Proviso West to expand to 32 teams


Proviso West to expand to 32 teams

The Proviso West Holiday Tournament, already regarded as the state's premier basketball event during the Christmas season, is going to get bigger than ever.

Tournament director Joe Spagnolo announced Monday that Proviso West, which will conduct its 51st annual tournament on Dec. 27-30 in Hillside, will expand from 16 to 32 teams beginning in 2012.

"We're going for greatness," said Spagnolo, who has been affiliated with the tournament since 1981. "We've been working on it for a long time. It will give more teams an opportunity to play here. I got tired of saying 'no' to new teams that wanted to play here."

Under the new format, the tournament will be expanded from four to six days with games being played on the main court in the 3,000-seat gymnasium and two start-of-the-art portable floors in the adjacent fieldhouse. The event will begin on the Saturday before Christmas and conclude on the afternoon of New Year's Eve.

"Our mission has always been to promote high school basketball," Spagnolo said. "Our motto is: 'Proviso West is where basketball is best.' We want everyone to enjoy what we have, from paying customers to referees to participants. We think it is a special event and we want more people to get involved in it."

The new format will call for games to be played simultaneously on three days of the tournament with two games under one roof in the fieldhouse for a single admission price. Single sessions will remain at their current pricing but on days where there are games in both facilities a ticket will allow admission to all games on both courts.

"If you're quick on your feet, you'll be able to see the end of all 61 games in the tournament," Spagnolo said.

The Proviso West Holiday Tournament was founded in 1961 by then athletic director Walt Sawosko, who wanted to start a local tournament so Chicago area schools could be at home during the holidays and wouldn't have to travel. It was expanded from eight to 16 teams after the first year.

Until that time, Chicago area schools that wanted to participate in holiday tournaments had no choice but to play at DeKalb or Pontiac or Centralia or Carbondale or not play at all. Because of Proviso West's popularity, other local holiday events such as Elgin, York, East Aurora, Rich South, Lemont and Wheeling were organized in later years.

Spagnolo said the inaugural 32-team field will be announced within the next week, after the pairings at all other holiday tournaments throughout the state are announced.

This year's opening-round pairings will pit Morgan Park vs. Hinsdale Central, Glenbrook North vs. St. Patrick, New Trier vs. Fenwick and Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Von Steuben in the upper bracket and Hillcrest vs. Morton, Rockford Auburn vs. Proviso West, Proviso East vs. Brooks and St. Joseph vs. Benet in the lower bracket.

Spagnolo said most of the 32 teams have already been secured and the dates for next year's event will be announced later this month.

Fantasy Football, Week 2: Start Allen Robinson vs. Broncos

Fantasy Football, Week 2: Start Allen Robinson vs. Broncos

Fantasy football owners are in the process of setting their Week 2 starting lineups and there's one Chicago Bears skill player who should be a near-consensus first-teamer Sunday: wide receiver Allen Robinson.

After an impressive debut in Week 1 against the Packers, Robinson looks like he's finally regained the form that led to 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns back in 2015. He was cursed by horrendous quarterback play and a torn ACL in the two seasons that followed, and last year was more like a medical redshirt season in Chicago as he worked his way back to 100 percent health.

In Thursday's opener, Robinson went off for 102 yards on seven catches. Yes, that qualifies as 'going off' considering how terrible the rest of the Bears' offense was.

In Week 2's game against the Denver Broncos, Robinson has a favorable matchup against a secondary that just allowed Oakland's Tyrell Williams to torch them for 105 yards and a touchdown.

According to CBS Sports fantasy expert Jamey Eisenberg, Robinson is a 'start 'em' on Sunday.

I was skeptical of Robinson last week against Green Bay. I was wrong. He looked great in Week 1 at home with seven catches for 102 yards on 13 targets, and he was the best Fantasy option in that game. Mitchell Trubisky locked eyes on him often, and hopefully that continues, especially against the Broncos. Williams just played well against this Denver secondary, and I expect Robinson to do the same. He's a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues for Week 2.

The only thing potentially working against Robinson is the Bears' expected effort to get the running game more involved. If Matt Nagy maintains a more balanced game script, Robinson likely won't see 13 targets again. And if that's the case, his fantasy value will depend on how accurate Mitchell Trubisky is with the targets he does launch A-Rob's way.

Regardless, the passing game will run through Robinson, which should result in another game in which he challenges for 100 yards and a score.

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Bears vs. Broncos: How many yards will Trubisky throw for in Week 2?

Bears vs. Broncos: How many yards will Trubisky throw for in Week 2?

The Chicago Bears finally return to action Sunday against the Denver Broncos in what's been described as a potential get-right game for Mitchell Trubisky and the entire offense. There's no denying Trubisky needs a strong showing to keep his critics at bay, but his impact on a Bears win (or loss) will matter more than his production.

Simply put, Chicago can't drop to 0-2.

The Broncos' defense, led by former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, looked terrible against the Raiders in Week 1. The most shocking storyline that came from Denver's loss was the shutout pitched by the Raiders offensive line against star pass rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. As a result, Fangio's squad enters Sunday's game ranked 16th in yards allowed, 17th in points, 17th in passing yards allowed, and 19th in rushing.

Sure, it's only one game and it's hardly enough of a sample size to suggest Denver will be a middle-of-the-road defense all year long, but it's not like Oakland is expected to be an offensive powerhouse either. Week 1's underwhelming game does matter.

All of this adds up to Trubisky having an opportunity for a nice rebound game in Week 2.

As for his stat line? The experts at Fantasy Pros are predicting a pretty average performance. They have Trubisky going for 232.4 yards, 1.4 touchdowns and 0.9 interceptions. He's expected to add 21.7 rushing yards, too.

Round up (or down) the numbers, and Trubisky's stat line will be just fine if the Bears come out with a win.

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