of Illinois will once again be loaded with talented players. NBC Sports Chicago presents the Chicagoland area's top 50 players to watch this season as the group features numerous Division I talents and exciting players. 

For more information on each player, click on the hyperlink on their name, as we've tweeted about all 50 players during the week on our @NBCSPreps Twitter account. Be sure to check out many of these players this season on High School Lites as we switch from football to basketball beginning with the Nov. 30th episode.

SENIORS

Rashaun Agee, Bogan

Myles Baker, Whitney Young

Connor Barrett, Loyola

Ciaran Brayboy, New Trier (Harvard)

Bryant Brown, Waukegan

Trey Calvin, St. Viator (Wright State)

Kejuan Clements, Simeon

Fred Cleveland Jr., Leo (North Carolina A&T)

Tyler Cochran, Bolingbrook (Northern Illinois)

Keenon Cole, Streamwood (Northern Illinois)

Perry Cowan, DePaul Prep (Brown)

RayJ Dennis, Oswego East (Boise State)

Dashon Enoch, Oak Park-River Forest

Nate Ferguson, Lemont (Drake)

DaJuan Gordon, Curie (Kansas State)

Essam Hamwi, Maine South

Semaj Henderson, Downers North

Jeremiah Hernandez, St. Viator (Kent State)

Jaheim Holden, Evanston

Markese Jacobs, Uplift (DePaul)

Lance Jones, Evanston (Southern Illinois)

Marquise Kennedy, Brother Rice (Loyola)

Mitch Mascari, Geneva

Taeyon Neal, Providence-St. Mel (UIC)

Jeremiah Oden, St. Rita

Antonio Reeves, Simeon

Deng Reng, Wheaton North

Isaac Stanback, Homewood-Flossmoor

Artese Stapleton, Kenwood

Aaron Strong, Farragut

Evan Taylor, Glenbard West (Southern Illinois)

Kendrick Tchoua, Benet

Alex Timmerman, Crystal Lake Central (Bucknell)

Zach Toussaint, Johnsburg

Marquise Walker, West Aurora

Jeremiah Washington, Bogan 

Tom Welch, Naperville North (Loyola)

Chris White, Marian Catholic

T.J. Wicks, Kankakee

Tujautae Williams, Orr

Joseph Yesufu, Bolingbrook (Drake)

JUNIORS

Tyler Beard, Whitney Young

Seryee Lewis, Kenwood

Adam Miller, Morgan Park

D.J. Steward, Whitney Young

Ahron Ulis, Marian Catholic

Keshawn Williams, Bloom

Will Wolfe, Aurora Christian

SOPHOMORES

Ahamed Bynum, Simeon

Max Christie, Rolling Meadows